Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor officials said new guidelines on who can get the visas and just how much they ought to be paid will be published shortly to limit the usage of what is called the H-1B application.
Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said DHS estimates that roughly one-fifth of applicants could be refused under the new rules, including limitations on the number of specialty jobs available to H-1B holders.
These new rules on H-1 B employees reflect a wider effort by his government to curtail both illegal and legal immigration, an issue significant to Trump’s foundation even if it’s less dominant in his effort this season than in 2016.
“With tens of thousands of Americans looking for employment, as the market continues its recovery, immediate action is required to safeguard against the threat lower-cost overseas labor can pose into the well-being of U.S. employees,” Pizzella said.
The H-1B application was made under President George H.W. Bush to assist companies to fill technical jobs since the technology industry started to flourish and it was more difficult to find qualified employees. Many companies insist that they still require the app to fill crucial positions.
Critics include labor advocates in addition to individuals who seek limitations on legal immigration. But supporters argue that H-1B holders fulfill critical needs and do not always take jobs from Americans, but instead help expand the market and create more chances.
Cuccinelli and Pizzella said the application was abused to permit organizations to displace American workers with significantly less costly workers from abroad.
“U.S. employees are being ousted from great paying, middle-class occupations and substituted with non-U.S. employees,” Pizzella said. “It’s also caused U.S. salary in certain cases to stagnate. That isn’t right.”
One of the rules is significant limitations on”offsite” companies that earn large quantities of H-1B visa holders then provide those employees under contract to other businesses for a commission, a loophole that’s become the topic of fraud and another misuse.
There are also raised workplace inspections and added oversight of this H-1B program, Cuccinelli said.
The U.S. can issue around 85,000 H-1B visas each year in tech, life sciences, healthcare, and other industries. They are generally issued for an initial period of 3 decades and may be revived.
Officials stated the Department of Labor rules could take effect immediately following publication in the national register later this week although people who fall under the Department of Homeland Security will be adopted following a public comment period.