Toothless H-1B Bill Is Back

By John Miano on January 17, 2017

Representative Darrell Issa has reintroduced his H-1B "reform" bill from last session. As I described last fall, this bill is carefully crafted to do absolutely nothing.

Rep. Issa's press release describes the bill this way:

The legislation would help close a loophole in the nation's high-skilled immigration system being used by these companies to bring in cheaper foreign labor from abroad. It would raise the salary requirement for the positions to $100,000/year (up from $60,000/year currently) and eliminate the Masters Degree exemption. By raising the salary to a level more in-line with the average American salary for these positions, it would help cut down on abuse and ensure these positions remain available for companies who truly need them.

Many news outlets have translated this as meaning the bill raises the minimum wage for H-1B workers. Industry lobbyists make the same claim as well.

In fact, the bill does no such thing.

The reality is Rep. Issa's bill only increases the minimum wage for an alien to be classified as an "Exempt H-1B Nonimmigrant." That classification is part of the lobbyist-written tangle in the H-1B statutes.

Under Issa's bill, employers will still be able to pay H-1B workers at the 17th percentile and they will still be able to use those workers to replace Americans with impunity.

It takes no effort at all to write a provision that says you cannot replace Americans with H-1B workers. It takes a lot of skill to write a bill that does absolutely nothing while making it look like it does something.

This illustrates the problem. It is not an accident that Americans are being replaced by cheap foreign workers. This process is taking place because of deliberate, affirmative actions made by Congress. The folks who write bills like this are not working for America or Americans; the work for the big-money donors. Rep. Issa has demonstrated the lengths some members will go to ensure that this abomination continues.