Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

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2 San Diego Congressmen Cross Party Lines to Back H1-B Visa Change

Jan 4, 2017
In The News

San Diego-area Reps. Darrell Issa and Scott Peters crossed party lines Wednesday to jointly support changes to the H1-B program that allows skilled immigrants to fill high-tech jobs.

Democrat Peters joined Republican Issa in supporting re-introduction of the so-called Protect and Grow American Jobs Act to ensure “spots remain available for the best and brightest talent from around the world.”

The legislation would close a loophole that critics say is used by large companies to bring in cheaper foreign labor from abroad. The changes would raise the salary requirement to $100,000 per year from $60,000 and eliminate the master’s degree exemption.

Issa’s office said raising the salary to the average American level would cut down on abuse by removing the profit incentive to hire abroad while eliminating the degree exemption would keep positions open for truly highly-skilled immigrants.

“We need to ensure we can retain the world’s best and brightest talent,” Issa said. “At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers.”

Peters added that “curbing abuse of the H1-B system will protect American jobs and help ensure that visas are available for innovators who need them to maintain a competitive workforce.”Rep. Scott Peters at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Research Institute. Photo courtesy Peters’ office

San Diego-area Reps. Darrell Issa and Scott Peters crossed party lines Wednesday to jointly support changes to the H1-B program that allows skilled immigrants to fill high-tech jobs.

Democrat Peters joined Republican Issa in supporting re-introduction of the so-called Protect and Grow American Jobs Act to ensure “spots remain available for the best and brightest talent from around the world.”

The legislation would close a loophole that critics say is used by large companies to bring in cheaper foreign labor from abroad. The changes would raise the salary requirement to $100,000 per year from $60,000 and eliminate the master’s degree exemption.

Issa’s office said raising the salary to the average American level would cut down on abuse by removing the profit incentive to hire abroad while eliminating the degree exemption would keep positions open for truly highly-skilled immigrants.

“We need to ensure we can retain the world’s best and brightest talent,” Issa said. “At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers.”

Peters added that “curbing abuse of the H1-B system will protect American jobs and help ensure that visas are available for innovators who need them to maintain a competitive workforce.”