Rep. Peters Praises House Judiciary Committee for Passage of the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act
Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Project and Grow American Jobs Act. U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced the bill with Rep. Darrell Issa to reform the H-1B visa system to help prevent outsourcing of American jobs. The H-1B program is an important program, created to help grow the economy by granting temporary visas to highly-skilled professionals. In recent years, some companies have begun to abuse loopholes in the system that allow them to offshore jobs, hurting American workers in the process. This bill closes these loopholes by raising eligibility requirements to ensure H-1B-dependent employers only hire the best and the brightest and to help curb abuse so these innovators can maintain a competitive workforce. Currently, H-1B-dependent employers can avoid attesting that they attempted to fill job vacancies with American workers as long as they pay H-1B recipients at least $60,000. The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act increases that threshold significantly to the lesser of $135,000 or the average salary for that job in a given geographical area, with a floor of $90,000.
“Innovators across San Diego rely on high-skilled visas to maintain a talented workforce,” said Rep. Peters. “To ensure these visas are available for those who need them, we need strong systems in place to prevent abuse and protect jobs for American workers. This commonsense fix updates our high-skilled visas to reduce abuse of the system and ensure a level playing field for American workers. I will continue to push for a bipartisan fix to our broken immigration system so we can create economic opportunity and enhance our security.”
The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act eliminates any exceptions that allowed H-1B-dependent employers to replace American workers with H-1B employees. The bill also strengthens the Department of Labor’s ability to ensure that H-1B-dependent employers abide by the new provisions.