On November 15, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee passed the H.R. 170 – “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act”, taking an aim to restraint companies from abusing the nation’s H-1B Visa system and stop the outsourcing of American jobs. The new bill has crossed its first hurdle, clearing its way to move forward in the U.S. House of Representatives. The new bill changes a few vital components of current law, including the threshold for an H1B worker to be considered exempt. It also targets employers that are H-1B dependent, a designation used by the United States Department of Labor to describe an employer who meets a particular threshold in terms of the fraction of the workforce comprising workers in H-1B status.

H.R. 170’s sponsor, Representative Darrell Issa of California’s 49th Congressional District, issued a press release stating that the “Highly skilled individuals that come to America through the H-1B visa program add tremendous value to the U.S. economy. We have a responsibility to ensure this important program isn’t being abused by employers to undercut American jobs,”. He also stated that “Unfortunately, loopholes in the program have allowed a small handful of employers to game the system to displace American workers and crowd out others who legitimately need the limited slots available to recruit individuals with unique skill sets not available here at home. The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act is a common-sense update that will go a long way to protecting American workers while helping companies access to the talent they need to grow their businesses and create new jobs here in America.”

Below is the side by side comparison between the “Current Law” vs New Bill “Protect and Grows American Jobs Act”,

Current Law

New Bill –

Protect and Grows American Jobs Act

·Exempt H-1B nonimmigrant -advanced degrees and the $60,000 exemption wage level

·Exempt H-1B nonimmigrant -the lesser of $135,000 or the mean wage for the occupational classification in the area of employment (but in no event less than $90,000). It would also require that the relevant dollar amounts be increased based on the Consumer Price Index.

·H-1B employers to attest that they will not displace a U.S. worker within the 90 days prior to the filing of the H-1B petition and the 90 days after such filing

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