- Republican congressman Jim Banks presented the American Tech Workforce Act of 2021 in the United States House of Representatives.
- The bill attempts to eliminate Optional Practical Training (OPT) under the H-1B visa, which permits foreign college students to work in the US for three years.
- The bill also proposes to make the minimum pay for H-1B visa beneficiaries equal to the higher end of the yearly wage offered to an American, or $110,000, whichever is higher.
In the United States, a new immigration law proposed tougher entry rules for the country’s H-1B visa programme.
The American Tech Workforce Act of 2021, a new measure submitted in the US House of Representatives, proposes to repeal Optional Practical Training (OPT), which permits international students with student visas to work in the US for up to three years provided they have STEM skills. The H-1B programme primarily helps major technology businesses by giving tax relaxations and allowing them to hire foreign workers at lower pay. Supporters of the H-1B visa believe that the visa regime rejects the argument and sees it as crucial in resolving the labour market gap in the United States.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks submitted the proposed legislation as part of the Republican Study Committee to hold major tech corporations accountable. The bill builds on the legacy of the Trump administration’s attempt to modify the law to make it more difficult for American businesses to recruit foreign labour.
Banks stated in a statement, “Big Tech is reserving some of the most lucrative and significant employment possibilities in America for foreign guest workers. They’re eliminating Americans to save money. It’s domestic outsourcing.”
The bill will first be passed by the House before being sent to the Senate for approval.
“This shocking disregard for American workers and their role in our nation’s future is unpatriotic. We must fix Big Tech’s incentives, so they begin putting Americans first,” Banks continued.
The measure intends to make the minimum pay for H-1B visa beneficiaries equal to the higher end of the yearly wage offered to an American worker for the post, or $110,000, whichever is higher.
In addition, the law proposes lowering the period of H-1B visas sponsored by third-party companies from three to one year. The American Tech Workforce Act is supported by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the American Principles Project (APP), and NumbersUSA.