Grassley submits H-1B amendment

Businesses and contractors that receive funding through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) would be prohibited from hiring H-1B visa holders under a Senate amendment introduced into the economic stimulus package on Feb. 5.

The measure, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), is intended to ensure that jobs go to Americans rather than to workers from other countries, Grassley said in a news release .

Grassley cited media reports that the banking industry had requested more than 21,000 visas for temporary foreign workers in the last six years.

“Hiring American workers for limited available jobs should be a top priority for businesses taking taxpayer money through the TARP program,” Grassley said. "With the unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, there is no need for companies to hire foreign workers through the H-1B program when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs.”

Grassley recently urged Microsoft Corp. to lay off foreign workers rather than Americans in its plan to reduce its workforce by 4,000. Microsoft has been one of the strongest supporters for expanding the H-1B visa program and using H-1B visa holders to augment its staff.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Tue, Apr 7, 2009

Our company had a mass layoff, mostly American workers (if not all). Yet the company renewed the H1B worker visa with the same job title and work duties as laid-off workers 2 weeks after the layoff. H-1B workers are younger and cheaper, so they help to cut cost in difficult economic times.

Thu, Mar 26, 2009 Bill Charlotte

Just one question.... Do H1-Bs get paid unemployment if they are terminated? If not, then any taxes they pay are negated by the unemployment payments made to the US worker that they displaced.

Sat, Feb 28, 2009 J MI

Does Chuck Grassley really want Americans to get back to work or does he just want to become a hero by imposing such bans on hiring foreign professional during these tough crises. H1B professionals working here pay their taxes, buy cars, buy homes, go shopping, they all do what the rest of the Americans do to fuel the American economy. And imposing such bans on H1B professionals doesn't make any sense because most of the jobs lost are in the manufacturing sector ( most H1B's are in the IT sector, moreover Grassley should consider bans on shipping jobs to other countries, he should pass a bill that says the jobs outsourced now should be reduced by half so that those companies can hire locally. Because the jobs that are outsourced don't pay taxes here, whereas H1B prof. working here pay their taxes here. So first cut down the number of jobs outsourced then see what magic happens in the job market of America.

Tue, Feb 10, 2009 Chaitan

Why do we Target H1bs when they are only a small chuck of people in any company.I dont get how much Americans will get jobs are a result of this amendments.This whole thing sounds political rather than a genuine effort to help Americans.

Mon, Feb 9, 2009

SOME of the money earned by H1B Visa holders is spent here. SOME is sent back home to help the family. I should know, because I went to college and worked in the lab with several visa holders, many of whom were my friends.

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