Grassley submits H-1B amendment
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Feb 06, 2009
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.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.