Letter to Sen. Robert Byrd Regarding American Jobs Amendment
The Honorable Robert C. Byrd
SH-311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4801
Dear Senator Byrd:
On behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), we salute you for offering a critically important amendment to this year’s FY 06 reconciliation bill. Your amendment would reverse the foolish action taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee to sell out American workers by expanding employment-based visas, H-1B high tech worker visas, and accompanying family members by an estimated 368,000 per year. This represents one of the largest immigration increases in American history. To take this action under the guise of deficit reduction and without even so much as a hearing is unconscionable.
Your amendment not only reverses the action taken by the Judiciary Committee, it nets greater savings than the Judiciary Committee would realize from its plan. The Committee was charged with finding $60 million in FY 06 and $300 million over the period between FY 20006 and FY 2010. This is done by raising the fees on H-1B and permanent employment-based visas charged to employers. Your amendment would net $80 million in FY 2006 and $500 million over the period between FY 2006 and FY 2010. To accomplish these savings you have simply adopted the House Judiciary Committee proposal to raise the fees on L-1 intra-company transferees to $1,500 per visa.
What is clear enough from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s action is that it is a thinly disguised plan deliberately concocted to hide a major immigration expansion in the name of reducing the deficit. The American public is not and will not be fooled. Your amendment, on the other hand, properly finds required savings without making wholesale changes to our immigration system. The amendment you propose deserves the support of all of your colleagues. It represents sound public policy, both fiscally and programmatically.