FAIR Opposes Biden Effort to Delay Implementation of Rule Reducing Abuse of H-1B Program
March 11, 2021
“President Biden often portrays himself as a man from the ‘working class’ who is a tireless defender of the American worker,” said FAIR President Dan Stein. “Yet his administration is set to postpone, by at least a year, an important rule change that prevents unscrupulous employers from using the H-1B visa program to undercut American workers and wages while ensuring that companies that truly need skilled foreign workers have access to the best and the brightest.” – Dan Stein
(March 11, 2021, Washington, D.C.) – The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) submitted a public comment yesterday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding its decision to postpone the implementation of a Trump administration rule that would reduce abuse of the H-1B program by unscrupulous employers while also protecting American workers.
The rule, Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions, requires that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prioritize the higher-paid and higher-skilled foreign workers for H-1B cap-subject visas, thus ensuring U.S. businesses have access to the best pool of foreign workers, while also discouraging wage suppression and creating unfair competition to American workers.
“FAIR strongly supports the substance of the final rule and urges DHS to implement the rule without delay. As DHS has reiterated throughout the rulemaking process, prioritizing wage levels in the registration selection process incentivizes employers to offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled aliens that are commensurate with higher wage levels, to increase the likelihood of selection for an eventual petition,” the comments note.
“President Biden often portrays himself as a man from the ‘working class’ who is a tireless defender of the American worker,” said FAIR President Dan Stein. “Yet his administration is set to postpone, by at least a year, an important rule change that prevents unscrupulous employers from using the H-1B program to undercut American wages while ensuring that companies that truly need skilled foreign workers have access to the best and the brightest.”
“Current DHS policies require USCIS to select registrations on a purely random basis, utilizing a lottery system, when demand for H-1B visas exceeds the numerical limit set by statute,” note the comments. “This random lottery selection process places no weight on wage or skill levels and fails to ensure businesses actually have access to the best and brightest workers possible. Worse, the lottery creates a scenario where American workers could be replaced by foreign workers who can be paid significantly less or who possess considerably lower skills,” said Stein.
In closing, FAIR strongly urged DHS to implement these critical reforms without undue delay.
“This final rule will allow DHS to more effectively protect U.S. workers against competition from foreign labor at a time when U.S. workers need protection more than ever. The acute fiscal harm that U.S. workers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will only be exacerbated if employers are encouraged to continue to underpay H-1B beneficiaries because of an outdated and illogical current wage structure.
“The final rules will mitigate the harmful impact the current wage level structure has on the domestic labor market, will likely increase productivity, development, and innovation within the U.S. economy, and will benefit higher-skilled H-1B beneficiaries from wage suppression.”
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org