House Democrats Pushing To Revisit H-1B Visa, Green Card Reform This Year - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance

House Democrats Pushing To Revisit H-1B Visa, Green Card Reform This Year

Members of the New Democrat Coalition are joining the tech industry in calling for increasing the supply of foreign-born workers in the United States.

Pressure is mounting on Congress -- now from within -- to pass H-1B visa and green card reform this year.

In a letter sent yesterday to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other House committee leaders, a group of 16 Democrats in Congress requested that "the House take action this year to resolve the immediate talent crisis that is facing U.S. employers."

The letter was signed by 16 U.S. representatives who are part of the New Democrat Coalition, a 59-member group of Democratic members of Congress who describe themselves as "moderate, pro-growth," and interested in "modernizing" the Democratic Party and the country.

The group says Congress "must act to alleviate the talent crisis before we adjourn this year."

Among the reforms being urged are aligning the supply of H-1B visas and employment-based green cards "with the needs of U.S. employers" and modernizing student visa programs. H-1B is the most common visa used by U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign-born technology workers.

Currently, the annual cap on H-1B visas sits at 85,000, including 20,000 exemptions that are earmarked for foreign students who receive degrees from U.S. schools.

However, over the last few years, the supply of visas has been running out quickly while demand by employers increases. This year, the U.S. government received in two days nearly twice as many applications for H-1B visas than can be granted for fiscal 2008, which started Oct. 1.

The hope by employers for an increase in the number of H-1B visas that can be issued this fiscal year was crushed in the spring when Congress' comprehensive immigration reform bill died. However, in recent months, pressure has been growing on Congress to revisit tech-industry-related immigration issues as standalone legislation.

Besides the correspondence sent to House leaders by the New Democrat Coalition, in recent weeks various tech lobbying groups, including Compete America, IEEE-USA, and the Semiconductor Industry Association, have also been pressuring House and Senate leaders to readdress various visa and green card reforms.

New Democrat Coalition members signing the letter are Ellen Tauscher (Calif.), Adam Smith (Wash.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Artur Davis (Ala.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Rick Larsen (Wash.), Dennis Moore (Kan.), Adam Schiff (Calif.), Jim Moran (Va.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Susan Davis (Calif.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.), Christopher Carney (Pa.), Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), and David Wu (Ore.).

However, despite the letter to Speaker Pelosi and other House leaders, new debate about raising the cap on H-1B visas or green card reforms isn't likely to be penciled in any time soon in the House, says a government source, unless the Senate makes the move first to revisit those issues.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll