Point out a logical flaw in this immigration post?
Please read Senators Grassley's position on a significant immigration bill. If you support the post by Senator Grassley, I only ask that you call congress and tell them you OPPOSE S.386 or the fairness in high skilled immigrants act. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO CALL BECAUSE MOST OF CONGRESS IS UNWITTINGLY NOT OPPOSED TO THIS BILL AND IT WILL GO TO VOTE NEXT WEEK.
There is nothing fair about a bill that prioritizes only one country over all other immigrants.
1) USCIS does not vet skills; it only categorizes you as EB1, EB2, or EB3 based on your education and exp. USCIS does not distinguish between a FAANG programmer, or a Doctor or a low skilled QA worker from a desi consulting company.
2) Most Indians in the backlog are either sponsored by an outsourcing company (WITCHAS) or by a desi consulting company and not by FAANG companies.
3) The per-country cap does not limit India, India has always has gotten more than 18% of the GC quota never 7%, this is because of the spillover visas.
Indians get the most number of Employment Green cards every year; China is a distance second.
4) Yes, country of birth should not be a factor in a skill-based visa, but neither should priority date. Our immigration system requires a comprehensive solution that sorts based on merit and not the country of birth nor the order in which they apply. S-386 only removes country of birth but does not replace it with a better alternative.
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I have asked to be notified before any unanimous consent agreement to process this bill because I oppose S. 281, the Fairness in High-Skilled Immigrants Act. High-skilled immigrants are a benefit to the United States. We welcome those talented individuals from across the world who can supplement our own domestic labor workforce. In Iowa, we have seen the benefit of high- skilled immigrant doctors, healthcare professionals, and medical specialists who serve our rural communities. These immigrants provide quality healthcare and immerse themselves in our communities. In turn, Iowans welcome them with open arms. I look forward to improving the integrity of our H-1B program through regular order in a bipartisan manner. However, I have strong objections to S. 281 or the Fairness in High-Skilled Immigrants Act.
This bill would eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants and increase the per country numerical limitation for family-based immigrants from 7 percent to 15 percent of the total number of family-sponsored visas. It would also do nothing to improve lserious problems in our H-1B visa program. conIn fact, it does not address any employer abuses, fraud, protections for American workers or protections for the H-1B workers themselves.
Congress must deal with the visa backlog issue, but this bill is a bandaid over a bullet hole that I fear will lead to unintended consequences. First, eliminating the per country caps will not necessarily clear out the backlog. Inevitably, with tens of thousands of people waiting in line, a backlog will ensue from a processing standpoint regardless of whether or not there are per country caps. Second, this bill does not replace the per country caps with any sort of metric-based system or order. This is problematic at best. Of course, an immigrant's country of origin should not dictate their place in line for visas, but surely a clear corresponding domestic labor demand should.
Members on both sides of the aisle have said they are committed to a merit-based immigration system. Certainly then, if we eliminate per country caps, we should have a merit-based system that prioritizes not based on country of origin, but on what jobs need to be filled and a showing that there are not enough Americans to fill that position. Some of my colleagues have proposed a points-based system. I believe this could be a good starting point. Ultimately, however, a replacement system for the per country limitations should be discussed and fully vetted through hearings and debate. I am willing to work with any Member, Democrat or Republican, including the proponents of this bill, to create a smarter and fairer system.
President Trump and congressional Republicans promised the American people that we would address chain migration, but this bill does not do that. Instead, it more than doubles family-sponsored visas but does not limit this privilege to the nuclear family. Before we talk about expanding family-sponsored visas, we should right-size immigration in a manner that balances domestic economic demand with American values. Limiting family-sponsored visas to spouses, children, and elderly dependent parents seems both fair and prudent.
Finally, this bill does not include overdue reforms to our H-1B visa program. This bill does not include any safeguards, such as requiring employers to recruit American workers prior to hiring an H-1B worker and increasing wages for H-1B workers. Too often we have seen employers undercut wages for U.S. workers by intentionally classifying H-1B workers at a lower wage level for the work they are performing. This bill also ignores harms that befall the H-1B workers, many of whom are underpaid, vulnerable to abuse, and frequently placed in poor working conditions. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to address the visa backlog and H-1B reform. I look forward to working with any of my colleagues on this effort in the next Congress.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT