Thursday, March 19, 2015


The Senate is controlled by Republicans who are odds at how to handle the real and perceived problems with the H-1B visa.  One group of Senators, led by Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), recognizes the obvious: that the H-1B visa quota is an enormous hindrance to the US economy.  Sen. Hatch’s solution is to increase the quota while maintaining protections for US workers.  Sen. Hatch’s bill, the I-Squared bill, has support from Senators in both parties, with co-sponsorship from eleven different Senators.  It is the rare piece of legislation that has support from a diverse group of Senators. 

This sensible coalition recognizes that an increased H-1B visa cap is necessary.  There is no real evidence that the H-1B drives down US workers’ wages.  

The other side of the debate is spearheaded by Sen. Grassley (R-IA), with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) riding alongside.  Neither Senator is actually interested in getting legislation passed, as evidenced by the fact that neither has actually introduced any legislation.  They are only interested in rabble rousing.  Earlier this week, they held a hearing on the H-1B visa, which amounted to nothing. 

Sen. Grassley's plan seems to be able to force amendments to the I-Squared, whose support is growing.  He has done this many times in the past.  These amendments will only increase the regulatory and legislative headaches that lawful staffing companies already face.  The companies that take advantage of loose enforcement will continue to do so.  

It is in the Senator's best interest to keep the H-1B bill alive and well.  How else can he tell the protectionists how bad it is?  

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