No one in their right mind would expect the current round of immigration reforms to fix everything that's wrong with America's byzantine and broken system. But it is not too much to expect that these reforms at least not make matters worse. That, however, is exactly what the Gang of Eight's reform proposal would do with respect to high-tech immigrants. In the name of protecting American jobs, it basically hands control of the H-1B program to Department of Labor bureaucrats — and their union bosses — to pummel employers who dare hire foreign techies. Explains Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in her latest Bloomberg View column:
Since 1998, "H-1B dependent" employers — those with 15 percent or more of their workforce on H-1Bs — have had to attest that they are hiring foreign nationals only after making a good-faith effort to recruit qualified Americans. This includes advertising through channels prescribed by the Labor Department and interviewing a requisite number of candidates.
The employers must also be prepared to justify the discharge of any American worker 90 days before or after hiring an H-1B employee. They have to demonstrate either that the employee's departure was voluntary or caused by poor performance or unacceptable behavior. A company that is found to be willfully violating the law can be barred for three years from hiring foreign workers and slapped with thousands of dollars in fines.
Instead of freeing companies from such mandates, the Gang of 8's plan would impose them on every company that hires even a single H-1B visa holder.
But that's just the tip. It gets worse. Much, much worse.
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