Washington: A bill seeking to prevent US companies from outsourcing jobs overseas by “abusing” H1-B programme has been re-introduced in House of Representatives by two lawmakers. Introduced by Democratic Congressman Derek Kilmer and his Republican colleague in the US House of Representatives, Doug Collins, the bill aims at stopping employers that are awarded temporary visas through the H-1B programme from using them to train workers in the US then move those jobs to another country.
“The Keeping American Jobs Act protects American workers by preventing bad actors from abusing the system in order to offshore jobs,” said Collins in a statement, days after 60 Minutes in the PBS aired a documentary on H-1B visa programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US.
“Protecting American jobs is crucial in order for our economy to continue to gain strength and momentum,” said Collins. “Companies have the opportunity to bring workers from overseas on H-1B visas in the event that qualified Americans aren’t available, but we can’t allow the law to be exploited to displace American workers and send their jobs abroad,” he said.
“Our policies should promote jobs in America,” said Kilmer. “They shouldn’t be about sending jobs done by hard working Americans overseas. That’s why I’m continuing my push with Representative Collins to keep H-1B visas from ever being used to send any job to another country,” he said.
Noting that H-1B visas allow American businesses to hire foreign professionals if skilled American workers are unavailable to fill job openings, a Congressional statement said the employees must have expertise in fields like science and technology and generally have college degrees.
“This week, 60 Minutes reported that unscrupulous employers have utilised the programme to bring foreign workers in and displace American jobs. This follows reports last year that American workers were forced to train H1B visa holders to do their job so that the jobs could be permanently outsourced to foreign workers,” the statement said.