H1B Reform Solutions

With the problem of the glut of foreign ‘highly skilled’ workers being front & center during this presidential race, specifically in the Republican side, there have been a lot of so-called ‘solutions’ proposed or bandied about.

Some of these so-called ‘solutions’ are just as loophole ridden as the current system. Some of them actually end up increasing the visa allocation significantly. This is because the people proposing these so-called ‘solutions’ are the same people currently benefiting from the glut of foreign workers.

It is time to stop the gluttony that corporate America has helped itself to, thanks to corrupt government. This includes not only the H1B program but also the F1 OPT program which takes jobs from American college grads and the J1 summer work program, which takes jobs from American teens & college students.

I’ll address my reform proposals for the F1 OPT and the J1 programs in another post. Here are my proposals for H1B reform:

– get rid of the ‘lottery system’ and the six month pre-employment application limit window (the application ‘season’) which encourages bulk filings of applications and filings for unneeded H-1B visas for ‘demand forecasting’ purposes, instead of real-time/real-need situations. It’s ridiculous that if a company needs a worker in the last quarter of the year that they’ll have to wait to apply the next year and hopefully get that worker over a year later. The system should allow year-long processing and take applications throughout the year.

– create website for IT workers who are U.S. citizens to register and for companies to post jobs. This central register allows for more accurate processing of the LCA by making it easier for the Department of Labor to check if any American workers (local or national) fit the requirement (doing a search), to get an idea of what the domestic worker pool looks like, for American workers to respond to the job posting, and to have official goverment records of applications to job postings. If qualified Americans respond to a job posting, a company cannot request/apply for an H1B visa unless they can show that they interviewed several qualified American candidates AND offered the job to an American first.

– tighten up how the ‘prevailing wage’ for an LCA is defined and checked and require that the DOL do more than just the current ‘honor’ system of filing employer attestations and document submissions (where fraud occurs), and instead do more active and more comprehensive fact-checking of LCA document submissions. Also require that the wage entered in the LCA be at least 10-15% higher than the prevailing wage or the highest salary of similar existing jobs in that area or current salary figures of American job applicants. Also DOL needs to tighten up checking which tier the job belongs to since there’s abuse in categorizing senior positions as lower tier obs.

– require companies who request a foreign worker to post jobs at the local and national level (this prevents a requesting company from posting a job in some small town in another state to get around the rule of looking for Americans first) and show at least 3 job offers (of the job they’re trying to fill) to an American worker who was ready, willing & able (especially location-wise) to take that job

– disallow the use of ‘unicorn’ job postings with a 25 or more bullet point list of ‘must have’ requirements requiring X years of this AND Y years of that which only one person (the foreign worker) qualifies for

– do not allow staffing companies, foreign companies or subsidiaries of foreign companies (the Infosyses). The company requesting the foreign worker must be a U.S. company – that is they were created in the U.S. and have their headquarters in the U.S. So, a California corp or Delaware corp which is a subsidiary of Tata or Infosys is not allowed.

– if the company does get an LCA

– get rid of the exemption for universities

– get rid of Free Trade Agreement carve-outs for Chile (1,400 H-1B1 visas) and Singapore (5,400 H-1B1 visas)

– get rid of filing fee refunds to applications which are not randomly selected

– get rid of refunds of Social Security/FICA contributions when a worker leaves when term is done

– get rid of worker’s sponsored tie to employer

– have a limit or cap on the number of visas issued to a country so that no one country can have a monopoly on the program. this prevents discrimination and allows for diversification

– have independent audits of the system throughout the year to check for fraud and abuse.

– require that companies guilty of fraud or abuse are not allowed to file again or ever