Reps. Rooney, Brooks, and Jones Lead Effort in the House to Put American Jobs First
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Francis Rooney (FL-19), Mo Brooks (AL-05), and Walter Jones (NC-03) introduced the American Jobs First Act (H.R. 2233) to reform the often abused visa program and ensure Americans are not laid off only to be replaced by cheaper foreign labor.
Congressman Brooks said, “The American Jobs First Act is a timely compliment to President Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ effort by initiating much-needed reform of our foreign-worker visa program. The H-1B visa program is designed to provide work visas for the best and brightest. However, companies continue to abuse the program by forcing out American workers and replacing them with cheaper foreign workers. We must stop bad-actors from undermining our economy and put American workers first by overhauling the H-1B program.”
Congressman Rooney stated, “The H-1B visa program, created to import temporary foreign workers to fill high-tech jobs, is too often used to replace Americans with cheaper foreign workers under the guise that Americans are not qualified for these jobs. The American Jobs First Act addresses this problem by eliminating the wage discrepancy between H-1B employees and their American counterparts, and the diversity visa lottery system that awards visas to entry-level employees instead of high-skilled workers. Likewise, the United States needs to encourage more students to participate in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to help develop more high-tech American workers to complement those who enter our workforce on H-1B’s. Combined, these actions will return the program to what it was originally intended to accomplish and encourage businesses to ‘hire American.’”
“The H-1B visa program is plagued by terrible policy, putting the needs of big corporations ahead of American workers,” said Congressman Jones. “I want to thank Congressman Brooks and my colleagues once again for their efforts to institute major reforms to the H1-B program, and finally, put American workers first.”
The American Jobs First Act:
· Establishes salary requirements and standards that are either the greater of the annual wage paid to the U.S. employee who did similar work during the previous 2 years, or $110,000.
· Creates a “cooling off” between the time period by which employers are allowed to replace U.S. employees with foreign labor, thereby preventing H-1B visa program abuse aimed at displacing American workers.
· Creates greater transparency of job needs and opportunities in STEM fields.
· Would prevent the massive layoffs at companies such as Disney, where workers were forced to train their foreign replacements.