WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IEEE-USA President Jim Jefferies commends Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for introducing legislation Tuesday aimed at reforming the H-1B and L-1 temporary visa programs.
"As the largest organization of America's high-tech workers, IEEE-USA strongly endorses this bipartisan legislation," Jefferies said. "Given the very public recent examples of U.S. employees being replaced by H-1B workers, it is clear that something needs to be done to reform these visa programs."
"The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act" explicitly prohibits the replacement of employed American workers by H-1B and L-1 visa holders. Employees at Disney, Southern California Edison and Cargill, among others, have lost their jobs and been forced to train their replacements.
"No one should be in favor of replacing middle-class Americans workers with foreign employees," Jefferies said. "There should also be no objection to banning support for outsourcers who use the H-1B program as a job-exporting machine."
The legislation, cosponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and provide protection for American and international workers.
Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement, "The abuse of the system is real, and media reports are validating what we have argued against for years, including the fact that Americans are training their replacements."
IEEE-USA supports increasing the number of employment-based EB visas for high-skill workers.
"IEEE-USA represents not only America's electrical and computing engineers, but also many foreign students in STEM fields who wish to become new Americans to create jobs in the United States," Jefferies said. "We look forward to working with high-tech employers to enact and implement these reforms."
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)