Sen. Grassley Criticizes Proposal to Ease Visa Rules

Image: Sen. Grassley Criticizes Proposal to Ease Visa Rules

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 07:57 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A draft plan by the Obama administration to make it easier for the spouses of skilled foreigners working temporarily in the United States to also seek employment has been criticized by a leading Republican lawmaker, The Hill reported.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said President Barack Obama was overstepping his power with plans to modify H-1B visa regulations.

"The Obama administration claims it wants immigration reform, but they can't wait for Congress. They act on their own. What's next? Will the president unilaterally legalize the undocumented population because he can't have his way with Congress?" Grassley said, according to The Hill.

The rules, which are to be published in the Federal Register, may not be finalized until public comments are considered.

The current maximum stay for the skilled workers with H-1B visas is generally up to six years. Besides allowing some spouses to work, the proposed changes would also make it easier for certain workers from specific countries to stay longer in the United States.

Congress has set the annual ceiling for the number of foreigners who can work in the United States under the H-IB visa program at 85,000. Immigration officials have already received more than that number of petitions to consider for next year's allotment, CNet reported.

Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and other technology companies have been pressing the administration and Congress to issue more H-1B visas.

The draft rules would lift the number authorized to over 97,000 in the first year.

Grassley said he also wants "the best and the brightest foreign workers" to come to United States, but worries that the administration is insufficiently concerned with the plight of unemployed Americans, and "those who have been forced out of their jobs because companies prefer to hire lower paid workers from abroad," according to The Hill.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions also opposes the draft proposal warning that it would prevent 100,000 Americans from finding work, The Blaze reported.

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