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Democrats Call for H-1B, L-1 Visa Restrictions

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A proposal in the U.S. Senate seeks to restrict the number of H-1B and L-1 employees that certain U.S. companies could hire. Lawmakers have argued that the system is rifled with fraud.

A new proposal by U.S. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., would see a stiffening of the regulations surrounding H-1B and L-1 visas, including restricting the number of H-1B and L-1 employees that U.S. companies of a certain size could hire. While the plan currently circulating on Capitol Hill is more informal than an actual piece of legislation, its provisions suggest the ways in which a final immigration bill could affect future hiring of foreign tech workers.

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. companies and universities to employ foreign guest workers in jobs that fall under the category of "specialty occupation," as defined by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). Previous legislation introduced by federal legislators has proposed that employers make a "good faith" effort to hire American workers before considering H-1B workers.

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