Saturday, March 24, 2007

First post

This blog will serve as a clearinghouse for issues surrounding the passage of the "Defending the American Dream" bill (H.R. 4378) in Congress.

Defend the American Dream Act of 2005

Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) is sponsoring the Defend the American Dream Act of 2005 (HR 4378). "My legislation faces the Americans who have high-tech degrees in one hand, and pink-slips in the other," says Pascrell. "In report after report, government investigators have found serious weaknesses and failings in the H-1B program," IEEE-USA President Gerard Alphonse said. "Contrary to the law's intent, the program can be used to fill any job at almost any wage, and the vast majority of employers are not required to recruit American workers first."

Key reforms of the Defend the American Dream Act of 2005:

1. Strengthens Worker Safeguards
  • 1. Requires employers of H-1B temporary workers to use the highest of three methods to determine wages.
  • 2. Requires that employers actively recruit American workers and make copies of the H-1B application available to the public 30 days ahead of filing.
  • 3. Prohibits contracting agencies from outsourcing H-1B workers with another employer.
  • 4. Creates a private right of action for persons harmed by an employer's violation of H-1B rules.
2. Improves H-1 B Program Administration and Enforcement
  • 1. Reduces application delays by centralizing Department of Labor H-1B visa processing.
  • 2. Enhances compliance and reduces fraud and abuse by authorizing random audits of H-1B visa applications.
  • 3. Increases monetary penalties for willful violators.
3. Limits H-1B Admission Ceilings and Stays
  • 1. Reduces the H-1B visa limit to the pre-1998 dot-com level of 65,000 per year.
  • 2. Authorized stays would be limited to a single, 3-year, non-renewable term or 2 years, renewable for additional years, for a total of 4 years.

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