Republicans at loggerheads over changes to immigration

American Visa (XL)A bipartisan Senate bill intended to increase the amount of high-skilled US visas available has run afoul of Representative Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman. Grassley believes that the bill, which was sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch and other big names such as Senator Marco Rubio, only worsens the problem.

“It doesn’t close the loopholes or prevent abuse,” Grassley explained. “It doesn’t make sure that American workers are put before foreign workers. It only increases the supply of cheaper foreign labor.” One of comprehensive immigration reform’s most outspoken opponents, Senator Jeff Sessions, agrees with Grassley, adding that the US visa system is being massively abused. An increase in the number of US visas available for high-skilled workers is supported by the technology industry, which has a major stake in the fight as most of these visas would go to people who work for the computing industry.

Todd Schulte, president of the immigration advocacy group FWD.us, which was created by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, says that the idea that a better system cannot be created to give US companies access to high-skilled overseas workers while protecting American employees at the same time is a falsehood.

Grassley, however, is unimpressed with this argument. He is pushing for changes that include language that requires companies to seek out American workers for recruitment before they try to use the US visa program and companies that do use the program to be randomly audited.