House, Senate GOP Leaders Gearing Up to Increase Guest-Worker Permits

Tony Lee, Breitbart, December 12, 2014

Top Republican leaders in the House and Senate are gearing up to push legislation in the next Congress that would increase the number of foreign guest-workers even in industries that do not need them. They are hoping such legislation would “open the door” to a broader comprehensive immigration bill.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who chairs the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, wants to push his Immigration Innovation Act (I-Squared) that would increase the number of high-tech visas, even though there is no evidence that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers. {snip}

“If we can do I-Squared, I think it would open the door to real, decent, honorable immigration reform itself,” Hatch told Reuters.

As Reuters notes, “Hatch represents the tech-rich ‘Silicon Slopes’ state of Utah, and regularly talks to tech moguls.” He has met with Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook, and he recently told a gathering at headquarters that “there is agreement on reforming the rules governing high-tech visas, known as H-1b visas” and it could “help pave the way for additional and more far reaching reforms.”


In the House, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Judiciary Committee Chairman, told The Hill that House Republican leaders are looking at “legislation dealing with reforming our legal immigration programs, particularly for high-skilled workers and for agricultural workers.” He said, “I think that we are going to look at moving those early in a new Congress.”

Last year, Goodlatte hosted a Silicon Valley fundraiser in which donors gave between $10,000 and $40,000. One guest, venture capitalist Rob Conway, said that before he wrote his check to Goodlatte, he “wanted some assurances that Bob Goodlatte would be prepared to discuss immigration reform and what the timetable is for immigration reform, because we’re coming down the wire here with the [midterm] elections [approaching] and we need accountability.”


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