Anti-H-1B Senator to Head Immigration Panel

Patrick Thibodeau, Computer World, January 22, 2015

The biggest enemies facing U.S. Senate Republicans in raising the H-1B cap are Senate Republicans.

The Senate’s two top Republican critics of temporary worker immigration, specifically the H-1B and L-1 visas, now hold the two most important immigration posts in the Senate.

They are Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who heads the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, and his committee underling, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who was appointed by Grassley on Thursday to head the immigration subcommittee.

Grassley has been the Republican’s most tenacious and unwavering critic of the H-1B program and has tried to curb use by offshore outsourcers, in particular. Sessions, however, may emerge as the Senate’s most vociferous and fiery H-1B opponent.

Sessions, late Thursday, issued a statement about his new role as immigration subcommittee chairman, and said the committee “will give voice to those whose voice has been shut out,” and that includes “the voice of the American IT workers who are being replaced with guest workers.”

Sessions last week accused the tech industry of perpetuating a “hoax” by claiming there is a shortage of qualified U.S. tech workers.

“The tech industry’s promotion of expanded temporary visas–such as the H-1B–and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor,” wrote Sessions, in a memo he sent last week to fellow lawmakers.

Last summer, Sessions attacked Microsoft’s push for more H-1B visas as it laid off 18,000 employees. Now, as subcommittee chairman, Sessions will have the ability to conduct investigations and hold oversight hearings.

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