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US Senator moves merit-based amendments to immigration bill

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A top has moved amendments to a White House-backed bill to improve existing high-skilled, merit-based laws, a proposal that could benefit from countries like The amendments, moved by Senator Orrin Hatch, aim to eliminate annual per-country cap for employment-based green cards so that applicants from more populous countries like and are not unfairly discriminated against applicants from less populous countries. "I have long said, high-skilled is merit-based immigration," Hatch said after moving the amendments to Senate Bill yesterday. "It's targeted at the best, the brightest, and the most highly educated.

The amendments, I filed today, are focused, commonsense reforms that will make a real difference for our economy," he said. The amendments would increase worker mobility for individuals on the path to a green card by enabling them to change jobs earlier in the process without losing their place in the green card line, he said in a statement. Also, it codifies existing regulations regarding spousal work authorisation and post-education practical training. The amendments exempt holders of US master's degrees or higher who are being sponsored for green cards from the annual numerical limitations on H1B visas, the statement said. It has provision to penalise employers who fail to employ an for more than three months during the individual's first year of work authorisation. Also, it further updates 1998 law exempting H1B dependent employers from certain recruitment and non-displacement requirements, it added. In particular, the amendment raises from USD 60,000 to USD 100,000 the H1B salary level at which the salary-based exemption takes effect, narrows education-based exemption to H1B hires with a US PhD, and eliminates exemption for "super-dependent" employers altogether, he said. "In particular, they will help streamline the process by which a worker with in-demand technical skills can obtain a green card and will cut back on some of the troubling abuses we have seen with the H-1B programme. "These are important reforms that can attract broad support, and I intend to pursue every opportunity to include them in the pending bill," the lawmaker said. In his first State of the Union address, had pushed for a merit-based system that admits skilled people. Trump proposed four pillars of reform that include a pathway to citizenship for almost 1.8 million illegal immigrants -- known as 'Dreamers' -- who were brought in the US by their parents at a young age, border security, ending the visa lottery programme and limiting family-based migration. The who has been against visa lottery system believes that it does not attract the best and the brightest to the US.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 13:25 IST
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