January 11, 2018
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long advocated for a sensible immigration system that fosters economic growth and protects American workers. We are concerned that H.R. 170, the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,” as currently written would hurt both workers and employers in a variety of economic sectors.
The Chamber acknowledges that the wage thresholds for exempt H-1B nonimmigrant workers needs to be updated, but this bill proposes a shock to the system that could have negative economic repercussions in various industries. The provisions suggested in H.R. 170 are very complex, creating several new wage requirements for H-1B workers and significant uncertainty.
Moreover, the new non-displacement attestation requirements, to which certain H-1B employers and their clients will be subjected, are unworkable. Many H-1B employers in various industries place their H-1B workers at client worksites to provide the services their clients demand. Forcing certain H-1B employers to obtain written assurances from their clients regarding the client’s workforce decisions sets a dangerous precedent regarding the federal government’s power to interfere with the rights of companies to freely enter into contracts.
Furthermore, not providing employers with a reasonable amount of time to adjust to these new requirements would be highly disruptive.
Lastly, the current master’s degree exemption should not be eliminated in its entirety. Reform efforts should not make it more difficult for American companies to retain talent, particularly when those workers earned advanced degrees from U.S. universities.
Thank you for considering our views. The Chamber looks forward to working with you on sensible reforms to protect American workers and promote economic growth.
Neil L. Bradley