Klobuchar to release immigration proposal

WASHINGTON – A major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system seems possible after a bipartisan group of Senators released their blueprint Monday for creating a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants in this country.

As part of that process, DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is set to unveil legislation that would give the business community something that’s it has wanted for a long time: more visas to bring in highly-skilled foreign workers.

Klobuchar touted the proposal as an economic win-win, especially a provision that removes any visa limitations on foreigners with advanced degrees from American universities.

“We are literally shutting the door to people that would come here and invent products and then they would hire more people,” said Klobuchar.

While it’s likely the proposals to offer permanent residency and citizenship for illegal workers will likely draw more attention in the coming days, Klobuchar’s proposal, co-authored with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), represents a big change for engineers, software developers and other skilled workers hoping to work in the U.S.

Currently, 65,000 foreign workers are granted H1B visas every year. Under the Klobuchar-Hatch legislation, that number would jump to 115,000 right away and then rise by 20,000 every year, reaching a cap of 300,000 workers a year. The legislation would also allow those visa holders to change jobs more easily.

In addition, Klobuchar and Hatch’s bill would increase visa fees charged to immigrants by $1,000 and use the proceeds, likely around $300 million per year, to fund science, technology, engineering and math education and worker retraining programs in the U.S.

  • Paulie D

    Senator Klobuchar this bill stabs the middle class right in the back. This bill does one thing only, takes good paying jobs from middle class Americans and gives them to what amount to indentured servants for much lower pay. It is a bald-faced giveaway to the rich tech industry. Why pay $70,000 for an American worker when you can pay half that for a foreign one? Truly disgusting.

  • Richard

    This is a time of record unemployment for America’s engineers and scientists — who become unemployable at age fifty. This is simply OUTRAGEOUS and OBSCENE.

    When the H1-B cap was raised in 2000, nine out of 10 new jobs in IT went to foreigners with H-1Bs rather than unemployed Americans.

    And the lie that the an insufficient number of Americans with the required technical skills is just that — a LIE.

    Corporate propaganda — and the pandering of Congress to their lobbyists — just rolls on and on.