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Sherrod Brown Pushes Legislation To Prioritize Skilled U.S. Workers

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Businesses would have to prioritize hiring an American worker over a foreign one, under a bipartisan amendment announced today by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Senator Brown says the amendment essentially restores language in the Senate’s immigration bill that requires companies offering positions to recruit and hire qualified American workers ahead of foreign workers seeking H-1B visas. The H-1B allows foreign workers with advanced degrees and specialized skills to work in the U.S., on a temporary three-year basis.

Last year, 135,000 were issued in the country.

Brown says he wants to make sure qualified American workers aren’t pushed out of the playing field when it comes to finding work.

“Whether it’s a tech company in California or a biomedical company in Greater Cleveland, we want to see that these jobs are first offered to a graduate of Case (Western Reserve U.), in medical science, or graduate from Tri-C or Cleveland State, that has IT skills or skills that might be used in a medical device company.”

Brown – an Ohio Democrat – pushed for the legislation along with Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley.

Some members of Congress argue that employers often overlook American workers in favor of H-1B visa holders who will work for less money.

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