“These two pieces of legislation will counteract the illegal immigration magnets created by the president while protecting American jobs and communities across the country.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues this week in reintroducing two pieces of legislation to curb illegal immigration by defunding “sanctuary cities” and protect American jobs by reforming the often-misused work visa program.
“President Biden’s immigration policies have created a disaster at our southern border,” said Senator Tuberville. “These two pieces of legislation will counteract the illegal immigration magnets created by the president while protecting American jobs and communities across the country. Cracking down on those who exploit the work visa program and punishing cities that refuse to comply with immigration laws are two commonsense ways we can begin to reverse President Biden’s border crisis.”
The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, led by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), would cut back on the fraud and abuse of high-skilled work visas by closing loopholes in the visa system. The legislation would also strengthen protections for American workers and require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers.
The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, led by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), would withhold certain federal funds from sanctuary cities and sanctuary states, which forbid local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials. By reducing the number of these so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, illegal immigrants will be less inclined to enter the United States.
ABOUT THE H-1B AND L-1 VISA REFORM ACT:
First introduced in 2007, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act will require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to prioritize the allocation of H-1B visas. The new system would ensure that the best and brightest STEM advanced degree students educated in the United States receive preference for an H-1B visa. The bill would also prioritize other U.S. advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills.
The legislation explicitly prohibits replacing American workers with H-1B or L-1 visa holders and caps the number of H-1B or L-1 employees at large companies whose employees are mostly visa holders. In addition, the bill includes a wage floor for L-1 workers; authority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate, audit, and enforce compliance with L-1 program requirements; assurance that intra-company transfers do not involve “shell” facilities; and a change to the definition of “specialized knowledge” to ensure that L-1 visas are reserved only for truly key personnel.
ABOUT THE STOP DANGEROUS SANCTUARY CITIES ACT:
The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act prohibits sanctuary cities and states from receiving grants under certain Economic Development Assistance Programs and the Community Development Block Grant Program. A sanctuary city or state is one that prohibits or restricts (1) information sharing with another government entity about an individual’s immigration status, or (2) compliance with a lawfully issued DHS detainer request or notification of release request.
In February 2018, a bipartisan majority of senators voted in support of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, but it did not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.