Raja Krishnamoorthi Introduces Immigration Innovation Bill

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

CHICAGO, IL— Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and U.S. Representative Mike Coffman have introduced a bill that promises to streamline the H-1B high-skilled worker program, while increasing investment in American STEM education for K-12, post-secondary, or college program students.

The Immigration Innovation Act of 2018 would grant H-1B holders the flexibility to move to new jobs while allowing their spouses holding H-4 visas the right to continue their careers and contribute to the American economy, according to a Krishnamoorthi and Coffman joint news release.

The legislation also reduces the green card backlog by expanding education-based exemptions from per-country caps for H-1B holders and reducing demand by allowing U.S. university-educated professionals to apply directly for conditional green cards, it said.

“To develop the skills of our domestic workforce, our bill increases investments in our education system to guarantee that American workers are trained for high-tech jobs. It also reforms the visa system for highly-skilled workers which allows American businesses to compete in the global economy,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.

In addition to the Immigration Innovation Act’s reforms to the H-1B and green card systems, the legislation would ban employers from hiring H-1B holders to replace American workers while increasing funding for STEM education at the K-12, post-secondary and university levels, it said.

“Our immigration policies must fit with the economic needs of our country,” said Coffman. “One critical part of Congress” job is ensuring that immigration laws match our country’s high-tech workforce requirements as well as meet the needs of H1-B visa applicants and their families.”

Under the bill, fees collected for H-1B visas and conditional green cards will go to state-administered funds to promoted domestic STEM education and worker training, including financial aid and research initiatives.

These expanded investments in advanced training for the domestic workforce, thanks to the Immigration Innovation Act, would ultimately reduce demand for foreign workers while helping the American economy grow, the release said.