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S 2045 IS

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2045

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to H-1B nonimmigrant aliens.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 9, 2000

Mr. HATCH (for himself, Mr. ABRAHAM, Mr. GRAMM, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. LOTT, Mr. NICKLES, Mr. MACK, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. ASHCROFT, Mr. MCCONNELL, Mr. GORTON, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. BENNETT, Mr. GRAMS, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. SMITH of Oregon, and Mr. WARNER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to H-1B nonimmigrant aliens.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000'.

SEC. 2. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN VISA ALLOTMENTS.

In addition to the number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(15)(H)(i)(b)), the following number of aliens may be issued such visas or otherwise provided such status for each of the following fiscal years:

(1) 80,000 for fiscal year 2000;

(2) 87,500 for fiscal year 2001; and

(3) 130,000 for fiscal year 2002.

SEC. 3. SPECIAL RULE FOR UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH FACILITIES, AND GRADUATE DEGREE RECIPIENTS.

Section 214(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

`(5) The numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A)(iii) shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien issued a visa or otherwise provided status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)--

`(A) who is employed (or has received an offer of employment) at--

`(i) an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))), or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity; or

`(ii) a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization; or

`(B) for whom a petition is filed not more than 90 days before or not more than 180 days after the nonimmigrant has attained a master's degree or higher degree from an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))).'.

`(6) Any alien who ceases to be employed by an employer described in paragraph (5)(A) shall, if employed as a nonimmigrant alien described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), be counted toward the numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A)(iii) the first time the alien is employed by an employer other than one described in paragraph (5)(A).'.

SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON PER COUNTRY CEILING WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS.

(a) SPECIAL RULES- Section 202(a) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

`(5) RULES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS-

`(A) EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS NOT SUBJECT TO PER COUNTRY LIMITATION IF ADDITIONAL VISAS AVAILABLE- If the total number of visas available under paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of section 203(b) for a calendar quarter exceeds the number of qualified immigrants who may otherwise be issued such visas, the visas made available under that paragraph shall be issued without regard to the numerical limitation under paragraph (2) of this subsection during the remainder of the calendar quarter.

`(B) LIMITING FALL ACROSS FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES SUBJECT TO SUBSECTION (e)- In the case of a foreign state or dependent area to which subsection (e) applies, if the total number of visas issued under section 203(b) exceeds the maximum number of visas that may be made available to immigrants of the state or area under section 203(b) consistent with subsection (e) (determined without regard to this paragraph), in applying subsection (e) all visas shall be deemed to have been required for the classes of aliens specified in section 203(b).'.

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

(1) Section 202(a)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)(2)) is amended by striking `paragraphs (3) and (4)' and inserting `paragraphs (3), (4), and (5)'.

(2) Section 202(e)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1152(e)(3)) is amended by striking `the proportion of the visa numbers' and inserting `except as provided in subsection (a)(5), the proportion of the visa numbers'.

(c) ONE-TIME PROTECTION UNDER PER COUNTRY CEILING- Notwithstanding section 214(g)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any alien who--

(1) is the beneficiary of a petition filed under section 204(a) for a preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 203(b); and

(2) would be subject to the per country limitations applicable to immigrants under those paragraphs but for this subsection,

may apply for, and the Attorney General may grant, an extension of such nonimmigrant status until the alien's application for adjustment of status has been processed and a decision made thereon.

SEC. 5. INCREASED PORTABILITY OF H-1B STATUS.

(a) IN GENERAL- Section 214 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(m)(1) A nonimmigrant alien described in paragraph (2) who was previously issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) is authorized to accept new employment upon the filing by the prospective employer of a new petition on behalf of such nonimmigrant as provided under subsection (a). Employment authorization shall continue for such alien until the new petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization shall cease.

`(2) A nonimmigrant alien described in this paragraph is a nonimmigrant alien--

`(A) who has been lawfully admitted into the United States;

`(B) on whose behalf an employer has filed a nonfrivolous application for new employment or extension of status before the date of expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General; and

`(C) who has not been employed without authorization in the United States before or during the pendency of such petition for new employment.'.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to petitions filed before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZED STAY IN CASES OF LENGTHY ADJUDICATIONS.

(a) EXEMPTION FROM LIMITATION- The limitation contained in section 214(g)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to the duration of authorized stay shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien previously issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on whose behalf a petition under section 204(b) to accord the alien immigrant status under section 203(b), or an application for adjustment of status under section 245 to accord the alien status under section 203(b), has been filed, if 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of a labor certification application on the alien's behalf, if required for the alien to obtain status under section 203(b), or the filing of the petition under section 204(b).

(b) EXTENSION OF H1-B WORKER STATUS- The Attorney General shall extend the stay of an alien who qualifies for an exemption under subsection (a) in one-year increments until such time as a final decision is made on the alien's lawful permanent residence.

SEC. 7. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS AND AUTHORITIES THROUGH FISCAL YEAR 2002.

(a) ATTESTATION REQUIREMENTS- Section 212(n)(1)(E)(ii)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)(E)(ii)) is amended by striking `October 1, 2001' and inserting `October 1, 2002'.

(b) FEE REQUIREMENTS- Section 212(c)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(c)(9)(A)) is amended in the text above clause (i) by striking `October 1, 2001' and inserting `October 1, 2002'.

(c) DEPARTMENT OF LABOR INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITIES- Section 413(e)(2) of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (as contained in title IV of division C of Public Law 105-277) is amended by striking `September 30, 2001' and inserting `September 30, 2002'.

SEC. 8. RECOVERY OF VISAS USED FRAUDULENTLY.

Section 214(g)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184 (g)(3)) is amended to read as follows:

`(3) Aliens who are subject to the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) shall be issued visas (or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status) in the order in which petitions are filed for such visas or status. If an alien who was issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status and counted against the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) is found to have been issued such visa or otherwise provided such status by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact and such visa or nonimmigrant status is revoked, then one number shall be restored to the total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided such status under the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) in the fiscal year in which the petition is revoked, regardless of the fiscal year in which the petition was approved.'.

SEC. 9. NSF STUDY AND REPORT ON THE `DIGITAL DIVIDE'.

(a) STUDY- The National Science Foundation shall conduct a study of the divergence in access to high technology (commonly referred to as the `digital divide') in the United States.

(b) REPORT- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall submit a report to Congress setting forth the findings of the study conducted under subsection (a).

END

 




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