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[Congressional Record: October 3, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S9643-S9657]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr03oc00-139]                         



 
    AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ACT OF 2000

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Nevada is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, it is my understanding that we are now in 
the time equally divided on the H-1B matter to be voted on at 10 
o'clock.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, H-1B originated in our immigration laws in 
the 1950's so that trained professionals could work for a limited time 
in the U.S. In 1990, a cap was set on the category for the first time 
of 65,000.
  Employers in every industry and sector of our economy, including 
manufacturing, higher education, health care, research, finance and 
others, have used it.
  Employers from major multinational companies to small businesses 
seeking individuals with specific skills needed to grow their companies 
have used it.
  It became wildly popular in the mid to late 90s following the 
Internet boom, when hundreds of hungry tech startups across the country 
began using it to recruit high tech workers from information technology 
jobs, mostly from India, China, Canada, and Britain. Some 420,000 are 
here today.
  Those individuals have filled a critical shortage of high-tech 
workers in this country, which in fact, still exists today.
  The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 
proposes to raise the caps for the number of H-1B workers that 
employers can bring into the United States for the next 3 years.

[[Page S9644]]

  When Congress set the 65,000 cap on H-1Bs in 1990, it was not based 
on any economic data or scientific study of the need.
  And, this limitation was not challenged until 1997 when for the first 
time the cap was reached at the end of the fiscal year.
  The following year the cap was again reached, but this time by May 
1998. The cap has been reached earlier in each successive year.
  In response to the increased demand, language was incorporated into 
the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 to raise the cap on H-1B visas 
to 115,000 in fiscal year 1999; and 115,000 in fiscal year 2000; and 
107,500 in fiscal year 2001.
  Under the Omnibus Act of 1998 the cap would return to its original 
level of 65,000 after fiscal year 2001.
  Despite the increases, continuing economic growth has led many in the 
technology sector particularly, to call for a further increase in the 
caps.
  In fiscal year 1999 the INS reached the H-1B cap in June and stated 
that there my have been more than 20,000 additional visas issued over 
and above the ceiling.
  The higher demand for H-1B visas has continued in fiscal year 2000.
  In March of this year, the INS stopped accepting new H-1B 
applications, having enough cases in its pipeline to reach the cap.
  In order to compensate for the demand, the INS began processing 
petitions in August 2000 for workers who are set to begin working 
fiscal year 2001.
  Based on past years' filling patterns, the INS may have as many as 
60,000 cases already pending to count against the 107,500 visas now 
available.
  Most employers predict that the current visa allotment will expire 
before January.
  There is no question we need to raise the cap for H-1B professionals.
  I have always been in support of H-1B, as many of my colleagues have 
been.
  But I have also been in support of the Latino Immigrant and Fairness 
Act, which I am a cosponsor and which I continue to strongly support.
  But supporting one does not rule out supporting the other.
  American industry's explosive demand for skilled and highly skilled 
workers is being stifled by the current federal quota on H-1B visas for 
foreign-born highly skilled workers.
  The quota is hampering output, especially in high-technology sectors, 
and forcing companies to consider moving production offshore. Some 
companies already have.
  The number of H-1B visas was unlimited before 1990, when it was 
capped at 65,000 a year.
  In 1998 the annual cap was raised to 115,000 for 1999 and 2000 and 
currently there is a need once more to raise that cap.
  The shortage shows no sign of abating.
  Demand for core information technology workers in the United States 
is expected to grow by 150,000 a year for the next 8 years, a rate of 
growth that cannot be met by the domestic labor supply alone.
  H-1B workers create jobs for Americans by enabling the creation of 
new products and spurring innovation.
  High-tech industry executives estimate that a new H-1B engineer will 
typically create demand for an additional 3-5 American workers.
  T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor testified last year before 
Congress that for every H-1B professional he hires, he creates at least 
5 more U.S. jobs to develop, manufacture, package, sell and distribute 
the products created.
  H-1B workers are not driving down wages for native workers, in fact, 
wages are rising fastest and unemployment rates are lowest in 
industries in which H-1B workers are most prevalent.
  High tech wages have risen 27 percent in the last decade, compared to 
5 percent for the rest of the private sector.
  The current unemployment rate for electrical engineers is 1.4 
percent, 1.7 percent for systems analysts and 2.3 percent for computer 
programmers.
  The vast majority of H-1B workers are being paid the legally required 
prevailing wage or more, undercutting charges that they are driving 
down wages.
  The H-1B program mandates that these individuals be paid the higher 
of the average wage paid to workers in an area, or what the employer 
pays their U.S. workforce whichever is higher.
  H-1B workers in many cases, because of their unique or highly 
demanded skills, earn more than U.S. workers.
  For the reasons mentioned I am happy to support the American 
Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000.
  The ability to fill gaps in the workforce with qualified foreign 
national professionals rapidly, helps American business stay strong.
  Mr. President, I am happy to support H-1B. It is good legislation 
that is very important. I am disappointed that we are not voting at the 
same time on the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, which we debated 
extensively last week, and I am sorry to say that on a straight party 
line vote we were prevented from voting up or down on this issue. That 
is a disappointment to me and to many millions of people in this 
country. I think the majority made a terrible mistake in that regard. 
But that does not take away from the need for the H-1B legislation we 
are going to pass today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Michigan is recognized.
  Mr. ABRAHAM. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee is not here. I 
believe he would approve of my yielding myself such time as I may need 
to speak this morning.
  Mr. President, the H-1B visa program, which we will be addressing 
today when we vote on the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first 
Century Act, is the subject of much interesting debate in our country 
today. One thing everybody agrees on is we face a serious worker 
shortage with respect to high-tech employment and skilled labor in 
America today. Most of the recent studies that have been produced on 
this subject indicate there are perhaps as many as 1 million unfilled 
positions in information technology today. The projections are that we 
will be creating somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 new positions in 
these areas in each of the next 10 years. Yet in spite of the very 
lucrative and, I think, substantive nature of these jobs, our training 
programs, our college programs, our high school programs are not 
producing enough American workers to fill these posts today.
  This presents us with a short-term problem and a long-term challenge. 
The short-term problem is how to fill these key positions immediately 
so that we don't lose opportunities to foreign competitors, or so that 
we don't force American businesses to move offshore to where skilled 
workers might live. The long-term problem is to determine what we can 
do to make certain that in the future we have a sufficient workforce of 
trained Americans to fill these jobs, because it is quite clear to me 
that immigration can only be a stopgap, short-term solution to these 
problems.
  I am pleased we have reached an agreement on this legislation across 
the aisle with our colleagues because we need to act today. The 
legislation before us will allow a short-term increase in the number of 
skilled professionals allowed to work in this country on H-1B temporary 
visas and will help and encourage more disadvantaged young people to 
pursue studies related to high-tech. It will assure those young people 
of good jobs and good wages far into the future, and I believe it will 
also provide resources for the training and retraining of people in the 
workforce today, so they can begin to fill more of these positions as 
well.
  To help young people, this bill will provide, we estimate, over 
60,000 scholarships for American students in the math and science 
fields. Scholarships like this have already been available as a result 
of the American Competitiveness Act, which we passed in 1998--
legislation that began the process of diverting application fees 
connected to the H-1B visas into scholarship and retraining funds.
  The bill's training provisions will provide over 150,000 U.S. workers 
with access to training to help prepare them for the high-tech jobs of 
today and tomorrow. Interestingly, Mr. President, there is overwhelming 
unanimity that we must act in this fashion if we are to keep our 
economy strong. The support

[[Page S9645]]

from across the political spectrum for this H-1B visa increase is 
strong, ranging from the White House--not just the current occupant and 
staff but such people as former chief economic adviser to President 
Clinton, Laura D'Andrea, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and 
legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle.
  Indeed, in hearings we have conducted in the Immigration 
Subcommittee, we have heard from people throughout industry in America, 
not just the high-tech companies we think of when we think about these 
workers but people who employ high-tech workers in other phases and 
forms of manufacturing across the board; they have all indicated that 
the need to fill these provisions is significant and immediate. Indeed, 
we received countless pieces of information that led to a pretty clear 
indication that if we don't allow these technically skilled workers to 
come here, companies will be forced to move product lines, divisions 
perhaps, and whole operations overseas.
  That won't help Americans. That will cost Americans jobs. Of course, 
there are those who have criticized this program over the years--people 
who are protectionist in their views on these sorts of issues. But it 
is important to make sure the record is clear that we can build in 
protections for American workers to make certain that they cannot be 
taken advantage of through the high-tech H-1B program.
  Indeed, in 1998 we addressed many, if not all, of the issues which 
were raised with respect to H-1B visas and the possible displacement of 
Americans workers.
  In 1988, the bill wrote into law three types of lay-off protections 
for American workers. And we have also, of course, included in the H-1B 
program requirements that the prevailing wage be paid to people who 
come in under this program so companies cannot game the system and 
somehow or another in any way pay foreign workers less and thus deprive 
American workers of opportunities. But, as I said, whether it is the 
Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle or the traditionally well-known 
high-tech sectors or whether it is in my State of Michigan, the need 
for these workers is extraordinarily strong.
  For instance, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is 
spending $2.7 million on an ad campaign and a revamped web site to 
attract knowledgeable workers to our State. The head of our economic 
development division says we are the only State to fully redirect our 
resources to recruiting businesses for recruiting workers to Michigan. 
Indeed, in one county alone--Oakland County--the estimate is that we 
currently need 10,000 engineers just to fill the positions that are 
projected to be needed today and in the immediate future. If we can't 
find those people, those companies and the jobs that are connected to 
those engineering jobs will go elsewhere. It is a challenge that we 
must address.
  Let me just say that in the short term the only appropriate way we 
are going to be able to deal with this is through an increase in the H-
1B visa program. But the long-term solution cannot be based on 
immigration alone. Indeed, this program is only a 3-year increase.
  I think it is clear that the world now is competing. Virtually any 
country that wants to be competitive is working hard to attract the 
most talented and skilled people to their country and to their 
businesses to create strength in their economies. Thus, America must, 
in addition to the passage of today's legislation, focus even more of 
our resources and more of our attention on the important need of both 
encouraging young people to pursue careers in math, science, 
engineering, computer sciences, and so on but also in retraining 
workers to try to fill more of these positions because I predict that 
in the very near future immigration will not even come close to meeting 
our employment needs with respect to these high-tech positions.
  For those reasons, the provisions which were launched in the 1998 
American Competitiveness Act, and which are strengthened even in this 
legislation, I hope by the time we finish this process, will provide 
even more resources for education and training which are key to the 
long-term needs that we have in this country.
  They alone will not be enough because it is pretty obvious that to 
generate the kind of skilled workforce in the 21st century needed to 
fill the sorts of technology positions that are going to be created, 
whether they are positions in the research area or manufacturing area 
or anywhere else, requires us to go well beyond even what we will have 
in this legislation.

  I am very dedicated to working to make sure that we provide the 
Federal support necessary to make it possible for those kinds of 
technology positions to be filled by American workers. But it is going 
to take a comprehensive effort--an effort that is not just a Federal 
program but one that incorporates the private sector as well as the 
public sector, the corporate sector, and the government sector at all 
levels, and to involve our education system at all levels or we will 
find ourselves seeing foreign competitors gaining ground on America 
when it comes to leading the world with respect to advanced 
technologies.
  This means that not only must we make sure that the students today 
get the training they need but that the college programs be expanded 
and the retraining programs be generated. It also means that we must 
address so many other issues--whether it is passing our Millennium 
Classrooms Act which will provide more computer courses for the 
classrooms of America, especially those in the economically 
disadvantaged areas or whether it means working together in a 
collaborative effort with the private sector to ensure that there are 
more resources directed at education and the training of workers who 
are in the workforce today, it is all part of what we must address or 
we will find that in the global economy of the 21st century our 
competitive edge is going to be somewhat reduced. We certainly don't 
want that to happen.
  I compliment Senator Hatch for his ongoing leadership on this issue. 
We have worked together since 1998 when we passed the American 
Competitiveness Act. He has been a leader on these issues for many 
years. His leadership in the passage of this legislation, and his 
willingness to come to the floor and work over a very long period of 
time to make sure this bill, which we passed out of the Judiciary 
Committee by an overwhelming vote many months ago, finally, today, gets 
the consideration it deserves. I think he deserves all of our thanks. 
Hopefully, this process will now move quickly towards completion, and 
we will be able to provide the additional workers needed to make sure 
the key positions in technology in our country will be filled.
  I say also to those who have raised some of the other immigration-
related issues that as chairman of the subcommittee, I remain anxious 
to continue to work with people--whether it is on the H-2A visa 
program, the agricultural workers issues, or Latino fairness issues, 
and so on. It is unfortunate that we couldn't come to an agreement on 
this legislation some months ago when we were trying to work out an 
agreement. But certainly the subcommittee intends to continue to focus 
on these issues into the future. I look forward to working with my 
colleagues on all of these.
  In conclusion, I thank Senator Hatch for working with me on this. I 
appreciate his leadership very much.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise today to express my strong support 
for S. 2045, the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century 
Act. Although it deals ostensibly with the visa cap on foreign-born 
high-tech workers, its effect would be far more profound--to enhance 
the dynamism of the American economy at a time when U.S. companies, if 
given access to the necessary resources, are poised to dominate the 
Information Age for decades to come. As the representatives of the 
American people, we in Congress should do all we can to contribute to 
their potential for success in the global economy.
  I am convinced that the best thing government can often do to advance 
the fortunes of the private sector is to stay out of its way. I support 
this bill because it makes progress toward that end, by improving 
companies' flexibility to hire the talent they need, while providing 
for the regulatory framework and new educational opportunities to 
protect and promote American workers. By raising the arbitrary cap on 
temporary immigrant visas for skilled foreign workers--a cap set in 
1990 and insufficiently increased in

[[Page S9646]]

1998--this legislation gets government out of the way of American 
companies, universities, and research labs which simply cannot hire the 
skilled professionals they need in the domestic labor market because of 
an arbitrary, anachronistic cap on H-1B visas that does not reflect the 
forces of supply and demand in the American economy today.
  T.J. Rodgers, president and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, 
captures best the logic of the H-1B program when he says, ``It takes 
two percent of Americans to feed us all, and five percent to make 
everything we need. Everything else will be service and information 
technology, and in that world humans and brains will be the key 
variable. Any country that would limit its brain power to a single 
select group from that country alone is going to self-destruct.''
  The American Competitiveness Act of 1998, which I co-sponsored, 
raised the annual cap on H-1B visas for skilled professionals from 
65,000 in Fiscal Year 1998 to 115,000 in both FY 1999 and FY 2000, and 
to 107,500 in FY 2001. Nonetheless, even the higher number of H-1B 
admissions authorized by Congress for FY 1999 was reached only eight 
months into that fiscal year, and the FY 2000 cap was reached in March 
2000, or only six months into the current fiscal year.
  S. 2045 authorizes an increase in the annual H-1B cap to 195,000 
through FY 2002. All evidence indicates an increase is warranted. 
However, there is little evidence supporting the specific figure of 
195,000. In fact, industry estimates of the number of unfilled high-
tech jobs range from 300,000-800,000.
  The original H-1B visa ceiling of 65,000, enacted in 1990, did not 
adequately foresee American companies' need for high-tech foreign 
workers. As this year's Judiciary Committee report accompanying S. 2045 
states, by 1998 ``access [to skilled foreign personnel] was being 
curbed by a cap on H-1B visas put in place almost a decade earlier, in 
1990, when no one understood the scope of the information revolution 
that was about to hit.'' Yet, our important 1998 legislation raising 
the H-1B caps similarly missed the mark by understating domestic demand 
for highly trained professionals. As the 2000 Committee report states, 
``In fact, in 1998, the error Congress made was in underestimating the 
workforce needs of the United States in the year 2000. . . . As a 
result, the 1998 bill has proven to be insufficient to meet the current 
demand for skilled professionals.''
  While I strongly support passage of this legislation to increase H-1B 
visa admissions, I also wonder: given Congress' shortsightedness each 
time we have attempted to forecast the private sector's demand for 
highly skilled workers, how are we to know this time that we have 
struck the right balance? To resolve this dilemma, I introduced 
legislation on October 27, 1999, that would lift the H-1B ceiling while 
focusing more heavily on the underlying problem resulting in a shortage 
of skilled American workers. My bill, S. 1804, the 21st Century 
Technology Resources and Commercial Leadership Act, addresses the need 
to improve Americans' skills in math, science, engineering, and 
technology in order to maintain our world leadership in high-tech 
fields. Several other bills before Congress would raise the H-1B visa 
cap, but focus less on the long-term goal of educating and training 
Americans to fill available high-tech jobs.
  S. 1804 would encourage innovation in improving elementary and 
secondary education in math, science, and engineering, as well as 
provide powerful incentives to retrain American workers who lack the 
skills to compete in the high-tech economy. In the interim, to provide 
for the requisite number of highly skilled professionals until we have 
educated and trained a sufficient number of Americans to fill these 
jobs, the bill would lift the cap on H-1B visas through 2006. All 
current information indicates that the supply of American professionals 
in the math, science, engineering, and technology fields will not meet 
the demand of American industries through at least that date.
  Specifically, S. 1804 provides for grants to be awarded under the 
supervision of the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the 
Office of Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, on a 
competitive basis, for implementing programs that will improve the 
math, science, engineering, and technology skills of American students 
and professionals. The types of programs to be awarded grants are not 
specified so that Congress does not unintentionally foreclose new and 
more innovative ideas from surfacing. The grants would be funded from 
current H-1B visa application fees and could be awarded to companies, 
organizations, schools, school districts, teachers, and institutions of 
higher learning.
  My legislation would use H-1B visa fees to encourage innovation in 
our schools, to teach American students the skills they will need to 
succeed in the 21st century economy, and in our companies, to train and 
retain American workers in the high-tech skills American businesses 
rely upon. The legislation would support corporate partnerships with 
schools or school districts to improve math and science curricula; 
scholarships for students willing to study advanced engineering or 
technology fields, and for those who agree to teach math or science for 
a period of time after graduating college; and innovative worker 
training and retraining programs within American companies. It leaves 
open grant support for any proposal that promises to improve the 
American talent pool in high-tech fields.
  Although I regret that the Congress chose not to take this approach 
in favor of that proposed by S. 2045, I commend the sponsor of the 
pending legislation for incorporating provisions involving public-
private education partnerships in K-12 math, science, and technology 
through National Science foundation grants, as my legislation 
originally proposed. Inclusion of these provisions drawn from S. 1804 
significantly strengthens the final bill we are voting on today. As 
originally introduced, S. 2045 did not contain these components, and I 
am pleased that the sponsors were able to incorporate them.
  Ultimately, the answer to the shortage of highly skilled workers must 
be found at home, in the form of a new generation of Americans educated 
in the skills demanded by our knowledge-based economy in this ear of 
globalization. In the meantime, raising the H-1B cap is the right thing 
to do. S. 2045, by increasing high-tech visa admissions while devoting 
new resources to the education and training of American students and 
workers, represents the way forward for the United States as we seek to 
sustain our leadership in the Information Age. I commend its swift 
passage to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I stand in support of the American 
Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (S. 2045) which I have 
co-sponsored with Senators Orrin Hatch and Spencer Abraham. This 
legislation would increase the number of H-1B visas for skilled labor 
available to U.S. employers from 115,000 to 195,000 slots, starting 
next fiscal year, among other measures.
  This is direly needed legislation. Alarmingly, this year's allotment 
of H-1B visas ran out very early this year, in March. As a result, 
hundreds of thousands of highly skilled positions have gone unfilled 
throughout America.
  America is currently riding a very high wave of record economic 
growth, unmatched in our generation. With that expansion, the number of 
available jobs which have gone unfilled has increased dramatically. 
Unfortunately, we have begun to place a cap on this extraordinary 
economic expansion by limiting the pool of skilled laborers that 
companies can draw upon by the present limited visa allotment.
  The hardest hit sector is the computer industry. This industry 
functions in six months cycles, with new products being developed and 
marketed within this short period of time. The computer industry 
suffers a severe lack of qualified information technicians. Less 
workers means a longer development period which means a loss of 
competitive edge. This ultimately results in a loss of market, business 
and jobs. In this scenario, everyone loses, including the economy, 
American consumers, companies and workers.
  To avoid this wasteful and unnecessary result, we must adopt this 
legislation and expand the visa slots so that American companies can 
continue to grow. This is an urgent problem which cannot wait until 
next year. If we fail to pass this legislation, we could significantly 
jeopardize our notable competitive edge in a fierce global market.

[[Page S9647]]

  Some falsely charge that this legislation gives away our most 
lucrative jobs, while skipping over American workers. This is not true. 
Clearly, American employers would rather select American workers first 
over foreign guest workers who must be processed through a burdensome 
immigration bureaucracy involving significant time delays and 
complications. This visa process is costly and cumbersome for 
employers, and can easily be avoided by hiring American workers. 
However, American businesses cannot fill these positions with only 
American workers anymore and are forced to search overseas for badly 
needed talent. Our economy has expanded that significantly and these 
workers are needed that badly.

  If we do not allow American-based businesses to meet this skilled 
labor need, some may move their operations to other countries which 
will gladly accommodate them. Why would we encourage this unfortunate 
result when we can attain just the opposite, that of attracting new and 
vibrant businesses, by expanding our labor pool?
  In addition to the new visa allotments, this legislation creates 
20,000 new college scholarships to train American workers in greater 
numbers. This encourages more degrees among Americans in math, computer 
science, and engineering--all areas of expertise presently suffering a 
shortage. Thus, this bill addresses both present and future worker 
needs.
  On October 1st the new fiscal year began, and the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service estimates that we will use up the entire 
allotment of H-1B visas before the end of this December. In other 
words, the H-1B visa allotment will be used up in three months. That 
leaves the balance of nine months of no additional visas for desperate 
American computer companies, among other businesses, which will suffer 
this serious lack of workers.
  That's bad business and bad politics, which can be corrected with 
this bill. Americans continue to dream bigger and create greater 
innovations, generating an unmatched prosperity which we should 
encourage, not discourage. That's why we should support the American 
Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000.
  Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, today the Senate will complete action on 
one of the most important bills in the 106th Congress, S. 2045, the 
American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, legislation that will 
help ensure our nation's continued growth and leadership in information 
technology (IT). S. 2045 will authorize visas for 195,000 high-tech 
professionals to work in the U.S. to meet the growing demand for 
skilled IT workers throughout our economy. The legislation also 
authorizes long term initiatives to ensure that Americans of all ages 
are trained to fill critical IT positions in our Information Age 
economy. I am pleased to strongly support this legislation.
  Senate action to increase the ceiling on H1B visas for the next three 
years, however, is also a warning that we are not providing sufficient 
incentives or education opportunities to encourage our young people, as 
well as individuals of all ages, to consider careers or retraining in 
information technology. In 1998, Congress passed legislation to 
increase the number of H1B visas for skilled workers to enter the U.S. 
At that time, the Department of Commerce reported a shortage of 600,000 
skilled IT workers in the U.S. Since 1998, the demand for skilled 
workers has increased dramatically.
  Earlier this year, the Information Technology Association released 
its most recent report, ``Bridging the Gap'', on the demand for skilled 
IT workers in the U.S. That report estimated a shortage of more than 
843,000 skilled workers. Moreover, the Department of Labor projected 
that the U.S. economy will require more than 130,000 new IT workers 
every year for the next ten years. Clearly, with our rapidly expanding 
economy, and the critical need to maintain our leadership in 
information technology, we face an extraordinary challenge from this 
shortage of skilled high-tech workers. As economies throughout the 
world recover, particularly in Asia, we cannot continue to assume that 
we will meet our demand for high-tech workers by increasing the cap on 
HIB visa every few years.
  Throughout this debate on the IT worker shortage since 1998, I have 
recommended incentives to encourage IT worker training and partnerships 
between businesses and the education community. Earlier in the 106th 
Congress, I introduced legislation, S. 456, to authorize a tax credit 
of up to $6,000 for employers who provide IT worker training. 
Unfortunately, the Senate has not yet adopted this legislation. I am, 
however, very pleased that Vice President Gore has recognized the 
importance of this IT worker training incentive and included this 
proposal as a priority on his information technology agenda.
  More recently, I also introduced S. 2347, the Information Technology 
Act of 2000, to encourage IT training partnerships between universities 
or colleges and the information technology community through a program 
of matching Federal grants. I urged that these partnerships focus on 
training for Americans that have traditionally not participated in the 
growth in information technology--women, veterans, Native Americans, 
dislocated workers, seniors, and students who have not completed their 
high school diploma. I am especially pleased to have had such strong 
endorsements for this proposal from groups including the Disabled 
Veterans of America, National Education Association, American 
Association of University Women, Green Thumb and the Computing 
Technology Industry Association.
  Mr. President, while I regret that we have not been able to authorize 
tax incentives for businesses who provide IT training for workers, I am 
very pleased that S. 2045 authorizes funding for high-tech 
partnerships, as I proposed in S. 2347, through the Department of 
Labor. Funding for the training would come from the fees collected 
under the H-1B visa program. S. 2045 also expands K-12 training for 
educators in IT through the National Science Foundation, including the 
professional development of math and science teachers in the use of 
technology in the classroom. Expanding opportunities for IT training 
for educators was another important objective in S. 2347. S. 2045 also 
helps our educational and research communities by exempting them from 
the cap on recruiting skilled academic professionals.
  Finally, I would like to express particular appreciation to the 
managers of the bill for accepting my amendment regarding J-1 visa 
waivers. My amendment will improve underserved communities' access to 
physician services by ensuring the Conrad State 20 J-1 visa waivers do 
not count against the H-1B visa cap.
  Mr. President, the shortage of skilled high-tech workers will 
continue to be a major issue during the 107th Congress, and I believe 
it will be necessary for us to provide additional training incentives 
in the coming years to meet the growing domestic demand for IT workers. 
As I noted earlier, as economies throughout the world continue to 
expand, and countries including Singapore, China, and Malaysia develop 
their own high tech corridors, it will be difficult to recruit high-
tech workers from these Asian countries to fill positions in the U.S.
  In my view, rather than continue our dependence on H1B visa holders 
to meet our skilled worker demand, we must expand our efforts to 
encourage young people to consider careers in information technology 
and to train current workers to enter the IT field. This will continue 
to be a top priority for me during the 107th Congress, and I look 
forward to working with my colleagues and the information technology 
community on this critical issue. I commend my colleagues on the Senate 
Judiciary Committee for reporting a measure that provides important 
incentives for IT training as well as expanded education and training 
opportunities for teachers through the National Science Foundation.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of our time.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, how much time is remaining on this side of 
the aisle?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Thomas). The Senator from Vermont has 10 
minutes. The Senator from Utah has 1 minute 2 seconds.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am very pleased the Senate is poised to 
pass legislation to increase the number of H-1B visas. The bill that we 
will pass today is the result of long negotiations. It is significantly 
improved from

[[Page S9648]]

the version reported from the Judiciary Committee earlier this year.
  This is an important step that will allow American employers to 
compensate for the current shortage in highly skilled employees by 
hiring such employees from abroad.
  Thanks to the efforts of Senators Kennedy, Lieberman, Feinstein, and 
others, this bill also includes strong education and worker training 
components. That is going to help American workers and students to 
erase the skills shortage.
  No one on this side of the aisle sees H-1B visas as a permanent 
solution. It is a stopgap until our renewed commitment to education and 
training pays dividends. I would like to thank all of those in the 
corporate world who have supported our efforts on education and 
training.
  Although I am happy about the passage of this bill, I am somewhat 
disappointed in the severe way in which debate on this bill was 
restricted.
  I had hoped that our consideration of this bill would allow us to 
achieve other crucially important immigration goals that have been 
neglected by the majority throughout this Congress.
  I had hoped that the Republican majority could agree to at least vote 
on, if not vote for, limited proposals designed to protect Latino 
families and other immigrant families.
  I had hoped that the majority would consider proposals to restore the 
due process that was taken away from immigrants by the immigration 
legislation that Congress passed in 1996.
  I thought we could work together to restore some of America's lost 
luster on immigration issues. That did not happen.
  Still, we did have a vote on the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act 
that showed where the Senate stood on issues of extreme importance to 
the Hispanic community, Eastern Europeans, and the Liberians. On that 
vote, regrettably, every Republican voted no. They refused to even 
consider the amendment. We should have had a vote. Senators should have 
the political courage to either vote for it, or vote against it.
  I hope my Republican colleagues have the chance to reevaluate their 
position. The President has said he wants Congress to address these 
issues before we adjourn. Many Democratic Members of Congress and I 
join him in that view, and we will continue to work to see that this 
Congress addresses the real needs of real people, whether they be 
native-born or immigrant.
  Both my mother and my wife are first-generation Americans. I think if 
Congress had taken some of the attitudes toward immigration that some 
take today when their families were seeking to enter the United States, 
neither might be in this country.
  I agree that we need to increase the number of H-1B visas. The 
stunning economic growth we have experienced in the past eight years 
has led to worker shortages in certain key areas of our economy, and I 
have been involved in promoting efforts to ease those shortages. Last 
year, I cosponsored the HITEC Act, S. 1645, legislation that Senator 
Robb has introduced that would create a new visa that would be 
available to companies looking to hire recent foreign graduates of U.S. 
master's and doctoral programs in math, science, engineering, or 
computer science.
  Although S. 2045 uses a broader approach, the goals are similar. 
Allowing workers with specialized skills to come to the U.S. and work 
for 6-year periods, as the H-1B visa does, helps to alleviate worker 
shortage. In the recently ended fiscal year, 115,000 such visas were 
available, and they ran out well before the fiscal year ended. That is 
why we have to change the law now.
  If we do not change the law, there will actually be fewer visas 
available in fiscal year 2001, as the cap drops to 107,500. This will 
simply be insufficient to allow America's employers--particularly in 
the information technology industry--to maintain their current rates of 
growth. As such, I think that we need to increase the number of 
available visas dramatically. The bill we will vote on today 
accomplishes that goal, increasing the number of visas to 195,000 for 
FY 2001. It also contains a provision that will allow educational 
institutions to use H-1B visas without counting against the cap, which 
will greatly help our colleges and universities, which are often on a 
different hiring schedule than our nation's other employers and have 
been shut out in the past from obtaining needed visas.
  Of course, H-1B visas are not a long-term answer to the current 
mismatch between the demands of the high-tech industry and the supply 
of workers with technical skills. Although I believe that there is a 
labor shortage in certain areas of our economy, I do not believe that 
we should accept that circumstance as an unchangeable fact of life. We 
need to make a greater effort to give our children the education they 
need to compete in an increasingly technology-oriented economy, and 
offer adults the training they need to refashion their careers to suit 
the changes in our economy. This bill takes significant steps to 
improve our education and training programs. Since employers pay a $500 
fee for a visa, increasing the number of visas will lead to an increase 
in revenue generated for worker training programs, scholarships for 
disadvantaged students, and funding for public-private partnerships to 
improve science and technology education.
  I also want to note that the legislation extends current law's 
attestation requirements. These requirements force employers to certify 
that they were unable to find qualified Americans to do a job that they 
have hired a visa recipient to fill. The Labor Department also retains 
authority under S. 2045 to investigate possible H-1B violations.
  I continue to believe that we could have passed this legislation many 
months ago. The Judiciary Committee reported S. 2045 more than six 
months ago, with my support. During this long stretch of inactivity, it 
has often appeared that the Republican majority has been more 
interested in gaining partisan advantage from a delay than in actually 
making this bill law. The Democratic Leader said repeatedly that he 
wanted to pass a bill, and that although Democratic members did want 
the opportunity to offer amendments, he was ready to agree to limit 
debate on those amendments so that we could conclude all work on this 
bill in a single day. Those offers were rebuffed again and again by the 
majority.

  Months went by in which the Republican majority made no attempt to 
negotiate with us, time which many members of the majority instead 
spent trying to blame Democrats for the delay in their bringing this 
legislation to the floor. At many times, it seemed that the majority 
was more interested in casting blame upon Democrats than in actually 
passing legislation. Instead of working in good faith with the minority 
to bring this bill to the floor, the majority spent its time trying to 
convince leaders in the information technology industry that the 
Democratic Party was hostile to this bill, which was always false. 
Considering that three-quarters of the Democrats on the Judiciary 
Committee voted for this bill, and that the bill has numerous 
Democratic cosponsors, including Senator Lieberman, this partisan 
appeal was not only inappropriate but absurd on its face.
  I do regret that we have not made more progress on the longstanding 
proposals that have been combined now under the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act. These provisions had been proposed throughout this 
Congress, and in some cases in previous Congresses. They are solid, 
pro-family proposals that would reward immigrants who are working and 
paying taxes in the United States. But the Republican majority--as has 
been shown repeatedly on the Senate floor over the past week--refused 
even to consider these proposals, instead branding them as rewards for 
illegal immigrants.
  Thankfully, the President has taken action to provide temporary 
protection for the Liberians who faced imminent return to their 
conflicted nation, and who would have been protected by the LIFA 
legislation. It is shameful that the Congress has not taken action on 
the Liberians' behalf, despite the dogged and dedicated efforts of 
Senator Jack Reed.
  I am worried about the things we have not done on immigration issues 
in this Congress. It is a disturbing but increasingly undeniable fact 
that the interest of the business community has become a prerequisite 
for immigration

[[Page S9649]]

bills to receive attention on the Senate floor. In fact, we are in the 
final days of the Congress, and this is the first immigration bill to 
be debated on the floor. Even humanitarian bills with bipartisan 
backing have been ignored in this Congress, both in the Judiciary 
Committee and on the floor of the Senate.
  The majority has shown a similar lack of concern for proposals by 
Senators to restore the due process protections were removed by the 
passage of the Antiterrorism Death Penalty Act and the Illegal 
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act 4 years ago.
  There are still many aspects of those laws that merit our careful 
review and rethinking, including the inhumane use of expedited removal, 
which would be sharply reformed by S. 1940, the Refugee Protection Act, 
which I have introduced with Senator Brownback and our 10 cosponsors.

  But the Refugee Protection Act has not even received a hearing in the 
Judiciary Committee, despite my requests as ranking member. This is 
quite unusual, because every committee I have served upon has honored 
such requests on the part of the ranking member. When I was chairman, 
any request made by a ranking member was honored. Indeed, I have never 
seen anything like this, especially on a bill that has such bipartisan 
support.
  The bill addresses the issue of expedited removal, a process under 
which aliens arriving in the United States can be returned immediately 
to their native land at the say-so of low-level INS officers. Expedited 
removal was the subject of a major debate in this Chamber in 1996. The 
Senate voted to use it only during immigration emergencies. The Senate-
passed restriction was removed at probably the most partisan conference 
committee I have ever witnessed. The Refugee Protection Act is modeled 
closely on the 1996 amendment. I hope someday we can pass it. We 
should.
  As a result of the adoption of expedited removal, we now have a 
system of removing people arriving here either without proper 
documentation or with valid documents that INS officers suspect are 
invalid. This policy ignores the fact that somebody who is fleeing a 
despotic regime is quite often unable to go in and get a passport from 
the same regime they are trying to flee, either because of religious 
persecution or some other type of persecution. The only way to get out 
of there is with a forged passport.
  In the limited time that expedited removal has been in operation, we 
already have numerous stories of valid asylum seekers who were kicked 
out of country without the opportunity to convince an immigration judge 
that they faced persecution in their native lands. To provide just one 
example, a Kosovo Albanian was summarily removed from the United States 
after the civil war in Kosovo had already made the front pages of 
America's newspapers. Imagine what happens to such people when they are 
forced to return to their native lands.
  I also urge the Senate to take up S. 3120, the Immigrant Fairness 
Restoration Act, which was introduced by Senators Kennedy and Bob 
Graham. This bill would go a long way toward undoing the damage done to 
due process by the 1996 immigration laws, and the House has already 
passed related, bipartisan legislation. Among other things, S. 3120 
would eliminate the retroactive features of those laws, which have led 
to the deportation of legal permanent residents who committed 
relatively minor crimes decades ago. I have sponsored legislation that 
would at the very least provide due process to those who have served in 
our Armed Forces, the Fairness for Immigrant Veterans Act, S. 871. This 
legislation has been endorsed by the American Legion, the Vietnam 
Veterans of America, and other veterans' groups. The Republican 
majority has refused to consider even this narrow reform.
  As important as H-1B visas are for our economy and our nation's 
employers, this is not the only immigration issue that faces our 
nation. Although the legislation we are concerned with today is good 
legislation, it does not test our commitment to the ideals of 
opportunity and freedom that America has represented at its best. Those 
tests will apparently be left for another day, or another Congress.

  In closing, I commend our leaders in this matter: Senator Daschle, 
Senator Harry Reid, Senator Kennedy, and their able staffs. In 
particular, I would like to thank Andrea LaRue with Senator Daschle, 
Eddie Ayoob with Senator Reid, Esther Olavarria and Melody Barnes with 
Senator Kennedy and the Democratic staff of the Immigration 
Subcommittee, and Tim Lynch with my Judiciary Committee staff. I have 
not heard thanks from the other side. I thank Senator Abraham and his 
staff for cooperation in improving the bill and Senator Hatch for 
allowing the matter finally to proceed to conclusion. I also thank Lee 
Otis and Stuart Anderson with Senator Abraham and Sharon Prost with 
Senator Hatch for their hard work on this legislation.


                   Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act

  In addition to passing S. 2045, the Senate has also agreed to pass 
H.R. 3767, legislation to make the visa waiver pilot program permanent. 
We pass this legislation only because Senator Daschle worked with 
Senator Kennedy and me to make sure that the majority agreed to release 
its hold on the bill as part of our broader agreement on H-1B 
legislation. I hope that Senator Daschle's commitment to this bill is 
appreciated by the thousands of American travelers who benefit from it.
  This legislation will achieve the important goal of making our visa 
waiver program permanent. We have had a visa waiver pilot project for 
more than a decade, and it has been a tremendous success in allowing 
American citizens to travel to some of our most important allies for up 
to 90 days without obtaining a visa, and in allowing citizens of those 
countries to travel here under the same terms. Countries must meet a 
number of requirements to participate in the program, including having 
very low rates of visa refusals. Of course, the visa waiver does not 
affect the need for international travelers to carry valid passports.
  Despite having expressed no substantive objection to this bill, the 
majority refused to allow this legislation to go forward for months. I 
note for the record that every single Democratic Senator said they 
would vote for this bill. Those from the business community and 
elsewhere who asked about the bill were assured by Senator Daschle, 
Senator Reid and I that every single Democratic Senator supported this.
  Even though the travel industry and the State Department urged 
Republicans to allow this legislation to pass, and even though the visa 
waiver pilot program had expired April 30, the majority refused to let 
this bill go forward. They apparently held the bill to use as leverage 
to promote unrelated legislation, just a chit to be used whenever it 
seemed to fix a whim. I am glad they finally have reversed course.
  The House passed legislation months ago to make this program 
permanent, heeding the calls of American tourists and business people 
who are able to travel to almost 30 other nations with only a passport 
because of the program. By playing political games, the Senate 
jeopardized our relationships with the other nations who take part in 
the program. Thankfully, we have finally moved beyond these games and 
are set to send this legislation back to the House for final approval.

  I would like briefly to note the inclusion of an amendment in the 
visa waiver bill that is of major importance to my State of Vermont and 
many other States. This provision extends the EB-5 immigrant investor 
pilot program, which allows foreign investors to obtain resident status 
in return for substantial investments in regions that are not sharing 
in the general American prosperity. In my State, this program is 
starting to bear fruit--I am happy that we are extending it for an 
additional three years so that we can ensure that its potential is 
realized.
  In conclusion, I would like to thank Senator Kennedy for all of his 
work on immigration issues, from H-1B to visa waiver to the countless 
proposals he has initiated and supported to help immigrant families. He 
has consistently worked across the aisle with Senators Hatch and 
Abraham to achieve the best possible solutions to our immigration 
problems. Immigrants in America should understand they have a devoted 
ally in the senior Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. Kennedy. And I thank 
our Democratic Leader Tom Daschle

[[Page S9650]]

for his commitment to getting this matter concluded without additional 
unnecessary delay. They and their staffs, along with the staff of our 
Republican counterparts, were instrumental in moving this matter to 
passage.
  I thank all on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. This is a very important bill. This is a bill that both 
sides have said they wanted for a long time. I have to say it is 
pitiful that we had to go through three cloture votes because it was 
filibustered three times. Even the motion to proceed was filibustered 
by colleagues on the other side. They have tried to make this into a 
political brouhaha which it doesn't deserve. Further, when they also 
brought up a bill that they did not even file until July 25 of this 
year, the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, which is anything but 
fair. They brought that up and asked, without hearings, without 1 
minute of consultation, that we have a rolling amnesty for up to 2 
million illegal aliens--perhaps even more than that; certainly they 
admit to at least 500,000. It shows the length to which politics can go 
in this body.
  I am glad we are at this point. It took continual effort by our 
leader to push this bill through. There were many times when we thought 
we might have to pull it down because of the opposition from the other 
side.
  But today, I look forward to an overwhelming vote this morning on 
this important, bipartisan bill and hope that by week's end, the House 
of Representatives will have acted favorably and with dispatch as well.
  One of our greatest priorities, Mr. President, is and ought to be 
keeping our economy vibrant, and expanding educational opportunities 
for America's children and its workers. That is my priority for this 
country and for my own State of Utah.
  I am proud of the growth and development in my own State that has 
made Utah one of the leaders of the country and the world in our high 
tech economy.
  In Utah and elsewhere, however, our continued economic growth, and 
our competitive edge in the world economy requires an adequate supply 
of highly skilled high tech workers. This remains one of our great 
challenges in the 21st century, requiring both short and long term 
solutions. The legislation we will pass today, S. 2405, addresses both 
of these challenges.
  Specifically, a tight labor market, increasing globalization, and a 
burgeoning economy have combined to increase demand for skilled workers 
well beyond what was forecast when Congress last addressed the issue of 
temporary visas for highly skilled workers in 1998. Therefore, this 
legislation once again increases the annual cap for this year and the 
next three years.
  But increasing the number of H-1B visas is nothing more than a short 
term solution to the workforce needs in my State and the country. The 
long term solution lies with our own children and our own workers. Our 
continued success in this global economy depends on our ability to 
ensure that education and training for our current and future workforce 
matches the demands in our high tech 21st century global economy. 
Working with my colleagues, I have included in this bill strong, 
effective, and forward looking provisions directing the several hundred 
million dollars in fees expected to be generated by the visas toward 
the education and retraining of our children and our workforce. Those 
provisions are included in the substitute which is before us today.
  Mr. President there are many to whom I want to express my gratitude 
this morning. This legislation had, from the beginning, an effective 
group of Senators at the forefront. That included Senator Abraham, a 
leader on this issue for many years, as well as Senator Gramm from 
Texas. On the other side of the aisle, we were joined early on by 
Senators Graham, Feinstein, and Lieberman, and all have continued their 
commitment to the continued improvement of our bill. And finally, Mr. 
President, I want to thank Senator kennedy for his hard work and his 
tireless dedication to ensuring effective training provisions in this 
bill for American workers. I would be remiss were I not to also mention 
Senator Pat Leahy--the committee's ranking member. He approached this 
bill in the spirit of bipartisanship and facilitated its consideration 
both here on the floor and in committee.
  Mr. President. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 
other body in the coming days to see that this bill becomes law.
  I hope we can get this done for American workers and children and for 
our continued economic expansion.
  Finally, Mr. President, I want to thank all of the dedicated staffers 
here in the Senate whose talent and hard work have helped get this bill 
passed. First, I'd like to thank my own committee staff, including 
Chief Counsel and Staff Director Manus Cooney, Deputy Chief Counsel 
Sharon Prost, and Press Secretary Jeanne Lopatto. The conventional 
wisdom in Washington a few months ago was that this bill was not going 
to pass. But they kept fighting for its passage. I want to particularly 
commend Sharon Prost for her tireless efforts.
  I also want to thank Lee Otis and Stuart Anderson, of the 
Subcommittee on Immigration for their invaluable technical and legal 
assistance and Esther Olivarria of Senator Kennedy's staff. My thanks 
also go to Michael Simmons, of Senator Gramm's staff, Caroline Berver, 
with Senator Graham, James Thurston, with Senator Lieberman, and Lavita 
Strickland with Senator Feinstein. I would also like to thank Jim Hecht 
of Senator Lott's staff for his efforts. Finally, I want to thank Bruce 
Cohen and Tim Lynch of Senator Leahy's committee staff.
  Have the yeas and nays been ordered?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. They have not.
  Mr. HATCH. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I note that each of the component parts of 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act were filed long before July 25. 
Democratic Senators repeatedly asked for hearings on this proposal, and 
those requests were repeatedly denied.
  It is not fair to say that this legislation is neither ``Latino'' nor 
``fair.'' If anybody wants to know whether it is something that the 
Latino community wants and whether the Latino community thinks it is 
fair, just ask them. They will tell you the Latino fairness bill is 
supported by the Latino community and it is a fair bill.
  I do thank my chairman, my close friend, that we are getting this 
through.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, let me just take a minute to respond to 
some of the comments of my colleague, Senator Leahy. The so-called 
Latino Fairness Act has little to do with fairness for immigrants. This 
is no limited measure to undo a previous wrong to a limited class of 
immigrants who otherwise might have been eligible for amnesty under the 
1986 act. In fact, it is a major new amnesty program with a price tag 
of almost $1.4 billion. That has major implications for our national 
policy on immigration.

  The bill purports to be about ``immigrant fairness,'' but it does 
nothing to increase or preserve the categories of legal immigrants 
allowed in this country annually. It does nothing to shorten the long 
waiting period or remove the hurdles for persons who have waited years 
to legally enter this country. This so-called Latino fairness is no 
fairness at all to the millions of immigrants who have and will 
continue to play by the rules.
  Moreover, the bill does not even fix a date for the registry. Rather 
it allows a rolling amnesty. What kind of signal does this send? Our 
government spends millions each year to combat illegal immigrant and 
deports thousands of persons each year. With the rolling amnesty, 
however, if an illegal alien can manage to escape law enforcement for 
long enough we reward that person with citizenship, or at least 
permanent resident status.
  Finally, it should be noted that all of these dramatic changes were 
proposed in July of this year with no hearings and with no assessment 
of competing costs and benefits. The Senate appropriately refused to 
consider this bill because its many consequences were not addressed by 
its proponents.
  We are proud of the fine bipartisan work that went into the H-1B visa 
bill and welcome its passage.

[[Page S9651]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). Under the previous order, the hour 
of 10 o'clock having arrived, the Senate will now vote on the passage 
of S. 2045. The question is, Shall the bill pass? The yeas and nays 
have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. 
Feinstein), the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy), and the 
Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy), would vote ``aye.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
who desire to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 96, nays 1, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 262 Leg.]

                                YEAS--96

     Abraham
     Akaka
     Allard
     Ashcroft
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bryan
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Chafee, L.
     Cleland
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gorton
     Graham
     Gramm
     Grams
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Helms
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kerrey
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     Mack
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Moynihan
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nickles
     Reed
     Reid
     Robb
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Roth
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Torricelli
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wellstone
     Wyden

                                NAYS--1

       
     Hollings
       

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Feinstein
     Kennedy
     Lieberman
  The bill (S. 2045), as amended, was passed, as follows:

                                S. 2045

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

     TITLE I--AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

     SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

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

     SEC. 102. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN VISA ALLOTMENTS.

       (a) Fiscal Years 2001-2003.--Section 214(g)(1)(A) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(A)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by redesignating clause (v) as clause (vii); and
       (2) by striking clause (iv) and inserting the following:
       ``(iv) 195,000 in fiscal year 2001;
       ``(v) 195,000 in fiscal year 2002;
       ``(vi) 195,000 in fiscal year 2003; and''.
       (b) Additional Visas for Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000.--
       (1) In general.--(A) Notwithstanding section 
     214(g)(1)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(A)(ii)), the total number of aliens who may 
     be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status 
     under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of such Act in fiscal year 
     1999 is increased by a number equal to the number of aliens 
     who are issued such a visa or provided such status during the 
     period beginning on the date on which the limitation in such 
     section 214(g)(1)(A)(ii) is reached and ending on September 
     30, 1999.
       (B) In the case of any alien on behalf of whom a petition 
     for status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(I)(b) is filed before 
     September 1, 2000, and is subsequently approved, that alien 
     shall be counted toward the numerical ceiling for fiscal year 
     2000 notwithstanding the date of the approval of the 
     petition. Notwithstanding section 214(g)(1)(A)(iii) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act, the total number of aliens 
     who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant 
     status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of such Act in 
     fiscal year 2000 is increased by a number equal to the number 
     of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided 
     nonimmigrant status who filed a petition during the period 
     beginning on the date on which the limitation in such section 
     214(g)(1)(A)(iii) is reached and ending on August 31, 2000.
       (2) Effective date.--Paragraph (1) shall take effect as if 
     included in the enactment of section 411 of the American 
     Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (as 
     contained in title IV of division C of the Omnibus 
     Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 
     1999; Public Law 105-277).

     SEC. 103. SPECIAL RULE FOR UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH FACILITIES, 
                   AND GRADUATE DEGREE RECIPIENTS; COUNTING RULES.

       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) shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien issued a 
     visa or otherwise provided status under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) who is employed (or has received an offer 
     of employment) at--
       ``(A) 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
       ``(B) a nonprofit research organization or a governmental 
     research organization.
       ``(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), 
     who has not previously been counted toward the numerical 
     limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A), be counted toward 
     those limitations the first time the alien is employed by an 
     employer other than one described in paragraph (5).
       ``(7) Any alien who has already been counted, within the 6 
     years prior to the approval of a petition described in 
     subsection (c), toward the numerical limitations of paragraph 
     (1)(A) shall not again be counted toward those limitations 
     unless the alien would be eligible for a full 6 years of 
     authorized admission at the time the petition is filed. Where 
     multiple petitions are approved for 1 alien, that alien shall 
     be counted only once.''.

     SEC. 104. LIMITATION ON PER COUNTRY CEILING WITH RESPECT TO 
                   EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS.

       (a) Special Rules.--Section 202(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (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) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (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) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (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 (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(4)), any alien who--
       (1) is the beneficiary of a petition filed under section 
     204(a) of that Act for a preference status under paragraph 
     (1), (2), or (3) of section 203(b) of that Act; and
       (2) is eligible to be granted that status but for 
     application of the per country limitations applicable to 
     immigrants under those paragraphs,

     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. 105. 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, such 
     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 
     petition for new employment before the date of expiration of 
     the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General; and
       ``(C) who, subsequent to such lawful admission, has not 
     been employed without authorization in the United States 
     before the filing of such petition.''.

[[Page S9652]]

       (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. 106. SPECIAL PROVISIONS IN CASES OF LENGTHY 
                   ADJUDICATIONS.

       (a) Exemption From Limitation.--The limitation contained in 
     section 214(g)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1184(g)(4)) 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 that Act on whose behalf a 
     petition under section 204(b) of that Act to accord the alien 
     immigrant status under section 203(b) of that Act, or an 
     application for adjustment of status under section 245 of 
     that Act to accord the alien status under such section 
     203(b), has been filed, if 365 days or more have elapsed 
     since--
       (1) the filing of a labor certification application on the 
     alien's behalf (if such certification is required for the 
     alien to obtain status under such section 203(b)); or
       (2) the filing of the petition under such 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.
       (c) Increased Job Flexibility for Long Delayed Applicants 
     for Adjustment of Status.--
       (1) Section 204 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1154) is amended by adding at the end the following 
     new subsection:
       ``(j) Job Flexibility for Long Delayed Applicants for 
     Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence.--A petition 
     under subsection (a)(1)(D) for an individual whose 
     application for adjustment of status pursuant to section 245 
     has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or 
     more shall remain valid with respect to a new job if the 
     individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the 
     same or a similar occupational classification as the job for 
     which the petition was filed.''.
       (2) Section 212(a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)(A)) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new clause:
       ``(iv) Long delayed adjustment applicants.--A certification 
     made under clause (i) with respect to an individual whose 
     petition is covered by section 204(j) shall remain valid with 
     respect to a new job accepted by the individual after the 
     individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the 
     same or a similar occupational classification as the job for 
     which the certification was issued.''.
       (d) Recapture of Unused Employment-Based Immigrant Visas.--
       (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, the number of employment-based visas (as defined in 
     paragraph (3)) made available for a fiscal year (beginning 
     with fiscal year 2001) shall be increased by the number 
     described in paragraph (2). Visas made available under this 
     subsection shall only be available in a fiscal year to 
     employment-based immigrants under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) 
     of section 203(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
       (2) Number available.--
       (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the number 
     described in this paragraph is the difference between the 
     number of employment-based visas that were made available in 
     fiscal year 1999 and 2000 and the number of such visas that 
     were actually used in such fiscal years.
       (B) Reduction.--The number described in subparagraph (A) 
     shall be reduced, for each fiscal year after fiscal year 
     2001, by the cumulative number of immigrant visas actually 
     used under paragraph (1) for previous fiscal years.
       (C) Construction.--Nothing in this paragraph shall be 
     construed as affecting the application of section 
     201(c)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1151(c)(3)(C)).
       (3) Employment-based visas defined.--For purposes of this 
     subsection, the term ``employment-based visa'' means an 
     immigrant visa which is issued pursuant to the numerical 
     limitation under section 203(b) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)).

     SEC. 107. 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, 2003''.
       (b) 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, 2003''.

     SEC. 108. 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. 109. 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).

     SEC. 110. MODIFICATION OF NONIMMIGRANT PETITIONER ACCOUNT 
                   PROVISIONS.

       (a) Allocation of Funds.--Section 286(s) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(s)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``56.3 percent'' and 
     inserting ``55 percent'';
       (2) in paragraph (3), by striking ``28.2 percent'' and 
     inserting ``23.5 percent'';
       (3) by amending paragraph (4) to read as follows:
       ``(4) National Science Foundation Competitive Grant Program 
     for K-12 Math, Science and Technology Education.--
       ``(A) In general.--15 percent of the amounts deposited into 
     the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account shall remain 
     available to the Director of the National Science Foundation 
     until expended to carry out a direct or matching grant 
     program to support private-public partnerships in K-12 
     education.
       ``(B) Types of programs covered.--The Director shall award 
     grants to such programs, including those which support the 
     development and implementation of standards-based 
     instructional materials models and related student 
     assessments that enable K-12 students to acquire an 
     understanding of science, mathematics, and technology, as 
     well as to develop critical thinking skills; provide systemic 
     improvement in training K-12 teachers and education for 
     students in science, mathematics, and technology; support the 
     professional development of K-12 math and science teachers in 
     the use of technology in the classroom; stimulate system-wide 
     K-12 reform of science, mathematics, and technology in rural, 
     economically disadvantaged regions of the United States; 
     provide externships and other opportunities for students to 
     increase their appreciation and understanding of science, 
     mathematics, engineering, and technology (including summer 
     institutes sponsored by an institution of higher education 
     for students in grades 7-12 that provide instruction in such 
     fields); involve partnerships of industry, educational 
     institutions, and community organizations to address the 
     educational needs of disadvantaged communities; provide 
     college preparatory support to expose and prepare students 
     for careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and 
     technology; and provide for carrying out systemic reform 
     activities under section 3(a)(1) of the National Science 
     Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1862(a)(1)).'';
       (4) in paragraph (6), by striking ``6 percent'' and 
     inserting ``5 percent''; and
       (5) in paragraph (6), by striking ``3 percent'' each place 
     it appears and inserting ``2.5 percent''.
       (b) Low-Income Scholarship Program.--Section 414(d)(3) 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 ``$2,500 per year.'' and 
     inserting ``$3,125 per year. The Director may renew 
     scholarships for up to 4 years.''.
       (c) Reporting Requirement.--Section 414 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 adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(e) Reporting Requirement.--The Secretary of Labor and 
     the Director of the National Science Foundation shall--
       ``(1) track and monitor the performance of programs 
     receiving H-1B Nonimmigrant Fee grant money; and
       ``(2) not later than one year after the date of enactment 
     of this subsection, submit a report to the Committees on the 
     Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate--
       ``(A) the tracking system to monitor the performance of 
     programs receiving H-1B grant funding; and
       ``(B) the number of individuals who have completed training 
     and have entered the high-skill workforce through these 
     programs.''.

     SEC. 111. DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS TO PROVIDE 
                   TECHNICAL SKILLS TRAINING FOR WORKERS.

       Section 414(c) of the American Competitiveness and 
     Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (as contained in title IV 
     of division C of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-653) is 
     amended to read as follows:
       ``(c) Demonstration Programs and Projects to Provide 
     Technical Skills Training for Workers.--
       ``(1) In general.--

[[Page S9653]]

       ``(A) Funding.--The Secretary of Labor shall use funds 
     available under section 286(s)(2) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(s)(2)) to establish 
     demonstration programs or projects to provide technical 
     skills training for workers, including both employed and 
     unemployed workers.
       ``(B) Training provided.--Training funded by a program or 
     project described in subparagraph (A) shall be for persons 
     who are currently employed and who wish to obtain and upgrade 
     skills as well as for persons who are unemployed. Such 
     training is not limited to skill levels commensurate with a 
     four-year undergraduate degree, but should include the 
     preparation of workers for a broad range of positions along a 
     career ladder. Consideration shall be given to the use of 
     grant funds to demonstrate a significant ability to expand a 
     training program or project through such means as training 
     more workers or offering more courses, and training programs 
     or projects resulting from collaborations, especially with 
     more than one small business or with a labor-management 
     training program or project. The need for the training shall 
     be justified through reliable regional, State, or local data.
       ``(2) Grants.--
       ``(A) Eligibility.--To carry out the programs and projects 
     described in paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary of Labor shall, 
     in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, subject to 
     the availability of funds in the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner 
     Account, award--
       ``(i) 75 percent of the grants to a local workforce 
     investment board established under section 116(b) or section 
     117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832) 
     or consortia of such boards in a region. Each workforce 
     investment board or consortia of boards receiving grant funds 
     shall represent a local or regional public-private 
     partnership consisting of at least--

       ``(I) one workforce investment board;
       ``(II) one community-based organization or higher education 
     institution or labor union; and
       ``(III) one business or business-related nonprofit 
     organization such as a trade association: Provided, That the 
     activities of such local or regional public-private 
     partnership described in this subsection shall be conducted 
     in coordination with the activities of the relevant local 
     workforce investment board or boards established under the 
     Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832); and

       ``(ii) 25 percent of the grants under the Secretary of 
     Labor's authority to award grants for demonstration projects 
     or programs under section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act 
     (29 U.S.C. 2916) to partnerships that shall consist of at 
     least 2 businesses or a business-related nonprofit 
     organization that represents more than one business, and that 
     may include any educational, labor, community organization, 
     or workforce investment board, except that such grant funds 
     may be used only to carry out a strategy that would otherwise 
     not be eligible for funds provided under clause (i), due to 
     barriers in meeting those partnership eligibility criteria, 
     on a national, multistate, regional, or rural area (such as 
     rural telework programs) basis.
       ``(B) Designation of responsible fiscal agents.--Each 
     partnership formed under subparagraph (A) shall designate a 
     responsible fiscal agent to receive and disburse grant funds 
     under this subsection.
       ``(C) Partnership considerations.--Consideration in the 
     awarding of grants shall be given to any partnership that 
     involves and directly benefits more than one small business 
     (each consisting of 100 employees or less).
       ``(D) Allocation of grants.--In making grants under this 
     paragraph, the Secretary shall make every effort to fairly 
     distribute grants across rural and urban areas, and across 
     the different geographic regions of the United States. The 
     total amount of grants awarded to carry out programs and 
     projects described in paragraph (1)(A) shall be allocated as 
     follows:
       ``(i) At least 80 percent of the grants shall be awarded to 
     programs and projects that train employed and unemployed 
     workers in skills in high technology, information technology, 
     and biotechnology, including skills needed for software and 
     communications services, telecommunications, systems 
     installation and integration, computers and communications 
     hardware, advanced manufacturing, health care technology, 
     biotechnology and biomedical research and manufacturing, and 
     innovation services.
       ``(ii) No more than 20 percent of the grants shall be 
     available to programs and projects that train employed and 
     unemployed workers for skills related to any single specialty 
     occupation, as defined in section 214(i) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act.
       ``(3) Start-up funds.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     not more than 5 percent of any single grant, or not to exceed 
     $75,000, whichever is less, may be used toward the start-up 
     costs of partnerships or new training programs and projects.
       ``(B) Exception.--In the case of partnerships consisting 
     primarily of small businesses, not more than 10 percent of 
     any single grant, or $150,000, whichever is less, may be used 
     toward the start-up costs of partnerships or new training 
     programs and projects.
       ``(C) Duration of start-up period.--For purposes of this 
     subsection, a start-up period consists of a period of not 
     more than 2 months after the grant period begins, at which 
     time training shall immediately begin and no further Federal 
     funds may be used for start-up purposes.
       ``(4) Training outcomes.--
       ``(A) Consideration for certain programs and projects.--
     Consideration in the awarding of grants shall be given to 
     applicants that provide a specific, measurable commitment 
     upon successful completion of a training course, to--
       ``(i) hire or effectuate the hiring of unemployed trainees 
     (where applicable);
       ``(ii) increase the wages or salary of incumbent workers 
     (where applicable); and
       ``(iii) provide skill certifications to trainees or link 
     the training to industry-accepted occupational skill 
     standards, certificates, or licensing requirements.
       ``(B) Requirements for grant applications.--Applications 
     for grants shall--
       ``(i) articulate the level of skills that workers will be 
     trained for and the manner by which attainment of those 
     skills will be measured;
       ``(ii) include an agreement that the program or project 
     shall be subject to evaluation by the Secretary of Labor to 
     measure its effectiveness; and
       ``(iii) in the case of an application for a grant under 
     subsection (c)(2)(A)(ii), explain what barriers prevent the 
     strategy from being implemented through a grant made under 
     subsection (c)(2)(A)(i).
       ``(5) Matching funds.--Each application for a grant to 
     carry out a program or project described in paragraph (1)(A) 
     shall state the manner by which the partnership will provide 
     non-Federal matching resources (cash, or in-kind 
     contributions, or both) equal to at least 50 percent of the 
     total grant amount awarded under paragraph (2)(A)(i), and at 
     least 100 percent of the total grant amount awarded under 
     paragraph (2)(A)(ii). At least one-half of the non-Federal 
     matching funds shall be from the business or businesses or 
     business-related nonprofit organizations involved. 
     Consideration in the award of grants shall be given to 
     applicants that provide a specific commitment or commitments 
     of resources from other public or private sources, or both, 
     so as to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the 
     training program or project after the grant expires.
       ``(6) Administrative costs.--An entity that receives a 
     grant to carry out a program or project described in 
     paragraph (1)(A) may not use more than 10 percent of the 
     amount of the grant to pay for administrative costs 
     associated with the program or project.''.

     SEC. 112. KIDS 2000 CRIME PREVENTION AND COMPUTER EDUCATION 
                   INITIATIVE.

       (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Kids 
     2000 Act''.
       (b) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) There is an increasing epidemic of juvenile crime 
     throughout the United States.
       (2) It is well documented that the majority of juvenile 
     crimes take place during after-school hours.
       (3) Knowledge of technology is becoming increasingly 
     necessary for children in school and out of school.
       (4) The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have 2,700 clubs 
     throughout all 50 States, serving over 3,000,000 boys and 
     girls primarily from at-risk communities.
       (5) The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have the physical 
     structures in place for immediate implementation of an after-
     school technology program.
       (6) Building technology centers and providing integrated 
     content and full-time staffing at those centers in the Boys 
     and Girls Clubs of America nationwide will help foster 
     education, job training, and an alternative to crime for at-
     risk youth.
       (7) Partnerships between the public sector and the private 
     sector are an effective way of providing after-school 
     technology programs in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
       (8) PowerUp: Bridging the Digital Divide is an entity 
     comprised of more than a dozen nonprofit organizations, major 
     corporations, and Federal agencies that have joined together 
     to launch a major new initiative to help ensure that 
     America's underserved young people acquire the skills, 
     experiences, and resources they need to succeed in the 
     digital age.
       (9) Bringing PowerUp into the Boys and Girls Clubs of 
     America will be an effective way to ensure that our youth 
     have a safe, crime-free environment in which to learn the 
     technological skills they need to close the divide between 
     young people who have access to computer-based information 
     and technology-related skills and those who do not.
       (c) After-School Technology Grants to the Boys and Girls 
     Clubs of America.--
       (1) Purposes.--The Attorney General shall make grants to 
     the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for the purpose of 
     funding effective after-school technology programs, such as 
     PowerUp, in order to provide--
       (A) constructive technology-focused activities that are 
     part of a comprehensive program to provide access to 
     technology and technology training to youth during after-
     school hours, weekends, and school vacations;
       (B) supervised activities in safe environments for youth; 
     and
       (C) full-time staffing with teachers, tutors, and other 
     qualified personnel.
       (2) Subawards.--The Boys and Girls Clubs of America shall 
     make subawards to local boys and girls clubs authorizing 
     expenditures associated with providing technology programs 
     such as PowerUp, including the hiring

[[Page S9654]]

     of teachers and other personnel, procurement of goods and 
     services, including computer equipment, or such other 
     purposes as are approved by the Attorney General.
       (d) Applications.--
       (1) Eligibility.--In order to be eligible to receive a 
     grant under this section, an applicant for a subaward 
     (specified in subsection (c)(2)) shall submit an application 
     to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, in such form and 
     containing such information as the Attorney General may 
     reasonably require.
       (2) Application requirements.--Each application submitted 
     in accordance with paragraph (1) shall include--
       (A) a request for a subgrant to be used for the purposes of 
     this section;
       (B) a description of the communities to be served by the 
     grant, including the nature of juvenile crime, violence, and 
     drug use in the communities;
       (C) written assurances that Federal funds received under 
     this section will be used to supplement and not supplant, 
     non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for 
     activities funded under this section;
       (D) written assurances that all activities funded under 
     this section will be supervised by qualified adults;
       (E) a plan for assuring that program activities will take 
     place in a secure environment that is free of crime and 
     drugs;
       (F) a plan outlining the utilization of content-based 
     programs such as PowerUp, and the provision of trained adult 
     personnel to supervise the after-school technology training; 
     and
       (G) any additional statistical or financial information 
     that the Boys and Girls Clubs of America may reasonably 
     require.
       (e) Grant Awards.--In awarding subgrants under this 
     section, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America shall consider--
       (1) the ability of the applicant to provide the intended 
     services;
       (2) the history and establishment of the applicant in 
     providing youth activities; and
       (3) the extent to which services will be provided in crime-
     prone areas and technologically underserved populations, and 
     efforts to achieve an equitable geographic distribution of 
     the grant awards.
       (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--
       (1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated 
     $20,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2001 through 2006 to 
     carry out this section.
       (2) Source of funds.--Funds to carry out this section may 
     be derived from the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund.
       (3) Continued availability.--Amounts made available under 
     this subsection shall remain available until expended.

     SEC. 113. USE OF FEES FOR DUTIES RELATING TO PETITIONS.

       (a) Section 286(s)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(s)(5)) is amended to read as follows: ``4 
     percent of the amounts deposited into the H-1B Nonimmigrant 
     Petitioner Account shall remain available to the Attorney 
     General until expended to carry out duties under paragraphs 
     (1) and (9) of section 214(c) related to petitions made for 
     nonimmigrants described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), under 
     paragraph (1) (C) or (D) of section 204 related to petitions 
     for immigrants described in section 203(b).''.
       (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     figure on page 14, line 16 is deemed to be ``22 percent''; 
     the figure on page 16, line 14 is deemed to be ``4 percent''; 
     and the figure on page 16, line 16 is deemed to be ``2 
     percent''.

     SEC. 114. EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN ``J'' NONIMMIGRANTS FROM 
                   NUMERICAL LIMITATIONS APPLICABLE TO ``H-1B'' 
                   NONIMMMIGRANTS.

       The numerical limitations contained in section 102 of this 
     title shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien granted a 
     waiver that is subject to the limitation contained in 
     paragraph (1)(B) of the first section 214(l) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (relating to restrictions on 
     waivers).

     SEC. 115. STUDY AND REPORT ON THE ``DIGITAL DIVIDE''.

       (a) Study.--The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct a 
     review of existing public and private high-tech workforce 
     training programs in the United States.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall submit 
     a report to Congress setting forth the findings of the study 
     conducted under subsection (a).

     SEC. 116. SEVERABILITY.

       If any provision of this title (or any amendment made by 
     this title) or the application thereof to any person or 
     circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the title (and 
     the amendments made by this title) and the application of 
     such provision to any other person or circumstance shall not 
     be affected thereby. This section be enacted 2 days after 
     effective date.

     TITLE II--IMMIGRATION SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS

     SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

       This title may be cited as the ``Immigration Services and 
     Infrastructure Improvements Act of 2000''.

     SEC. 202. PURPOSES.

       (a) Purposes.--The purposes of this title are to--
       (1) provide the Immigration and Naturalization Service with 
     the mechanisms it needs to eliminate the current backlog in 
     the processing of immigration benefit applications within 1 
     year after enactment of this Act and to maintain the 
     elimination of the backlog in future years; and
       (2) provide for regular congressional oversight of the 
     performance of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 
     eliminating the backlog and processing delays in immigration 
     benefits adjudications.
       (b) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
     processing of an immigration benefit application should be 
     completed not later than 180 days after the initial filing of 
     the application, except that a petition for a nonimmigrant 
     visa under section 214(c) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act should be processed not later than 30 days after the 
     filing of the petition.

     SEC. 203. DEFINITIONS.

       In this title:
       (1) Backlog.--The term ``backlog'' means, with respect to 
     an immigration benefit application, the period of time in 
     excess of 180 days that such application has been pending 
     before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
       (2) Immigration benefit application.--The term 
     ``immigration benefit application'' means any application or 
     petition to confer, certify, change, adjust, or extend any 
     status granted under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

     SEC. 204. IMMIGRATION SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT 
                   ACCOUNT.

       (a) Authority of the Attorney General.--The Attorney 
     General shall take such measures as may be necessary to--
       (1) reduce the backlog in the processing of immigration 
     benefit applications, with the objective of the total 
     elimination of the backlog not later than one year after the 
     date of enactment of this Act;
       (2) make such other improvements in the processing of 
     immigration benefit applications as may be necessary to 
     ensure that a backlog does not develop after such date; and
       (3) make such improvements in infrastructure as may be 
     necessary to effectively provide immigration services.
       (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--
       (1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
     the Department of Justice from time to time such sums as may 
     be necessary for the Attorney General to carry out subsection 
     (a).
       (2) Designation of account in treasury.--Amounts 
     appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) may be referred to as 
     the ``Immigration Services and Infrastructure Improvements 
     Account''.
       (3) Availability of funds.--Amounts appropriated pursuant 
     to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until 
     expended.
       (4) Limitation on expenditures.--None of the funds 
     appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) may be expended until 
     the report described in section 205(a) has been submitted to 
     Congress.

     SEC. 205. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

       (a) Backlog Elimination Plan.--
       (1) Report required.--Not later than 90 days after the date 
     of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a 
     report to the Committees on the Judiciary and Appropriations 
     of the Senate and the House of Representatives concerning--
       (A) the backlogs in immigration benefit applications in 
     existence as of the date of enactment of this title; and
       (B) the Attorney General's plan for eliminating such 
     backlogs.
       (2) Report elements.--The report shall include--
       (A) an assessment of the data systems used in adjudicating 
     and reporting on the status of immigration benefit 
     applications, including--
       (i) a description of the adequacy of existing computer 
     hardware, computer software, and other mechanisms to comply 
     with the adjudications and reporting requirements of this 
     title; and
       (ii) a plan for implementing improvements to existing data 
     systems to accomplish the purpose of this title, as described 
     in section 202(a);
       (B) a description of the quality controls to be put into 
     force to ensure timely, fair, accurate, and complete 
     processing and adjudication of such applications;
       (C) the elements specified in subsection (b)(2);
       (D) an estimate of the amount of appropriated funds that 
     would be necessary in order to eliminate the backlogs in each 
     category of immigration benefit applications described in 
     subsection (b)(2); and
       (E) a detailed plan on how the Attorney General will use 
     any funds in the Immigration Services and Infrastructure 
     Improvements Account to comply with the purposes of this 
     title.
       (b) Annual Reports.--
       (1) In general.--Beginning 90 days after the end of the 
     first fiscal year for which any appropriation authorized by 
     section 204(b) is made, and 90 days after the end of each 
     fiscal year thereafter, the Attorney General shall submit a 
     report to the Committees on the Judiciary and Appropriations 
     of the Senate and the House of Representatives concerning the 
     status of--
       (A) the Immigration Services and Infrastructure 
     Improvements Account including any unobligated balances of 
     appropriations in the Account; and
       (B) the Attorney General's efforts to eliminate backlogs in 
     any immigration benefit application described in paragraph 
     (2).

[[Page S9655]]

       (2) Report elements.--The report shall include--
       (A) State-by-State data on--
       (i) the number of naturalization cases adjudicated in each 
     quarter of each fiscal year;
       (ii) the average processing time for naturalization 
     applications;
       (iii) the number of naturalization applications pending for 
     up to 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 36 months, 
     and 48 months or more;
       (iv) estimated processing times adjudicating newly 
     submitted naturalization applications;
       (v) an analysis of the appropriate processing times for 
     naturalization applications; and
       (vi) the additional resources and process changes needed to 
     eliminate the backlog for naturalization adjudications;
       (B) the status of applications or, where applicable, 
     petitions described in subparagraph (C), by Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service district, including--
       (i) the number of cases adjudicated in each quarter of each 
     fiscal year;
       (ii) the average processing time for such applications or 
     petitions;
       (iii) the number of applications or petitions pending for 
     up to 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 36 months, 
     and 48 months or more;
       (iv) the estimated processing times adjudicating newly 
     submitted applications or petitions;
       (v) an analysis of the appropriate processing times for 
     applications or petitions; and
       (vi) a description of the additional resources and process 
     changes needed to eliminate the backlog for such processing 
     and adjudications; and
       (C) a status report on--
       (i) applications for adjustments of status to that of an 
     alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;
       (ii) petitions for nonimmigrant visas under section 214 of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act;
       (iii) petitions filed under section 204 of such Act to 
     classify aliens as immediate relatives or preference 
     immigrants under section 203 of such Act;
       (iv) applications for asylum under section 208 of such Act;
       (v) registrations for Temporary Protected Status under 
     section 244 of such Act; and
       (vi) a description of the additional resources and process 
     changes needed to eliminate the backlog for such processing 
     and adjudications.
       (3) Absence of appropriated funds.--In the event that no 
     funds are appropriated subject to section 204(b) in the 
     fiscal year in which this Act is enacted, the Attorney 
     General shall submit a report to Congress not later than 90 
     days after the end of such fiscal year, and each fiscal year 
     thereafter, containing the elements described in paragraph 
     (2).

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move 
to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I rise to congratulate all those who have 
worked so hard for so long on the H-1B bill. Senators Leahy, Hatch, 
Kennedy, Abraham, Feinstein, Lieberman and Biden have all done an 
admirable job at putting together a good bipartisan bill that will 
strengthen our economy and increase the resources that go to technology 
education and training.
  I would also like to thank the Majority Leader for his efforts. While 
we have disagreements about how the process, here in the Senate, should 
work, on this bill, we have shared a commitment that the Senate must 
act to ensure the stability of the H-1B program in the years to come.
  Mr. President, as you know, this legislation responds to the pressing 
need many American companies are facing for highly-skilled workers. The 
bill increases the annual ceiling for the admission of H-1B non-
immigrants to 195,000 for fiscal years 2001, 2002 and 2003. It also 
includes an important provision to exempt H-1B visa applicants employed 
by higher education institutions and other non-profits from the yearly 
numerical limits.
  This visa increase could not come at a more important time. With 
unemployment rates currently at or near historic lows, the H-1B program 
has become an increasingly important source of skilled labor for U.S. 
employers. U.S. employers are expected to need roughly 1.6 million 
information technology workers in the next year. Unfortunately, the 
demand far exceeds the supply of qualified individuals. This shortage 
not only threatens the competitiveness of U.S. high technology 
companies but it also threatens our economy, which owes much of its 
success to the technology sector.
  These labor shortfalls are not just felt in Silicon Valley, Northern 
Virginia and other high tech clusters--they are felt nationwide. In 
fact, 35 percent of the unfilled jobs in the information technology 
sector are in the Midwest. In a study done by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, the state of South Dakota had the greatest high-technology 
employment growth in the early 1990's--a whopping 172 percent increase. 
And South Dakota companies, like those in other states, are struggling 
to find the workers they need to continue to grow.
  That said, the H-1B visa program is only a short-term solution to the 
skills shortage being experienced by American companies. Accordingly, I 
am proud of the work that was done, largely at the behest of Democratic 
Senators, to ensure that this bill begins to address our long-term 
challenge--ensuring that in the future there are enough Americans with 
the necessary skills to fill these jobs. Indeed, as Senator Mikulski 
reminded us during this debate, America is facing a skills shortage, 
rather than a worker shortage. It is our job to reverse that trend.
  This bill is a step in the right direction. It dedicates over half of 
the H-1B fees collected to the worker training primarily in the fields 
of high technology, information technology and biotechnology skills. By 
increasing the H-1B visa fee modestly, this bill will triple the money 
going to these important training programs enabling 45,000 workers a 
year to take advantage of these new training opportunities. In 
addition, the bill also triples the money dedicated to providing 
meaningful educational scholarships for students, particularly minority 
students, who are enrolled in a mathematics, engineering or computer 
science degree program and for improving science, mathematics and 
technology education in the K-12 system.
  There are millions of Americans who yearn for the opportunity to 
participate in our new economy and all its rewards. And they need only 
one thing to do just that--skills training and education.
  It is our duty to help these Americans realize their dreams. This 
bill is an important down-payment in that effort. Thus, I look forward 
to this bill becoming law in the near future. Both U.S. workers and 
U.S. companies stand to benefit.
  (At the request of Mr. Daschle, the following statement was ordered 
to be printed in the Record)
 Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, as a cosponsor of S. 2045, 
``American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000,'' I 
am pleased to see this important legislation pass the Senate today.
  One of my most sobering experiences as a U.S. Senator occurred a few 
years ago when several CEOs of California's leading high-tech companies 
told me our schools were not producing enough skilled graduates and 
asked me to support an increase in the number of H-1B temporary visas 
for skilled foreign workers.
  Initially, I did not believe this. But subsequently the problem 
became very clear at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the 
subject. California's high-tech sector has fueled our record economic 
expansion, providing more than 784,000 high-tech jobs in our state 
alone. But that continued growth is threatened if California cannot 
produce an adequate number of well-educated workers. Clearly our 
education system needs major reform.
  I asked TechNet, a network of the nation's leading high-tech CEOs, to 
help me develop a program to reduce our reliance on H-1B workers. The 
discussions led to a public-private plan, which Senator Spencer 
Abraham, R-Mich., and I offered as an amendment to the H-1B visa bill. 
It was approved by the Judiciary Committee in March.
  From the funds collected for H-1B fees over the next three years, the 
amendment would allocate 15 percent of the H-1B fees, or roughly $23 
million for National Science Foundation kindergarten through 12th grade 
math and science education and skills-development programs. The 
technology industry will match these funds and then some. This is an 
incredible commitment by the industry to help develop a pipeline of 
American students who are better prepared for the workplace of 
tomorrow.
  Additionally, $35 million will be designated for post-secondary 
school scholarships for 16,000 to 18,000 low-income students to obtain 
degrees in

[[Page S9656]]

science, math or other technology-related disciplines so that they can 
compete for the cutting-edge jobs in the high-tech sector. At the same 
time, our amendment provides 23.5 percent, or more than $35 million per 
year in funding--in addition to that already being provided--for 
scholarships so that American students and workers can also enjoy the 
opportunity to work in the high tech and other industries demanding a 
highly skilled workforce.
  Another $83 million, or 55 percent of the H-1B fee revenue, as a 
result of an amendment by Senator Kennedy, would be allocated to 
workforce training programs and demonstration projects to provide 
technical skills training for U.S. workers. I am hopeful that, in the 
end, we can work in a provision to increase the H-1B visa fee from $500 
to $1,000. This will double the amount of funding for these important 
education and training programs.
  I support lifting the H-1B visa cap, but clearly it is only a short-
term solution to a long-term problem. The technology industry 
recognizes this and has already made significant financial 
contributions to education training programs. These amendments 
represent an additional industry commitment to educating America's 
workforce.
  Recent research indicates that the number of bachelor of science 
degrees awarded in computer science and math fell 29 percent from 1985 
to 1995. Engineering degrees fell 16 percent from 1985 to 1997; 
computer and information sciences experience a 42 percent drop. Yet it 
is expertise in these very areas that businesses, especially high-
technology companies, need in order to stay globally competitive.
  Our society is undergoing a dramatic technological transformation. 
Information technology has changed every aspect of our society, from 
telephone and banking services to commerce and education. Given this, 
the demand for highly skilled professionals has exploded. Even 
excluding the biotechnology industry, the high-tech explosion has 
created over 4.8 million jobs in the United States since 1993 and 
produced an industry unemployment rate of 1.4 percent.
  Despite the billions of dollars that companies spend annually on 
training, a gap still exists between professionals available in the 
U.S. workforce and the needs of employers. We need to raise the H-1B 
cap for the next few years because often employers' needs are 
immediate; they cannot afford to wait for workforce training or 
retraining while positions remain unfilled. I look forward to the day 
when it is not necessary to bring in workers from abroad for these 
positions because California's schools are producing students who can 
match the best and brightest from anywhere across the globe.
  I am also pleased that the Senate has adopted as an amendment to the 
H-1B legislation, the provisions of S. 2586, the ``Immigration Services 
and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2000,'' which I introduced 
earlier this year. As we seek to address the needs of the high tech 
industry by increasing the number of H-1B visas, I am pleased that we 
are also taking an active role in addressing the unacceptably long 
backlogs in processing other immigration applications.
  We have all heard the horror stories of the long processing delays 
associated with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). What 
was once a 6-month process has now become a three- to four-year ordeal. 
When I first introduced S. 2586, the INS had roughly 2.3 million cases 
pending. Out of this number, California had 600,000 naturalization and 
adjustment of status cases pending.
  While the INS has made some improvements in reducing processing times 
for some applications, the INS's overall record keeping and computer 
systems still suffer from serious flaws. Many forms filed during the 
application process have been lost, automatically disqualifying 
immigrants from an immigrant visa or naturalization because they missed 
their INS appointments.
  It is unacceptable that millions of people who have followed our 
nation's laws, made outstanding contributions to our nation, and paid 
the requisite fees have had to wait months, and even years, to obtain 
the immigration services they need. These processing delays have had a 
negative impact on businesses seeking to employ or retain essential 
workers.
  Faced with a shortage of highly skilled workers in the U.S., many of 
our nation's businesses, including those in the high tech industry, 
must increasing rely on the INS to help provide them with access to 
highly skilled foreign professionals. However, long delays and 
inconsistencies in INS processing are causing many companies to 
postpone or cancel major projects that support their fiscal growth.
  I believe the backlog reduction provisions included in this bill will 
send a clear signal to the INS that it is time to change the way they 
do business. The provisions would require the INS to process H-1B 
applications and other non-immigrant visa applications within 30 days, 
and naturalization applications, permanent employment visas, and other 
immigration visa applications within six months. In addition, the 
provisions would establish a separate account with the INS to fund 
backlog reduction efforts.
  This account would permit the INS to fund across several fiscal years 
infrastructure improvements, including additional staff, computer 
records management, fingerprinting, and nationwide computer 
integration. Finally, the provisions would require the INS to put 
together a plan on how it intends to eliminate existing backlogs and 
report on this plan before it could obtain any appropriated funds.
  The backlog reduction provisions are intended to provide the INS with 
direction and accountability, and would enable millions of law-abiding 
residents, immigrants, and businesses, who have paid substantial fees 
to the INS, to have their applications processed in a timely manner. I 
believe enactment of these provisions as part of the H-1B legislation 
will send a strong Congressional directive to the INS that timely and 
efficient service is not merely a goal, but a mandate.
  Our nation has undergone a dramatic technological transformation. The 
U.S. economy has enjoyed unprecedented expansion, in large part because 
of the high tech industry. In California alone, this growth in 
technology has made our State number one in high tech employment by 
creating almost 800,000 jobs and comprising 61 percent of California's 
exports. I am convinced that the economy of California as well as the 
rest of the nation could run out of steam if the driving engine--that 
is, the high tech industry--does not have the resources it needs to 
continue its unprecedented growth.
  Certainly, it is in our interest to ensure that these industries, 
which are located in the U.S. and help drive our economy, can continue 
to obtain qualified, highly skilled employees. This bill meets the 
needs of the industry by providing additional temporary visas for 
exceptional professional personnel. Despite the billions of dollars 
that companies spend annually to train their work force, a gap still 
exists between professionals available in the U.S. work force and the 
needs of employers. Often employers' needs are immediate; they cannot 
afford to wait for work force training or retraining while positions 
remain unfilled.
  I look forward to the day when it is not necessary to bring in 
workers from abroad for these positions because California's schools 
are producing students who can match the best and brightest from 
anywhere across the globe.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, the Senate has now approved an increase in 
the total number of H-1B nonimmigrant visas made available to skilled 
foreign workers.
  I supported that increase because I believe it will help meet this 
country's growing demand for people with high skills, particularly in 
fast growing industries such as the high technology industry. However, 
I want to make clear that I understand this bill to be a short-term fix 
for the needs of our economy and not a long-term solution.
  If Congress is going to deal with the workforce needs in this country 
we can not simply rely on the H-1B program. The national skill shortage 
problem must be resolved by expanding training programs for American 
workers and increasing educational opportunities for our young people.
  Section 10 of this bill provides significant new resources for 
funding new innovative activities in K-12 math and science across the 
nation. It also represents a major boost beyond what was provided in 
the H-1B legislation in 1998.

[[Page S9657]]

 Under the 1998 H-1B bill, the amount of funding for the National 
Science Foundation (NSF) K-12 activities was fairly small--less than $6 
million in FY 2000. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Feinstein and 
Senator Kennedy, this legislation would more than double that amount to 
$15 million.
  We can make further progress in our education and training needs by 
increasing the fee that sponsors pay for H-1B visas. Hopefully, the 
Conference Committee will increase the fee to $1000 more than tripling 
the amount made available for job training grants, low income 
scholarships and NSF enrichment courses--opportunities, which in the 
long-term, will produce a better trained American workforce. The bill 
before us today does not increase the fee because the Senate can not 
originate a revenue measure. However, I supported the bill because of a 
commitment made by both Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary 
Committee to increase the fee to $1000 when the bill goes to conference 
with the House.
  The focus on technology training for teachers addresses a critical 
need, one that I've fought for in my home state of Michigan. That is 
why I'm happy to note that we've included language in this bill, which 
I proposed, with the support of Senator Conrad, specifying that the NSF 
should make teacher training in the integration of technology into the 
math and science curriculum a priority in funding projects from 
resources provided under this legislation. My office will be working 
with the National Science Foundation as they develop programs to be 
funded under this legislation so that investments in such professional 
development will lead the list of funding initiatives.
  This provision is essential if we are going to realize the full 
potential of our investment in new technology in the classroom. So few 
of our school districts have been able to offer state-of-the-art 
training, or any training at all for that matter, to their teaching 
staff. Last year, a report by Education Week's National Survey of 
Teachers' Use of Digital Content revealed some startling findings 
relative to the lack of teacher training in integrating technology into 
the curriculum. In a national poll of over 1,400 teachers, 36 percent 
of teachers responded that they received absolutely no training in 
integrating technology in the curriculum; another 36 percent said they 
had only received 1 to 5 hours of such training; 14 percent received 6 
to 10 hours of such training; and only 7 percent received between 11-20 
hours.
  This bill is an important step towards addressing this problem, a 
step that I hope is followed by many others. We are fortunate in my 
state and across this country to find in the ranks of teachers men and 
women who are deeply committed to helping America's children learn. I 
believe we have to match their commitment to our children with our own 
commitment to helping them acquire the skills they seek to be effective 
educators in the digital age.
  I also supported this bill because it guarantees that H-1B visas will 
be made available to those working at educational institutions, non-
profit organizations, and non-profit or governmental research 
organizations. Currently, these institutions, who recruit scholars and 
researchers with the highest possible credentials, are forced to 
compete with for profit companies for the limited number of visas 
available, and have had difficulties obtaining H-1B visas for their 
prospective employees.
  Some of those visa holders are people like Thomas Hofweber, a first-
year assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at the University 
of Michigan, who has conducted research in the areas of metaphysics and 
epistemology and is believed to be among the most talented young 
metaphysicians in the world. Another H-1B visa holder at Michigan State 
University's Department of Agricultural Economics is a researcher and 
teacher in Agribusiness Management and brings an outstanding background 
in the economics of horticultural enterprises and the management of 
their labor forces.
  It is of great benefit for Michigan students to be able to study with 
these scholars. I am pleased that universities and research 
institutions will be able to obtain more needed visas under this bill.

                          ____________________



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