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HR 5625 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5625

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a pilot program under which an alien may be provided H-1B nonimmigrant status without regard to the numerical limitation applicable to that nonimmigrant category if the United States employer seeking the alien's entry makes a qualifying scholarship contribution to an institution of higher education in the United States.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 3, 2000

Mr. COX (for himself and Mr. WU) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a pilot program under which an alien may be provided H-1B nonimmigrant status without regard to the numerical limitation applicable to that nonimmigrant category if the United States employer seeking the alien's entry makes a qualifying scholarship contribution to an institution of higher education in the United States.

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

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT OF `TECH SMART' PILOT PROGRAM.

(a) IN GENERAL- The Immigration and Nationality Act is amended by inserting after section 218 (8 U.S.C. 1188) the following:

`tech smart' pilot program

`SEC. 218A. (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PILOT PROGRAM- The Attorney General shall establish a pilot program (in this section referred to as the `Tech Smart pilot program') under which 65,000 aliens may be issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) in each of fiscal years 2001 through 2003 without regard to the numerical limitations under section 214(g)(1)(A).

`(b) EMPLOYER REQUEST TO PARTICIPATE- An employer may, concurrent with or subsequent to filing a petition under section 214(c) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), file a request for the Attorney General to consider the petition under the Tech Smart pilot program.

`(c) EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION TO WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT-

`(1) IN GENERAL- As a condition of approval of the petition, an employer filing a request to participate in the Tech Smart pilot program shall agree to make an annual scholarship contribution to an institution of higher education in the United States selected by the employer.

`(2) ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION- A scholarship contribution under paragraph (1) shall be made for the fiscal year in which the employer receives notice of approval of the employer's petition under section 214(c) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and for each subsequent fiscal year for which the alien who is the subject of the petition is an H-1B nonimmigrant. The maximum number of annual scholarship contributions that shall be due with respect to any single alien is 6.

`(3) AMOUNT- The amount of the annual scholarship contribution shall be equal to the maximum Pell Grant authorized under subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C 1070a et seq.) for the fiscal year in which the contribution is due.

`(4) INITIAL CONTRIBUTION- The initial annual scholarship contribution shall be made to the institution of higher education not later than 15 days after the date on which the employer receives notice of approval of the employer's petition under section 214(c) to grant an alien nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b).

`(5) SUBSEQUENT CONTRIBUTIONS-

`(A) IN GENERAL- Subsequent annual scholarship contributions shall be made to the institution of higher education not later than the anniversary of the deadline described in paragraph (4).

`(B) ASSUMPTION OF OBLIGATION BY SUBSEQUENT EMPLOYERS- Any employer petitioning to obtain authorization for the alien to change employers shall agree, as a condition of obtaining approval of such petition, to assume the obligation to make these scholarship contributions until the final contribution has been received by the institution of higher education, the obligation has been assumed by another employer, or the H-1B nonimmigrant status of the alien terminates, whichever occurs first.

`(6) VERIFICATION OF RECEIPT- Not later than 15 days after receipt of any scholarship contribution under this section, an institution of higher education shall certify such receipt to the Attorney General.

`(d) SCHOLARSHIPS TO BUILD A TECH SMART WORKFORCE- An institution of higher education shall use contributions received under the Tech Smart pilot program to provide scholarships to United States citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Scholarship contributions may be provided to students enrolled full-time in programs for undergraduate or postgraduate study at that institution. An employer making a scholarship contribution may specify that the contribution be dedicated for scholarships for a student or students employed by the employer, or for students enrolled in a particular degree program or course of study.

`(e) EXPEDITED VISA PROCESSING- In the case of an employer filing a request for the Attorney General to consider a petition to grant an alien nonimmigrant status under the Tech Smart pilot program, the Attorney General shall approve or deny the petition not later than 30 days after the date of such filing.

`(f) ENFORCEMENT OF CONTRIBUTION OBLIGATIONS- If the Attorney General finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an employer has failed timely to make a scholarship contribution under this section that the employer is required to make, the Attorney General--

`(1) may impose a civil monetary penalty of not more than 3 times the amount of the delinquent contribution for each such violation;

`(2) may issue an administrative order requiring that the contribution be made;

`(3) may bar the employer from obtaining approval of any petition under the Tech Smart pilot program; and

`(4) may terminate the H-1B nonimmigrant status of the alien with respect to whom the scholarship contribution was required to be made beginning 90 days after the date on which the finding is entered.

`(g) NUMERICAL LIMITATION- The total number of aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under the Tech Smart pilot program in any fiscal year may not exceed 65,000. The provision of nonimmigrant status to any such alien shall not be considered for purposes of computing the numerical limitations under section 214(g)(1)(A).

`(h) EXPIRATION OF PROGRAM-

`(1) IN GENERAL- In fiscal years 2001 through 2003, the Attorney General may approve petitions filed under section 214(c) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) in accordance with this section.

`(2) CONTINUING EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS- Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to limit the obligations of any employer to make scholarship contributions in accordance with this section until the employer satisfies the requirements imposed under this section.

`(3) EXTENSIONS OF STAY OR CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT- Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to limit the authority of the Attorney General in fiscal year 2004 and subsequent fiscal years to approve or deny a petition under section 214(c)--

`(A) to extend the stay of an alien initially granted status as an H-1B nonimmigrant under this section in accordance with section 214(g)(4); or

`(B) to obtain authorization for such an alien to change employers.

`(i) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section:

`(1) H-1B NONIMMIGRANT- The term `H-1B nonimmigrant' has the meaning given such term in section 212(n)(4).

`(2) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION- The term `institution of higher education' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).'.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of contents of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 218 the following new item:

`Sec. 218A. `Tech Smart' pilot program.'.

END

 


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