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[Congressional Record: May 19, 2003 (Extensions)]
[Page E996-E997]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                            L-1 VISA REFORM


                           HON. JOHN L. MICA

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                          Monday, May 19, 2003

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, today I have introduced a bill which seeks to 
close a loophole in immigration law by prohibiting the outsourcing of 
L-1 intracompany transferee visa holders, similar to a provision 
contained in the H-1B visa program.
  The L-1 visa allows companies with subsidiaries abroad the ability to 
transfer employees

[[Page E997]]

from foreign countries to the United States as long as the intracompany 
transferees have been employed with the company for at least six 
months. Once in the country, those employees can then be outsourced to 
American firms at a significantly lower wage. As a result, many 
Americans have found themselves in the unemployment line. Simply put, 
this is a back door to cheap labor.
  In 1998, as the economy was soaring and demand for IT workers was 
rising faster than supply, Congress passed S. 2045, the American 
Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act. This legislation 
temporarily increased the cap on H-1B visa holders allowed into the 
country. In doing so, we also protected American jobs by adding 
restrictions to the program. However, the L-1 visa remains unchecked, 
unrestricted and unfortunately, abused.
  Unfortunately, thousands of Americans are unfairly losing their jobs 
through the abuse of the L-1 temporary work visa program. There are 
currently over 325,000 L-1 visa holders in the United States. In my 7th 
Congressional District of Florida, there are hundreds of cases of the 
displacement of American workers. In many of these instances, American 
workers are forced to train their own L-1 replacements or suffer the 
loss of their severance pay. Examples of similar replacements of 
American workers by lower paid foreign workers arrive in my office 
daily. This situation is deplorable. Mr. Speaker, during this time of 
economic downturn we need to be creating jobs for Americans, not 
putting more of them at risk by allowing firms to replace American 
workers with foreign nationals who are not subject to the same wage 
restrictions as holders of the H-1B visa.
  Finally, I want to point out that American companies will still be 
permitted to employ L-1 visa holders. However, those employees will 
have to transfer from their own subsidiaries, not from a third party 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge prompt consideration of this legislation.


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