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Sen. Sherrod Brown introduces amendment to protect American workers

Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

As the debate over immigration reform continues in Congress, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced an amendment intended to protect skilled American workers.

The amendment has been offered as a change to the Senate immigration bill and would require businesses who recruit to offer an equally- or better-qualified American worker before seeking out an H-1B visa for a skilled foreign worker.

“To fix our broken immigration system, we must require that everyone play by the same rules,” Brown said. “My amendment would ensure that qualified U.S. citizens are given a fair shot at a fair wage for jobs before businesses seek visas for skilled workers. It is the right thing to do for our country’s hard-working men and women, and it is the right way to move our immigration system forward.”

Brown introduced the amendment with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

The comprehensive Senate immigration bill—S. 744—was developed by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” which includes Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Under the Gang of Eight’s original proposal, employers must demonstrate that they are pursuing American workers for jobs they maintain can only be filled by foreign, skilled workers. The provision was modified, however, during debate so employers will be required to recruit American workers but would not have to give preference to American workers.

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