It's back to the drawing board for the the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which, facing strong opposition, has withdrawn its plan to take up an increasingly controversial H-1B bill.
The bill, which was intended to raise salaries of visa workers, faced a sharp debate on the committee, particularly from U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, according to Computerworld.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) co-sponsored the "Protect and Grow American Jobs Act," had been set for a committee vote Wednesday. But on Tuesday, it was yanked.
Critics said IT salaries in some categories, particularly in the large coastal cities and for older workers, are already at the $100,000 the new measure would have set as a minimum salary for H1-B workers, meaning, the current IT workers could get displaced. There was also an argument that the protection for U.S. workers only applies if it takes place within 90 days of making the visa petition.
The complication, and the reason why employers who are H-1B dependent should pay attention, is that the language included cash bonuses in the wages, which the IEEE-USA said made the law ineffective. An employer could offer $60,000 in salary with a $40,000 bonus.
Then, there is the ongoing debate as to whether there really is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) worker shortage at all in the U.S., with some evidence that some employers use current regulations to get cheaper labor.
For now, employers should use the existing H-1B visa regulations, because it seems the issue is dead for the time being. And even those regulations are not without controversy.