May 18, 1998(Key vote)
Title: Non-Immigrant Specialty Workers bill
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that changes regulations on H1-B (temporary work) visas for those who possess information technology skills and increases incentives for U.S. citizens to pursue degrees in math and science.
Increases the number of H1-B visas available through fiscal year 2002.
States that the total number of immigrant issued visas or provided nonimmigrant status in fiscal year 1998 may not exceed 95,000.
Raises the number of immigrant issued visas or granted non-immigrant status to 65,000 each fiscal year unless a higher ceiling is specified.
Increases fines for employers who misrepresent material facts in an application or fail to meet certain conditions from a fine of $1,000 to a fine of $5,000.
Authorizes the Department of Labor to conduct random checks for up to 5 years after the employer is deemed culpable.
Makes funds available for states to establish scholarship programs for students with financial need seeking to pursue a higher education degree in math, computer science, or engineering.
Prohibits employers who assist in developing the nuclear weapons program of India or any other nation from using the H1-B visa program.
Requires the National Science Foundation to assess the labor market's needs for workers with technology skills focusing on training and education needs of U.S. students to ensure their skills match the needs of the high technology and information technology sectors.
Stipulates that if extra visas are available, they will be issued for the remainder of the calendar quarter without regard to limits imposed on individual foreign countries by the U.S. until 65,000 visas have been issued.
Allows foreign students holding H1-B visas to accept academic honoraria and scholarships offered by institutions of higher education.
Offers whistleblower protection to immigrants who file labor violation complaints against an employer and allows individuals the opportunity to seek other jobs for the rest of their stay if the complaint is successful.
Requires parental signatures on passport applications for children under 16.