Highlights need to focus on visa security and protecting American workers

WASHINGTON - During an oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security, Chuck Grassley this week told Secretary Janet Napolitano that during his town hall meetings in March and April, Iowans were upset that federal immigration laws weren't being enforced.

Grassley also brought to Napolitano's attention legislation that he has introduced that would treat visa revocations similar to visa denials, because the right of that person to be in the United States is no longer valid.  Already, if an individual is denied a visa by the consular officer, there's no judicial review of that decision.  The Grassley bill would apply the same standard for individuals on U.S. soil who should not have been granted a visa, limiting their rights to judicial review of such a decision.

"The Christmas Day bomber highlighted the need to review U.S. visa policies, especially how agencies handle visa revocations when alarming information is provided to authorities," Grassley said.  "The Secretary has the authority to revoke a visa to any individual who is a threat to the country, however if a foreign national is already on U.S. soil, there's concern about that person accessing the U.S. court system and challenging the revocation."

During his questioning of Napolitano, Grassley also continued to highlight abuses within the H-1B and L Visa programs.  He pointed out that some of the problems previously highlighted by congressional oversight of the H-1B Visa program have led applicants to use the L Visa program.  The L Visa program has no wage protections, no annual numerical limits, fewer obligations on employers, and fewer protections for American workers.

Grassley is the author of H-1B and L Visa reform legislation which would increase enforcement, modify wage requirements, and ensure protection for visa holders and American workers.  The bill would not eliminate the program or change the numerical cap of visas available to petitioning employers.


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