Sen. Hatch: Passage of 'Gang of Eight' immigration reform bill requires 'real leadership'

Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 6:43 p.m. MDT

The bill would allow the annual cap on H-1B visas to float between 115,000 and 300,000 depending on market conditions and demand. H-1B visas allow U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals to work long term. Across the county, employers use H-1B visas to hire skilled engineers or to keep top international students graduating from American universities from taking their talents elsewhere.

“This is what you call a market-based escalator that we placed in this bill,” he said.

Hatch said it makes no sense for the nation to play a role in educating some of the world’s best and brightest only to have them to leave the country once they graduate because of outdated caps on H-1B visas.

“We’re losing some of the top minds in the world because of the stupid immigration approach that we take,” he said.

As for the “Gang of Eight” bill, Hatch said some senators on both sides of the aisle are working on “killer amendments” to halt the legislation.

Hatch said he prefers to do what he can to refine the bill as much as possible.

“All I can say is, Utah, I think, will be in the forefront of doing this," he said. "We’ll do whatever we can to get this right. Hopefully, I’ll be able to support the bill in the end.”

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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