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S. 1723 (105th): American Competitiveness Act


The text of the bill below is as of Apr 2, 1998 (Reported by Senate Committee).


S 1723 RS

Calendar No. 335

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 1723

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to assist the United States to remain competitive by increasing the access of United States firms and institutions of higher education to skilled personnel and by expanding educational and training opportunities for American students and workers.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 6, 1998

Mr. ABRAHAM (for himself, Mr. HATCH, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. GRAMS, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. THURMOND, Mr. SANTORUM, Mr. ASHCROFT, Mr. SMITH of Oregon, and Mr. HAGEL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

April 2, 1998

Reported by Mr. HATCH, with an amendment

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to assist the United States to remain competitive by increasing the access of United States firms and institutions of higher education to skilled personnel and by expanding educational and training opportunities for American students and workers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[Struck out->] SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES IN ACT. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘American Competitiveness Act’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) REFERENCES IN ACT- Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed as an amendment to or a repeal of a provision, the reference shall be deemed to be made to the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.). [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 2. FINDINGS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Congress makes the following findings: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) American companies today are engaged in fierce competition in global markets. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) Companies across America are faced with severe high skill labor shortages that threaten their competitiveness. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (3) The National Software Alliance, a consortium of concerned government, industry, and academic leaders that includes the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, has concluded that ‘The supply of computer science graduates is far short of the number needed by industry.’. The Alliance concludes that the current severe understaffing could lead to inflation and lower productivity. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (4) The Department of Labor projects that the United States economy will produce more than 130,000 information technology jobs in each of the next 10 years, for a total of more than 1,300,000. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (5) Between 1986 and 1995, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science declined by 42 percent. Therefore, any short-term increases in enrollment may only return the United States to the 1986 level of graduates and take several years to produce these additional graduates. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (6) A study conducted by Virginia Tech for the Information Technology Association of America estimates that there are more than 340,000 unfilled positions for highly skilled information technology workers in American companies. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (7) The Hudson Institute estimates that the unaddressed shortage of skilled workers throughout the United States economy will result in a 5-percent drop in the growth rate of GDP. That translates into approximately $200,000,000,000 in lost output, nearly $1,000 for every American. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (8) It is necessary to deal with the current situation with both short-term and long-term measures. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (9) In fiscal year 1997, United States companies and universities reached the cap of 65,000 on H-1B temporary visas a month before the end of the fiscal year. In fiscal year 1998 the cap is expected to be reached as early as May if Congress takes no action. And it will be hit earlier each year until backlogs develop of such a magnitude as to prevent United States companies and researchers from having any timely access to skilled foreign-born professionals. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (10) It is vital that more American young people be encouraged and equipped to enter technical fields, such as mathematics, engineering, and computer science. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (11) If American companies cannot find home-grown talent, and if they cannot bring talent to this country, a large number are likely to move key operations overseas, sending those and related American jobs with them. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (12) Inaction in these areas will carry significant consequences for the future of American competitiveness around the world and will seriously undermine efforts to create and keep jobs in the United States. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 3. INCREASED ACCESS TO SKILLED PERSONNEL FOR UNITED STATES COMPANIES AND UNIVERSITIES. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF H1-C NONIMMIGRANT CATEGORY- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) IN GENERAL- Section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) by inserting ‘and other than services described in clause (c)’ after ‘subparagraph (O) or (P)’; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) by inserting after ‘section 212(n)(1)’ the following: ‘, or (c) who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform labor as a health care worker, other than a physician, if the alien qualifies for the exemption from the grounds of inadmissibility described in section 212(a)(5)(C)’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) TRANSITION RULE- Any petition filed prior to the date of enactment of this Act, for issuance of a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on behalf of an alien described in the amendment made by paragraph (1)(B) shall, on and after that date, be treated as a petition filed under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of that Act, as added by paragraph (1). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) ANNUAL CEILINGS FOR H1-B AND H1-C WORKERS- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) AMENDMENT OF THE INA- Section 214(g)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)) is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(g)(1) The total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status during any fiscal year-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(A) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(i) for each of fiscal years 1992 through 1997, may not exceed 65,000, [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(ii) for fiscal year 1998, may not exceed 2 times the number of aliens issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status between October 1, 1997, and March 31, 1998, [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(iii) for fiscal year 1999, may not exceed the number determined for fiscal year 1998 under such section, minus 10,000, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (B) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year, and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(iv) for fiscal year 2000 and each applicable fiscal year thereafter, may not exceed the number determined for fiscal year 1998 under such section, minus 10,000, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (B) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (C) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(B) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), beginning with fiscal year 1992, may not exceed 66,000; or [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(C) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), beginning with fiscal year 1999, may not exceed 10,000. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] For purposes of determining the ceiling under subparagraph (A) (iii) and (iv), not more than 25,000 of the unused visas under subparagraph (B) may be taken into account for any fiscal year.’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) TRANSITION PROCEDURES- Any visa issued or nonimmigrant status otherwise accorded to any alien under clause (i)(b) or (ii)(b) of section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act pursuant to a petition filed during fiscal year 1998 but approved on or after October 1, 1998, shall be counted against the applicable ceiling in section 214(g)(1) of that Act for fiscal year 1998 (as amended by paragraph (1) of this subsection), except that, in the case where counting the visa or the other granting of status would cause the applicable ceiling for fiscal year 1998 to be exceeded, the visa or grant of status shall be counted against the applicable ceiling for fiscal year 1999. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 4. EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) DEGREES IN MATHEMATICS, COMPUTER SCIENCE, AND ENGINEERING- Subpart 4 of part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070c et seq.) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) in section 415A(b)(1) (20 U.S.C. 1070c(b)(1))-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) by striking ‘$105,000,000 for fiscal year 1993’ and inserting ‘$155,000,000 for fiscal year 1999’; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) by inserting ‘, of which the amount in excess of $25,000,000 for each fiscal year that does not exceed $50,000,000 shall be available to carry out section 415F for the fiscal year’ before the period; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) by adding at the end the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 415F. DEGREES IN MATHEMATICS, COMPUTER SCIENCE, AND ENGINEERING. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) ALLOTMENTS AND GRANTS- From amounts made available to carry out this section under section 415A(b)(1) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall make allotments to States to enable the States to pay not more than 50 percent of the amount of grants awarded to low-income students in the States. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) USE OF GRANTS- Grants awarded under this section shall be used by the students for attendance on a full-time basis at an institution of higher education in a program of study leading to an associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in mathematics, computer science, or engineering. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) COMPARABILITY- The Secretary shall make allotments and grants shall be awarded under this section in the same manner, and under the same terms and conditions, as-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) the Secretary makes allotments and grants are awarded under this subpart (other than this section); and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) are not inconsistent with this section.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) DATA BANK; TRAINING- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Labor shall-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) establish or improve a data bank on the Internet that facilitates-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (i) job searches by individuals seeking employment in the field of technology; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (ii) the matching of individuals possessing technology credentials with employment in the field of technology; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) provide training in information technology to unemployed individuals who are seeking employment. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1999 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) $8,000,000 to carry out paragraph (1)(A); and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) $10,000,000 to carry out paragraph (1)(B). [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 5. INCREASED ENFORCEMENT PENALTIES AND IMPROVED OPERATIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) INCREASED PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF H1-B OR H1-C PROGRAM- Section 212(n)(2)(C) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(2)(C)) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) by striking ‘a failure to meet’ and all that follows through ‘an application--’ and inserting ‘a willful failure to meet a condition in paragraph (1) or a willful misrepresentation of a material fact in an application--’; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) in clause (i), by striking ‘$1,000’ and inserting ‘$5,000’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) SPOT INSPECTIONS DURING PROBATIONARY PERIOD- Section 212(n)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(2)) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E); and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(D) The Secretary of Labor may, on a case-by-case basis, subject an employer to random inspections for a period of up to five years beginning on the date that such employer is found by the Secretary of Labor to have engaged in a willful failure to meet a condition of subparagraph (A), or a misrepresentation of material fact in an application.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (c) EXPEDITED REVIEWS AND DECISIONS- Section 214(c)(2)(C) (8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(2)(C)) is amended by inserting ‘or section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)’ after ‘section 101(a)(15)(L)’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (d) DETERMINATIONS ON LABOR CONDITION APPLICATIONS TO BE MADE BY ATTORNEY GENERAL- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) IN GENERAL- Section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)) is amended by striking ‘with respect to whom’ and all that follows through ‘with the Secretary’ and inserting ‘with respect to whom the Attorney General determines that the intending employer has filed with the Attorney General’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- Section 212(n) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) in paragraph (1)-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (i) in the first sentence, by striking ‘Secretary of Labor’ and inserting ‘Attorney General’; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (ii) in the sixth and eighth sentences, by inserting ‘of Labor’ after ‘Secretary’ each place it appears; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (iii) in the ninth sentence, by striking ‘Secretary of Labor’ and inserting ‘Attorney General’; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (iv) by amending the tenth sentence to read as follows: ‘Unless the Attorney General finds that the application is incomplete or obviously inaccurate, the Attorney General shall provide the certification described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and adjudicate the nonimmigrant visa petition.’; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->] (v) by inserting in full measure margin after subparagraph (D) the following new sentence: ‘Such application shall be filed with the employer’s petition for a nonimmigrant visa for the alien, and the Attorney General shall transmit a copy of such application to the Secretary of Labor.’; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) in the first sentence of paragraph (2)(A), by striking ‘Secretary’ and inserting ‘Secretary of Labor’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (e) PREVAILING WAGE CONSIDERATIONS- Section 101(a) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(50) The term ‘prevailing wage’ means the following: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(A) If the job opportunity is subject to a wage determination in the area under the Act of March 3, 1931 (commonly known as the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a et seq.)), or the Service Contract Act of 1965 (41 U.S.C. 351 et seq.), the prevailing wage shall be the rate required under such Acts. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(B) If the job opportunity is not covered by a prevailing wage determined under the Acts referred to in subparagraph (A), the prevailing wage shall be-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(i) the rate of wages to be determined, to the extent feasible, by adding the wage paid to workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment and dividing the total by the number of such workers, except that the wage set forth in the application shall be considered as meeting the prevailing wage standard if it is within 5 percent of the average rate of wages; or [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(ii) if the job opportunity is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the wage rate set forth in the agreement shall be considered as not adversely affecting the wages of United States workers similarly employed and shall be considered the ‘prevailing wage’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(C) A prevailing wage determination made pursuant to this section shall not permit an employer to pay a wage lower than that required under any other Federal, State, or local law. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(D) For purposes of this section: [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(i) The term ‘similarly employed’ means having substantially comparable jobs in the occupational category in the area of intended employment, except that, if no such workers are employed by employers other than the employer applicant in the area of intended employment, the term ‘similarly employed’ means-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(I) having jobs requiring a substantially similar level of skills within the area of intended employment; or [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(II) if there are no substantially comparable jobs in the area of intended employment, having substantially comparable jobs with employers outside of the area of intended employment. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(ii) The term ‘substantially comparable jobs’ means jobs with substantially comparable employers, taking into account size, profit or nonprofit classification, start-up or mature business operations, the specific industry, public or private sector, status as an academic institution, or other defining characteristics which the employer can demonstrate result in a distinct wage scale from the industry at large. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(iii) The term ‘similarly employed’ shall be construed to require separate average rates of wage taking into account such factors as years of experience, academic degree, educational institution attended, grade point average, publications or other distinctions, personal traits deemed essential to job performance, specialized training or skills, competitive market factors, or any other factors typically considered by employers within the industry. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(iv) Employers may use either government or nongovernment published surveys, including industry, region, or statewide wage surveys, to determine the prevailing wage, which shall be considered correct and valid where the employer has maintained a copy of the survey information.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (f) POSTING REQUIREMENT- Section 212(n)(1)(C)(ii) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)(C)(ii)) is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(ii) if there is no such bargaining representative, has provided notice of filing to the employer’s employees in the occupational classification through such methods as physical posting in a conspicuous location at the employer’s place of business, or electronic posting through an internal job bank, or electronic notification available to employees in the occupational classification.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 6. ANNUAL REPORTS ON H1-B VISAS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 212(n) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)) is amended by adding at the end the following: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) Using data from petitions for visas issued under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), the Attorney General shall annually submit the following reports to Congress: [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) Quarterly reports on the numbers of aliens who were provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) during the previous quarter and who were subject to the numerical ceiling for the fiscal year established under section 214(g)(1). [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) Annual reports on the occupations and compensation of aliens provided nonimmigrant status under such section during the previous fiscal year.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 7. LIMITATION ON PER COUNTRY CEILING WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) SPECIAL RULES- Section 202(a) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) RULES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS NOT SUBJECT TO PER COUNTRY LIMITATION IF ADDITIONAL VISAS AVAILABLE- If the total number of visas available under paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of section 203(b) for a calendar quarter exceeds the number of qualified immigrants who may otherwise be issued such visas, the visas made available under that paragraph shall be issued without regard to the numerical limitation under paragraph (2) of this subsection during the remainder of the calendar quarter. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) LIMITING FALL ACROSS FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES SUBJECT TO SUBSECTION (e)- In the case of a foreign state or dependent area to which subsection (e) applies, if the total number of visas issued under section 203(b) exceeds the maximum number of visas that may be made available to immigrants of the state or area under section 203(b) consistent with subsection (e) (determined without regard to this paragraph), in applying subsection (e) all visas shall be deemed to have been required for the classes of aliens specified in section 203(b).’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) Section 202(a)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)(2)) is amended by striking ‘paragraphs (3) and (4)’ and inserting ‘paragraphs (3), (4), and (5)’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) Section 202(e)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1152(e)(3)) is amended by striking ‘the proportion of the visa numbers’ and inserting ‘except as provided in subsection (a)(5), the proportion of the visa numbers’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (c) ONE-TIME PROTECTION UNDER PER COUNTRY CEILING- Notwithstanding section 214(g)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any alien who-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) as of the date of enactment of this Act is a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) of that Act; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) is the beneficiary of a petition filed under section 204(a) for a preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 203(b); and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (3) would be subject to the per country limitations applicable to immigrants under those paragraphs but for this subsection, [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] may apply for and the Attorney General may grant an extension of such nonimmigrant status until the alien’s application for adjustment of status has been processed and a decision made thereon. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 8. ACADEMIC HONORARIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 212 (8 U.S.C. 1182) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(p) Any alien admitted under section 101(a)(15)(B) may accept an honorarium payment and associated incidental expenses for a usual academic activity or activities, as defined by the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Education, if such payment is offered by an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965) or other nonprofit entity and is made for services conducted for the benefit of that institution or entity.’. [<-Struck out]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES IN ACT.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘American Competitiveness Act’.

    (b) REFERENCES IN ACT- Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed as an amendment to or a repeal of a provision, the reference shall be deemed to be made to the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) American companies today are engaged in fierce competition in global markets.

      (2) Companies across America are faced with severe high skill labor shortages that threaten their competitiveness.

      (3) The National Software Alliance, a consortium of concerned government, industry, and academic leaders that includes the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, has concluded that ‘The supply of computer science graduates is far short of the number needed by industry.’. The Alliance concludes that the current severe understaffing could lead to inflation and lower productivity.

      (4) The Department of Labor projects that the United States economy will produce more than 130,000 information technology jobs in each of the next 10 years, for a total of more than 1,300,000.

      (5) Between 1986 and 1995, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science declined by 42 percent. Therefore, any short-term increases in enrollment may only return the United States to the 1986 level of graduates and take several years to produce these additional graduates.

      (6) A study conducted by Virginia Tech for the Information Technology Association of America estimates that there are more than 340,000 unfilled positions for highly skilled information technology workers in American companies.

      (7) The Hudson Institute estimates that the unaddressed shortage of skilled workers throughout the United States economy will result in a 5-percent drop in the growth rate of GDP. That translates into approximately $200,000,000,000 in lost output, nearly $1,000 for every American.

      (8) It is necessary to deal with the current situation with both short-term and long-term measures.

      (9) In fiscal year 1997, United States companies and universities reached the cap of 65,000 on H-1B temporary visas a month before the end of the fiscal year. In fiscal year 1998 the cap is expected to be reached as early as May if Congress takes no action. And it will be hit earlier each year until backlogs develop of such a magnitude as to prevent United States companies and researchers from having any timely access to skilled foreign-born professionals.

      (10) It is vital that more American young people be encouraged and equipped to enter technical fields, such as mathematics, engineering, and computer science.

      (11) If American companies cannot find home-grown talent, and if they cannot bring talent to this country, a large number are likely to move key operations overseas, sending those and related American jobs with them.

      (12) Inaction in these areas will carry significant consequences for the future of American competitiveness around the world and will seriously undermine efforts to create and keep jobs in the United States.

SEC. 3. INCREASED ACCESS TO SKILLED PERSONNEL FOR UNITED STATES COMPANIES AND UNIVERSITIES.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF H1-C NONIMMIGRANT CATEGORY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)) is amended--

        (A) by inserting ‘and other than services described in clause (c)’ after ‘subparagraph (O) or (P)’; and

        (B) by inserting after ‘section 212(n)(1)’ the following: ‘, or (c) who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform labor as a health care worker, other than a physician, in a specialty occupation described in section 214(i)(1), who meets the requirements of the occupation specified in section 214(i)(2), who qualifies for the exemption from the grounds of inadmissibility described in section 212(a)(5)(C), and with respect to whom the Attorney General certifies that the intending employer has filed with the Attorney General an application under section 212(n)(1).’.

      (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

        (A) Section 212(n)(1) is amended by inserting ‘or (c)’ after ‘section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)’ each place it appears.

        (B) Section 214(i) is amended by inserting ‘or (c)’ after ‘section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)’ each place it appears.

      (3) TRANSITION RULE- Any petition filed prior to the date of enactment of this Act, for issuance of a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on behalf of an alien described in the amendment made by paragraph (1)(B) shall, on and after that date, be treated as a petition filed under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of that Act, as added by paragraph (1).

    (b) ANNUAL CEILINGS FOR H1-B AND H1-C WORKERS-

      (1) AMENDMENT OF THE INA- Section 214(g)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(g)(1) The total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status during any fiscal year--

      ‘(A) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)--

        ‘(i) for each of fiscal years 1992 through 1997, may not exceed 65,000,

        ‘(ii) for fiscal year 1998, may not exceed 95,000,

        ‘(iii) for fiscal year 1999, may not exceed the number determined for fiscal year 1998 under such section, minus 10,000, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (B) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year, and

        ‘(iv) for fiscal year 2000, and each applicable fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2002, may not exceed the number determined for fiscal year 1998 under such section, minus 10,000, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (B) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year, plus the number of unused visas under subparagraph (C) for the fiscal year preceding the applicable fiscal year;

      ‘(B) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), beginning with fiscal year 1992, may not exceed 66,000; or

      ‘(C) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), beginning with fiscal year 1999, may not exceed 10,000.

    For purposes of determining the ceiling under subparagraph (A) (iii) and (iv), not more than 20,000 of the unused visas under subparagraph (B) may be taken into account for any fiscal year.’.

      (2) TRANSITION PROCEDURES- Any visa issued or nonimmigrant status otherwise accorded to any alien under clause (i)(b) or (ii)(b) of section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act pursuant to a petition filed during fiscal year 1998 but approved on or after October 1, 1998, shall be counted against the applicable ceiling in section 214(g)(1) of that Act for fiscal year 1998 (as amended by paragraph (1) of this subsection), except that, in the case where counting the visa or the other granting of status would cause the applicable ceiling for fiscal year 1998 to be exceeded, the visa or grant of status shall be counted against the applicable ceiling for fiscal year 1999.

SEC. 4. EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

    (a) DEGREES IN MATHEMATICS, COMPUTER SCIENCE, AND ENGINEERING- Subpart 4 of part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070c et seq.) is amended--

      (1) in section 415A(b)(1) (20 U.S.C. 1070c(b)(1))--

        (A) by striking ‘$105,000,000 for fiscal year 1993’ and inserting ‘$155,000,000 for fiscal year 1999’; and

        (B) by inserting ‘, of which the amount in excess of $25,000,000 for each fiscal year that does not exceed $50,000,000 shall be available to carry out section 415F for the fiscal year’ before the period; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 415F. DEGREES IN MATHEMATICS, COMPUTER SCIENCE, AND ENGINEERING.

    ‘(a) ALLOTMENTS AND GRANTS- From amounts made available to carry out this section under section 415A(b)(1) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall make allotments to States to enable the States to pay not more than 50 percent of the amount of grants awarded to low-income students in the States.

    ‘(b) USE OF GRANTS- Grants awarded under this section shall be used by the students for attendance on a full-time basis at an institution of higher education in a program of study leading to an associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in mathematics, computer science, or engineering.

    ‘(c) COMPARABILITY- The Secretary shall make allotments and grants shall be awarded under this section in the same manner, and under the same terms and conditions, as--

      ‘(1) the Secretary makes allotments and grants are awarded under this subpart (other than this section); and

      ‘(2) are not inconsistent with this section.’.

    (b) DATA BANK; TRAINING-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Labor shall--

        (A) establish or improve a data bank on the Internet that facilitates--

          (i) job searches by individuals seeking employment in the field of technology; and

          (ii) the matching of individuals possessing technology credentials with employment in the field of technology; and

        (B) provide training in information technology to unemployed individuals who are seeking employment.

      (2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1999 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years--

        (A) $8,000,000 to carry out paragraph (1)(A); and

        (B) $10,000,000 to carry out paragraph (1)(B).

SEC. 5. INCREASED ENFORCEMENT PENALTIES AND IMPROVED OPERATIONS.

    (a) INCREASED PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF H1-B OR H1-C PROGRAM- Section 212(n)(2)(C) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(2)(C)) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘a failure to meet’ and all that follows through ‘an application--’ and inserting ‘a willful failure to meet a condition in paragraph (1) or a willful misrepresentation of a material fact in an application--’; and

      (2) in clause (i), by striking ‘$1,000’ and inserting ‘$5,000’.

    (b) SPOT INSPECTIONS DURING PROBATIONARY PERIOD- Section 212(n)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(2)) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E); and

      (2) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:

    ‘(D) The Secretary of Labor may, on a case-by-case basis, subject an employer to random inspections for a period of up to five years beginning on the date that such employer is found by the Secretary of Labor to have engaged in a willful failure to meet a condition of subparagraph (A), or a misrepresentation of material fact in an application.’.

    (c) LAYOFF PROTECTION FOR UNITED STATES WORKERS- Section 212(n)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(2)), as amended by subsection (b), is further amended by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(F)(i) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a willful failure to meet a condition in paragraph (1) or a willful misrepresentation of a material fact in an application, in the course of which the employer has replaced a United States worker with a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) (b) or (c) within the 6-month period prior to, or within 90 days following, the filing of the application--

          ‘(I) the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such finding, and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $25,000 per violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; and

          ‘(II) the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with respect to the employer under section 204 or 214(c) during a period of at least 2 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.

        ‘(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph:

          ‘(I) The term ‘replace’ means the employment of the nonimmigrant at the specific place of employment and in the specific employment opportunity from which a United States worker with substantially equivalent qualifications and experience in the specific employment opportunity has been laid off.

          ‘(II) The term ‘laid off’, with respect to an individual, means the individual’s loss of employment other than a discharge for inadequate performance, violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, voluntary retirement, or the expiration of a grant, contract, or other agreement. The term ‘laid off’ does not include any situation in which the individual involved is offered, as an alternative to such loss of employment, a similar employment opportunity with the same employer at the equivalent or higher compensation and benefits as the position from which the employee was discharged, regardless of whether or not the employee accepts the offer.

          ‘(III) The term ‘United States worker’ means--

            ‘(aa) a citizen or national of the United States;

            ‘(bb) an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence; or

            ‘(cc) an alien authorized to be employed by this Act or by the Attorney General.’.

    (d) EXPEDITED REVIEWS AND DECISIONS- Section 214(c)(2)(C) (8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(2)(C)) is amended by inserting ‘or section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)’ after ‘section 101(a)(15)(L)’.

    (e) DETERMINATIONS ON LABOR CONDITION APPLICATIONS TO BE MADE BY ATTORNEY GENERAL-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)) is amended by striking ‘with respect to whom’ and all that follows through ‘with the Secretary’ and inserting ‘with respect to whom the Attorney General determines that the intending employer has filed with the Attorney General’.

      (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- Section 212(n) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)) is amended--

        (A) in paragraph (1)--

          (i) in the first sentence, by striking ‘Secretary of Labor’ and inserting ‘Attorney General’;

          (ii) in the sixth and eighth sentences, by inserting ‘of Labor’ after ‘Secretary’ each place it appears;

          (iii) in the ninth sentence, by striking ‘Secretary of Labor’ and inserting ‘Attorney General’;

          (iv) by amending the tenth sentence to read as follows: ‘Unless the Attorney General finds that the application is incomplete or obviously inaccurate, the Attorney General shall provide the certification described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and adjudicate the nonimmigrant visa petition.’; and

          (v) by inserting in full measure margin after subparagraph (D) the following new sentence: ‘Such application shall be filed with the employer’s petition for a nonimmigrant visa for the alien, and the Attorney General shall transmit a copy of such application to the Secretary of Labor.’; and

        (B) in the first sentence of paragraph (2)(A), by striking ‘Secretary’ and inserting ‘Secretary of Labor’.

    (f) PREVAILING WAGE CONSIDERATIONS- Section 101 (8 U.S.C. 1101) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(i)(1) In computing the prevailing wage level for an occupational classification in an area of employment for purposes of section 212(n)(1)(A)(i)(II) and section 212(a)(5)(A) in the case of an employee of--

      ‘(A) an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965), or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or

      ‘(B) a nonprofit or Federal research institute or agency,

    the prevailing wage level shall only take into account employees at such institutions, entities, and agencies in the area of employment.

    ‘(2) With respect to a professional athlete (as defined in section 212(a)(5)(A)(iii)(II)) when the job opportunity is covered by professional sports league rules or regulations, the wage set forth in those rules or regulations shall be considered as not adversely affecting the wages of United States workers similarly employed and be considered the prevailing wage.

    ‘(3) To determine the prevailing wage, employers may use either government or nongovernment published surveys, including industry, region, or statewide wage surveys, to determine the prevailing wage, which shall be considered correct and valid if the survey was conducted in accordance with generally accepted industry standards and the employer has maintained a copy of the survey information.’.

    (g) POSTING REQUIREMENT- Section 212(n)(1)(C)(ii) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)(C)(ii)) is amended to read as follows:

        ‘(ii) if there is no such bargaining representative, has provided notice of filing in the occupational classification through such methods as physical posting in a conspicuous location, or electronic posting through an internal job bank, or electronic notification available to employees in the occupational classification.’.

SEC. 6. ANNUAL REPORTS ON H1-B VISAS.

    Section 212(n) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(3) Using data from petitions for visas issued under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), the Attorney General shall annually submit the following reports to Congress:

        ‘(A) Quarterly reports on the numbers of aliens who were provided nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) during the previous quarter and who were subject to the numerical ceiling for the fiscal year established under section 214(g)(1).

        ‘(B) Annual reports on the occupations and compensation of aliens provided nonimmigrant status under such section during the previous fiscal year.’.

SEC. 7. STUDY AND REPORT ON HIGH-TECHNOLOGY LABOR MARKET NEEDS.

    (a) STUDY- The National Science Foundation shall oversee the National Academy of Sciences in establishing a government-industry panel, including representatives from academia, government, and business, to conduct a study, using sound analytical methods, to assess the labor market needs for workers with high technology skills during the 10-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act. The study shall focus on the following issues:

      (1) The future training and education needs of the high-technology sector over that 10-year period, including projected job growth for high-technology issues.

      (2) Future training and education needs of United States students to ensure that their skills, at various levels, are matched to the needs of the high

technology and information technology sector over that 10-year period.

      (3) An analysis of progress made by educators, employers, and government entities to improve the teaching and educational level of American students in the fields of math, science, computer, and engineering since 1998.

      (4) An analysis of the number of United States workers currently or projected to work overseas in professional, technical, and managerial capacities.

      (5) The following additional issues:

        (A) The need by the high-technology sector for foreign workers with specific skills.

        (B) The potential benefits gained by the universities, employers, and economy of the United States from the entry of skilled professionals in the fields of science and engineering.

        (C) The extent to which globalization has increased since 1998.

        (D) The needs of the high-technology sector to localize United States products and services for export purposes in light of the increasing globalization of the United States and world economy.

        (E) An examination of the amount and trend of high technology work that is out-sourced from the United States to foreign countries.

    (b) REPORT- Not later than October 1, 2000, the National Science Foundation shall submit a report containing the results of the study described in subsection (a) to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    (c) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Funds available to the National Science Foundation shall be made available to carry out this section.

SEC. 8. LIMITATION ON PER COUNTRY CEILING WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS.

    (a) SPECIAL RULES- Section 202(a) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

      ‘(5) RULES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS-

        ‘(A) EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS NOT SUBJECT TO PER COUNTRY LIMITATION IF ADDITIONAL VISAS AVAILABLE- If the total number of visas available under paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of section 203(b) for a calendar quarter exceeds the number of qualified immigrants who may otherwise be issued such visas, the visas made available under that paragraph shall be issued without regard to the numerical limitation under paragraph (2) of this subsection during the remainder of the calendar quarter.

        ‘(B) LIMITING FALL ACROSS FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES SUBJECT TO SUBSECTION (e)- In the case of a foreign state or dependent area to which subsection (e) applies, if the total number of visas issued under section 203(b) exceeds the maximum number of visas that may be made available to immigrants of the state or area under section 203(b) consistent with subsection (e) (determined without regard to this paragraph), in applying subsection (e) all visas shall be deemed to have been required for the classes of aliens specified in section 203(b).’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

      (1) Section 202(a)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)(2)) is amended by striking ‘paragraphs (3) and (4)’ and inserting ‘paragraphs (3), (4), and (5)’.

      (2) Section 202(e)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1152(e)(3)) is amended by striking ‘the proportion of the visa numbers’ and inserting ‘except as provided in subsection (a)(5), the proportion of the visa numbers’.

    (c) ONE-TIME PROTECTION UNDER PER COUNTRY CEILING- Notwithstanding section 214(g)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any alien who--

      (1) as of the date of enactment of this Act is a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) of that Act;

      (2) is the beneficiary of a petition filed under section 204(a) for a preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 203(b); and

      (3) would be subject to the per country limitations applicable to immigrants under those paragraphs but for this subsection,

    may apply for and the Attorney General may grant an extension of such nonimmigrant status until the alien’s application for adjustment of status has been processed and a decision made thereon.

SEC. 9. ACADEMIC HONORARIA.

    Section 212 (8 U.S.C. 1182) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(p) Any alien admitted under section 101(a)(15)(B) may accept an honorarium payment and associated incidental expenses for a usual academic activity or activities, as defined by the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Education, if such payment is offered by an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965) or other nonprofit entity and is made for services conducted for the benefit of that institution or entity.’.