Microsoft tells lawmakers to reform high-skill immigration

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But Ronil Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, argued that foreign workers are actually displacing American workers in the technology industry. 

“For at least the past five years the employers receiving the most H-1B and L-1 visas are using them to offshore tens of thousands of high-wage, high-skilled American jobs,” Hira said, referring to visa programs aimed at recruiting high-skilled workers. He said the technology industry is suffering from job losses along with the rest of the economy.  

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell Overnight Defense: House panel approves 0B defense bill MORE (R-Iowa) said companies should hire American workers before turning to foreigners. He asked Smith, “Why is it so much to ask for your company to look for American workers first and foremost?” 

Smith argued further bureaucratic restrictions on hiring foreign workers would hamper businesses.  

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags Many Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report GOP warms to Trump MORE (R-Ala.) took Smith to task for Microsoft’s role in supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

“I just have to say to my high-tech friends, you guys made a mistake when you endorsed a bill that did little for high-tech workers that basically would have undermined the lawfulness of our immigration system,” Sessions said.

Democrats and Republicans agreed reforming high-skill immigration programs should be a priority.

“If we agreed to deal with this problem, we could fix this,” Sen. John CornynJohn CornynJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights First US Zika death reported in Puerto Rico Senate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico MORE (R-Texas) said. But he expressed skepticism for the prospects of comprehensive immigration reform that Democrats on the panel said they preferred.

"This is an area that America aches for reform," said Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerCruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' With Ryan’s blessing, lawmakers press ahead with tax reform talks Big business will never appease the Left MORE (D-N.Y.).