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Durbin Decries Visa Fraud

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The big immigration-reform bill working its way through Congress now includes major changes to a visa program for skilled foreign workers. That’s thanks to Illinois U-S Senator Dick Durbin. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer reports.

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Durbin introduced the reforms because he says the H-1-B visa program is rife with fraud and abuse.

The visas let universities and companies hire non-citizens with special skills.

But Durbin says some companies are hiring lots of foreign workers for short stints, who then take their American training home to overseas competitors.

And he says Americans aren’t getting first crack at the jobs.

DURBIN: The H1B visa is not what we thought it would be. It turns out that this has become an industry of itself, creating opportunities for foreign-based employees, and many times to displace American employees.

Durbin wants to force companies to open the jobs to Americans for a month before being allowed to hire from overseas.

His bill would also increase punishments for breaking the rules.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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