Bill: Hire American workers first

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says there are ways to improve the Senate’s sweeping immigration reform legislation, and one of those ways is to put back into the bill rules that give skilled American workers a ”fair shot at a fair wage” for jobs before businesses hire skilled foreign workers.

”We need to make sure foreign workers aren’t being hired at the expense of Americans,” said Brown, a co-sponsor of the bipartisan jobs amendment.

Brown, a Democrat, said Tuesday the amendment – co-sponsored, too, by Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Jeff Sessions – would reinstate a provision from the original immigration bill that requires employers to give American skilled workers the first shot at a job before it can be filled with a visa holder.

The provision was altered requiring employers to only recruit American workers, but not give them hiring preference, a move that Brown called ”counterproductive.”

The amendment would require all employers to make a ”good faith” effort to hire an American worker, advertise the opening for at least 30 days before applying for a visa that allows foreign skilled workers to work in the U.S. and offer skilled workers in all these jobs the fair wage.