Sen. Lee wants to eliminate per-country caps on work visas

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah tech companies have thousands of open jobs and can’t find the talent to fill them.

Senator Mike Lee says a bipartisan bill he is sponsoring is part of the solution.

“This is a huge win, once we get this passed, for Silicon Slopes and for the movement to bring high skilled immigrant labor into the United States and especially into Utah where our economy benefits so much from the skills these people can bring into our country,” said Lee, (R) Utah.

Senator Lee is sponsoring the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.

The bill would eliminate per-country caps on employment-based visas while maintaining the same overall cap.

Lee wants to do that because he says per-country caps discriminate against those from high population areas and leave some sitting on a waiting list for decades.

“This is wrong, it’s un-American, it’s without any rational basis in the law and that’s what we’re trying to undo,” he said.

Lee is teaming up with Senator Kamala Harris, (D) California, on the bill.

An unlikely duo putting differences aside for a bipartisan cause.

“It’s neither conservative nor liberal, neither Republican or Democratic. This is simply an American issue,” said Lee.

The bill has already passed the House on a super-majority vote.

Senator Lee believes it will be unanimous in the Senate and hopes to get it passed there in the next few weeks.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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