Yesterday Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, asking him to review the high-skilled TN visa program during the NAFTA negotiations. Sen. Grassley says the TN visa program could undermine the Trump administration’s goal of protecting American workers from being replaced by cheap, foreign labor.

The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa was created as part of NAFTA and allows high-skilled foreign workers from Canada and Mexico to live and work in the U.S. for 3 years. Even though this visa is supposed to be temporary the foreign worker can renew their status an unlimited number of times.

There is no impact or labor analysis to determine the effect the TN visa is having on American workers, unlike with other visa programs such as the H-1B program. Currently it is estimated that almost 100,000 TN visa holders are working in the U.S. in professional occupations such as accountants, engineers, lawyers, librarians, and teachers.

“This uncapped and under-recognized pool of high skill employees exacerbates the risk to American workers already present in certain industries that rely too heavily on foreign workers. It also constrains the U. S. Government’s total discretion over our immigration laws,” Sen. Grassley wrote in the letter.

You can read the full letter here.

TN visas
H-1B visas
Vulnerable Americans
Chuck Grassley

Updated: Tue, Nov 7th 2017 @ 9:30am EST