Johnson is co-sponsor of a bill introduced in Congress last month with Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) that aims to prohibit the outsourcing of L-1 visa holders. Under the bill, companies would only be able employ L-1 visa holders from their foreign subsidiaries, not from third parties.
"Unfortunately the L-1 visa program, while well-intentioned, has been used as a back door to cheap labor," Mica said in a statement.
Critics of Micas bill, such as the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), claim that the bills "provisions are overreaching and would prohibit legitimate and necessary uses of the L-1 visa."
"If Congress unnecessarily limits the legitimate use of the L visa program, both foreign investment in the U.S. and the work of international companies based in the U.S. would be impeded, with the consequence that American jobs will be lost instead of protected," according to a newsletter sent out by the AILA this week.
Johnsons office declined to comment on the criticism.
"The end game is to see that these visa laws are used in the spirit they were created," said Schubert, Johnsons press secretary.