The $2,000 fee, which also applies to the L-1 visa, was originally set to last for four years with the money from it helping to pay the cost of Mexican border security. That was later changed so the money helped fund the costs associated with the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Ben Chevat, the executive director of Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act, said they aren't involved in the H-1B issue, but are concerned about the renewal of the Zadroga Act. That legislation, approved in 2010, was also set to last five years. It allowed more than $4 billion, paid by the visa fees and a fee on government procurements on companies located in other countries, to help 9/11 first responders.
The Zadroga Act is named after a police officer who later died from a respiratory illness attributed to the 9/11 attack.
Jon Stewart, the former host of The Daily Show, was in Washington last week to lobby for the Zadroga Act extension, but the outcome of that effort remains as uncertain as the future of the visa fee.
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