Sat. May 15th, 2021

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46 top US firms, including Apple, Facebook, Google, support lawsuit against H-1B visa rule changes

3 min read
Wage Levels

As many as 46 American organizations and business companies, including technology giants, for example, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, HP, have filed an amicus brief that supports a legal challenge to block upcoming changes in the H-1B visa rule.

These organizations and companies have argued that the new guideline could drastically reduce the US’s ability to employ highly skilled workers.

“The H-1B visa program gives tremendous benefits to the US economy and U.S. laborers. Various economic studies indicate that the presence in the US of these high-skilled employees fuels innovation, increases efficiency and the size of the US economy, and—generally and—most important—creates additional jobs and higher wages for US workers,” said these companies in their argument.

“The new DHS and DOL Rules will drastically decrease US organizations’ capacity to employ these skilled foreign workers—one senior DHS official estimated that they will render ineligible more than 33% of petitions for H-1B visas. That will essentially reduce the economic benefits gave by the H-1B program, stunt the US economy’s recovery from the pandemic, and lead to greater reliance by US organizations on activities outside of the United States—inflicting long-term damage to our Nation’s Nation’s economic growth,” they added.

Last Thursday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a fina rule to trade the lottery system for H-1B visas with wage-level based selection.

H-1B visa rule changes

The DHS said changing the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random selection process with a pay level-based selection process ‘is a superior method to allocate H-1B visas when demand exceeds supply’. “If finalized as proposed, this new selection process would incentivize employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of utilizing the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies,” said DHS in a statement.

Twitter Public Policy said in a post that it has joined industry peers and various associations in filing an amicus brief that supports a legal challenge to block upcoming rule changes to H-1B visa eligibility.

However, “These rules will stifle the ability of American organizations to recruit and retain worldwide talent…Not just is the H-1B visa program critical to driving American economic growth and innovation, additionally improves our diversity as an organization and as a country. our strong support on this issue” said Twitter in its post.

[Trump admin proposes to scrap a computerized lottery system to select H-1B visas]

These organizations argued that the “new H-1B Visa Rule will irreparably injure companies and the whole US economy by forcing companies to discharge current employees—disrupting ongoing projects and imposing significant costs, and in some cases forcing companies to transfer work to locations outside America’.

Experts recommend it is a good move since the “change in the lottery system is arbitrary”.

Conclusion

“This is a good development as some of the biggest American technology organizations have upheld the Chamber of Commerce’s litigation challenging the arbitrary change in the lottery process. Indian organizations are understandably shy to litigate with the government. Hopefully, they will stand to profit from any injunctive rules gave the court doesn’t limit the benefit to the plaintiffs or a set of parties to the litigation like they did in the NAM (national association of manufacturers) judgment with respect to the travel ban,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at immigration law firm LawQuest.

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