wnol.info May 20 2018

Tech firms join forces to push back on Trump immigration ban

May 20 2018, 05:16 | Irvin Gilbert

That could cause problems for Facebook if Trump or Congress decide to make the H-1B program more restrictive, as the president and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to do.

The money will go towards assisting the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps as they attempt to help immigrants and refugees after the travel ban was announced.

It's unknown how the executive order would be implemented, or whether Canadian visa holders would be exempt.

H-1B visas allow companies to recruit internationally for employees with specialty skills when they can not find people with those skills locally.

Some Hopkins students think that the Trump administration can enforce equal employment policies rather than alienate foreign workers.

More than 15 percent of Facebook's US employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa, giving the social media leader a legal classification as a H-1B "dependent" company.

Senior Wilhelm Liano also observed the initial disadvantage that foreign workers experience. This limit of visa has been in place for number of years now and it is said to be oversubscribed. But directionally speaking, the evidence is overwhelming that making it harder for foreign-born people to obtain work visas will reduce average income for Americans.

The ban includes people with green cards and visas from these countries. According to Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University, companies who potentially use the work-visa programs to hire cheap labor will be affected most, likely ending up having to pay more to their employees if the order is signed.

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"There is an overall need to look at all these programs and you will see that both through executive action and through comprehensive legislative measures a way to address immigration as a whole and the visa programmes", he said.

The order would cap the number of people admitted to the US under that and a number of other work visas, at 85,000 per year. Legislation drafts are already in motion.

The Trump administration has not proposed any new rules that would target companies with the H-1B "dependent" classification.

"My legislation refocuses the H-1B program to its original intent - to seek out and find the best and brightest from around the world, and to supplement the US workforce with talented, highly-paid, and highly-skilled workers who help create jobs here in America, not replace them", said Lofgren in a statement.

The trade group for India's IT sector tells Bloomberg that there been no evidence of wrongdoing by Indian IT companies over visa use. "We will continue to advocate on this important topic".

Trump's first actions out the door have caused a lot of outcry from both within the US and overseas - in part because of the signal it is giving to the world of how the USA views its role as an influencer on humanitarian issues, and in part because of the direct and chaotic results of those actions, and in part because of the impact it will have on specific sectors (like the tech world).

Netflix's Reed Hastings also reportedly said through the social media that the executive order was "so un-American it pains us all". Like Trump, some Democrats, also want to restrict H1-B visas. But they do increase government tax revenue and raise the demand for skilled and unskilled labor in the larger community. In 2010, the United Farm Workers ran a "take our jobs" campaign that made it very easy for any American to apply for agricultural jobs.

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