President Biden will give people that were denied H-1B visas during the four years of former President Donald Trump a second chance to gain approval for the visas, a move that could send many job openings to foreign citizens.
USCIS rescinded three reforms pertaining to the H-1B visa program, which has been readily used for years by companies to replace Americans in high-paying white-collar jobs. The reforms helped prevent multinational corporations from using Indian outsourcing firms to grab loads of foreign H-1B visa workers to fill U.S. jobs.
Now, eligible companies that were denied H-1B visas under each of the reforms can appeal the denial in the hopes of nabbing foreign visa workers. Lawyers who represented outsourcing firms told Law360 that at least 75 percent of H-1B denials in the last few years were a result of Trump’s reforms.
“Do we really need to invite the HCL, Tatas, and Wipros to reapply for all the H-1Bs that were rejected during the Trump years,” the group White Collar Workers of America wrote in a post online, referencing the Indian outsourcing firms set to benefit from the move.
“All of those H-1Bs were rejected for a reason, to fight outsourcing companies who abuse the H-1B lottery and game the system,” the group continued.
Businesses began lobbying Biden shortly after the election to make reforms to the Trump-era visa policies, hoping to turn higher profits by outsourcing some of their job openings to cheaper labor.
America hosts about 650,000 H-1B workers at a time, but that number could be poised to increase under the new administration.
But the H-1B visa program has also generated controversy, especially after stories began to circulate of American workers being forced to train their foreign replacements after the foreigner was awarded a visa to work in the country. It is estimated that about 85,000 Americans annually lose their jobs to holders of the H-1B visa.
According to a 2018 analysis, Big Tech is the biggest offender when it comes to employing foreign workers through the program. About 71 percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley are foreign born, while the tech boom area of northern California employs roughly a 50 percent foreign workforce.
The analysis also revealed that about 99 percent of applicants admitted under the program are workers from India.
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