Google has filed an amicus letter to protect a program that allows the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States. The contract has been signed by numerous tech giants, including Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft.
The tech industry has long relied on foreign talent to fill the gaps in the workforce. In 2020, Google and Amazon were among the top sponsors of H-1B visas, which are reserved for highly skilled workers.
Under President Trump, the program came under fire. The former president drastically increased bounce rates of H-1B filings, as reported by the Seattle Times. He also started looking for H-4 visas, which are reserved for the spouses of people with H-1B status. Trump threatened to ban H-4 visa holders – a group made up of 90 percent women – from working in the United States.
While that ban never materialized, the ability for people with an H-4 visa to work is still threatened by a lawsuit against the federal government. The suit called Save Jobs USA v US Department of Homeland Security, was brought by tech workers, who argue that H-4 holders are unfair competition to Americans looking for jobs.
The case was delayed by President Trump’s proposed ban, which may have helped determine the outcome had it passed. As the lawsuit continues, Google and other tech companies want to make sure that the spouses of immigrants keep their right to work.
In its blog post, Google states that if the program that allows H-4 holders to work were to disappear, “the practical effect is that we welcome a person to the US to work, but we make it more difficult for their partner to work. to work.” It says it would harm not only immigrant families but Google’s ability to hire top talent.
“As an immigrant, I have been the beneficiary of a hospitable America and I hope we can ensure that same welcome for future immigrants by maintaining the H-4 EAD program,” wrote Catherine Lacavera, vice president of Google’s legal department. in the blog post. “Ending this program would harm families and undermine the US economy at a critical time.”