H-1B visa: Bay Area tech giants fight new Trump administration rules

The Bay Area’s technology giants, heavily reliant on foreign workers, have joined the legal fight against the Trump administration’s new rules for the H-1B visa.

Google, Apple, Facebook, HP, Twitter and LinkedIn are among 46 companies and business groups that signed on to a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit fighting the regulations on minimum pay and qualifying employment.

“The H-1B visa program provides tremendous benefits to the U.S. economy and U.S. workers,” the brief filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland claimed. “The presence in the United States of these high-skilled employees fuels innovation, increases productivity and the size of the U.S. economy, and — most important — creates additional jobs and higher wages for U.S. workers.”

The filing cited a comment by a Homeland Security official saying the new rules would lead a third of H-1B applications to be rejected. “That will significantly reduce the economic benefits provided by the H-1B program, stunt the U.S. economy’s recovery from the pandemic, and lead to greater reliance by U.S. companies on operations outside of the United States — inflicting long-term damage to our nation’s economic growth,” the brief said.

The lawsuit, filed last month by plaintiffs that included the Bay Area Council, Stanford University and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, seeks to block the federal government rules, arguing they “would virtually foreclose the hiring of new individuals via the H-1B program.”

The tech firms and industry groups claimed in court documents that the rules would “dramatically reduce U.S. businesses’ ability to hire these skilled foreign workers.” Read more via SiliconValley