CFGI Quoted – “Trump’s crackdown on H-1B visas goes far beyond tech workers”

4/19/2017
ThinkProgress


“Donald Trump’s war on immigrants just doesn’t let up.

“The president signed an executive order on Tuesday [April 18] as part of an ongoing effort to crack down on companies hiring lower-wage workers from outside of the United States. At a Wisconsin factory, Trump promised to order an interdepartmental review of the H-1B visa program, which many companies and organizations rely on when sponsoring ‘skilled’ foreign talent.

“…[T]he H-1B program has been the subject of particular ire for the Trump administration. Seen by critics as a tool abused by companies in order to attract cheap foreign labor, support for H-1B reform is bipartisan.

“Tech workers represent an enormous percentage of H-1B recipients, and are often seen as the face of this visa program. 

“…But tech workers aren’t the only people who rely on H-1B visas for their livelihoods. Academics and lower-wage employees (oftentimes at non-profits), as well as foreign students drawn to those jobs, also count on the program — and a crackdown could hinder their efforts to pursue the jobs they love, in fields that aren’t typically lucrative, like advocacy and social justice.

“…Changing the H-1B program in order to deter the hiring of foreign labor might involve a number of steps. One of them could be increasing salary requirements. Across industries, organizations sponsoring employees are required to meet salary thresholds, in addition to paying the already-high fees demanded by sponsorship itself. 

“…Efforts like these are meant to target large companies. But they’re also making nonprofits nervous. Organizations without a great deal of money to begin with still have to pay extra fees to hire foreign labor, regardless of how valuable and critical non-American workers can be.

“…‘They’re hiring people who have a lot of talent, often in areas where there are no Americans available to do the job,’ Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Alexandria, Va.-based Council for Global Immigration (CFGI), told the publication. ‘My members are watching all of this very closely.’

“Anita Drummond, an attorney with Venable LLP in Washington, D.C….shared that concern, and argued that H-1B advocates ‘should do their homework and be ready to talk about the value that these H-1Bs bring to those organizations, and how much value those organizations bring to the United States, and ultimately the world, in areas such as cancer research or educational development.’”

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