Tech Industry Cheers Obama Decision to Allow Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders to Get Jobs

Tech Industry Cheers Obama Decision to Allow Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders to Get Jobs

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security proposed immigration rule changes that would allow the spouses of foreigners who have H1-B work visas to also obtain jobs. 

As The Hill noted, under the current rules, “highly skilled foreign workers in fields including science, engineering or computer programming may be allowed to live and work in the U.S. via an H-1B visa,” but their “their spouses, given H-4 visa status, may come and stay in the U.S. lawfully, but cannot be employed.”

The new rules proposed “would allow those dependent spouses to request employment authorization, as long as the H-1B visa holder to whom they are married has started the process of becoming a permanent U.S. resident.” In addition, the new rules will make it easier for high-skilled workers from Chile, Singapore, and Australia to stay in the United States by loosening various regulations. 

The high-tech industry, which has lobbied for more work visas even though there is no evidence that there is a shortage of American workers, cheered the new proposals, with the Technology CEO Council and representatives of Apple, Microsoft, and AT&T hailing the move. 

Stephen Miller, the Communications Director for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), told The Hill that the Obama administration is “working to put more talented Americans out of work” while continuing to “look the other way as companies use the guest worker visas to facilitate offshoring, laying off U.S. workers and tasking guest workers with coordinating offshoring centers.”

As The Hill noted, even the liberal Economic Policy Institute concluded in a study that the top 10 recipients of various work visas “were all in the business of outsources and offshoring high-tech American jobs.”