Orrin Hatch to Host Meeting with Tech Execs Who Want More Guest-Worker Visas

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force will host a meeting next week with executives from some of the nation’s most prominent high-tech companies who have pushed Congress to massively increase the number of H-1b guest-worker visas for foreigners.

Breitbart News has learned that Senate Republicans received invites this week to the March 3 meeting with the Business Software Alliance’s board of directors, which includes executives from Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, IBM and other high-tech companies.

Hatch, who chairs the High-Tech Task Force, has co-sponsored legislation to increase the number of H-1b visas. And Republicans reportedly are hoping that a high-tech immigration bill can be a gateway to a more comprehensive amnesty bill.

The event, according an announcement, will “provide an excellent opportunity to discuss timely issues such as patent reform, data privacy, high-skilled immigration, trade, or any other high-tech initiative important” to Senators.

Though there is no evidence of a shortage of high-tech workers, tech companies such as Microsoft, which announced that it would lay off 18,000 American workers, have been clamoring for massive increases in H-1b visas that would lower the wages of American high-tech workers.

But when a ComputerWorld reported exposed Southern California Edison for laying off hundreds of workers for H-1b guest-workers who were not better qualified than the workers they were replacing, even Rep. Darrell Issa (D-CA), who sponsored legislation in the House to increase H-1b visas, said he was “deeply disturbed” that Southern California Edison may be abusing the H-1b visa system.

Ron Hira, a Howard University public policy professor, released a report last week that found Tata and Infosys, the top two India-based H-1b outsourcing companies that helped Southern California Edison find its guest-workers, were “abusing” the H-1b system.

“The H-1B workers Infosys and Tata hire are being used as temporary, cheaper, disposable labor, not as a way to permanently introduce talent and innovation into the American labor market,” Hira concluded in his report, which was based on government data he received through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Hira has urged Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to conduct a thorough investigation to see if Southern California Edison violated immigration or labor laws. As ComputerWorld noted:

Hira pointed out that as a part of the application process to obtain H-1B approval from the Labor Department, an employer is required to attest to the following: “Working Conditions: The employer attests that H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 foreign workers in the named occupation will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed.” This statement is in Form 9035CP of the LCA.Further, Hira noted that the Labor Department states, “The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.



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