Foreign workers in the United States on the H-1B visa are thrilled about President-elect Joe Biden’s coming into office, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, as they hope President Donald Trump’s reforms to the program will be thrown out.
Last year, Trump implemented a series of reforms to the H-1B visa program — which often replaces American workers with imported foreign workers in white-collar U.S. jobs — that requires the visas to be allotted based on employers offering the highest salaries and mandates federal agencies review if the program is outsourcing U.S. jobs.
Attorneys representing H-1B foreign visa workers told Quartz that their clients are excited for a Biden presidency as they hope he will throw out the reforms:
H-1B applicants are hopeful that an administration led by Biden and Kamala Harris will take a gentler and less haphazard approach.
“All of our clients are now breathing a tremendous sigh of relief as it can only get better moving forward knowing that Biden-Harris are pro-immigration,” said New York-based immigration lawyer Neil A Weinrib.
“Under the current administration, H-1B denials and requests for evidence (RFEs) skyrocketed, making it difficult for employers to hire foreign workers,” said Richard Burke, CEO at immigration firm Envoy Global. “H-1B hopefuls and employers alike are looking for a decrease in RFEs under a president-elect Biden administration.”
In November, huge majorities of tech workers in Silicon Valley, California said they fully expect Biden to end Trump’s reforms and increase the number of foreign workers that multinational corporations like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft can import at the expense of qualified Americans.
About 74 percent said they believe Biden will end Trump’s executive orders protecting U.S. jobs for American workers while 64 percent said Biden will increase white-collar U.S. job outsourcing. Another 66 percent said Biden will “loosen restrictions” on immigration to make it easier for corporations to outsource to foreign workers.
Quickly after the 2020 presidential election, the business lobby began asking Biden to end Trump’s reforms to the H-1B visa program in the hopes they can maximize profits by outsourcing labor.
There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News. More than 85,000 Americans annually potentially lose their jobs to foreign labor through the H-1B visa program.
Analysis conducted in 2018 discovered that 71 percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley, California, are foreign-born, while the tech industry in the San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward area is made up of 50 percent foreign-born tech workers. Up to 99 percent of foreign H-1B visa workers imported by the top eight outsourcing firms arrive from India.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.