On October 30, 46 tech majors and a number of universities extended support for a lawsuit filed against the H-1B rules announced by the Trump administration. The companies in favour of the lawsuit include Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs including the US Chamber of Commerce and 12 other organisations and universities in Northern California court recently.
The American Immigration Council and the US universities like Harvard and Massachusetts Institute for Technology, too, filed supporting briefs for the lawsuit.
The rules attempted to make it tough for organisations to qualify for H-1B in an attempt to protect American jobs by increasing H-1B wages significantly and additional restrictions to qualify for H-1B. While the wage hike is in effect already, tightening H-1B is open for comment.
Given that Indian IT firms and tech companies are the largest beneficiaries of the visa, it would impact them. To oppose this three lawsuits were filed in total. Apart from the ones filed by the US Chamber of Commerce and others, two more lawsuits were filed in the US against the rules.
In an Amici Curiae (document filed by parties that are not a part of the lawsuit to support by offering additional information) filed, the companies said, “The new DHS and DOL Rules will dramatically reduce U.S. businesses’ ability to hire these skilled foreign workers.”
They further added that this will lead to greater reliance by the US companies on operations outside of the United States—inflicting long-term damage to the country’s economic growth.
“Finally, the new Rules will irreparably injure companies and the entire U.S. economy by forcing businesses to discharge current employees—disrupting ongoing projects and imposing significant costs, and in some cases forcing companies to transfer work to locations outside the United States,” it further added.
There are about 583,000 working in the US under H-1B visa and if these two rules will result in companies dismissing a large number of these employees over the next several years—and beginning immediately, depending on when particular current visas expire.
They further argued that dismissing the employees would cost them significantly and disrupt their business as these companies have made significant investments in areas like research and development, based on their ability to employ H-1B workers.
These new rules will delay the delivery of new products and services if the companies were to recruit employees to replace these workers or they will have to move their operations to different locations.
“The costs and disruption imposed will be particularly burdensome because they would occur in the midst of a pandemic, when companies’ operations are already under tremendous stress,” the brief added.