Trump vs. Techies? Administration announces rule to limit H-1B work visas
Kenneth Cuccinelli, acting director of Homeland Security, said the new rule was largely designed to deny visas to third-party contractors who provide workers to U.S. companies
The rule, which takes effect in early December, will likely face criticism from trade groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who say the H-1B program is necessary because of a shortage of skilled American workers.
More than two-thirds of H-1B visa holders come from India, and they are disproportionately employed by tech firms, according to government statistics.
Kenneth Cuccinelli, acting director of Homeland Security, said in a call with reporters on Wednesday that the new rule was largely designed to deny visas to third-party contractors who provide workers to U.S. companies.
He said the contractors exploit loopholes in existing regulations allowing them to pay H-1B holders far less than their American counterparts.
“Companies have been incentivized to avoid hiring Americans or even lay off their own qualified, better-paid American workers and replace them with cheaper foreign labor,” Cuccinelli said.
Trump in June banned H-1B workers and some other visa holders from entering the U.S. through the end of the year, citing the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
The Chamber and other business groups have sued the administration over the entry ban, saying it has created unnecessary hurdles for employers.