Visa Crunch

H-1B lotteries under scrutiny after Republican senator Tom Cotton contradicts Biden’s decision

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers for special jobs that require technical expertise. 

The Republican’s top senator has opposed Biden’s move to use the traditional lottery system to issue H-1B visas to foreign experts, saying it offers big tech companies a gift of “cheap” foreign labor which results in fewer jobs for native Americans.

Biden officials on Thursday announced that they were opposing Trump’s previous H-1B administration policy from granting popular visas to work abroad, by continuing the lotto process until December 31, 2021, to give foreign companies more time to develop, evaluate and implement registry changes. 

“Big Tech is using the H-1B visa system to hire foreign workers instead of Americans. That is not good for American workers, but Biden’s management allows companies to be held accountable,” said Senator Tom Cotton. 

 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have said they will prioritize wages to protect the economic interests of American workers, and further ensure that highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program. Senator Cotton of Arkansas said H-1B visas should help fill the staff shortage and helps big tech companies hire immigrants instead of Americans to save money. 

Biden officials say that it is very difficult to fix this system. 

USCIS can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas per year. It can also issue another 20,000 H-1B visas for foreign students who have graduated from a US university with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). 

 Earlier this week, the Department of Labor again proposed to delay the implementation of its final law, entitled “Strengthening the Security of Employment for Temporary Employment and Sustainable Employment in the United States.” 

 It reviews how the current four-day Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage framework is calculated for the purpose of earning a living wage. 

Based on the current scenarios, it looks like the Biden government is continuously juggling between improvising new rules and amending old ones. Even though the push towards a more international market is necessary, Republicans in the U.S. continue to oppose President Biden’s efforts.  

The debate of whether or not American’s are capable of filling in foreign jobs is still ongoing and the deeper we dive into these conversations; it becomes clearer as to why the current immigration policies need to be changed.  

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