(Photo : Pixabay/cytis ) Visa America H1-B

Google has filed an amicus brief in order to protect a program that allows the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States. The brief has been signed by numerous tech giants, including Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft.

Google's Petition to Save Program

The tech industry has relied on foreign talent to fill the gaps in its workforce. Last year, Google and Amazon were among the top sponsors of H-1B visas, which are reserved for highly skilled workers.

Under the previous administration, the program came under fire. The former president drastically boosted denial rates of H-1B applications, as reported by the Seattle Times.

The previous administration also went after H-4 visas, which are reserved for the spouses of people with H-1B status. They also threatened to ban H-4 visa holders, a group wherein 90% comprises of women, from working in the United States.

Also Read: Google Employees Walk Out Of Offices To Protest Trump Immigration Ban, Company Leaders Join The Rally

While the ban never came to pass, the ability for people with H-4 visas to work is still under threat from a lawsuit against the federal government.

The suit, called Save Jobs USA v. US Department of Homeland Security, was brought by tech workers, who argue that workers with H-4 are unfair competition for Americans who need a job.

The case was delayed by the previous administration's proposed ban, which potentially could have helped decide the outcome had it passed.

Now that the lawsuit is moving forward once more, Google and other major tech companies want to ensure that the spouse of immigrants maintain their right to work.

In its blog post, Google argues that if the program allowing H-4 holders to work were to go away, the practical effects is that they welcome a person to the United States to work, but they make it harder for their spouses to get a job. It says that it would hurt not only immigrant families, but Google's ability to hire top talent.

Catherine Lacavera, the vice president of Google's legal department, added in the blog post that she is an immigrant too, and she have been the beneficiary of a welcoming American.

Lacavera hopes that they can ensure that same welcome for future immigrants by preserving the H-4 EAD program. She added that ending the program would hurt families and undercut the US economy at a critical moment.

End of H1-B Visa Could Hurt Students

A new research done by NFAP shows that the regulation of the previous administration would end the H-1B lottery, and it would also make it more difficult for international students to obtain an H-1B petition and work in the United States.

While implementation of the rule has been delayed, observers believe that the Biden administration may favor the rule in the future, according to Forbes.

The war over the regulation could determine whether US universities will recover from the students lost during the previous administration and as a result of COVID-19. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in calendar year 2020, US schools saw a 72% decrease in new international student enrollment when compared to calendar year 2019.

Related Article: How Trump's Immigration Ban Hinders Scientists From Pursuing Studies In US

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Written by Sophie Webster

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