Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin of the Frontera Fund say President Trump’s latest war on H-1B and student worker visa’s will really hurt US companies that depend on foreign IT professionals.
The president’s goal is to reduce the number of visas for foreign employees and get government agencies to hire more US workers, especially for government contracts.
According to President Trump, these programs, that were put in place in the 1990s, reduces American salaries and restricts Americans’ access to the tech industry. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
Right now H-1B visas are granted in a random lottery, up to 85,000 per year, for three years. The average salary of foreign workers with H-1B visas average about $80,000, and the highest percentage are from India, then China. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service says the number of applicants for H-1B visas have already dropped from 235,000 in 2016 down to 199,000.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin point out how large companies that rely on foreign tech workers, like Facebook and Google will stumble if they’re workforce must leave. “Think of the ramifications if your valued workers must leave the US,” says Michael Lacey. “Don’t think these companies will just replace senior engineers.”
Many people think this will force more companies to simply outsource work, which hurts the United States even more.
During the election campaign, Trump had voiced his opposition to the use of H-1B visas, claiming that they were used by large multinationals to hire and bring to the United States foreigners who worked for lower wages than their US counterparts.
However, high-tech companies, like Google, insist that they need to hire foreign personnel because they cannot find enough qualified US personnel with the required technology skills.
“The Trump administration is going to overhaul the entire process for any foreign worker,” says Jim Larkin. The administration is also targeting spousal and student work permits.
Currently, there are a range of permits for foreign workers that allow them to work in the US, like students with F and M visas are allowed to work while attending school, and after graduation, they can remain in the US to perform internships. The Department of Homeland Security is also amending rules that allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work.
The Frontera Fund, founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin in 2015, advocates for civil and human rights, and promotes public awareness on various issues.
Based in Arizona, the organization works to protect migrant and foreigners civil rights, and provides financial support to pave the way for lobbying.
Inspired by Larkin and Lacey’s own fight against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s unlawful discrimination, the Frontera Fund was established from a multi-million dollar settlement the men won.
Today their organization leads a parallel fight for civil and human rights, and to change discriminatory efforts in this country.