Lawmakers introduce bill to challenge Trump’s H-1B move
Two prominent lawmakers from the tech hub of California, Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, have thrown their weight behind the working spouses of H-1B visa holders, introducing a legislation, prohibiting the Trump Administration from taking their right to work in the US.
Their move comes in the wake of Trump Administration’s plans to revoke regulations that allow certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders, who are stuck in green card backlogs to obtain employment authorisation and pursue their own professional goals.
A statement posted on Anna Eshoo’s site has said: “Many H-4 visa holders are highly skilled professionals, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) previously extended eligibility for employment authorisation to them recognising the economic burdens of families of many H-1B workers, particularly those who live in high cost areas like Silicon Valley on a single income as they await green card approvals.”.
“Since the rule was implemented, over 1,00,000 workers, mainly women, have received employment authorisation, and the H-4 Employment Protection Act prohibits the Trump Administration from revoking this important rule,” it said.
The Trump administration’s move to revoke the authorisation came as a rude shock to thousands of women workers, many hailing from India, as it could impact their family incomes. Also, taking away qualified workforce could impact the businesses as it could be difficult to find substitutes.
“H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families. This is a matter of economic fairness and this legislation ensures it will continue,” she said.
“Many of these are accomplished and qualified individuals whose skills we’ll lose to other countries unless the Administration finds a more sensible approach to immigration,” Lofgren felt.
This is not the first time that the lawmakers have voiced their concern. In March last year, as many as 15 lawmakers from the State had written to the House, opposing any move to curtail the right to work of spouses of H-1B visa holders.
"The H-4 rule is a matter of both economic competitiveness and maintaining family unity. The US has already invested in those workers and we should not be sending them abroad and innovate and use their experience and talents against US businesses," the said in the appeal, while calling for withdrawal of the move.