US Tech Workers, an American body representing the technology workers of the country, has written to President Donald Trump to suspend H-1B visas for the year. Keeping in mind the coronavirus outbreak and the havoc it has caused in the country, the body has urged the President to suspend the H-2B visas too for the year.
While the H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows organisations in the US to employ workers from other countries— especially in jobs where special technical or theoretical expertise is required— the H-2B visa is given to guest workers from foreign countries, mostly Latin Americans, who work in farms across the US.
Many Indian and Chinese IT professionals work in the US on H-1B visas. US Tech Workers has asked President Trump to protect the interests of American tech workers in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, by not granting visas to foreign professionals. There have been large-scale layoffs in the US of late.
Letters with similar requests have been sent out to not just the President, but also to his Chief of Staff as well as other members of congress.
The objective of US Tech Workers is to spearhead a movement that will bring together all tech workers, pressurise the federal government to bring about visa programme reforms and ensure that American companies hire only American tech workers first, before looking outside the US for expertise.