Big Tech’s Layoffs Highlight How the U.S. Fails Immigrant Workers
Decades-old visa rules mean that job cuts disadvantage workers
Tens of thousands of people have been laid off at Amazon, Meta, Salesforce and other once-voracious tech employers in recent months. But one group of workers has been particularly shortchanged: U.S. immigrants holding H-1B visas for workers with specialist skills.
Those much-sought visas are awarded to immigrants sponsored by an employer to come to the U.S., and the limited supply is used heavily by large tech companies. But if a worker is laid off, they have to secure sponsorship from another company within 60 days or leave the country.
That's a particularly tough situation when the larger companies that sponsor most tech-related visas are also those making layoffs and freezing hiring. Amazon and Meta, which together have announced at least 29,000 layoffs in recent months, each applied to sponsor more than 1,000 new H-1B visas in the 2022 fiscal year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) figures show.
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