The Bay Area Council was joined among others by the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers in filing a lawsuit on Monday, 19 October, in the Northern District of California.
“The harmful new restrictions,” the San Francisco based business association said, “would effectively gut an important foreign worker visa program on which thousands of US employers across many industries rely to fill key positions.”
“Shutting down our pipeline of high-skilled foreign workers will be a disaster for our economy and for our post-covid recovery,” said Dr Sean Randolph, Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
“These workers fill an important need in our economy and provide immense benefits not only to the companies they work for but the communities where they live,” he added.
The H-1B visa program has been an invaluable tool that has aided companies in employing high-skilled workers from beyond the national pool. This is particularly true for the tech companies housed in Silicon Valley.
In the Bay Area, 40-45 percent of the technology companies have been founded by immigrant entrepreneurs, the Council noted.
“Many of the leading and fastest-growing technology companies in the Bay Area have been founded by entrepreneurs from other countries who first came here on visas,” said Randolph an expert on the critical role foreign talent plays in maintaining US economic competitiveness.
“Closing the door to talent from around the world will drive those skills and the opportunities they create to other countries who are more welcoming. In the end that means fewer US jobs.”
“The Bay Area and America must continue to be a place where anyone around the world can come to pursue their dream or dream job. This proposal from the Trump Administration effectively ends that option. We can’t let that happen,” Randolph said.
This is the third big lawsuit that has challenged the H-1B wage hike in the past week.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) challenged the H-1B wage hike in US District Court of Columbia in Washington DC on Monday on behalf of a group of 17 US organisations including that of higher education.
Last Friday, the ITServe Alliance, which represents American firms that place foreign tech workers at US companies, sued the government in US District Court in New Jersey over the wage change.