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Immigration Law

Tech Lobby Sends Letter to USCIS Supporting Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

Sunita Sohrabji, India-West, Jan. 23, 2018 - "The Information Technology Industry Council, a major lobbying group for the tech industry, led a group of 10 IT organizations which sent a letter Jan. 17 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Lee Francis Cissna supporting the continuation of work authorization for H-4 visa holders.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Dec. 15 that it is proposing a rule that would end work authorization for H-4 visa holders, stripping more than 100,000 people – largely women from India – of their ability to legally work in the U.S. The DHS proposal has caused panic in the Indian American community, as H-4 visa holders with employment authorization could lose their ability to work as early as this summer.

In its letter to Cissna, ITIC and the co-signers noted: “The H-4 rule represents a valuable but targeted opportunity for us to not just attract and retain talent, but to promote immigration to the United States on the basis of one’s skills and merit. Rescinding this program would harm America’s economic competitiveness and hinder efforts to recruit and retain the most qualified employees.”

“It is a function of the failure to reform our nation’s immigration system that this group of H-4 spouses — the majority of whom are women — continue to face uncertainty and may be prevented from working while they wait for bureaucratic backlogs to be cleared,” noted the organization in its letter to Cissna.

ITIC noted that in 2016 there were approximately 3.3 million STEM-related job openings posted online, but U.S. universities graduated 568,000 students with STEM degrees that year."