Congress Set to Make it Cheaper for Companies to Replace American Workers

The threat that the H-1B visa poses to American workers has recently received national attention after several high profile instances of companies using the visa to replace American workers. Late last year, Disney laid off 250 IT employees and replaced them with H-1B visa holders from an India-based staffing firm. Just this past February, Southern California Edison also laid off 500 IT employees and replaced them with H-1B visa holders from two more Indian staffing firms. In both of these instances, employees who were later laid off were required to train their cheaper, similarly skilled foreign replacements. Although many members of Congress expressed outrage at the time, they’re now ready to ensure that the H-1B visa is an even cheaper tool for eliminating American jobs.

Obama_Health_Care_Speech_to_Joint_Session_of_CongressIn 2010, Congress approved a $2,000 fee for every H-1B visa application submitted by firms that have at least 50 percent of their employees on the visa—known as an H-1B dependent employer. The fee raises between $70 million and $80 million annually, and has mostly been paid by the India-based staffing firms that help companies utilize H-1B. Yet the fee is set to expire on October 1, and no one in Congress is making any effort to stop it.

The failure by Congress to address the fee expiration coincides with the recent conclusion of a Department of Labor investigation into the aforementioned Southern California Edison layoffs. The Labor Department concluded that the H-1B program is statutorily written in a way that provides hardly any protections to American workers and allows employers to legally replace them with cheaper foreign workers.

Importantly, it is not just the Indian outsourcing companies that exploit the H-1B program at the expense of American tech workers. Large tech companies such as Facebook and Microsoft continue to push for a significant increase in H-1B visas, while many high-skilled Americans are out of work or underemployed. In fact, two-thirds of more than 9 million people in the U.S. with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are working in other fields.

With one of the most innovative and productive workforces in the world, government policies should nurture our homegrown talent, not cut their legs out from under them by allowing companies unfettered access to cheaper foreign workers through the deeply flawed H-1B visa program.

avatar About RJ Hauman

RJ Hauman joined FAIR in 2015, bringing valuable legislative, regulatory, and political experience to the Government Relations department. He is responsible for reviewing and analyzing legislation and regulations, as well as building and maintaining relationships with Capitol Hill staff. During his time on Capitol Hill, RJ gained immigration policy experience as an aide to former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), who chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. RJ holds a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University.


  1. avatar fred F says:

    You have been tread upon , americans are pussies

  2. avatar fred F says:

    ou have been tread upon , americans a re pussies

  3. avatar Steve Wimer says:

    The puppets of the corporations in Congress continue to work for corporate profits instead of the American people. They should all be terminated with extreme prejudice.

  4. avatar Leland says:

    Why are we even allowing our educational system, paid for by OUR taxpayers, to train people from other countries that compete with us. What other country allows that?

    • And They Arrive Here With Their Culture and Don’t Assimilate

      The open borders folks must hate real real legal Americans.

    • avatar SecBorders says:

      As one example, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry was built by Stanford engineering graduates who were originally from Taiwan, a country we now have a trade deficit with. So we used one of our best engineering schools to build our competitors in Taiwan. Yeah, we’re smart.