By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], May 14 (ANI): Google and other tech companies on Friday (local time) defended work visas for spouses of highly skilled tech immigrants
"Google is proud to support our nation's immigrants. We joined 30 other companies to protect the H-4 EAD program which spurs innovation, creates jobs and opportunities, and helps families," tweeted Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet.
H-4 EAD program provides work authorisation to more than 90,000 H-4 visa-holders -- more than 90 per cent of whom are women, stated Catherine Lacavera, Vice President, Legal, Google.
"H-4 EAD authorizations for the spouses of high-skilled workers help American companies recruit and retain the world's best talent. Today we led a business coalition filing on behalf of 30 companies to preserve & protect the program," tweeted Kent Walker, Senior Vice President, Global Affairs, Google.
"It doesn't make sense to welcome a person to the US to work but make it harder for their spouse to work. That hurts their family and hurts our economy now and in the future," added Walker.
A fair immigration system is necessary to preserve America's laudable history of welcoming people from different places and to fuel a virtuous cycle of innovation. Unfortunately, an impending court case is putting both at risk at the most inopportune moment, read the statement of Lacavera.
The case in question is an attempt to end the issuing of work authorization (H-4 EAD) for certain spouses of high-skilled talent who have come to this country on H-1B visas. In other words, it seeks to end the ability of highly-skilled immigrants' partners from working in the United States.
Google and other tech companies advocated for a fair and competitive immigration system. Google had filed a legal brief in a lawsuit called 'Save Jobs USA vs US Department of Homeland Security' that reportedly argues that the H-4 visas lead to unfair competition to jobs for American citizens.
"We support a system that offers opportunities to highly-skilled workers and their families, and cements the citizenship of Dreamers, rather than miring immigrants in decade-long application backlogs," said Lacavera.
The pandemic has already disproportionately impacted women and ending this program would only make things worse, leading to disrupted careers and lost wages.
Furthermore, if the program is lost, the practical effect is like welcoming a person to the US to work but making it harder for their spouse to work.
To support this important program, we are leading an amicus brief with nearly 30 companies and organizations to preserve and protect the H-4 EAD program. This builds on an amicus brief we recently joined in support of a lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association to expedite the delayed processing time of H-4 work authorizations, said Lacavera.
Lacavera, an immigrant, has been the beneficiary of a welcoming America and she ensured that same welcome for future immigrants by preserving the H-4 EAD program.
"Ending this program would hurt families and undercut the US economy at a critical moment," said Lacavera in a statement. (ANI)