Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley Right On H-1B Visa Workers
Iowa Senator Asserts American Companies Should Layoff Foreign H-1B Visa Workers Before Layoffs Of Qualified American Workers
In a letter sent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer late last week, Grassley wrote:
"I am concerned that Microsoft will be retaining foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American employees when it implements its layoff plan. As you know, I want to make sure employers recruit qualified American workers first before hiring foreign guest workers."The letter continues:
"Last year, Microsoft was here on Capitol Hill advocating for more H-1B visas. The purpose of the H-1B visa program is to assist companies in their employment needs where there is not a sufficient American workforce to meet their technology expertise requirements. However, H-1B and other work visa programs were never intended to replace qualified American workers.
Certainly, these work visa programs were never intended to allow a company to retain foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American workers when that company cuts jobs during an economic downturn.
It is imperative that in implementing its layoff plan, Microsoft ensures that American workers have priority in keeping their jobs over foreign workers on visa programs."
In 2007, Microsoft petitioned the United States government for 959 H-1B visas, ranking fifth among the top 100 employers -- including U.S. and non-U.S.-based companies -- who requested the temporary visas to hire foreign workers for jobs in the United States.