Google is leading a determined effort by US tech giants to support a program that gives work authorization for spouses of those possessing H-1B foreign work visas, the most sought after among Indian IT professionals.
Google is joined by 30 other companies to support the H-4 EAD (Employment Authorization
An H-4 visa is issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.
“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,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted.
Google on Friday filed a legal brief in a lawsuit called Save Jobs USA vs US Department of Homeland Security.
Tech companies that signed onto the amicus brief include Adobe, Amazon, Apple, eBay, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, PayPal and Twitter.
“To support this important program, we are leading an amicus brief with over 40 companies and organizations to preserve and protect the H-4 EAD program,” Catherine Lacavera, Vice President, Legal, Google, said in a blog post.
“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,” she said.
Kent Walker, Senior Vice President, Global Affairs, Google, said 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 and protect the program,” Mr Walker said.
“H-4 EADs provide work authorization to more than 90,000 H-4 visa-holders–more than 90 per cent women. COVID has disproportionately affected women. Ending this program would make things worse, disrupting careers and reducing wages,” he said.
“It doesn’t make sense to welcome a person to the US to work but to make it harder for their spouse to work. That hurts their family and hurts our economy now and in the future,” he added.
The plaintiff is Save Jobs USA, a group of computer workers formerly employed by Southern California Edison and replaced by foreign workers imported on H-1B guest worker visas.