DHS Wants to Change Visa Rules, Serve Big Business and Hurt American Workers

Press Releases

December 22, 2023

AUSA comment shows impact of importing more cheap foreign labor

WASHINGTON—Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA), a project of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), has published a public comment letter for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed rule revisions that says the changes would serve to benefit large employers, disadvantage American job seekers, and increase fraud in these visa programs.

DHS has stated the goals for its proposed rule revisions for H-1B, F-1, and other “nonimmigrant workers” are to reduce abuse and fraud, and substantially increase the application fee. However, as AUSA’s comment explains, these changes would make an already bad situation worse.  

Originally, H-2B visas were intended to fill employment needs for companies when there were no qualified Americans; they were not intended to replace American job seekers. Today, there is a plentiful labor market of Americans who have obtained the degrees and work experience to fill most positions.

However, the benefits of hiring foreign workers outweigh the incentive to hire Americans. For example, F-1 and H-2B visas are exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. Hiring foreign workers would benefit employers who would also be exempt from those taxes, creating another financial incentive for businesses to hire cheaper foreign labor at the expense of Americans.

The proposed rules also seek to increase the number of visas for more foreign workers at a time when this country is in dire economic conditions for many Americans, including those seeking employment.

The proposed regulations also do not address enforcement and how fraud and abuse of visa applications will be detected. Unemployed and underemployed Americans, who have the required specialty degrees and experience, must be prioritized over non-American workers.

“America is already dealing with the negative effects of an unprecedented number of foreign nationals crossing our border illegally,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The last thing struggling Americans need is for DHS to import even more cheap foreign labor to lower wages and increase competition for jobs.”

DHS Docket No. USCIS-2023-0005 “Modernizing H-1B Requirements, Providing Flexibility in the F-1 Program, and Program Improvements Affecting Other Nonimmigrant Workers.”

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