American IT Workers Suffer Setback … but the Court Case Will Continue

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

May 29, 2015

Spouses of H-1B visa holders will soon be eligible for employment, a benefit they understood would not be available to them once they came to the United States. The spouses have H-4 visas that allowed them certain privileges like studying and opening bank accounts, but not the right to work. But for years, H-4s have lobbied for work permission, and late last year President Obama issued an executive order action that approved granting employment authorization documents to foreign national H-1B spouses.

H1B and H4 Visas approved
H-4 spouses win work authorization; American workers trumped again.

American citizen IT workers who have seen their job losses mount at Southern California Edison, Disney and dozens of other major corporations formed Save Jobs USA to protest yet another Obama immigration overreach that represents an ongoing threat to their livelihood. Save Jobs USA contends that issuing more work permits to previously unauthorized individuals means that, because of the expanded labor pool, preserving their jobs becomes more difficult and finding new employment more challenging. Immigration officials estimate that during the first year after implementation, 179,000 H-4 visa holders will enter the market with 55,000 more following every year.

Last week, a hearing was held in Washington, D.C. with Save Jobs USA arguing that their members face more displacement with a new wave of H-4 work-authorized foreign nationals entering the economy. But Federal District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in her 12-page ruling concluded that Save Jobs USA didn’t make its case that American jobs and wage benefits would be lost, and that therefore the court is left to “speculate” what the damage may be. Ignoring the adverse effect work-eligible H-4 visa holders will obviously have on Americans, Chutkan wrote that “… speculation is not enough to turn economic loss into irreparable harm.”

Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, made a similar statement recently when he said that even though SCE fired about 500 American workers and forced them to train their replacements “it would be premature for USCIS to speculate” whether SCE’s participation in the H-1B visa program violated laws.

Judge Chutkan’s decision puts American workers once again through the indignity of knowing that in the administration’s eyes their jobs and their families’ futures don’t matter as much as Obama’s amnesty agenda.

Nevertheless, former programmer and lawyer John Miano encourages Americans not to give up hope. Writing on the Center for Immigration Studies blog, Miano said that Judge Chutkan denied the preliminary injunction solely on “irreparable harm” and predicts that the case will not be dismissed. In the meantime, Miano hopes that employers will be leery of hiring H-4s while the case is pending. The new H-4 authorizations could be reversed at any time and new employees would be let go.
 

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