Tech companies urge U.S. to let the kids of visa holders stay past 21
Muthumalla Dahandapani is an Indian immigrant who holds an H1B visa. She also works for Comcast Sunnyvale. This protests the Trump immigration order in 2017.
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An alliance of technology companies, including Amazon, Google, SalesforceAnd UberThe Department of Homeland Security should revise its policies on children of visa holders with high-skilled jobs, which many of these workers are, to allow them to stay in the country beyond the 21-year mark without the need for a green card.
DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, a company representative made the request to the Biden administration on Tuesday. These companies draw attention to more than 200k children born in the U.S., whose parents have H1B visas. It’s a visa most common in tech industries. They must apply to get a green card once their children reach 21. The process can take a while and some may have to be forced out.
They are encouraging Congress to adopt the bipartisan legislation. America’s Children ActTo create a path to citizenship for these so-called “documented Dreamers” in this circumstance.
“Policymakers have recognized the plight of the Dreamers – children brought to the U.S. by their parents, who know no other country and were left without legal status – and have provided interim relief through the DACA program,” the group wrote. “We urge policymakers today to consider the additional needs of over 200,000 high-skilled children who may be left behind in the immigrant system.”
While the tech sector has always supported immigration, they now highlight the urgent needs of employers in a time when there are widespread labor shortages across the U.S.
“Earlier this spring, American companies had more than 11 million open jobs – 5 million more openings than workers,” the coalition wrote. To fill the workforce shortages, many of these jobs are high-skilled. U.S. businesses recruit highly-skilled workers from abroad. Given the global pandemic, these openings are particularly important.
Companies claim the U.S. government’s current policy of increasing aging has made it difficult to attract skilled labor from abroad.
These visa holders’ children will have to make a difficult decision once they reach 21. They must choose between exiting the country which has been their home or trying to enter the complex, high-stakes immigration system again for another visa. They must be separated from their children, or they will have to abandon all plans and careers for permanent residence in America.
The companies stated that those who have to move are an economic loss for America and its workforce.
Their talents and skills will be transferred to global competition.”