Big Tech and its allies are eager to work with the incoming Biden administration to reverse President Trump’s stricter immigration policies that they complain made it more difficult to recruit and employ highly skilled visa holders.
The top firms in Silicon Valley sued the Trump administration, seeking to overturn his executive orders restricting immigration for foreign workers and requiring them to be paid at rates closer to domestic workers’ salaries.
They’re now telling President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team that rescinding Trump’s actions is the industry’s top priority next year.
The Trump administration unveiled new immigration rules last month that critics say would make it more difficult for skilled workers to acquire visas. New rules also require companies that sponsor “high-skilled” foreign workers for H-1B visas to pay them close to an average industry salary.
The changes tighten rules for firms that hire workers on H-1B visas, which are set aside for skilled workers, a big source of labor particularly in the technology field.
TechNet, a coalition of Big Tech executives from companies including Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Dell, Facebook and Google, filed amicus briefs in support of lawsuits challenging the new rules.
If the lawsuit fails, Silicon Valley is banking on Biden to toss out or overhaul Trump orders.
“They’ve indicated they are going to be very different than the Trump administration on high-skilled immigration, immigration in general,” TechNet CEO Linda Moore told The Hill.
“High-skilled immigration … has led to so much growth and technological superiority and competitiveness for the U.S.”
The communications and electronics sector pumped $97 million into Biden’s presidential campaign coffers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Biden transition team declined comment.