â€˜Most H-1B workers are never sponsored for green cardsâ€™.
WASHINGTON, DC: IEEE-USA, an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., has applauded the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to give certain H4 visa holders EAD, work permit cards, but is of the opinion that green cards would be a better solution.
â€œItâ€™s good that certain spouses of H-1B employees will now be able to work legally in the United States,â€ IEEE-USA President Jim Jefferies said, in a press release. â€œBut it would be better if we delivered actual green cards promptly, since that would allow spouses to work without all this extra red tape.â€
Jefferies added: â€œThis is a useful reform that will improve the lives of thousands of H-1B families and recognizes that green cards are the goal. But it is important to remember that most H-1B workers are never sponsored for green cards, particularly if they work for outsourcing companies.â€
He added: â€œDischarging Americans and replacing them with H-1B workers employed by outsourcing companies is the true face of the H-1B program. More than half of H-1Bs go to outsourcing companies, whose business model is to replace American employees with easily exploited foreign workers.â€
The H-1B program also has a discriminatory impact on women in engineering, computing, science, technology and math fields because an estimated 70 to 85 percent of all H-1B visas are used by men, the organization said.
The H-4 visa holder has to apply for work authorization, which takes months to process. But when a married person gets an employment-based green card, the spouse also gets legal permanent residency, including work authorization.
â€œWe applaud this half step by the Obama Administration,â€ Jefferies said. â€œBut clearly, green cards not guest worker visas is the way to go.â€
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.