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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Thursday, June 09, 2022

Amazon, Google, and other tech giants urge Biden administration to allow 'documented Dreamers' to stay as US labor shortage bites

Tech companies, including Google, Twitter, and Amazon, have asked the Biden administration to revise its immigration policies so that children of foreign employees are spared from being deported after they turn 21. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday, 12 tech companies, along with the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, asked the Biden administration to "establish more robust aging out policies" to help the children of their employees who hold H1-B visas. Currently, children of highly-skilled H1-B visa holders, many of whom are tech employees, are allowed to live with their parents in the US but will have to apply for a green card if they want to stay past the age of 21. The application process often takes a long time to complete, and applicants must leave the country if they don't receive the card in time. The processing delay became more pronounced during the pandemic as government agencies did not have enough workers to process green card applications, according to an April Bloomberg report. In contrast, undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, commonly known as "Dreamers," can apply for temporary work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "Now, we urge policymakers to also address the needs of the more than 200,000 children of high-skilled immigrants who risk falling through the cracks of the immigration system," the letter said. In response, DHS told Reuters it was reviewing its policies to maximize the number of "documented Dreamers" that are "are able to gain residency in the United States before they turn 21." DHS did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. The companies' appeal comes at a time when employers across the US are struggling to fill open positions. As of June 1, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 11 million open roles, which was 5 million more than the number of workers looking for jobs. If the children of their foreign employees have to leave the US, their parents may decide to follow, exacerbating the worker shortage. "This uncertainty harms families and prevents our companies from attracting and retaining critical talent in the US," the letter said. "Those who are forced to leave are a loss to America's communities and workforce. Their skills and talent will go to our global competitors." The tech companies' appeal for children of H1-B visa holders echoes a similar move they made last year. In May 2021, tech giants including Google, Twitter, Amazon, and others campaigned against a court decision that would prevent the spouses of these visa holders from being able to seek employment in the US on an H-4 visa, according to an Insider report. The Biden administration then settled the lawsuit and reversed the decision to put the visa program on hold, The Hill reported. For more information, please contact us: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

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