Jan 18, 2018

Tech lobby wants to protect H-4 visa program

Photo: Alex Wong / Getty

The Information Technology Industry council, a major tech lobby, sent a letter last night to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services calling for the H-4 visa rule to be upheld.

Why it matters: USCIS is expected to end the H-4 work eligibility program, which allows the spouses of H-1B holders with pending green cards to legally work in the U.S.

Who they lobby for: Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and others. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FWD.us and TechNet also joined in sending the letter.

Why it matters: ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield told Axios that they hope the letter would push the administration to "do the right thing, and don’t resign the program." He predicts H-1B holders will consider leaving the U.S. if the H-4 visa work program ends, which would be a detriment to many tech companies. "If I were told or my wife was told that one of us couldn’t contribute to sustaining our family… we would pursue those other options."

From the letter:

"The H-4 rule is instrumental in allowing U.S. employers to fill these critical positions with qualified professionals. Our companies employ individuals whose work authorizations stem not only from H-1B visas, but H-4 visas as well. The H-4 rule represents a valuable but targeted opportunity for us to not just attract and retain talent, but to promote immigration to the United States on the basis of one’s skills and merit."

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.