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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

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
18 mins ago - Health

New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New research is bolstering the case for delaying second doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Why it matters: Most vulnerable Americans remain unvaccinated heading into March, when experts predict the more infectious virus variant first found in the U.K. could become dominant in the U.S.

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Rail's big moment is arriving

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Passenger rail could be the big winner if Congress moves ahead with President Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan.

Why it matters: There's long been bipartisan support for rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, but under Biden, the focus has shifted to sustainable projects that fulfill both his climate and equity goals, such as rail transit.

Scoop: Schumer wants to freeze stimulus changes

Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is privately saying he can pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus package but wants to avoid any last-minute changes jeopardizing its trajectory, three sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: While the president hoped to enlist Republican support for the measure, Schumer has worked to ensure he has a solid 50 votes to muscle it through if necessary. A parliamentary ruling Thursday improved his chances.

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