Indians are majority among 2,00,000 tech workers laid off since November

New York: Expressing concern over the large-scale layoffs in the tech industry, a group of lawmakers from Silicon Valley has written to the US immigration agency to ensure that the highly-skilled immigrants on H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, can remain in the country even after losing their jobs.

The letter has been sent by Congressmen Zoe Lofgren, Ro Khanna, Jimmy Panetta and Kevin Mullin. Lofgren has been a former Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. Industry insiders say that between 30 to 40 per cent of them are Indian IT professionals, a significant number of whom are on H-1B and L1 visas.

Thousands of highly skilled foreign-born workers, including Indians, in the US, have lost their jobs due to the series of recent layoffs at companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. According to media reports, nearly 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November last year.

In their letter Ur Mendoza Jaddou, the Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the lawmakers noted that this group of immigrants possess skills that are highly valuable in today’s knowledge-based economy and “forcing them to leave the US is harmful to our nation’s long-term economic competitiveness.”

“This issue is of great importance to our constituents because layoffs in the tech sector have accelerated in recent months. The number of tech jobs lost since the beginning of 2023 has already surpassed the total number of layoffs in 2022,” the letter said.

It also requests that the USCIS release data detailing the impact of the layoffs on affected immigrants; inquire about whether the USCIS has issued guidance to adjudicators in response to the layoffs; and extend the 60-day grace period for laid-off H-1B holders to secure a new job before losing their legal status.

Image courtesy of (Image: Jagran English)

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