- An ad campaign scheduled to run in stations along San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is causing controversy beyond the Golden State.
- The ads, paid for by Progressives for Immigration Reform, encourage workers in tech fields to contact their representatives about H-1B reform. The ads say businesses that hire immigrants view American workers as "expensive, undeserving and expendable."
- Although BART says the ads don't reflect the company's views, it cannot deny the ads, according to a spokesman. They comply with “guidelines allowing advertisers to express a point of view without regard to the viewpoint expressed, consistent with First Amendment freedom of speech court rulings."
With new guidance from the Trump Administration to "Buy American, Hire American," H-1B visas are in the crosshairs. Directives to more rigorously enforce existing laws have put employers in the position of defending each application in a time-consuming, resource-intensive process. And fast-tracking of visa applications, formerly commonplace, has been suspended for the rest of FY 2018.
One of the largest players in the H-1B system, India-based Infosys, recently announced they hired 2,500 American workers at an "innovation hub" in Indianapolis, and it projects to create another 1,000 jobs at a Connecticut location by 2020 — after layoffs of its Indian workers. Experts say the move illustrates the pressure Infosys and other companies are under in the pushback against H-1B hiring. The Trump administration has also proposed reversing the order granting spouses of H-1B workers a visa known as the H-4 that allows them to work in the U.S.
Despite changes to the visa system and mounting pressure, a recent survey revealed that 70% of companies surveyed continue to believe sourcing foreign talent is important to their talent acquisition strategy, with 59% further adding they expect an increase in hiring these candidates for the coming year.