Congressmen raise concerns over SoCal Edison replacing 500 IT workers with H1-B visa holders

in legal on (#2WZS)
Southern California Edison (SCE) is currently in the process of cutting about 500 IT workers at its Irwindale offices and replacing them with cheaper H-1B visa holders working for Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services; two India based IT outsourcing firms. SCE will save about $40,000 per worker, about $16 million a year by replacing American workers with foreigners on an H-1B visa. The layoffs began in August and are expected to be completed by the end of March.

Perhaps it was the fact that SCE is a utility and more in the public eye or perhaps SCE was too flagrant in their swap, but U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) have both expressed concern over the incident.

"Based on the information currently available, this appears to be an example of precisely what the H-1B visa is not intended to be: a program to simply replace American workers en masse with cheap labor from overseas," Issa said in a statement released late Friday.

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill in January that would nearly double the number of H1-B guest worker visas.

Re: D vs. R (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-09 21:43 (#2WZW)

It's really not a partisan issue. The bill to dramatically increase H1-Bs is endorsed by several members of both parties. People on both sides have opposed H1-Bs to varying degrees. On the Democratic side, at least Pres. Obama and Sen. Durbin spoke out against them (years ago), and those are just the first ones I found.

That said... It's easy for Republicans to oppose H1-Bs (and any other visas) on simple xenophobic terms. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley firms are socially liberal, so they endorse and support Democratic candidates, not Republican ones. And those same firms lobby for cheaper IT labor more than anything else, which means more H1-Bs.
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