Big Tech Hires Low-Paid Foreign Workers

In a surprising turn of events, several prominent tech companies, including Google, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, have reportedly hired foreign workers shortly after implementing substantial layoffs that affected thousands of employees.

Investigative journalist Lee Fang has shed light on this matter, revealing that Google, despite terminating around 12,000 employees earlier this year, has applied for the recruitment of low-paid foreign workers to assume specialized roles within the company.

According to Fang’s research, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, submitted applications for numerous foreign workers seeking positions such as software engineers, analytical consultants, and user experience researchers.

These applications, as Fang noted in his Substack newsletter, demonstrate the company’s inclination to engage foreign talent to meet their tech-related requirements. Interestingly, Google’s subsidiary Waymo, which focuses on self-driving technology, also obtained government approval for H-1B visa applications intended for engineering jobs.

This move indicates a broader trend within the tech industry, where companies are seeking to bring in skilled professionals from abroad to save money on their workforce. The newly recruited overseas workers are expected to begin employment with Google as early as August 17.

Fang’s report calls out other prominent tech giants, including Meta (formerly Facebook), Amazon, Zoom, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Palantir, who have also submitted H-1B visa applications. Critics of the H-1B visa program argue it allows companies to undermine US citizens and legal permanent residents by employing foreign workers at potentially lower wages.

This sentiment has been amplified by a 2017 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which suggests wages for US computer scientists and employment rates in the field could have been higher without the influence of immigration.

Notably, the demand for H-1B visas has skyrocketed in recent years. Authorities have expressed alarm over the surge in visa applications within the technology sector, indicating potential manipulation of the system to gain an unfair advantage.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services disclosed this year’s computer-generated lottery received a staggering 780,884 applications for H-1B visas, a significant 61% increase from the previous year’s 483,927. These figures, coupled with the 57% rise observed the year before, evoke concerns regarding the integrity and efficacy of the H-1B visa program.

To push for an expansion of H-1B visa quotas, tech companies have resorted to employing lobbyists who engage with lawmakers and the Biden administration. As the debate surrounding H-1B visas and their impact on the domestic workforce continues, the employment landscape within the tech industry remains in flux.

The juxtaposition of massive layoffs alongside the recruitment of foreign workers raises questions about the ethics, economic implications, and long-term consequences of these practices.

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