WASHINGTON, JAN. 25, 2018—Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) President Paul E. Almeida issued the following statement in response to the re-introduction of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2018 (“I-Squared”):
“Congress should be focused on the needs of America’s existing workforce by finding a permanent solution for the people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), not expanding an already flawed, temporary guest worker program. The over one million DACA and TPS recipients include STEM professionals and students already here and ready to fill open jobs in the United States. They are just waiting on Congress to act so they can continue to work and live in the only country they know as home.
Just as Congress should be extending rights and protections to America’s current workers, it should do the same for people who work on temporary employment visas. DPE remains steadfastly opposed to I-Squared because it would more than double the size of the H-1B program without adequate protections for Americans or H-1B workers. I-Squared would allow corporations to continue using the H-1B program to lower standards, outsource and offshore good jobs, and pay H-1B workers below market wages in arrangements where employers hold far too much power.
DPE remains ready to work with members of Congress to reform the H-1B visa program so that it works for U.S. workers, highly skilled foreign workers, and employers. I-Squared is not the answer.”
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 23 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.