Sacramento, California - Amid widespread criticism of large corporations such as Southern California Edison and Disney World’s decision to outsource jobs in California and throughout the country, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, moved forward with an Assembly Joint Resolution 12 (AJR 12) seeking a federal investigation of the H-1B visa program.
AJR 12 passes the California State Assembly expressing lawmakers' concerns regarding employer related practices and urges the United States Department of Labor and Congress to investigate the alleged misuse of the H-1B Visa program.
“It is unfortunate that a program aimed at spurring economic growth and job creation may be used to lay off our U.S. workers,” commented Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia “This is particularly unacceptable as California’s unemployment rate in April was 6% and Imperial County over 21%. Any company that has engaged in this improper practice is urged to immediately cease the practice of replacing California employees with foreign workers under the H-1B program.”
Recently, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced that it was laying off approximately 400 information technology employees, with an additional 100 leaving voluntarily. SCE said it is outsourcing the work to two Indian companies, Infosys in Bangalore and Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai. Other reported labor incidents regarding the misuse of the H-IB Visa have occurred within the Disney World and Fossile Group corporations.
Pat Lavin, Business Manager for IBEW Local 47, stated "It's bad enough that Southern California Edison is abusing the H1-B program and trading good local jobs for cheaper foreign labor.”
Assembly Joint Resolution 12 asks the U.S. Department of Labor and Congress to investigate SCE’s use of the visa program. Congressional members have been particularly outspoken in their concern over such reports as the matter was the subject of a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the year.
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) and allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.