Tech companies, which have historically been engaged in the fight for increased immigration fees, submitted an amicus brief on Friday in a case known as Save Jobs USA v Department of Homeland Security. A Washington, DC district court is considering the plaintiff’s challenge to a DHS rule that allows so-called H-4 visa holders to work legally while their spouses with H-1B visas wait for green cards.
Google, which organized the effort, and more than two dozen Other signatories said on the record that overturning the rule that allows some H-4 visa holders to work “would result in the exclusion of these talented people from the workplace, forcibly severing tens of thousands of workers. labor relations across the country. They wrote that 90,000 H-4 visa holders would be affected, 90% of which are women.
Tech companies that signed the amicus brief include Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Electronic Arts, eBay, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, PayPal, Reddit, StubHub, and Twitter. Several industry groups from technology and other fields like manufacturing have also joined.
The plaintiff in this case, Save Jobs USA, who identified in court documents as a group of computers formerly employed by Southern California Edison and “replaced by foreign workers imported with H1B guest worker visas,” claimed that DHS had exceeded its authority in allowing for work authorization for H-4 visa holders and requested that the rule allowing it be rescinded.
In the amicus brief, Google and other tech companies said such an outcome “would be totally destructive to the families affected; By just one measure, about 87% of those families have made crucial life decisions about the promise of an H-4 job, including whether to have a child and whether to buy a house. “
Since the rule covers H-4 visa holders whose spouses have been approved for permanent residence but are waiting for a green card, companies have written that families at this point are relying on the H-4 rule to generate double income.
The amicus brief also notes that women would be disproportionately affected if the rule were struck down, due to the overwhelming percentage of women with H-4 visas compared to men. The companies discussed the mental health consequences that could result from the sudden withdrawal of worker status, including examples of people affected by visa processing delays developing depression and anxiety.
The companies have also said that the workers of the H-4 are essential to their operations. Like H-1B visa holders, many H-4 workers have high levels of skill and education, with 99% holding at least a college degree and nearly 60% with a master’s degree or above, according to the dissertation. Many work in highly skilled fields, with two-thirds of H-4 visa holders with jobs in science, technology and math, the companies wrote.
They also referred to DHS ‘explanation for instituting the rule in 2015, that this would help mitigate the “disincentives” that caused H-1B visa holders to abandon their search for permanent residence, which would minimize the “Disruption” of US companies they work in “Companies say economic analysis shows that removing the rule would reduce US gross domestic product by about $ 7.5 billion a year and that the federal government would lose at least $ 1.9 billion in annual tax revenue.
Additionally, skilled workers who don’t want to deal with the headaches of the U.S. immigration system while waiting for a spouse to get a green card are more likely to travel to other countries with more acceptance of their status as immigration, says the brief.
Meanwhile, the companies wrote, the harm to domestic workers is “minimal.”
“Indeed, the estimated job losses for domestic workers in the program are almost exactly offset by the 6,800 jobs created by H-4 entrepreneurs who have founded businesses and employ American workers,” they wrote.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.
WATCH: Here’s how the work visa ban is affecting the U.S. economy