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Behind the Big Tech layoffs, a large visa problem

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For the past few weeks, the big new technology companies, which we thought were untouchable, have been multiplying large-scale layoff plans. Controversial businessman Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter sparked the biggest layoff plan in the company’s history, fellow social media giant Facebook isn’t faring much better.

The company is indeed in a very complicated period. The Horizon World project is costing Mark Zuckerberg’s company a fortune, forced to save money elsewhere. If investors, like Goldman Sachs, ensure that this is not the first sign of recession for the American market, these layoffs have direct consequences.

More and more redundancy plans

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Facebook, Twitter, but also Disney and Netflix have laid off a more or less substantial part of their payroll in recent months. An action that has the effect of putting thousands of people in difficulty.

Among the former employees in difficulty, people who do not have American nationality face a major dilemma. As Bloomberg explained in a recent article, people on H-1B visas will be subject to a deportation notice in the coming weeks, as required by procedure.

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Some of these employees, interviewed by Bloomberg, explain having worked for Tech giants for years, even decades. The announcement of their departure was a shock, which today puts their whole life in question. These employees were for the most part holders of a temporary work visa. In recent years, Bloomberg estimates that 45,000 people have worked at Amazon, Meta, Saleforce or Twitter with this very specific type of contract.

A very real risk of eviction

Today employees with a visa have 60 days to find a new job or they will have to leave the territory. This race against the clock calls into question a whole life for these people who have sometimes been settled for years. Among the ex-employees interviewed by Bloomberg, some of them have rent to pay, others have student loans or even children who have American nationality.

Among this panel of former employees, a 30-year-old former Twitter designer explains that she has lived in the United States for 14 years. She says she thought about this possible expulsion for a long time before getting used to the idea. Today the H-1B visa program allows employers, especially in the world of new technologies to recruit foreigners with a university degree.

This program was made possible by the US government following shortages of skilled labor in the early 2000s. The layoffs particularly affected Indian employees who have more difficulty obtaining a green card (permanent residence permit) .

Source: Presse-Citron

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