US senators seek investigation into use of visa program

AP News
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Posted: Apr 09, 2015 4:59 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing concerns about hiring practices at California's second-largest utility, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has asked for an investigation into whether companies are firing American workers and replacing them with foreign workers for the sake of cutting costs.

The 10 senators said several U.S. employers have reportedly laid-off thousands of American workers and replaced them with foreign workers holding H-1B visas, frequently used in the technology sector.

The senators asked the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor to investigate whether the H-1B visa program is being used as designed, to bring in skilled workers with highly specialized skills not readily available in the U.S.

Former Southern California Edison workers say the company replaced them with less-skilled visa holders. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.