Top line

The Justice Department on Thursday accused Facebook of illegally reserving jobs for temporary visa holders instead of American workers, another step in the Trump administration’s crackdown on legal immigration.

06 November 2019, USA, Menlo Park: An employee of the internet company Facebook walks through the … [+] Corporate campus courtyard in Menlo Park, California.

Photo by Christoph Dernbach / Bildallianz via Getty Images

Key factors

The lawsuit accuses Facebook of refusing to hire or consider “qualified and available” US workers in more than 2,600 positions that were instead “reserved for temporary visa holders it has sponsored for permanent work permits.”

The complaint alleges that from January 2018 to September 2019, Facebook “attempted to distribute jobs to temporary visa holders at the expense of US workers by not posting those positions on its careers website, only requiring applicants to apply by mail and declined to consider all US workers who have applied for these positions. “

The Trump administration passed an executive order back in June that temporarily suspended all new H-1B visas until the end of 2020, on the grounds that hiring highly skilled workers was disadvantageous for American workers during the pandemic.

In a statement, Facebook said it “worked with the DOJ” but denies the allegations in the complaint.

Key background

US tech companies have long spoken out against Trump’s crackdown on H-1B visas, which is part of the government’s policy of restricting both legal and illegal immigration. Consultant Stephen Miller in particular has urged the cancellation of work visas, claiming they harm American workers. According to Fortune, 65% of all H-1B visas are for “computing” jobs, with Amazon, Google, and Facebook among the companies with the highest number of H-1B employees.