An immigration enforcement advocacy organization is hoping that the incoming Trump administration will take measures to protect American workers who are being displaced by cheaper foreign workers.
At the beginning of 2015, Disney dismissed nearly 250 Information Technology (IT) workers and replaced them with workers from India. To make matters worse for labor force within the United States, Disney also required the displaced American workers to train their replacements as a condition of receiving severance pay.
Recently, 30 of those terminated American IT workers filed suit against their former employer, Walt Disney World. The lawsuit alleges discrimination on the basis of race and national origin.
Federation for American Immigration Reform Spokesman Ira Mehlman maintains that the Disney lawsuit illustrates the flawed way that the H1-B visa has been implemented for many years.
"The visa was designed to allow companies to access foreign workers who possess unique talent or knowledge that wasn't readily available in this country,” Mehlman explained. “And what it has turned into is a program by which employers simply bring in foreign workers who have skills that pretty much match the labor force here, and then use those workers instead of American workers because they can get them to work more cheaply."
Mehlman hopes that with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on January 20, help will be on the way.
"We would expect that the new administration – to the extent that they can do it through regulation – will protect American workers,” the immigration expert anticipated. “And to the extent that they can't, we'll encourage Congress to make legislative changes."
Meanwhile Disney has vowed to vigorously fight the lawsuit.