Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District

Issa Expresses Concern Over S. California Edison’s Use of H-1B Visa Program

February 6, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) released the following statement in response to emerging accounts that raise questions about whether Southern California Edison’s misused the H-1B visa program during a recent layoff of IT staff that, by some estimates, will affect as many as 400 employees:

“Reports that Southern California Edison used the H1-B visa program to replace part of the company’s current IT workforce are deeply disturbing.

“Based on the information currently available, this appears to be an example of precisely what the H-1B visa is not intended to be: a program to simply replace American workers en masse with cheap labor from overseas. Indeed, current law requires that an employer certify that the hiring of an H-1B applicant ‘will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed,’ in keeping with the program’s intent of injecting new talent into the economy, rather than merely replacing current workers with lower paid counterparts. Congress is currently considering reforms to the H1-B program, and legislation I’ve authored includes stronger prevailing wage protections to ensure that companies aren’t simply using the program to replace existing workers with lower cost imported labor.

“I urge Southern California Edison to be forthcoming in releasing information about the process behind this decision, and I look forward to a thorough and transparent account of what attempts were made to ensure this major hiring decision adheres to the very clear statutes outlining the intended structure of the H-1B visa program.”