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How Tech Workers? Got Hosed In Immigration Deal

The lopsided victory, Hira and others say, has a lot to do with the lack of political clout among tech workers. Tech workers in H-1B fields aren't widely unionized. The AFL-CIO's Department for Professional Employees lobbied to rein in the H-1B visas and to force firms who used them to search for U.S. prospects first, without loopholes to escape the obligations. But the H-1B discussions weren't part of the more publicized negotiations between the Chamber and the AFL-CIO, and advocates for tech workers were simply outgunned.
"It just didn't get the attention," said Paul Almeida, the head of the AFL-CIO's Department for Professional Employees. "And if an employer can save 20 to 25 percent of payroll on these employees, we're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. To spend some small amount to lobby to push this through is a drop in the bucket."

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