Many immigrant workers, primarily Indian nationals, are in the U.S. on temporary visas and after being laid off, their visas will expire after 60 days and subject them to deportation unless they are rehired. Many of these immigrants are highly skilled and educated, and some have been here for years, and some for decades. As of 2019, there were almost 600,000 of these immigrants in the U.S. 
These layoffs are part of the U.S. tech sector’s recent spiraling downward with major companies like Google, Meta and Amazon firing workers by the thousands.
Some advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers have been lobbying the Departments of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend the length of time that high-tech visa holders can remain in the country after losing their jobs, from 60 to 120 days.
 Werner, High-skilled visa-holders at risk of deportation amid tech layoffs, Wash. Post (Feb. 24, 2023)
2 thoughts on “U.S. High-Tech Layoffs Threaten Immigrants with Temporary Visas”
COMMENT: Layoffs in Overall U.S. Economy Are Rare
The New York Times reports, “Outside of some high-profile companies mostly in the tech sector, such as Google’s parent Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft, layoffs in the economy as a whole remain remarkably, even historically, rare.” Indeed, there were fewer overall “layoffs in December than in any month during the two decades before the pandemic, government data show. Filings for unemployment insurance have barely increased. And the unemployment rate, at 3.4 percent, is the lowest since 1969. . . . For workers, the picture is clearer: For now, at least, the historically strong job market remains intact.”
Moreover, “Higher interest rates typically result in higher costs and weaker sales, which often leads to layoffs. If companies respond instead by paring hiring or raises — while holding onto existing employees — that could allow the labor market to cool without widespread job losses.”
“But economists caution that while companies may be clinging to their workers, that could change in a hurry if abstract fears of a recession morph into an actual decline in sales. Economists warn that a recession, if it comes, will almost certainly force companies to cut jobs en masse — no matter how reluctant they may be after their recent experience with a tight labor market.”
Ember & Casselman, What Layoffs? Many Employers Are Eager to Hang On to Workers, N.Y. Times (Feb. 26, 2023), https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/26/business/economy/staffing-layoffs.html
Comment: Many Undocumented Immigrants Leaving U.S.
According to the New York Times, there now is “a wave of immigrants who have been leaving the United States and returning to their countries of origin in recent years, often after spending most of their lives toiling as undocumented workers. Some of them never intended to remain in the United States but said that the cost and danger of crossing the border kept them here once they had arrived — and they built lives. Now, middle-aged and still able-bodied, many are making a reverse migration.”
Many older undocumented immigrants now “decide they have realized their original goals for immigrating and can afford to trade the often-grueling work available to undocumented workers for a slower pace in their home country.”
“The number of undocumented people from about a dozen countries, including Poland, the Philippines, Peru, South Korea and Uruguay, declined 30 percent or more from 2010 to 2020. The undocumented population from Mexico, the principal source of immigrants to the United States, dropped to 4.4 million from 6.6 million during that period.”
Jordan, Many Undocumented Immigrants Are Departing After Decades in the U.S., N.Y. Times (Mar. 1, 2023), https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/01/us/undocumented-immigrants-exodus.html.