|U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson|
ORLANDO, Florida – U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is asking the Department of Homeland Security to investigate how certain U.S. work visas are awarded to immigrants following a story in the New York Times that 250 American high tech workers were replaced by foreign workers at Walt Disney World in Florida.
According to the New York Times article, about 250 Disney World employees were told that they would be laid off but had to spend their remaining three months of employment training workers who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India.
“I want to know if there are abuses going on in the system,” Nelson wrote in an email on Thursday. “This program was created to help fill jobs where there were labor shortages, not to take jobs away from anyone.”
"The New York Times reported today about the layoffs of American employees and replacement with workers from abroad as part of the H-1B visa program," Nelson wrote in a letter to the Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson. "While I understand the need for more high-skilled workers where there are shortages in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, I am concerned in the wake of news reports indicating that the program may be serving workers in less specialized positions."
"I plan on delving further into this issue in the Senate and request that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also investigate potential misuses of the H-1B visa program. I want to know if there are abuses going on in the system."
The uproar over Disney's replacement of American workers with foreigners spans both sides of the political spectrum. Former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also spoke out against the abuse of H-1B visas following the Disney incident.
Disney is also receiving a backlash over its decision on social media. "Fire American workers to hire cheap illegals. With the $ this place charges for stuff you'd think they wouldn't mind paying actual citizens. I seriously hope you lose every customer you got. Definitely lost this family," was one of many similar comments posted on Disney World's Facebook page.
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