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The Department of Justice is suing Facebook, accusing the tech company of reserving high-paying job positions for foreign workers and discriminating against US residents, according to a Thursday press release. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook overlooked US workers and failed to adequately advertise over 2,600 positions between 2018 and 2019. As the WSJ notes, companies that sponsor workers for green cards must first show that they were not able to find qualified US workers to fill the job.
The DOJ alleges that the jobs were reserved for temporary H-1B visa holders that Facebook sponsored while it worked to establish green cards, or permanent residency, for them. The positions in question offer an average salary of about $156,000, according to the DOJ.
"The Department of Justice's lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers," Eric S. Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, said in the press release.
Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. A DOJ spokesperson pointed Business Insider to its press release.
The Trump administration has long said that it will stop the "replacement" of US employees by highly-skilled foreign workers.
President Donald Trump proposed restrictions on H-1B work visas in October, a move that would heavily impact the likes of Facebook, Google, and others as their workforces include immigrant workers. And in June, the Trump administration blocked foreign workers that held H-1B visas from entering the country until the end of the year. A federal judge blocked the ban for some companies.
Tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Twitter have spoken out against the ban and said barring H-1B visa holders from working would crush the US economy's edge in the competition.
Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who is an immigrant himself, tweeted in June that "immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today."
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