Cisco Systems, Inc., a giant tech company, plans on laying off 5,500 employees or about 7% of its global workforce starting in the next few weeks. The Cisco company has been a champion for increasing H-1B visas and is currently the 28th biggest user of H-1Bs in the U.S.

The Cisco layoffs are just the newest in a growing national trend by many technology companies, such as Disney and Abbot Laboratories, to use visas like the H-1B visa to import cheaper labor instead of hiring American workers. In some cases, the employees were forced to train their replacements in order to receive their severance pay.

2011 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office exposed how the H-1B visa was being exploited and showed that there was very little oversight of the program. According to the report the government doesn't even know how many workers are actually in the U.S. on H-1B visas at any given time.

The Cisco company has a history of laying off employees at the end of the fiscal year. They laid off 6,000 workers in 2014, 4,000 in 2013, and 6,500 in 2011. Yet, the company continues to apply for more H-1B visa workers and Cisco executive chairman and former CEO, John Chambers, has been a major backer of the tech industry efforts to persuade Congress to increase the national quota of H-1B visas.

Chambers was a supporter of the I-Squared Act that would have tripled the number of H-1B visas fro 65,000 to over 195,000. In a 2015 interview Chambers said that the tech industry needs to distance itself from the mass immigration interview and focus on increasing H-1Bs. “Part of the reason we’re not getting through is that it’s being held hostage to a larger immigration bill,” Chambers said.

Read more on this story at The Daily Caller.

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Updated: Thu, Jun 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm EDT