Dell is planning to lay off up to 3,000 American workers following its merger with EMC, so why is it filing so many H-1B foreign worker applications? Reuters

There have been rumblings over the last 12 months in the US computing industry that more and more foreign workers are being brought into the country on H-1B visas and green cards to replace their more expensive US counterparts. Some have suggested this may now be spreading to Dell.

Homegrown US PC manufacturer Dell announced in October 2015 that it planned to acquire cloud computing firm EMC, in what has widely been called the largest technology acquisition ever.

There have been rumours over the past few months that Dell was planning layoffs after the merger was complete. On 9 September, inside sources confirmed to Bloomberg that the firm plans to cut between 2,000 to 3,000 jobs before the end of 2016, mostly in the US, in order to create savings of about $1.7bn (£1.3bn) within 18 months.

The source said that the dismissals have not yet been made public, and they will mostly occur in the departments relating to supply chain, administration and marketing.

While Dell has said it would do its best to minimise job losses, and that the EMC deal could help to boost sales and thus drive growth in jobs in the changing technology landscape, Wall Street blogger Wolf Richter believes that the firm has another agenda in mind.

Richter's news site Wolf Street did some digging and discovered that between 2015 and 2016, Dell applied for a total of 2,039 H-1B visas and 256 Green Cards, while EMC applied for 2,347 H-1B visas and 453 Green Cards. Of course, these are only applications and it is not known how many will be confirmed.

Over the course of 2016, multiple IT workers have taken to the internet and the media to complain that they are being replaced by H-1B visa holders. Disney was hit by two class-action lawsuits for this reason in January, and in June, some Abbott Laboratories' employees refused to sign a nondisparagement agreement, choosing instead to forfeit $10,000 from their severance pay in order to expose the practice to the New York Times.