Importing Cheap Labor Eliminates American IT Jobs

Immigration policy played an important part in the debate before and after the 2016 election.

The debate was focused on whether or not to protect undocumented aliens in the United States because they do “jobs Americans won’t do” – for example agriculture, food processing, and unskilled construction.

But no attention has been paid to protecting jobs Americans are doing from documented alien labor.

Despite the loss of +/- 200,000 US technology jobs, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proceeded to awarded 85,000 “temporary high skilled knowledge worker” non-immigrant visas (H1-B) to foreign contract worker firms and American technology firms — 85,000 direct competitors for the limited number of IT jobs available in 2016 and 2017.

Why are we not Employing American Workers?

The phenomenon is not new. Computer World estimates that at least 776,000 tech workers have entered the United States to directly compete with American workers between 2007 and 2017.

For the last few years, the majority of these visas (65,000 annually) went to India-based contract labor (outsourcing) firms. The firms, in turn, hire BA graduates from Indian colleges and universities to fill the visas.

The advanced degree quota for H1-B visas (20,000 annually) go to high technology companies — Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel, to name just a few.

In addition, H1-B visas are issued to American college and universities above the annual quota stipulated by Congress.

While, at the same time, the National Institutes of Health spends $11 million a year to help US citizen Ph.D. graduates in STEM to find alternative careers. There are not enough jobs for all the Ph.D. graduates USA universities produce.

Solution: Hire a Made-in-America Worker

The H1-B visa program poses a direct threat to US technology workers – both present and future – as the numbers of these workers have continued to grow despite a general weakening of demand for IT workers in the United States.

In recent years more and more high profile American companies have fired entire departments of American workers and hired H1-B replacements.

  • Southern California Edison
  • Northeast Utilities
  • Toys R Us
  • Disney Company http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/06/emmons-when-walt-disney-co-replaces-americans-with-h1b-workers-its-a-small-world-for-sure/
  • University of California San Francisco Medical Center
  • Too many more to name

In all of these situations, the American workers were required to train their replacements as a condition of receiving their severance pay!

Many of the displaced workers had 10, 15 or 20 years of service to the firms that dismissed them in the name of profits. http://fortune.com/2015/12/24/disney-bob-iger-compensation/

Turn-off the Spigot

Despite extensive investigation and numerous hearings before Congressional Committees no action has been taken to correct the abuses of the H1-B program.

Currently there are three bills pending. One in the Senate and two in the House, including one authored by Silicon Valley representative Zoe Lofgren which would require H1-B employers to pay 150 to 200 percent of the current prevailing wage for that job classification – a move that would bring the program back to its original intent. Once, again, the H1-B visa would be reserved for the rare, unusual and uniquely skilled job creator.

In addition, the Trump Administration has issued an Executive Order to “study” the problem but did so without turning off the spigot.

Exactly the opposite should be done.

There is a practice from an earlier time in information technology that applies to the current H1-B situation.

Before every executive had a laptop with a company performance dashboard in the middle of his/her desk, IT departments used to produce volumes of paper reports. Periodically, the queue of reports had to be “cleared” to reduce wasted paper and reduce labor costs.

The IT Department would simply stop printing all the reports one Friday evening and wait to hear on Monday who called and asked for their report. If no one asked for a specific report by the following Friday, it was discontinued.

Instead of waiting for Congress – which has shown no appetite to touch anything related to immigration this year – let’s just turn-off the spigot by Executive Order.

Don’t hold a lottery to award the 85,000 2017 H1-B visas and see if any labor shortage occurs – if any company mounts a court challenge in the name of shareholder profits.

It is more likely that the result would more be more jobs and better wages for American technology workers.

Immigration

Being MADE IN THE USA Doesn’t Mean Your Parents Get to Live Here

Around mid-September 2015, I am expecting a national baby boomlet — focused in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona – states where the illegal immigrant population is more than 7% of the state’s total.

The baby boom will be a direct result of President Obama’s December, 2014, Executive Memorandum which defers deportation action against any illegal immigrant continuously resident in the US more than 5 years, and – here’s the catch — who is the parent of a baby born in the United States.

President Obama’s executive action will provide an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with work permits and protection from deportation – the equivalent of permanent residence — simply because they’ve birthed a baby on US soil. These children “anchor” their parents in the United States whether or not the parent would ever have been eligible to immigrate legally.

“Anchor Babies”

But there’s more to the “anchor” than just acting as an argument against deportation. There are significant financial incentives. The little bundle of joy is eligible at birth for US welfare benefits, health care and a free public education.

Tax payers provide food stamps, rental assistance, health care, day care, free school, free school lunches and more. Los Angeles County estimates it spends about $1.6B a year on such benefits to illegal immigrants.  These benefits are paid from local tax receipts that might otherwise be spent on modernizing schools, improving senior centers, housing homeless veterans, additional low cost health care – even street repairs.

Birthright Citizenship is a Permanent “Fast Pass” / an “E Ticket” to the USA

When the birthright citizen child reaches the age of 21, they can “sponsor” their parents’ application for permanent US residency. In other words, the “anchor baby” citizen sponsor jumps his/her parent to the head of the line.

Every year the US authorizes 1,000,000 legal immigrants. 488,000 of the total are classified as family unification immigrants – spouse following husband, for example.

Every illegal immigrant in the US whose status is changed is counted against the 488,000 total allowed.

National Debate to Define Birthright Citizenship Is Long Overdue

The last serious national debate over birthright citizenship took place in 1868 when the Citizenship Clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed. The clause was required to remove the barrier to Negro citizenship that had been written into the original Constitution.

Congress did not intend a broad application of this principle. If they had, they would not have specifically excluded Native Americans from the benefits of birthright citizenship!

Thirty years later (1898), the Supreme Court ruled that the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment conferred birthright citizenship to all children born to a lawful permanent resident of the United States. There’s never been a challenge brought to confirm that the same applies to the child of a nonresident alien.

In the century since, at least 80 percent of the legislation and legal opinion has narrowed the grounds for legal immigration to the United States.

During this whole period, bureaucrats have blithely conveyed US citizenship to any child born on US soil regardless of the status of the parents – citizen, legal or illegal immigrant, temporary worker or tourist who just drops in while pregnant.

Several Congressional acts specifically declared large numbers of immigrants to be ineligible for citizenship — but failed to address the issue of birthright citizenship for their children. In almost every case, children born in the US have “anchored” their parents.

Border Security Requires 21st Century Birthright Definition

Since 1910 Congress has tried repeatedly to secure the US Border by paramilitary force and it hasn’t worked.

It is farcical to believe that it is possible to secure any of the nation’s borders as long as the rewards of illegal entry – the “anchor baby” at the end of the rainbow — outweigh the risks posed by the US Border Patrol, TSA, or Customs and Enforcement.

Legislation has been proposed in each of the last six (6) Congresses to limit future birthright citizenship only to children born to one permanent resident or citizen parent.

It’s an approach that is transparent, fair, and equal – the original purpose of the 14th Amendment.

Can such legislation pass Congress as a step toward “comprehensive immigration reform”?

It is certainly past time to have the debate and let citizens decide.

Photo Credit: Google Images