Follow the Money.. Big Tech and Washington Insiders Are Behind A Bill To Give Foreign Workers The Best Jobs in America
Politicians in Washington, DC are at it again. This time they’re trying to “insource” hundreds of thousands of workers from China, India, and other nations instead of paying highly-skilled, highly-educated, and highly-trained American workers for some of the best jobs available. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 back in February.
H.R. 1044 would increase the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas and lift the per-country caps on employment-based green cards.
Through various loopholes, this bill would ensure that most employment-based green cards go to nationals from India and China, who are often recruited for jobs in the tech sector and work for lower wages.
This past week, a vote on the legislation was fast-tracked without a single hearing, without a report from the Congressional Research Service, and without a cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a bi-partisan coalition of 311 co-sponsors and a final roll call vote was 365 in favor and 65 opposed.
Representative Lofgren, a former immigration attorney, represents California’s 19th Congressional District which encompasses San Jose and parts of Silicon Valley south of the San Francisco Bay. The 2019 Silicon Valley Index says that Silicon Valley, California is home to 1,674,255 jobs with an average annual earnings of $139,755.
The community is in an area of the country that is one of the leaders in education, technical innovation, and modern research and development. It is home to Facebook, Google, Apple, Tesla, Ebay, Netflix, and the list goes on and on. If you’ve heard of a big tech company, it’s probably there. Many of the companies’ employees reside in Representative Lofgren’s district and any expansion of the tech industry is sure to impact her constituents in the South Valley Freeway Corridor.
But this bill will have much worse implications for California and the United States.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “This bill (House Resolution 1044) would reward the employers who literally replaced American workers with hundreds of thousands of low cost and less skilled contract workers who entered on temporary visas (mainly H-1Bs), often working in the tech sector. These employers are mainly Big Tech and foreign outsourcing companies.”
The groups who have been spending millions to lobby for this bill and others like it are the unholy alliance of Big Business, Big Tech, and Open Borders members of the Washington Elite. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brothers via Americans for Prosperity, Microsoft, Facebook, the National Association of Manufacturers, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and others are once again advocating against the interests of the American people.
The fight now moves to the United States Senate where a version of the bill is sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and will be under consideration by the Judiciary Committee.
So, what gives?
Why is Congress once again giving big tech companies a sweetheart deal to import cheap foreign workers?
The economy is roaring; unemployment is low; there are over 20 million students attending college; at least 45% of college freshmen plan to major in a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) field of study; the 2018 Median Pay just for Computer and Information Research Scientists is $118,370; and even though American taxpayers subsidize public, post-secondary education, student debt will likely eclipse $1.5 TRILLION by the end of 2019.
Because of bills like the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act and other insider interests, it is no wonder we have a student debt crisis in America. Students who have received years of publicly subsidized education cannot get hired for the high-paying jobs they are qualified to do, especially when they are competing with a pool of candidates from China, India, and elsewhere who will do the job at a fraction of the cost.
American students should have a level playing field when applying for the jobs that they are educated and qualified to do before they are crushed under the weight of their student debt.
It is curious that such a wide-ranging swath of Washington DC’s politicians, Silicon Valley institutions, and “Big Business” interests are not looking to the rest of our nation for talent in the best jobs in America before they look to rig the political system, deflate the job market, and unfairly benefit mega-corporations with more foreign visas when American workers can easily fill the jobs that are available.
WOMEN IN TECH
The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 will also be especially damaging to American women looking for the opportunity to fairly compete for jobs in STEM fields. The Seattle Times reported in 2013 that men received almost 70% H-1B visas over women.
In 2015, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations. Organizations such as Women Who Code, Girls Who Code, and Girls in Tech are looking to overcome the industry-wide hiring discrepancy. House Resolution 1044 would only serve to make this problem worse.
This is the height of cronyism and corporate greed when America’s elite are using their leverage in Congress to rig the system against qualified and educated women in tech.
Over the last forty years, our organization, Californians for Population Stabilization has been warning about the negative impacts of endless chain migration.
For example, over the last 35 years, chain migration has greatly exceeded new immigration. Out of 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States from 1981 to 2016, about 20 million were immigrants who came via chain migration. (61 percent)
In fact, each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants.
By low estimates, that means that these 300,000 to 500,000 new H-1B visa recipients allocated by HR 1044 will lead to over a MILLION NEW RESIDENTS.
California has systematically failed the people of our state with migration policies that have incentivized an increased population that has strained our legal system, public services, and fragile ecosystem, and Washington, DC is taking note.
The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (House Resolution 1044 / Senate Bill 386) is one of the worst pieces of immigration legislation to hit the American political system in thirty years and it must be stopped.
That’s why my organization, Californians for Population Stabilization, is calling on members (link to statement) of the United States Senate to make sure big tech companies do not get a sweetheart deal for cheap foreign workers, while millions of college graduates, saddled with student debt, are stepped over for some of the best paying jobs in America.
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Ric Oberlink, Executive Director, CAPS
Ric Oberlink graduated from the University of Illinois — with a major in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies — and the UC-Berkeley School of Law, where his studies included a clinical semester with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. An Army veteran and a former attorney in private practice, he has long been concerned with, and active on, the issues of population growth, mass immigration, and resource depletion. Ric served a previous stint as executive director of CAPS from 1992 to 1997 and also headed the referendum efforts of Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization to return the Sierra Club to its position calling for immigration limits. His op-eds have been published in various media, including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer; he has appeared on NPR, CNN, and PBS Newshour; and he has testified before the California legislature numerous times.