Greetings, Friends of LIFA.
Why LIFA opposes Senate Bill S.368, “The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019.”
At the end of World War II the United States initiated a program called “Operation Paperclip.” It brought the best of Europe’s professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the U.S. and kept them out of the hands of the Soviet communists. They contributed to major advancements in STEM fields. The most widely known outcome was the space program (headed by Wernher Von Braun, the German rocket scientist whose team developed the V-2 ballistic missile) that landed American astronauts on the moon in 1969.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (1952) revised the more restrictive Immigration Act of 1924. The new law relaxed nationality quotas and created H1visas that allow U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialized occupations. Visa revisions and modifications since 1952 permit foreign spouses and children to work in the U.S. too. There are liberal per-country limits on H1 and other temporary worker visas, but there are no caps on the number of people employed in higher education or by non-profit organizations.
Let’s be clear here. LIFA in no way opposes legal immigration; it is at the core of our mission. Nor do we oppose the necessary and legal employment of foreign nationals with specialized qualifications.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that for almost thirty years American corporations and foreign employment companies have been gaming the system, using foreign workers who are barely qualified to replace higher-skilled, better-paid American employees. The best known recent example of this travesty is the 2015 case where Disney forced over 300 American IT workers to train their Indian H1B replacements. Then the Americans were fired! Some of these highly-skilled American workers still struggle to find good jobs because an increasing number of foreign IT personnel are replacing more and more Americans. This tragic situation is impacting a spectrum of professions beyond the IT field, including pharmacists, financial analysts, and nearly any field that requires a college degree.
Arguably, what Disney did was legal because it had contracted with an intermediary for the workers. Yet this is just one of hundreds of examples of how nominally American companies – Microsoft, Deloitte, Walmart, and on and on – cut their labor costs and their efficiency by using workers from India and Red China.
What you can do:
Call and write your senator to oppose and vote down S.386. In combination with H.R.1024 that already passed, it will remove the country caps for H1B workers. Why does that matter? The law now allows for 70,000 H1Bs from India annually. This year there were 350,000 applicants – five times as many as the available visas – that are now dispensed by lottery. If the caps are lifted, the number of foreign workers legally admitted to the U.S. every year will multiply!
The impact of temporary worker visa abuse is obvious: entire American communities depressed by American job losses and careers; suppression of American wages; Americans, particularly young people, discouraged from entering STEM fields; and America stands to lose its technological leadership.
How the corruption and abuse of our otherwise legal temporary employment visa system works. Who’s behind it and how they get away with it. Stay tuned!
God Bless America!
Legal Immigrants for America
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