Congress Abandons 30M Unemployed

Sen. Mike Lee


From Congress’ 435 U.S. representatives and 100 senators, only about 10 percent can be classified as solidly pro-American worker. Their immigration voting records prove their inexplicable indifference to American workers’ fates. Whether the immigration category is lawful permanent residents who arrive at the rate of more than 1 million annually, refugees, asylees and employment-based visa holders, all receive work authorization. Illegal immigrants caught and released at the border receive parole, a federal pardon that qualifies them for work permits which in turn allows them to remain in the U.S. and to be legally hired. Finally, illegal immigrants that successfully get past the border often enter the black-market economy, and are hired off the books.

While some in Congress vote to slow certain immigration categories, only about 50, at most, are behind a broad-based immigration slowdown. Proof: in 2017, senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) introduced the RAISE Act that would have eliminated the unnecessary diversity visa, slowed refugee intake, limited chain migration to a petitioner’s nuclear family, and slowed legal immigration over the next decade by about 50 percent. The bill’s sole two co-sponsors who felt reducing legal immigration by half over the next decade and eliminating population-busting chain migration, thereby limiting the total numbers of work permits issued, were Cotton and Purdue, a pathetic testimonial to Congress’ cynical attitude toward U.S. workers.

Congress has at least a half-dozen ethnic caucuses that defend special interests. But nowhere in Congress is there a caucus that defends American workers. And because no such caucus exists, over decades, millions of U.S. jobs have been outsourced, and millions of U.S. workers have been displaced.

During the last week in July in a brazen effort to promote the welfare of Indian nationals but to the detriment of U.S. tech workers’ futures, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) made another in a series of 2020 attempts to pass S. 386, an outsourcing H-1B bill that would eliminate the country cap that restricts the number of Green Cards awarded to each country to 25,000.

If Lee were to prevail, for the foreseeable future, Green Cards would be issued almost exclusively to Indians. In its analysis of S. 386, the Congressional Research Service concluded that passage of legislation would benefit Indians, and to a lesser extent Chinese nationals, but at the expense of other overseas citizens hoping to migrate to, and work in, the U.S. Lee, by the way, is routinely identified as a conservative, and was rumored to be on President Trump’s short list to replace Justice Anton Scalia on the Supreme Court.

The House of Representatives and the Senate have powerful, influential India caucuses that speak with one voice on India-related issues. The Senate caucus dates back to 2004, and today’s House caucus on India and Indian Americans was established in 1933, and is the largest congressional House country-specific caucus. Yet, to repeat, no single congressional caucus exists to defend Americans against what is a decades-long pattern of importing foreign labor and outsourcing U.S. jobs to overseas nations.

Consistent with Capitol Hill’s disregard for the fate of U.S. workers, insiders report that nearly every GOP senator and the Department of Homeland Security support Lee’s proposal. And should Lee’s proposed legislation reach President Trump’s desk, the same insiders predict that, because so many corporations that benefit from cheap labor H-1Bs also donate to the chief executive’s campaign, he’ll sign it into law. This is a complete disgrace for the candidate who, if elected, promised to reform legal immigration to serve American workers, and “to bring our jobs back home.” Now that 30 million Americans are unemployed, the nation could sure use those jobs President Trump pledged to deliver.

Not only has President Trump failed on H-1Bs, he’s joined with Congress in their mutual abandonment of E-Verify, the free, easy-to-use online system that confirms in a matter of seconds whether an employee is legally authorized to work in the U.S.

Congress has kicked around E-Verify without mandating the program since 1996 when it was named the Basic Pilot program. Since 1997, E-Verify has been available to corporations nationwide. Yet the pro-donor, pro-cheap labor Congress refuses to implement E-Verify which would protect U.S. workers from the illegal hiring scourge.

For a quarter of a century Congress has been vigorous in its support of the cheap labor lobby. Imagine instead if Congress had battled as steadfastly on Americans’ behalf. Then U.S. workers’ adjusted-for-inflation wages wouldn’t have been flat for the same 25 years.