Think of The Children – Really!

Founder’s Corner

In the wake of the administration’s failure to pass the immigration provisions added to the Build Back Better Act (BBB), along with attempts in 2020 by the corporatocracy to pass the badly named Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, one might think those committed to American prosperity should be feeling pretty good. No, not so fast!

No sooner has 2022 begun we face another bad bill.  The America’s Cultivation of Hope and Inclusion for Long-Term Dependents Raised and Educated Natively Act of 2021 (America’s CHILDREN Act of 2021), seeks to reward those who have for decades displaced U.S. workers.

Yes, yes, once again it’s the children.  As Aristotle taught, there are three basic modes for persuading your audience — appeal to logic, appeal to authority, or appeal to emotion.  

Unable to logically argue why laws that restrict employment visa holders from becoming instant citizens are just, and unable to pass laws to that effect using brute force, the corporatocracy and its minions in Congress are now appealing to emotions. They’re arguing that employment visa holders’ children who are aging out will have little choice but to self-deport as their parents navigate the Green Card log jam. 

Specifically, the America’s CHILDREN Act of 2021  would provide a pathway to permanent residency for  employment visa holders’ children who have maintained status in the United States for 10 years, including four years as a dependent, and have graduated from an institution of higher education.

Essentially, this is a staple-a-Green Card to your U.S. college diploma bill for Indian-born children of H-1B/L-1 visa workers.

“(ii) was admitted to the United States as a dependent child of a non-immigrant admitted pursuant to an approved employer petition under section 214 or as a dependent child of a non-immigrant with status under section 101(a)(15)(E), and was lawfully present in the United States pursuant to such status for an aggregate period of not less than 4 years;” 

And it appears these same privileges extend to the children of E-2 visa holders which is puzzling because the E-2 visa isn’t a dual-intent visa.  A foreign national applying for it knows there isn’t a pathway to a Green Card, so to say the children of E-2 visa holders deserve a pathway to permanent residency makes no sense.

I believe the E-2 was added because the large Indian base of the advocacy group supporting it feared the optics. It looks bad if Indian nationals are the only group benefiting from changed immigration laws. To add some “diversity”, the Indian kids from the Improve The Dream advocacy group decided to reach out to E-2 kids, most of whom happen to be from Europe; E-2 visas are available for a select few countries

Some obvious problems if this bill passes – the parents of these children have allowed themselves to be used as pawns to displace U.S. workers from their jobs – which is exactly what the H-1B visa program was designed to do.

Second, this bill would not only reward the above practice, but encourage more of it. What should be a “temporary” work visa will now become a sure path to citizenship. All it will take, is to come to the U.S. with a 16-year-old dependent, enroll them in college, and the system will take care of the rest. As a result, the number of employment-based Green Card petitions will skyrocket for H-1B visa workers from India, which would further increase the Green Card backlog.

I have nothing against these kids as I’m sure some of them are high achievers, and I’m sure they’re feeling a bit of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) envy. But frankly, this is the U.S. Congress and our citizens voted them in to work for our best interests and on our behalf, not those of foreign nationals.

I‘m gob smacked that Congress hasn’t committed to passing even one bill that would reign in the abuses of employment visa programs such as the H-1B.  Year after year, they craftily, and unscrupulously work to pass legislation that hurts American workers in the near, mid, and long term. 

Adding fuel to the fire, “America First” representative Marionette Miller-Meeks (R IA-02) is co-sponsoring the bill. I can easily understand Deborah Ross (D NC-02) sponsoring it as she’s in the pocket of North Carolina’s Research Triangle interests. But Miller-Meeks? 

Moreover, another sponsor is Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) who should know better. In a March 2019 Finance Committee hearing, she grilled CEO Charlie Scharf of Wells Fargo for offshoring more than 400 jobs from her district to India. It’s pathetic that all she and her ilk ultimately do, is encourage more outsourcing and offshoring.

If I were going to appeal to emotion and not logic, I’d simply say this – think of the children, whose American parents have been displaced and denied access to the labor market because of programs like H1-B and L-1. You can bet they’re hurting and for them there isn’t a plan B, as there isn’t another country eager to admit American families and use them to displace their native workers.

In closing, the antidote to bad legislation is sunlight. The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act was supposed to glide quietly under the radar but tech workers exposed it and it failed. Tragically, much of what the administration’s doing doesn’t involve legislation, rather its bending immigration practice and policy to its will through the effective use of bureaucracy. In the coming weeks we’ll focus on what’s going on deep in the bowels of government. Until then read the articles below and follow us on Twitter. 

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