It’s an appalling reality that in the entire U.S. Senate not one single member is willing to stand up for American workers.
From appointed Arizona Republican Martha McSally to Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, possibly the world’s only avowed socialist who won’t defend his nation’s workers, none stood up against the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, S. 386, and its continuum of foreign national tech workers, mostly Indian.
S. 386 would eliminate the 7 percent country cap provision that controls Green Card issuance to ensure that one country, or just a few countries, do not dominate the program. The current system limits India to about 20 percent of the employment-based work permits, mostly H-1B visas. But U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services predicts that if S. 386 were to become law, India would receive more than 90 percent of Green Cards for the next ten years. Green Cards are a step to U.S. citizenship.
The Senate, once considered the world’s most deliberative body, is today a sorry collection of sad sacks that don’t flinch at displacing more qualified U.S. tech workers with cheaper, less skilled Indian foreign nationals. Never mind that the abruptly unemployed Americans have families and all the associated financial commitments. The senators’ collective opinion: tough luck for the jobless Americans, but we’re okay.
The only voice that prevented S. 386 from passing by the weaselly unanimous consent method – no dissenting opinions heard, no amendments allowed and no actual vote taken – was Georgia Sen. David Perdue who, nonetheless, said that he “supports this bill,” but has reservations about its possible effect on his state’s rural health care. In other words, although Perdue blocked the legislation, he’s onboard with the ongoing displacement of U.S. tech workers.
While turning their backs on U.S. tech workers, the senators worship their false gods and campaign donors, namely Google, Alphabet Inc. and Amazon that, among other tech giants, benefit from lower cost Indian labor. According to Open Secrets.org that monitors federal campaign contributions, S. 386’s lead sponsor Mike Lee (R-UT) has been rewarded by his Silicon Valley supporters: Microsoft, $33,000; Google, $18,400; Amazon, $12,500; Oracle, $11,000; Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, $11,000 and the Koch-owned Koch Agronomic Services, $11,000. All lobbied intensively on behalf of S. 386.
After Perdue blocked S. 386, Lee took to his Facebook page to defend his bad bill. Lee wrote: “Suppose two people – Applicant A and Applicant B – apply at the same time for an employment-based immigrant visa. Applicant A comes from a small country, while Applicant B comes from a large one. Other than their countries of origin, they are identical. Applicant A might receive his employment-based green card within twelve months. Applicant B, on the other hand, might remain on a waiting list for decades. Why? Applicant B comes from a heavily populated country (i.e., India), and other applicants from that country quickly exceed an arbitrary, annual cap put in place by Congress during the 1950s.
“It makes no sense to have a per-country cap for employment-based green cards. Today the Senate came very close to repealing it, and next week it might finally happen.” Lee promised that his Green Card giveaway would be a done deal before September ends.
Dozens of nonpartisan studies have confirmed that the H-1B visa harms U.S. tech workers, but boosts profits for corporations that hire them. Rather than rehash those numerous studies, consider how Ray Marshall, Labor Secretary, in the immigration-friendly Carter administration summed the visa up: “One of the best con jobs ever done on the American public and political systems…. H-1B pays below market rate. If you’ve got H-1B workers, you don’t have to do training or pay good wages.”
U.S. jobs should go to American citizens or existing lawful permanent residents, not to foreign nationals whose homes and birthplaces are 8,500 miles away from Silicon Valley.