Intel Lays off U.S. Citizens While Lobbying to Increase Cap on H-1B Visas

h1b-testimony-rotatorMany large corporations claim that the Unites States is experiencing a critical shortage of high-tech workers. Included in this group is Intel, a behemoth of the computer and technology industry. In a post for the company’s policy blog, Lisa Malloy, Director of Policy Communications and Government Relations, claimed the U.S. has a “high-skilled workforce shortage in the STEM fields critical to innovation: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Conveniently, Malloy proposed immigrant labor, which is far cheaper than hiring domestic workers, as the solution, “Increasing the H-1B visa cap will help America’s high-tech companies recruit the talent they need to continue the relentless pace of innovation that sustains our national competitiveness, drives economic growth and creates jobs in the process.”

Less than a month after making this claim, Intel announced a plan to fire 11 percent of their workforce as part of a shift away from the PC market and into cloud-based data solutions. The move will leave up to 12,000 high-skilled workers without a job. It is expected that these layoffs will impact Intel’s Portland, Oregon location worst—a compound where nearly 650 H-1B visa holders work. Overall, Intel employs as many as 3000 foreign guest workers every year, raking 14th among all visa sponsors.

Intel has fired 1,000s of workers before. In 2014, the company implemented a plan to lay off 5 percent of its total workforce, approximately 5,380 jobs. Like now, these layoffs were announced at the same time their corporate lobbyists pushed for an expansion of the H-1B program, and while the company hired as many foreign guest workers as they possibly could. Despite the blatant contradiction, they continue maintaining that this practice is a response to a shortage of available career-seekers instead of an attempt to cut costs by hiring foreign workers over skilled Americans.

Other corporations are replacing high-skilled Americans with foreign labor as well. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida fired 100s of IT professionals last spring and forced them to train their replacements before departing. Leo Perrero, one of the employees Disney fired, acknowledged that the H-1B program is being used to line corporate pockets. “This situation at Disney is not an anomaly,” he said. “This same abuse of the H-1B program is happening nationwide.” While Congress and the Department of Labor have decided that intentionally replacing native employees with guest workers is within the intentions of the law, it does not mean the program is beneficial to the national economy or job market.

Perrero is correct in his allegation; the claim that there is a shortage of highly trained workers is false. In fact, 66 percent of the more than nine million Americans with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics are either unemployed or hold jobs in a field outside their area of study. These U.S. citizens are facing a shortage of opportunity thanks to the annual influx of foreign workers who add more competition to an already crowded market, expect lower pay and hold no expectation of long-term loyalty from the employers who take advantage of them.

Whether by importing foreign labor or exporting the work to other countries, Americans are losing their jobs. The Federal government, along with many major corporations, are failing to show U.S. citizens the loyalty they deserve. They reward pursuing a degree and years of hard work by driving down employment opportunities and the average wage. 

avatar About Spencer Raley

Spencer joined FAIR in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Comments

  1. avatar Dan_ says:

    It’s time to increase the H-1B visa fee to $50,000 per year. That should stop the clear abuse of the program, and return it to its intended purpose — to hire foreign workers who have unique, specialized skills that are unavailable in the U.S. at any price. For workers who are truly unique and specialized, the $50k should be far smaller than their salary.

  2. avatar Barbara Kaur says:

    our career politicians and big businesses care NOTHING about the American citizen workers.. they want the cheaper labor… both legal and illegal ones… We need Trump to clean up this mess and put a stop to illegal immigration and start enforcing laws against this type mess… I was told you can’t bring in people from another country to work unless you can prove you can’t hire an American citizen… but they continually hire non-citizens… It’s disgusting..
    we need Trump in there to clean up this madness… time we have someone who will put the country and the citizens FIRST.. we need someone who is going to stand up FOR the citizens and not constantly against us…
    our country is being destroyed more and more by these illegal aliens and other non-citizens taking jobs that American Citizens should be doing… our politicians ignore the concerns of the citizens.. and hold the illegal aliens and non-citizens first…
    I see on TV right now.. protesters out where Trump is to speak.. waving their Mexican flags and signs with profanity on it…

  3. avatar JIm Grant says:

    I will sell my stock in intel, Lord knows it taken a beating anyway and will buy products that offer different microprocessors and chips. So Good bye Intel

  4. avatar Kiana says:

    aunque simple, seguro que la idea ayuda a vender libros sobre cociiliacnón de la vida personal y laboral. Lo que hay que hacer es buscar la forma sostenible de llevarla a cabo. A ver si más señores serios y con corbatas pasadas de moda se lo creen y nos ponen a ello. Un abrazo.