Last week, in one of the thousands of emails released by WikiLeaks, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was caught telling a group of Wall Street executives that any kind of limit on immigration is “fundamentally un-American.”
In the transcript of a 2013 speech at Goldman Sachs, Clinton declared that proponents of true immigration reform are “against immigration for reasons that have to do with the past, not the future.” She later claimed “they just have a backward-looking view of America,” and should “be rejected because they are fundamentally un-American.”
Mrs. Clinton is essentially saying that a vast majority of U.S. citizens don’t support American values. A recent Gallup poll shows that 79 percent of Americans want to see immigration levels limited or reduced. Of those polled, 38 percent want to see immigration decreased, but only 21 percent approve of increasing the number of immigrants admitted to the United States.
With the economy still sluggish after a global recession, the job market understandably remains the top issue for voters. More than 60 percent of voters feel less sure about their job security today than they did in the past. The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes the underemployed and discouraged workers, is at almost 10 percent. Unchecked immigration policies are a big reason for this slow recovery.
Despite alarming unemployment numbers, the federal government still issues about 85,000 H-1B visas annually – mainly for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs. Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of Americans with STEM degrees are forced to work outside of their field, some politicians want to increase the H-1B cap to 195,000 annually. In addition, states like Massachusetts actively assist foreigners in getting around existing visa caps.
Meanwhile, corporations like Disney, Intel and Caterpillar exploit the H-1B program by firing American workers in favor of cheaper foreign workers. The result is that U.S. citizens can no longer compete in the marketplace and end up either underemployed or dependent on unemployment benefits.
A pro-American immigration policy places the jobs and well-being of U.S. citizens first. This includes ensuring that Americans with STEM degrees fill jobs in their field before foreign workers. Another effective measure would be passing the American Jobs First Act of 2015, which requires that H-1B workers be paid the same as citizens in order to lower the incentive for corporations to undercut U.S. workers. American workers deserve an immigration policy that protects their interests.