Programmers ought to give Facebook a “DISLIKE” button for the social media platform’s 10th birthday. No doubt, a lot of people would like to use such a button to register their disapproval of the company’s lobbying effort for massive high-skilled immigration increases.
Let’s define its advocacy status. Facebook entered a relationship with its lobbying arm FWD.us in 2009. It went from 2 lobbyists in 2009 and ballooned to 38 experienced lobbyists in 2013. Recent hires include Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) former deputy director of communications and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) former chief of staff. These former House aides are out lobbying for more foreign high-skilled workers, but there are actually many high-skilled Americans who are out of work or underemployed. Two-thirds of the more than 9 million people in the U.S. with degrees in science, engineering, or mathematics are working in other fields.
Check in. Well, for Facebook, there were actually lots of checks in. Facebook spent $6.4 million in lobbying last year. That’s nearly twice the amount it dropped the previous year and 4 times as much as two years ago. The increasing amounts of money recently were spent to get the Senate mass amnesty bill passed. Facebook succeeded by getting a carve-out in the Senate mass amnesty bill, S. 744, that would eviscerate the requirement that Facebook make a “good faith” effort to hire Americans before getting foreign labor with H-1B visas. Now FWD.us continues the push to get the House to follow suit, by dropping $750,000 for only 10 days of ads on immigration.
What’s on Facebook’s news feed? Scroll down a bit, and find Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington Post op-ed last year. He made the statement that “In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country.” Note that he said “attract to” not “hire in.” Zuckerberg considers foreign labor most important, not American workers. Between 2009 and 2012 during this knowledge economy that the tech industry is benefiting from, 67% of new jobs went to foreign-born workers.
Who is Facebook friends with? There are some familiar connections here, as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched the FWD.us lobbying arm by friending some powerful contacts in the technology world. Along with the help from Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, it bankrolled the massive lobbying effort. And what do all these friends join together for? These tech industry leaders want something like the Senate immigration bill, which triples the number of so-called skilled (H-1B visa) guest workers who may enter the U.S. annually and exempts green card holders with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, from the cap on employment-based immigration. Both of these efforts will dramatically increase competition for Americans entering or working in those fields. Apparently, these tech industries are no friend to the American worker.
The increasing involvement of Facebook in the immigration debate, at the expense of American workers, is unfortunately, not something to celebrate.