True Immigration Reform: Nothing Confusing About It

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Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), held a lengthy and important hearing on high skilled immigration: “Immigration Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers.” The hearing was a good contribution to a long overdue but widely suppressed genuine debate in Congress over skilled visas. Is there validity to the tech industry’s chronic claims that more high skilled visas are desperately necessary to relieve shortages of labor in the industry and rescue American innovation, or are they in fact merely the self-serving assertions of those who stand to profit from stagnant STEM wages?

While the hearing illuminated a number of important details about our current skilled guest worker programs, the Committee, to some extent, inadvertently revealed how much of the “debate” on Capitol Hill occurs within a very narrow frame. For instance, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) opened with the statement that he felt confused, because he thought the debate was only about illegal immigration, and that no one wanted to reduce legal immigration. And yet, in January, Gallup showed that more than five times as many American adults want to reduce immigration than want to raise it. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he thought that those who criticized our current H-1B and L-1 visas were somehow trying to have it “both ways” because, apparently, they had rejected the Gang-of-Eight bill (which he called not wanting to reform immigration laws.) But there is no inconsistency in rejecting a bill for greatly expanding a guest worker program and, at the same time, believing the currently existing guest worker programs ought to be curtailed. “Immigration Reform” has been used as a euphemistic short hand for amnesty and guest worker expansion for too long…

Stay tuned to FAIR Legislative Updates next Tuesday for a full summary of this important hearing…

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21 Comments

  1. avatar

    Or closing the Border or sanctioning the Southern Border countries. I read a new block 0f illegal immigrations or coming again this summer. And no one is protesting in advance or finding a way to stop it. It is like, oh well!
    They just passed a child trafficking bill – did they do anything to close the loopholes of the 2008 bill that Feinstein and
    others that rammed it thru at a last day of Congress for a time. It just made it more complicated to turn around those coming to the borders.
    This country needs to enforce Immigration laws and change ones that do not work at all.

  2. avatar

    Throughout their political careers, Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn have received large donations from key executives of multi-national corporations and institutional investors who profit from the artificially suppressed wages that H-1B and other guestworker visa programs create. They have also received donations from employees and executives of corporate law firms who offer immigration services and advice to multi-national firms. As the visa pool increases, so does the profits of these law firms, who are paid according to the number of visa applications that they process.

    So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that both of these bought-and-paid-for Senators continually introduce and support legislation to drastically raise the quota for H-1B visas.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&type=I&cid=N00009869&newMem=N&recs=20

    https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=N00024852&type=I

    Even when these two cretins retire – or are voted out of office – they are likely to be rewarded in the form of cushy, high-paying jobs as lobbyists or government relations consultants for the same corporate special interests that they now serve in Congress.

  3. avatar
    Not Policically Correct on

    NO H-1B workers or any form of guest worker until TRUE unemployment is below 4%. If these people are so talented and such great workers they should be a great asset to helping make their own country a better place to live.

  4. avatar

    We have become patsies in many instances. Until Obama leaves office and we get a true American leader in the White House our country’s values, military, border security and world respect will continue to decline

  5. avatar

    I watched most of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about high skilled immigration into the US. One aspect to this issue that I think needs to be discussed is the potential for espionage from China. As mentioned in the hearing, China is the source of the second largest number of H-1B visa recipients. China is known to be conducting espionage on a global scale both through conducting cyber-attacks around the clock and through the more traditional use of people on the ground. China knows where it is technologically behind the US and it is a national priority to catch up using whatever means necessary. By educating China’s citizens and then employing them in our country’s most technologically advanced companies, we are handing China great opportunities to steal our technologies. And it does not matter if the Chinese student or employee wants to conduct espionage for China’s government, because they are known to use threats against family members back home in China as leverage.

    China has a totalitarian government with the world’s second largest military budget and it is currently engaged in a massive military buildup aimed at fighting a possible future war with the US. China is currently building bases on contested islands and reefs across the South China Sea, most of which China has claimed and our military is shifting forces to the region to counter China’s moves. Why do these Senators want to bring citizens of China to our country, and have them work with our country’s most sophisticated technology? But then these are the same Senators that vote to trade with China and sell them dual-use technology, making China wealthy enough and technologically advanced enough to field a powerful military.

    I worked at a Silicon Valley company that does some research for DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). There were a lot of Chinese scientists and engineers in the facility, a facility which requires a security clearance. Why do we want a lot of Chinese working on DARPA research? From DARPA: “Today, DARPA’s mission is still to prevent technological surprise to the US, but also to create technological surprise for our enemies. Stealth is one example where DARPA created technological surprise.” I watched a Chinese TV broadcast over the Internet where they were talking about DARPA and its research so they know all about it.

    For example, a current DARPA joint program with the Air Force is for a new, ultra-high-speed vehicle known as a hypersonic glide vehicle(HGV), part of Prompt Global Strike a U.S. military program to develop weapons—mainly missiles—that can strike targets at any location on earth within 30 minutes using conventional warheads. China has leapfrogged ahead to this cutting edge technology and has already conducted a couple of flight tests of HGVs. Could China really have made this much progress without access to at least some DARPA research?

    I realize this was a long comment but I am very concerned about some of what I have seen, considering the lives of our servicemen and women are potentially at risk in Asia.

    • avatar

      You’re absolutely right. What country is dumb enough to use their superior educational system to educate their military and economic competitors? That country is us.

  6. avatar

    All the pro open boarder and the more illegal immigrants the better mentality are stupid people. They are not thinking clearly. While those that come here to take those American jobs are all saying yeah! and are becoming American citizens. Guess what? Hello! Your kids and grandkids are going to be in the American worker category and all this moving to America for better opportunities for your kids and grandkids was all for NOTHING. They will be replaced with another illegal immigrant just like you and complaining on this website. Take a look into your grandchildrens future. Wake Up.

    • avatar

      CHEAP SLAVE LABOR – I use the word slave because they say very little so they are controlled by the Corporations

  7. avatar
    Brian Collins on

    Almost every company with an extensive IT labor force has been quietly and steadily replacing American workers with on and off shore foreign workers. Tens of thousands of middle aged Americans have lost their jobs while these companies have saved billions of dollars in not having to pay social security and providing healthcare plans. Many of the displaced were or are being forced to train their replacements knowing full well they are complicit in their on demise. Many companies have devised intricate schemes to protect themselves from age discrimination lawsuits and unjust firing suits by implementing ‘forced rating systems’ where x number of employees must be rated unsatisfactorily as a basis for dismissal based on subjective competitive scales. If you work for a company that still has a defined benefit pension plan you can expect that as soon as you reach the earliest age eligible for a pension you are fired or forced to take early retirement . It is a sickening and it should be illegal but when people from the third world will work for $15,000 a year or less to take the positions of Americans making much more than that including benefits and Social Security you can see why American companies can not help themselves from being fiendishly indifferent to the chaos inflicted on what were loyal employees.

    • avatar

      Good point about the Social Security taxes and healthcare benefits that the employers don’t have to pay for the visa workers. It’s an incentive not to hire, or retain, American citizens.

        • avatar

          I would recommend reading Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” written about 2500 years ago but still vibrantly current. Perhaps the most fundamental of Tzu’s crucial points was “Know thy enemy.”

          You are either supporting illegal immigration by deceptively refusing to identify it as a threat or are simply imperceptive to reality. Either way, illegal immigration wins, and America loses.

          An enemy does not have to come armed and with malevolent intent to be an enemy. Alien species such as starlings and house sparrows have no malevolent intent, but native species such as bluebirds are no longer around because they have been replaced by those non-malovolent aliens.

    • avatar

      As a former IT professional Brian and software engineer are correct. Companies bring over H1-B Visa individuals or outsource. These individuals are replacing competent Americans. According to D.C. we have a lack of skilled IT workers this is GARBAGE. What we have is a lack of working IT workers. There are plenty of us that have lost our positions after training our ‘H1 visa’ replacements.

      According to DOL these individuals must be paid an equal wage and equal benefits. The department also clearly states that an HB1 employee cannot displace current workers. Any U.S citizen that has been affected by these workers know that is simply not true.

      After 30+ years in the industry and numerous layoffs I opened my own business in an unrelated field. There I had illegal immigrants wanting work and demanding, yes DEMANDING, more than minimum wage for unskilled labor. So, my U.S. citizen workers, yea, the ones that will not take menial jobs, making $10.00 per hour (for example) are not demanding more denaro but these unskilled illegal workers are. Again, the governments arguments regarding immigrants and the workforce is BOGUS.

      • avatar

        CHEAP SLAVE LABOR – corporations want controlled people they can pay cheap wages and no benefits – they would rather pay politicians under the table with trips, etc that can be written off.

    • avatar

      Illegals make up the difference at the welfare office paid for by local County property owners.

  8. avatar

    If You Can Make It to Your Retirement Age as a STEM Worker

    And get off the American payroll with an adequate pension [assuming it hasn’t been eliminated and replaced with a 0% 401K]; it’s your only chance. If you’re a young legal American STEM Worker decades from saving for your retirement, or have no pension or you can’t save enough at 0% 401K interest, you’re shafted.

  9. avatar

    Who is Hatch kidding, the Gang-of-Eight bill would have dramatically increased the number of H-1B visas.

  10. avatar

    How could anyone who opposed the Senate gang of 8 bill be accused of trying to have it “both ways”? The bill was a grab bag of many proposals, which is why it was labelled as “comprehensive”. Actually it was the supporters of that bill who were trying to have it 15 different ways, not two.

    If a bill praised motherhood and apple pie, but cut funding to schools to zero, would those who opposed the bill be accused of trying to have it “both ways” if they voted on those things in separate bills? Orrin Hatch is just another political shill who is looking out for the interests of his corporate donors.

  11. avatar

    I would like to replace Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator John Cornyn with H-1B workers.

  12. avatar
    Dave Rotthoff on

    “True” immigration reform can ONLY consist of making illegal immigration a felony, punishable by both a hefty fine AND jail time, followed by immediate and uncontestable deportation.