Some 57 out of every 100 jobs in Silicon Valley requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher are filled by someone who wasn’t born in the U.S., according to a boast by Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Guardino, who wants President Donald Trump to grant DACA (ages 16-34) amnesty, said that loss of illegal workers would be “particularly damaging in Silicon Valley”, where they are part of the region’s tech world labor pool. Of the nation’s 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), about 230,000 are in California.
This business leader seems oblivious to reality. Every job held by a non-citizen means one less job for an American, and leads to lower wages in that skill or profession.
Foreign workers don’t strike, complain about excessive hours, report pervert bosses or otherwise make waves – fearing reporting by employers to authorities. Their bargaining power in the marketplace rivals the 1800s’ cotton field slaves, but lacking even minimal guaranteed healthcare, food or shelter. Meanwhile, on a brighter note for Silicon Valley, Jeff Bezos, marked a milestone this week, when his personal wealth exceeded $100 billion.
Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. fears DACA law enforcement will be bad for business:
Uncertainty is hard on both the employee and the employer. We dread the thought of more ICE raids relative to those DACA recipients.
The business leaders who have urged Congress to grant amnesty are members of the Regional Economic Association Leaders (R.E.A.L.) Coalition of California. The association represents 20 organizations and some 15,000 employers who collectively provide up to 3.9 million California jobs.
Members of the coalition include: Republicans Toebben and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Sanders, plus Guardino and Alicia Berhow, vice president of the Orange County Business Council, both Democrats. This “bipartisan” leadership is being touted as universal agreement that Silicon Valley will suffer without DACA.
But the real problem is not DACA, it’s F-1 Visas
In 2001 there were 110,000 F-1 equivalent foreign students studying at American universities. Under the F-1 Visa program that number grew to 677,928 foreigners by 2015. The vast majority were from China and India, and most were engineers and scientists, especially high tech software experts. Foreign cities with the most applicants were: Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hyderabad and Riyadh.
The number of H-1B Visas is limited to some 85,000 a year. There is no limit on F-1 Visas.
Most engineering graduate students today are foreigners, according to Forbes:
In computer science, international students make up 63 percent of the full-time graduate students. In industrial engineering, economics, chemical engineering, materials engineering and mechanical engineering more than half the full-time graduate students are foreign nationals.
Why not Americans? Are the students here being frozen out of admission or only allowed in by quota that favors foreigners?
The answer to “why” is money. International students pay two or three times the tuition of Americans, so the more of them, the more money in higher education coffers.
At the other end is the demand for the foreign workers in Silicon Valley. Come to the U.S., attend college, get a job in California and live the American dream. And it’s all legal – until five years after graduation, when the visas require renewal.
But since there is no enforcement of renewals, many foreign workers – granted Social Security cards under visas – stay here as long as they want.
An estimated 4.4 million of our 11 million illegal immigrants are expired visa holders of one type or another.