Talk about two, very strange bedfellows!
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) might be described as Ying and Yang in their public political positions, but when it comes to destroying jobs for Americans, they are as inseparable as Ding and Dong.
This odd couple is co-sponsoring the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a bill that would remove per-country caps for employment-based green cards, and give India a huge advantage in exporting their workers here to take Americans’ jobs.
Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, immigrated to the United States from Madras, India in 1960. Her father, Donald Harris, emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 for graduate study in economics at University of California. She is Jamaican-Indian-American for those who like hyphenations.
Lee is a Mormon from Utah, who has earned a 100% rating from the Club for Growth and 99% from the Koch Brothers-supported Heritage Society. He wants the age for Social Security retirement hiked three years to 70, cuts in benefit payments to those retired, and a host of policies that mirror the John Birch Society’s pro-corporate, anti-public design for society. He is of English, Swiss, and Danish descent
Harris wants Medicare for All, is rated seven percent by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and believes companies should provide contraception under ObamaCare. She even posted some 3,600 different Facebook ads against Brett Kavanaugh, whom Lee supported for Supreme Court Justice.
Yet, when it comes to the so-called “Fairness” act, Harris and Lee join ranks with organizations including: Immigration Voice, Compete America Coalition, the Information Technology Industry Council, Google, Microsoft, The Heritage Foundation and La Raza. The giant technology companies are especially anxious to get this bill passed, so they can import hundreds of thousands of software techs and engineers from India.
Both six-year-term Senators spout the usual propaganda about why we don’t need jobs for talented Americans.
Immigrants should not be penalized due to their country of origin,” Lee said.
Treating people fairly and equally is part of our founding creed and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act reflects that belief. Immigration is often a contentious issue, but we should not delay progress in areas where there is bipartisan consensus just because we have differences in a other areas.
“Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” Harris said.
We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to the economy. I’m proud to join with Senator Lee on this bipartisan legislation to ensure that our country remains vibrant and dynamic.
The Harris-Lee bill works by lifting the current “country cap” immigration rules, which say that people from one country can receive up to seven percent of the 140,000 green cards sponsored by employers each year. This forces diversity to companies’ hiring of foreign workers.
In practice, loopholes allow Indians to double their inflow, with roughly 14 percent of the annual allotment each year. That 14 percent provides green cards to roughly 23,000 Indian workers, spouses, and children each year.
But that annual supply of 23,000 cards is too small for all the Indian workers who have been sponsored for green cards by U.S. and Indian outsourcing firms. The result is that roughly 630,000 Indian visa workers, spouses, and children are slowly moving through the line for green cards.
The huge population of temporary workers is made possible by Congress, which allows H-1B visa-workers to continuously extend their six-year stay in the United States, once their company sponsors them for green cards. That extension law has been used by the Indian outsourcing companies to greatly expand their “temporary” H-1B workforce already in the U.S. to nearly 700,000 workers.
Harris and Lee are proposing to end “country caps” and allow visa workers to get their green cards on a first come, first served basis. The Indian-run, middle-class outsourcing industry is so large that Indian visa workers will receive nearly all of the green cards for the next several years. A smaller group of workers will come from China, the Philippines, and other nations.
Michelle Malkin, whose parents were in the U.S. on employer-sponsored visas when she was born a citizen in Philadelphia, is a severe critic of the GOP’s pro-visa programs, and went after Republicans at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC):
It’s interesting because in sort of the mainstream establishment of the conservative movement, the kind that is essentially ruled at CPAC for year after year after year, there’s been — in my mind — not as much progress on (fixing) legal immigration issues, Malkin said.
And you hear it with this talking point, this platitude from many sort of defensive virtue signalers that ‘I’m against illegal immigration but for legal immigration. What does that mean? What numbers? How much? And who?
Asking the questions and answering them is so necessary, especially in this environment where the donor class and the establishment Republican ruling class don’t want those questions asked,” Malkin added.
In the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) latest research, Malkin said the supposed “highly skilled” H-1B visa foreign workers that are imported by big business and tech giants are not, in fact, highly educated:
The idea, for example, that these thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of people with H-1B visas are the ‘best and the brightest’ simply isn’t borne out by the data. And the data is the data. The data is not racist, the data is not xenophobic or discriminatory and it’s not picking and choosing. The data is the data.
And the data show that by and large, the vast majority of people with H-1B visas are journeymen and they are of average skill.
They are not the best and the brightest. They are not starting world shaking companies. They are not earning hundreds and thousands of patents that no American can secure and innovations that no American can come up with.”
Unlimited visa advocates and companies claim there is a shortage of high skill workers, but tests show that immigrants with foreign college degree score far lower than Americans graduates.
Michael S. Teitelbaum, vice president of the Sloan Foundation, said there is no shortage of American-born scientists and engineers.
Teitelbaum said there is evidence suggesting surpluses. He explained that there are significantly more science and engineering graduates in the United States than attractive positions available in the workforce. Similarly, B. Lindsay Lowell and Harold Salzman also pointed out the disproportionate percentage of bachelor’s degree holders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) were not employed in those occupations.
Looking at the STEM labor market, Salzman said that, for every two students graduating with a U.S. STEM degree, only one is employed in STEM, because of a lack of suitable jobs.
For many, the salaries are too low, forcing them into other fields not infiltrated by visa hires. In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 74 percent of those who had a bachelor’s degree in a STEM major were not employed in STEM occupations.
The argument goes that foreign workers are more talented or better educated, but CIS researcher Jason Richwine found that among those surveyed with at least a college degree, native-born Americans scored at the 74th percentile in literacy, while U.S.-educated legal immigrants scored at the 66th percentile. Trailing behind, foreign-educated legal immigrants, brought to the U.S. to take high-paying American jobs, scored at the 42nd percentile in literacy.
A good example of how unfair our visa programs have become is Jay Palmer, a software expert who was forced to train his Indian replacement, after he was terminated from his Florida job at Disney Corporation:
The federal offer of green cards to foreign workers tilts the field decisively by providing huge government-funded prizes — work permits, green cards, and citizenship – to foreign workers, who agree to take Americans’ jobs at lower wages, work longer hours, live in overcrowded apartments, move from city to city, and complain less, Palmer said.
Indian managers rationally exclude young American graduates from new jobs, and instead hire Indian visa workers, he explained.
Indians only hire Indians because they can manipulate them, exploit them, and the young workers just take it because [any job in the United States] is better than being back in a poverty-stricken nation…they’ll work 70 to 80 hours a week … and they won’t complain.
Worse, many American firms rely on Indian subcontractors to do introductory jobs, such as software testing and maintenance. The result is that few Americans get starter jobs in the technology sector, Palmer said.
Many Americans are talented but they have little hope of getting a job in the tech fields because they will ask for fair wages.
The Harris-Lee Senate bill is additionally cosponsored by
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Jim Moran (R-KS)
Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ)
The companion House bill is sponsored by all these Republicans:
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., Rep. Any Barr, R-Ky, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla, Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind, Rep. Ken Calvert, Ken, R-Calif., Rep. Ken Calvert, Ken, R-Calif., Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-P.R., Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah., Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan., Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio., Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas., Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio., Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kans., Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., Rep. David Roe, R-Tenn., Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., Rep. Elise, Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah., Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., Rep. Don Young, R-Ak., Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., Rep. David Schweikert, R-Az., Rep. Steven Watkins, R-Kan., Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah., Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas., Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C., Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas., Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.,
And all these Democrats:
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., Rep. Joseph Morelle, D-N.Y., Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine., Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., Rep. Dina Titus, D-N.V., Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Rep. James Comer, D-Ky., Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., Rep. T.J. Cox, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pa., Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., Rep. Bill Foster, D-Il., Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, D-Texas.,Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif., Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas., Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Rep. Eddie Johnson, D-Texas., Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., Rep. Ann Kuster, D-N.H., Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Ca., Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Rep. Mary Scanlon, D-Pa., Rep. John Garamendi, D-Ga., Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas., Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rep. Bradley Schneider, D-Ill., Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Rep. Sean Patrick, D-N.Y., Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.
It is amazing how “bipartisan” our crooked Congress has become, when it has the opportunity to cut wages of the American middle class, satisfy corporate greed, and ensure future campaign contributions, personal gifts and secret payoffs.