On Tuesday, President Barack Obama implied that the high-tech industry is not telling the truth when it claims that there are not enough American high-tech workers to fill jobs.
“I’m generally skeptical when you hear employers say, ‘oh we just can’t find any Americans to do the job,'” Obama said on Tuesday at an immigration event in Nashville. “A lot of times what they really mean is that it’s a lot cheaper to potentially hire somebody who has just come here before they know better…”
Despite evidence to the contrary, the tech industry has spent millions trying to get massive increases in the number of H-1b guest-worker visas, claiming that they “can’t find” Americans to do various tech jobs even though companies like Microsoft are laying off 18,000 American workers. Those coveted guest-worker visas would give tech companies an endless supply of cheap foreign workers who would, according to scholar Hal Salzman, become “indentured servants.”
But even though he implied he knows that the high-tech industry just wants cheaper foreign labor, Obama, who expressed similar concerns when he was a Senator, pressed for more guest-worker visas in a comprehensive amnesty bill anyway.
Obama did say, though, that his comments did not apply to the agricultural industry–he said there are plenty of jobs in that industry that Americans will not do.