None other than Jesse Jackson is speaking out against foreign guest-workers in the technology industry.
“We need to get rid of H1B workers. There are Americans who can do that work, and H1B workers are cheaper and undercut wages,” Jackson, who still supports massive amnesty legislation that would lower the wages of working-class Americans, said in an interview with Fortune in which he blasted Silicon Valley companies for not having enough black and Hispanic employees. “We need more computer science scholarships. When I was a kid, I remember being mortified by Sputnik, but in a few months everything was STEM [science, technology engineering and math]. You took STEM classes and you got a scholarship. We trained people, we gave them jobs, we became the best in the world.”
As Howard University public policy professor Ron Hira has repeatedly emphasized, tech jobs had been a gateway to the middle class for Americans before companies started importing massive numbers of foreign workers with H-1b visas.
“This is really important because the STEM degrees, information technology and engineering in particular, have been real pathways to the middle class,” he said on The Laura Ingraham Show this summer. “It’s been a traditional path for working class kids to study. It’s a very meritocratic set of occupations, unlike some other areas. By cutting this off, we are cutting off that upward mobility to the middle class for so many of the working class kids.”
Even though America has a surplus of high-tech workers and there is no evidence that there is a shortage, the tech industry has spent millions trying to secure massive increases in foreign guest-worker visas, which would lower the wages of tech workers while making it tougher for Americans to get and keep technology jobs.
Vice President Joe Biden also noted the importance of good-paying tech jobs for black Americans trying to move up the economic ladder. And President Barack Obama recently implied, as Breitbart News noted, that he is “skeptical” of claims by the tech industry that companies cannot find Americans to fill vacant jobs.
“I’m generally skeptical when you hear employers say, ‘oh we just can’t find any Americans to do the job,’” Obama said 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…”
As Breitbart News has reoorted “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 there is a proven surplus of America high-tech workers.
In the next Congress, top GOP leaders in the Senate and House, though, have said they want to move forward with legislation that will increase H-1b visas, hoping such a bill will be a gateway to a more comprehensive immigration bill.