President Barack Obama vowed to expand an obscure visa program on Monday which would allow employers to circumvent prohibitions on using cheap foreign labor to replace American workers.
“My administration is going to reform the L-1B visa category, which allows corporations to temporarily move workers from a foreign office to a U.S. office in a faster, simpler way. And this could benefit hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrant workers and their employers; that, in turn, will benefit our entire economy and spur additional investment,” Obama told an applauding audience at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
Companies may hire college-educated aliens through either the H-1B program or L-1 visas. While the H-1B visa program was capped by law after 2003 to 65,000 admitted applicants per year, not counting generous exemptions for nonprofit “research,” the L-1B program is essentially limitless. There is no law demanding companies pay their new L-1B labor force prevailing wages. Foreigners from countries such as India may work in the U.S. for as many as seven years for wages that would insult American workers who completed several years of debt-financed education.
Back in 2003, Bloomberg Business ran an expose on the collaboration between India’s largest IT consulting firm and the engineering corporation, Siemens USA. Stymied by H-1B strictures, the company decided to lay off American, taxpaying workers for more docile and less expensive foreign labor using L-1B visas.
“Is my government telling me that if an H-1B visa holder replaces me it’s illegal, but if an L-1 replaces me, it’s O.K.?” a furious Patricia Fluno fumed after the company unceremoniously dumped her for an Indian IT worker.
Congress required that companies pay H-1B visa recipients U.S. wages but made no such requirement for L-1B visas. This loophole allows companies to pay foreign workers Third World wages in American dollars, if they decide to cut costs—which profit-seeking entities tend to do. Fluno alleged that her Indian alien replacement was paid only a third of her $98,000 salary in 2003 dollars. (That’s a salary worth over $124,000 in 2015—meaning that Siemens fired a highly-skilled American woman to pay an Indian a mere $41,491.46 in today’s dollars.)
Companies sometimes use the L-1B visa program to ensure a smooth transfer from an abroad office to an American one, but it’s much more profitable to use what Bloomberg Business called the “loosely regulated” visa program to import cheap, grateful labor from countries where the average income was, say, $1,539.60 in the 2000s, as opposed to $49,803.50 in the United States.
Companies are scrambling to hire skilled foreigner workers—and Obama is moving to import a poorly-educated, low-income, gang-prone, often unhealthy underclass of illegals with high illegitimacy rates into the U.S. while pushing for “mandatory voting”—at a time when automation is expected to take over nearly half of all U.S. jobs created in as few as ten years.
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