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New Year’s Surprise: Obama Regulation To Give Work-Permits To Foreign College-Graduates

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As the nation prepares to ring in the New Year, President Barack Obama is preparing a colossal new executive action that could print-up work permits for a huge number of foreign white-collar graduates every year, above and beyond the levels set by Congress.

This executive action, which directly bypasses Congressional lawmakers, is likely to reverberate across the presidential race, as GOP voters look to choose a nominee they believe will most effectively roll back the President’s still-expanding agenda.  And it will certainly raise new security concerns as it covers categories of immigration utilized by migrants from the Middle East and nearby regions.

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President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security plans to publish the proposed rule tomorrow, the last day of 2015.

The 181-page rule focuses primarily on giving work-permits to foreign college-grads who will compete against Americans for white collar jobs, despite the large number of American graduates now stuck in lower-wage positions and struggling to pay off college debts. The rule will also make each foreign graduate much cheaper for U.S. employers to hire than many U.S.-born college grads.

“Obama has gone the Full Monty to bust the immigration system,” says immigration lawyer John Miano. “What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the [annual] quotas… it could be over 100,000.”

The new rules to aid foreign college-graduates are an extension of his earlier efforts to bypass popular laws against illegal immigration, said Miano, the co-author of a new book about the painful impact of the white-collar guest-worker programs, titled “Sold Out.”

This executive action could have been prevented, however, had the bipartisan 2016 omnibus funding included language proposed by Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
In April, Sessions proposed language to reduce and cap the number of work-permits — dubbed “Employment Authorization Documents” — that could be distributed to foreign workers each year. Sessions’ recommendation was rejected by GOP and Democratic leaders in Congress, and so House Speaker Paul Ryan’s December omnibus is enabling the president’s new executive action.
In 2012, Obama bypassed laws against illegal immigration by awarding two-year work-permits to at least 800,000 younger foreign migrants who were brought here by their illegal immigrant parents. In 2015, the courts blocked his November 2014 amnesty plan to award work-permits to roughly 5 million resident migrants who have U.S.-born children. From 2009 to 2015, Obama also allowed at least 250,000 Central American migrants into the United States to request asylum or refugee status. In 2013, Obama added roughly 2 million extra foreign workers to the economy, while roughly 4 million young Americans began looking for work.

“The objective here is to strip American workers of their protections from foreign labor embodied in the Green Card quotas” that are set by Congress, not the White House, Miano said.

The annual award of Green Cards — and vital preliminary work-permits — is limited by quotas that mostly impact the many Indian and Chinese graduates who come to the United States as H-1B guest-workers, or who first arrive as students and later start working in the United States via the Optional Practical Training and H-1B programs.

Roughly 650,000 foreign graduates are working in the United States for roughly 5 years each under the H-1B program. Roughly 120,000 foreign graduates of U.S. colleges are working in the United States for two years each via the OPT program, often called the ‘mini-H-1B program.’ Without this new regulation, most of those foreign graduates will return home after several years, forcing companies to hire U.S. graduates in their place.

The foreign graduates typically get entry-level jobs that would otherwise go to new U.S. business graduates, designers, doctors, programmers, engineers and scientists.  Also, the foreign graduates are used to replace mid-level American professionals once they seek mid-career pay-raises to help pay for mortgages and child-rearing.

According to the pending regulation, “many of these changes are primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain [foreign] high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs), while increasing the ability of such [foreign] workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with current employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.”

The new policy also creates a large economic incentive for U.S. employers to hire foreign college-grads instead of new American college-grads.

That’s because the policy will allow U.S. employers to hire foreign college graduates at very low salaries. The foreign graduates will gladly take those low-wage white-collar jobs because the new policy allows them to get deferred payments from the federal government — valuable permanent work-permits that are the first step on the golden pathway to Green Cards and citizenship.

In contrast, employers can’t pay American graduates with this combination of low-salaries plus the federal promise of citizenship — because the Americans already have citizenship.

That means employers must pay more money to hire American college-grads than they would to hire foreign college-grads. That puts a huge disadvantage on American graduates because they need higher salaries to pay off their expensive U.S. college debt.

Miano slammed the new regulations, and said they reflect Obama’s preference for foreigners over Americans.

“Notice that when foreign workers are going to lose their jobs, Obama has DHS make protecting their jobs the agency’s highest priority,” chiefly by minimizing enforcement of immigration laws, he told Breitbart News. But “when American workers lose their jobs to foreign workers, Obama does absolutely nothing,” he said.

“We have a president with a very warped sense of priorities,” he added.

The public can object to the new regulations, according to the DHS document.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before [Insert date 60 days from date of publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER].

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: You may submit comments to USCIS by visiting http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: You may submit comments directly to USCIS by e-mailing them to:

USCISFRComment@dhs.gov. Please include DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0008 in the subject line of the message.

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter, at @NeilMunroDC



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