Dr. Ron Hira, professor of public policy at Howard University, reacted to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer that a network of local charter schools used H-1B visas to import K-12 teachers by stating that employers like the group that owns the network of schools, “don’t have to look for American workers first” on Wednesday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.”
“It’s unfortunately more common than people realize. While the employer, Concept Schools, claims they can’t find American workers…the reality is they don’t have to look for American workers first, they don’t have to do what we call a labor market test to see whether Americans are out there, they can actually wire in these jobs specifically for those particular guest workers they want to import.” Hira said.
He added, “because they control the work permit, those workers are beholden to, to Concept Schools, to the employer as a condition of staying in the country, which gives [the employer] an enormous amount of power. In my read of what’s going on in the educational labor market, the teaching labor market is, there are a lot of teachers out there who have been downsized, who are out of work, who are looking for work, so I find it hard to believe that they are not able to find these teachers.”
Hira also discussed a story from CNBC that there is a shortage of medical coders, reporting “the objective data doesn’t indicate that, and I’m not sure how they would bring them in… the unemployment rates have actually been increasing over the past few years, employment’s been flat, and the most important indicator for, if there’s really a shortage is that wages would be increasing a lot, and, in fact, wages have been flat since 2009.”
He concluded, “the employers have an incentive, of course, to try to flood the [labor] market, and I think that’s part of what they’re trying to do, and spinning the story.”