WH to Congress: Pass Amnesty, Increase High-Tech Visas by August

WH to Congress: Pass Amnesty, Increase High-Tech Visas by August

Despite evidence that America has a surplus of high-tech workers, the White House pushed Congress to pass amnesty and an increase in high-tech visas by August. 

“As the economic costs of inaction continue to grow, now is the time for the House of Representatives to do its part to get a commonsense immigration reform bill to the President’s desk. Simply put: The House can and should act before August,” White House Chief Technology Adviser Todd Park wrote on the White House’s official blog on Monday.

The White House said it would “highlight the urgency and importance of attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),” throughout the week. 

“It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to understand that the time is now,” the White House said of immigration legislation. 

Numerous scholars and studies by partisan and nonpartisan organizations have found that the nation has a surplus of high-tech workers, and importing more would only lower the wages of American workers. 

Hal Salzman, a Rutgers University public policy professor, said “average wages in IT today are the same as they were when Bill Clinton was president well over a decade ago.”

“So one has to wonder if there is in fact a shortage, why doesn’t that reflect in the market?” he asked. “Why don’t wages go up?” 

Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at University of California at Davis, “mentioned that IT guest workers are on pace to make up 30-40% of the entire IT workforce, even when there are 50% more graduates than job openings in the STEM fields.”

A Center for Immigration Studies report found that from 2007-2012, STEM employment “averaged only 105,000 jobs annually,” while the U.S. admitted about 129,000 immigrants with STEM degrees. As Breitbart News reported, that means “the number of new immigrants with STEM degrees admitted each year is by itself higher than the total growth in STEM employment.” In addition, “during that time period, the number of U.S.-born STEM graduates grew by an average of 115,00 a year.”

Before House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning defeat last week, Republicans and Democrats were signaling that immigration legislation could come on the House floor before August. Cantor’s loss has jeopardized amnesty legislation, but it has not stopped amnesty advocates on both sides of the aisle from continuing to push for a bill this year.