WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Americans gathered at the White House to demand President Trump stick to his promise of reforming the H-1B visa and ending outsourcing of American jobs, laid-off workers spoke out about their experiences.
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and allowed to stay for up to six years. That number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often replaced and forced to train their foreign replacements.
Matthew Culver, who previously worked for Carnival Corporation, told Breitbart Texas that he and 250 of his fellow co-workers were either laid-off or forced to take jobs with outsourcing firm Capgemini, as the company sought to lower labor costs.
“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 250 of my co-workers and myself were told that we were going to be outsourced,” Culver said. “A number of those people have since left. A number of others are going to be laid off in the next couple of months and be left without jobs.”
“It was very traumatic,” Culver said of his firing, which he says Carnival disguised as him resigning. Culver said he wants Trump to enforce existing visa laws to protect Americans from being abused.
Toby Sanchez, a Native American who says he has just started to speak out, told Breitbart Texas that he and others were replaced by low-skilled H-1B visas back in the 2000s.
“What really happens is [the corporations] replace high-salary valuable workers,” Sanchez said. “I was making well into six figures at this major GPU vendor and I was told that in order to keep my job, I would need to take a pay-cut and I was told by [Human Resources] by this company that I would be replaced by four Indian graduates if I wouldn’t take a pay-cut.”
“I balked at it and I was replaced,” Sanchez continued.
“What these companies use this H-1B visa for, is for wage suppression and to keep really smart people from moving up into the executive ranks,” Sanchez said.
“These are low-skilled folks, they’re not high-skilled,” Sanchez said of the foreign replacement workers.
Sanchez said he is not a Trump supporter, but said if the President ended the numerous foreign guest worker visa programs that contribute to Americans being displaced, he would support the decision.
Craig Diangelo, who is now running for Congress in Connecticut, said he was laid off three years ago after Eversource Energy partnered with outsourcing firms Infosys and Tata Consulting Service to replace at least 220 Americans with primarily Indian nationals who were coming to the U.S. on the H-1B visa.
“Not only did I lose my job to the H-1B visa person, but I ended up training that individual to take my job, along with 10 other people in India,” Diangelo told Breitbart Texas.
Diangelo said Eversource Energy made him sign a “non-disparaging agreement” that “said that I would never speak about what had occurred, what I was doing in regards to training or I would lose my severance package and I would also lose my six months of paid healthcare that they would give me after I was let go.”
Diangelo echoed Sanchez’s remarks about the kind of foreign workers coming to the U.S. to take these high-paying tech jobs, saying they were low-skilled and were not qualified for the jobs they got.
“Even after I left [the company,] those individuals still are not capable of doing my job,” Diangelo said.
“We are American middle class people, we are the people that go and pay the taxes that support this country,” Diangelo continued. “We are the people that actually supported President Trump to get him elected. We are the working middle class and what we want from President Donald Trump, we want President Donald Trump to sit down, take a look at the H-1B visa law and actually abolish it.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.