GOP Sen. Mike Lee urged Indian supporters of his green cards giveaway bill to press Democratic leader Sen. Dick Durbin to stand aside on Thursday so Lee can pass his bill which rewards Indian graduates who take jobs from American graduates.
I’m going to seek unanimous consent again tomorrow to try to pass this bill in law tomorrow. We are concerned about the possibility of an objection being brought forward by my colleague, Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois. I hope that Mr. Durbin does not decide to bring about an objection. Mr. Durbin is a friend of mine. He and I have worked together on a number of issues. So if you happen to know Mr. Durbin, or know of anyone who is close to him, or who he might listen to him, please encourage him to not object to unanimous consent passage of the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants. If he doesn’t object, we can get this thing passed and get it passed tomorrow.
Lee’s statement was in response to a question from a temporary visa worker in Salt Lake City, named “Akheel,” (ph), who said he has been living in the United States and working for 15 years to eventually get a green card from his employer.
Lee’s call to the Indians matched tweets from the lobby group of Indian visa workers, dubbed Immigration Voice. The group’s tweet urged their members to contact Durbin, who is the second ranked Democrat in the Senate:
🚨ILLINOIS ACTION ITEM ALERT 🚨
We need our members in Illinois to call Senator Dick Durbin in his Washington DC office at 202.224.2152 and ask him to support the unanimous consent of the bi-partisan Harris-Lee – Fairness For High Skilled immigrants act.
— Immigration Voice (@immivoice) September 25, 2019
Durbin has not indicated if he will block the bill.
But he told the Wall Street Journal that the bill would increase “immigration from countries like India a marginal small amount at the expense of cutting back on immigration from other countries in a much more dramatic fashion—I don’t think there’s equity in that.”
Also, any passage of a bill would contradict the Democrats’ long standing strategy in immigration politics: Offer more immigrant workers to business in exchange for business delivering GOP votes for amnesty.
That strategy worked in the Senate in 2013 but was stymied in the GOP House amid legislators’ worries about voter reactions. But if the business and investor groups get their extra Indian workers from Lee’s bill, then Democrats have less leverage to get CEOs’ support for a 2021 amnesty that would add millions of Democratic voters over the subsequent decade.
Industry’s stealthy, years-long, lobbying campaign to pass Lee’s outsourcing bill has successfully minimized coverage in the establishment media to one Hispanic-focused article in the Miami Herald, and one pro-migrant article in the Wall Street Journal. The establishment coverage is minimal partly because the outsourcing bill has been successfully marketed as a minor correction to supposedly “discriminatory” country caps.
The caps promote diversity by spreading green cards among many countries. In practice, Indians get the largest share of the cards. The 20,000 cards given to Indian visa workers comprise roughly 16 percent of the 120,000 cards.
But Lee and industry activists portray this pro-diversity process as obsolete discrimination. For example, Lee told his “Akheel” caller:
This makes no sense. This is a leftover from our Buddy Holly-era immigration code. This was developed in the 1950s. Maybe it made sense back then. I don’t know. But look, they did a lot of things back in the 1950s that don’t make any sense today, and this is certainly one of them. It’s like a vestigial organ from a bygone era that needs to be cut out. So the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act is something that would get rid of that per-country, arbitrary cap, that is really discriminatory and unfair for certain people from certain countries, including, and especially those from India.
Incredibly grateful to our incredible champion @SenMikeLee who is working incredibly hard to pass his bill, The Fairness For High Skilled Immigrants through Congress. Just a few minutes ago, he talked about the bill in his Facebook townhall. pic.twitter.com/BvVXXpMIpY
— Immigration Voice (@immivoice) September 26, 2019
This cover story has been hugely successful because few reporters or congressional staffers follow the money through the immigration debate, and most reporters prefer to focus on the concerns of migrants. The silence helped business pass the House version of Lee’s bill, HR.1044, with support from nearly all Democrats and from 140 Republicans.
In practice, Lee’s bill would give Silicon Valley investors the power to grow their low-wage workforce of Indian graduates.
The bill gives CEOs the ability to recruit more workers with the promise of roughly 100,000 green cards a year. This huge subsidy is five times larger than the current allocation of approximately 20,000 green cards for Indians, which has helped the companies recruit a volunteer workforce of roughly 800,000 Indian graduates in the United States.
The current Indian workforce of roughly 800,000 visa workers has sidelined at least one million American graduates — including at least 20,000 voters in Durbin’s Illinois.
The sidelined Americans lost salaries and jobs in a wide variety of careers — in software, math, accounting, engineering, design, healthcare, fashion or business. In time, Indians have expanded their role as managers and recruiters in major cities, so prompting widespread complaints and lawsuits about cheating, favoritism, and discrimination. Americans who leave these careers usually find jobs in other sectors, including journalism. Some excluded professionals have killed themselves, but many more have been forced into lonely retirement.
“I never found a job” after being replaced by Indian H-1Bs in 2010, one software expert told Breitbart News. She continued:
I applied for tons of jobs, tons … I never got a response except ‘Thank you for applying.” … I’ve gotten calls and I’ve gotten emails from Indians [when applying for jobs] … It just goes nowhere.
“Last year I retired, so my retirement is peanuts,” she said in January 2019. “I live in a tiny town called Arizona City, which doesn’t have mail service.” None of her children, or her two siblings’ children, have taken up software careers, she added.
The actual loss to American graduates is likely far higher than one million jobs. The roughly 800,000 Indian visa workers work hand-in-glove with a larger workforce of at least two million Indians based in India. This joint U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy generated roughly $78 billion in revenue for India in 2018 — and it diverts billions of U.S. payroll dollars to investors’ profits and stock values on Wall Street.
Roughly 300,000 of the Indian visa workers — including “Akheel” — have been allowed to stay long past their visa expiration dates because their employers nominated them for green cards. The cards are so valuable that many of the visa workers have rationally stayed in their lower wage jobs for more than ten years, much to the advantage of their U.S. employers.
But if Lee’s bill gives the CEOs five time as many green cards to award, they will be able to recruit many more Indian workers for U.S. jobs.
These workers can arrive via the uncapped B1, TN or Optional Practical Training programs, and will compete to be selected by their employers for the uncapped L-1 and part-way capped H-1B programs where they can apply for green cards. This multi-program, multi-year pipeline can hold far more workers than the 800,000 Indians now in the United States.
Overall, roughly 1.5 million foreign graduates from several countries hold visa jobs in the United States, so helping to flatline salaries for tens of millions of American graduates.
The bill does not reform the green card process, for example, by limiting the number of workers who can be nominated for green cards each year.
Lee’s “country caps” legislation may actually create a bigger backlog of visa-workers, warns the Congressional Research Service. “Shorter wait times for [green cards] might actually incentivize greater numbers of nationals from India, China, and the Philippines to seek employment-based [green card] status,” a CRS report warned legislators. “If that were to occur, the reduction in the number of approved petitions pending might be short-lived,” said the December 2018 report.
Lee will try to pass his bill on Thursday. The path was cleared when he met with Georgia Sen. David Perdue for a Wednesday lunch and struck a deal which ended Perdue’s opposition. Perdue had blocked the Bill on September 19.
GOP Sen. Perdue flops, so Sen. Mike Lee likely gets Senate & GOP vote on Thursday for a huge green-card giveaway to S-Valley investors. Lee's @S386 shows US biz is converting the immigration system to target white-collar salaries & boost US-India trade. https://t.co/zQPRJgObQQ
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) September 26, 2019
Few GOP Senators — aide from Lee and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer — have publicly touted their support for the outsourcing bill.
But Lee’s confidence — and Perdue’s turnabout — suggest that most GOP Senators tacitly support the bill to reward Indians for taking white collar jobs from their suburban, swing voting, college graduate constituents — and also from those constituents’ children once they graduate from college.
Lee’s determination — and the caucus’ willingness — to alienate these swing voting Americans is remarkable given that many of those voters switched sides in the November 2018 election. Their switch helped the Democrats gain control over the House.
Lee’s push to get a unanimous consent approval of his bill means that GOP senators will not have to vote on the record for the outsourcing bill. But passage by a unanimous consent bill means Lee would reveal that none of his GOP peers — or his Democratic peers — oppose the job giveaway.
In the November 2020 elections, 23 of Lee’s GOP Senators will face the voters after supporting — or opposing — Lee’s college graduate outsourcing bill.
Perdue’s flip shows that GOP and Democratic senators are wholly opposed to the claimed problem of national discrimination, claimed a tweet from Leon Fresco. He is an immigration lawyer who helped write the 2013 “Gang of Eight” legislation. Fresco is now organizing the Indian visa workers and is claiming ideological victory:
Everyone tweeting me about #GreenCardEquality, here is what is new today—100% of Senate now believes it is unacceptable to have disparities in employment green card wait time based on birth country. This has never been true before. The Sentors will soon come together—patience!!
— Leon Fresco (@FrescoLeon) September 26, 2019
And to be clear, not saying the final bill is done and ready to sign. just saying that because of the hard work of all those in the backlog and their allies, this is the 1st time 100% of the senate supports addressing #GreenCardEquality. So now a solution will be accomplished.
— Leon Fresco (@FrescoLeon) September 26, 2019
So far, the White House has not indicated that President Donald Trump will oppose the bill.
Indians are calling and message Sen. Durbin’s office. But a tweet from an Indian who opposes the green card giveaway displayed apparent deception by the Indian activists:
Indians are now openly committing fraud, lady who lives in silver spring, MD is using a phony zip code and pretending to be a constituent of Illinois . pic.twitter.com/EcbUg0gMer
— American_desi – blocked by IV (@America_Desi) September 26, 2019