Mike Lee Expands India-Giveaway Bill, Creates Work Permit Program

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is questioning whether large tech companies are biased towards conservatives. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) revised S.386 Indian-giveaway bill makes a huge change in immigration law to help more than 600,000 Indians.

But Mike Lee’s bill also may allow investors to flood the white-collar labor market with at least 100,000 extra foreign college-graduate workers each year.

The complex S.386 bill was changed during closed-door negotiations with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). The changes favor India’s huge workforce in the United States by removing the so-called “country caps,” which were designed to encourage immigration by a diversity of nationalities. This change means that the resident population of 300,000 Indian workers and their 300,000 family members get a fast-track to green cards and citizenship.

But the bill also creates a new legal status where imported workers could get a renewable work permit once their employers help to file an I-140 request for green cards. This change would effectively give Indians and other visa workers all of the workplace benefits of U.S. citizenship while they wait years for their green cards.

The work permit change is potentially good news for employers and investors because it encourages foreign graduates to flood into U.S jobs and so push down white-collar salaries. The flood would also be good for India’s government because it could help more Indians get U.S jobs and move more U.S. jobs back to India via the shared U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy.

But skeptics say that immigration law is so complex, and migrants are so determined that even slight changes can have huge unforeseen impacts. In 2008, for example, Congress unanimously passed a law, which now allows hundreds of thousands of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” to legally travel to their illegal-immigrant “parents” in the United States.

The S.386 bill has not had a hearing or a public debate, yet it dramatically changes current law in complex ways.

Roughly 300,000 Indian workers, plus roughly 300,000 family members, are working in American jobs while waiting for the green cards promised by their employers. The Indians who took jobs from American graduates are complaining about this delayed payoff, even though they knew that the long-standing country caps allow only 20,000 Indians to get employer-provided green cards each year.

The H-1B law allows U.S. and Indian companies to import up to 85,000 H-1B workers each year. In addition, universities, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations can import an unlimited number of H-1B workers

There is no limit on the number of foreign workers who can be sponsored each year for the green card payoff. Many companies want to sponsor many of their H-1B workers because the sponsorship allows the foreign workers to stay in the United States after their temporary work-permits have expired.

The resident H-1B population is roughly 750,000, not counting the H4EAD work permits given to 100,000 spouses of the H-1B workers since 2015. They work in Silicon Valley, Houston, New York, Seattle, New Jersey, and many other districts that were once filled with American tech-workers.

Overall, U.S. companies have imported roughly 1.5 million visa workers via the H-1B, L-1, H4EAD, Optional Practical Training, TN, J-1, B-1, and other programs. This flood of foreign labor has helped to suppress salaries for U.S. graduates, so allowing Wall Street to spike stock values roughly $10 for every dollar saved on salaries.

Many H-1Bs are imported by U.S. managers to work as cheap labor. But many are quietly imported by Indian-born managers who prefer to hire compliant and cheap workers from their home states in India, instead of hiring assertive U.S. college graduates. This rampant nepotism and discrimination have ensured that many U.S. technology companies have a minority of U.S-born executives directing an Indian-majority workforce. Over time, some of the Indians rise into top management — and now Indians are the top managers at Google, Microsoft, and many other companies.

President Donald Trump promised to curb the H-1B program in 2016 but has done little since his election. For example, Trump’s deputies are currently trying to preserve the 2015 rule that aids investors by granting work permits to 100,000 spouses of H-1B workers. Trump’s deputies are also protecting the fraud-ridden Optional Practical Training program that annually gives work permits to 300,000 foreign graduates of U.S. colleges so they can compete for jobs against the 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees.

However, Joe Biden and other Democrat candidates are promising to dramatically expand the college-level outsourcing programs for their Wall St. donors.

The updated Lee bill tries to get around numerous concerns in Congress.

GOP legislators oppose any bill that will directly increase the immigration of Democrat-voting migrants who threaten the legislators’ reelection and jobs. Lee’s bill dodges this opposition by not raising the number of green cards.

But Lee’s bill is likely to dramatically increase the future inflow of Indian graduates who take U.S. jobs to get green cards, usually via the uncapped Optional Practical Training program. In time, the OPT inflow will expand the number of Indians who will lobby for more green cards — and so deliver more Democratic-voting migrants.

Lee’s bill will also exclude many non-Indian migrants by removing the country caps which limit the current Indian inflow at roughly 20,000. The exclusion will likely create a firestorm of lobbying after 2021 once the excluded groups and businesses discover all of their annual green cards are being snatched by the investors’ Indian tech-workers. If Lee’s bill indirectly prompts Congress to expand the number of green cards by 2024, Lee will have helped to import more pro-Democrat voters who will threaten the jobs of U.S. legislators and staffers.

This backlash is already underway. For example, the opposition to Lee’s bill comes from activists and employers who fear the exclusion of Chinese scientist, Mexican dairy workers, Filipino nurses and therapists, Latin-American baseball players, as well the South American migrants sought by Florida employers.

The bill tries to defuse some of this opposition by reserving 4,400 green cards each year for the Filipino health workers who are sought by hospitals because U.S .community colleges do not have funds to train enough American nurses. In September, for example, GOP Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., won a concession from Lee to reserve a few thousand green cards for nurses and therapists.

Lee’s bill is also threatened by business groups that oppose the provisions just added by Durbin.

For example, the revised bill allows the Department of Labor to investigate the near-universal fraud in the H-1B program. But advocates for U.S. professionals doubt the Durbin language will make any difference because it does not compel the agency to do anything major, and it does not allow wronged U.S. workers to sue violators.

The draft bill would also bar large companies from sponsoring green cards for their imported workers if more than 50 percent of their workers are H-1B workers. That is a big problem for the U.S.-Indian NASSCOM trade group, which makes money for U.S. investors by exporting Indians to the United States and by expanding the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy.

“We strongly oppose the process being followed and some discriminatory provisions of the bill that deal with the unrelated matter of H-1B visas,” claimed NSSCOM’s vice president, Shivendra Singh. “The H-1B provisions have been inserted, so as to overcome the objections to hotlining the bill,” via the Senate’s Unanimous Consent rules, he told the Times of India. “Senators and companies impacted by it should be given a fair chance to fully understand and comment on its impacts,” he said.

The details are unclear, but the 50 percent rule may actually help Americans if it also reduces the incentives for U.S. and Indian companies to import Indians, said one activist

Immigration Voice, the lobbying group which claims to represent India’s visa-workers in the United States, denounced the bill for including “poison pills” drafted by Durbin. The group did not identify the supposed poison pills, but they likely include Durbin’s H-1B rules, the 50/50 section, and the I-140 provision which threatens to take more jobs from U.S. graduates.

Leon Fresco, the Democrat-affiliated lawyer who is working alongside Immigration Voice, touted the revised outsourcing legislation. “I think the changes in S.386 address every single concern raised by the bill’s opponents,” he said via Twitter. “Every new page in a bill, however, makes it more complicated to pass, which is why @immivoice is saying that if these changes result in new objections, they will be upset.”

Groups representing U.S workers slammed the Lee bill, and they spotlighted claims by Indians that the bill could quicky provide Lee’s work permits to a huge population of 400,000 t0 800,000 foreign workers.

“The “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” rewards the H-1B abuse model by redistributing all employment green cards to Indian nationals who are brought in due to cheaper wages, said a tweet from U.S. Tech Workers. “It incentivizes MORE Indian nationals to flood the visa programs in hopes of also getting GCs.”

The group said “companies have tapped into a niche labor supply that will work loyally at cheaper rates in exchange for immigration benefits, & use nepotism to exclude others (nationalities) But let congress/think tanks conflate the above with ‘high skilled.'”

The Lee bill may inadvertently create a new market for selling U.S. work permits to foreigners, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. Some U.S. and Indian entrepreneurs could create companies that could hire many Indians for several years of low-wage work because the Indians would be confident of getting Lee’s renewable work permits in just a few years. “That could create whole new black-market with companies, saying ‘Pay me $70,000 to [deliver renewable work permits] …  that needs to be addressed,” he said.

The Lee bill does not prevent future green card backlog, say activists. Nor does the bill do nothing to cap the number of workers who can be sponsored for renewable work permits, the activists said.

Asians who want to migrate into the United States have also objected to the original Lee bill for excluding some groups — such as Chinese and Koreans. These Asians also argue that the growing role of Indians in the nation’s software companies are promoting nepotism, reducing quality and slowing new discoveries.

The original S.386 bill has also been opposed by multiplying groups of college-graduateTwitter-using activists who have shown how Lee mobilizes India’s workforce in the United States to pressure U.S. Senators to submit to deals.

The pressure tactics include repeated claims that Durbin is racist and hates Indians, despite Durbin’s repeated advocacy for mass migration from many countries. India’s government is also lobbying for Lee’s bill, partly by offering easier access to India’s consumer market for the U.S. companies which back the S.386 bill.

Journalists in the established media have stayed silent about the controversy, despite the economic threat to their white-collar peers, families, and children.

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at NMunro@Breitbart.com

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