GOP Sen. Mike Lee Predicts Quick Passage of S.386 Visa-to-Voter Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) questions Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAllenan during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. McAleenan answered questions about the Trump administration's immigration policies. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and GOP Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) predicted Wednesday that they would pass their revised S.386 bill, which opens a new pathway for more foreign temporary workers to stay, take Americans’ jobs, and lobby for more green cards.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome of those negotiations,” Utah GOP Sen. Lee said in a Senate speech on Wednesday. He continued:

I’m going to make sure we’ve got the buy-in that we need [from GOP senators]. I want to make sure the [GOP] cosponsors of the legislation are comfortable with what we negotiated, and they understand it … I have every hope and expectation and confidence that this is going to result in something that can pass … and will soon pass with the unanimous support of the members of this body.

Illinois Democrat Sen. Durbin was more cautious, saying:

We’ve come up with a proposal which I think moves us in the right direction … a bipartisan agreement, which we are now hoping to offer to the Senate for consideration as quickly as possible.

The Lee-Durbin bill is pitched as a way to reduce the multi-year backlog of 600,000 Indians who are waiting for the green cards. The Indians were imported by companies to take jobs from American graduates, always with the promise of getting green cards after several years. But the flood of Indian workers is far greater than the 20,000 green cards allocated to India each year, so creating a backlog.

The Lee-Durbin bill reduces the relevance of the backlog by creating a new “Early Adjustment” status between temporary visa workers and green card permanent legal residents.

This “Early Adjustment” status gives the Indian workers a renewable work permit — and full workplace rights — even before they can get their green card or citizenship. The new status is intended to encourage the Indian workers to stay until they eventually get the hugely valuable green cards in exchange for taking jobs from Americans.

Lee’s legislation appears to comply with a GOP demand that he should not increase the inflow of new immigrants, most of whom vote en-bloc against the GOP’s base of America-first Americans.

But the bill does create huge problems for the GOP by dramatically raising the population of foreign workers in the United States — and by reducing the number of temporary workers who go home.

If the Lee-Durbin bill passes, more foreigners will try to get jobs in the United States, and more will apply for green cards because the bill’s “Early Adjustment” benefit is open to many temporary workers,  said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She added:

The Durbin-Lee deal might be called the “Staple a job offer and work permit to your temporary visa” bill. Under the bill, anyone on a long term temporary visa who finds a professional job will, after a wait of 270 days, be able to obtain a three-year renewable work permit and permission to travel in and out of the country. It will be a status comparable to green card status, but without having to wait in line or be restricted by annual immigration limits. It will potentially apply to hundreds of thousands of people each year, including foreign students, exchange visitors, NAFTA workers, investors, and more.

There no caps on the number of the current work visas, and the Lee-Durbin bill includes no caps on the number of people who can ask for green cards and get Early Adjustment. In fact, Durbin has pushed for much greater immigration, saying that American families must “accommodate the world’s ambition to be part of the future of America.”

The rising foreign population allowed by the Lee-Durbin will lobby Congress to allow more immigration. The political pressure will also come from the many non-Indian migrants who will be forced to wait in the Indian backlog by the Lee-Durbin bill.

Congress allows companies and universities to keep an army of roughly 1.5 million college graduate workers in jobs sought by U.S. college graduates. This huge workforce is delivered by the H-1B, OPT, TN, J-1, L-1, and H4EAD visa worker programs. These foreign graduates help investors to suppress salaries for U.S. graduates. The suppression is very valuable to investors because it raises their stock values by $10 for every $1 they cut from payrolls.

In addition, Congress also allows a population of roughly two million foreign blue-collar workers to get work permits via a large variety of avenues. The avenues include asylum requests, the DACA amnesty, Advanced Parole, and Adjustment of Status requests.

Current laws curbs the award of green cards and forces many of these foreign workers to go home or become illegal aliens. The Lee-Durbin bill would remove those curbs, and so encourage far more foreign workers to seek U.S. jobs, green cards, and citizenship.

Even without the Lee-Durbin changes, the huge current inflow of foreign workers reduces salaries for American graduates, shrinks wages for blue-collar Americans, and drives up rents for people who live in cities, such as Washington, DC. In turn, the rising diversity and declining wages encourage Americans to vote for big-government politicians — although this impact on Americans is ignored by the vast majority of establishment reporters who prefer to write about migrants’ concerns.

The original S.386 bill has also been opposed by multiplying groups of college-graduateTwitter-using activists who have shown how Lee mobilized India’s workforce in the United States to pressure U.S. senators to help them get green cards.

The bill’s authors have not publicly addressed the inevitable manipulation of the “Early Adjustment” status by clever migrants, lawyers, and investors. For example, economic migrants will be able to buy the renewable “Early Adjustment” work permits from corrupt companies, predicted Kein Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech workers. Lynn wrote:

Consider the incentives these changes create — they would encourage every foreign worker in the U.S. to file a green card application, secure an [Early Adjustment], and remain in the U.S. indefinitely. This would effectively INCREASE immigration numbers, something Sen. Lee insists S. 386 would not do.

Once migrants get the Lee-Durbin Early Adjustment status, they will have the time and money to get green cards via a variety of legal routes, such as marriage or the birth of a child. Five years later, the migrants will be allowed to become citizens and vote, likely for Democrats. This visa-to-voter process has already turned New Jersey, New York, California, and Virginia into Democrat-dominated states.

The Durbin-Lee bill includes big benefits for investors and real estate owners, but few useful protections for American workers or voters, say opponents.

The Durbin-Lee bill excludes reforms to ensure new workers are highly skilled or highly paid, said Vaughan. “Everyone with a qualifying job offer gets to stay with a work permit,” she said, adding:

It does not explicitly prevent employers from replacing US workers with visa workers.  It does not tighten the skills or occupational or educational standards for visas.  It does not increase the total number of green cards, but certainly will increase the number of temporary visa workers who expect to stay, and will encourage more employers to lower their labor costs by hiring foreign workers who gain access to the labor market by obtaining a temporary visa.

Durbin described the bill as good for the Indian migrants who took jobs from Americans. The Indian workers in the backlog “are at risk of being deported even as they go into their teenage years,” claimed Durbin, adding:

It’s a horrible situation. It’s really a heartbreaking situation, and I’ve come to meet and know many of the families affected by it … These families affected by this backlog are really going through hardship and concerns that no family should face. The sooner we resolve them, the better. As I’ve talked to many of these families, they said, “Why don’t you sit down with Senator Lee and see if you can reach an agreement?” I did. We have. Now I hope we can move forward.

But the Lee-Durbin bill will create a bigger green card backlog for non-Indians by putting the 600,000 Indians ahead of non-Indians migrant workers who will be sponsored for green cards after the bill is signed.

The bill also creates problems for 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.

Many of the Indian workers in the backlog have also been promised green cards by Indian hiring managers at U.S. companies, Indian employees told Breitbart News. The managers prefer Indians over American graduates because the managers prefer Indian-style workplace rules, the Indian sources told Breitbart.

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