Rick Scott Torpedoes Mike Lee’s S.386 H-1B Outsourcing Bill

FILE - In this March 25, 2020, file photo Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., attends a news conference about the coronavirus relief bill on Capitol Hill in Washington. Scrambling to address voting concerns amid a pandemic, election officials from Nevada to Florida are scaling back or eliminating opportunities for people to …
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced his strong opposition to Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s S.386 outsourcing bill, likely sinking the Utah Republican’s bill for the rest of the year.

Lee’s S.386 bill aids the tech industry and visa workers from India and China “at the expense of American workers, highly skilled immigrants, workers from Latin America and Europe, as well as Florida’s most important industries,” Scott wrote in the August 31 op-ed in the Miami Herald.

He continued:

I’ve heard from many constituents about how this bill would impact people in Florida, especially those who came to Florida from Latin America. Florida’s booming economy and location as the gateway to Latin America has allowed us to become a global hub for trade and business. We must look at the sectors that eliminating this cap would unjustly benefit, particularly the tech industry, and what sectors it would hurt.

We need a new approach that protects American workers and protects the diversity we cherish, and I am hopeful my colleagues in the Senate will be willing to work with me toward those goals.

Scott noted that the legislation would have a huge impact on immigration — yet it has gotten very little publicity:

Right now the United States Senate is considering a massive overhaul to our nation’s immigration system. And, what is shocking is that it could pass without even a single vote in the United States Senate. You read that correctly: a major change to our immigration system is being considered under “unanimous consent” in the U.S. Senate, which means this bill could pass without a vote ever occurring.

It hasn’t yet passed because I am the only senator holding it up.

Scott’s op-ed shows that Lee’s S.386 will be blocked until at least election day, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers, which advocates for U.S. college graduates. “That’s a very solid ‘No’ on S.386 … It will be a cold day in a place beneath our feet when he will change his mind,” Lynn added.

“It is a well-considered objection,” said Bob Heath, a Florida-based technology professional who is also an expert on H-1B fraud. The bill’s Fortune 500 lobbyists “passed it through the House and tried to get it through the Senate with no hearing – no expert witnesses, no public debates, without anyone have to go on the record for or against,” said Heath. He created the H1Bfacts.com database that is widely used to count visa worker jobs in each politicians’ district.

“I called him and thanked him for opposing it,” Heath added.

“Great op-ed, so I called his office and left a message,” said an American professional in Chicago.

Scott jumped into the long-running debate over Lee’s S.386 bill on August 5, with a surprise vote to block the passage of the bill via the no-vote Unanimous Consent process.

His intervention came despite minimal media coverage of the bill, which also creates a new legal status — “green card lite” — that would effectively allow Fortune 500 companies to recruit millions of foreign workers with the dangled offer of lifetime work permits in exchange for just a few year’s low-wage labor.

For example, Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post has almost entirely ignored the issue throughout 2017, despite the huge impact it would have on the newspaper’s college graduate readership. Jeff Bezos’s Amazon company employs many Indian H-1B workers.

In his op-ed, Scott said any green card bill must protect American workers, noted Lynn. He added:

The only way we can protect American workers is to have real reform of employment visa [programs] before any attempt is made to clear the green traffic jam” of Indians trying to get green cards, he said. “Real reform will end this pipeline of cheap labor.

If the 300,000 Indian workers want to get through the traffic jam that they created as they try to get 20,000 green cards per year, “they need to accept reform first,” he said.

But their preferred fix, he said, is legislation that allows them to “drive on both sides of the highway [to green cards], forcing everyone else off into the gutter or on a side road, and that is not acceptable.”

The Indians “brought their style of dogfight politics to the U.S. It is not the way we do our politics,” he added.


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