India’s Visa Worker Lobby: Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin Echoes Racial Segregationists

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Indian visa workers who helped Sen. Mike Lee come close to passing his Indian green card giveaway bill are now portraying Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin as a racist for blocking the bill.

“Senator Durbin’s argument against the bill is no different from the arguments presented by those against removing segregation and discrimination,” said an October 2 message by the group, titled Immigration Voice (IV).

Leon Fresco, the Democrat lawyer for Immigration Voice, has halted his advocacy work for the group. “I am doing my representation of individual members of the group … but I am not working on the bill at the moment,” Leon Fresco told Breitbart News. “I want the focus to be purely on the legislation and its merits, … [and] for whatever it is worth, I am 1000 percent confident this too shall pass. That is why the tactics were totally unnecessary.”

Durbin announced his hold on the legislation on September 26, shortly before Lee was expected to ask for Unanimous Consent to fast-track the S.386 giveaway bill through the Senate.

The bill would put roughly 300,000 Indian workers and 300,000 family members at the head of the line for green cards by discarding the decades-old, pro-diversity “country caps” rule.

The large population of Indians in the back of the line has been nominated for the green cards by their employers. The employers imported them with promises of free green cards because the employers do not want to pay good salaries to millions of American engineers, programmers, accountants, designers, and managers.

Lee’s bill would also give U.S. investors the ability to recruit even more Indian workers for U.S. jobs with promises of fast track green cards for about 100,000 more Indians a year — but only if they take jobs from American graduates. The investors — aided by Indian companies and India’s government — can legally import an unlimited number of Indian graduates via the L-1, TN, H-1B, Optional Practical Training, and B1 visa-worker programs. But recruitment for this U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy is stymied because the U.S. employers can only provide 20,000 green cards to Indian workers and spouses each year.

Many U.S. legislators have lamented the transfer of Midwestern factory jobs to China, but no Republican senators publicly oppose Lee’s giveaway bill — even though it would accelerate the nationwide transfer of office-park jobs to Indian visa-workers and India worksites.

Wealthy U.S. investors and business groups strongly back the bill.

Six days after Durbin announced his hold, just three minutes after midnight on October 2, the IV posted a Facebook message: “Separate [is not] Equal,” saying:

We have been advised by our lobbyists not to speak-up because we will be attracting the wrath of Senator Durbin. In addition, we have also been strongly advised by our General Counsel to not post this message.

[But] the pain of continually not having our humanity recognized by our employers, the government, and now even members of Congress who claim to care about immigrants’ rights is too much for us to bear.

That is why, after much deliberation, we have concluded that regardless of the consequences it is necessary for us to share this so everyone knows the truth.


Senator Durbin’s position on S.386 is exactly the same as the position of FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform], which is designated as a hate group by the SPLC. Senator Durbin is pitting different immigrants against each other, but somehow, he wants everyone to view him as “pro-immigrant”. At one point during his charade at “Constituent Coffee” last Thursday, Senator Durbin spoke as if he doesn’t want immigrants to be pitted against each other.

Senator Durbin’s argument against the bill is no different from the arguments presented by those against removing segregation and discrimination.

Senator Durbin’s argument runs counter to almost every civil rights reform in history. His argument sounds like the demand of a segregationist who might say – “We’ll allow people of color to ride the bus as long as you promise that White people will always have a seat”.

So, essentially, Senator is trying to kill the bill because he wants to hurt Indian immigrants stuck in green card backlog, including their children who came to this country with their parents, but are aging-out and are forced to self-deport. And all this because of a preconceived bias and prejudice that Senator Durbin holds against Indian immigrants.

But we will remember this, we will tell our children and our grandchildren how Dick Durbin targeted Indian immigrants throughout his time in the Senate. You cannot hide behind DREAMERS and claim that you are “pro-immigrant” when you systematically attack immigrant kids and their families from India. Posterity will never forgive you.

Two days later, on October 4, the group posted another message, complete with another implication of racism:

🚨 🚨 ILLINOIS MEMBERS – CALL CALL & CALL Senator Dick Durbin at 202.224.2152 & ask @SenatorDurbin why he is holding…

Posted by Immigration Voice on Friday, October 4, 2019

Both messages were still on the group’s Facebook page, late on October 6.

Durbin is blocking the bill from passage through the Senate via the fast track Unanimous Consent progress, largely because he wants more legal migration.

There is little evidence Durbin is blocking the bill because of the protests by American graduates who say U.S. investors are sending their jobs to India via the U.S-India Outsourcing Economy:

A movement of American graduates — including many women and Indian immigrants — has emerged to oppose the S.386 bill. These groups include Progressives for Immigration Reform and Protect U.S. Workers.

On September 26, Durbin explained his opposition by arguing that he wants to provide green cards to all foreigners who get technology-related master’s degrees from U.S. universities. He told his audience of would-be immigrants from many countries:

My mother was an immigrant to this country. Her naturalization certificate is behind my desk in my office for everyone to see.

I believe in immigration. I believe in diversity in this country. There are those who disagree with my position and want to limit immigration into this country. I am not one of those. I believe that we should have more legal immigration in America based on three things:

Family unification: If you’re here, and if you want your mother and father to come join you, you ought to be given that chance, They shouldn’t die in some land that you can cannot visit. They should come here.

Second, the needs of our economy. This gentleman who I don’t know personally is clearly a very talented and skilled individual. I want you to stay. … I want you to be here.

And the third thing is humanitarian. … What am I talking about? Refugees, asylees. We have historically, since World War II, been leading the world in accepting refugees and asylees.

Lee’s bill is a problem because it would allow Indian visa workers to get nearly all of the 140,000 “Employment-Based” visas each year, Durbin said:

I will just tell you my concerns with it … the way I see it, and how I think we can address this. Currently, we allow 140,000 Employment-Based green cards in this country with each year. Why do we have that number? I can’t tell you why, but that is the established statutory number. We also have a provision that those who apply for that green card are limited, that no country can receive more than seven-and-a-half percent of those visas each year. … Most of the priority is coming to those from India, at the expense of every other country. As long as we keep the 140,000 cap, when we give to one country more than this 7.5 percent, it is at the expense of every other country.

Durbin’s decision to oppose the S.386 bill came after opposition by would-be immigrants from Asia, Mexico, the Middle East, and South America. For example, the main organization for the 660,000 Latin American DACA-amnesty “dreamers” was one of many pro-migrant groups who signed a September 25 letter to Durbin saying:

We urge Senators to block the bill from moving forward for unanimous consent.

H.R. 1044/S. 386 is not a fair solution and risks further problems, such as creating what the State Department has referred to as a “monopoly” of the green card process for one group of nationals and eliminate any diversity from the process. We urge Senators to object to the bill moving forward by unanimous consent and reject what would be a counterproductive attempt at fixing a long-standing, complex problem.

The letter was signed by United We Dream, the Arab American Institute, the AFL-CIO’s Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and United Chinese Americans, as well as Iranian and Islamic groups.

Durbin echoed their complaints:

So, naturally, the Indian population in America likes the bill because they will get more people who will come through the line while others will be held back. So I’m hearing from other countries, African countries, Asian countries, and others: “This isn’t fair to get all the green cards to India.” Here’s my approach: Expand the number of green cards.

Durbin said he wants to expand the number of green cards by giving one to every foreign student who gets a technology-related master’s degree at an American university:

Why would we bring you into this country, to the best universities in the world, give you the best education in the world and then tell you to go home if you want to stay and get a job? So I am for expanding legal immigration

But I don’t think we should be putting one against another. We have to have everyone in this together. Now, the problem we have is the president is not for expanding legal immigration, … and if you don’t expand it, then you’re going to have this rivalry and competition attention, which we currently have.

You couldn’t find another senator who has been more pro-immigration than I have.

In 2017, roughly 7.4 million Chinese people graduated from college. Approximately 2.7 million Indians got postgraduate degrees in 2016.

If just one-in-ten of those Chinese and Indian graduates took up Durbin’s offer, they would flood the U.S. labor market — and slash salaries — for the roughly 800,000 Americans who graduated from college with degrees in business, science, software, engineering, health care, accounting, architecture, or math.

The flood of new migrants and the resulting salary crash would be a huge win for U.S. technology investors because they would be able to create more companies to sell to stock investors on Wall Street. It would also be a huge win for CEOs and company owners because it would give them a massive wave of low-cost foreign graduates every year:

Durbin continued:

So I think there’s a way to solve this. I went to Sen. Lee, … and I said if you will agree with me to expand legal immigration, expand the number of green cards, we can solve this problem. He said, “I don’t think we can get that done.” I said, “We can get that done if you will do it, you as a conservative helping and join me. That’s what I’m going to offer to you.”

On October 4, Durbin and three other senators touted a bill that would offer green cards to every foreign university graduate on the planet who can get a post-graduate degree in the United States. Durbin’s press statement said:

Under the Keep STEM Talent Act, a STEM graduate could obtain lawful permanent residence if:

The STEM graduate secures an offer of employment from, or is employed by, a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree at a rate of pay above the median wage level for the position in the geographic area of employment.

But Durbin’s September 26 explanation was not good enough for Indian advocates, many of whom vented their anger via Twitter:

The current crisis for the Indian group is not the first time it has fractured.

In 2012, for example, one immigration lawyer split from the group amid the group’s criticism of immigration lawyers. “It is with deep regret that I have to request my removal from your Board of Advisors,” said Greg Siskind. “I just can’t sit idly by and listen to my brethren … painted as being greedy and anti-immigrant. I am personally insulted by this form of defamation, and it strongly resembles the type of attack we usually hear from rabid anti-immigrants attacking us for advocating on behalf of immigrants.”


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