The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is trying to accelerate the delivery of H-1B foreign workers to U.S. and Indian companies — despite the crashing economy and abundant evidence that many American graduates are facing discrimination and exclusion from software jobs.
The acceleration was announced March 16 when DHS’s immigration services agency announced it would limit the use of “premium processing” to “help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times.”
Under premium processing, companies can pay a premium to jump the line for roughly 100,000 H-1B work visas each year. But the line-jumping slows the routine award of H-1B visas to the corporate managers who prefer to hire blocs of compliant foreign workers instead of interviewing innovative American professionals and graduates.
Each April, 85,000 H-1B visas are awarded to U.S. companies via a rushed application and lottery process by DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. Another “cap-exempt” 15,000 H-1Bs are awarded throughout the year to non-profit employers at universities, research laboratories, and hospitals. The cap-exempt employers are allowed to hire as many H-1Bs as they wish.
The current head of DHS, Chad Wolf, formerly served as a lobbyist for the Indian-based outsourcing industry. The group’s mix of Indian and U.S. companies use the H-1B program to hire Indians graduates for jobs in the United States, and they split the economic gains among both countries’ companies, executives, and investors.
Breitbart News asked DHS if the agency is considering curbs on the 2020 award of H-1B visas. “No changes at this time,” a spokesman responded March 19.
Meanwhile, business groups are trying to expand the H-1B program. For example, activists are citing the coronavirus disease as an excuse for Congress to allow investors to hire an unlimited number of foreign graduates for jobs in the healthcare sector.
President Donald Trump’s failure to set curbs on the H-1B program has angered many of the swing-voting university graduates who supported him in 2016. In March 2016, after much zig-zagging, Trump declared:
The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay. I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements. I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.
In February 2020, a U.S. judge struck down the token curbs set by USCIS managers since Trump’s election.
Immigration reformers are calling for the cancellation of the 2020 H-1B awards amid the economic crash. “Why should Indians be favored over Americans who can’t pay their rent?” asked Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It is ridiculous.”
The USCIS agency said it will restart premium processing first for the benefit of tens of thousands of foreign graduates at U.S. universities.
Many young foreigners want to convert their Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permits into multi-year H-1B visas so they can get the technology jobs that are sought by the Americans who sat alongside them in the university classroom.
USCIS’s statement said:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.
As USCIS has done in the past, premium processing will resume in a two-phased approach during the FY 2021 cap season so that USCIS can best manage premium processing requests. The first phase will include FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status. The second phase will include all other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions.
H-1B workers are allowed to stay for six years or longer when the employers nominate the foreign employees for green cards, regardless of the number of Americans who apply for the jobs.
This multi-year process keeps roughly 750,000 H-1B employees in the United States, many of them in technology jobs that are sought by American graduates.
The H-1B program provides the bulk of foreign visa workers in the United States. But additional visa programs help to keep roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers in jobs needed by U.S. graduates, mostly in software jobs along the two coasts.
Most of the visa workers are from India, partly because many Indian-born managers in U.S. companies prefer to hire fellow Indian nationals instead of young American graduates, according to many American professionals. The discriminatory preference has sparked some private lawsuits amid years of inaction by federal agencies.
DoJ/EEOC do nothing as US & Indian execs trade US jobs to Indian #H1B workers, cutting Americans out of careers, homes & families.
This trade choked innovation in Silicon-V, slammed insurance & banking. #SenMikeLee & #S386 will expand it to healthcare https://t.co/qoENwyO6X7
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) March 9, 2020
The huge number of foreign visa workers in U.S. jobs is helping to minimize salary gains by Americans professionals. The resident foreign population also pushes mid-career Americans out of jobs, fuels discrimination lawsuits, and curbs innovation at the major U.S. companies who are now falling behind Chinese rivals.
The inflow of H-1B workers also includes much corruption and little enforcement of U.S. workplace laws. On February 19, the Department of Justice announced the sentencing of an Indian-born executive for smuggling white-collar workers into the United States via the H-1B program.
The Criminal Information alleges that [Sairam] YERUVA, and others, conspired to submit false and misleading information to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in support of at least one hundred eighty-three (183) initial H-1B petitions and at least one-hundred (100) H-1B extension petitions that were filed on behalf of KRONSYS, INC., CYGTEC, INC., and ARKSTEK, INC. During the course of the conspiracy, YERUVA served as the corporate president of each of these three companies.
According to the charging document, YERUVA, and others, declared in their initial petitions that their H-1B nonimmigrant foreign workers would be employed by the companies at specific work locations in or near Raleigh, North Carolina or Aurora, Colorado for the sole purpose of developing internal, or “in-house”, information technology projects. The petitions also declared that the H-1B workers would be paid the prevailing wage throughout the entirety of their H-1B status with the companies.
Yeruva’s wrist-slap sentence included just one year in jail and a fine of only $2.6 million.
These U.S. groups are also working with groups of would-be immigrants to the S.386 bill by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), which would dramatically increase the citizenship rewards to more Indian H-1B workers who take Americans’ college jobs. The groups include No on H.R. 1044 and The Multinational Coalition Against H.R. 1044/S. 386.
In turn, these groups are backed up by a few sites that track the scale and location of the outsourcing industry in each legislator’s district. The sites include SAITJ.org and H1BFacts.com. “The scope of this thing is really unbelievable,” said one researcher.
Other sites document the conflicts created by diverse foreign business practices in the United States. The non-political MyVisaJobs.com site also provides much information about H-1B outsourcing and green card rewards in multiple industries. The federal USCIS agency provides some data, including some data about the uncapped OPT program, sometimes called the “Mini-H-1B.”
“The purpose of the H-1B program is to replace Americans with cheaper foreign workers,” said John Miano, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute. He added:
That’s it. No other description matches what Congress enacted, yet the media persists that with that bullshit notion that it is designed to provide higher-skilled workers. This notion is a typical lobbyist tactic — they take a turd and call it a rose, and most of the American media will call it a rose if the politicians — especially Democrats — say it is a rose.
Govt data shows 1 million Indian contract-workers get white-collar jobs in tech, banking, health etc.
The Indian hiring ignores many EEOC laws & is expanding amid gov't & media silence.
It is a huge economic & career loss for US college grads.#S368 #H1B https://t.co/pqEW9yJ89c
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) February 17, 2020