Fact Check: NYT Claims Only ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Visa Workers in U.S.

immigration
AFP/Sandy Huffaker

CLAIM: Federal visa worker programs bring “tens of thousands” of foreign workers into the United States.

VERDICT: False. Federal agencies bring at least one million non-immigrant foreign workers into the United States each year.

The error was included in a New York Times article on April 24 about President Donald Trump’s unprecedented April 22 shift in immigration policy.

The article began accurately, saying, “President Trump’s decision to suspend family-based immigration because of the coronavirus is the beginning of a broader strategy to reduce the flow of foreigners into the United States, Stephen Miller, the architect of President Trump’s immigration agenda, told a group of conservative allies on Thursday.”

But the two authors — Michael Shear and Maggie Haberman — quickly showed their ignorance of the workforce issue, even though the federal policy of inflating the labor supply has crippled at least two presidencies and even allowed a New York real-estate developer to take the White House in 2016.

The two authors wrote:

The executive order Mr. Trump signed this week bars people from receiving green cards for 60 days, a move that immigration advocates condemned. But it does nothing to limit visa programs that bring tens of thousands of workers to the United States, infuriating groups that call for deep reductions in the number of foreign citizens entering the country. [Emphasis added.]

In reality, the federal government imports more than one million foreign workers each year — not just “tens of thousands.”

Steve Camarota, the research director at the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies, wrote April 24:

In addition [to legal immigration] about 70,000 temporary work visas are issued each month and something like 150,000 foreign students, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, unapproved green card applicants, and others are also given work permits on a monthly basis. There is certainly ample evidence that immigration reduces employment and wages for some American workers.

Camarota relies on data from the federal government, and he shows more than two million foreign people get permission to work in the United States each year, via a complex variety of routes.

These workers are not illegal migrants nor legal immigrants, although many hope to become legal immigrants. Many are contract workers with few legal rights, who rationally accept their lower status because they hope to win green cards for themselves and their children.

The federal government produces reports on the inflow of foreign workers but refuses to provide any data about the resident number of foreign workers. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security released information showing the intended worksites for H-1B workers. Since then, it has hidden the location data.

No establishment media outlet has tried to calculate the resident population of foreign workers, including the numbers of those who hold work visas or work permits.

Calculations by Breitbart News show that employers keep a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar workers in U.S. jobs. That number does not count white-collar workers who illegally work for several months at a time while visiting with B-1 visas, and it likely understates the growing population of white-collar illegal aliens.

This 1.5 million population includes roughly 900,000 workers on H-1B visas, one million Indians, 270,000 Chinese, and at least 100,000 contract workers at universities and research centers.

Numerous Americans say the existence of this vast foreign worker population blocks many young Americans from getting starter jobs at Fortune 500 companies, reduces salaries for millions of U.S. graduates, and degrades Americans’ professional careers into a series of unstable monthly “gig” contracts.

The supply of subsidized foreign white-collar labor also allows business school executives to degrade the workplace authority and free speech of innovative American professionals, to subordinate the development and reliability of technology to the priorities of foreign workers, and also to subordinate technological quality to the demands for quarterly profits by U.S. and Indian CEOs and investors.

Overall, investors are using the foreign workers to outsource much of the United States’ professional sector to Indian workers, just as investors used free-trade deals to outsource much of the nation’s blue-collar manufacturing sector to Chinese workers, say many of the American graduates who have seen the contract workers change their careers.

The resident blue-collar population of visa workers reaches at least 400,000 during the summer months, just counting the H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 program for summer workers. The federal government’s supply of cheap and compliant workers has discouraged investment in harvesting and meatpacking technology.

Each year, the federal government inflates the new labor supply by roughly 20 percent with legal immigration and visa workers, not counting illegal immigration.

This cheap-labor economic policy boosts stock prices on Wall Street and also drives up real estate values on the coasts by shifting investment, wealth, and population from the middle of the country.

The cheap-labor economic strategy is very unpopular among voters, despite commonplace media support for the welcoming “nation of immigrants” claim:

The NYT’s ignorance is commonplace in the established media. Many outlets produce sympathetic coverage of the visa workers or migrants, but very few outlets describe the huge economic and political impact of government-provided cheap labor — even after Donald Trump’s shocking win in November 2016.

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

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