DHS OKs Huge H-1B Visa Reform to Help U.S. Graduates

FILE- In this Jan. 11, 2013 file photo, Infosys Technologies employees move through the headquarters during a break in Bangalore, India. The shares of top Indian IT companies are falling in response to news of proposed U.S. legislation that would require salaries for H-1B visa holders to be doubled to …
Aijaz Rahi/AP Photo

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is helping U.S. graduates by ending the lottery for H-1B foreign workers that has allowed Fortune 500 CEOs to import mid-skilled, poorly-paid foreign graduates for the starter jobs needed by U.S. graduates.

The new process will allocate the annual supply of 85,000 H-1B visas to corporations that offer the highest pay. The ranking system will end the economic incentive to hire mid-skilled H-1B foreign workers instead of younger American graduates. Currently, companies, universities, and hospitals keep roughly 1 million H-1B non-immigrant contract workers in jobs which sidelined, unemployed, or underpaid American professionals need.

“What this new policy will do is encourage companies to only ask for H-1Bs to fill higher salary jobs,” not to fill the starter and mid-career jobs needed by Americans, said Kevin Lynn, the director of U.S. Tech Workers. “Under her current [lottery] system, we encourage companies to recruit the lower-wage workers,” so denying jobs to new U.S. graduates, he said.

The policy may help employers in lower-cost states, help sidelined American medical graduates get jobs, reduce universities’ ability to get foreign students into U.S. jobs, and also exclude all of the lower-skill, lower-wage foreign workers who got H-1Bs in prior years, according to Greg Siskind, a prominent immigration lawyer who opposes the new rule.

However, the beneficial reform may be trashed before it reshapes the huge H-1B graduate outsourcing program because it faces fierce opposition from Democrat-allied immigration lawyers, as well as many of President-elect Joe Biden’s allies in the Fortune 500, on Wall Street, and in the university sector.

The reform does not cover the 2021 award of 85,000 new visas because it was processed so late in President Donald Trump’s administration.

“The H-1B temporary visa program has been exploited and abused by employers primarily seeking to fill entry-level positions and reduce overall business costs,” said Joseph Edlow, the policy director at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. He continued:

The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce, and has predominately resulted in the annual influx of foreign labor placed in low-wage positions at the expense of U.S. workers.

A USCIS statement added:

The final rule will be effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. DHS previously published a notice of proposed rulemaking on Nov. 2, 2020, and carefully considered the public comments received before deciding to publish the proposed regulations as a final rule.

The rule was applauded by Daniel Costa, at the left-wing Economic Policy Institute.

“This rule comes from an admin we all hate,” he tweeted, but “the substance takes a lottery that randomly allocates H-1B visas & instead prioritizes them for the highest-paid workers, which incentivizes better pay for migrants. Someone will have to explain to me why that’s bad.” Notably, Costa did not discuss the possible benefits for American graduates.

The H-1B visa, however, is just one part of a huge pyramid of imported labor that is used by U.S. investors to spike stock values and to corral their control over the technology sector.

The imported labor force exists because Congress allows companies to provide green cards to roughly 70,000 foreign workers each year. As a result, at least 1 million foreign graduates are competing in U.S. workplaces for those green cards or are waiting for promised green cards.

This foreign labor force, which is dubbed the “Green Card Workforce,” is often preferred by executives because the dangled green cards ensure that the foreign workers will work long hours for lower wages. In addition, the workers have no legal protections in the workplace and have no professional authority to disagree with CEOs, who can also gain personally when Wall Street welcomes each outsourcing decision.

Companies also crimp and slow technological domestic competition by hiring visa workers instead of American graduates. In the early 2000s, the federal government broke up an illegal “no-poaching” cartel by tech companies who were trying to prevent their American workers from changing jobs and so sharing their expertise with rival companies. This strategy is legal if the workforce consists of H-1B workers who cannot change jobs without their managers’ permission.

Many U.S. and Indian employees tell Breitbart News that American graduates are excluded from competing from many Fortune 500 jobs so that the jobs can be traded by hiring managers to foreign workers who want to win green cards.

In 2011, for example, a California-based health insurance company fired 40 Americans to hire a larger and more expensive workforce of H-1B workers, according to testimony from a company employee in a subsequent lawsuit. In 2020, Facebook was sued by the federal government for hiring policies that discriminate against American graduates.

The labor pyramid includes H-1Bs hired by the companies and by their subcontracting companies. The categories of workers also include J-1s, TNs, OPTs, B-1/B-2s, and foreign graduates who overstay their visas. Most work for Fortune 500 companies, but they are also prominent in tech firms, universities, and increasingly in the healthcare sector.

This huge imported workforce ensures that executives rarely have to compete for American graduates by offering higher wages, even when profits are growing. A 2020 report by the Federal Reserve said median salaries for U.S. graduates fell by two percent from 2016 to 2019 as blue-collar salaries rose amid President Donald Trump’s border policies.

There is some evidence that the increasing use of visa workers is reducing U.S. technological capability, even as Chinese companies take the lead from investor-driven U.S. companies.

This growing use of this Green Card Workforce is ignored and misunderstood by the largely powerless white-collar reporters in the corporate media. Many media companies — such as the Washington Post — are owned by firms or investors who want to grow the Green Card Workforce. Other white-collar reporters choose to view the visa workers via the lens of progressive immigration politics, even though the H-1B workers are foreign contract workers who replace white-collar Americans and who do not become immigrants until they receive a green card.

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