The H-1B program is a “tremendous threat” to American professionals, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Steve Bannon, Breitbart News’ executive chairman, on the Breitbart News Daily radio show.
“It represents the obliviousness of Congress and some of these economic forces to the reality of what’s happening: Half of STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] graduates are not finding jobs in STEM fields,” Sessions said on Sirius XM Patriot Channel 125.
“Wages for STEM and IT [information technology] workers have not gone up since 2000,” he continued. “We have thousands of kids that have borrowed money, and their parents have borrowed money to get them engineering degrees and they don’t have jobs. Give me a break.”
America is graduating more students in these fields than there are jobs available to fill them, Sessions said, despite many claims that America is suffering from a shortage of skilled graduates.
“We don’t have a shortage,” Sessions said. The claim “is as bogus as a $3 dollar bill.”
Currently, more than 800,000 foreign graduates are working as temporary ‘guest-workers’ in the United States, mostly via the H-1B program. They’re in a wide variety of jobs — doctors, architects, accountants, designers, teachers, engineers and software experts.
The 800,000 number is roughly equivalent to the total annual output of skilled American graduates, but the guest-workers accept much lower pay than needed by experienced, middle-aged, child-rearing American professionals, including pharmacists, industrial designers, and software developers.
Sessions named companies including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Intel as corporations that are laying off thousands of American professionals in favor of their H1-B visa-holding foreign replacements.
Bannon noted that this scenario is likely to intensity because of automation which will “eviscerate” jobs by at least 20 percent and will eliminate many unskilled jobs and lower-skilled white-collar jobs.
That trend, in combination with the H-1B outsourcing visas, will exacerbate wage inequality, Sessions said. “There will be more widgets made with fewer people in the decades to come.”
2016 GOP frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump is in favor of significantly reducing H1-B visa numbers so American immigration and guest worker policies better help American workers. In contrast, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) favors significantly increasing the numbers of foreigners allowed to take jobs from Americans on H1-B visas. That goal is backed by many of the special interests and donors backing his campaign.