Jeb Bush Praises Donald Trump’s Boost for H-1B Outsourcing Program

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush had many tense moments during Wednesday's debate, but there were also some light moments, including when they slapped hands toward the end of the night.
Associated Press

The GOP establishment’s champion in the 2016 primaries, Jeb Bush, is praising President Donald Trump’s upgrade to the H-1B outsourcing program.

“New H-1B rules would result in up to 5,340 more immigrants with a master’s degree or higher getting selected for a visa,” Jeb Bush tweeted February 1. “A good change in policy.”

Bush’s endorsement is a problem for Trump, who ran against Bush’s pro-Wall Street policies.

In the 2016 campaign, Bush promised to jump-start economic growth for investors by accelerating the inflow of foreign consumers and workers. In contrast, Trump promised to help voters by reforming the immigration system and visa worker programs. On his Inauguration Day, Trump announced his policy of “Hire American.”

The “Hire American” policy has successfully pushed down the arrival of migrants and refugees and is forcing employers to hire and pay Americans at higher rates than ever before. In 2018, for example, wages rose by 3 percent, putting Trump on track to raise wages by a huge 10 percent during his first term. The policy is also helping his electoral base — wages for several categories of blue-collar workers rose quickly while wages in the critical Minneapolis region rose by 5.2 percent.

But Trump’s “Hire American” policy has not helped the many professional, college-educated Americans who are losing jobs and careers to a flood of government-subsidized visa workers imported from Indian and Chinese colleges. In November 2018, many of GOP-leaning American college voters backed Democratic candidates instead of Trump’s GOP allies.

The foreign visa workers arrive via numerous visa programs, including the H-1B, OPT, CPT, L-1, TN, E-3, J-1, H4EAD, and O-1 programs. The huge annual inflow keeps an army of roughly 1.5 million visa-workers in U.S.-based jobs. Most of the visa workers will work long hours for low wages because they hope to get hugely valuable green cards for themselves — and their extended family — from the federal government.

This flood of foreign labor aids investors by lowering salaries for Americans graduates, many of whom need decent salaries to pay down their college debts, to buy homes, and to get their own children to get into college.

Despite his campaign promise, Trump’s deputies have failed to reform or narrow the H-1B program, even though he has lower poll ratings among GOP-leaning college graduate voters. In fact, in 2018, DHS officials even blocked a draft plan that would have pressured employers to hire fewer H-1Bs.

But on January 31, the DHS approved the new H-1B rules that will cut investors’ costs of hiring H-1Bs while raising the average education level.

The change was welcomed by FWD.US, a lobby group which was created by Silicon Valley investors, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, to expand the inflow of cheap college graduate labor via the visa worker programs.

Jeb Bush’s tweeted his approval of the new cheap labor policy on February 1:

Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, signed the 1990 immigration act that tripled the annual inflow of Democratic-leaning immigrants up to roughly 700,000 per year. His brother — former President George W. Bush — helped create the OPT visa program, which keeps roughly 400,000 foreign graduates in U.S. jobs, and he pushed for amnesties that would have dramatically increased the inflow of foreign workers and consumers. Their policies boosted investors and persuaded Americans to place Trump in the White House.

Immigration reformers have spotlighted Trump’s failure to reform the visa worker programs.

John Miano, a lawyer who is suing to end some of the visa programs, wrote:

The big question is “What do these changes do for American workers?”

The answer: “Absolutely nothing.”

Trump’s campaign promise of putting Americans first has clearly fallen by the wayside. American workers clearly did not come first here.

This is not unexpected given how Trump has isolated himself from ordinary Americans. He has purged his staff of those who were reaching out to American workers. Trump has not met with American workers since he was elected. Meanwhile, Trump has had frequent meetings with businesses and foreign interests seeking cheap, foreign labor. Given that environment, the type of do-nothing regulation that came out this week was practically inevitable.

The establishment’s economic policy of using legal and illegal migration to boost economic growth shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors by flooding the market with cheap white-collar and blue-collar foreign labor.

That annual flood of roughly one million legal immigrants — as well as visa workers and illegal immigrants — spikes profits and Wall Street values by shrinking salaries for 150 million blue-collar and white-collar employees and especially wages for the four million young Americans who join the labor force each year.

The cheap labor policy widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.

Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in Heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that coastal investment flow drives up coastal real estate prices and pushes poor U.S. Americans, including Latinos and blacks, out of prosperous cities such as Berkeley and Oakland, California.

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