GOP/Democrats Lobby to Import Twice As Many Low-Skilled Foreign Workers

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen listens as President Donald Trump speaks d
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

A coalition of Republican and Democrat Senators is lobbying Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to more than double the number of low-skilled foreign workers that businesses can import to take blue-collar American jobs.

Eleven Republican and Democrat Senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), are seeking to convince Nielsen to once again increase the number of H-2B foreign workers who are admitted every season to take U.S. jobs that would otherwise go to young and working-class Americans.

Every year, U.S. companies are allowed to import 66,000 low-skilled H-2B foreign workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural jobs. For some time, the H-2B visa program has been used by businesses to bring in cheaper, foreign workers and has contributed to blue-collar Americans having their wages undercut.

The letter by the coalition of Republicans and Democrats asks Nielsen to more than double the number of H-2B foreign workers to 135,320 for the business lobby.

Pro-American immigration reformers worry Nielsen will listen to the business lobby and political establishment’s cries for cheaper, foreign workers for their corporate donors. Nielsen and her close ally, John Kelly, have consistently increased the H-2B visa cap for the past two years, against the will of President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” policy.

The demand for more H-2B foreign workers comes as the Center for Immigration Studies released a study this year that, again, reveals widespread U.S. wage suppression for Americans in occupations prone to H-2B visas.

Every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of American workers’ occupations reduces their weekly wages by about 0.5 percent, researcher Steven Camarotta has found. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wage reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.

In a state like Florida, where immigrants make up about 25.4 percent of the labor force, American workers have their weekly wages reduced by perhaps more than 12.5 percent. In California, where immigrants make up 34 percent of the labor force, American workers’ weekly wages are reduced by potentially 17 percent.

Likewise, every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of low-skilled U.S. occupations reduces wages by about 0.8 percent. Should 15 percent of low-skilled jobs be held by foreign-born workers, it would reduce the wages of native-born American workers by perhaps 12 percent.

In total, there are roughly 1.5 million foreign workers in U.S. college graduate jobs, plus at least 300,000 blue-collar or manual-labor jobs. Meanwhile, there are 5.4 million Americans who are not in the labor force who want a job, with more than 425,000 Americans saying they are discouraged by their job prospects.

Every year, America’s working and middle class have their wages reduced by an inflow of more than 1.5 million mostly low-skilled foreign workers who are admitted to the country. This importation of illegal and legal foreign workers has left the country’s bottom line of workers with stagnant wages since the 1970s and has forced them to compete with foreign workers for blue-collar jobs.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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