Donald Trump Ignores Sen. Lee’s Green Card Giveaway Bill at India Rally

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend "Howdy, Modi!" at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, September 22, 2019. - Tens of thousands of Indian-Americans converged on Houston on Sunday for an unusual joint rally by Donald Trump and Narendra Modi, a visible symbol of the bond …
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump did not endorse Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s green-cards-for-India bill when he spoke at the Sunday rally in Texas attended by 50,000 Indian supporters of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump spoke at the Houston rally after a personal invite from the visiting leader who heads the Hindu political party in India’s chaotically diverse democracy.

But Trump did not endorse, praise or even mention Lee’s Indians-before-Americans bill, even though Modi’s 50,000 supporters strongly support it, Modi’s government is lobbying for the bill, and Lee is trying to push it through the Senate this week.

Instead, Trump combined his usual advocacy for energy and defense trade deals with routine stump speech material. The address included pro-American condemnation of illegal immigrants — but without directly mentioning that roughly one-in-seven Indians in the United States are illegal migrants:

My administration believes our first duty — the highest loyalty of all — [is that] we must always be for the American people. Whether it’s African-American, Hispanic, Indian-American, we are going to take care of our citizens first. We are going to take care of our Indian-American citizens before we take care of illegal immigrants that want to pour into our country.

The Indian population in the United States is roughly 4 million, including roughly 1.5 million Indian-born visa workers and family members. The actual Indian-American voting population is perhaps 1.5 million, and they vote roughly five-to-one for Democrats.

Trump’s silence and anti-illegal comments were both a nod against Lee’s bill and a signal for the wavering GOP Senators.

The GOP Senators are under intense stealthy pressure from Silicon Valley investors and technology companies who want to pass Lee’s green card giveaway legislation, as soon as Tuesday.

On September 19, Lee’s bill was blocked by GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is up for election in 2020. Perdue was able to block the bill because Lee is trying to pass the college graduate outsourcing bill via the “unanimous consent” rules, which are usually applied to mundane bills, such as the renaming a local post office. Under those rules, a Senate can pass a bill if no one objects. The process has allowed Lee — so far — to prevent hearings, TV networks, newspaper articles, and floor votes recorded by C-Span’s cameras.

The bill offers up to 140,000 green cards per year to college graduate Indians who agree to take white collar jobs — in many industries, and at low pay — from American graduates. There is no legal limit to the number of Indian graduates who can compete for those employer-provided green cards by using OPT, H-1B, L-1 or B1 work visas to take Americans’ jobs at lower wages.

Aside from Perdue, no other GOP or Democratic Senator has risen to defend America’s millions of college graduates from Lee’s green card giveaway. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul ended his July opposition after getting a deal favorable to his donors. So the only objection on September 19 came from Perdue.

But Perdue is now is under intense pressure to quit his opposition and let the major donors hire more low-wage Indians instead of the young graduates in his home state of Georgia.

However, Lee’s radical bill has created grassroots groups of technology professionals which oppose the outsourcing of their jobs to Indian graduates. These groups include the American Workers CoalitionProtect US WorkersProgressives for Immigration Reform, and U.S. Tech Workers. Also, Florida business groups worry the bill will block the inflow of South Americans graduates and are pleading with their two Senators — Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott — to block Lee’s bill.

All Democratic leaders will support Lee’s bill, according to Leon Fresco, an immigration lawyer who is helping Indian visa-workers to lobby Senators for the bill. In 2013, Fresco helped Sen. Chuck Schumer write the Gang of Eight’s amnesty-and-cheap-labor bill. That bill proved to be a disaster for Schumer and the Democrats, partly because it helped elect Trump to the presidency in 2016. “The entire Senate Democratic Leadership—Schumer, Durbin, Leahy were cosponsors of #greencardquality in 2011 …. The only way the current bill is different is that Durbin-Grassley H-1b provisions added,” Fresco tweeted September 22. 

Some GOP Senators openly support the outsourcing bill. For example, North Dakota’s Sen. Kevin Cramer is an enthusiastic supporter even though Indian-owned companies in North Dakota import cheap “high skilled” Indian graduates via the H-1B program while ignoring the American graduates at job fairs in nearby state universities. On September 22, Cramer posted a tweet of himself with Modi and India’s ambassador to the United States:

Modi used the Houston rally to flatter Trump, and to bind Indians in the United States to India and his Hindu party — but also to impress a slew of legislators, lobbyists, CEOs, and investors. 

According to the English-language Indian news site, LiveMint, 

Prior to the “Howdy Modi” event, soon after his arrival on Saturday, Modi met the CEOs of 16 [energy] companies including Baker Hughes, Cheniere Energy, Exxonmobil, Lyondellbasell Industries, Schlumberger and Tellurian Inc. And immediately after, India’s state-run Petronet LNG Ltd signed a pact to negotiate the sourcing of around 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) liquefied natural gas (LNG) from US developer Tellurian Inc’s Driftwood project in Louisiana.

In New York, [Indian Ambassador Harsh] Shringla has set up a second meeting between Trump and Modi in three days – this time a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly scheduled for 24 September.

Also in New York there is second meeting with heads of a record 45 US companies including the Bank of America, Coca Cola, Deloitte, IBM, Cisco Systems Inc, JPMorgan & Chase, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard – Financial Services, Microsoft and Qualcomm Technology. This is to take place on 25 September.

Modi is offering to open up India’s economy to investment, development, and exports by the U.S. companies and their investor-owners.

Naturally, Texas politicians support more trade, partly because the state’s companies can sell oil, gas, and weaponry to India. For example, Texas Sen. John Cornyn attended the “Howdy Modi” event in Houston:

Cornyn is a co-sponsor of Lee’s bill — but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has not sponsored the bill.

Trump touted the trade deals during his speech, saying:

When it comes to expanding our commercial relationship, no issue is more important than energy security. For the first time ever, the United States is the Number One producer of both oil and natural gas on planet Earth … with much of it coming right here from the great state of Texas.

That means more jobs, more wages, and lower prices at the pump. Yesterday, we were thrilled to hear about the Indian company. Petronas [Energy] pledge to purchase up to 5 million tons of LNG [liquid natural gas] per year from the United States, which could lead to billions of dollars of LNG exports to India in the coming years. And we have plenty of it! Over the last year crude [oil] exports to India have grown by 400 percent. and liquefied natural gas exports continue to soar at record numbers. Thank you. These tremendous exports not only expand employment in America, but they increase freedom and security for India.

To keep our nation safe, the United States and India are forging an even stronger security partnership. U.S. defense sales have also reached $18 billion over the past decade — we make the greatest defense mechanisms and equipment anywhere in the world, and India knows that well. We’re looking forward to concluding several new defense deals very soon. There are a lot of them in the works.

But the Indians must have something to sell in exchange for the U.S. purchases.

So far, the Indians produce little exportable food, energy, factory goods, or technology. At the moment, India’s chief export is young Indians, including the 800,000-plus Indian visa-workers graduates who work on the American side of the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy. That economy now provides India with $78 billion in annual revenue — and so the Indian government is backing Lee’s outsourcing bill because it will allow more Indian graduates to work in the United States.

Both Walmart and Amazon are competing to build retail empires in India, so both are supporting Lee’s green-card giveaway bill because it would help India’s economy by boosting the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy.

For example, Walmart is boosting its stock value by outsourcing 569 finance and accounting jobs in North Carolina to cheaper H-1B workers from India. If the company saves $10,000 per employee, Walmart will save $5.7 million per year.

On Wall Street, Walmart’s price to earnings rate is 25 to one, so the $5.7 million in payroll savings will boost its stockholders’  value by $142 million.

Walmart picked an American company, Genpact, to supply the Indian workers. The company is a spin-off of General Electric, and it prospers by providing Indian H-1B workers to many companies in the United States. For example, the company asked for 271 H-1Bs in 2018, 410 H-1Bs in 2017, and 307 H-1Bs in 2016.

Genpact’s H-1Bs work on the U.S. side of the vast and growing U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy. Part of their job is to funnel additional work back into India. For example, Genpact may only need to use 100 H-1Bs in North Carolina to help steer the work of the 569 fired American finance experts back to large teams of low-wage Indian graduates in India.

Genpact’s $3.3 billion in revenue is enough to generate $7.5 billion in stock value for its investors, which include Bain Capital, Blackrock, and Charles Schwab Investment Management.

Democrats also used the Houston event to bolster their lopsided political support from naturalized Indians in the United States. The Democrat visitors included the House Democrats’ deputy leader, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer.

 

 

 

 

 

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