President Trump can shore up jobs for American professionals and graduates by ending the H-4 visa program and the Optional Practical Training (OPT) that gives away thousands of U.S. jobs to foreign nationals every year, an immigration expert says.
In an exclusive SiriusXM Patriot Breitbart News Daily interview at CPAC, NumbersUSA’s Chris Chmielenski said there is still action the Trump administration can take executively to end the outsourcing of Americans’ white-collar jobs to foreign workers.
Two of those actions, Chmielenski says, is ending the H-4 visa program — where at least 100,000 foreign family members of H-1B visa-holders take U.S. jobs — and the OPT program that gives discounts to giant tech corporations for hiring foreign graduates over young professional Americans.
“On the  campaign trail, [Trump] campaigned, he brought along some of the tech workers from Disney who had been fired and replaced by foreign workers through the H-1B program,” Chmielenski said. “There is something that they could do very easily. President Obama had a federal regulation … that allows all spouses and children, dependents, of H-1B visa-holders to receive work permits. Basically, with the scratch of a pen, they could get rid of that.”
“That’s maybe 50,000 to 100,000 at least work permits that are given out every year … those are jobs that could go to Americans,” Chmielenski continued. “…we still have a whole lot of people outside the labor force. The labor participation rate is still well below what it was prior to the 2009 recession. There are still some things they can do to bring some people that are outside the labor market back into the labor market, and that’s one of them, eliminate the H-4 rule.”
Likewise, as Breitbart News has reported, the OPT program ensures that corporations like Amazon, Google, Deloitte, and Intel can continue to hire thousands of OPT foreign workers over American STEM graduates every year at a 15 percent discount. In 2017, alone, Amazon placed nearly 2,400 OPT foreign workers into white-collar STEM jobs that could have otherwise gone to American graduates.
The OPT program, though, can be ended fairly quickly, according to Chmielenski.
“There’s this [OPT program] which allows … foreign students who graduate with a STEM degree here in the United States, they can gain practical work experience, they get a work permit to get to stay in the country for a year or two,” Chmielenski said. “It’s pretty much a bridge to the H-1B, which is pretty much a bridge to a green card. That’s something, there’s no statutory authority to that, so that’s something they could get rid of real quick.”
The H-4 visa and OPT programs — among others like the H-1B visa program — have helped flood the U.S. white-collar labor market by providing a constant flow of foreign workers to which corporations can outsource jobs rather than hiring Americans. In many cases, American workers already hold the job and are merely fired, replaced, and forced to train their foreign replacements.
The results have meant that white-collar American professionals have seen stagnant wage growth, while working-class and blue-collar Americans have seen booming wage growth thanks to a tightened labor market where they increasingly are not forced to compete against cheaper foreign workers.
Despite claims that the U.S. needs more legal immigrants to fill American jobs, there remain about 11.4 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed – all of whom want full-time jobs. These Americans sit on the sidelines of the labor market as outsourcing firms and companies like Cognizant, Infosys, Tata Consulting Services, Google, Capgemini, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM seek to outsource this year, alone, nearly 600,000 American jobs to imported H-1B foreign visa workers.
In recent months, companies like Uber have laid off hundreds of their American employees while continuing to ask the federal government for more imported foreign workers through the H-1B visa program.
Expedia executives announced this month that they will lay off 500 American employees at their Seattle, Washington, headquarters despite the corporation’s attempts to import more than 400 H-1B foreign visa workers last year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.