DHS Chad Wolf: Agencies Reviewing Visa Program to Find Jobs for Americans

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Immigrants wait for their citizenship interviews at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), district office on January 29, 2013 in New York City. Some 118,000 immigrants applied for U.S. citizenship in the New York City dictrict in 2012. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing the nation’s many visa worker programs to ensure Americans get American jobs during the economic recovery, the agency chief told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade.

One option is a curb on Chinese students’ use of the huge Optional Practical Training program, acting secretary Chad Wolf told Kilmeade:

We’re certainly very concerned regarding a number of these visa programs that Chinese students can use to come into the country and study and stay, and eventually work, we see some of these programs have potentially been abused in the past. So this is work that’s been well underway at the department …  We’ll have a series of recommendations that will be teed up, and some of those could include students on what we call a couple of different OPT and CPT which is our Optical [sic] Practical Training [program].

“We’re taking a look at H-1B’s, the H-2Bs, the H-2As, all of the sort of the temporary worker visas — and there’s many more — to see what kind of changes that we should make,” he said.

Wolf’s statement shows the rapid pre-election progress being in Washington by a series of D.C.-based and grassroots reform groups who want to reduce the annual inflow of immigrants and visa workers.

On April 22, President Donald Trump announced that DHS would trim the inflow of immigrants for 60 days, and he directed his agency chiefs to come up with recommendations for curbs to visa programs in 20 days, for an announcement in 50 days.

This huge shift in national labor policy is very popular. A series of polls are showing Americans’ normal welcome for migrants is being put on hold pending the recovery of jobs for fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and neighbors.

The groups and individuals – including Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, U.S. Tech Workers, and the Ameican Workers Coalition are pushing for reforms during the coronavirus crash when stock prices are already down, and millions of Americans need the jobs held by the visa workers.

For example, the grassroots American Workers Coalition tweeted a response to Wolf’s statement:

Good News  @DHS_Wolf #EndOPT in it’s entirety. Merely focusing on China students is a mistake. #AmericanGrads need training & jobs in STEM fields for the sake of America’s NS

In 2018, Chinese students got work permits for 25,000 technology OPT jobs — far less than the 70,000 work-permits for technology OPT jobs held by Indian graduates. 

The OPT jobs are particularly important because they are a government-subsidized and unregulated on-ramp to lucrative careers in Fortune 500 companies for many foreign graduates who have ethnic ties to foreign-born hiring managers. The program was not created by Congress, but by multiple White Houses.  

Wolf sketched the next 30-day stage in Trump’s incremental process. The next stage includes top officials from DHS, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State:

We need to make sure that Americans are employed and so we wanted to take a look at sort of a first step and this would be to curtail new immigrants coming in that would compete with Americans for these jobs. Then the second step would be ‘What other steps [do] we need to take from a temporary worker visa program perspective?’ So we’re doing all of the above … And over the next 30 days we’ll continue to take a look at additional measures.

Proposals to change the visa programs are likely very popular among 2020 voters — but they are facing massive resistance from the investors and Fortune 500 companies which convert college-graduates’ salary cuts into shareholders gains on Wall Street.

The business concerns were touted by an August 28 report in Bloomberg.com, titled “Over 200,000 H-1B Workers Could Lose Legal Status by June.” Bloomberg’s two foreign-born authors ignored American employees to showcase the concerns of Fortune 500 investors:

In a letter sent to the State and Homeland Security departments on April 17, TechNet, a lobbying group whose members include Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, joined a coalition of trade groups calling for relief for foreign-born workers. The letter requested a delay in work authorization expiration dates until at least Sept. 10. “Without action, these issues will lead to hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs and have profound negative economic effects,” the letter read.

The tech industry is crucial to supporting offices working remotely, helping doctors provide telehealth services and keeping students learning at home, said Alex Burgos, senior vice president of federal policy and government relations at TechNet. “We’ve seen the administration extend tax filing deadlines,” he said, and similar flexibility in visa programs makes sense “because no one here is at fault in any way.”

The number of resident foreign workers is not disclosed by government agencies. No establishment media outlet has tried to calculate the resident population of foreign workers, including the numbers of those who hold work visas or work permits.

But calculations by Breitbart News show employers keep a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white collar workers in a very wide variety of U.S. jobs, including design, marketing, healthcare, recruiting, science, journalism, fashion, pharmacy, banking, regulatory compliance, teaching, management, hiring, and software jobs.

This 1.5 million population includes roughly one million Indian graduates and roughly 270,000 Chinese graduates. The population includes roughly 900,000 workers on H-1B visas,  roughly 200,000 people on OPT work permits, 100,000 on CPT permits, and at least 100,000 people at universities and research centers.

That 1.5 million estimate does not count white collar workers who illegally work for several months at a time while visiting with B-1 visas, and it likely understates the growing population of white collar illegal aliens.

Numerous Americans say the existence of this vast foreign worker population blocks many young Americans from getting starter jobs at Fortune 500 companies, reduces salaries for millions of U.S. graduates, and degrades Americans’ professional careers into a series of unstable monthly “gig” contracts.

The supply of subsidized foreign white collar labor also allows business school executives to degrade the workplace authority and free speech of innovative American professionals, to subordinate the development and reliability of technology to the priorities of foreign workers, and also to subordinate technological quality to the demands for quarterly profits by U.S. and Indian CEOs and investors.

Overall, investors are using the foreign workers to outsource much of the United States’ professional sector to Indian workers, just as investors used free trade deals to outsource much of the nation’s blue collar manufacturing sector to Chinese workers, say many of the American graduates who have seen the contract workers change their careers.

The international trade in Indian labor — and its planned impact on American graduates — is hidden from the public by the establishment media’s sympathy for migrants and immigration. For example, two reporters at the Los Angeles Times recently ignored the visa worker business in an article about Trump’s April 22 proclamation.

The media veil over the programs also hides much corruption as U.S. and Indian managers effectively trade residency and green cards for cheap labor and cash payments. With help from the media, DHS  exposed some of the corrupt deals, but the major problems are overwhelmingly among Indian managers and workers, in part, because the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy is so important to the Fortune 500 companies.

A huge cause of corruption is the huge cultural and economic gap between the United States and India, but also because the executives can conduct business in the U.S. and regions of India. In contrast, the technological payoff from hiring Chinese to take science jobs from male and female American graduates may be large.

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, (R-Ariz.), is pushing the issue in Congress.

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