Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) stopped Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) S.386 outsourcing bill just moments before it was about to pass through the Senate Wednesday, saying the Trump Administration wants to assess any unwanted outcomes from the legislation.
Scott objected to Lee’s bill because it does not protect the inflow of Spanish-speaking migrants from Latin America into Florida. “I’ve also spoken to the White House, and agree we need more time to study the proposal and to understand its impact on our immigration system,” he added.
All GOP senators had already given quiet approval to the outsourcing provisions in the bill pushed by Lee, which also includes a legislative backdoor allowing an unlimited inflow of foreign workers into the U.S. labor market, says a Hill source.
Scott announced his Florida objection at 3.00 PM during the Senate’s “Unanimous Consent” process, which usually allows minor bills to pass the Senate when no senator objects.
“I’m disappointed after all of these months of negotiation,” said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), a top-ranking Democrat who had just announced his surprise agreement with Lee’s giveaway bill. Durbin accepted Lee’s bill after months of aggressive picketing and racism claims by India’s workers in the United States.
Lee denounced Scott’s intervention, even though he had just spent several minutes praising Trump’s August 3 decision to protect 200 jobs in Tennessee from H-1B outsourcing.
The Lee-Durbin bipartisan backdoor into the U.S. labor market is displayed on page 27 of the Lee-Durbin legislation. The text says that foreigners can get renewable work permits after waiting just two years in the backlogged line for one of the 140,000 green cards issued each year. The bill says:
An alien … who has filed a [green card] petition or on whose behalf a [green card] petition has been filed for immigrant status … may file an application with the Secretary of Homeland Security for adjustment of status [to a legal reident] if such petition was approved not less than two years before the date on which the application for adjustment of status is filed … [and] shall be eligible for work authorization and travel permission.
Thie “Early Filing” open-door rule will allow many employers to sideline millions of Americans, and to fill up their workplaces by recruiting foreign workers into the H-1B program and other labor pipelines by promises to put them in the line for green cards and work permits.
But the Lee-Durbin deal protects Republican incumbents by keeping the annual cap of 140,000 on the annual, employer-sponsored inflow of immigrants.
“This could be the biggest immigration story in 30 years” since President George George H. Bush’s 1990 bill, said John Miano, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Insitute. “It is a formalized indentured servitude… These people in Congress don’t work for Americans – they have their own special interests that are not the American people,” Miano said.
“This whole thing is not getting any publicity in the conglomerate media,” he added.
Pro-American immigration-reformers worked against the legislation, and they hoped to persuade the White House or a few GOP Senators to announce their opposition before the vote.
The dramatic vote came the day after Trump restated his opposition to the H-1B job-outsourcing business. “We’re finalizing H1-B regulations so that no American worker is replaced ever again,” he told several tech-workers at the Tennesee Valley Authority whose jobs were to be outsourced to companies that employ H-1B workers. “H1-Bs should be used for top, highly-paid talent to create American jobs, not as inexpensive labor program to destroy American jobs,” he said.
“It is not enough for Republicans to object — they must oppose this bill and be on record opposing this,” said Kevin Lynn, the founder of U.S. Tech Workers, who helped Trump declare his support for the TVA workers.
“It is my opinion that the president does not reward the bad behavior that has led to the displacement of so many Americans by enjoyment-visa holders,” Lynn told Breitbart before the vote.
“Unanimous consent is used to rename post offices,” Lynn added. “It is not designed to pass legislation that would impact the citizens of the United States.”
The “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrant Act of 2020” is being packaged by Lee, Durbin, business lobbies, and friendly reporters as a fair-minded concession to at least 300,000 Indian contract workers who are waiting many years to get the green cards.
The bill includes curbs on Indian companies that feed many workers into the H-1B program. But the curbs are delayed three years, giving lobbyists time to quietly undo Durbin’s so-called “50/50 rule” before they begin to bite.
However, the huge Indian backlog only exists because federal law allows employers of any size to offer an unlimited number of green cards to foreign graduates in a tacit swap for years of work.
Federal law caps the award of green cards at 140,000 per year, while a subsidiary rule puts a cap of roughly 20,000 on the number of green cards that can go to people from any one country.
So the waiting line was jointly and knowingly created by the employers and the many Indian graduates who agree to swap green cards in exchange for years of work. This result is a massive backlog of Indian nationals who are working in U.S. jobs while they wait years to get one of the 140,000 green cards awarded each year.
“Based on what I’ve seen of this bill and the amendments, there is not even the slightest attempt to curb the number of green cards that can be paid in exchange for work,” said Lynn. According to a March report by the Congressional Research Service:
S.386 would not alter the growth of future backlogs compared to current law… the total backlog for all three employment-based categories would increase from an estimated 915,497 individuals currently to an estimated 2,195,795 by FY2030
This system has sidelined huge numbers of American graduates. Many CEOs prefer imported contract workers because they are compliant and cheap — unlike American professionals, who argue back to executives or quit to work at rival companies.
The Lee bill is backed by U.S. investors and multinational Fortune 500 companies who stand to gain a massive inflow of new Indian workers following the removal of the backlog. The S.386 bill is also backed by India’s government, whose economic strategy is built on the expert of workers to the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
If the “Early Filing” becomes law, many extra Indians will rationally migrate into U.S. jobs through the legislative back door, because many companies can offer employment contracts that guarantee renewable U.S. work permits — and eventual green cards — in exchange for several years of low-wage work.
This migration would dramatically expand the green-cards-for-work economy that already excludes many Americans from Fortune 500 jobs.
The backdoor rule was proposed by Sen. Lee and is defended by Durbin on the grounds that it helps the children of foreign temporary workers to stay in the United States.
There are no limits whatsoever on the number of Indian graduates who can get jobs in the United States.
The multi-year H-1B visa program has an annual cap of 85,000 for workers hired by for-profit companies. But there is no cap on the number of H-1B workers at non-profit workplaces, including universities, hospitals, and research centers. Roughly 600,000 H-1Bs hold jobs in the United States, including many in low-wage gig-worker jobs, or in temporary jobs where they learn to export the jobs back to India. Roughly 70 percent of H-1Bs are from India.
The L-1 program is uncapped, but it is informally limited by U.S. embassy officials. Roughly 40,000 L-1 workers hold staffing jobs in the United States.
There is no cap on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) pipelines. They allow foreign graduates to get low-wage or no-wage jobs in the United States. This worker pipeline goes through the universities — which collect roughly $40 billion as foreigners first enroll in the colleges before asking for the work permits — to a wide variety of elite companies, Fortune 500 firms, and many low-status subcontractors.
U.S. colleges strongly support the OPT and CTP work-permit programs, even as they annually graduate roughly 800,000 Americans who have skilled degrees in healthcare, engineering, business, science, math, software, or architecture.
On Wednesday, Durbin repeatedly described his disappointment at Scott’s intervention and called on the Senate to pass another migration-boosting bill similar to the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty. “The only rational answer is to raise the cap on the green card quotas,” he said.
“Immigration defines this country, our diversity defines this country,” Durbin said, amid a national economic crash that has pushed 30 million Americans out of their jobs.