Democrats Favor Jobs for Visa Workers Over U.S. Graduates

H1-B Visa Workers

A plurality of Democrats and liberals say the government should allow Fortune 500 CEOs to import white-collar visa workers for the good career jobs needed by U.S. college graduates, according to a February 9 poll by Rasmussen Reports.

In contrast, Republicans and swing-voters overwhelmingly prefer that CEO hire American graduates before importing more visa workers, according to the January 31 to February 4 survey of 1,250 likely voters. U.S. companies now employ at least 1 million foreign graduates instead of American gradautes.

The poll asked, “Should Congress increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs or does the country already have enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs?”

The electorate split 2-to-1 against a greater inflow of non-immigrant contract workers.

Sixty-one percent agreed that “The country already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs,” while just 28 percent agreed with the call to “Increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs.”

GOP voters split 78 percent to 14 percent against, and swing-voting “other” split 66 percent to 22 percent.

Conservatives split 74 percent to 19 percent, and “moderates” split 61 percent to 27 percent.

But more Democrats and liberals approved the corporate inflow than supported U.S. graduates.

Democrats split 45 percent for foreign hiring, but just 41 percent against the inflow. Liberals split 46 percent for CEOs’ preferences, to just 39 percent for hiring U.S. graduates.

“All indications are the companies that make money from these non-immigrant worker visa programs are feeling pretty good right now,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers, which opposes the graduate displacement programs. President Joe Biden and the Democrats favor the visa program, Lynn said, because:

They are no longer the party of the working people, the productive class, of the people who are paid hourly. They are the party for the people with salaries and benefits … and they don’t believe that someone from another country doesn’t have a right to a job here in America. They believe that everyone has a right to jobs here in America.

Many non-political graduates who vote Democratic do not see the danger posed by the Democratic-backed outsourcing machine, he added. “They don’t see it because they are not being sidelined right now: Eventually, they will be sidelined … But they honestly believe that their college degrees are going to save them.”

Curiously, the political divide narrowed when Rasmussen asked about importing blue-collar voters. Republicans opposed that blue-collar outsourcing by 78 percent to 14 percent — while Democrats opposed it by 56 percent to 26 percent.

The partisan divide over the college-graduate jobs was exposed on the Senate floor on February 5, when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered an amendment to block any expansion of visa worker inflows in the Democrats’ pending reconciliation budget.

The Cruz curb would have blocked a budgetary increase in the annual inflow of roughly 650,000 white-collar H-1B, J-1, L-1, and OPT workers, as well as the far lower inflow of blue-collar H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 visa workers.

Cruz introduced his amendment, saying:

Mr. President, before this coronavirus pandemic hit this country, our economy was booming. Jobs were soaring. Over the last year, our country has suffered tens of millions of job losses. This amendment creates a point of order against any legislation that would increase legal immigration until we return to where we were before this pandemic. I believe in legal immigration. We are a country built by immigrants, but legal immigration is meant to serve … American workers, and I do not believe we should be significantly increasing legal immigration at a time when tens of millions of Americans are out of work.

Forty GOP Senators voted for Cruz’s curbs – but all Democratic Senators voted against the proposed curbs.

Democrats opposed the measure, in part, because they want Fortune 500 CEOs to pressure the GOP legislators to approve an amnesty. Democrats are dangling the reward of more via workers for the CEOs if they get the GOP to vote for an amnesty.

But 10 GOP Senators also voted against the Cruz curbs.

The ten GOP Senators were Susan Collins (R-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA).

All of those GOP senators represent voters who want good jobs and wages — but also many employers who import H-2A workers for agriculture jobs, as well as H-2B and J-1 workers for tourism jobs.

Employers in Toomey’s Pennsylvania also import many H-1B and J-1 visa workers for white-collar jobs. For example, the Philadelphia Inquirer touted the use of foreign H-1B and J-1 laboratory workers in a July 2020 article critical of President Donald Trump’s popular reforms of the visa worker programs:

Cesar de la Fuente is at risk of losing more than half of his research lab to deportation.

Tighter visa restrictions have the University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor fearing that the eight international researchers in his 10-member lab might be forced to leave if they can’t find an exception to the new [H-1B] regulations. “We only have two Americans in the lab right now. So everyone else, I’m worried for them.”


His own path shows the power of that mechanism. De la Fuente emigrated from Spain to attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver with a Canadian visa before using a J-1 visa to become a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cruz’s amendment is one sign of growing GOP opposition to the white-collar visas that keep at least one million U.S. graduates out of good jobs — including many swing-voting graduates who might vote for the GOP in 2022 and 2024.

For years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration — or the hiring of temporary contract workers into the jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedpriority-driven, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and immigration in theory.

Trump lost the 2002 election, partly because he did not use his power over the visa programs to win a larger share of the college-graduate vote.


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