CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Republican J.D. Vance says a new Congress must reverse a policy that allows corporations to replace American professionals, often in high-paying STEM jobs, with cheaper foreign workers on the H-1B visa program.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Saturday, the Ohio Senate candidate blasted a plan by OhioHealth where nearly 640 American tech and finance employees are being laid off and having their jobs sent to Accenture — a Fortune 500 multinational corporation notorious for importing foreign H-1B visa workers to replace Americans in white-collar jobs.
The interview took place over lunch after Vance’s second campaign stop for the day in Chillicothe — roughly 100 miles outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Buckeye State Republican was making a swing through the southeast part of the state to channel his Appalachian roots with two weeks left in the race. Throughout the day, Vance, vying for the open United States Senate seat, visited Gallipolis in Gallia County, Chillicothe in Brown County, and Mt. Orab in Ross County.
While speaking with Breitbart News over a Mad Dog sandwich at 7 Mile Smokehouse, Vance spoke on a number of issues including what he calls the “bipartisan … big mistake” of shipping American jobs to China and, in some cases, Mexico, as well as crime, the U.S.-Mexico border, and inflation, which he attributes mainly to the Democrats shutting down American energy.
I got the Mad Dog sandwich at 7 Miles Smokehouse in Chillicothe. It’s gigantic but delicious. pic.twitter.com/PZ8bPRj64k
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) October 22, 2022
On the OhioHealth layoffs, set to occur early next month and continue through the beginning of 2023, Vance said federal law must be overhauled to ensure corporations like OhioHealth are not allowed to replace their American employees via third-party outsourcing firms like Accenture.
“Generally speaking, a lot of the H-1B abuse we see is in the interests of the people hiring the [foreign visa] worker, who can undercut the wages of Americans, but is it in the interest of the 700 Ohioans who lost their jobs? Absolutely not,” Vance told Breitbart News.
“This is one of these issues where you actually need public policy to solve this problem because they’re taking advantage of a visa system that’s meant to ensure that American companies have the workers that they need, it’s not meant to undercut the wages of American workers in this country,” Vance continued. “Unfortunately, that’s what the H-1B visa is just being used to do right now.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), whom Vance is running against, has for years voted to increase foreign competition in the labor market that working and middle class Americans are forced to compete against.
“My argument to [Tim] Ryan is the legislature creates these policies that allow these companies to take advantage of American workers, the only real solution is for the legislature to make different policies,” Vance said. “I really think we have to cut down on the abuse of the H-1B visa system.”
The outsourcing-offshoring business model has proven extremely lucrative for Fortune 500 companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, JP Morgan Chase, and others as they often contract with “body shop” firms like Cognizant, Tata Consulting Services, Infosys, Accenture, IBM, and Capgemini to lay off their American employees and replace them with tens of thousands of foreign H-1B visa workers primarily from India.
Accenture, for instance, sought to import more than 3,800 foreign H-1B visa workers this year alone. In 2021, Accenture sought to bring 6,200 foreign H-1B visa workers to the U.S. to take white-collar American jobs.
While being laid off, Americans are often forced to train their foreign H-1B visa replacements. If they do not, in most cases, their employer withholds their severance package. There are about 650,000 foreign H-1B visa workers in the U.S. at any given moment.
In Ohio, alone, firms and corporations including Cognizant, Tata Consulting Services, Accenture, and JP Morgan Chase were allowed to fill more than 9,700 American white-collar professional jobs with foreign H-1B visa workers this year.
Vance said “the first principle” of national immigration policy ought to “be about defending the interests of America and America’s workers” rather than corporate special interests.
“The question when we allow a new person to come to America should be, ‘Is this in the interests of the people who live here? Or is this in the interests of some narrow, multinational corporate interests?'” Vance told Breitbart News.
Economic Policy Institute research has shown that most corporations importing foreign H-1B visa workers are making significant savings in wages paid by doing so.
Likewise, internal documents from the India-based HCL Technologies body shop firm have detailed how the company grows its profit margins by hiring cheaper foreign H-1B visa workers over American professionals who have worked in the tech industry for years.
Last year, Facebook reached two settlements with the federal government after it was sued for discriminating against qualified American professionals and graduates in favor of imported foreign H-1B visa workers.
Though Vance is one of only a couple of Republicans to speak on H-1B visa abuse this election cycle, the GOP base, swing voters, and a majority of Americans — for years — have said U.S. employers should boost wages and offer better benefits to attract Americans for jobs rather than being allowed to import foreign visa workers whenever possible.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey on the issue shows that 57 percent of American adults, 65 percent of Republicans, and nearly 6-in-10 swing voters say companies should raise their pay and try harder to recruit Americans for blue-collar and white-collar jobs over the federal government subsidizing them with foreign labor year after year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.