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Thread: Paul Ryan Expands H-2B Blue-Collar Outsourcing Program for 2017

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    Paul Ryan Expands H-2B Blue-Collar Outsourcing Program for 2017

    Paul Ryan Expands H-2B Blue-Collar Outsourcing Program for 2017




    by Neil Munro1 May 20174610

    House Speaker Paul Ryan’s new 2017 budget allows the Department of Homeland Security to import at least 20,000 extra foreign blue-collar workers for seasonal jobs in the United States, instead of requiring companies to recruit, train, and pay marginalized Americans.

    The bipartisan congressional language creates a headache for Trump and his deputies because it flips the politically difficult problem from Congress to the Department of Homeland Security of deciding whether to provide extra wage-cutting H-2B contract workers to companies or else to improve job opportunities for Trump’s blue-collar voters.
    The new rule is opposed by pro-American groups, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform. According to FAIR’s Robert Law:
    Increasing the number of low skilled foreign workers through a massive government funding bill is Washington at its worst. This is a clear betrayal of blue collar Americans who were hit the hardest by the Obama economy. Even after Trump’s victory, Congress is more interested in rewarding the business lobby’s thirst for cheap workers than getting their unemployed constituents back in the work force.
    The new rule helps business groups offset rising pressure for wage increases, just 18 months before the mid-term elections when voters will vet the success or not of Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” policies.
    The H-2B language was hidden deep in the draft 2017 supplemental budget — which is to face House and Senate votes this week — and it surprised opponents of the legislation. In December 2016, Ryan had agreed to trim the program when the partial 2017 budget deal was announced just one month after blue-collar voters backed Donald Trump’s campaign promise of a low-immigration, high-wage national economic policy.
    The language in the 2017 budget says the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to exceed the supposed 66,000 annual cap on H-2B outsourcing visas by a number equal to the maximum number of workers who benefited from an earlier exemption, dubbed the “returning worker exemption.”
    The H-2B program allows companies that do seasonal work to import up to 66,000 foreign workers each year instead of recruiting and hiring Americans. The program is supported by Democrats and Republicans eager to aid local business groups, which are competing against each other for American workers, and which face competition from the companies that employ roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
    The program means companies don’t have to pay a premium to hire Americans for seasonal overtime work that leaves them unemployed in winter, and it also reduces pressure on the companies to recruit and train youths and marginalized Americans, including millions of Americans who have fallen out of the workforce. The imported workers are also paid at rates that are lower than needed to attract Americans to those jobs — which also means that the companies can pay lower wages to their full-time American workers.
    The RWE exemption allowed roughly 20,000 extra visas to be handed out in 2016, above the 66,000 level.
    The new 2017 rule may allow far more visas to be given out because the RWE program was also used under George W. Bush to import 130,000 foreign workers in 2007. If that 2007 number sets the 2017 limit, then, then the DHS will be able to triple the program to almost 200,000 foreign workers.
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    According to the horseracing industry website Bloodhorse.com, Alex Waldrop, the head of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, predicted the new rule could double the size of the H-2B program this year. “It limits the total number of H-2B workers that may enter the U.S. during fiscal year 2017 to 129,547,” Waldrop said told the website.
    In practice, companies will not be able to quickly recruit and import that maximum number of workers in 2017, partly because the DHS has yet to establish a process for handling the extra H-2B visa requests. But if the Ryan expansion becomes the norm, then lobbyists could use the DHS to push the H-2B program in 2018 back up to the 2007 level.
    The H-2B program is backed by landscaping companies but is also strongly supported by the resort and hotel industries, forestry and shrimping companies and the horse racing sector.
    Economic Policy Institute

    The H-2B program is backed by many politicians, notably Sen. Thom Tillis, a GOP Senator from North Carolina, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Ryan has a history of backing “any willing worker” rules which allow companies to import foreign workers instead of hiring Americans at wages sufficient to help raise a family.
    The program is opposed by some left-wing groups, including the Economic Policy Institute.
    The H-2B program is one of many contract-worker programs run by the federal government, which allow companies to annually hire roughly 1 million foreign white-collar or blue-collar workers for multi-year or seasonal jobs that can be filled by Americans. These programs include the H-1B program, which has allowed companies to create a domestic population of almost 1 million foreign professionals, including doctors, information-technology experts, designers, and accountants.
    The annual inflow of 1 million contract workers is in addition to the annual inflow of 1 million legal immigrants. Every year, these two million new arrivals compete with the 4 million young Americans who enter the workforce each year, forcing down wages, driving up unemployment and transferring roughly $500 billion from employees to employers and investors. Several million working-age men have been pushed out the workforce by declining wages, say economists.http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...-program-2017/

  2. #2
    MW
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    If Trump stand for this, shame on him!
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    Individual states empowered to dole out guest-worker permits to foreigners under Senate bill


    This Dec. 17, 2016 photo shows a Donald Trump campaign sign along a highway near Los Banos, Calif. A California farmer says Donald Trump’s campaign vow to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally pushed him into ... more >

    By Stephen Dinan -
    The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    States would have the power to create their own guest-worker programs to dole out work permits to foreigners under a new bill introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, kick-starting the immigration debate.
    Sen. Ron Johnson’s legislation would allow states to adapt guest-worker programs to their own local economic needs, rather than wait on federal officials.
    The permits would last for three years and could be renewed, and workers would be allowed to apply for permanent immigrant status as well — giving the guest-workers a leg up on other potential immigrants.
    “The states will decide what type of workers they need in their state,” Mr. Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said.
    The workers can move among jobs within a state, meaning they can’t be stuck with an abusive employer, but they are supposed to remain in the state that approved them — unless states form a compact to share workers.
    Mr. Johnson’s bill would allow 500,000 workers, with each state able to get 5,000 workers as a minimum, and another 250,000 workers divided among all the states by population level.
    “This is a pilot program. Let’s see how the states actually implement this,” he said.
    Rep. Ken Buck, Colorado Republican, said he’s writing another version in the House. He said some states are already working on programs, should they get permission from the federal government.
    States would do criminal background checks and would be responsible for making sure the guest worker isn’t displacing an American worker.
    He said it would be up to the states to keep track of the workers once they’re here.
    “The federal government hasn’t done a very good job of it, frankly, so we should not be in the business of telling the states what to do,” he said.
    Bipartisan advocacy groups said they were eager to see how the bills played out, saying the plans could break through gridlock in Washington on the issue.
    “The efforts of members of Congress to move forward the discussion on immigration, including some potential means of addressing the status of the unauthorized, is welcome, and we hope lawmakers will reach bipartisan agreement on legislation,” the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Theresa Cardinal Brown said in a statement.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ms-foreigners/
    Last edited by artist; 05-03-2017 at 05:03 PM.

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    Wow, artist, that's some big news. You should open a thread with that article.

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    You can open a thread on the story - it seemed to tie in with more foreign workers. The bill is just introduced - many times they go nowhere. Here is another:
    What You Need to Know About the Temporary Worker Bill Introduced by Senator Flake

    Written by Michele Waslin May 2, 2016 in Business & the Workforce, High Skilled, Low Wage



    Last week, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Willing Workers and Willing Employers Act of 2016, which would establish a 10-year guest worker pilot program. According to Flake, the bill offers new thinking on how to bridge the gap between existing temporary worker programs for seasonal workers and the H-1B program for highly-skilled immigrants. Flake’s bill would create the H-2C visa program, which would allow foreign workers with less than a bachelor’s degree to perform year-round non-agricultural work in the United States.

    Currently, there are several temporary worker programs including the H-1B visa, which allows employers to employ foreign highly skilled workers, the H-2A visa for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers, and the H-2B visa for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural workers. There are generally no temporary visa for year-round workers for professions that require less than a bachelor’s degree. The H-1B and H-2B programs are subject to numerical caps, which many employers say are too low and do not match labor demand.

    Some immigrant advocates, organized labor, and others have concerns that existing temporary worker programs hurt both U.S. and foreign workers. Here’s how Flake’s H-2C legislation attempts to address several of these concerns:

    • Under the H-2C visa program, participating employers would be in full-employment areas of the country–meaning counties where the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 4.9 percent–and would have to be “registered” with the DHS.
    • Registered employers would have to attest that they actively recruited for qualified positions, but were unable to find an equally or better qualified U.S. worker, that there is no labor dispute at the workplace, and that there have been no layoffs of U.S. workers.
    • A percentage of H-2C visas would be reserved for small employers.
    • Registered employers would be required to participate in the E-Verify employment verification system.
    • The legislation would also require a study of the impact of H-2C workers on employment and wage rates, homeownership rates, housing prices, access to health care, and the criminal justice system.

    H-2C workers would be initially admitted for up to three years. The visa could be renewed, but only within the confines of the 10-year pilot program. Once in the United States, H-2C workers could be promoted and would be allowed to move to another registered employer with open positions. They would not be allowed to bring family members to the United States.

    The Willing Workers and Willing Employers Act would create a flexible cap, beginning with 65,000 in the first year and ranging from 45,000 to 85,000 in subsequent years, to match labor market demand. According to Flake, “this kind of flexible, market-based visa program designed to better meet economic demand is exactly the approach we need to bring U.S.-immigration policy into the 21st century.”

    Groups including the American Health Care Association, the National Turkey Federation, and the National Association of Home Builders have praised the bill for advancing the national immigration conversation and for taking steps towards easing worker shortages. However, the bill does not address many of the shortcomings in existing temporary worker programs, does not address undocumented immigrant workers already in the country, and does not resolve numerous other problems with the immigration system.

    Senator Flake has a long history of working on immigration issues. As a member of the House of Representatives, he worked with fellow Arizonans Jim Kolbe and John McCain to introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation that included a legalization program, an immigrant worker program, and enforcement measures. In 2009, Flake introduced the Stopping Trained in America PhDs From Leaving the Economy (STAPLE) Act (H.R. 1791) which would have authorized students who earned a Ph.D. in a STEM field from U.S. universities to be admitted for permanent residence. In the Senate, Flake has continued his immigration work and was a member of the Group of Eight which introduced Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), which passed in the Senate in 2013.

    While Flake’s new bill–which is unlikely to move in this Congress–does not purport to resolve all problems with the immigration system, it may serve to renew a constructive conversation on issues surrounding U.S. employers and foreign workers.

    http://immigrationimpact.com/2016/05...senator-flake/
    Last edited by artist; 05-03-2017 at 09:52 PM.

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    Two GOP Legislators Propose American Replacement Bill, Plus Amnesty



    by NEIL MUNRO
    4 May 2017
    3,179 comments

    Two GOP legislators are introducing legislation to let states annually import 500,000 foreign blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals to replace Americans who have fallen out of the workforce and into drug addiction.

    The American replacement bill is needed because companies can’t hire the employees they want amid the massive decline in the number of Americans who are seeking work, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told an event hosted Wednesday by the CATO Institute.

    “Why can’t Wisconsin manufacturers, why can’t small businesses, find enough people to work?” Johnson asked during a speech in a Senate hearing room with supporters of the replacement bill. He continued:

    "You got to ask those hard questions… it is not going to be a government program that is going to solve that [worker decline], but smart government policy, things like the bill we’re going to be introducing with the help of CATO today … is a really good direction to move. Give a it a shot. Let’s see how much better the states do. My guess is that they will do a whole lot better than a one-size-fits-all federal [foreign worker] program."

    The bill would allow states to each get 5,000 visas for additional foreign workers per year, plus a population-based share of another 245,000 visas, plus a share of any visas not used by other states. The inflow of foreign workers would start at 495,000 in the first year, not counting the additional family members of each imported worker.

    The bill would also create an amnesty, because the visas could be given to 11 million plus illegals living in the United States, including those who returned to the United States after being deported.

    The Senator said he has 50 co-sponsors, but acknowledged the likely unpopularity of his American replacement bill, which is formally titled the “State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program of 2017.”

    The acknowledgment came at the end of his statement when he thanked the CATO group and his House counterpart, Colorado GOP Rep. Ken Buck, for backing the replacement bill. “Let’s face it, to have the courage… we’re probably a lightening rod on this bill,” Johnsson said in his videotaped speech.

    Buck said he will not formally introduce the bill yet. “I’m not ready to sponsor it in the House yet… it is important to take the bill out of the oven when it is baked.”

    In November 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency partly because many blue-collar Americans — including many in Wisconsin — oppose the economic impact of cheap-labor immigration. In January, Trump emphasized that his administration’s mantra is “Buy American, Hire American.” Since then, he has sharply reduced illegal immigration and has proposed popular plans to reform legal immigration and the contract-worker programs.

    In his Wednesday statement, Johnson spoke at length about the “new plague [of opioid addiction] in our country,” and quoted from an article describing the huge extent of worker drop out amid the post-2008 combination punch of recession and mass-immigration. According to the article by demographer Nichols Eberstadt:

    The collapse in work rates for U.S. adults between 2008 and 2010 was roughly twice the amplitude of what had previously been the country’s worst postwar recession, back in the early 1980s. In that previous steep recession, it took America five years to re-attain the adult work rates recorded at the start of 1980. This time, the U.S. job market has as yet, in early 2017, scarcely begun to claw its way back up to the work rates of 2007—much less back to the work rates from early 2000 … U.S. adult work rates never recovered entirely from the recession of 2001—much less the crash of ’08.

    The subsequent “social pathologies … I would argue are being driven by government policy,” Johnson told the hearing room, and he cited Medicaid’s distribution of free opioids throughout much of the country.

    But “it is not going to be a government program that is going to solve” that worker drop-out problem, Johnson continued. So the new visa bill, he said, is targeted to “making sure that American businesses have the labor they need.”

    The new bill is required because “we need a strong and vibrant workforce,” said Buck, as he declined to discuss any effort to fix the worker-dropout problem:

    "I think we’ve got to deal with able-bodied individuals in this country who are not working … we still need to address the feeling among Americans that are workers in the country… who are not working and need to be working."

    Both Buck and Johnson are former business executives.

    The Buck-Johnson replacement bill would amplify the federal government’s employee importation policies.

    Under current law, the federal government annually imports roughly 1 million legal immigrants plus 1 million contract workers, such as H-1B therapists and professors. The immigrants and contract workers do grow the economy — but they also compete for jobs against each year’s cohort of 4 million American high school and college graduates.

    The flow of cheap immigrant labor has many effects. It does expand the consumer economy as it also shifts $500 billion from employees to employers and Wall Street, and it amps up state and local government spending by $60 billion a year. It also reduces the incentive for employers to recruit disengaged Americans or to build new facilities in high-unemployment areas, reduces businesses’ demands on schools to rebuild vocational training departments, and reduces business investment in labor-saving technology.

    Nationwide, roughly 10 percent of American “prime age” men, or 7 million men aged 25 to 54, have stayed out of the nation’s workforce of 160 million amid the glut of cheap immigrant labor and the resulting low wage rates. Many working-age Americans are not trying to get jobs, and are not participating in the nation’s labor force, largely because of low wage rates, according to an August statement by Jason Furman, the chief economic advisor to former President Barack Obama.

    That huge population of non-working rural Americans is a major part of the opioid epidemic. In 2014, roughly 47,000 in the U.S. died from drug overdoses, especially from heroin and other opiates. Heroin overdose deaths more than tripled between 2010 and 2015.

    Johnson said the bill would allow the additional incoming workers — and their families — to get the hugely valuable prize of citizenship after several years of work. But that offer of citizenship creates a compelling incentive for companies to discriminate against Americans by hiring the foreigners eager to work long hours at low pay for the future reward of citizenship.

    The prize of citizenship already acts as a government-provided deferred bonus for many foreign contract workers, such as H-1B white-collar professionals, who compliantly work long hours at low pay for several years in the hope of getting citizenship. In contrast, Americans can only get paid from companies’ pre-profit accounts, so companies have an incentive to hire foreign workers by offering them the citizenship bonus that is paid by government and taxpayers.

    The Johnson-Buck replacement legislation is backed by the self-described libertarian CATO Institute, even though the legislation would give state legislatures huge power over the life or death of many companies. For example, the legislation would give the state government the power to provide at least 5,000 low-wage workers each year to company executives who cooperate with state political leaders. It would also give the state politicians the power to ruin executives by suddenly withdrawing the imported workers from companies who disagree with the preferences of state politicians.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...y-immigration/
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  7. #7
    MW
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    Two GOP Legislators Propose American Replacement Bill, Plus Amnesty
    There are certainly no shortage of traitors in our U.S. Congress!
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