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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Professor: Amnesty Legislation Could Allow High-Tech Companies to Import 100% of Work

    Professor: Amnesty Legislation Could Allow High-Tech Companies to Import 100% of Workforce

    by Tony Lee 15 Sep 2014, 6:10 PM PDT

    One of the country's foremost experts on guest-worker visas argued that high-tech companies could be on the verge of securing enough visas so that 100% of their workers can be imported.

    Rutgers University public policy professor Hal Salzman noted in a Monday US News & World Report op-ed that "all credible research finds the same evidence about the STEM workforce: ample supply, stagnant wages and, by industry accounts, thousands of applicants for any advertised job."

    He said "guestworkers currently make up two-thirds of all new IT hires, but employers are demanding further increases."

    "If such lobbying efforts succeed, firms will have enough guestworkers for at least 100 percent of their new hiring and can continue to legally substitute these younger workers for current employees, holding down wages for both them and new hires," Salzman reasoned.

    As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) noted, proponents of comprehensive amnesty legislation have spent "$1.5 billion over the last decade" for a bill that would "double the supply of low-wage foreign workers brought into the United States." Joe Green, the president of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's pro-amnesty lobbying group, even suggested that foreign workers were "truly great," while Americans were just "sort of okay" in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

    But since studies and scholars from across the political spectrum have debunked the notion that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers, Salzman noted that, "in the face of these stark facts, we now see several studies that seem to be desperate Hail Mary passes, using rather unconventional means to find 'shortages'":

    Some analysts do this by expanding the definition of STEM jobs Ė traditionally those involved in innovation, discovery and development Ė to include air conditioning technicians and even some retail jobs to make the case that this workforce is large and growing. Without any coherent meaning, such analyses now serve only rhetorical purposes to advance particular legislation.

    After Sessions denounced the "Masters of the Universe" last week in a thunderous speech on the Senate floor, Facebook board member Marc Andreessen said Sessions was "clinically insane" for supporting American workers. He even called Sessions an "odious hack" and accused him of slander. The Obama administration is reportedly considering awarding the tech industry 800,000 more guest-worker visas via executive action to gain support for a potential executive amnesty that would grant work permits and temporary amnesty to nearly five million illegal immigrants.

    Sessions, who has implored Senate Democrats to bring up the House bill that would block Obama's potential executive amnesty, emphasized that elected officials had a duty to represent American workers. Sessions said on the Senate floor last week:

    We can't put the parochial demands of a few powerful CEOs ahead of an entire nation's hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The basic social contract is that citizens agree to follow the law, pay their taxes, devote their love and loyalty to their country and in exchange, the nation commits to preserve and protect and serve their interest, safeguard their freedom, and return to them in kind their first allegiance of loyalty. The job of elected officials is to answer to the people who sent them to Washington--not to scorn them, not to demean them, not to mock them, not to sell their jobs and dreams to the highest bidder.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    by TONY LEE 16 Sep 2014, 7:24 AM PDT 207POST A COMMENT

    A prominent public policy professor said massive increases in guest-worker visas for some of the most prominent high-tech companies will only pull the ladder out from under Americans trying to move into the middle class.

    On The Laura Ingraham Show Monday, Ron Hira, Howard University's public policy professor, blasted high-tech companies and lobbies for claiming that there is a shortage of American workers, while companies like Microsoft are laying off 18,000 American workers.

    "This is really important because the STEM degrees, information technology and engineering in particular, have been real pathways to the middle class," he said. "Itís been a traditional path for working class kids to study. Itís a very meritocratic set of occupations, unlike some other areas. By cutting this off, we are cutting off that upward mobility to the middle class for so many of the working class kids."

    Ingraham has previously mentioned that illegal immigrants are taking construction work that used to be good-paying jobs for college kids and Americans trying to get into the middle class. In the white-collar world, massive increases in guest-worker visas are taking jobs away from Americans trying to move up the economic ladder.

    Hira, on a conference call earlier this year, said that the IT sector had been "an area of social mobility."

    "You've got people who come from working-class backgrounds who go into these sectors," Hira said. "It's a way of getting into the middle class and the professional class, and that's being cut off." President Joe Green has suggested that foreign workers were "truly great," while American workers are "just sort of okay." Hira blasted Green's assertion that high-tech companies need more guest-worker visas to attract the "best and the brightest," noting that the "typical H-1B worker really has no more than ordinary skills and is willing to take lower wages."

    "It's really about cheaper labor. That's what's going on. They're trying to drive down wages. If anybody doubts that, just look at the lawsuit against many of the largest Silicon Valley firms where they had a wage fixing scheme," Hira said, adding, "It's all about keeping wages low" for the high-tech industry.

    He also said it was "really dangerous to be stapling a green card to every Masterís graduate [diploma] in a STEM field" because that would give colleges incentives to be diploma factories for foreigners who want green cards.

    "What that does is it basically puts universities as the gatekeepers for admission into the U.S. on permanent residence," he asserted, "and they have a conflict of interest because they can make a lot of money basically selling green cards by setting up a Masterís program that is, say, 12 months." He added that this approach will "attract a lot of students who are not coming for the education but are coming because they have a path to a green card."

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