Tags: Immigration | Outsourcing

US Tech Workers Purged from STEM to Stern

By Friday, 26 February 2016 05:01 PM Current | Bio | Archive

H1–B visas are a popular government–sponsored wage–reduction program that’s an ideal solution for tech executives who don't like to travel.

Instead of shipping jobs overseas — which means boxing up machinery and hiring aggressive security guards to discourage news crews — cynical U.S. corporations violate U.S. law to bring the workers here.

Problem solved. The boss doesn't have to worry about drinking the water and the U.S. wage scale is now identical to that of Bombay.

The H1–B program began in 1952 and covered: "An alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, who is of distinguished merit and ability and who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services of an exceptional nature requiring such merit and ability."

Which sounds like the Pentagon was still importing German rocket scientists.

Once our nuclear deterrent was up and running, the private sector saw real potential and lobbied to expand the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) visas.

Employers under the H1–B program were required to certify imported workers were not taking jobs already held by citizens and that flooding the market with foreigners would not reduce wages.

Employers were not required to keep a straight face while doing it.

Naturally, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is a big supporter of the program. He’s sponsoring a bill doubling the number of STEM workers. Rubio is always glib when he sells out citizens and this time is no different.

Sounding a bit like the plantation owner who assures us he only hires illegals to do jobs Americans won’t, Rubio contends there’s a “skills gap” in the tech sector.

In other words, Americans that aren’t too lazy to work are unfortunately too stupid.

The truth is there are plenty of citizen STEM workers, but they’re hoping to work for U.S. wages and not rupees.

Sen. Jeff Sessions told Breitbart News increasing these visas only serves to “glut the labor market and keep pay low, and push more of our own homegrown best and brightest students out of work.”

U.S. News and World Report found H1–B imports comprise two–thirds of all new IT employees and average wage rates in the tech sector are unchanged from Bill Clinton’s presidency. “Overall, U.S. colleges produce twice the number of STEM graduates annually as find jobs in those fields [and] only about one in four STEM bachelor’s degree holders has a STEM job.”

Even citizens who manage to land a STEM job are not safe.

Companies like Disney, Eversource Energy, and Southern California Edison contract with a turnkey outsourcing firm — frequently based in India. The firm hires the workers, pays them in local currency — sheep, goats, etc. — and then delivers the brand new, entirely untrained staff to their new U.S. jobs.

As which point the citizens being fired are required to train their replacements if they want to receive severance pay. This is like requiring ISIS captives to sharpen swords.

Equally reprehensible these workers are often required so sign a “non–disparagement clause.” This means if fired workers speak out regarding violations of the visa program, they can be forced to forfeit pay and/or be sued by the company.

Aside from the fact an agreement signed under duress is usually held to be invalid, these “non–disparagement” gag orders essentially force employees to participate in a cover–up of corporate crime.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is tired of companies with no moral center abusing citizens and he’s introduced a bill to end H1–B cheating and expose their lies. (This is the reason Cruz is so unpopular with the Senate insider club and the main reason he should be more popular with voters.)

Instead of depending on the truthfulness of employers who assure us the imports aren’t working for less, Cruz’ new bill mandates employers pay visa holders what a citizen made in that job or a minimum of $110,000, whichever is higher.

His bill also makes hiring the turnkey outsourcing firms less attractive.

Now these overseers often treat their employees as indentured servants. The U.S. firms maintain deniability by claiming the individuals don’t work directly for the company.

Senator Cruz’ bill ends that. Visa holders may not be fined for quitting their jobs and they can’t be charged for room, board, use of a car or in any other way be indebted to the company store.

If the companies lobbing for more STEM visas are telling the truth, Cruz’ bill will have no impact. The intensity of the effort to defeat the bill only proves visa backers were lying all along.

Sen. Jeff Sessions has a primary rule that he uses to evaluate any immigration policy: Is it good for American workers?

Ted Cruz’ bill passes the test.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.


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H1–B visas are a popular government–sponsored wage–reduction program. An ideal solution for tech executives who don't like to travel. Instead of shipping jobs overseas, cynical U.S. corporations violate U.S. law to bring the workers here.
Friday, 26 February 2016 05:01 PM
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