IT’S TIME TO TERMINATE THE H1-B VISA PROGRAM

We have over 30 million American unemployed.  For years we have allowed millions into our country based on the H1B Visa program—bringing down wages and enforcing qualified American in the tech filed to fill taco shells instead.  The time has come, as President Trump says, to put America first.

“First of all, we know wages in this country have been virtually stagnant since 1998 and have only started to rise slightly since President Trump took office. We know that is indisputable that high levels of immigration suppress wages. Libertarian theorists may like to challenge this fact, but it is true. And, it is simply a matter of basic economics. When the supply of something rises, its price falls and vice versa. When the supply of labor rises, its price – meaning wages — drops. It is no coincidence that wages and living standards for working Americans increased dramatically – except for the period of the Great Depression – when immigration levels were essentially frozen between 1924 and 1965. Employers had to pay more because the labor supply was tight.”

As part of the business rescue plan we need to do an employee’s rescue plan—end the H1B Visas.

IT’S TIME TO TERMINATE THE H1-B VISA PROGRAM

By James D. Veltmeyer, M.D., 5/6/20 

President Trump’s recent decision to suspend legal immigration into the United

states as a result of the COVID-19 crisis should be applauded as a first step

toward addressing America’s out-of-control legal immigration system.

However, does the President’s action go far enough? Does it do enough to

protect American workers and American jobs at a time when the virus has

tanked the economy and sent over 26 million Americans into unemployment

lines?

For years now, the United States has taken in more legal immigrants each year

than every other nation in the world combined. That’s more than one million

annually. What has been the impact of such a high level of immigration

unprecedented since the wave of Irish, Italian, German and Jewish immigrants

flooded our shores in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

First of all, we know wages in this country have been virtually stagnant since

1998 and have only started to rise slightly since President Trump took office.

We know that is indisputable that high levels of immigration suppress wages.

Libertarian theorists may like to challenge this fact, but it is true. And, it is simply

a matter of basic economics. When the supply of something rises, its price falls

and vice versa. When the supply of labor rises, its price – meaning wages — drops.

It is no coincidence that wages and living standards for working Americans

increased dramatically – except for the period of the Great Depression – when

immigration levels were essentially frozen between 1924 and 1965. Employers

had to pay more because the labor supply was tight.

Unfortunately, the final version of the President’s proclamation did not address

the issue of temporary foreign workers in the United States and the notorious

H1-B Visa program. It is believed the original version sought to suspend these

temporary visas as well, but that aggressive lobbying by the cheap labor lobby

of Corporate America succeeded in having it omitted in the final decree. This is

a gaping omission.

The H1B Visa program is an enemy of working and middle-class Americans. It

is the program through which hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from

India, Communist China, Vietnam and other nations are imported into the

United States to take jobs in high-tech, health care, and other industries that

should go to American workers. Every year more than 100,000 such foreign

workers are brought here and allowed to stay for up to six years. It is estimated

that there are at least 650,000 such workers in this country at any given time.

And, in 2018 alone, U.S. businesses and corporations tried to outsource as many

as 420,000 jobs through the program. Between 2007 and 2017, it is estimated

that 2.7 million Americans lost their jobs to so-called “temporary” foreign

workers.

According to Joe Guzzardi of Progressives for Immigration Reform:

The H1-B scam has gone on long enough. Over the last three decades, the H1-B

has displaced tens of thousands of experienced U.S. tech workers and has

created financial and emotional heartache for Americans who have lost their

jobs to younger, less-skilled but cheaper-to-employ workers.

Guzzardi cites several prominent Silicon Valley companies who “phase out”

older employees for younger, cheaper workers from abroad, including Apple,

Facebook, Google, HP, LinkedIn, and Tesla. Ron Hira of the Economic Policy

Institute has written that the H1B Visa program and its L-1 cousin contain

loopholes that “have made it too easy to bring in cheaper foreign workers,

with ordinary skills, who directly substitute for, rather than complement,

workers already in the country. They are clearly displacing and denying

opportunities to U.S. workers.” In 2019, we learned of AT&T’s plans to

lay off thousands of workers while making them train their foreign replace-

ments. Many of these workers have been with the company for more than

a decade and won’t be offered severance or early retirement.

India has greatly benefited from the H-1B Visa program, at the expense of

the United States. By rolling out the red carpet to Indian engineering students

who then take the jobs of American IT workers and later return to India, we

have enabled a massive high-tech boom in India. Displaced Americans are

forced to take jobs in non-computer science careers, thus weakening our own

home-grown high-tech industry. Exports of IT goods from the U.S. have declined

steadily since 1995 while India has enjoyed a spectacular surge.

Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona has written to the President asking him to

suspend all the temporary foreign worker Visa programs while we work

ourselves through the current pandemic-induced economic cataclysm. He is

right.  Additionally, I would argue that even in a period of unparalleled prosperity,

such schemes should not be permitted to displace American workers or used as

a means by which corporations suppress wage levels. As I argued in one of my

earliest OpEds, immigrant labor should be brought into the United States only

under the strictest conditions, specifically verification that the jobs to be filled

cannot under any circumstance be filled by the existing U.S. labor force and not

as a way to hold down wages. Only where a genuine shortage of labor or where a

perishable commodity exists, as in the agricultural economy for example, can

these programs be justified.

President Trump’s Executive Order may be updated in sixty days. We should

urge him to turn a deaf ear to the selfish appeals of the Business Roundtable

and the Chamber of Commerce and instead listen to the cries of American

fathers and mothers being crushed by the current shutdown. It’s time to

terminate the H1-B program and its noxious cousins in their current form and

time to put American workers first.

Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    Hey prioritize citizens? What a concept.

    When things even out, it is time to bring back a modern version of the Bracero Program, that allows Ag. workers from Mexico etc. to sign a contract, work, be tracked, and then go home when the contract is up.

    Talk about stopping the illegal flood.

  2. The Captive says

    This Covid19 may have open doors to accomplishing much more honest government control. The biggest one in CA has to do with ACCOUNTABILITY. Time to put CA Assembly to the test of telling the truth and then being accountable right down the line -All their lies should be put before the public and they need to stand down when caught. The NEWSPAPERS NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE AND just maybe there will be 2 parties . I am sick of it and may they pay for their dishonesty.

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