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I am still reeling and taken aback by the white house fact sheet  on comprehensive immigration reform.

Nowhere in the proposal is any concern shown for the battered U.S. work force.
In fact, the shocking proposal talks of making it easier for employers to bypass the U.S. workforce by allowing companies to sponsor an even larger number of  indentured H-1B work visas. 

One disturbing proposal is this one:

Cut Red Tape for Employers.  The proposal also eliminates the backlog for employment-sponsored immigration by eliminating annual country caps and adding additional visas to the system.  Outdated legal immigration programs are reformed to meet current and future demands by exempting certain categories from annual visa limitations.
This proposal looks as if it was presented in whole by the corporate lobby as a method of thumbing their noses at the U.S. workforce.  Corporations prefer to have a docile and complacent worker.  One that never has to be offered a raise and will never request a promotion, or complain about working conditions, or unpaid long hours, and will accept a position well below their education level in order to get a chance at the prize of a U.S. green card after ten to fifteen years.  

There is currently no requirement for a corporation to first seek qualified U.S. workers before recruiting indentured foreign workers.  No such requirement seems forthcoming.  Companies are currently legally free to force their employees to train their foreign visa workers before being laid off themselves.  

The only reason many U.S. workers still are hanging on to their jobs is because there is a cap of 85,000 visas per year.  Now it looks like this thread to survival will soon be severed with an unlimited flow of indentured workers.

Corporations are salivating.

Bill Gates recently laid off 5000 technology workers, now I hear he is about to make the talk show rounds to cry about having 5000 jobs he can't fill with U.S. workers.

Each year, the U.S. graduates more highly skilled talent than the job market can absorb.  Despite this, corporations lure visa workers from abroad with the carrot of a US green card some time in the future.  In the meanwhile, the worker is indentured to the job, as his or her legal status is beholden to the company sponsoring their visa.  

Which leads to this troubling proposal :

Staple green cards to advanced STEM diplomas.  The proposal encourages foreign graduate students educated in the United States to stay here and contribute to our economy by “stapling” a green card to the diplomas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD and Master’s Degree graduates from qualified U.S. universities who have found employment in the United States.  It also requires employers to pay a fee that will support education and training to grow the next generation of American workers in STEM careers.
There is no evidence that foreign PhDs are declining to stay in the U.S. at all. According to Michael Finn of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the U.S. already retains 67 percent of foreign PhD graduates, including 72 percent of those in computer science. "(There is) no support for the view that (science and engineering) recipients on temporary visas have had declining stay rates because of difficulty obtaining visas that would permit them to say in the United States to work."


The November Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployed workers far outnumber job openings in every sector, demonstrating that the main problem is a broad-based lack of demand for workers—and not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings.

The “job-seekers ratio”—the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings—was 3.3-to-1 in November. That means there are no jobs for more than two out of three unemployed workers!  In a labor market with strong job opportunities, the ratio would be close to 1-to-1, as it was in December 2000 (when it was 1.1-to-1).

With these numbers commissioned by and available to the white house, it is baffling that they would present a proposal to further increase the number of visa workers to compete for the few available job in the U.S.

Originally posted to IT Professional on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:22 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  please (17+ / 0-)

    show some evidence that immigrants take american jobs. thanks.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:32:13 PM PST

  •  Bill gates doesn't employ (7+ / 0-)

    Technology workers anymore, he's out of Microsoft and is spending his time and money on OK to middling philanthropy.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:34:05 PM PST

    •  Nevertheless, microsoft is constantly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Chi, Mannie

      laying off U.S. workers by the thousands.  MICROSOFT Layoffs

      Do layoffs affect unemployment?  Should a company that discards workers in this manner be petitioning to import thousands of indentured workers?

      I care about these people.

      •  You don't know what you're talking about. (3+ / 0-)

        In fact, I don't think you do care about "these people" -- very few of them are developers or IT professionals; most of them are, were, and remain program managers, marketers, or people in sales or in production.

        •  I do care about all people who get laid off. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          delver rootnose, kurt, Chi, Mannie

          Not just people in my own field.  When I hear about people being forced to train their own visa replacements, it breaks my heart.

          Especially when I see the company crying that they can't find enough workers and want to lobby congress to be allowed to continue this practice unfettered.

          •  Again, you don't know what you're talking about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gemina13, Deep Texan

            The people who are being laid off aren't training their visa replacements.  They don't have visa replacements.  H1-B workers aren't being hired for those jobs.

            If you cared about them, you'd know that.

            •  You are WRONG. (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              delver rootnose, kurt, ban nock, bear83, Chi, Mannie

              I know many people who have had to train their replacements.  It is heartbreaking to see.

              •  How much proof do you need? (7+ / 0-)

                More proof

                The U.S. Census Bureau reports that, counting only U.S.-born individuals, there are 101,000 with an engineering degree who are unemployed, another 244,000 who are not working or not looking for work and therefore not counted in unemployment statistics, and an additional 1.47 million who have an engineering degree but are not working as an engineer.

                Obama's answer to Wedel sounded like he had been well briefed by the big corporation lobbyists. He even expressed bewilderment that any U.S. high-tech engineer could be out of work because industry executives tell him there is an unfilled "huge demand" for engineers.

                Obama said, "H-1Bs should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field." Yes, indeed, they should. But in fact, they are not.

                Created in 1990, the H-1B program was designed for employers to import foreign H-1B workers to fill various high-tech jobs only when Americans could not be found, and the law was supposed to make it illegal for an employer to replace an American with an H-1B worker. However, the big corporation lobbyists succeeded in fuzzying up the law so there is now no effective rule to prevent employers from firing American jobholders and replacing them with H-1B aliens.

            •  absolute BS. I trained my H-1b .. (8+ / 0-)

              ...visa replacement in both the praticular application he would be working on and the Assembler language and other basics like JCL.  What I got for doing this was an additional 4 months work.  Nothing else.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:20:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Derkur dur (8+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:36:02 PM PST

    •  one of the best episodes of south park (4+ / 0-)

      hands down.

    •  Comedy precisely spearing the old, old complaint (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, Gemina13, Deep Texan, MaikeH

      This is what my grandparents had to hear when they came over from Italy. And what my great-grandparents heard when they came over from Germany. And so on, and so forth.

      It's really unbecoming to bring this up again. Dare I say it's Limbaugh-esque.

      "Teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for a life. Don’t feed fish." - Future President Paul Ryan

      by Fordmandalay on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:30:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Difference Being (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon, IT Professional, Sparhawk

        That when your grandparents came over from Italy there were probably no taxes at all to speak of, there was no Social Security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, there was no mandatory federal education requirements, no WIC, no school breakfast programs, no school lunch programs, etc.

        Also, there's this. The 'Great Irish Migration' took place over the course of about fifty years and involved about five million immigrants. Those immigrants entered a country where again, it was pretty much every man/woman for themselves, and the country was still expanding westward.

        Compare this to the emptying out of entire villages in Mexico over the the course of about twenty years (about 6.8 million illegal immigrants being from Mexico) into a modern welfare state which is creating primarily low-wage low-skilled jobs.

        Saying, in effect, that 'all immigration is equal' is like saying that one can apply the same fiscal and economic approaches today as was applied in the 1930's with some certainty of the same outcome.

        But, you know what, in the end, I want all the folks chirping about 'comprehensive immigration reform' to get everything they want and more.

        The 1986 IRCA was designed to grant amnesty to about 750,000. In the end it granted amnesty to about 3.2 million. Ten percent of all individuals born in Mexico now live in the U.S. Heck, I'm hoping that by the time 'comprehensive immigration reform' is done that number is above twenty percent. Then the Democratic Party won't be able to say they didn't get exactly what they asked for.

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:47:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If STEM graduates get green cards (10+ / 0-)

    Then they are, by definition, part of the American work force.

    matthewborgard.com ~ @MatthewBorgard

    by zegota on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:36:03 PM PST

    •  Green cards, yes! H1B, no! (4+ / 0-)

      With a green card the worker can change jobs if given a raw deal by the employer. H1B workers have to return to their home country if no longer sponsored by their employer, so they cannot leave a bad job for a better one; this benfits the bad employers and hurts all workers.

      •  Good point. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine, IT Professional

        I support immigration reform on this basis.  Workers who are illegal or dependent on employers for visas are not free; they are indentured servants.  Furthermore the SCOTUS has made it clear that illegal workers who complain about ILLEGAL WORKING CONDITIONS can simply be deported.  So it's to the advantage of all workers to legalize their situation so that corporations have no access to slaves, indentured servants, and other workers who have no legal recourse for abusive working conditions and employers who blatantly flout labor laws.  Until such time as this can be done, employers found hiring or paying illegal immigrants need to face the stiffest penalties we can impose on them because even if they treat their slaves well, they are still building their businesses on slave labor.

        Corporations have enough power over workers without legally demoting the workers to official "non-person" status.

        •  The government should not punish employers (0+ / 0-)

          and should end the imposition of 1984 Big Brother work permits and dossier checks that increasingly resemble the authoritarian practices of the old USSR.

          The government should stop selling these H1B visas to employers who are actively in the business of bringing in foreign workers to undercut the market.

          Anybody who is here already should be encouraged to work, pay taxes and contribute to society on the same basis - and with the same protections - as the rest of us.

  •  Bill Gates ??? (6+ / 0-)

    Dude, do you even realize the last time that Bill Gates was even part of Microsoft ???

    That was warning sign #1 that you are a troll ... The rest of the idea that immigration takes away American jobs was the final proof point that I needed that you are ridiculous.

  •  Now, my friends... (5+ / 0-)

    "I'll offer anybody here fifty dollars an hour if you'll go pick lettuce in Yuma this season and pick for the whole season. So, ok, sign up! Ok, when you sign up, you sign up, and you'll be there for the whole season, the whole season, ok, not just one day. Because you can't do it, my friend."

  •  Reel, but do not fall, hit head and get a clot (3+ / 0-)

    I was just flicking thro' the channels and hit upon a doomsday prepper who built this monstrous bullet proof truck with 60, 000 dollars worth of CTV cameras that could see upto 2M

  •  This diarist has two diaries months apart with the (3+ / 0-)

    exact same title:

    Obama team sadly misinformed by job outsourcers
    The second, just to note, has an "Update" - but down not acknowledge the earlier diary.

    I dont' know what it means, but I smell suspect agenda.

    •  This is very weird. This diarist's 1st diary came (5+ / 0-)

      feww weeks after Obama's election.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Seems to be single issue for 4+ years now.

      •  Yup. My number one issue is high unemployment (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pigpaste, kurt, Hockeyray, cynndara

        and the displacement of the U.S workforce.  

        •  which is why you advocate (5+ / 0-)

          for keynesian stimulus? tax incentives for businesses that bring jobs back home?

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:59:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  nothing wrong with that (5+ / 0-)

          I wonder if you are so fixated on this issue because it effects you personally? People are "suspicious" because they see a narrow agenda.

          Sometimes people have a narrow agenda because an issue is a thorn in their side in their daily life. Is it?
           If it is maybe tell people about your personal experience and it's  negative effects on you and why you are frustrated by it.

          •  It is better to spread the word. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hockeyray, kurt, bear83, cynndara

            Many people find it hard to believe that the government they elected could actually enact policies  the following wording:

            United States Department of Labor Strategic Plan
            Fiiscal Years 2006--2011

            H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced
            from the job in favor of the foreign worker.

            Additionally, the importation of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.

            No other country on earth would do this to it's citizens.

            I held out hope when the Obama administration removed the link to this document on it's website, but I wonder if there has been any change in policy from the Bush DOL.

            •  are you able to link to the document with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IT Professional

              that above wording?

              it's your whole diary. Just the short paragraphs in the above box, with the middle paragraph highlighted.
              (if it's in your diary and I dont' remember sorry about that)

              I wanted to defend you because I don't like how people label people trolls so quickly here. Makes me afraid to post a diary...but I've only been on about six months.

              hava good night (late here)

            •  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt

              link

              Section 1661 of the ARRA incorporates the Employ American Workers Act (“EAWA”) ...to limit certain banks and other financial institutions from hiring H-1B workers unless they had offered positions to equally or better-qualified US workers, and to prevent banks from hiring H-1B workers in occupations they had laid off US workers from. These restrictions include:

              The employer must, prior to filing the H-1B petition, takes good-faith steps to recruit US workers for the position for which the H-1B worker is sought, offering a wage at least as high as what the law requires for the H-1B worker. The employer must also attest that, in connection with this recruitment, it has offered the job to any US worker who applies who is equally or better qualified for the position.

              The employer must not have laid off, and will not lay off, any US worker in a job essentially equivalent to the H-1B position in the area of intended employment of the H-1B worker within the period beginning 90 days prior to the filing of the H-1B petition and ending 90 days after its filing.[32]

              Change.

              I voted for the human beings.

              by denig on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:13:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  More evidence that Obama admin is concerned (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan, kurt

                the US workforce, contrary to the statements in this diary:

                H-2B Revised Rules

                The H-2B program has long been used by many kinds of seasonal, mostly small, businesses, including seafood fishermen and processors, amusement parks and hotels and landscapers.

                Under the new rules, the Labor Department will create a nationwide electronic registry where employers must post all jobs they are seeking to fill with H-2B workers. Also, the recruitment period of Americans is expanded, requiring employers to hire any qualified local worker who applies up to three weeks before the start of an H-2B contract.

                The Labor Department also ended a labor market certification process that allowed employers to simply assert that they had searched for American workers. Now employers will have to consult formally with State Workforce Agencies to demonstrate that they could not find Americans for the jobs.

                I voted for the human beings.

                by denig on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:38:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  About 35% of Americans are assholes. (6+ / 0-)

    But only 25% of new immigrants are assholes. So I'll side with the random immigrant over the random citizen any time. It's all in the math.

    •  85% of all statistics (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jplanner, kurt, Roadbed Guy, cynndara

      are made up on the spot.  :)

      •  According to George Bernard Shaw. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        balancedscales, Deep Texan
        Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.
        I sense, from your screen name, history, post title, and focus on  H-1B visa issues, that you have a particular narrowly-focused axe you wish to grind that has nothing to do with the larger problem of how to deal with illegal immigration and creating a pathway to citizenship for all those people (and their children) who are here doing work that doesn't fall within the reach of" high tech/H-1B/highly-skilled worker" discussions...

        I can understand your concern, but I'm not sure it contributes positively to the larger discussion about immigration when it comes to the traditional and still prominent centers of sources and employment of people who are not legal residents in this country...

        "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

        by Jack K on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:11:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We also need to care about workers (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          delver rootnose, kurt, cynndara

          who are legal residents too.  As an immigrant I understand people who want to come to the U.S. to work, but this needs to be balanced with the needs of people who are already here.

          Why do Universities and employers get to determine who is allowed to come.

          •  Well, let me put this plainly: (6+ / 0-)

            ...out here in the rural West where I live, many tens and tens of thousands of people who are not legally in this country pick crops, move irrigation pipe, pull weeds, plant trees, clean rooms and do all sorts of other work that many of us don't see or refuse to acknowledge.  Neither universities or employers decided whether they should be allowed to come;  you made the decision, whether you are an immigrant or not.  You decided because you refuse to pay what it would cost for these products and services if wage and benefit rules were applied...

            There are a host of facets to this discussion about immigration reform; your H1b/foreign grad student observations are pretty far down the list of concerns for most folks...

            "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

            by Jack K on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:48:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Are you deaf? (5+ / 1-)

            You said that immigrants desire to work here has to be

            balanced with the needs of people who are already here.
            But immigration reform in part addresses the 12 million that are "already here".  They are already Americans -- just not formally. Stop stigmatizing the undocumented and trying to suggest the job market is a zero sum game -- if an immigrant gets a job, a non-immigrant loses one.

            The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

            by LiberalLady on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:08:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  US law allows U.S. worker displacement. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              delver rootnose, kurt, cynndara

              So yes, when one worker is forced to train his replacement as a condition of getting severance, then BY DEFINITION, a visa worker gets a job and a U.S. worker loses one. A zero sum game exactly.

              United States Department of Labor Strategic Plan
              Fiiscal Years 2006--2011
              H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced
              from the job in favor of the foreign worker.
            •  maybe it isn't a zero... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt, IT Professional, cynndara

              ..sum game for you but it was for me and it was no game.  I went from having a retirement fund and on track to pay off my modest condo early to having almost nothing and being months away from forclosure.

              And in the field I work in almost none of those 'already here' are working without a up to date visa.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:06:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  IT Professional is objecting to allowing (6+ / 0-)

              large corporations like Google and Microsoft to import foreign workers to fill specific job openings. They are brought in for a specific job with fees paid by that specific employer, and if they don't keep that job they are sent back where they came from. There is a special visa category - H1B - for this purpose. This is like legal indentured servitude, and high tech employers (and others) are exploiting it to replace US workers with foreigners who must accept lower pay, longer hours and worse treatment or be sent home. The practice really resembles human trafficking, with its reliance on middlemen - who mainly are 1%er corporations of India, China, etc - profiting handsomely from their trade in H1B workers.

              This is a completely different issue than allowing people who are already here to legally work under the same conditions and protections that citizens have - a reform which I support.

              •  well-said (6+ / 0-)

                it's about creating an underclass of workers that is completely at the mercy of their employers--workers who can be forced to work for long hours at low wages under dangerous conditions, and then deported when they are no longer needed.

                The South Park "dey tuk r jrbs" is a bit of a red herring. If employers were required to give foreign workers the same rights and protections that American laborers have, there would be no incentive for companies to hire them.

                To touch on a point the diarist is silent on: my experience is that there are a lot of programmers and IT types who hold libertarian views and are anti-immigration. They explain their nativism by saying they want to protect American workers--which is, in itself, not an unreasonable or ignoble motive. Yet they are strongly anti-union and averse to government regulation--both of which protect American workers.

                In my view, this stems from a psychological hang-up.

                Programming has become so mechanized and commonplace that the labor of programmers is starting to become nearly as cheap and plentiful as that of manual laborers. What else does the phrase "code monkeys" mean?

                But many programmers are in denial about this. Their self-image is that they're white-collar, not blue-collar. "We're special, we're smarter, we have indispensable skills."

                The truth is that increasingly they're finding themselves in the same place that miners were in the 1890s and auto workers in the 1920s. Those groups responded by fighting against employers, striking and forming unions. But so far as I know, there has been no such militant response from tech workers. They scorn labor solidarity and prefer to remain lone wolves.

                This is counterproductive. If they did organize they would have greater power to fight megacorporations. And if foreign nationals working in the US were allowed to participate in union and organization activities, it would strengthen the hand of IT labor considerably.

                The lesson of past labor battles has been: organize or accept serfdom. Even doctors organize, academics also organize. Why do programmers imagine they can do without organizing?

                My question to the diarist then is this: aside from harping on the immigration problem, what are you doing for your IT brothers and sisters to ensure they are treated fairly and given a good wage?

                "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

                by limpidglass on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:22:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I blog and get the word out. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  billmosby, Mannie, kurt

                  Each time I diary someone new is surprised to know the truth.

                  I am not financially at a point where I can afford to be blacklisted for exposing the truth.

                •  Programmers (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  IT Professional, limpidglass, Mannie

                  do not tend to have "joiner" personalities.  They have historically been "math geeks", the kind of people who feel more comfortable with abstract numbers and faceless computer screens than chumming it up with live human beings.  They also have a cultural history of being "independent" and "individualist" from the days when they were uniquely-skilled individuals whose little antisocial aberrations were TOLERATED by employers who needed their specialized skills.  This history has formed the culture of computer programmers today.  You're not going to easily turn high-functioning autistics with social phobias into political organizers.  You're running against fundamental social and psychological realities.
                   

                  •  I see you have met me :) (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    billmosby, Mannie, kurt

                    A lot is going on in our heads but we would rather lock ourselves in a closet than go marching in the streets.

                    We will blog though.

                    •  I'm pretty much like that too. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mannie, IT Professional, kurt

                      But I also recognize that most of the good things that have happened to me in my life happened because of people I met at random and formed friendships with.

                      At this late stage of my life I have recognized that I would be in a better place if I had spent a modicum of time schmoozing with my management rather than locked away the lab "doing my job". I'm still ambivalent about that, though. The technician who ostensibly worked for me was a schmoozer and got farther in his career than I did, but spent his days not really accomplishing much on the job. He did get to play a lot of golf with the big boys, though. I carried the load, and also took the blame when he and another overschmoozer fucked up and let about a tenth of a gram of plutonium escape into the radioactive trash somehow (it was encapsulated, so not an immediate problem...). We never found it, but at least it ended up in an appropriate "dump". It just dented the dump's storage capability a bit.

                      Organizing in the way suggested above would have been just way too far outside my comfort zone. But I think it would really have been the only way to have improved things.

                      Moderation in most things.

                      by billmosby on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:15:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  H1B weakens workers' power to organize. (0+ / 0-)

                  How can workers form a union when the employer can have them expelled from the country at a whim? The more indentured foreign workers we have, the more difficult to unionize. Not that it would be easy anyway, as others have commented.

            •  HR'd for the insult. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IT Professional

              Please don't insult the diarist, especially on the basis of a strawman you've constructed. The diarist is explicitly addressing the expansion of a group of documented foreign workers, not the  undocumented workers you wrongly accuse him of stigmatizing.

        •  You mean it doesn't conform to your agenda... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          delver rootnose, kurt

          I sense.

  •  Bill Gates doesn't work for Microsoft (3+ / 0-)

    and hasn't for a while. Seriously, where do you get this crap?

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:58:01 PM PST

  •  Most of the people for whom this will do the most (4+ / 0-)

    good are not the folks who will take IT jobs or specialized education jobs all at once. The economy will be in a different place when the young folks get their degrees. Don't fret yourself. It's a bit selfish of you, IMO.

    It's like the teabaggers not wanting others to get health care because it will make doctors so busy the docs won't be able to see them.

  •  Permanent Green Cards v. Guest Worker Programs (10+ / 0-)

    Salon's Michael Lind writes we should focus immigration reform on permanent legal status and not guest worker programs, like H1-B:

    Most Americans, not knowing the technicalities of immigration law, can be bamboozled by corporate lobbyists and propagandists who seek to blur the distinction between guest workers and legal permanent residents with “green cards.” But green card holders — some of them former indentured servants who have earned green cards, after years of exploitation — have economic rights that guest workers do not, the rights that make up the core of the notion of “free labor” in the U.S. and other societies. While legal permanent residents do not have the right to vote, they have the right to quit their jobs without being deported. The psychological difference is profound — a foreign national working in the U.S. with a green card does not have to cringe and grovel before an employer, as an indentured guest worker is compelled to do, out of fear.
  •  I've a friend who's has one of those visas (14+ / 0-)

    she is a slave to her company
    (she works as a translator for a translation softwear company and has been here since her jr yr in high school, legally. She's a Harvard grad)

    The company pays her and other workers with the visa LESS than they pay Americans because they know that they CAN. The visa workers can't transfer their visa to another company so holding onto that one job is a lynchpin for their whole life they constructed in the US. The company has leverege and applies it abusively...at least that one does. It keeps cutting visa workers benefits and they can't do anything about it. She feels she has to do whatever they ask of her.

    I don't think this is a troll diary necessarily. My friend does a job Americans likely can't do (how many are fluent in English and three European languages?) but she has friends that have jobs (marketing etc) that an American COULD hold. It seems that there are abuses that let companies hire foreign workers in these white collar jobs. I only know that anecdotally though. It's worth it to the companies to Streeeetch the visa requirements (supposed to be jobs Americans can't do) because they can pay visa workers less and such workers have less rights and can't complain.

    I don' t know how broad these abuses are but that' s my experience.

    •  It is very very widespread, (6+ / 0-)

      and the lobbyists for these visas are intent on making sure it is expanded at a faster pace.

      Unemployment of U.S. citizen workers should be a larger concern of the people who were elected by said citizens.

      Elected officials should not turn their back on the people who voted them in office.

      •  I hope people can be open to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IT Professional, kurt

        seeing this other side of the guest worker visas. I myself do not havea broad enough view to say it is a net negative.

        But to dismiss the negatives outright is premature.

        AND ALSO
        We all welll know that big companies, unchecked by laws, have a tendency to try to TAKE from workers whatever they can. Anyone ruled by unchecked capitalisms their only guide for ethics" (Romney).
        It would be reasonable to therefore look at why these companies are so gung ho for these visas. And look at abuses.
        Are there any protections for workers with these Visas?

        A reaction of Curiosity-even in doubt of your particular motives- instead of just shutting down the conversation would have made me feel better about this forum.

        It makes total sense that these companies like guest worker visas if they can control those (vulnerable) workers more if there are no protections for them.

        If anything, why not make sure such workers have protection from abuse?

  •  I believe the intent of stapling a visa to these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    technical degees has more to do with keeping the intellectual capital of our great universities in this country, so they can innovate and start businesses and create jobs.  Until we can start graduting the appropiate number of engineers and people  with advanced math degree,  this  program  is the best  we  can do.

    •  The U.S. graduates more native (6+ / 0-)

      engineers and people  with advanced math degree than the job market can absorb.

      There is no shortage in these fields.  These US graduates can and do innovate and start businesses and create jobs.

      •  In fact (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IT Professional

        that's probably their best option to advance, since they face stiff competition in getting hired to work for someone else.

        Jus' sayin'.  The oft-touted failure rate of new businesses was investigated by a researcher at my university and found to be something of an urban legend.  It dated to one study performed in the mid-1970's, the country's worst economic period since the Depression until the last couple of years.  The "businesses" counted included a lot of fly-by-night, seat-of-the-pants attempts that were started without business plans or anywhere near adequate capital.  And most people who persevered in business after a failure, would still manage to succeed eventually.  So it's a caution to young people locked out of "jobs" offered by someone else: it's not quite as hard to succeed in business as you're led to believe.  That, too, is a myth used to keep the masses in their place.

    •  Linking immigration to college (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83

      degrees, will cause crowding out of precious college slots for motivated U.S. students.  Rather than a place of higher learning, Universities will become nothing more than a path to U.S. residency.

      This is not good, when the same degree conveys more benefit to one group over another.

      •  Foreign students are already in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vote4Obamain2012, limpidglass

        majority in technical fields. They tend to be excellent students, very intelligent and highly motivated. US universities actually enroll the cream of many other countries.

        It is totally foolish to educate them and then kick them out. They should be given green cards so they can stay here and contribute their talents to the US if they choose.

        •  Any proof of this? (0+ / 0-)

          All evidence from government sponsored studies show that there are more STEM college graduates than the job market can absorb.

          What evidence do you have that the majority of STEM bachelor's degrees are foreign students?

          There is a very small job market for advanced degrees in STEM fields.  Why would American students enroll in Masters or PhD STEM programs when very few jobs require Master's or PhDs?

          It is wrong to poach educated citizens from developing countries.  These countries need the U.S. educated citizens to build up the third world.

          •  I'm talking about advanced degrees - (0+ / 0-)

            masters and PhD - which are required for most high-tech jobs. As for bachelors, I don't know.

            Yes, it is true that universities produce more graduates - at all levels - than there are jobs to be filled in this country.

            I'm not arguing that more degrees should be handed out. But when we have educated someone, it is foolish to kick them out and prevent them from contributing their skills and work ethic to our economy, forcing them to instead go home to strengthen lower-cost, lower-wage, environmentally unregulated foreign competitors.

            I don't think most US universities "poach" students from developing countries. They come here because they want to. It is very competitive and only the best can make it. If they meet the qualifications, they should be free to study wherever they want and can afford to go. After they have jumped through all of our hoops to come here and complete their education and become qualified to hold jobs here, it is incredibly rude as well as counterproductive to tell them they aren't good enough to stay.

            Many foreign workers, even permanent residents and naturalized citizens, do choose to return to help build up their native countries. When they go, let them go as  friends, and don't feel they have been given the bum's rush as undesirables. The US needs more friends around the world.

      •  US colleges and universities generate (0+ / 0-)

        a whole shitload of jobs for Americans who educate these foreign students.

        Something that you should like!

        •  Nope. Universities are some of the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          most prevalent users of h-1B workers, and there is a comment above where PhDs make less than dishwashers.  

          THe universities have become the epicenter of low wage visa jobs.

          •  A few ballpark numbers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt
            The number of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges climbed 6% to a record 764,495 last year,
            link

            Let's say it costs these students (conservatively estimated) $30,000 / year - that's $22,934 million (or $23 billion if you prefer) pumped into the US economy.

            at $100K per job - that's 230,000 jobs.  or twice that many if your allegations of university jobs being low paying are true . . ..

            To me, having half a million Americans employed via education foreign students ain't a bad thing.

    •  I already have... (6+ / 0-)

      ...advanced degrees.  But can't get hired because I am not in great health, am older and have more experience so they think I won't work for less even though I will.  I know for a fact that H-1b visa's depress the wages and opportunities of US citizens.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:59:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this jobs analysis is short-sighted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    Job openings, if say you're talking about what's on the Internet, only represent 25% of the available positions.  The 75% of the rest is through networking.  A lot of career coaches will point this out to you and it's not fancy salesman ship.

    People are spending too much time applying for positions online and not networking.

    •  absolutely true imho (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional

      the easiest way to get a job is to already have your foot in the door.

      knowing what doors are available is a big part of job hunting. sometimes you make your own door.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:11:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've read that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pigpaste, kurt

        so many times it makes me want to scream.  Networking is all very well and good when you have friends and family who can create jobs with the wave of a magic wand.  Otherwise, it doesn't do a damned bit of good.  Those of us born into the WORKING class have to ask for jobs where jobs are open and available.

        •  it was hard for me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denig

          i am not a people person.  what has helped me is making friends, not burning bridges and doing a good job.

          my last two jobs have been at companies with people i previously worked with or people who knew people i previously worked with.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:06:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's just a way of telling you it's (3+ / 0-)

          your fault if you're unemployed: you're just too lazy to get out there and find a job. Very Romneyesque. Maybe you joined the wrong sorority, or the wrong country club...

          •  Knowledge is key (0+ / 0-)

            In some of my comments, I've mentioned networking.  Well, there's smart networking and dumb networking.

            Smart networking is where you don't just go to one event, you go to a load of events.  Whether via Eventbrite, Meetup or any other source.  In fact, I went to a few yesterday and I made over ten contacts in mobile app technology, Salesforce, networking, marketing and web development.  Granted of course this is the San Francisco area I'm talking about, still, the fact that I went out there and developed these connections means I'm serious about the process, whether I'm looking for a job, referring people to those looking for jobs or just simply strengthening my presence in the business community.

        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

          Networking can be done and done right.  There's the San Francisco Professional Career Network that's an awesome resource for those looking for work and want to do what's known as "smart networking."  There are real experts who do this all the time and believe me, they know what they're doing.  You don't have to pay loads of money just to do this.  All the San Francisco Professional Career Network asks is for a generous donation of $1.00 to keep these events going.  Usually they are held in the Mission District of San Francisco.  Lots of people who are employed and unemployed but you make connections very fast.

          And no, it's not phony networking.  A lot of these connections are real connections, people who give a damn.

          So it really doesn't matter what class you're in:  working class, lower class, middle, upper.  What matters is if you have the knowledge and resources and the motivation.

          Just one piece of advice:  Don't depend on career fairs and job boards.  They won't get you anywhere.  Go to Eventbrite and Meetups and you'll make connections pretty quickly.

  •  And on IT... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, cynndara

    I know a lot of positions that get filled in the Bay Area, the hottest economy in California right now are IT and tech based.  A lot of people who get filled for those positions are American.  Not saying foreigners don't get hired but I know this from talking to a number of tech recruiters and through the contacts I've made in the number of start-ups I'm familiar with.

    •  Ask to see their H1B postings. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional

      Employers are required to post their openings for which they are trying to bring in foreigners on H1B visas. Yes, they hire locally, but any high tech company is very likely to have applied to the government to fill some positions with H1B workers.

      •  That's true (0+ / 0-)

        However, it doesn't necessarily mean the employers will give priority to foreigners.  I think the process though has to be fixed so it's fair to both U.S. job seekers and those outside the U.S. who are applying for jobs inside the U.S.

        On the other hand, Bay Area is doing just fine.  There are even foreign companies that are setting up shop here in at least one location in San Francisco.

        For example, Zendesk, which came into the Mid-Market area of San Francisco not long after Twitter moved there, is originally a company from Copenhagen.  Now its headquarters is based in SF.  

        And there were three executives from foreign companies, in the mobile technology area, who were at a tech event in San Francisco last night that I was apart of.  They have offices and business in the Bay Area whereas their headquarters are based in Russia or elsewhere.

        Personally, I'm not worried.  The Bay Area economy is growing rapidly.  I think what people need is just networking opportunities.  I can provide them to any who are looking for work or always want to blame immigration for everything.

  •  As a person... (9+ / 0-)

    ...who had to train his H-1b visa replacement because the company I worked at outsourced our whole department, and I haven't had regular work since, I can tell you the author is correct no matter how much you call him a troll.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:57:08 AM PST

    •  Could be worse. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional, kurt

      At least they kept the department here and only HIRED H-1B's.  Those immigrants will at least spend their pay on the local economy.  I've talked to five customer service departments in the last month, in India, Pakistan, and the Phillipines.  Not only are all the customer service jobs gone and the agents barely speak comprehensible English, but they will spend their paychecks in their own countries on food and services provided there, and the only Americans who will profit are a couple of CEOs making millions.

      •  And that's supposed to invalidate the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie, pigpaste

        diarist's point? In case you forgot, his grudge wasn't against the H-1B workers, it was against the Obama Administration for pushing to make it easier to replace citizens with temporary, indentured immigrants in order to fatten corporations' profit margins.

        "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

        by Australian2 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:06:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If the logistics allowed for the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie, cynndara, delver rootnose, kurt

        job to be done overseas, it would be gone.  It is obvious the CEO is not acting out of any concern for the local economy.

        I have heard of projects which had to be brought back onshore because of large turnover overseas.  The decision is then made that a captive indentured workforce in the US is the best for the CEO's pocket.  The workers mostly live survival mode four to an apartment and send most of their wages out of the country.

        This does not generate enough economic activity to make it worth it for the local community.

      •  well actually that offshoring was... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        ...the end result.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:01:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is 100% correct (5+ / 0-)

    We need to shut off the Job Market until everyone who is already here gains full employment - period.

    Employers caught will illegals on their payrolls need to be shut down and their Corporate Officers jailed.  Corporate America's insatiable desire for cheap labor must be curbed or we simply will have this problem over and over again.

  •  Numberwise, 85,000 visas is just (0+ / 0-)

    a drop in the buck compared to the 12 million unemployed Americans.

    Or, just a couple weeks of job growth out of an entire year - IOW, this is a worst, about 4% of the problem (i.e., 2 out of 52 weeks worth of "surplus" workers).

    •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

      But 138,000 visas for IT jobs when we have 372,000 unemployed IT professionals isn't a "drop in the bucket," it's "half our unemployed IT professionals."

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:05:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where does that number come from? (0+ / 0-)

        I was not aware that there was a specific H1 program for IT personnel.  My understanding that there was just one pool (for IT, biotech, electrical engineering, whatever).

        •  Immigration Services (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara, kurt

          It's quoted & linked above in a comment... that's the percentage of 2011 applications that were "Computer Related" jobs... the 372,000 is the percentage of the unemployed who identify as "computer professionals."

          Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

          by TooFolkGR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:22:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah OK, guess I missed that comment (0+ / 0-)

            I guess I should look for it because this makes even less sense now . .  .. (for example, 138,000 is not a percentage - and there probably is a difference between "applicants" and those who successfully obtained a H1 visa .. . .).

            •  Sorry I Did Some Math in My Head (4+ / 0-)

              I don't want you to think I'm making shit up.  :)

              * The number of H-1B petitions approved increased almost 40 percent from 192,990 in FY 2010 to 269,653 in FY 2011. 1

              * About 51 percent of H-1B petitions approved in FY 2011 were for workers in computer- related occupations.

              I took the number of approved petitions (meaning Visas that were granted) 269,653 and multiplied it by .51 (51% were in computer related occupations) and used that to get the 138,000 number.

              I realize it's not a percentage in and of itself.

              Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

              by TooFolkGR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:01:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, thanks again for the details! (0+ / 0-)

                leading to my next bout of confusion - those numbers seem WAY higher than the 85,000 limit mentioned in the diary.  

                But maybe that's a new quote just kicking in for this year . .. . .

                Finally, "computer-related" occupations is pretty broad - does that count clerks ringing up USB drives down at Best Buy?

                •  You're Asking Great Questions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kurt

                  And I want you to know I'd be reccing them if I weren't NR for HRing some asshole who said poor people should be living on water and carrots.  I think we're both interested in specifics.

                  From the BLS figures perspective (the unemployment numbers) it is difficult to say.  Here are the BLS classifications of "Computer & IT Professions."  You could make the case that someone at Best Buy who actually works for the "Geek Squad" could be described as a "Computer Support Specialist..." but I don't know if the BLS would classify Geek Squad people who are unemployed as having a "Computer Related" job or a "Retail" job.  I am comfortable stating that a majority of unemployed people who self-identify or are identified by the BLS as "Computer/IT professionals" are not Geek Squad / First level tech support types, but there certainly is some overlap.  I think this is especially true when you consider the BLS identifies the median salary for that job classification at about 46k a year, and I don't think the median best buy / geek squad employee makes anywhere near that (but I'm just guessing).

                  Something I'm extremely comfortable saying based on my own IT credentials: "Computer Support Specialists" are the least likely of any job classification on that list to be displaced by someone on an H1b visa... it's basically "entry level wage" for It professions anyway and the qualifications for those jobs are not strict.

                  This is not a criticism of Computer Support Specialists either, I did that job for several years.

                  From the standpoint of the H1b numbers, it doesn't really matter, because there's no way Best Buy is using H1b visas to fill geek squad positions (they can get college students and/or It professionals who want a part time job on the side to do it for cheap enough).

                  I agree that there is a disparity in the diary numbers and the Immigration Services numbers... but I will defer to Immigration Services on the number of Visa applications they approved (personally).

                  Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

                  by TooFolkGR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:22:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  85000 is cap subject. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt

            Non-profit companies and universities filing for guest workers do not count towards the cap.

    •  H1B visas would be completely unlimited (0+ / 0-)

      under the Obama proposal, if I understand correctly, because companies like Microsoft, Google, IBM, HP, complain that they exhaust the current 85,000 quota in just a few months.

      There are plenty of qualified workers already in the US who could fill these jobs.

  •  I tipped and recced but have a request (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, IT Professional, kurt

    Consider us low skilled workers.

    The bill opens up tons of contracts to import contract workers to drive wages down.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:51:44 AM PST

    •  Devastating! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, delver rootnose, kurt

      I used to only consider the H-1B visa as a problem in the labor market, until my college student kid went looking for a job.  Poor kid filled out applications at every supermarket, hotel, motel and was willing to take any menial job offered.  

      The  kid not get a call back from even one of these places where there was supposed to be a shortage of citizen workers.  Some of the motels had obvious turnover of workers throughout the semesters so I know they were hiring at some point.  They just did not want any legal workers with rights.

      This is what perked my ears up to the realization that it wasn't only technology workers being bypassed from the job market in favor of cheaper exploitable labor.

      •  It's not about mistreating or cheating on taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby

        or comp.

        Legal, middle class, college grads, can't afford to exist on $8 an hour. They will work for a week or two then quit. There's no extra money for playing or even a one bedroom apartment.

        The labor market seeks it's own level just like water. If unskilled workers are paid a living wage that employer is put out of business. Unless the playing field is level, no one can increase wages.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:59:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Microsoft, Apple, IBM, HP, Google are (0+ / 0-)

          nowhere near going out of business. Your neighborhood small business could not afford the hefty visa fee for bringing in H1B workers. H1B is just another corporate welfare giveaway for the 1%.

  •  I see nothing donut-worthy about this diary (7+ / 0-)

    The issue of H1b visa workers replacing American worker is completely separate from the DREAM Act.

    H1b visa workers are the easy out for US corporations - they get away with paying workers less than they would US workers, and they don't have to make the effort of training their own US workforce to do new jobs.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:01:45 AM PST

  •  We have 20 Million Unemployed American (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, IT Professional

    The idea that anyone would approve of a Guest Worker Program when there are som many unemployed and underemployed Americans is simply mind boggling.  

    Any Guest Worker Program should be designed like Davis-Bacon where the employers would certify they are paying prevailing wages.

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