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 Outdated legal immigration programs are reformed to meet current and future demands by exempting certain categories from annual visa limitations.This proposal looks as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.