Congress

Looking for the path less travelled - where will true Republicans go?

Ira Mehlman explains the problems House Republicans are facing in Congress. Poor babies - is it so difficult to do what's right?

Read Mr. Mehlman's Townhall article and share it with your friends.

Senator Merkley wants to meet with you this weekend

Alert date: 
2014-01-03
Alert body: 

Upcoming Town Halls of Senator Jeff Merkley

This is the current list of Senator Merkley’s scheduled Town Hall meetings. If possible, please invite a friend to join you and attend one near you.  Ask questions about immigration. Some suggested questions are listed after his scheduled itinerary.  If you get the opportunity to ask a question - please let OFIR know the Senator's response.

"Senator Merkley believes it’s very important to keep connected to fellow Oregonians by meeting them face to face and listening to their concerns. That’s why he’s pledged to visit every county, every year to ensure that Oregonians from across the state have a chance to ask him questions and keep him updated about what’s happening in their communities," http://www.merkley.senate.gov/oregon/townhalls/

 

January 4, 2014 @ 9:30 AM

Jefferson County Town Hall

1170 E. Ashwood Rd, Madras, OR 97741
Get Directions

 

January 4, 2014 @ 1:00 PM

Crook County Town Hall

510 SE Lynn Blvd., Prineville, OR 97754
Get Directions

 

January 4, 2014 @ 4:00 PM

Deschutes County Town Hall

2600 NW College Way, Bend, OR 97701
Get Directions

 

January 5, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Jackson County Town Hall

413 West Main Street, Medford, OR 97501
Get Directions

 

January 5, 2014 @ 6:00 PM

Lane County Town Hall

101 West 10th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401
Get Directions

 

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Some Questions for Sen. Merkley at Town Hall meetings, January 2014

 

1. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

 

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens?

 

3. States that have E-Verify laws have seen a decline in the illegal alien population. This shows that many illegal aliens will leave if they cannot find jobs. There’s no need for mass deportations and no one is advocating that. There is no need for another amnesty. Simply require implementation of E-Verify and honest enforcement of other immigration laws. This would bring decreases in numbers of illegal aliens and also discourage others from attempting to enter illegally.

 

4. Giving benefits to illegal aliens such as driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, etc. legitimizes their presence here and rewards illegal behavior. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants claim to be escaping. What are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

 

5. Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded. After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Immigration Coverage: The Biased Leading the Clueless

Mark Krikorian - Executive Director of Center for Immigration Studies  - hits the nail on the head by expressing the frustration we often feel with media coverage of immigration related issues. 

Politico ran a piece the other day on White House fears that Obama will share the political blame if the current amnesty push fails — i.e., that his attempts to pin all the responsibility on the Republicans won't be successful....  

But one sentence struck me as shedding light on a broader problem with media coverage of immigration:

The White House is very touchy about any criticism from its allies for Obama's deportation policies, which have sent away more people during his tenure than all other presidents combined.

The factual assertion here is simply false. No matter how you calculate the number of people "sent away," it's simply not true that Obama's done more than "all other presidents combined." ...

This isn't a tangential matter. The advocacy groups are pressuring Obama to unilaterally stop all deportations (see the #Not1More campaign, for instance) and the claim about "record deportations" is a central talking point in this effort.

The problem here isn't just a factual error on the part of a reporter; we all make mistakes. Nor is the problem that a political reporter (Reid Epstein is part of Politico's White House team) isn't familiar with the details of a policy area he's writing about; the White House deals with every imaginable issue, and a reporter writing about an administration's political machinations can't be a specialist in all the policy issues.

Rather, this error highlights the media's gullibility on immigration. Too many reporters and editors unthinkingly see the anti-enforcement groups' views as normative, and just assume their statements of fact are correct. This isn't just because the reporters are mostly liberals, which is obviously true, but also because the coalition includes lobbyists from both the right and the left. If the Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, Cato Institute, and Center for American Progress agree that we need amnesty and vastly increased immigration, then that must be the "mainstream" position, with the other side being less reputable. This leads to a woeful, and un-journalistic, lack of skepticism where even baldly false factual claims are repeated without question. You also see this in the endless repetition of non-existent provisions in the Senate bill on paying "back taxes" and "learning English."

Maybe if I repackaged some swampland in Florida as "Immigration Reform Swampland" I could find a reporter to buy it.

Read the entire article here.

Pelosi calls for Obama to halt deportations

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi privately has urged the Obama administration to halt deportations for some illegal immigrants...

In an interview with Telemundo over the weekend, Mrs. Pelosi said that just being in the country illegally is not enough of a reason to be deported, and she said illegal immigrants must have something more serious on their records.

“Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation,” she said in the interview... “If somebody has broken the law, committed a felony or something, that’s a different story.”

Federal law generally does say that those who are in the country without authorization — either because they jumped the border or have overstayed their visas — are deportable.

But Mr. Obama has claimed broad discretion to decide whom to deport out of the 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to be in the country, arguing that Congress only appropriated enough money to deport about 400,000 people a year and so he must pick and choose whom to deport.

Homeland Security officials argue that nearly all of those they deport do meet one of their priority categories of having a criminal record or having previously been deported and returned to the U.S. in violation of that removal.

In her interview with Telemundo, Mrs. Pelosi said she disputes that, saying she’s appeared alongside some of those she said shouldn’t have been deported.

...Still, Mrs. Pelosi said she is not sure whether Mr. Obama has the authority to grant a broad suspension of deportations for parents of so-called Dreamers, the illegal immigrants whom the president already carved out of danger of deportation in an executive action last year.

“I don’t know whether he has the authority,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said. “But I think that there is discretion in the law as to the implementation, enforcement of the legislation that is calling for these deportations.”

Boehner’s Crocodile Tears for Amnesty

...Speaker Boehner’s crocodile tears in his attacks and cries against the conservative movement are really about the next fight. Speaker Boehner intends to pursue immigration reform, with an amnesty component. Before he gets there, he needs to shape battle lines.

There are a number of fence sitters on the right. Speaker Boehner needs them on his team. By castigating the conservative movement now and making them the unpopular crowd, the Speaker and Republican leaders intend to draw the fence sitters to them. Once they have done so, they can move on to a primary season where they can fight against the unpopular crowd intent on driving some incumbents from office.

Then the real fight will begin — immigration reform. The Speaker assumes he can marginalize conservatives through primary season, make conservatives unpopular, then push through an amnesty based immigration reform plan daring his tenuous coalition to move over to the unpopular kids’ table.

....the Speaker is laying the ground work for his legacy — he will be the man who gets immigration reform through the House of Representatives. He is already staffing up on this front.

Rebecca Tallent is the Speaker’s new immigration policy director. Until last week, Ms. Tallent served as the director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Before that, she worked for Senator John McCain as his Chief of Staff. Ms. Tallent helped Senators McCain and Kennedy formulate their amnesty based immigration plan in 2007....

It would be very unusual for Speaker Boehner to bring on Ms. Tallent, given her background, unless he was ready to go forward with immigration reform.  Likewise, it would be unusual given her background for Ms. Tallent to go work for someone not interested in comprehensive immigration reform.

....Fence sitters in the Republican Party should be careful, lest they wind up working against their own goals in the next fight.

Special guest Susan Tully - FAIR National Field Director to speak

Alert date: 
2013-12-05
Alert body: 

Don't miss the meeting this Saturday, December 7 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek in across from Costco in Salem.

Click here for more information about the OFIR meeting.

Check out our post meeting photo gallery.

Pay attention people

House Speaker John Boehner is now promising to bring illegal alien amnesty legislation, disguised as "immigration reform," up for a vote as soon as the GOP primary deadlines for 2014 end. This means that amnesty will pass if we don't all work together with other like-minded groups to stir up strong challengers to the more than 30 GOP incumbents in the House whom we know support amnesty.  Boehner and his fellow conspirators hope to lay low on immigration issues in the hope that no significant primary challengers will emerge against the 35 GOP amnesty supporters he must lead to vote with the Democrats to pass the unpopular bill!


Boehner is now promising to bring illegal alien amnesty legislation, disguised as "immigration reform," up for a vote as soon as the GOP primary deadlines for 2014 end. This means that amnesty will pass if we don't all work together with the Tea Party groups to stir up strong challengers to the more than 30 GOP incumbents in the House whom we know support amnesty.


He and other Republicans know that a large majority of Americans will hate the amnesty they pass in the same way the American public dislikes the passed Senate Amnesty bill 744, which many Americans only discovered was amnesty after it passed! Opposition to what Boehner and Obama want to do with immigration reform amnesty should exceed 80% levels in most GOP primaries, making incumbents who support the plan easy pickings for qualified GOP challengers.

Read what Boehner is planning after the new year.

 

Boehner: Amnesty After GOP Primary Filing Deadlines

A new report from the Texas-based Quorum Report, published by longtime Texas journalist Harvey Kronberg, says that House Speaker John Boehner plans to push amnesty legislation through the House, after the primary filing deadline for candidates. The move would prevent Tea Party from challenging GOP lawmakers who support amnesty in 2014.

Scott Braddock reported on Tuesday that “in recent weeks, various Texas business interests have told Quorum Report that Boehner has been telling them that he will start holding immigration votes not long after the filing deadline has passed.”

Braddock noted that those business community sources spoke with him “on condition of anonymity because their conversations were held behind closed doors and they added it wasn’t made clear to them just how confidential the information was meant to be.”

“Nevertheless, what was made clear was that Boehner felt the need to protect House Republican incumbents who are otherwise seen as conservative but have expressed an openness to immigration reform that includes a robust guest worker program,” Braddock wrote, before citing three specific Texas GOP congressmen: Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX) and Sam Johnson (R-TX).

Carter and Johnson were, until recently, members of the House version of the “Gang of Eight.” Carter and Johnson left the group in mid-September, stating that President Barack Obama’s selective enforcement of immigration laws concerns them. They felt he would selectively enforce whatever Congress passed in any kind of immigration reform package. “The administration's practice of hand-picking what parts of laws they wish to enforce has irrevocably damaged our efforts of fixing our broken immigration system,” the Texas lawmakers said in a joint statement at the time. “If past actions are the best indicators of future behavior, we know that any measure depending on the president's enforcement will not be faithfully executed. It would be gravely irresponsible to further empower this administration by granting them additional authority or discretion with a new immigration system. The bottom line is - the American people do not trust the president to enforce laws, and we don't either.”...

This news from the Texas donor community comes as Boehner hired amnesty advocate Rebecca Tallent as his new immigration policy adviser...

Tallent previously worked for Senate “Gang of Eight” member Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on immigration policy. She helped him and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) draft their final immigration proposal—one that ultimately failed.

“During her time with McCain, she helped the Arizona Republican draft a handful of immigration overhaul measures, including the last big push McCain made with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2007,” Roll Call wrote of Tallent on Tuesday. “In 2008, she was a policy adviser on McCain’s presidential campaign. Before working for McCain, she worked for former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., a longtime advocate of overhauling the immigration system who was involved in immigration efforts before he retired in 2006.”

Sen. Wyden misrepresents amnesty proposals to constituents

Several members of Oregonians for Immigration Reform have received recently a letter from Sen. Ron Wyden giving his views on S.744 and immigration generally. The letter was sent by email on November 19, 2013.

Many of Sen. Wyden’s statements in the letter are either false or misleading. Below we have reproduced the text of his letter in bold font, and we have followed each paragraph with a correction or other response.

For more information on issues in S.744 and its House version, H.R. 1417, see References on Amnesty Bills on the OFIR website.

Here is the Senator’s letter, with OFIR's response indented under each of the Senator's statements.

 


Dear [Constituent]:

"Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue."

"For too long, millions of immigrants have been living in America’s shadows, with more coming across our borders illegally every day." -- Sen. Wyden.

Senator Wyden, "Immigrants are living [illegally] in America’s shadows" and "more are coming across … illegally every day" because you and others in Congress and the government have refused to enforce the immigration laws. You have been in Congress continuously since 1981, a total of 32 years. What have you ever done to see that the immigration laws are enforced? Your record on immigration issues is graded F by NumbersUSA based on official records of your votes in Congress. The record is incontrovertible – you have failed to uphold the nation’s immigration laws. You have actually weakened them by repeatedly voting for amnesties and other benefits to illegal aliens, enticing more to come.

"Farmers are constantly telling me about their struggles to find a stable and legal workforce or face the real prospect of unharvested crops rotting in the fields." — Sen. Wyden.

You could tell them about the H-2A visa program which was set up to help agriculture get seasonal farm labor if it’s really needed. The truth is many employers prefer to hire illegal aliens because they profit from the substandard wages they can pay and the substandard working conditions they can use. Cheap labor can never be cheap enough to satisfy some employers. Most citizens would rather pay more for food and other goods and know that it doesn’t come at the expense of exploited workers and non-enforcement of immigration laws. Most citizens understand that good wages and working conditions are necessary for a strong democracy to survive.

"Bright, capable children, who were brought to the country through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to contribute to and succeed in the only country they know as home." – Sen. Wyden.

The parents of children "brought to the country through no fault of their own" are responsible for their children’s plight, not U.S. citizens. It is not our obligation to give legal status to children because of their parents’ illegal entry. The entire family that is here illegally should return to the country where they are citizens and devote their "contributions" to making that country an acceptable place to live. Being with their families and others of their own country, "bright, capable children" can quickly accommodate themselves to that country.

"America’s story is intertwined with the story of immigration — my own parents emigrated from Nazi Germany, a story familiar to many of the folks who come to our shores seeking asylum. For these and many other reasons, I welcomed the debate on immigration." – Sen. Wyden.

Here again are the tugs at peoples’ heartstrings, the call to sentimentality, the implied idea that immigration is always good and desirable, without any restrictions or limits. In truth, immigration to the U.S. is supposed to serve the interests of citizens of the U.S., not the interests of foreign nationals. It is neither desirable nor feasible to maintain open borders.

"Comprehensive reform is long overdue, and an overwhelming majority of my Senate colleagues agreed. As you know, in June, the U.S. Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) with a bipartisan vote of 68-32. I voted in support of the measure.

"Only after I was convinced that strong, enforceable border security measures were in place did I start considering the immigration bill on its other merits."— Sen. Wyden.

Senator, if you were convinced that "strong, enforceable border security measures were in place" you either didn’t read the bill or you failed to understand it. It is worthless for improving border security and in some respects it weakens or displaces security processes that are now in place. http://cis.org/kephart/widening-existing-vulnerabilities-national-security-implications-s744-part-1

"S.744 requires DHS to submit a border security plan within 6 months that includes a goal ‘for achieving and maintaining effective control’ along the U.S.-Mexico border. (p.864). The bill defines effective control as: (1) ‘persistent surveillance’ and (2) an ‘effectiveness rate of 90 percent.’ (p.855) …

"… even if a 90 percent effectiveness rate were a reliable indication of border security, S.744 does not actually require that DHS reach a 90 percent effectiveness rate. S.744 requires DHS to submit a border security plan "for achieving and maintaining" a 90 percent effectiveness rate at the U.S.-Mexico border, but there is no requirement that DHS actually achieve this goal. (p.864, 854-855)" Thus, the goal of a 90 percent effectiveness rate is nothing more than a goal, one that will neither accurately depict whether the border is secure or one that must be met. …" – http://immigrationreform.com/2013/06/19/data-shows-border-security-metric-in-s-744-subject-to-political-manipulation/

 

"Specifically, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act hikes Border Patrol ranks by 20,000 — almost doubling the contingent and spends $4.5 billion on technical innovations intended to provide security personnel with full situational awareness along the southern border." – Sen. Wyden.

The 20,000 increase in Border Patrol ranks does not occur for years, if ever, after illegal aliens are granted what they and their supporters want – legal status in the U.S. which occurs immediately. "The bill grants amnesty (Registered Provisional Status) … before the first new Border Patrol agent is hired and virtually guarantees that the borders will never be secured because once illegal aliens have legal status, they and their supporters know that citizenship will eventually be granted whether the border is secured or not. … Even if 20,000 border agents are hired there is no assurance that they won’t be prevented from effectively controlling the border by elected officials who are beholden to lobbyists and big donors. …"

Regarding the $4.5 billion for technology: "This expenditure will in all likelihood be made since it is what the host to Bloomberg TV’s ‘Capitol Gains’ labeled a ‘pathway to profit for federal contractors’. However, the only requirement is that the strategy be fully implemented and activated. There is no requirement that it work as advertised or that it actually slows the flow of illegal aliens." – http://cis.org/mortensen/hoeven-corker-amendment-long-amnesty-short-everything-else

 

"It also implements an entry-exit visa program to keep tabs on visitors who overextend their stay and expands the E-Verify program to make employers aware of a potential worker’s immigration status. These are serious, extensive, and effective steps that will curtail much of the illegal immigration that has plagued our country for so long." – Sen. Wyden.

"Congress has mandated a visa entry/exit system for years; however, nothing has been done. What guarantee is there that it will be done this time? Can the federal government be trusted to do what it says? …

"The Hoeven-Corker amendment to S.744 delays the full use of E-Verify for years while allowing illegal aliens to get RPI status almost immediately. During that time, employers will be free to hire a new wave of illegal aliens rather than employing RPIs, legal immigrants, or American citizens who will demand higher wages and benefits." – http://cis.org/mortensen/hoeven-corker-amendment-long-amnesty-short-everything-else

 

"The bill the Senate voted on also overcomes one of the greatest challenges we have had in the past — that is creating a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are working here illegally but have broken no other laws. Immigrants are an important and positive influence on the American economy, and while earning citizenship will be far from easy or quick; with the enactment of the Senate bill, it will be possible." – Sen. Wyden.

There have been 7 mass amnesties passed by Congress since 1986, each one resulting in ever increasing illegal immigration. Another amnesty will only trigger additional illegal immigration. S.744 makes it easy and almost automatic for illegal immigrants to get legal status; your statement that "earning citizenship will be far from easy or quick" is a total misrepresentation.

"I had concerns with the Senate bill — from its detrimental environmental provisions to an imperfect path to legalization, but we didn’t have the option to vote between a perfect bill and the status quo; the choice was between the Senate compromise bill and the status quo." – Sen. Wyden.

Did you even read the bill before it was voted on? It was over 1,000 pages and Senators were given only a few hours to peruse it before a vote was called. You voted for a bill full of holes for evasion and fraud, one that in nearly all ways would be extremely harmful to this country.

"And I think the majority of Americans would agree that the status quo cannot stand." – Sen. Wyden.

No, polls show that when the bill’s provisions are truthfully explained to voters they would choose no action rather than the harmful measures in S.744.

From Pulse Opinion poll of August 2013: "60% of likely voters oppose the Senate bill’s proposal to increase the number of green cards for new immigrants to 20 million over the next decade. Only 28% of respondents supported such measures.

"Three-quarters of those surveyed said there are more than enough unemployed Americans with lower levels of education to fill the jobs that would go to millions of new immigrants under the Senate bill. Only 17% said foreign workers are needed to fill labor shortages.

"A solid majority of voters are worried about the impact of immigration reform, which could put millions of illegal aliens on a path to citizenship and create large guest-workers programs, will have on the labor market."

-- https://www.numbersusa.com/content/polls.html

 

From a Rasmussen poll of likely voters, October 22, 2013:

"Only 25% think it is even somewhat likely that the federal government will secure the border and prevent illegal immigration with new immigration legislation; 65% consider it unlikely.

"Only 18% think illegal aliens should be given immediate amnesty; 62% believe legalization should occur only after the border is secured, and 19% are unsure.

-- http://www.fairus.org/facts/illegal-immigration-and-amnesty-polls

 

"It is now up to the House to pass a bill. It’s important to remember that it’s not only good policy, but that it’s also in the long term economic interest of America for both houses of Congress to get together and send a good, bipartisan bill to the President to sign into law." – Sen. Wyden.

The House leadership proposes to work on smaller bills addressing particular components of immigration policy. This is the most sensible way to address current problems. Immigration is a serious subject with many different aspects, too many to be covered effectively in one mammoth bill such as S.744.

"Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of the issues that are important to you. If I may be of assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me." — Sen. Wyden.

Sen. Wyden, you make no mention of one of the most damaging features of S.744, the doubling of legal immigration and the huge expansion of visas for foreign workers. These features would make our unemployment problem far worse. Oregon’s U-6 unemployment rate is 16.5%, the 3d highest in the nation. You betray your constituency by working for benefits to illegal aliens and other would-be immigrants and their employers when our nation is overcrowded already, wages are falling, and millions don’t have jobs at all or are stuck in jobs that pay very low wages with no prospect for anything better. Citizens rightfully expect their Congresspersons to put the interests of citizens and this nation first, before the interests of foreign nationals and their employers.

###

Today’s Grads Face Mounting Pressure From Foreign Tech Workers

Writing in the November 15 issue of ComputerWorld, Patrick Thibodeau reminds us of the plight of today’s college graduates who have obtained pricey degrees in technical fields, but have become burdened with tuition debt while trying to compete in a tight job market with the estimated 650,000 foreign workers already here under H-1B visas.

Things could get worse under the Senate immigration reform bill, which calls for increasing the current annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000 to about 180,000...

Ironically, with an anemic economy and a stubborn unemployment rate of 7 percent, the nation’s blue chip companies continue to lobby for more H-1B visas at a time when many are shedding headcount to cut costs.

Last quarter, Cisco laid off 4,000 people, bringing its two-year total layoffs to 12,000. HP just completed a plan announced in 2012 to cut 9,000 American jobs. Pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it will cut 8,500 more jobs, bringing the total number to 16,000...

Mass layoffs are typically justified in terms of restructuring to meet changing market needs, retooling for the next phase of innovation, or remaining competitive in an increasingly dynamic industry. But there’s more to it than this. These goals can be achieved in large part by replacing American workers with foreign workers who will do more for less and not complain about it.

In September, IBM agreed to settle a claim with the Justice Department that its job listings for almost four years expressed a preference for foreign workers with temporary visas over U.S. citizens. According to one HR manager at the company, the cost difference is too great for IBM not to look for foreign workers first. Many firms routinely violate the “citizens-first” hiring rule, but because they are hit with paltry fines if caught, it is easy to dismiss them as a cost of doing business.

Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Cisco are among the many companies awash in cash, yet claim to need more foreign workers to stay on life support. If corporate profits are any measure, this line of reasoning falls squarely into the category of pure blather. The SP500 companies are sitting on a cash pile of $1.3 trillion.

Apple is widely hailed as the world leader in innovation. It has accumulated a cash hoard of $147 billion, which equates to nearly 10% of all corporate cash held by non-financial companies, according to Moody’s. Google pales in comparison with only $56 billion cash on hand and Facebook with $10 billion. All three companies are key players in petitioning Congress to lift the H-1B visa cap, as if they faced imminent extinction without a drip infusion of foreign workers.

The prospect of a big increase in H-1B visas could have serious consequences for American students and society...

Under the H-1B program, companies are allowed to pay foreign workers less than American citizens. When a company sees its competitors doing this, they have little choice but to follow suit to lower their own operating costs. This situation lowers wages across the board, making it difficult for American graduates to compete for jobs, pay down tuition loans, buy homes and raise families. With an uncertain job future in technical fields, high school students have good reason to think twice about pursuing expensive university degrees in preparation for jobs they are not likely to get.

In the ComputerWorld article, Karen Panetta, IEEE-USA Vice President for Communications and Public Awareness, and a professor of electrical engineering at Tufts University, warned that the cost of tuition in the U.S. is so unrealistically prohibitive that a class shift is underway. “The really wealthy are the only ones who can afford to send their kids to school,” she said. With her students owing $50,000 on average, “It’s the house you are not going to be able to buy for another 10 years.”

Also reported in ComputerWorld, Hal Salzman, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, noted that the U.S. produces enough graduates to satisfy the demands of the labor market. But if the H-1B visa cap increase goes through, he sees a market that will be flooded with workers, with people under age 30 being especially hard hit by the increased job competition.

As the Wall Street Journal noted in its October 23 editorial, “With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”

It’s hard to fathom how an annual influx of ever greater numbers of foreign workers will improve on this dire situation. It may very well accelerate the decline in workforce participation and increase dependence on the expanding array of government benefits as a substitute for work – both of which may trigger unforeseen consequences, including societal turbulence, followed by remedies we may prefer not to think about.

Read the full article.

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