President Trump: Shut Down the H-2B Visa Program!

November 21, 2017

Did you see the above-linked story this morning on “CBS This Morning?”  A CBS investigation found that employers are routinely abusing the H-2B visa program – the program that brings temporary workers into the U.S. for temporary or seasonal, non-agricultural work – for the sole purpose of undercutting Americans’ wages.  Watch the video and read the article.  I think you’ll be as disgusted as I was.

It is precisely this visa program, along with the H-1B visa program (a similar program that requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree), that employers use to bring in foreign labor when they whine that “we can’t find qualified workers.”  I’ve been railing about this sham program for years.  Finally, some companies who are being shut out of contracts by others using cheap, foreign labor are courageous enough to bring these abuses to light.

In this story, CBS tried to interview South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce, who refused to speak with CBS about the allegations.  Undoubtedly, he works closely with the Chamber of Commerce who, in all its national, state and local forms encourages businesses to use foreign labor to hold down their costs.  I wish CBS would look into that angle of the story.

President Trump, You’ve often said that it’s time to put American workers first.  You’ve already called for an end to the “Diversity Visa” program that annually brings in 50,000 additional immigrants, above and beyond the maximum number of immigrants authorized under the other visa programs, for the purported purpose of encouraging immigration from countries that are not heavily represented among the U.S. population.  It’s the program under which the terrorist who recently conducted the truck attack in New York entered the U.S.  Good.  That visa program serves no other purpose than to further swell the pool of cheap foreign labor that employers use to hold down wages.  Now, in light of this CBS investigation, it’s time to put a halt to the H-2B visa program as well and dramatically scale back the H-1B visa program along with it.  It’s now clear that “the shortage of skilled workers” that employers constantly whine about is a total lie.  Do the right thing for American workers and shut down these visa programs!

Importing Teachers While Americans Are Laid Off

April 16, 2010

I haven’t posted much on immigration in a while, but this article touched a nerve.  The above-linked article tells the story of hundreds of Filipino teachers imported by the state of Louisiana through an unscrupulous “placement firm” in a scheme that barely rises above human trafficking. 

What gets me is that this has taken place over the last three years – a period during which the country has barely avoided another Great Depression, while unemployment has soared over 10% and while thousands of fine teachers have been laid off all over the country.  And the federal government is complicit, allowing its H-1B visa program, supposedly designed to import skills not available in the U.S., to be exploited by corporate scam artists. 

I’m sure that Louisiana would complain that they can’t get teachers to relocate from places like Detroit.  So then how does one explain that teachers are willing to relocate from halfway around the world?  And would anyone dare to suggest that the Philippines turns out better-qualified teachers than the U.S.?  That doesn’t wash with the fact that the best-qualified students from foreign countries come to the U.S. for their education. 

This is all about school systems being too cheap to pay teachers wages attractive enough to motivate them to relocate, taxpayers being unwilling to support their school systems (because of steady downward pressure on wages and benefits) and apathetic politicians growing fat on corporate largesse. 

If I were president, I’d bring the whole H-1B visa program to a screeching halt with an executive order on day one.

Judge Rejects H-1B Visa Injunction

September 8, 2008

The above link was sent to me by loyal follower Brian.  My apologies to Brian for not posting this sooner.  (I was in the north woods at the time.)  The news is a little old, but no less noteworthy. 

It seems that a federal judge ruled against the Programmers’ Guild, siding with the Department of Homeland Security, who wanted to afford foreign “students” the right to remain continuously in the U.S. for 2-1/2 years after graduation, robbing U.S. workers of highly paid programming work.  It seems that the judge couldn’t see how increasing the labor supply would result in lower wages for American workers.

Unbelievable!  I have often been very critical of economists who are unwilling to look past their noses at the consequences of overpopulation – a labor force that rises faster than consumption, driving up unemployment and poverty.  But at least economists do understand the law of supply and demand, and that a rising supply will depress the price of any given commodity.  It seems inconceivable that a judge, a supposedly intelligent, educated person, could be incapable of grasping something that even an economist can understand!

Is that really the problem, or is it a matter of yielding to the indirect influence of corporations, the benefactors of the administration that appointed this judge, eager to assure that their labor force is kept in a constant state of oversupply? 

As I said in Five Short Blasts, this is where the work to scale back our ridiculous rate of immigration needs to begin, with dramatically cutting the number of foreign students and the number of temporary workers, thus cutting off the “non-immigrant visa” pipeline that feeds the supply of “legal permanent residents.”  (See Figure 9-4 on page 180 of the book.) 

Thanks, Brian!  Keep us informed if you see more of this.