Populism On Immigration Is the Winning Message

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest held a hearing on the displacement of American workers through the H-1B and related guest worker programs. Among the witnesses was Prof. Hal Salzman of Rutgers. This exchange pretty much says it all, with regard to the fictitious “STEM shortage.”

Q. Prof. Salzman, in an article that appeared in U.S. News and World Report, you wrote, “guest workers currently make up two-thirds of all IT hires.” That’s two-thirds of all information technology hiring in America was done by guest workers. What would happen if the guest worker green card provisions in the Gang of Eight bill, or the SKILLS Act, or I-Squared became law? How would it change things?

Prof. Salzman: Well, it would dramatically increase the number. And we find, based on those estimates, that it would provide enough guest workers to fill 100 percent of the jobs with perhaps 50 percent left in reserve that could then be used to backfill and replace current workers. So the current bills supply more than even what the industry says it needs to fill every new job.

So who would lose those jobs? Right: American citizens. In his prepared testimony, Salzman added:

* The U.S. supply of top performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of the STEM industries.

* Future demand for computer science graduates can be met by just half to two-thirds of the current annual supply of U.S. computer science graduates.

* Guestworker supply is large and highly concentrated in the IT industry; it is likely a factor in both stagnant wages and job insecurity.

* The predominant function of IT guestworker visa programs is to facilitate the offshoring of IT work.

* A growing function of the IT guestworker visa programs is to replace American workers for domestic-based projects.

* The number of guestworkers is equal to two-thirds of current entry-level and early-career hiring.

* Current guestworker visa policies for students and new graduates appear to provide incentives to colleges and universities to establish Masters programs that, as their business model, almost exclusively recruit foreign students into lower quality programs that provide easy entry into the U.S. labor market, further expanding the supply of entry-level STEM workers. …

* “Green Cards for Grads” provisions in I-Squared, S. 744 and other bills would provide incentives for colleges and universities to establish or expand current Masters programs as “global services” that offer a green card for the price of a graduate degree, and that are offered primarily or even exclusively for foreign students and directly or indirectly exclude U.S. students.

* In sum, current policies and the proposed changes in high skill guestworker visas and immigration policies that increase the supply of guestworkers are likely to accelerate the already deteriorating labor force conditions and career prospects for STEM graduates and workers.

None of this seems very hard to grasp. All across America, workers have seen their wages decline as jobs grow ever scarcer. This is Obamanomics: Democrat Party cronies get rich, while the middle class withers away.

Jeff Sessions, as always the main spokesman for the aspirations of American workers, said this at today’s hearing:

People aren’t commodities. We compare labor to commodities, but they’re not commodities. They’re human beings. They have families. They have hopes and dreams. They want stability in their lives. They would like to have a good job at a company like the biggest utility in California—California Edison [where hundreds of Americans were laid off and replaced with guest workers]… We have no obligation to yield to the lust of big businesses… Mr. Zuckerberg is worth $27 billion, I guess he is 27 years old, I’m not sure. So he wants more foreign workers. I would like to think he might want to pay his employees more and maybe not have quite so many billions, if he’d like to be helpful, and maybe he could get more local workers.

And here he is on video, with his customary plain-speaking style:

It is undeniable that Congress’s duty is to American workers, not foreign workers, however admirable those individuals may be. The message that Sessions articulated today, as he has repeatedly over the past several years, is devastating. The Democrats cannot stand up against it. If Republicans consistently articulate a populist, pro-American worker message on immigration, they will sweep the 2016 election from the presidency on down to your local county commissioner. And they will be doing the right thing for the people they represent.

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