A Corporate Feeding Frenzy

USA Today published LTE on H-1B, L-1 from Dan Stein, posted below:

Opposing view: A corporate 'feeding frenzy'

Visas push is about helping companies rather than workers

By Dan Stein

Today we are watching an amazing spectacle: Many in Congress — including allegedly labor-friendly Democrats — are pushing to increase the importation of foreign labor just as the USA slips into what may be its worst recession in decades.

Why? Because the greed of a handful of multinationals is demanding more and more access to "skilled" foreign labor.

Sure, we hear bogus "studies" that claim garden-variety foreign programmers will save the U.S. economy. But former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently admitted the real agenda: "Significantly opening up immigration to skilled workers … would compete with high-income people, driving more income equality." In 2007, he further opined that, "Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world. If we open up a significant window for skilled (foreign) workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income."

Thanks, Alan! Having shipped so many good jobs overseas, we now find that U.S. workers who acquire job skills are overpaid!

Since 1990, Congress has allowed U.S. and multinational businesses to use foreign "nonimmigrant" visa programs to drive down wages and displace American workers. What began as a short-term fix for a supposed "short-term" shortage of programmers has turned into another elitist feeding frenzy for greedy people at the top of the food chain.

The use of foreign workers has exploded at a time of rising economic insecurity. Since 1985, the number of foreign worker admissions has increased by 426%, while the U.S. civilian workforce has only increased by about 29%. This is a "temporary" shortage? The main culprits are the H-1B and L-1B visa programs with meaningless labor protections now filling more than a million jobs.

Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., are making a valiant effort to curb the excesses. But as with most other bloated immigration programs that become oversubscribed, Congress' first reaction is not to eliminate the loopholes. It's to just raise the numbers.

Don't get me wrong. My organization supports competing to attract the world's best and brightest. Jacking up the level of H-1Bs won't get us there.
Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates reducing legal immigration levels and aggressive illegal- immigration enforcement.

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