We reported here on October 7 about new rules announced by the Department of Homeland Security regarding H-1B workers. Those rules, which will re-define some to the job classifications employers of H-1Bs have been using, will in effect raise the minimum salaries of many skilled guest workers.
Democrat supporters of the programs along with the cheap labor lobby are predictably complaining that these measures will likely price many foreign workers out of the labor market, thus freeing up jobs they have been taking from Americans.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren, Democrats, last week described the move as “an attempt to score last minute political points” by the President. Nadler complained that the administration has proposed to “implement the most sweeping changes to the H-1B visa program we have seen in decades.” For her part, Lofgren said that while she herself over the years had introduced several bills to reform the H-1B program, “changes this substantial must not be rushed through without adequate input from the public.”
Their meaning is clear: the Democrats speak “reform,” but fight tooth and nail any reform proposed by President Trump. As to whether Democrats really want “input from the public,” you decide.
Other guest worker advocates chimed in their opposition, as well. American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) president Jennifer Minear declared that the new regulations would create nearly insurmountable barriers to the hiring of foreign workers, who she said play “a vital role in the American economy.” As usual, the lawyers promised to see the administration in court.
Not only do these rules inappropriately scapegoat immigrants for the ills of our current economic downturn but they are also self-defeating. These rules will undoubtedly hamstring a process proven to bring some of the world’s best and brightest into American businesses. American workers and businesses only stand to suffer as a result of these changes until these rules are challenged and overturned in court.
The rule change has struck a nerve half a world away in the country that exports the lion’s share of H-1B workers: India. New Delhi Television, for example, reported:
Such a decision by the Trump administration will have an adverse impact on thousands of Indian IT professionals. Already a large number of Indians on the H-1B visas have lost their jobs and are headed back home during the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the US economy.
The change received support from Republicans, however. Republican Senator Chuck Grassly applauded ”the actions taken by the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on widespread abuses within the H-1B guest worker program.” He said the H-1B program “undermines the wages and job opportunities of American workers and contains inadequate protections for American and immigrant workers alike.”
Instead of being used to fill legitimate gaps in the labor force [he said], the H-1B program is often abused to simply replace American workers with cheap guest worker labor. That abuse needs to stop, and I strongly support the efforts of the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to do something about it.
For more, see Breitbart News.