Jul 11

House Passes “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants”; Senate Yet to Vote

 

On July 5, we reported on the attempts by Mike Lee and other Republican Senators to push through, by “unanimous consent,” bill S.386, the so-called “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.” This bill, which has not yet been voted on, is matched in the House by H.R.1044, which was rammed through, with plenty of Republican support, late yesterday by a vote of 365-65. (To see how your representative voted, see the House Roll Call site.)

H.R.1044, according to Breitbart News, is a “green card giveaway to 300,000 Indian contract workers” that “dramatically increases the incentives for more Indian graduates to take college graduate jobs in the United States.” It was supported by GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy.

Outside of Congress, the major support for 1044 and the Senate’s 386 comes from the Big Tech industry headquartered  in Silicon Valley.  Writing in The Hill, former Congressman Virgil Goode, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump, said the following:

” Silicon Valley says it loves diversity, but the industry only wants workers from one country — and it’s not America.

“An estimated 71 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign-born. The majority are Indian nationals; nearly 70 percent of those who come on H-1B visas — a favorite of Big Tech — hail from India. Additionally, many tech firms have a sizable presence in India itself.

“And the reason tech giants love Indian-born workers? They tend to work for far less than American workers.”

These bills would eliminate country caps on green cards and enable Indian workers to take at least 75 percent of all employment-based visas. They also have a provision, noted below, that favors Chinese investors in the EB-5 visa program, a program that essentially allows wealthy foreigners to buy their way into the United States. The bills are opposed not only by conservatives like Goode, but also by some on the left, who are suspicious of the growing power of Big Tech. Writing on the Center for Immigration Studies website, David North–who describes himself as a “dyed-in-the wool, life-long, New Deal Democrat”–says the following about the two bills: “They bring unneeded additional benefits to the Haves, and provide no benefits to the Have Nots.” North identifies the legislation’s following winners:

  • The high-tech industries that use the H-1B program to increase their already high profits
  • The big city (notably Manhattan) real estate developers in the EB-5 program
  • Rich Chinese in the EB-5 program
  • Upper crust Indian nationals in the H-1B program

Classified as losers is everyone else, including:

  • American workers who get shut out of jobs by lower-wage immigrants
  • American investors shut out by wealthy Chinese who can raise their investment funds in China
  • Would-be immigrants from countries other than the favored nationalities

If Senator Rand Paul drops his opposition to S.386 or if the bill passes the Senate anyway, the question is, Would President Trump veto it? That isn’t clear. The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement shortly before 1044 was passed, opposing the legislation on the grounds that it did not further the official White House goal of moving toward a more merit-based system.  That indicates at best lukewarm opposition, and President Trump might be persuaded otherwise.

One possible incentive on the part of Republican Senate leaders to oppose S.386, is that one of its main backers is Kamala Harris, currently a near-front-runner in the Democrat presidential campaign and possibly President Trump’s opponent in the general election next year.

As usual, American citizens are outnumbered and out-resourced by power-hungry pols and money-hungry CEOs. It’s an up-hill climb all the way.  We have to keep going.

For more, see Breitbart News.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.aicfoundation.com/house-passes-fairness-for-high-skilled-immigrants-senate-yet-to-vote/

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