Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has been working diligently all year to pass the bill known as “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants”–in the Senate, S.386–which he introduced in February.
We first reported on this bill when the House of Representatives passed it in July. Described by Breitbart News at that time as a “green card giveaway to 300,000 Indian contract workers,” the bill would remove the country cap on H-1B visas and thus open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of Indian workers clamoring for green cards to work in the United States. Every worker so selected would potentially take a job from a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. Congress is so beholden to high-tech donors–who are salivating for this treasure trove of Indian workers–that Lee’s efforts have been to pass the bill by “Unanimous Consent,” i.e, without debate, a strategy usually employed for non-controversial bills. For months, he has bargained individually, and so far successfully, with a handful of Senators expressing opposition to the bill.
In July, the Senate hold-out was Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul wanted to set aside some visas for foreign nurses, which he said would be shut out otherwise. Through negotiations over the next couple of months, by September a nurses amendment was tacked onto the bill, and Paul lifted his hold. At the same time, Senator David Perdue (R-GA), who had also expressed concerns about nurses, dropped his opposition as well.
With Republican opposition thus apparently neutralized, Lee was then faced in October with opposition from Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois. Durbin’s opposition was based on his contention that the Lee bill would not create enough green cards for non-Indian workers. Durbin said, “From 2023 until well into the 2030’s, there will be zero EB-2 [green cards] for the rest of the world. None for China, South Korea, Philippines, Britain, Canada, any country in the European Union, and all of Africa. Zero.” His own alternative RELIEF act, which would have hugely increased the total number of green cards to accommodate those countries, was then blocked by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).
Durbin has continued to oppose S.386 but, as of December 12, Neil Munro reports in Breitbart News that he may soon drop that opposition. At the same time, however, a new roadblock has popped up for Lee, this time again from a Republican. Munro tells us that Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) is now expected to block Unanimous Consent passage of the bill when it comes up again this week. Rounds believes that the bill would “disadvantage green card allocation for certain industries that are vitally important in South Dakota and across the country,” meaning, the dairy industry. Munro adds that, “Multiple sources say Lee’s bill is creating home-state problems for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Missouri’s Sen. Josh Hawley, and Tenn. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, as well as for GOP Senators in dairy states, including the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.”
Thus while members of both parties in the Senate find reasons to oppose this massive green card giveaway, they do so only on behalf of their own specific cheap labor interests. None dare oppose those interests for fear of having the cash spigots turned off come re-election time.
Yet, opposition is opposition. As Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUSA says, “I don’t care why they block it, as long as they block it.”
For more, see Breitbart News.