They ain’t got money but they sure got sold
Book Review: Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers, by Michelle Malkin and John Miano
Mercury Ink, 480 pages, available from Amazon at $17.13
by Jim Gillespie
Coming on the heels of Ann Coulter’s Adios America, reviewed here in June, is Michelle Malkin’s Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers. Malkin, like Coulter, has been a long-time crusader on behalf of American culture and the American worker. Co-authored by attorney and former high-tech screw-ee John Miano, her new book exposes in exhaustive detail the immigration racket as run by a combine of U.S. and foreign corporations in league with treasonous American government officials of both political parties.
Malkin and Miano pull no punches as they name names in revealing how this corrupt cabal of greed has engineered the displacement of American workers, many of them in the high-tech industry, by the importation of cheap, often substandard workers from India and elsewhere, all in the name of the all-mighty bottom line.
Foremost among the authors’ many targets is the infamous H-1B visa program. Originally intended to provide highly skilled workers from abroad in cases where no such talent is available domestically, this program is revealed here as a sham that brings to America not-especially-skilled foreign workers to replace qualified Americans. In the vast majority of cases, the purpose is not to secure better workers, but to pad the bank accounts of billionaire corporate CEOs and their political henchmen through the introduction of the cheapest labor possible.
The authors tell their story with a combination of anecdotal real-life case histories and hard, well-documented statistical and historical reportage. In the H-1B section that leads off the book, they introduce Jennifer Wedel, a wife and mother from Texas. In 2012, Mrs. Wedel made headlines when, as part of a White House “Google+ Hangout” stunt, she directly confronted President Obama. “My question to you,” she said, “is how are you preventing foreigners with H-1B visas from getting American citizens’ jobs?”
Mrs. Wedel knew what she was talking about. Her family had been thrown into turmoil recently when her husband Darin, a well-educated and highly skilled semiconductor engineer, had been summarily laid off at the age of 43 from his job at Texas Instruments in favor of a foreign replacement under the H-1B program.
Thus confronted and unable to reconcile Wedel’s story with the much-touted myth that American workers can’t compete with foreigners, Obama offered to play employment recruiter and asked for Darin’s resume: anything to move on to more agreeable areas of the “hangout.” Wedel eventually found full-time work, no thanks to the President, but not before Jennifer was branded a xenophobe by the press and the open-borders-minded Cato Institute piled on with an outright denial of the obvious facts.
The fact is, as Malkin and Miano amply demonstrate, the H-1B program and its many alphabet-soup cousins exist to provide an endless supply of cheap foreign labor, displacing American workers already doing the work and who in many cases are forced to train their replacements before being bounced onto the sidewalk by their employers.
One particularly egregious example of the latter is the recent case of employees at Walt Disney World in Orlando. In October 2014, hundreds of Disney IT workers began being summoned to a series of meetings with management, where it was explained that not only would they be out of a job come January, they would in the meantime be forced to train their Indian replacements or else forfeit their severance packages. When news outlets such as the N.Y. Times finally got around to deeming this outrage newsworthy, an embarrassed Disney Corp had to cancel plans for further such layoffs, but by then it was too late for the original hundreds. Compelled to “dig their own graves,” as Sold Out puts it, the now-jobless Disney “cast members” had suffered indignity on top of injury, while the Disney CEO that year pulled down $46.5 million.
In case after case, with extensive footnotes and documentation, this book goes beyond the sham of H-1Bs and exposes other corrupt and anti-American schemes of the super-rich and the super-powerful. They include:
- The so-called “B1LOH” scheme. Short for “B-1 visa in lieu of H-1B”, this is an end-around tactic employed by employers unable to obtain sufficient H-1Bs. They simply apply for readily available tourist, or B-1, visas, so that workers may attend “conferences” or receive “training” in the U.S., often for extended periods, while actually doing work, not permissible under their visa status. This scam is supported by a compliant and unconcerned U.S. government.
- The EB-5 program. Literally a “citizenship for sale” program, this 1992 creation of the U.S. Congress established regional EB-5 centers around the U.S. to solicit “investments” from foreigners, who in return would receive work-permitting green cards as a prelude to actual citizenship. Not only has this program forced uncounted American-owned small businesses out of the market, it has proven a boon to crooked officials who collect nothing short of bribes under the guise of “investments.” As is the case any time large sums of money are floating about, the program has attracted fraudsters here and abroad, of all political stripes. The book discusses in particular the activities of Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham and his business partner, now-Democratic-governor Terry McAuliffe on behalf of Greentech Automotive, a shady concern at the forefront of EB-5 corruption. (These two were assisted by Republican governors Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal, of Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively.)
- The L-1 visa. A companion program to the B-1, except this one is for transferees, employees of multinationals who simply get transferred from their home country to the U.S. Easy to obtain and only laughably overseen by the U.S., these foreign employees are free to live and work here without limitation. No fraud necessary, just come on in!
While Sold Out details case after case of fraudulent and illegal behaviors of persons in and out of the government, the one message that comes through most clearly is this: The displacement of American workers doesn’t depend on immigrants sneaking over the border in the dead of night and living in the proverbial shadows. If they have a little education, if only from an Indian diploma mill, they can come here, live, work, and displace native-born workers with the full blessing and connivance of a compliant U.S. government. As the authors state in a more limited context: “The scandal here lies not in what’s illegal, but what remains perfectly legal.”
Having finally detailed the abuses, the authors do not simply leave their expose on the doorstep of American society and walk away. In a closing chapter, they offer a series of recommendations that should be taken by the U.S. government immediately, to close down this shameful anti-American system. Among these are:
- Abolish the open-ended “family-based” immigration philosophy currently in place. Replace it with a more rational, needs-based approach.
- For once, consider the American public’s position on immigration matters, not simply the views and aspirations of corporate CEOs, their political henchmen, multinationals, and foreign “bodyshops.”
- Create a visa holders database, track guest workers, and deport visa overstayers.
- Demand that guest workers actually be guests. Exclude those who are in fact would-be immigrants. Limit guest worker tenures, crack down on H-1 and L visa fraud, and abolish the EB-5. Insist that foreign students be students only, with no promise of green cards or citizenship.
- In general, add safeguards and strengthen safeguards already in place and above all, begin putting American workers first.
Sold Out closes with a list of suggestions that the individual American can do to educate himself to counter the pernicious system the book exposes. These suggestions, as well as the wealth of information that precedes them, are ample reason for all of us to read and share this very topical and up-to-the-minute book.