One huge problem in our nation, and something supported by the Democrat administration, is the illegal application of the foreign work visa.
The H-1B visa is intended to provide foreign workers when an American equivalent cannot be found. Instead it is being abused to make corporate America richer. This problem has been magnified by a liberal mindset driven by the concept that immigrating as many people as possible into the United States at all costs is a great idea, even to the point Hillary Clinton stated she dreamed of open borders.
It has, without doubt, made many high tech companies in the United States look like a foreign country. Companies like Mathworks in Massachusetts are flooded with workers on work visas when Americans are readily available. According to the NY Times,
There is no doubt that H-1B visas — temporary work permits for specially talented foreign professionals — are instead being used by American employers to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor.
The reason is simply stated. They can get the people from India and China for a fraction of the cost. Of course that is true, but it does not mean we want to put Americans out of a job because we have a higher wage requirement, and it is also a violation of the law that is not being enforced.
However, such visas are ONLY to be used to hire college-educated foreigners in “specialty occupations” requiring “highly specialized knowledge,” and only when such hiring will not depress prevailing wages. Sadly, in most cases, American workers are required to train their foreign replacements before they lose their jobs to the lower paid foreign worker.
The situation is much more dire than most realize and it is impacting our high tech work force. The high tech work force is being undercut by our own government after many paid tens of thousands for college loans. The problem extends to high tech workers as they get past about age 40, when they get replaced because they are more expensive than their foreign import equivalent. The primary purpose of the misuse of the visas is to enrich Corporate America and CEOs at the expense of the American taxpayer and the American high tech workforce.
This problem costs the American Tax payer and the US economy a fortune, and the practice is against the law.
The primary problems with the abuse of work visas are (AND EACH COSTS AMERICAN TAXPAYERS MONEY):
- New high tech graduates are often passed by for cheaper foreign equivalents. How do they pay back their student loans?
- We are gifting our technology to foreign nations. When Chinese, Indian and other international workers work in our high tech industry, our technology goes to those nations. The only positive is it saves the CEOs money to make them look good so they collect higher bonuses.
- The work visas drive out older workers as they become too expensive. As workers in America progress, raises are expected in the high tech industry. Because of work visas, these people are forced out of the work force at great expense to America. This starts as early as 40-45 years old in many high tech jobs.
- As workers are driven out they are forced to become contractors but do not get paid as well as they did full time considering the benefits, and are readily abused by Corporate America because there are no laws protecting contract workers.
- It costs taxpayers BIG LEAGUE. Why? Because the work visa workers do not earn the same money and pay much smaller amounts. Because the American workers displaced cost large unemployment payments. Because displaced workers on the whole cost America large amounts of money that makes little sense from a tax standpoint. It encourages outsourcing to foreign countries from which the illegal work visa employee came, losing more American jobs and reducing the American tax base further.
- The work visas are also used to provide a network to foreign contractors. The work is outsourced because the work visas used allow contractors from a country to be hired, and then act as the liaison to foreign companies. This insidious practice is equivalent to sending all our factories to foreign countries, but allowing the companies to steal from tax payers right here in the US without the expense of relocation.
One simple solution is to make it more cost effective to employ American workers. If the government offered to refund all or a portion of the taxes paid by a newly employed American high tech employee back to the companies that hired them for five years full time, that would be break even for the United States, create American jobs and make work visas much less popular. It would also increase the tax base for the United States going forward.
However, the laws must be enforced. False justifications for work visas must be rejected. Common sense can define the limits. No work force of any company in America should allow a company to have a large percentage of foreign high tech workers to enrich their CEO’s and board members.
Work Visas are restricted for a reason. Their abuse is damaging our technology industry, gradually disseminating everything in the industry to illegal workers and foreign outsourcing. It costs jobs for Americans needlessly and costs taxpayers now and in the future, by selling off our technology on the cheap to enrich Corporate America.