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Professor: Amnesty Legislation Could Allow High-Tech Companies to Import 100% of Workforce

September 17, 2014
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High-Tech-JobsOne of the country’s foremost experts on guest-worker visas argued that high-tech companies could be on the verge of securing enough visas so that 100% of their workers can be imported.

Rutgers University public policy professor Hal Salzman noted in a Monday US News & World Report op-ed that “all credible research finds the same evidence about the STEM workforce: ample supply, stagnant wages and, by industry accounts, thousands of applicants for any advertised job.”

He said “guestworkers currently make up two-thirds of all new IT hires, but employers are demanding further increases.”

“If such lobbying efforts succeed, firms will have enough guestworkers for at least 100 percent of their new hiring and can continue to legally substitute these younger workers for current employees, holding down wages for both them and new hires,” Salzman reasoned.

As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) noted, proponents of comprehensive amnesty legislation have spent “$1.5 billion over the last decade” for a bill that would “double the supply of low-wage foreign workers brought into the United States.” Joe Green, the president of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-amnesty lobbying group, even suggested that foreign workers were “truly great,” while Americans were just “sort of okay” in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

But since studies and scholars from across the political spectrum have debunked the notion that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers, Salzman noted that, “in the face of these stark facts, we now see several studies that seem to be desperate Hail Mary passes, using rather unconventional means to find ‘shortages'”:

Some analysts do this by expanding the definition of STEM jobs – traditionally those involved in innovation, discovery and development – to include air conditioning technicians and even some retail jobs to make the case that this workforce is large and growing. Without any coherent meaning, such analyses now serve only rhetorical purposes to advance particular legislation.

After Sessions denounced the “Masters of the Universe” last week in a thunderous speech on the Senate floor, Facebook board member Marc Andreessen said Sessions was “clinically insane” for supporting American workers. He even called Sessions an “odious hack” and accused him of slander. The Obama administration is reportedly considering awarding the tech industry 800,000 more guest-worker visas via executive action to gain support for a potential executive amnesty that would grant work permits and temporary amnesty to nearly five million illegal immigrants.

Sessions, who has implored Senate Democrats to bring up the House bill that would block Obama’s potential executive amnesty, emphasized that elected officials had a duty to represent American workers. Sessions said on the Senate floor last week:

We can’t put the parochial demands of a few powerful CEOs ahead of an entire nation’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The basic social contract is that citizens agree to follow the law, pay their taxes, devote their love and loyalty to their country and in exchange, the nation commits to preserve and protect and serve their interest, safeguard their freedom, and return to them in kind their first allegiance of loyalty. The job of elected officials is to answer to the people who sent them to Washington–not to scorn them, not to demean them, not to mock them, not to sell their jobs and dreams to the highest bidder.

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