Americans are right to believe that their jobs are being given to noncitizens.
As part of ‘immigration’ reform, Congress has agreed to a program that would expand America's guest worker program. While many are calling this the first positive step in immigration reform, they are failing to note that guest worker programs are abused by companies who seek steady cheap labor. More disturbing is the fact that these jobs are high-skilled and high-paying tech jobs that require a heavy amount of education.
Adding insult to injury, these companies are getting rid of their American employees who command a higher salary, in favor of foreigners legally coming to the US for the sole purpose of taking these jobs for a lower salary.
The reason that many employers use H-1B visas is not because of foreign workers’ special skills, but because these workers come relatively cheap.Twenty percent of the 134,780 H-1B petitions approved last year went to just four firms: Cognizant Technology Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro. The latter three are among India’s biggest outsourcing giants. Cognizant, headquartered in New Jersey, grew out of a partnership between Dun & Bradstreet and an Indian firm.
Iconic US companies, including Walmart and 7-Eleven, hire these firms to do IT work. The outsourcers can do it inexpensively, not only because they ship some of the work to India, but also because they bring temporary workers to the United States. Sometimes temporary workers come, learn the job, and take the work back to India for good. Other times, the job stays here but is filled by a rotating cadre of H-1Bs. When Molina Healthcare fired its IT staff, it didn’t apply for H-1B workers to replace them. It got them through Cognizant, the largest consumer of H-1B visas last year.
Indeed, outsourcers have hijacked the H-1B program. Consider that Facebook, the epitome of a tech company that can seek out the world’s best talent, was approved for just 307 H-1B workers. ExxonMobil got 58. The vast majority of participating companies got just one or two. Yet Cognizant got 9,281 of the visas. Tata got 7,454.
The hardest part to grapple with is the fact that just last year, all we heard from candidates (on both sides) is how they were going to increase the American labor force and how they were going to deal with immigration. This portion of the impending immigration bill accomplishes neither of these goals; it takes away more American jobs and fails to address the real immigration crisis, which is the 11.5 million illegal aliens already here.