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Save the OPT Student-to-Worker Program

A group of university associations is asking a former Microsoft executive in the White House to help preserve a very lucrative student-to-worker program that was created at the request of Microsoft.

“We understand that the administration is reviewing the OPT [Optional Practical Training] program as it examines additional actions following the April 22 executive order, says the May 19 letter to Chris Liddell, whose understated titled is “Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy Coordination.”

“We would welcome the opportunity to continue the discussion with you and others in the administration about the importance of international students and their positive effect on the U.S. economy,” says the letter, which was posted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Liddell worked as senior vice president and the Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft from 2005 to December 2009.

“He’s in the White House? Oh God,” responded immigration lawyer John Miano after being told of the letter to Liddell.

While Liddell was working for Microsoft, his company’s lobbyists persuaded President George W. Bush’s deputies to dramatically expand the OPT program, Miano said.

The program’s claimed benefits — such as its delivery of foreign workers for U.S. jobs — is a political issue in the 2020 election when millions of swing-voting American graduates face unemployment amid the economic crash caused by China’s coronavirus. On April 22, Trump ordered a review of the visa worker programs which provide U.S. companies with an army of at least 1.3 million foreign white-collar guest workers.

Miano is working at the Immigration Reform Law Institute from where he has run a 12-year, three-appeal marathon lawsuit against the OPT program. “Microsoft was a leader in transforming OPT into a guest-worker program,” Miano said, adding:

It had originally been a year-long internship kind of thing, and it was under the radar. In 2007, Microsoft threw a dinner party with several other tech companies for [DHS chief Michael] Chertoff at the [owner’s] home of the Washington Nationals where they proposed to expand it so it would be long enough to serve as an alternative to H-1B.

After that, DHS worked in secrecy with these tech companies and the universities to create the regulations. They didn’t tell anyone. They didn’t tell the public they were working on the regulations, and then they put the regulations out without notice and comment. That’s how OPT was created — government by dinner party.

In 2018, the OPT and the associated Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs delivered at least 500,000 cheap OPT and CPT workers to companies, up from almost 100,000 in 2007, according to agency data. In comparison, roughly 800,000 Americans graduated from four-year colleges with technology degrees in 2018.

Liddell also worked as a top staffer in Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Miano said his 12-year lawsuit against the OPT program might be decided in September. The judge is likely waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, he said.

The pending DACA decision may change the OPT decision because Chief Justice John Roberts asked about President Barack Obama’s claimed authority to grant work permits to the DACA migrants. Obama’s claim relied on an interpretation of a section of law titled 1324a, which is also used to justify the OPT program.

The OPT and CPT programs provide up to $41 billion in annual revenues to a wide range of universities and colleges because many foreigners pay tuition fees to get the work permits.

“The latest analysis finds that international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $41 billion and supported 458,290 jobs to the U.S. economy during the 2018-2019 academic year,” said a trade group for the strongly pro-Democrat universities.

OPT advocates correctly say it provides a route for clever scientists and researchers to stay in the United States, but they downplay the work permits, partly because of Miano’s lawsuit. The program “offers talented international students who complete a U.S. degree the opportunity to remain in the country for a period of time to enhance their educational experience,” said the letter to Liddell from the university groups.

Breitbart News has repeatedly showcased the universities’ pro-OPT arguments. In December 2019, Breitbart reported:

“OPT is a critical program of immense benefit to our international students,” said a statement from Jane Fernandes, the president of Guilford College. “Any actions taken to limit or decrease student participation in this program will significantly harm U.S. higher education [and the] Loss of the OPT program will reduce our ability to recruit excellent international students and benefit from their presence.”

But the OPT program is just one of several means by which clever graduates can stay and work in the United States. They can use the uncapped H-1B and L-1 contract worker programs, the uncapped O-1 Einstein visa, and the large E.B. green card process, but the OPT program is the easiest and the one least controlled by companies.

Most foreign users of the OPT program are seeking entry-level jobs in the software, electronics, and science sectors that are also needed by American graduates.

Many of the OPTs work long hours in low-wage, low-tax jobs that used to be gateway jobs for bright American youths. But many OPTs are picked for well-paid jobs at elite companies, often by immigrant managers who prefer to hire people of their national or ethnic backgrounds, say American and Indian tech workers.

In 2018, for example, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Amazon hired 5,081 OPT participants, so denying 5,081 career-boosting prestigious jobs to young college graduate voters from states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The Department of Homeland Security provides basic information about the program, including the numbers of foreign graduates who get one-year permits or three-year permits, the universities, and the hiring companies.

2018 Total Number of SEVIS Records with Authorizations to Participate in CPT, OPT or STEM OPT

The program is strongly supported by the business groups and investors that employ blocs of H-1B workers.

Advocates for the program do not offer reforms that would protect the inflow of clever scientists while barring the inflow of ordinary graduates.

Most OPTs hope to transition into the H-1B program that allows them to eventually get green cards, but that route requires them to compete for the approval of their employers and then to win the H-1B lottery.

To win the H-1B lottery, many OPTs — usually Indians — extend their stay by paying tuition for a second or a third master’s degree.

The stakes for India’s migrant workers are huge. For example, some get status-boosting careers and citizenship in the United States, while others are ejected back to India after working for several years. One Indian who fled home after being caught up in one of many OPT fraud cases told his story in February 2019 to the BBC:

Veeresh had taken a loan of 1.5m rupees (£16,300; $21,000) to help pay for his [U.S.] education. The first university cost him $30,000 and Farmington [University] cost him an additional $20,000. He had to borrow money from his friend to buy a ticket to come back home.

He still hasn’t told his parents why he returned.

“They think I am on vacation. But the truth is that I have no job and a college loan to pay off. My parents would be devastated if they knew the truth.”

His parents are farmers and Veeresh had hoped to help them out by earning an income in dollars, some of which he could send home.

“I am the only son. I wanted to take care of my parents. We do not own land or a house. I wanted to go to America to earn better so that I can buy a house for my family in India.”

“The OPT program serves mainly as a highfalutin foreign worker pipeline that operates parallel to — but without the numerical limits and oversight of — the green card and guest worker programs that Congress created,” said Jessica Vaughan policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She added:

The OPT program allows employers to avoid all pretense of considering US workers for these jobs, because there are few rules or expectations of showing that Americans aren’t available or qualified for these jobs … The numbers of OPT participants are so huge now that it is obviously not for the best and brightest foreign students, it’s for the ones willing to pay (tuition) to stay.

U.S. grass-roots activists — and some GOP politicians — are increasingly protesting the program, which transfers good jobs from Americans to foreign graduates.

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at

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Fortune 500 CEOs Use H-1B Visa Workers to Grow Bonded-Labor Workforce

Hundreds of thousands of Indian contract workers are tied to their U.S. employers for many years because U.S. companies have offered them green cards as payment for compliant labor, according to a new report by the Cato Institute.

“U.S. employers file far more petitions for Indians than the [green card] limits allow,” says the Cato report, titled “Backlog for Skilled Immigrants Tops 1 Million: Over 200,000 Indians Could Die of Old Age While Awaiting Green Cards.”

The Indian H-1B contract workers are usually hoping to get green cards after several years of labor. They know they must remain with their employers for many years to get the hugely valuable green cards, the Cato report says:

H-1B workers must maintain a job with only certain approved H-1B employers. They cannot be unemployed at any time or start their own businesses. If H-1B employers close or downsize—an obvious possibility over decades—visa holders lose their status and places in the green card queue.

The population of Indian workers and family members who are bound to their employers is growing above two million, according to the Cato report. “The government is approving nearly two [employer] petitions for employment-based immigrants for every [available] green card,” the report says. “At the current rate of increase, the backlog [for green cards] will exceed 2.4 million by 2030.”

Immigration lawyer Doug Rand says the nation’s immigration law is forcefully “lashing” the H-1B migrants to their employers:

Our #immigration laws force skilled workers into “temporary” visas like #H1B, lashing them to a sponsoring employer & impeding mobility, while they wait decades for an artificially scarce green card conveying permanent residency & ultimately citizenship.

That lashing claim is echoed by many of the Indian H-1B workers. For example, the Immigration Voice advocacy group claims more than one million Indians are trapped in their jobs as “indentured servants”:

If the system doesn’t ensure adequate rights to immigrants then it is better to not bring in any immigrants at all or else companies can treat immigrants like indentured servants. … If the system doesn’t ensure adequate rights for immigrants (including the right to change jobs and employer with as much ease as others in the marketplace), then we would rather have no immigrants be brought into the US at all.

The “indentured servants” term is also used by American managers.

“Indentured servitude [of H-1Bs] has become part of the American business culture, and it’s wrong, and it’s wrong right from the beginning,” said one former top-level research manager. “It has done more than just economic damage to this country — we’ve lost our competitive, innovative advantage because of it,” he said. “Guarantee that’s happening,” he added. 

But this master-servant relationship is better described as “bonded service,” said John Miano, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

This tied H-1B employer-employee relationship is not slavery because there is no government force, Miano said. The relationship is not indentured service because the Indians can exit, he added. “These guys can go home anytime they want, [while] indentured service was voluntary slavery for some fixed period of time.” Both slavery and indentured service were declared unconstitutional by the 13th Amendment to the constitution in 1865.

This new form of bonded labor also should be outlawed because it prevents Americans from bargaining in an equal and free market with employers for jobs, wages, and promotions, he said.

But the population in bonded service is expanding because the Indians and the employers both gain from the deal.

The employers get a compliant, stable workforce, apparently at a lower payroll cost.

In turn, the migrants eventually earn the huge deferred bonus of American citizenship.

That prize allows them and all of their descendants — plus some family members — to escape India’s poor, ancient, caste-ridden, polluted, and crowded society for the open, wealthy, welcoming, free, and non-discriminatory American culture and landscape.

But the growing role of bonded service in the American labor market is an increasing threat to the status, legal rights, and bargaining power of American employees, Miano said. “We have a new category of labor we’re creating here,” he said:

The system is trying to wedge people between [economically] free labor and historical indentured servitude/slavery situation. It’s not good for free labor — like slavery was never good for the working class but was only good for people in who lived in [the] Tara and Twelve Oaks [antebellum mansions].

For the billionaire class, the new [bonded service] system is great, for everyone else, the situation is bad.

Congress Allows CEOs and Indians to Create a Bonded-Service Workforce

The bonded service problem is made possible by Congress’s visa-worker laws.

Those laws allow companies to keep a population of 1.3 million or more foreign white-collar contract workers in U.S. jobs for periods ranging from months to seven years. The foreign workers are imported via the H-1B, OPT, CPT, TN, L-1, H4EAD, and E-3 programs. This legal white-collar workforce includes at least 800,000 Indians and at least 270,000 Chinese. These visa workers — including roughly 750,000 H-1Bs — have almost no legal rights, and their employers can send them and their families back to the poverty of their home country at a moment’s notice.

So the imported labor force of Indians and Chinese work compliantly, often for low wages, long hours, and bad treatment, in jobs that could be held by American professionals.

But most of these visa workers are also working to get the colossal deferred bonus of a U.S. green card. The green cards give foreigners nearly all the economic and political rights of Americans. They are free to change jobs, to become citizens after five years, and to deliver citizenship to their spouses, children, and all of their descendants. In effect, green cards are the biggest prize any man or woman can win for family and descendants.

Yet companies are allowed to reward employees with up to 140,000 green cards each year, for just the price of a few lawyers’ billable hours.

Obviously, executives dangle that huge prize to get their foreign workers to work for cheap, not change jobs, and never complain.

U.S. and Indian companies have created a huge hidden economy based on this work-for-green-cards trade. The U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy is so big that companies nominated 297,878 Indians for green cards in the five years up to 2020.

But that huge number is far, far above the levels allowed for India by federal immigration law. The law’s pro-diversity rules limit the annual share of green cards that can be won by people from any one country to roughly 15,000 green cards.

In effect, by ignoring this limit, the companies and the Indians have cooperatively put roughly 150,000 Indian workers — plus 150,000 spouses and older children — since 2015 into a bonded-service, work-and-wait line that will keep some workers in line for decades.

The Threat to Professionalism and Innovation

The companies’ easy use of bonded labor is wrecking Americans’ labor rights and is destroying the ideal of professionalism, said Miano.

In Silicon Valley, the “employers love Indians on H-1Bs because employers can then keep those employees as an indentured slave,” said a former Indian H-1B who is now a citizen. “It’s a high-tech slavery.”

“Eighty percent … of the work done by [H-1Bs at] big companies, like Facebook, Google, or Qualcomm, Amazon, is so-called grunge technical work,” he continued. “You don’t really need a lot of creativity. What you need is a flood of some technical expertise along with long hours.”

The big software firms use their H-1Bs for repetitive tasks, such as testing, that could be accomplished by young American graduates, said Bob Heath, a Florida-based software engineer who created

The testing process is a monotonous repetitive kind of job. You test functions. So you pull up a screen from a website, and you test each button under various conditions or various states under different parameters. It’s very monotonous.  If you find a bug, you’ve got to re-create the scenario. And then you report it to a [software] developer [for repair]. It’s like eight hours of very monotonous tedious work. 

H-1Bs have no job security, the former Indian H-1B worker said, and “your employer knows that, and an employer will use this knowledge and leverage this knowledge to their advantage.” Yet Indians accept their lower status because they are paid well to work in U.S. jobs, he said:

As a manager, you want Indian guys because you are able to produce more. You have a [workforce of] compliant, amenable, never-complaining Indian guys with an H-1B. And you are basically getting the big bonuses as a vice president because you’re able to produce more because you’re able to meet more deadlines. Of course, you don’t care about the quality of life for the employees — that’s a different game.

“You don’t really need a wow set of skills to be hired at Facebook or Google or Amazon,” the former Indian H-1B told Breitbart News. But, he added, “in companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, you’re paid quite handsomely.”

But this compliant Indian workforce has also displaced many American professionals from many banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, universities, and transport companies, say Americans.

Professionalism encourages American graduates and skilled workers to embrace and demonstrate dispassionate skill, diligence, and ingenuity, Miano said. “We put people’s lives on the line with software, so there is a great need for professionalism. But what executives want is someone who is the [payroll] equivalent of a ditch digger creating new cardio pacemakers and the Boeing 737 Max.”

Census data shows that Indian H-1Bs have displaced myriad Americans in multiple different sectors of the nation’s economy.

For example, in 2017, American-born programmers were just one-in-four software employees in Santa Clara, CA., down from four-in-five in 1980. Just one-in-three software developers in Richmond County, NY, were born in the United States. One-third of the workers in Forsyth County, GA, McLean County, IL, and in San Bernardino County, CA, in 2017 were American-born.


This Indian workforce is expanding upwards as older Indians get promoted, win green cards, become citizens, and form new companies — while roughly 60,000 new Indian visa workers arrive each year.

Amid this population expansion, U.S. executives have allowed India-born managers and Indian-run staffing companies to take over the technology departments of many Fortune 500 companies, say both Americans and Indians.

This wholescale change in the workforce — from American professionals to Indian bonded-laborers — has sharply reduced the innovation and the quality of U.S. software, say many Americans and Indians.

The Indian H-1Bs cannot be independent professionals because the bonded service allows their Indian and U.S. managers to exile them back to India if they speak against what the managers want, said Mary from central New Jersey, an immigrant software expert. “They are very subservient to higher managers,” she told Breitbart News.

This subservience echoes India’s caste culture, where high-born individuals dominate lower-people people — regardless of skill or education. This culture encourages Indian-born managers at U.S. companies to hire subordinates who promise kickbacks, either cash, gifts, or overtime and weekend work.  

This hidden economy of kickbacks ensures Indian managers also prefer to hire loyal Indians from their hometowns and their family networks, even if the Indians cannot write any software.

Indian hiring managers will sell jobs to Indians for $5,000 to $10,000, an Indian H-1B worker told Breitbart News. Honest Indian managers cannot stop the kickbacks, he said, because “you can’t survive — you will become a bottleneck in the chain. … [Senior managers] will fire you,” he said.

In contrast, mid-level American managers do not sell jobs, he said, adding, “There are very few honest Indian managers — maybe one in a million.”

“My experience with the people from there is that they have no basic [information technology] knowledge,” said Mary. “They will say they have all this experience [to get hired] and then try to learn on the job. If you ask them a question, they can’t answer you. So what is happening is that we’re training them … [even though] we have our jobs — and their jobs — to do.”

The Indians’ professional shortcomings create constant conflict with American professionals in offices, said Armondo from Texas. For example, Indian workers rely on office politics — including charges of racism — to deter U.S. managers from comparing productivity, he said:

That’s the way they operate — they will go over your head and start sabotaging you. They are trying to do everything they can to keep their job. … They are under a lot of pressure and are limited on what jobs they can get because of the visa. … The Indian managers know they have inexperienced people who can’t do crap, but they don’t fire them. That is another thing, they don’t fire them. An Indian manager does not fire them even because he knows this guy has a family and is married and they are not going to throw an Indian on the street.

“They’re very clannish. … They will push Americans out and make a group of their own,” Mary said. “When they’re talking in their Indian language, I have to ask them, ‘Can you speak English?’” she said. “I’m an outsider to them,” she added. 

On April 7, BuzzFeed News outlined the workplace politics caused by competing teams of Indian visa workers in Apple’s Information Systems & Technology division:

“There’s a Cold War going on every single day,” Archana Sabapathy, a former IS&T contractor who did two stints in the division, told me. Sabapathy’s first stint at IS&T lasted more than three years, the second only a day. Inside the division, she said, contracting companies such as Wipro, Infosys, and Accenture are constantly fighting to fill roles and win projects, which are handed out largely on the basis of how cheaply they can staff up to Apple’s needs.

“They’re just fighting for the roles,” Sabapathy told me. “That’s all they care about, not the work, not the deliverables, the effort they put in, or even talent. They’re not looking for any of those aspects.”

IS&T is thus filled with vendor tribalism, where loyalty to one’s contracting company trumps all. “Making a friendship is — like you wouldn’t even think about that,” Sabapathy told me, speaking of cross-vendor relationships. “It’s not the traditional American way of working anymore. You build relationships when you come to work because you spend most of your time here — that’s not there.”

Apple’s Indian-born managers foster the conflict, says an anonymous post on

This is actually a bunch of managers (who were ex. Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Satyam) that have converted to full time employees at Apple. And they hire only H1B workers from India so that they can hold them by their balls (while waiting for their GC) and literally sucking the life out of them. Hence the managers themselves do not know anything about software engineering. 

Many Indians use their green cards and citizenship to walk away from India’s culture and to bring their children towards America’s modernity. But their own jobs, peers, and families keep them tied to India’s caste culture — and force them to stay anonymous as they quietly lament the gradual loss of professional America they had hoped to join. 

Top U.S. managers allow the Indians’ office culture to displace American professionalism, Mary said. 

“The American managers like the [H-1Bs’] subservient relationship. … The H-1B workers can’t complain, so whatever the managers on the U.S. side need, they do it. If these guys have to work at 10 to 11 at night, the [managers] don’t care,” she said. 

American executives do not want to get feedback from American professionals, said Mary. 

“As a professional, you expect to speak to them at their level, but they don’t want you to speak at a professional level because they have gotten used to the [subservient H-1B] contractors,” she said. “Subservient people agree with them on everything.”

At one Pennsylvania employer, “you’re supposed to answer in a very subservient way,” she said, adding:

I would tell [the executive]  professionally what the issue was, and she didn’t like that. You can’t oppose her in any way. If she tells you “It is black,” it has to be black even if it is white. [The Indian contractors] will feed her what she wants to hear … They cater specifically to that [attitude].

When the information given to that manager is wrong, and that manager does not care, the professionalism of the field is gone.

U.S. managers “don’t really want to do any work … [they] use these [Indian] guys to do all their work,” Mary added. “It is not efficient, and it does not serve the company. But I think companies have fallen into this and don’t know what to do … I don’t see them being able to get out of it.”

The destruction of professionalism damages the nation’s economy and wealth, said Miano, who used to work as a software programmer:

A huge number of software projects fail in the United States. … One-third of projects are successful, one-third are total disasters, and the other third are in between. There’s no system of building codes in software.

So if you have a senior executive who says, “I need some software,” and then comes up with absolutely unimplementable plans, and goes to software services companies and presents this plan, there is not a single one that would turn then down. They would accept the deal, do the disaster, and bill them by the hour. There is no major software company on the planet that would say no to that deal.

But if you went to a building construction site where there are standards, and if you wanted to build a 40-story building in cardboard and have it done in six months, those guys would say no.

When one-third of software projects are complete failures, you’re talking about a 33 percent of loss of productivity.

The H-1B program has also stifled innovation by excluding many innovative Americans from jobs in top companies, said Heath:

Somebody goes to work for a high tech company, and they would have a better idea on how to do something, but the employer, they’re focused on making money, The [top managers] are focused on the quarterly profit, and they don’t have the time to go off on some wild goose chase on what some employee may dream up.

Most executives dislike innovation because it threatens their jobs, said the top American research manager:

Innovation, true innovation is chaotic … [and] chaos is completely uncontrollable by the management and Human Relations [managers]. It’s uncontrollable. Okay. They hate it. They want to do anything they can to get rid of true boundary-pushing, iconoclastic behavior because it’s dangerous. … Chaos is the mortal enemy of a good quarterly profit-margin.

The quarterly focus is also destroying the willingness of young Americans to take up innovative careers, the research manager said: 

By implementing that compliant [Indian] workforce and shoving out the people that created most of the innovation and technology, you made younger people not want to do it anymore. They’re not gonna work flat out for 15 years, get passed over in middle age. … They’re not going to do things like that for you now. 

But that loss of innovation helps the top managers and shareholders of today’s top companies keep control of the entire high-tech sector, said Heath. He continued:

The high-tech revolution began in the United States for a reason. It was the fact that American workers are among the greatest scientists, engineers, and mathematicians that the world has ever seen. By hiring workers from India, these billionaire oligarchs, they’ve taken over the workforce and they’ve taken over the technology because American workers are being cut out of the operation. It’s killing the goose that laid the Golden Egg.

“We put people lives on the line with software, so there is a great need for professionalism,” said Miano. “But what executives want is someone who is the [payroll] equivalent of a ditch digger creating new cardio pacemakers and the Boeing 737 Max.”

Valley executives have long tried to corral their professional employees. In 2014, for example, four of the major companies to pay perhaps $325 million to 64,000 plaintiffs for allegedly colluding between 2005 and 2009 to limit the freedom of American professionals to switch jobs. This alleged behavior was illegal, the fine was modest, and the political pushback was trivial. So now the Valley’s executives are using the imported H-1B workforce to grab the legal control that they have long sought over American professionals.

Yet Silicon Valley’s top executives admit that China is innovating them out of business.

The Valley now needs a bailout from Washington, DC, said a February 27 article by Eric Schmidt, one of the former Silicon Valley chieftains who served as CEO of Google while the sector discarded its American professionals. Schmidt’s op-ed in the New York Times admitted:

Important trends are not in our favor. America’s lead in artificial intelligence, for example, is precarious. A.I. will open new frontiers in everything from biotechnology to banking, and it is also a Defense Department priority. Leading the world in A.I. is essential to growing our economy and protecting our security. A recent study considering more than 100 metrics finds that the United States is well ahead of China today but will fall behind in five to 10 years. China also has almost twice as many supercomputers and about 15 times as many deployed 5G base stations as the United States. If current trends continue, China’s overall investments in research and development are expected to surpass those of the United States within 10 years, around the same time its economy is projected to become larger than ours.

Schmidt’s preferred fix would reaffirm the investors’ preference for compliant foreign workers:

A majority of computer scientists with graduate degrees working in America were born abroad, as were most current graduate students studying computer science in U.S. universities. They are a source of national strength. A vast majority want to stay and contribute to American innovation. We must make it easier for them to do so.

Cato’s report spotlighted the growing problem of bonded service. But Cato’s proposed fix would give employers more green cards so they can attract and reward more foreign workers. “Abandoning per-country limits would be a good first step, but it would be insufficient to prevent unsustainable waits for all immigrants. Congress also needs to increase the number of green cards dramatically to resolve this crisis,” Cato said.

Americans’ professionalism dies when companies get their private supply of labor out India’s caste culture, said Miano. “What you’re seeing is the same pattern throughout history — business wants cheap foreign labor,” he said, adding:

We need to focus our immigration policy on benefiting ordinary Americans. We have a system that only benefits a small group. It is akin to the United States in the 1860s when only a small group benefited from slavery. Here we have created a system where Jeff Bezos benefits while everyone else gets screwed.

But India’s workforce already dominates lower-level and mid-management positions in many once-innovative companies — including Microsoft — below the board level, say Indians and Americans. 

“I went out there [to a West Coast company] for a series of meetings,” the research manager told Breitbart News. “I went out to this building out there, and I was the only white guy in the place,” he said.

The manager added, “Now let me get this right, let me paint a picture for you: The only other white people were the Americans who were serving lunch to the Indians.”


Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at

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H-1B Visa Workers Don’t Hurt Jobs, Wages

President Donald Trump may not help Americans if he blocks foreign H-1B visa workers from getting the white-collar jobs sought by unemployed Americans, says a May 18 report by a business-boosted pro-migration group, the National Foundation for American Policy.

“There is little reason to think doing so will help American workers,” says the report, authored by Madeline Zavodny at the University of North Florida.

The study relies on data from 2005 to 2018 to claim a correlation: “The presence of H-1B visa holders [are] associated with lower unemployment rates and faster earnings growth among college graduates, including recent college graduates.”

The report comes as business groups lobby President Donald Trump not to curb the visa worker program amid the coronavirus crash and the 2020 reelection campaign.

On April 22, Trump directed his agencies to review the visa worker programs that keep an army of roughly 1.3 million white-collar visa workers in the United States. The foreign workers are imported via the H-1B, L-1, OPT, CPT, H4EAD, TN, and B-1 programs.

Opponents say the visa programs reduce Americans’ salaries and displace many graduates from starter jobs and mid-career jobs.

Zavodny downplays the displacement, writing: “The results indicate H-1B visa holders do not adversely affect U.S.-born college graduates during the early years of their careers.”

Yet in a 2015 study, Zavodny recognized that immigrants can push Americans out of technology careers. “We find some evidence that immigration adversely affects whether US-born women who graduated from college majored in a science or engineering field,” said a summary of her study, “Does Immigration Affect Whether US Natives Major in Science and Engineering?”

“More-established older [American] workers are relatively immune from such [H-1B] competition,” Zavodny wrote in her new report, despite many lawsuits and much data showing massive displacement of American workers.

However, Ben Prusinki, a U.S. database expert, provided contrary evidence in September 2018:

“I want to say is that the most destructive thing in this country to the American worker, from my experience, has been the guest worker visa program,” Prusinski said, adding:

There are multiple versions of this that [President Bill] Clinton and {President George W.] Bush passed in the 1990s that impacted the American worker in a very severe way.

H-1B, H4[EAD], OPT visas. Numerous visas, that originally were intended to provide special needs for corporations that couldn’t find hard-to-fill positions. Unfortunately, this process has been abused to import cheap labor into this country, and also [to] outsource of lots of highly skilled jobs to India and China.

In my [prior] job at Hitachi Data Systems. I worked as a master architect, with storage, compute, and database systems, and I was very qualified for this position. But my job was sent overseas to India.

[Hitachi used] a third party, Indian contract agency that staff a lot of their IT/Oracle jobs. And my boss specifically went to India on a business trip for that purpose. I can’t say anything else about that for legal reasons because of my severance agreement I signed with Hitachi over a year ago. But that’s just one example.

Years ago, this started when I worked for DC government as a contractor on Oracle E-Business Suite project, and I was replaced by an H-1B [visa worker]. And the following week, this particular Indian national on H-1B visa was crying, calling me, and begging me to help him with his Oracle database issue. But I had been let go, replaced by him, so I told him “I’m not getting paid, so I’m not going to train you to do your work because you replaced me on this job. I wish you best of luck. but you’re [supposedly] qualified, you should be able to do the work.”

So right now [In September 2018], the situation I’m faced with is, I’ve been out of work for a year. My unemployment benefits are exhausted. I’m running out of funds to pay my rent and my food, and I’m on food stamps. it’s embarrassing. I have the skills for most of these IT database jobs. And I have the proven work history and skills to do them.

What is happening is that I’m applying for hundreds and hundreds of these database jobs. As soon as I apply, within 24 hours I get an instant rejection email saying, “Mr Prusinki, you’re qualified but we’re looking at better candidates.” The other thing that happens is I go on interviews. At Sony in San Diego, California, were I interviewed, it was over 90 percent Indian nationals in the database field.

Also, another company I interviewed with a couple years ago was Apple, and as a shareholder in Apple, this really pisses me off. Because I interviewed for a database job at Apple in Sunnyvale, California, and it was all Indian nationals. Now, you cannot tell me there are no qualified Americans to do the job or myself, and millions of Americans have the skills and technology, and you’re hiring foreign nationals into these positions that qualified Americans like myself can do the work.

I didn’t get the job. I suffered a four-hour interview of grilling by 10 Indians at Apple, and as a shareholder of Apple this really upsets me.

I will not buy any more Apple products as long as I live, as long as it continues to pre-reject Americans from the workplace, because it violates the EOCC laws. It is unethical as well. Like I said, I don’t have anything against Indians or Chinese or any other ethnic group.

This is a labor issue that Congress needs to investigate because it violates EEOC laws in hiring and it discriminates against all Americans regardless of religion, belief, or national origin.

Zavodny offered two clashing explanations for her claimed correlation of H-1Bs and higher wages for Americans:

The existence of the H-1B program causes some employers to expand – or at least not decrease – the number of jobs open to [rival] American workers … [and] some employers turn to the H-1B program not because it enables them to hire workers more cheaply but because they cannot otherwise hire workers at all in the United States. [Empahsis added]

But the first explanation is undermined by the fast-growing unemployment rate that has released many Americans from the jobs held by H-1Bs.

The second explanation — the claimed “lack of workers” problem — can be ameliorated by the education sector or by higher salary offers to U.S. professionals.

Zavodny downplays the alternative explanation for her claimed correlation of H-1Bs and wage increases from 2005 to 2018: That the huge supply of foreign H-1B workers did not take all the jobs in a fast-growing economy.

“For less-skilled workers, there’s no question that immigration increases unemployment,” said Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. But, he continued:

If you are reasonably well-educated American working in say, technology, and you are displaced by a foreign worker [such as an H-1B contract worker], you’ll still probably find a job at a lower level of skill. You can work at Starbucks, you could be doing a number of things because you have a higher level of skill. But a lower-skilled American does not have anywhere to go.

So it is not really telling us much that high-skilled Americans are not more likely to be unemployed [amid immigration]. The question is: Are they employed in the occupation they used to have?

In current circumstances, it is entirely possible that higher-skilled Americans might not be able to find any work.

Many business groups, Democrats, and even pro-migration groups quietly admit that the supply of labor does impact the price of labor.

The fact that labor supply shapes wages has been admitted by independent academics, the National Academies of Science, the Congressional Budget OfficeexecutivesThe Economist globalist weekly, more academics, the New York Times, the New York Times again, state officialsunionsmore business executiveslobbyists, employees, the Wall Street Journalfederal economistsGoldman Sachsoil drillers, the Bank of Ireland, Wall Street analystsfired professionals, legislators, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce2015 Bernie Sanders, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, construction workers, New York Times subscribersRobert Rubin, a New York Times columnist, author Barack Obama, and President Barack Obama.

Even the Business Roundtable argued in a report on migrant labor that “average real hourly wages would decline by 17 cents by 2028, due to increased slack in the labor market and fewer productivity gains.”

Each year, the government admits roughly one million new legal immigrants, as well as roughly 600,000 foreign contract-workers, even as 4 million young Americans leave school to look for jobs, careers, marriages, and homes.

That massive annual inflation of the new labor supply transfers enormous wealth from young employees to older shareholders, from heartland states to coastal states, and from small businesses to the stock market.

The NFAP is run by Stuart Anderson, whose bio at shows that he worked for pro-migration GOP legislators:

I am the executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration and related issues based in Arlington, Virginia. From August 2001 to January 2003, I served as Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning and Counselor to the Commissioner at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Before that I spent four and a half years on Capitol Hill on the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, first for Senator Spencer Abraham and then as Staff Director of the subcommittee for Senator Sam Brownback.

Anderson did not respond to calls from Breitbart News.

“There’s no question that NFAP is part of the business coalition that wants to keep the border open,” said Krikorian, whose group works to shrink migration. “NFAP is entirely a creation of the tech lobby … They get to say whatever they want, but there is a very specific financial interest in NFAP’s work.”

“When a lobbyist makes a claim, it means you have to take it very skeptically,’ said Krikorian.

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CDC’s Title 42 Law Saves Border Agents and Migrants from Disease

The administration is preserving the nation’s border and border agents by using a healthcare law to help deport 80 percent of migrants within two hours of arriving at the southern border, officials say.

Congress’ Title 42 law gives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the authority to order border agents to quickly deport migrants before they can spread China’s coronavirus to border agents, migrants, and other people in the United States, a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Breitbart News.

The fast-track deportation rules are needed to prevent migrants from spreading the epidemic throughout detention centers along the border, he said. “If you’re going into Border Patrol custody, you’re going into small confined spaces with a lot of people and Border Patrol agents,” he said, adding:

If you’re coughing, if you have a contagious disease, you’re going to get other people sick around you. Those people then get more people sick, they get Border Patrol agents sick, and you have to potentially shut down the entire Border Patrol station.

Then maybe you are finding entire sectors where hundreds — if not thousands — of Border Patrol agents are calling sick. They can’t go to work. Now we have a danger of drug smuggling [and more migration] …  That’s the concern and that’s exactly what the CDC addresses in the order.

The Title 42 law is being combined with the variety of asylum reforms, court reforms, diplomatic agreements, plus the expanding border wall that have been created by President Donald Trump to prevent migrants from even reaching the border detention centers.

A May 18 statement from Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said:

CBP facilities are not equipped to safely process aliens attempting to enter our country illegally during this unprecedented global health crisis. Under President Trump’s leadership, this administration took decisive action to allow DHS to prevent the illegal entry of aliens at our northern and southern borders. This order continues to keep the American people safe, as well as protect our officers and those in their care and custody. It has been one of the most critical tools the administration has used to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and continue to protect the American people.

This set of defenses allows border agents to detain and process just 100 migrants each day in the border facilities, down from 20,000 per day in early 2019, said a senior official in the Customs and Border Protection agency.

“Real quick math tells me that 99.5 percent decrease in terms of numbers in custody is a huge success story,” he added.

Initially, DHS officials expected the Title 42 law would prompt lawsuits by pro-migration groups, such as the ACLU or the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

“We were expecting to get sued,” said the senior DHS official, adding:

We’re kind of surprised that we haven’t gotten sued. Here’s why I think we haven’t got sued: Who wants to be the judge who unleashes … 20,000 or more coronavirus infected folks into the United States? We all know that some of these judges are kind of liberal and are willing to be open-borders. But this is another thing entirely. I just think we haven’t gotten sued because nobody wants to do it.

The importance of Title 42 was demonstrated by the arrest of one group of four illegal migrants, said the senior CBP official:

Just to give you an example of one person that we apprehended back in April [when] patrol agents encountered a group of four that had illegally crossed the border near Calexico into California.

It was three Mexican nationals and one Indian national. All four of them crossed the border illegally. The Mexican nationals were expelled under Title 42, and the Indian national was taken to the border patrol facility for processing.

He received an initial medical interview outside of the facility. And it was determined that he was exhibiting [coronavirus] symptoms. He was transported to another facility where he was isolated … they came outside to the parking lot to give him a swab test. Two days later, it came back positive.

[To get to Calexico] the Indian national had traveled throughout the Western Hemisphere, from his home country to Brazil. He actually went to Ethiopia, and then to Brazil, Lima in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico — two different locations in Mexico — before he came to the United States. We know that he was with 10 other Indian nationals at the same time down in Central America. And as I mentioned, he was apprehended with the Mexican nationals that were returned to Mexico.

Had he been apprehended in circumstances as they applied a year ago, both with the volume and the procedures for taking that individual and putting him into [a detention] setting, in very close quarters with lots of other aliens, particularly for a long period of time at the peak of the crisis. It’s unthinkable [the impact] that single individual could have had. In fact, we know from other Covid scenarios that one person in one location can be responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of cases. So it’s hard to overestimate the difference between taking in that individual … compared to what it would have been a year ago.

The administration is expected to announce an expanded version of the Title 42 process in the near future.

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Democrats’ Coronavirus Bill Imports More Foreign Doctors, Nurses

The House Democrats’ next coronavirus bill will help centralize the nation’s healthcare system by giving hospital chains more power to import many more doctors from overseas, say critics.

The wider pipeline of migrants would help healthcare companies expand their marketplace reach, but it would also sideline many U.S. healthcare professionals and many Americans who want to become doctors, said Kevin Lynn, the founder of Doctors without Jobs and U.S. Tech Workers.

“What we don’t see in this bill is an investment in our people,” he said. “We’re going to make it easier for foreign healthcare workers to come here and work under the umbrella of fighting ‘COVD-19.’”

That is bad news for many thousands of Americans who have passed medical tests but have been denied a slot in the limited number of gateway residency jobs at hospitals, he said. Congress should help Americans help each other by providing more funds to train Americans to become doctors and nurses, he said.

More training of Americans would also reduce the corporate extraction of doctors and nurses from poor countries, such as India, Nigeria, and Sudan, he said. “If you are a doctor from Sudan, would the value-added of remaining in Sudan be greater than adding one more doctor in the United States?”

The Democrats’ bill is dubbed the HEROES Act, and it:

provides fast-track green cards for immigrant doctors who have coronavirus patients, and creates a new block of 12,000 green cards for foreign doctors plus their families.

gives fast-track work permits for foreign medical professionals, including doctors and nurses who work with victims of China’s coronavirus.

grants work permits for foreign nurses, doctors, and scientists who are working on coronavirus care and treatments.

requires the Department of Homeland Security to accept state medical-licensing rules, so helping companies import more foreign medical professionals via the least-demanding state.

allows foreign doctors in the U.S. on H-1B work visas to treat patients via telemedicine. This would help hospital chains to treat Americans with long-distance foreign doctors instead of with face-to-face interactions with American doctors.

The legislation also provides work permits for a huge number of illegal migrants who have jobs in the very broad category of “essential critical infrastructure.” That category includes janitors and food workers in hospitals, as well as stoop labor in agriculture.

The demand for foreign medical workers comes as many thousands of U.S. doctors and nurses have been furloughed amid the collapse in consumer demand following the coronavirus crash. In April, the medical sector lost 1.4 million jobs.

The new unemployment adds to the nation’s huge number of retired and part-time medical professionals.

Democrats are also using the crisis to push for greater immigration, despite the overwhelming public demand that Americans get hired for any jobs during the crash.

Many GOP legislators oppose legislation that would expand the award of green cards to migrants. So the bill claims not to create new green cards, but only to “recapture previously unused immigrant visas” that were available in prior years but which were not used.

In the short term, the ‘HEROES’ bill is unlikely to pass, but it shows that the nation’s healthcare industry wants to flood the market with hospital-managed foreign doctors and nurses, said Lynn.

This rush of new workers will be used by hospital chains to boost revenues and forced down wages — and to undermine Americans’ preference for dealing with familiar, local doctors, he said.

The hospital chains are already boosting their market share in the nation’s healthcare sector by buying up doctors’ officers, Lynn said. As the hospitals used imported doctors to fill the former offices of local doctors, they can funnel patients towards high-profit hospital services, he said.

The Democrats’ draft bill would allow the hospital chains to import more doctors to expand those vertical networks, he said. “It would preserve the profit margins — it doesn’t lead to better healthcare outcomes,” he said.

However, the healthcare sector is winning support in the Senate for a broader bill that would help healthcare companies gain more power over the supply of new doctors and nurses.

GOP Sen. David Perdue, (R-Ga.) is championing a companion bill that would provide 40,000 extra green cards for healthcare employers to import more foreign-trained doctors and nurse.

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act is backed by the major industry groups in the healthcare sector, including the American Medical Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Hospital Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and, an advocacy group for West Coast investors.

The bill is backed by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at

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Amnesty Advocates Say Illegal Migrants Are Essential Heroes

Amnesty advocates are working overtime to portray illegal migrants as heroic essential workers in the national campaign to contain China’s coronavirus.

“We have started talking about essential workers as a category of superheroes,” according to Andrew Selee, the president of the pro-migration Migration Policy Institute. The illegal aliens who work as “essential workers” deserve an amnesty if the epidemic continues, he suggested in a New York Times op-ed. “[We should think] in a bold way about how do we deal with essential workers who have put their life on the line for all of us but who don’t have legal documents,” he said.

Illegal aliens in the healthcare sector, “regardless of their place of birth, these individuals undoubtedly represent the best of America,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said April 28.

“They’re the Face of COVID-19 Response,” claims a May 7 post by Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The Zuckerberg post showcases the stories of four attractive college-educated illegal migrants who were brought as children to the United States and were then educated by American taxpayers. The initiative’s globalist theme is “A Future For Everyone,” even though recruiters at Zuckerberg’s Facebook company bypass U.S. graduates to instead hire foreign H-1B and OPT workers.

Zuckerberg’s pitch was amplified by Todd Schulte, director of, which is a pro-migration advocacy group founded by Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and other wealthy investors.

Many illegal aliens hold jobs that require hard work, diligence, and skill. A very small percentage of illegal aliens are trained medical experts, but most are unskilled laborers working for low wages in the food and hospitality industries. The illegal aliens are vastly outnumbered by roughly 280 million Americans and roughly 34 million legal immigrants — but these illegal aliens drive down the wages and salaries paid by companies to hardworking Americans.

Yet the Democrats’ praise for illegal migrants exposes their dislike of the ordinary Americans, said Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. For many progressives, he said, “immigrants are better than we are … immigrants are supermen of a sort, and we are whimpering people who need to curl up in our apartment and never leave again.”

This biased view matches their political ambitions, he said. Progressives want to “use the virus to bootstrap an amnesty … [because] they are creeped out by ordinary Americans,” he said. 

“Where would we be if 41,000 DACA protectees and 11,000 TPS holders [in the healthcare sector] picked up and left us?” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) asked in a May 5 comment. “We’d be in much worse shape, and we know it …We need them today,” he said. 

Durbin used the #ImmigrantHealthHeroes hashtag to push for the legalization of illegal aliens who are now temporarily legal under the Deferred Arrival for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] and the Temporary Protect Status [TPS] programs. “Let’s recognize that America is ‘a nation of immigrants,’” he added, referring to the 1960s claim that the United States is a place for migrants, not a nation for Americans. 

“We need Congress to pass a comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform bill,” he said, promising to use the next coronavirus emergency bill to extend the temporary legal status for the DACA and TPS illegal migrants. 

More than 200,000 DACA and 130,000 TPS migrants have jobs defined as “essential workers,” Durbin said.

The “essential worker” term includes healthcare jobs as well as jobs on farms, in restaurants, food processing, transportation, and the security of critical facilities, such as waters, as well as banking, childcare workers, retail workers in hardware stories, janitors, and trash workers.

The vast majority of workers in these sectors are native-born Americans, not migrants, and the essential jobs held by illegal aliens can be performed by millions of the suddenly unemployed American blue-collar and white-collar workers.

The Center for Immigration Studies reported in August 2018:

Among the 474 separate occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, we find only a handful of majority-immigrant occupations, and none completely dominated by immigrants (legal or illegal). Furthermore, in none of the 474 occupations do illegal immigrants constitute a majority of workers.

For example, companies provide the reward of green cards to roughly 50,000 foreign visa workers each year after those foreign workers have taken technology jobs from Americans via the H-1B and other visa programs.

DACA migrants provide a tiny share of U.S. medical workers, Camarota told Breitbart News. The claimed number of 29,000 DACA healthcare workers “translates to just 0.2% of the nation’s 14.5 million health care workers,” as CAP defines it.

Moreover, many additional healthcare experts have volunteered to work on the disease in New York and California but have not been mobilized by the state government, according to press reports. The New York Times reported April 18:

As of Wednesday, more than 90,000 retired and active health care workers had signed up online to volunteer at the epicenter of the pandemic, including 25,000 from outside New York, the governor’s office said.

Putting them to work, however, has been a different story.

New York City hospitals have only deployed 908 volunteers as of Wednesday, according to city health officials.

But the data does not make any difference to the pro-migration advocates.

“Honor immigrants on COVID-19 front lines by helping their families stay here,” said a May 4 op-ed by two lawyers in the Des Moines Register. “Honor is rightly due to these new American heroes … many of them do not have a path to permanent residency and citizenship.”

“It’s very hypocritical to say that we think these [illegal migrant] workers are essential and at the same time talking about deporting people from this country,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) an India-born advocate for migrants. House Democrats are “pushing very, very hard” to get an amnesty for younger illegal aliens, dubbed DACA migrants, she said, according to

Legal and illegal immigrants are “disproportionately represented in the very workers most essential in the U.S. right now,” said Laura Collins, the director of the George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative. “We need immigrants to help start new businesses, jump-starting entrepreneurship when many others will be too scared to risk opening a business again,” she said in a May 5 op-ed for the San Antonio Express-News.

But “immigrants and the native-born will not compete with each other for opportunities in the post-pandemic economic recovery,” she insisted.

“It’s time to offer all essential workers a path to legalization,” said a New York Times op-ed, which focused on the stoop-labor illegal migrants who harvest single asparagus sticks with a long knife, while ignoring the machines which rapidly harvest asparagus fields.

“Immigrants were keeping America’s health care system afloat before the coronavirus,” an immigrant investor claimed in an op-ed. “When we do get through this, we’ll be able to retell the story of America as a country built by fearless, men and women seeking a new beginning for themselves and their families. We’ll remind the world that, especially in a time of crisis, America remains a ‘nation of immigrants.’”

“#ImmigrantHealthHeroes Is Highlighting The Immigrant Health Care Workers Keeping Us All Safe,” says a headline posted by a pro-migration website,

New York Attorney General Letitia James also pushed the migrants-save-Americans claim:

“The reality is that immigrants are the backbone of the U.S. economy, are already on the front lines of pandemic response, and will also be key to the economic recovery,” claimed the progressive Justice Action Center. 

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Trump Demands Cost Estimates for Painting the Border Wall

President Donald Trump has asked contractors to provide price estimates for painting the border wall with sun-absorbing black paint, according to the Washington Post.

The May 6 report says:

The Post obtained a copy of painting estimates that federal contracting officials produced, and it shows costs ranging from $500 million for two coats of acrylic paint to more than $3 billion for a premium “powder coating” on the structure’s 30-foot steel bollards, the high end of the options the officials have identified.

However, the Washington Post repeatedly suggests that Trump has actually ordered the money be spent to paint the wall:

President Trump is once more pushing to have his border wall painted black, a design change that is projected to add at least $500 million in costs, according to government contracting estimates obtained by The Washington Post.

Trump has not let go of the idea, insisting that the dark color will enhance its forbidding appearance and leave the steel too hot to touch during summer months. During a border wall meeting at the White House last month [in April] amid the coronavirus pandemic, the president told senior adviser Jared Kushner and aides to move forward with the paint job and to seek out cost estimates, according to four administration officials with knowledge of the meeting.

“POTUS has changed his mind and now wants the fence painted. We are modifying contracts to add,” said one official involved in the construction effort who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired.

The Post‘s focus on border-wall paint “is just Trump-hating porn,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “The reason this story gets traction [in the media] is because it resonates with our [D.C.] leadership class which opposes border control of any kind,” he said.

“How the government should deal with the mechanics of border-wall construction …  is just another opportunity to attack the bad orange man,” partly because it allows reporters and D.C. elite to ignore more important issues, such as Trump’s rejection of popular demands for curbs on the lucrative inflow of blue-collar and white-collar guest workers, he said.

Overall, Trump’s lengthening border wall has helped to sharply reduce blue-collar migration from Central America.

This reduction is made possible by a series of legal measures that have ended the catch and release of migrants.

These measures include diplomatic deals that allow agency officials to quickly fly migrants back to other countries in Central America, so preventing the migrants from getting the U.S. jobs they need to pay off smuggling debts to the cartel-backed coyotes.

Trump’s deputies are promising to have 500 miles of border fencing completed in early 2021.

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College Grads Face ‘Deaths of Despair’ Epidemic

The rising rates of suicides, drug overdoses, and other “Deaths of Despair” can spread from blue-collar white Americans to the broader group of poor Americans who hold low wage college degrees, says Angus Deaton, one of two professors who detected the post-2000 epidemic.

“Increasingly, people with a B.A. [degree] are being threatened by these things too,” Angus Deaton said in a May 4 interview by the Economic Policy Institute.

“Capitalism is working for the educated elite, and it’s just not working for anyone else, and the [civic] danger is that the educated elite is going to get smaller and smaller, and eliter and eliter,” Deaton told the EPI. He continued:

I thought [white working-class voters] did rebel by electing Donald Trump, I mean it’s in some sense they were a lot of people … they’re the people who have been done very badly over a long period of time. They don’t seem to be well represented … The Democratic Party seems to have abandoned working-class people, and you know it’s a form of an alliance between the educated elite and the [non-white] minorities … So we do need a political realignment, I think, which gets a real voice for working-class people again.

Since 2000, roughly 600,000 blue-collar white Americans have died as their traditional workplaces have shut down and their traditional civic supports– marriage, sports clubs, churches — have shriveled amid the loss of good jobs, said Deaton’s co-author, Anne Case.

The 600,000 blue-collars died from opioids, fentanyl, alcoholism, suicide, and other “Deaths of Despair,” while the death rates for college graduates remained flat, she said.


The death toll was smaller than the much-publicized 675,000 dead from AIDS from the 1980s, Princeton economics professors Deaton and Case write in their new book, Deaths of DespairThe toll, they write, “is the equivalent of three full 737 MAXs falling out of the sky every day [for three years], with no survivors.”

“We think that the long term labor market decline for less-educated workers has a lot to do with this story,” Case told EPI:

You need to go back all the way to the 1970s. We don’t think necessarily the [decline in] material welfare is the direct cause [of the deaths], but [it is the] lack of a stable job, a good job. It brings a loss of community, of marriage. of meaning and status in life, and we think it is those effects that … help us to better understand why these [economic changes] might lead to long term deaths from these causes.

Amid rising migration alongside the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China, Former President Barack Obama largely ignored the rising blue-collar death toll, according to a March 2019 report by the Washington Post, titled “The Fentanyl Failure.” The report concluded:

“The fentanyl crisis represents an extraordinary public health challenge — and requires an extraordinary public health response,” the experts wrote [in March 2016] to six administration officials, including the nation’s “drug czar” and the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The administration considered the request but did not act on it.

The decision was one in a series of missed opportunities, oversights and half-measures by federal officials who failed to grasp how quickly fentanyl was creating another — and far more fatal — wave of the opioid epidemic.

On Jan. 11, 2017, in the waning days of the administration, Obama delivered his annual National Drug Control Strategy to Congress. Four years after the epidemic began in Rhode Island, the White House called fentanyl a national crisis.

Since 2017, Trump has accelerated efforts to curb the fentanyl epidemic, and he has reduced the inflow of blue-collar illegal immigrants. The efforts have helped push up wages and employment for blue-collar Americans, and also to push down the drug deaths and to slow the suicide rates.

But Trump has not been able to boost salaries for lower-skilled college graduates, even before the coronavirus crash.

A February report by the EPI showed that roughly 50 percent of college graduates have seen their wages remain flat since 2000. The average wage paid to graduates is up by just 8.8 percent, and the top 10 percent of graduates have seen their wages climb by only 15.1 percent since 2000.

“We’re now seeing that wage stagnation and inequality trends are even impacting people with a bachelor degree,” said Thea Lee, EPI’s president told Case and Deaton. “Increasingly, recent college graduates are taking jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree, and we also see when we look at the 10-year forecast from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that much of the new job creation doesn’t actually require a B.A.”

Salary levels for college graduates have been held down by a flood of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers, including the approximately 900,000 H-1B workers who are resident in the United States.

Political pressure from native-born Americans and many legal immigrants is pushing President Donald Trump to gradually reduce the inflow of legal immigrants, even after he has successfully blocked large-scale illegal migration from Mexico. On April 22, Trump announced curbs on legal immigration and directed his agency chiefs to draw up plans for cutbacks to the visa worker programs by late May.

But many Fortune 500 companies and investors strongly back Congress’s policy of inflating the labor supply with migrants and visa workers. To block Trump, they have now launched a hard-nosed lobbying campaign and a soft-focus P.R. campaign in cooperation with various allies, including left-wing groups and former President George W. Bush. The campaign is also supported by Mike Bloomberg and by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

For example, Bloomberg’s media company uses the H-1B program to import many immigrant software experts and journalists. This inflow helps Bloomberg to minimize the payroll he offers to American graduates and journalists.

Many American graduates say the vast foreign worker population blocks young Americans from getting starter jobs at Fortune 500 companies, reduces salaries for millions of U.S. graduates, and degrades Americans’ professional careers into a series of unstable monthly “gig” contracts.

The supply of subsidized foreign white-collar labor also allows business school executives to degrade the workplace authority and free speech of innovative American professionals, to subordinate the development and reliability of technology to the priorities of foreign workers and also to subordinate technological quality to the demands for quarterly profits by U.S. and Indian CEOs and investors.

The coronavirus crash is helping to widen the growing gap between the Internet-using elites and the Americans who must work in shared spaces, Deaton said.

This educated elite like us, you know — we can sit at home and look into our Zoom screens all day, sheltered safely. We’re probably more productive than we’ve ever been. And we get paid. So the coronavirus] is certainly widening this gap between the people who were subject to deaths with despair [and] it’s not a white [only] problem here. I mean this is a problem for all working people.

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at

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Labor Department Cheats American Graduates

President Donald Trump’s Department of Labor cheats many millions of American graduates by allowing employers to import foreign contract workers at below-market wages, says a May 4 report by the Economic Policy Institute.

“DOL lets H-1B employers undercut local wages,” said the report, titled “H-1B visas and prevailing wage levels.” The report continues:

Sixty percent of H-1B positions certified by the U.S. Department of Labor are assigned wage levels well below the local median wage for the occupation. While H-1B program rules allow this, DOL has the authority to change it—but hasn’t.

The H-1B program allows employers to import roughly 100,000 foreign graduates each year, just as 800,000 young Americans graduate from colleges with skilled degrees in business, health care, design, software, and science.

The labor department allows companies to import their foreign workers — mostly from poor India — under cheap, no-benefits contracts. This policy undercuts U.S. graduates who must earn higher salaries to pay off debts to expensive U.S. colleges, pay U.S.-level health insurance, and buy houses in U.S. districts made expensive by the annual inflow of immigrants.

The report says:

In fiscal 2019, a total of 60% of H-1B positions certified by DOL had been assigned wage levels well below the local median wage for the occupation: 14% were at H-1B Level 1 (the 17th percentile) and 46% were at H-1B Level 2 (34th percentile).

The report urges the labor department to protect Americans by raising the minimum wages that must be paid to the visa workers:

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has broad discretion to set H-1B wage levels, that is, the minimum wage employers must pay their H-1B workers, which corresponds to the H-1B workers’ occupation and the region where they will be employed. By law, DOL must set four H-1B wage levels—which it does according to wage survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics survey. DOL has set the two lowest levels (of the four) well below the local median wage.

Changing program rules to require and enforce above-median wages for H-1B workers would disincentivize the hiring of H-1B workers as a money-saving exercise, ensuring that companies will use the program as intended—to bring in workers who have special skills—instead of using the H-1B as a way to fill entry-level positions at a discount.

We recommend that DOL use its existing authority to set the lowest (Level 1) wage to the 75th percentile for the occupation and local area and also require that wage offers to H-1B workers never be lower than the national median wage for the occupation.

Eugene Scalia heads the department of labor. The visa programs are overseen by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, which is now run by a former counsel for President Geoge W. Bush.

The visa programs have helped to suppress salaries for college graduates for at least 20 years. Since 2000, wages for the top ten percent of U.S. college graduates have only grown 15 percent, while wages for average graduates have grown just 8.8 percent, according to a February report by the EPI.

On April 22, Trump directed his deputies to recommend changes to the visa workes programs so that Americans can regain jobs as the economy recovers. Unsurprisingly, business groups oppose any curbs on the visa worker programs.

The overall population of H-1B contract workers is roughly 900,000. They are imported alongside a wide variety of other contract workers, including OPTs, CPTs, L-1s, J-1s, TNs, E-3s, and B-1s. The resident population of white-collar visa workers is roughly 1.5 million.

Roughly 53,000 employers use the H-1B outsourcing program, but most of the foreign workers are imported by a few Fortune 500 companies, according to the report.

While over 53,000 employers used the H-1B program in 2019, the top 30 H-1B employers accounted for more than one in four of all 389,000 H-1B petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2019.

… Half of the top 30 H-1B employers use an outsourcing business model to provide staff for third-party clients, rather than employing H-1B workers directly to fill a special need at the company that applies for the visa.

…  Among the top 30 H-1B employers are major U.S. firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Google, Apple, and Facebook. All of them take advantage of program rules in order to legally pay many of their H-1B workers below the local median wage for the jobs they fill.

The elite employers use the program to undercut salaries for American graduates by using foreign contract workers at the lowest of the four levels. The report says:

  • Amazon and Microsoft each had three-fourths or more of their H-1B positions assigned as Level 1 or Level 2.

  • Walmart and Uber had roughly half of their H-1B positions assigned as Level 1 or Level 2.

  • IBM had three-fifths of its H-1B positions assigned as Level 1 or Level 2.

  • Qualcomm and Salesforce had two-fifths of their H-1B positions assigned as Level 1 or Level 2.

  • Google had over one-half assigned as Level 2.

  • Apple had one-third of its H-1B positions assigned as Level 2

The report spotlights the potential for companies to spike their stock market value by slashing their payroll costs with an imported workforce.

But the EPI report ignores many hidden costs of the H-1B program that are also ignored by business groups.

For example, numerous Americans say the existence of this vast foreign worker population blocks many young Americans from getting starter jobs at Fortune 500 companies, reduces salaries for millions of U.S. graduates, and degrades Americans’ professional careers into a series of unstable monthly “gig” contracts.

The supply of subsidized foreign white-collar labor also allows business school executives to degrade the workplace authority and free speech of innovative American professionals, to subordinate the development and reliability of technology to the priorities of foreign workers and also to subordinate technological quality to the demands for quarterly profits by U.S. and Indian CEOs and investors.

These hidden costs are ignored by the Silicon Valley companies, whose many visa workers at helping them the competition against Chinese companies. For example, Eric Schmidt, one of the former H-1B advocates at Google, is  calling for a Valley bailout that would provide yet more H-1B visa workers:

Important trends are not in our favor. America’s lead in artificial intelligence, for example, is precarious. A.I. will open new frontiers in everything from biotechnology to banking, and it is also a Defense Department priority. Leading the world in A.I. is essential to growing our economy and protecting our security. A recent study considering more than 100 metrics finds that the United States is well ahead of China today but will fall behind in five to 10 years. China also has almost twice as many supercomputers and about 15 times as many deployed 5G base stations as the United States. If current trends continue, China’s overall investments in research and development are expected to surpass those of the United States within 10 years, around the same time its economy is projected to become larger than ours.

We should undertake major efforts to train up-and-coming scientists and engineers, and attract more global technology experts to the United States. A majority of computer scientists with graduate degrees working in America were born abroad, as were most current graduate students studying computer science in U.S. universities. They are a source of national strength. A vast majority want to stay and contribute to American innovation. We must make it easier for them to do so.

Trump’s directions to his agency leaders to reconsider the visa programs will start a fight within the White House as reforms try to get Americans into the Fortune 500 jobs and investors’ lobbyists try to protect their supply of cheap labor. Trump is expected to announce policy changes in early June.

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Import More Migrants Because Americans Can’t Get It Done

The United States will need even more immigrants once the economy has recovered from the coronavirus crash, according to the editorial board of Mike Bloomberg’s news site.

“The U.S. will need to bring in more foreign talent, not less, to fill labor shortages in critical fields, notably health care, and to promote innovation,” the editorial board of claimed.

“The [post-crash] goals should be to increase immigrant admissions overall, while prioritizing skills over family ties, strengthening border security, and providing a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country,” said the board.

The board strongly supports the federal policy of subsidizing investors and companies with an annual inflow of one million legal immigrant consumers, renters, and workers.

The annual inflow of one million legal immigrants is boosted by the resident army of roughly two million imported contract workers — including H-1B and H-2B workers — plus at least one million temporary workers, plus at least eight million illegal migrants. Every year, this imported population of roughly 45 million people helps investors by cutting wages and raising rents for the four million young Americans who enter the labor force.

Bloomberg’s media company uses the H-1B program to import many immigrant software experts and journalists. This inflow helps Bloomberg to minimize the payroll he offers to American graduates and journalists.

The Bloomberg board also linked their editorial to a pro-migration study by Bloomberg’s advocacy group, dubbed New American Economy.

But political pressure from native-born Americans and from many legal immigrants is pushing President Donald Trump to gradually reduce the inflow of legal immigrants, even after he has successfully blocked large-scale illegal migration from Mexico. On April 22, Trump announced curbs on legal immigration and directed his agency chiefs to draw up plans for cutbacks to the visa worker programs by late May.

Many Fortune 500 companies and many billionaire investors strongly back the federal government’s policy of inflating the labor supply with migrants and visa workers. To block Trump, they have now launched a hard-nosed lobbying campaign and a soft-focus PR campaign in cooperation with various allies, including left-wing groups and former President George W. Bush. The campaign is also supported by Bloomberg and by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The board’s editorial did make one minor concession to public opinion, saying, “with unemployment soaring, some tailored, temporary restrictions on immigration can be justified.”

In his brief $1 billion campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Mike Bloomberg repeatedly insisted that the United States needs to import more immigrants for employers. In January, Breitbart News reported:

“This country needs more immigrants and we should be out looking for immigrants,” Bloomberg told the San Diego Union-Tribune on January 5.

“For those who need an oboe player for a symphony, we want the best one. We need a striker for a soccer team, we want to get the best one. We want a farmworker, we want to get the best one. A computer programmer, we want to get the best one. So we should be out looking for more immigrants.”

“If business were able to hire without restrictions from anywhere in the world, pretty much every [American’s] occupation would be foreignized,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. He continued: “Americans would have to accept dramatically lower earnings, whether they object or not. Not just landscapers and tomato pickers, [because] Indians and Chinese by the millions can do nursing and accounting. There would not be any job that would not see its earnings fall to the global average.”

Bloomberg’s board acknowledged that the public opposes their demand for yet more wage-cutting, rent-raising migrants. “Sensible reform this side of November’s election already looked unlikely; the pandemic has made it all but unthinkable,” the board said.

That view is shared by one of Bloomberg’ op-ed columnists, Noah Smith. He wrote April 27, that “We pro-immigration people [have] lost, thanks to external events, the rabid insane commitment of the anti-immigration forces, and the natural ending of the immigration wave.”

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at

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