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 Forbes.com 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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