Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guestworkers Take U.S. Jobs

The United States now allows 700,000 guestworkers to enter our country every year. Estimates are that the Gang of 8's proposal will increase the number to over a million a year, not counting the legalization of those now illegally in the U.S., plus anticipated future immigration. Business is now demanding a large new guestworker category called "lesser-skilled" to take restaurant, retailing and janitorial jobs. Economist Jared Bernstein, in his book called Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? accuses the guestworker program of being a power play by the business class and a disruption of the free market which shifts wealth to the powerful. The free market is supposed to let prices and wages rise whenever there is a shortage, but that doesn't happen when our government artificially nullifies any shortage by bringing in more lower-paid workers.

The guestworker system is hurting black Americans, too. Yolanda Lewis, president and CEO of the Oakland-based Black Economic Council, stated bluntly, Tech companies "do not want to employ Americans. They import labor from overseas, pushing for H-1B visas. Check the job boards. They basically say, 'H-1B Visa. Americans need not apply.'" Census Bureau data show that there are 1.8 million U.S.-born engineers under age 65 who are unemployed or not working as engineers.

Other industries are using H-1B visas for jobs for which there is obviously no shortage of Americans, such as teachers. Prince George's County in Maryland was discovered to have 10 percent of its teaching staff working on H-1B visas, and the Muslim charter schools imported hundreds of teachers from Turkey on H-1B visas. The House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy discovered that H-1B visas were even used to hire fashion models, dancers, chefs, photographers, and social workers.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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