Trump's 'Hire American'
The proposed restructure of the infamous H-1B temporary foreign worker visa program that has been used by Silicon Valley to dump U.S. tech workers is another example of President Trump honoring his "Buy American and Hire American" executive order.
The Department of Homeland Security's December 3 proposed regulatory filing to merge the H-1B's 65,000 temporary foreign worker allotment with the 20,000 specialty occupations exemption allotment, and then require applicants to electronically pre-register, would effectively end outsourcing of routine U.S. jobs, such as health therapists, pharmacists, teachers, fashion designers, and software programmers to foreign workers.
Republican president George H.W. Bush joined Democratic senator Ted Kennedy to pass the Immigration Act of 1990 that expanded U.S. foreign worker visas, implemented family chain migration, and launched the H-1B visa for 65,000 high-skilled workers.
After his 43-day Gulf War triumph three months later, President Bush quoted Winston Churchill in his March 6, 1991 "New World Order" address to Congress to proclaim that American intervention set a precedent for strengthening international cohesion.
Nicknamed the "Einstein Visa," the H-1B program was designed to allow companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require specialized knowledge or experience that was not domestically available.
But H-1B over the next 26 years morphed into a job-outsourcing program that substituted up to 460,000 non-immigrant foreign graduates into U.S. jobs. A blanket H-1B exemption for universities allowed another 107,000 off-the-books foreign hires.
A series of Breitbart News reports in 2015 and 2016 documented actions by Hewlett-Packard, Southern California Edison, Verizon, the University of California, and dozens of Silicon Valley tech firms to replace American high-tech workers with H-1B foreigners. Laid off U.S. workers were having such a hard time finding other jobs that many were contracted to train their H-1B foreign worker replacements.
Despite such exposés, President Obama issued a 2015 executive order that allowed another 100,000 dependent spouses and children of foreigners into the U.S. on H1B visas to receive "Green Card" work permits. Obama also expanded the "Option Practical Training" in 2016 that allowed 330,000 foreign graduates to take intern jobs in 2016.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and venture capitalist Ron Conway founded FWD.US in 2013 to aggressively lobby for immigration reform that would drastically expanded H-1B visas.
The Obama administration thrilled Silicon Valley CEOs on October 1, 2016 by approving H-1B Visa expansions including a 78-percent spike for Amazon, a 53-percent rise for Facebook, and 31-percent bump for Google.
But Donald Trump campaigned relentlessly in 2016 against the Trans Pacific Partnership and outsourcing jobs. After his election triumph, an August 2017 poll found 68 percent of voters opposed to corporations outsourcing.
The draft Department of Homeland Security regulations requirement for a pre-registration database for foreign U.S. graduates will allow applicants to be ranked by their level of advanced education and the level of difficulty to fill a job with a U.S. citizen.
There will still be openings for internationally known fashion designers, international marketing experts, gifted doctors, and brilliant software designers. But such pre-registration restrictions will push up the wage costs to hire foreign workers under H-1B.
The higher cost for corporations to hire more H-1B workers is expected to increase recruiting and pay for laid off and underemployed older U.S. workers who are often shunned in favor of cheaper new college graduates and foreign workers on visas.