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The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is unfair for American workers

A bill for Big Tech and billionaires

June 28, 2019

3:54 PM

28 June 2019

3:54 PM

Republicans claim they want to put Americans first when it comes to immigration. So why are they backing another giveaway to Big Tech and foreign workers at the expense of American citizens?

Several Republican senators, including Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, and Kevin Cramer, have sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. The bill is being for a vote in the Senate by Unanimous Consent, which means skipping all debates. The bill is anything but fair. It would be another special privilege for Silicon Valley — allowing giant corporations to hire more foreign nationals instead of STEM graduates.

The bill would eliminate country caps on legal immigration, which prevent one nationality from monopolizing the allocation of Green Cards. The nationalities most likely to benefit are Indians and Chinese. ‘Indians account for more than 75 percent of all pending employment-based green card applications,’ says Vivek Tandon, founder and CEO of immigration firm EB5 BRICS. Technology services favor these foreign workers largely due to special relationships they have created with outsourcing and immigration placement services in the tech industry. The problem is not the national origin of the workers, but how Big Tech uses them to depress American wages.

Americans are told to study STEM in college in order to get a good job. The bill’s sponsors don’t explain how the bill will benefit Americans. Sens. Lee and Cramer wrote an op-ed in March highlighting how the bill will benefit individual Indian immigrants. It said nothing about how this would affect Americans who are competing against foreign workers for these jobs.

Cotton has also not said what the bill’s advantage is for Americans. He has met with a lobby group that wants to outsource American jobs to India, further showing his support for the removal of the country cap. The Arkansas senator said the act was needed to speed up the Green Card process.

Besides foreign lobby groups, other dubious interests support the bill. The Koch Brothers, who have never met an immigration increase they don’t like, are behind the bill 100 percent. So are Silicon Valley companies who view foreign workers as preferable to American citizens. Microsoft, Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg, and Eric Schmidt of Google’s group FWD.us are all lobbying for the bill. Not surprisingly Zoe Lofgren, who is literally Silicon Valley’s congresswoman, is the primary sponsor in the House.

The bill’s beneficiaries would be foreign workers, tech giants, and billionaires who prefer cheap labor to proud American workers. It’s a particular shame that Cotton would support such a bill. The Arkansas senator has been at the forefront of patriotic immigration reform. He has fought against other attempts to undercut American workers. In May, Sen. Cotton attacked a Trump administration plan to bring in an additional 30,000 guest workers annually.

‘Allowing an additional 30,000 seasonal workers into the country forces Americans to compete for jobs against non-citizens who drag down wages. We should be setting immigration policies that support wage growth and employment for Americans instead of encouraging a race to the bottom by importing low-cost labor,’ he said against the Trump proposal.

Sadly, Cotton’s criticism also applies to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. The difference is that the bill he supports will harm American high-skilled workers rather than native farm laborers.

During last year’s lame duck congressional session, Cotton helped kill then-Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to increase high-skilled Irish immigration. The proposal would have brought in 5,000 Irish workers every year to take American jobs. The plan was supported by many of the same people who back the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.

Thankfully, there are other Republicans who can rise up against this bill. Sen. Josh Hawley has proven to be a stalwart conservative who is unafraid of bucking the establishment. He’s an immigration hawk and a strong critic of Big Tech’s power. The elimination of country caps is the perfect issue for him to take a stand on.

Ted Cruz is another possible senator who could fight against this bill. The Texas senator has also shown independence on immigration and a desire to combat Big Tech’s wrongdoing.

American workers desperately need a champion in this fight. Democrats are too dependent upon Big Tech and the immigration lobby to mount a serious opposition. We need real Republican leaders who can stand up to the corporate and political interests behind mass immigration.

It’s time for someone to remind the Grand Old Party of the meaning of America First. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act violates that very principle.

Bay Buchanan is a former US treasurer and served as Pat Buchanan and Tom Tancredo’s presidential campaign manager.


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