(Breitbart) – President Joe Biden has restarted a number of visa programs, allowing United States companies to more readily outsource jobs, even as about 17 million Americans remain jobless.
In June 2020, Trump signed an executive order halting H-1B visas, H-4 visas, H-2B visas, L visas, and J-1 visas while tens of millions of Americans were jobless or underemployed due to economic lockdowns as a result of the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
At the end of 2020, Trump renewed the order to continue prioritizing Americans for U.S. jobs, though corporate interests continuously sued and lobbied for an end to the order.
On Thursday, Biden let the order expire, announcing via the State Department:
Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. [Emphasis added]
Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee. [Emphasis added]
Biden’s allowing the order to expire will mean that companies can more readily outsource U.S. jobs as they were before the coronavirus crisis hit the nation in early 2020. The move comes as about 17 million Americans remain jobless and another 6.1 million are underemployed, but all want full-time jobs with competitive wages and good benefits.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had urged Biden not to flood the labor market with more foreign competition.
Kevin Lynn, the founder of U.S. Tech Workers, which represents American STEM workers and those who have had their jobs outsourced, told Breitbart News that Biden’s decision “is a kick in the teeth to workers for three reasons,” saying:
First, with 18 million people who are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, it informs us this economy has not recovered from our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Second, the majority (roughly ¾) of the visas go to people from India, a country that is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Lastly, according to a recently published paper by the Economic Policy Institute, the majority of the companies that employ H-1B visa holders are companies that have an outsourcing business model that displaces skilled American workers. This along with either blocking and/or delaying several of Trump’s reforms such as the Wage Level Increase Rule and H-1B Lottery Wage Selection Rule, signals it is open season on American workers their employers deem to be expensive, undeserving and expendable.
Similarly, organizers with the White-Collar Workers of America told Breitbart News that “the cheap labor lobby is way too powerful,” referencing the industry’s lobbying efforts over the last several months to restart the visa programs to more easily outsource.
Despite Biden’s decision, the latest survey from Rasmussen Reports finds that 66 percent of likely U.S. voters say it is better for businesses to raise wages and provide better benefits to recruit Americans rather than importing foreign workers — 73 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats, and 62 percent of swing voters.
Likewise, 65 percent of voters said the nation’s labor market “already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs” and does not need more while 75 percent of voters said they want to reduce overall legal immigration levels.
There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News. More than 85,000 Americans annually potentially lose their jobs to foreign labor through the H-1B visa program.
Analysis conducted in 2018 discovered that 71 percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley, California, are foreign-born, while the tech industry in the San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward area is made up of 50 percent foreign-born tech workers. Up to 99 percent of foreign H-1B visa workers imported by the top eight outsourcing firms arrive from India.
Current immigration levels put downward pressure on U.S. wages while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth away from America’s working and middle class and towards employers and new arrivals, research by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has found.
Peer-reviewed research by economist Christoph Albert acknowledges that “as immigrants accept lower wages, they are preferably chosen by firms and therefore have higher job finding rates than natives, consistent with evidence found in U.S. data.” Albert’s research also finds that immigration “raises competition” for native-born Americans in the labor market.