A trade association that includes General Motors and the Koch Industries is asking President Donald Trump to cancel his popular June 22 decision to narrow and reform the nation’s visa worker programs.
“We urge you to lift the restrictions in the June 22 proclamation and to work with Congress to identify ways to ensure these visa programs continue,” said the June 6 letter, signed by Jay Timmons, a former GOP staffer who heads the National Association of Manufacturers.
The letter is a challenge to the grassroots groups of U.S. professionals and immigration reformers whose letters, emails, tweets, and activists helped persuade Trump to sign his unprecedented and popular June 22 revamp of many visa programs. The visa programs keep at least 1.3 million foreign graduates in U.S. jobs, provide cover for a growing population of illegal college-trained migrants, and shift wealth from wage earners to stock investors.
Timmons wants Trump to restart the annual inflow of 100,000 H-1B workers and to halt the regulatory reform of the H-1B program that keeps 600,000 foreign workers in the United States. The Trump reform is intended to force companies to pay higher wages when they try to import foreign workers for jobs needed by U.S. graduates.
Trump’s curbs are making it difficult for companies to import foreigners to manage U.S. workforces, Timmons said in the letter:
The restrictions are already having serious consequences for manufacturers and the economy;
Plant managers at facilities across multiple sectors, including automotive and heavy machinery, will not be able to access their workplaces to ramp up new production and establish new production lines.
Electrical utility manufacturers will not be able to bring on the high-skilled employees needed for engineering and production for critical infrastructure resiliency:
Pharmaceutical and chemical sector research and development that was set to take place in the United States may shift overseas so that specially trained managers and PhDs can begin critical work, and
Multinational companies’ plans to developer senior leaders … are on hold for an indeterminate amount of time.
“That’s absurd,” responded Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “There are 20 million unemployed. They’re not all factory managers, but among those 20 million people, there will be a wide variety of talents and experiences, and they need to look,” he said.
“If I were at the White House, I’d say, ‘Give me names, write out specifically what the [excluded] person is going to do,’” he said. “In other words, I’d call their bluff,” he added.
“If this is all they can come up with, the effects of the visa bans [on U.S. companies] aren’t likely to be all that bad,” he said.
Trump’s June 22 policy is unprecedented, but it does not include all visa programs. For example, there is minimal oversight over the use of B-1/B-2 visas to import many illegal workers for short-term contracts. Similarly, there is little oversight of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program that allows roughly 500,000 foreign graduates of U.S. colleges to fill Fortune 500 subcontractor jobs.
U.S. graduates need to help Trump preserve and push the reforms, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers:
We know that Trump is under immense pressure to make all kinds of exceptions that would water his [June 22] Executive Order down to meaninglessness.
The next step is up to the productive class. We need to be bombarding the White House with ‘Thank You’ cards, with Tweets, with emails, for what he has done because this is a first. This is the first time we have gained ground from offshoring and outsourcing.
For the first time since the 1970s, immigration policy is being crafted to help Americans, not immigrants. We need to be thanking Trump, to build up his resolve against the Koch [brothers] wing of the White House and all of the corporations.
Legislators “do pay attention to constituents,” said Krikorian. “Twenty letters to the editors of local newspapers and 50 phone calls are like an earthquake sometimes,” he said.
Two upstart challengers have recently won primaries against candidates favored by Trump and by the establishment GOP. For example, Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman lost his seat after he voted for cheap-labor immigration programs.
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) June 23, 2020
NAM’s letters come as hundreds of thousands of young American engineering and business graduates are searching for jobs and as many additional U.S. professionals are looking for jobs after being replaced by Indian and Chinese visa workers.
The NAM’s leadership includes top officials from Caterpillar, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, General Motors, Microsoft, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.
The group also includes a wide variety of lower-tech companies, such as meatpackers, bakers, doormakers, brewers, and shipbuilders. Many of these companies are subcontractors to major brands.
The group also includes many foreign companies, such as Samsung, Honda, and Mahindra.
Offer an amnesty for at least i1 million illegals.
Expand the Optional Practical Training program.
Double the inflow of H-1B visa workers to at least 170,000 per year:
Allow more college-trained visa worker to become citizens and stay in the United States.
Allow H-2A food workers and H-2B laborers to work for longer periods in the United States.
The group plan also calls for a new catch-all, visa worker program so that employers can more easily sideline Americans workers:
Create a new visa category to address temporary economic needs in the U.S. so that other skilled needs can be addressed … A formal legal structure for foreign-born employees who want to fill available jobs not covered by the current system would reduce the incentive to enter illegally and/or falsify records to obtain employment.
This huge influx of cheap workers would also provide a boon to retailers, auto sellers, landlords, and real estate investors. The diverse inflow would also boost the government agencies that provide taxpayer-funded education and welfare, as well as the progressive activists who advocate for the redistribution of wealth and status in an increasingly fractured, diverse society.
The business group’s pitch for cheap labor is wrapped in the progressive claim that America is a land for migrants, not for Americans and their children. “America is indeed a nation of immigrants,” said the employer’s group, as it argued that immigration policy must serve employers, not employees:
Unfortunately, while the current employment-based visa categories focus heavily on professional skills and those with extraordinary abilities, they do not represent the full spectrum of employment needs. Moreover, current visa categories do not allow employers to hire lesser-skilled foreign-born employees for in-demand jobs. This is another example of how the current immigration system fails to meet employer needs.
“What [CEOs] want to do is ratchet wages so low that they are comparable to wages in India,” Lynn said.
The NAM did not respond to questions from Breitbart News.
Grassroots groups of white-collar professionals deserve credit for helping get Trump’s visa-worker #H1B curbs through WH, say insiders.
Great news for the blue-collars who need allies to beat the Fortune 500 & get a low-immigration/high-wage economy.https://t.co/jLC5go1xjj
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) June 22, 2020