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High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment: Left of Center View

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics between 2003 and 2005 approximately 8.1 million American workers were displaced due to corporate restructuring, outsourcing and job obsolescence. Of those 8.1 million workers, approximately fifty percent of them found as good or better jobs after losing their job. The other half remained unemployed, retired or had to accept employment making less money than they had previously earned.

In that same timeframe between 29 and 52 thousand foreign workers per year were brought into the United States to fill high tech jobs. Instead of encouraging American companies to focus on retraining American workers to do the jobs of the 21st century our government has issued thousands of H-1B visas to bring foreigners here to fill the positions for less money. While the stock values rise and the profits increase for the corporations, American workers are left out in the cold. If the corporate lobbyists get their way the problem will only get worse.

Lobbyists for the high tech industry are asking Congress to extend the H-1B program to allow even more jobs that could be filled by Americans with some retraining to go to foreign nationals. This should be an outrage to the American people but most are not even aware of the situation. In this political season of talking about protecting American security and who has the values to lead us nobody is talking about the travesty of the H-1B program. When does the American worker become a priority in the debate? While everyone wants to talk about grand plans for healthcare and what should be done in Iraq, nobody seems to want to talk about serving the hard working Americans who have been left behind in our new “global economy”. People who spent twenty years on the line breaking their backs so that “Made in America” meant something have been tossed aside in favor of people who grew up half a world away. The politicians are acting if it is not really an issue that needs to be discussed but unless something is done more Americans will suffer at the hands of greedy big business. All of the talk about the value of the American worker falls somewhat flat when the politicians fail to protect American jobs.

It is far past time to tell American companies to make sure they do not dump unprepared workers into the economy to make higher profits. There should be a job retraining and placement mandate for any company that wants to offshore or outsource their jobs. If they want to displace American workers they must do their part to make sure that those workers have the skills to find comparable work and pay upon leaving their employment. Government is supposed to serve the people and make sure that our values are upheld. Fair access to decent employment is something that all Americans can agree is needed for American workers. If we are to succeed in the future we must make sure we look out for our workers and not just casually toss them aside for cheap foreign labor. The American worker is what made these companies succeed in the first place and the American worker deserves to be given a fair chance to succeed when companies move their jobs abroad.

This is not about set-asides or handouts. This is about not selling out Americans to make a quick buck. Corporations are betraying and abandoning hard working people leaving them in unemployment lines so they can have more profits. Government programs spending our tax dollars should not be needed to clean up the messes made by our companies. We all can remember our moms telling us we needed to clean up the messes we made. It’s time for companies to get the same message. It’s time they clean up their own messes so we don’t have to. We need to tell Congress to say no to expanding H-1B and yes to retraining the American workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

America needs to be for Americans first at some level. We need to make sure that Americans are employed before we bring in skilled labor from other countries. Some might call this isolationistic but there is a difference between saying that nobody should be let in and saying that Americans should come first in our government’s policy decisions. Immigration is good for America but only if it is done responsibly.


L.J. Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column.

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Last Week's View from the Left:
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy And Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs and Fair Trade
Archives by Date




High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment: Right of Center View

Business demands require foreign workers and the H-1B program is filling a vital business need. Some people want to accuse business of selling out American jobs in favor of cheaper foreign labor but it is just not the case. The need for high skilled workers is not something that will wait for months or years of costly retasking and retraining of American factory workers. We need people with the skills now.

Some people seem to think that we can compete on a global scale while hand-holding workers that didn’t have the foresight to have a backup plan in their careers. With the availability of online courses and night schools as well as the thousands of books written on numerous subjects related to the high tech industry it is ludicrous to say that these people cannot access the information needed to prepare for an alternate career. Anyone who has been awake in the last twenty years has seen the trend of globalization that is shifting our economy from one of manufacturing to one of technological development and service innovation.

The unions and liberals would have you believe that these workers were laid off with no warning and that they could not have known that they might need to look into alternative employment. Business is not to blame for the lack of preparedness of the workers displaced by progress that anyone could have seen coming. Statistics show that many workers end up in higher paying jobs than the ones they left when companies have restructured or moved production facilities. The ones who don’t are usually those who were not preparing for the future when change was happening all around them.

The truth of the matter is that people coming into the U.S. on H-1B visas are providing a needed service not filled by American workers. The unemployment rates among high tech workers are some of the lowest in any field meaning that we simply don’t have the workers to fill the positions. If we don’t have the workers here we need to get them from somewhere else. You can’t just plug a steel mill worker into a server room and expect them to know what to do when something malfunctions. If you want to blame someone for the shortage of American tech workers perhaps you should talk to Congress about passing more legislation like the “No Child Left Behind Act” that requires our kids learn more technology related skills and hold the teachers accountable for the results. The liberals want to fight that type of legislation and then cry foul when there are no skilled workers to fill the jobs in our new economy. You can’t have it both ways folks. All the arguments about “teaching to the test” seem to be kind of weak when the real “test” of our students is the ability to fill the jobs we need to fill in America.

Some isolationistic factions would even say that it is putting business ahead of workers to bring workers in from abroad to do needed jobs but they fail to offer any suggestions about how to fill the jobs while their expensive job retraining plans suck the life out of businesses and weaken the ability of American business to compete in the global marketplace. There is a need to fill the jobs and keep business moving while our labor pool adjusts and adapts to the new economy. If we can’t get the best workers from abroad until our workers can fill the jobs we are doing ourselves a disservice as a nation. We cannot survive by burying our heads in the sand and hoping for some pie-in-the-sky solution to our lack of skilled workers. We can retrain our people but in the meantime we need to have skilled people driving our businesses forward. Progress can often be painful but in the end everyone benefits from the addition of skills and ideas to the economy.

It may be painful for some American workers to admit that they may have been asleep at the wheel and complacent in their career planning but we need to face facts and fill the needs of our marketplace until the people behind the curve can catch up to the economic reality of 21st century America. In any free market there are times of change and that can be painful for some but we need to remember to not blame the people who were prepared in advance for the natural progress of our economy.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column.

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Next week's subject: What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Right:
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy and Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs, Safety and Fair Trade
Open Border Trucking Policies
Archives by Date

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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