"Why is it taking you five years to get through college?" I asked a student attending one of my campus lectures. "Because I changed my major from computer science to accounting after I discovered there are almost no jobs available for computer majors."
Of course there are plenty computer jobs, but not for Americans because big business would rather hire foreigners. It's all a matter of money; corporations use their financial clout to get Congress to import foreigners who will work for half the salary Americans used to be paid for computer work.
It's called the H-1B racket, and it's very profitable for the big corporations. This system is not the free market; it's politicians and corporations conniving to do an end run around our immigration laws in order to keep wages artificially low.
The latest piece of chicanery is buried in the 817-page Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005, S.1932, now going through Congress. Without any hearings, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., got the Judiciary Committee to insert language that will raise the annual cap on H-1B visas from the current 65,000 to 95,000, re-issue unused immigrant work visas or green cards up to a maximum of 90,000, and exempt the H-1Bers' family members from the cap on employment-based immigration.
This is estimated to increase permanent immigration into the United States by more than 350,000 immigrants a year. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., tried to protect U.S. jobs by deleting Specter's amendment, but the Senate rejected Byrd's motion on Nov. 3.
This latest attack on U.S. workers comes on the heels of another backroom deal last fall. Congress exempted from the annual H-1B visa cap 20,000 foreign students who get master's or doctorate degrees from U.S. universities.
Then, because of what was claimed to be a mistake, the Homeland Security Department approved 10,000 more visa applications for high-tech and specialty workers than Congress authorized. Nobody was fired over the mistake, and only Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, lamented, "It discourages me to hear that Congress' limit may have been ignored."
The rationale for inviting H-1B foreigners to take American jobs is an alleged labor shortage, but we never had any shortage in computer technicians, and employers are not required to look for U.S. citizens anyway. The labor-shortage claim is ridiculous because there are more than 100,000 unemployed high-tech American workers, and some estimate the figure at 200,000.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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