Breitbart News uncovered a particularly flagrant example of H-1B visa abuse at Toys "R" Us. The story is particularly timely in the wake of the exchange between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio at the CNBC Inquisition.
Rubio wants to greatly expand usage of the H-1B visa program that ostensibly brings in foreign workers to do jobs Americans are not qualified to perform. Rubio justifies his support with the rationalization that if there are abuses, those companies shouldn't be allowed to participate in the program.
I can only conclude, sadly, that Marco is not among the readers of my column.
Exploiters of the H-1B loophole use foreign workers to fill jobs that Americans are fully capable of filling. Even the state of California does it as you can read here.
According to Breitbart, "Other companies that have displaced American workers in favor of H-1B visa laborers include Disney in Florida, Southern California Edison, Harley Davidson Wisconsin, Cargill in Minnesota, Pfizer in Connecticut, and Xerox in New York."
And in spite of Rubio's recycling H-1B supporters' false claim that we need more Americans trained in the IT and STEM fields, the truth is "there are far more U.S. graduates with STEM and IT degrees than there are jobs available."
I will give Toys "R" Us credit for creativity in tossing Americans on to the unemployment heap. Where Disney and Southern California Edison subjected its employees to the exquisitely cruel assignment of training the people one-on-one who would be filling your desk chair before it had time to grow cold, Toys trained the trainer.
Employees in the accounting department (American's can't do bookkeeping? Who knew?) were stalked by employees from the Tata Consultancy Services who watched their every move and then produced "intricate manuals" for TCS workers back in India who would then perform the work Americans were perfectly willing to do.
As one employee who had worked for Toys for almost 12 years lamented, "Why am I sitting here showing this man how to do my job when they are taking it away from me and sending it to India?" Once the information extraction was complete 67 citizens lost their jobs.
Before Marco Rubio comes out in favor of tripling the size of this American displacement program again, I suggest he meet individually with laid off employees from Disney, Toys, Harley Davidson or Xerox and ask them how well the program is working.