03/17/15

U.S. Worker Replaced By Lower-Cost Foreign Worker Makes Impassioned Plea To Senators

“I saw Americans being replaced. We brought in H-1B workers. Didn’t matter if [they] had skills or not. We brought them in, sat them in cubicles, and watched the Americans train [their own replacements]… They call it ‘knowledge transfer’ but we all know that’s an illusion. It’s all about cheaper labor.”

BACKGROUND:

H-1B labor market expert and Rutgers professor Hal Salzman also testified at today’s hearing that:

· The U.S. supply of high-skilled graduates far exceeds the hiring needs of the STEM industries

· Future demand for computer science graduates can be met by just half to two-thirds of the current annual supply of U.S. computer science graduates

· Guestworker supply is large and highly concentrated in the IT industry, and is likely a factor in both stagnant wages and job insecurity

· The predominant function of IT guestworker visa programs is to facilitate the offshoring of IT work

· The number of guestworkers is equal to two-thirds of current entry-level and early-career hiring

· Proposed high-skill guestworker legislation such as I-Squared, the SKILLS Act, and S. 744 would expand the supply of guestworkers to levels greater than the total number of new technology jobs; these changes in immigration policy would provide enough guestworkers to fill every new job opening in the IT workforce, with a reserve large enough to allow firms to legally substitute young guestworkers for their incumbent workforce

· “Green Cards for Grads” provisions in I-Squared, S. 744, and other bills would provide incentives for colleges and universities to establish or expand current Masters programs as “global services” that offer a green card for the price of a graduate degree, and that are offered primarily or even exclusively for foreign students

“People aren’t commodities. We compare labor to commodities, but they’re not commodities. They’re human beings. They have families. They have hopes and dreams. They want stability in their life. They would like to have a good job at a company like the biggest utility in California—California Edison [where hundreds of Americans were laid off and replaced with guest workers]… We have no obligation to yield to the lust of big businesses… Mr. Zuckerberg is worth $27 billion, I guess he is 27 years old, I’m not sure. So he wants more foreign workers. I would like to think he might want to pay his employees more and maybe not have quite so many billions, if he’d like to be helpful, and maybe he could get more local workers.”