OK

Democrats are the supposed to be the party of labor, and exploitative hiring destroys labor.

Flooding the market with imported labor from around the world reduces the bargaining power of U.S. workers.  Workers will not be able to organize if they become too easily replaceable due to sheer numbers of available indentured workers.

In 2011, the GAO completed a study for Congress that concluded a mere 6% of H-1B visa recipients are "Fully Competent" with 54% of H-1B visa recipients being "Entry Level" workers. Tragically many disenfranchised US workers, as their last official duty of being an employed US worker, had to train their replacement in order to receive a severance package.

The GAO has found that the H-1B program has only unenforceable and laughably easy to circumvent U.S. worker protections.

Why are Democrat elected officials, including our president, cheering proposals to expand this program which clearly is detrimental to the voters who entrusted them to look out for the best interest of U.S. citizens.  It is baffling!

bipartisan I-Squared bill would allow 300,000 H-1B visas every year

Obama backs immigration reform for skilled tech workers

Government Accountability Office Report - PDF

With this GAO report at their disposal, why are so many democratic representatives in Washington, including the president pushing for an expansion of this awful H-1B visa program to replace and bypass U.S. skilled tech workers?

bipartisan I-Squared bill would allow 300,000 H-1B visas every year

Obama backs immigration reform for skilled tech workers

I can see the Republican party fighting to bring in cheap indentured labor to benefit the business community to the detriment of U.S. workers, but with this report at their disposal, why are so many Democrats doing the same.  Isn't the Democratic party supposed to be the party of labor?  Why are we helping the GOP destroy the U.S. middle class?

Unlike some other temporary visa programs, the H-1B program does not
require employers to provide evidence that they have first “tested” the U.S.
labor market by trying to hire a U.S. worker.

 In the H-1B program, only those employers that are designated as H-1B-dependent or willful violators are subject to any type of labor market test. However, these employers need only attest, rather than demonstrate, that they took good faith steps to hire a U.S. worker.

Yes, just mark this checkbox saying you can't find U.S. workers, then you are free to replace as many U.S. workers as you want with imported indentured workers!

Among the top H-1B-hiring employers—those approved for large numbers
of H-1B workers—are employers that function as “staffing companies,” (i.e., employers that apply for H-1B workers but ultimately place these workers at the worksites of other employers as part of their business model, many of which also outsource work overseas). Some foreign owned information technology (IT) services firms have publicly stated that  their ability to provide IT services to U.S. customers depends in part on access to significant numbers of H-1B and L-1 visa workers. Ultimately, the prevalence of these employers participating in the H-1B visa program is difficult to know because there are no disclosure requirements and Homeland Security does not track such information.
Does anyone notice that the U.S.worker plays no part in these staffing companies business model.  We will not even know that the job opportunity exists.
Several executives at IT staffing firms we interviewed noted that, since
issuance of a January 2010 Homeland Security memo,44 Homeland Security is more aggressively enforcing a requirement that staffing firms be able to provide evidence of an employer-employee relationship with the H-1B worker they sponsor by, for example, having a contract with their clients in place. Executives from staffing firms told us they often cannot have a contract in place because they provide labor on short notice to their client firms. As a result of the increased enforcement of this provision, executives at one staffing firm told us that they no longer hired H-1Bs for their staffing business, and executives at several other staffing firms reported that they had ceased hiring new H-1B workers, hiring instead only foreign nationals already in the country with a current H-1B visa.

Executives at some companies who already had an offshore location reported expanding the portion of their work conducted overseas, and others reported that they had either opened an offshore location to access labor from overseas or were considering doing so.

Does anyone notice, from the above GAO observation, that these staffing companies, many with the exclusive contracts to provide staff to our major government agencies and well known companies, will find any way to avoid hiring U.S. workers?

Government Accountability Office Report - PDF

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-11-26, a report to congressional committees.

Why GAO Did This Study:

Congress created the H-1B program in 1990 to enable U.S. employers to
hire temporary, foreign workers in specialty occupations. The law
capped the number of H-1B visas issued per fiscal year at 65,000.

Since then, the cap has fluctuated with legislative changes. Congress
asked GAO to assess the impact of the cap on the ability of domestic
companies to innovate, while ensuring that U.S. workers are not
disadvantaged.

In response, GAO examined what is known about:

(1) employer demand for H-1B workers;

(2) how the cap affects employer costs and decisions to move operations overseas;

(3) H-1B worker characteristics and the potential impact of raising the cap;

(4) how well requirements of the H-1B program protect U.S. workers.

GAO analyzed data from 4 federal agencies; interviewed agency officials,
experts, and H-1B employers; and reviewed agency documents and
literature.

What GAO Found:

In most years, demand for new H-1B workers exceeded the cap: From 2000
to 2009, demand for new H-1B workers tended to exceed the cap, as
measured by the numbers of initial petitions submitted by employers
who are subject to the cap (see figure 1).

There is no way to precisely determine the level of any unmet demand among employers, since they tend to stop submitting (and the Department of Homeland Security stops tracking) petitions once the cap is reached each year.

When we consider all initial petitions, including those from universities and research institutions that are not subject to the cap, we find that demand for new H-1B workers is largely driven by a small number of employers.

 Over the decade, over 14 percent of all initial petitions were submitted by cap-exempt employers, and only a few employers (fewer than 1 percent) garnered over one-quarter of all H-1B approvals.

...

Restricted agency oversight and statutory changes weaken protections
for U.S. workers: Elements of the H-1B program that could serve as
worker protections-—such as the requirement to pay prevailing wages,
the visa’s temporary status, and the cap itself—-are weakened by
several factors.

First, program oversight is fragmented and restricted. For example, the Department of Labor’s review of H-1B applications from employers is cursory and limited by law to only
looking for missing information and obvious inaccuracies. Yet a recent Department of Homeland Security study reported that 21 percent of the H-1B petitions they examined involved fraud or technical violations.

Second, the H-1B program lacks a legal provision for holding employers
accountable to program requirements when they obtain H-1B workers
through a staffing company
. Officials from the
Department of Labor’s investigative office reported receiving the bulk
of their complaints from H-1B workers contracted by staffing companies.

Third, statutory changes made to the H-1B program have, in combination and in effect, increased the pool of H-1B workers beyond the cap and lowered the bar for eligibility.

Specifically, these changes have increased the available exemptions to the cap; offered unlimited extensions on the visa while holders apply for permanent residency; and broadened the job and skill categories for eligibility.

Regarding the latter, over 50 percent of employers requesting H-1B workers between June 2009 and July 2010 categorized their prospective H-1B workers as receiving entry-level wages, although we cannot tell whether this trend reflects lower skill levels or other factors.

Originally posted to IT Professional on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 03:42 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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