It is with great disappointment that I read that the whitehouse has swallowed the corporate lobby that there are not enough educated workers in the U.S.
The reason I know he has been misinformed is the genuine shock he showed when it was pointed out to him that highly trained U.S. engineers are having trouble finding work in their field.
Judging from the exchange above, it seems Obama has been told, and evidently still believes that the U.S. is not producing enough native talent. If this misconception is the case, Obama probably believes there must be some flaw with any highly skilled U.S. engineer who has been unemployed for several years.
Surely Obama does not believe the unemployed engineer had not already sent his resume to the relevant corporations in the state of Texas during his three year job hunt. It would be frightening to any U.S. engineering student that it is going to take the intervention of the POTUS to get their resume considered by corporations.
Each year, the U.S. graduates more highly skilled talent than the job market can absorb. Despite this, corporations lure visa workers from abroad with the carrot of a US green card some time in the future. In the meanwhile, the worker is indentured to the job, as his or her legal status is beholden to the company sponsoring their visa.
Corporations prefer to have a docile and complacent worker. One that never has to be offered a raise and will never request a promotion, or complain about working conditions, or unpaid long hours, and will accept a position well below their education level in order to get a chance at the prize of a U.S. green card after ten to fifteen years.
There are situations where foreign medical doctors will be willing to work as elementary school teachers just for a chance at a green card.
How can a U.S. worker compete with a foreign worker for the attention of corporations and other hiring entities, such as school systems?
Accepting lower and lower salaries has not worked. Corporations know, unlike the imported visa worker, a U.S. worker can still just quit immediately should a more favorable opportunity arise in the market. However, a free market situation will always be avoided by corporate America, when an indentured(handcuffed) market is available.
A U.S. worker could offer to work for free as an intern, just to keep work status current and prove value to the company. This won't work either, because U.S. labor laws prohibit slavery, even if both parties are willing, and there are legal limitations to internship positions.
Interns and volunteers cannot do jobs which would normally be paid. Corporations know that they would have exposure to lawsuits for back pay and fines even after the citizen has left the job.
There are 1.8 Million Americans With Engineering degrees that don't have engineering jobs , and hundreds of thousands graduating with no job prospects in their field every year. These highly educated U.S. citizens will then take jobs not requiring their degrees, in order to survive, such as as waiters, cashiers and tennis instructors.
Labor Department statistics can then include these people as "employed" and corporations quote the misleading statistics of 4% unemployment for engineers in the U.S. in order to promote misguided policy.
The saddest day of recent memory is when I read the white house press conference report that the president plans to send a bill to congress to ramp up the numbers of foreign
workers corporations can import to the U.S. because he has heard from corporations that they want this.
Corporations, have told the president that the 1.8 million trained and capable U.S.
engineers, who are U.S. voters, can then be bypassed and remain unemployed. Is it possible that Obama is OK with this? I refuse to believe this. My only hope is that the president will set aside the misinformation he is being fed, and instead look at the facts from the citizens.
These corporations Obama mentioned must have skillfully presented the data to convince Obama that these 1.8 million engineers must be losers or lazy. They might have denigrated the experience by saying their skills might not "fresh" or they are incapable of learning on the job. As a lawyer, would Obama accept someone telling him not to hire such and such a lawer because he has 10 years experience and therefore his lawyering skills are not "fresh", so they need to import a just graduated lawyer from abroad.
Lobbyists for these corporations probably tell Obama that these workers form companies and create jobs. This is blatantly false. By definition Visa workers are hired to do as they are told, not to innovate. They are not hired to form companies. Their visa does not allow them to do so. Work visas are issued by the U.S. government and owned by the sponsoring company. There is already an EXISTING job available for that visa worker. This job does NOT have to be offered to a U.S. worker before seeking a foreign visa worker.
Most foreign visa workers are imported for entry level jobs and trained by experienced U.S. workers who are then replaced. Obama does not know this.
In the IT world, sometimes we talk of being on a DYOG project. This means we are on a project where you are required to "Dig Your Own Grave", in that you must train your foreign visa worker to do your job as a reqirement to get a severance when you are laid off and replaced by this person you are training.
I have been watching a devastating bill called HR3012 stealthly passed overwhelmingly through congress without any debate as to how it will affect the U.S. workforce. This bill is cleverly named "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011" to disguise how devastating it is. The foreign worker lobby cheered almost unanimous passage through the lower house. The senate was expected to be smooth sailing also. Afte all, who could be against a bill with the word "Fairness".
I breathed a sigh of relief when Senator Grassley put a hold on the bill as it moved to the Senate.
Grassley stated he wanted to add protections for U.S. workers seeking these jobs.
"I have concerns about the impact of this bill on future immigration flows, and am concerned that it does nothing to better protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs during this time of record high unemployment.”
Senator Grassley would like to add common sense protections such that before a job can be offered to an imported visa worker, the job be made available to equally qualified U.S. workers in the light of day, such as posted to a DOL website where applicant activity can be monitored. Currently, there is no requirement to seek U.S. workers before offering jobs to visa workers. I wish Obama would consider this. Who would object to a country looking out for it's own population?
The corporate lobby will not hear of any protections for U.S. workers and apparently has approached the White House to use the bully pulpit to railroad this bill through the Senate and prevent any U.S. workforce protections to be added to this bill in the Senate.
How anyone can claim that there is no relationship between importing more and more workers into a tight job market, and the unemployment rate of that market is baffling.
It is a sad time to be a U.S. highly skilled worker over 40.
Grassley has caved to the lobbyists and has released his hold without adding any U.S. worker protections to this bill. His amendment has added some "fraud protection" language to the bill instead, which is essentially useless since fraud is not the problem with the H-1B and L-1 visa program.
U.S. companies are in FULL COMPLIANCE with the law as they displace and overlook the U.S. work force. Corporations can legally instead choose to import a handcuffed work force allowed by current law.
Does any DKOS member know a single Democratic senator who will advocate for the U.S. workforce by adding U.S. workforce protection amendments to this Senate bill HR3012? Something as basic as requiring all corporations to first seek equally qualified U.S. talent before recruiting abroad. Most people already believe this is the law, so how could anyone argue that this requirement is bad.