Obama Races to Ease Restrictions on L Visa

Published on April 10th, 2015

Here’s an easy crash course to help understand how determined President Obama is to undermine American workers, and to use his executive authority to subvert them. Last week, I wrote about the encouraging news that L-1 visa rejections recently hit a high of 34 percent. Read the post here.

The L visa and its two sister visas, the L-1A and the L-1B, allow intracompany transfers to the U.S. offices of international companies, and the visa holder can bring his spouse and children. The employer doesn’t have to prove that he’s recruited Americans, nor pay prevailing wage. So he can, if he’s so inclined, stick it to his new international employee.

Obama moves to import more cheap labor.

Obviously, the visa holder works, his spouse is work authorized, and his children, once they reach working age, can be employed too. In short, a whole bunch of people will suddenly be coming to the United States, and many of them will eventually compete with Americans in a shrinking labor market.

Even as far back as a 2006 Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General report, it was known that the L visa was riddled with abuse. That report recommended greater protections for American workers. I was encouraged because the rejection rate in the new report indicated that someone at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was doing his job – that is, reviewing the applications to make sure that everything is on the up and up, a rarity in the visa world.

No sooner was the ink dry on the March 2015 National Foundation for American Policy report than President Obama announced that he wants to loosen the standards, namely by watering down the “request of evidence” requirement that slows down L-1B approvals. L-1B visas are issued to so-called “specialized knowledge” workers, but the category is so broadly defined that any warm body might qualify. During fiscal year 2013, the State Department issued 66,700 L-1 visas.

Obama, quoting from his well-worn, more-immigration-is-good-for-the-U.S.- economy playbook, said that his proposed changes: “Could benefit hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrant workers and their employers; that, in turn, will benefit our entire economy and spur additional investment.”

This is more presidential gobbledygook. Almost certainly, Obama didn’t read the March 2015 report, but he heard about the findings and moved as quickly as possible to liberalize the standards for a visa that serves little purpose and is already riddled with fraud.

With Obama, too often that’s how it goes – gains are hard to come by, and can quickly vanish with one of his executive pen and phone actions.

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