Brookings Institution Praises the H-1B; Critics Not Invited

Published on August 6th, 2012

By Joe Guzzardi
July 23, 2012

The Brookings Institution is the latest open borders advocacy organization to release a report which claims that the United States needs more foreign-born workers. Brookings titled its paper “The Skills Search.”

A primary school student of average intelligence knows that when 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed, the last thing they need is to compete with overseas workers.

Nevertheless, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Washington, D.C.-based “think tanks” that depend almost exclusively on employers and globalists biased input publish endless reams of research calling for more non-immigrant worker visas, mostly the H-1B. Every analysis misleadingly insists that the U.S. has a shortage of science, technology, engineering and math graduates, generally referred to as the STEM field.

Consider Brookings. On July 18, Brookings held a panel discussion supposedly to discuss the nationwide geographic distribution of H-1Bs but in reality to urge liberalized H-1B visa regulations. The underlying theme was, as I suggested above, “Employers tell us we need more H-1Bs so that must be the case.”

But Brookings rigged the panelists. Among the 11 who appeared, only one defended American workers and spoke critically about the H-1B visa. Predictably, he was shouted down as “xenophobic,” “anti-immigrant” and “fringe.”

Conferences like those at Brookings give the appearance of being serious academic exercises. But they ignore the cold hard facts even though conflicting data is readily available to them.

A week before Brookings convened, the Washington Post wrote a lengthy feature detailing how tough it is for STEM graduates to find a career path job: Ph.D., university professorship and, eventually, their own lab. The Post summed up its findings in one quote from Jim Austin, the editor of Science Careers, an online webzine that specializes in job placement. Said Austin: “it seems awfully hard for people to find a job. Anyone who goes into science expecting employers to clamor for their services will be deeply disappointed.”

The Post described the jobs market as a “bloodbath” and attributed it to “slash and burn” mergers, stagnating profits and outsourcing to India and China. “Scads and scads” of qualified people with Ph.D.’s from elite institutions cannot, according to the Post, find work.

In the unlikely event that Brookings missed the Post story, two other credible sources published hard supporting numbers. First CNET, the premier tech review source, reported that during the first half of 2012, more than 50,000 planned job cuts were announced across the IT sector which represented a 260 percent increase over the 14,308 layoffs during the first half of 2011. The 2012 figure, a three-year high, is 39 percent greater than the aggregate job cuts recorded in the 12 months of 2011. Second, the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies and a Washington D.C. neighbor of Brookings found in its report “Is President Obama Right about Engineers?” that there are 101,000 unemployed U.S.-born individuals with engineering degrees. On top of that CIS research director Dr. Steven Camarota discovered another 68,000 U.S.-born individuals with advanced degrees not in the labor force as well as 489,000 with graduate degrees who work but not as engineers.

Brookings didn’t invite CNET reporter Don Reisinger or Dr. Camarota to its symposium. But more important, no one from Brookings challenged either Reisinger or Camarota’s employment data even though both were widely distributed.

Despite the facts the Post, CNET and CIS presented, the all court press for more H-1B visas intensifies. As of this writing, 15 bills to increase, eliminate or liberalize non-immigrant visa regulations are pending on Capitol Hill. In the meantime, the greatest jobs crisis since the Great Depression deepens.


Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]

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