By Joe Guzzardi
October 21, 2016
The presidential election may or may not be rigged. But what’s increasingly clear is that the federal courts system is set up to rule against American workers, and in favor of foreign-born visa holders.
A few weeks ago, a Washington, D.C., district court judge ruled that giving work permits to about 180,000 H-4 visa holders didn’t adversely affect the labor market for American job seekers. The H-4 is issued to H-1B spouses, and previously barred any type of employment, including volunteering. Save Jobs USA, a group of former Southern California Edison information technology workers who were fired in February 2015 and replaced by H-1B visa holders, brought the lawsuit.
Then recently in Orlando, Florida, another federal judge dismissed two lawsuits brought by former Walt Disney IT workers who alleged that the company conspired with outsourcing agencies and, before their termination, forced the outgoing workers to train their H-1B replacements.
The Disney suits claimed that the defendants violated RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). Under the H-1B provisions, employers must show that visa holders “will not adversely affect the working conditions” of existing employees and “will not displace any similarly employed U.S. worker.”
Displacing American workers with cheaper overseas labor is an increasingly common business model. Because of its high profile and positive public image, the Disney firings made national headlines. But dozens of similar cases at major corporations have unfolded through the years – Caterpillar, Abbott Labs and McDonald’s are among the most recent.
Despite the H-1B visa’s restrictions, Disney and other corporations demanded that the Americans train their overseas replacements who were paid at a “much lower rate,” according to the lawsuits. A California Employment and Labor Law study confirmed that when employers replace older, experienced IT workers with younger employees, they save about $20,000 to $60,000 annually per employee.
Disney Chairman Robert Iger (net worth estimated at $100 million) is a co-chair with former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (net worth $36.5 billion) and News Corporation’s Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch (net worth $14.3 billion) in the Partnership for a New American Economy. This organization pushes for an immigration overhaul that would include an increase in H-1B visas. Iger, Bloomberg and Murdock lobby for their globalist agenda by insisting that because of the immigrants’ alleged entrepreneurial skills, more immigration will provide a solution for the stagnant U.S. economy.
But Scott Shane, a Western Reserve University professor writing in Small Business Trends, noted that while the foreign-born share of the U.S. population more than doubled during the last 30 years, the rate of new business creation declined 35 percent during the same period. Shane concluded that, contrary to immigration advocates’ insistence, “a steep rise in immigration did not lead to a rise in entrepreneurial activity, or even offset the decline in new business creation that we have experienced.”
The best solution to the Obama administration’s feeble economic growth – 2.4 percent real gross domestic growth rate in 2015 – is to end American corporations’ willingness, if not eagerness, to outsource their operations overseas and to unconscionably hire foreign workers for the increasingly fewer jobs they choose to keep in the U.S.
Overhauling the H-1B visa regulations and penalizing outsourcing would require a Congress determined to protect American workers and their jobs, goals that haven’t been priorities among legislators for decades.
A Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, Joe can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.