Jeremy Beck's picture


  by  Jeremy Beck

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich opposes increasing the H-1B cap (see below). I wonder if he is aware that the Obama Administration's proposed rule change to give work permits to the spouses of H-1B holders is an attempt to work around the cap.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"The latest proposal is in line with the original intent of a new immigration bill which aims to increase the number of skilled immigrants that come to the U.S. and become permanent residents, said Siddharth Pai, president of the Asia-Pacific business of Information Services Group, a U.S.-based technology advisory company."

As former fed chair Alan Greenspan has often noted, increasing skilled immigration is a great way to depress the wages of skilled workers.

According to The Times of India, the Administration's aim is to give work permits to high-skilled spouses, "mainly from the science and tech category".

The Obama Administration has consistently repeated the claims of business lobbyists that there are not enough qualified U.S. workers to fill skilled jobs. In 2012, one day after the wife of an unemployed engineer brought the plight of skilled U.S. workers to the attention of President Obama, the Administration announced plans to attract more high-skilled foreign workers.

The Administration's proposal has not drawn much criticism from the political elite, but last week, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich posted a Facebook message that argues against the Obama Administration's desire for more H-1B workers. On April 10, Reich (who supported the Senate immigration bill that would have - among other things - increased H-1B visas) wrote:

The number-one priority of America's high-tech firms in the fight over immigration reform has been to increase the annual cap on the number of 'skilled' foreign workers they can bring to the U.S. each year under the H-1B visa program. (This year's cap of 65,000 was reached less than a week after applications for the program were accepted.) High-tech firms say they can't find the skilled programmers, computer system designers, and software engineers they need here in America. 'The government should just let the market work' argued one high-tech executive recently.

High-tech executives are the ones who don't want to let the market work. If they really faced a shortage of high-tech workers in America, they'd pay higher wages. In fact, the wages of programmers, systems designers, software engineers and others have barely budged over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. High-tech firms want skilled foreign workers because they don't want to pay more than they're paying now. According to the latest government statistics, the median wage for new H-1B holders in computer-related occupations is only $50,000 -- way below the median wage for those occupations in the U.S., and even below the starting salaries of new U.S. graduates in these fields. So I'd say 'no' to increasing the number of H1-B visas. You agree?

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

Legal Immigration
American workers
High-Tech Worker Visas

Updated: Thu, Apr 17th 2014 @ 1:01pm EDT

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Gene 5798 of TX's picture

I just do not understand why government is so determined to bring down American 's lifestyle to other underdeveloped nations. Every June we hear of American college grads that do not even get an interview, let alone a job. They are encouraging HS grads to go into STEM education, but don't encourage American graduate STEM hiring? It is an example of not listening to voters but to large political contributors. If voters do not stop this trend immediately, we are soon a nation of anarchists!!

Florence 0183 of NJ's picture

makes perfect sense, if HS grads go into STEM ed, then Americans will not be hired because foreigners will be hired at less salaries, this is the double speak of the administration...he just wants us unsuccessful, failing, not getting hired...this is a sadistic extremist president, just think what his mind must be like, thinking all the time of how to destroy America/Americans, like throwing in amnesty w/military defense bill

John 4110 of MI's picture

Reich wants to increase the minimum wage as well. At least Reich like Barbra Jordan is aware that immigration driven increases in labor supply work against our workers.
Oh for the days when Democrats consistently worked for workers. Today voters generally face two candidates that support anti worker po;icies.

None 2150 of WY's picture

I need to report this and hope its not removed.

A cook working at Denny's in Newcastle, CA gets arrested for assault and battery on his estranged wife (Rodriguez-pinon, Armando (M/Unknown) of Auburn Reported On: 4/11/2014 in Placer County For: Assault and Battery) and then he is bailed out of jail by the Hispanic manager of the that Denny's?

He is now back at work. Why is this guy still on the streets and not deported? The manager should also be looked into!

This country is whacking out we must start something to control illegal aliens coming from any country. Mainly Mexico.

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Aaron 8129 of ID's picture

Maybe it's because California is a sanctuary state for illegals!!?? If you could somehow make it go viral perhaps? If that went viral it'll get more and more angrier over this issue. Every day on Yahoo and MSN they post more and more illegal aliens SOB stories. The public in the comments are angry at both sites over this. People keep mentioning that the citizens are at the breaking/ boiling point over this! Some people even think another civil war is coming over this issue. Try somehow to make it viral!

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John 4110 of MI's picture

Given the major revision of the site, has there been any provision of capabilities to edit and repair or extend our comments? I see there is a preview before posting which is a step.

Solomon 8954 of VA's picture


We have the capability now but need to finish testing it and work out the details of how to note the change was made. (If a person replies to a comment and the original poster completely changes their comment, the replier will appear to have commented completely out of context.)

Solomon Gifford
Director of Technology

John 4110 of MI's picture

Thanks I have a persistent habit of not adequately reading things that I have written. It is nice to be able to fix my typos and other mistakes. This also improves the quality of the discussion.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

While I think people should make a fair living wage, I believe the government is going about the minimum wage issue all wrong. First of all, restaurants should never have been able to be exempted from paying their employees and relying on the public to pay their help through tips. That said, the government should first deport illegals or enforce workplace immigration laws because we don't need to raise the minimum wage to benefit illegals. Funny how Obama decided this is a crucial issue after he packed the country with illegals who work in minimum wage jobs. Warren Buffet's idea that minimum wage workers should have their tax rebate doubled is totally messed up because then the American middle class will be paying these private business owners' workers so the owners can stuff all the profits in their pockets. Warren Buffet is also responsible for the Keystone Pipeline not going through. He made a deal with Obama to not sign the authorization while Buffet bought a bunch of Canadian RRs that he claims are adequate to transport the Canadian oil into the U. S.

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Aaron 8129 of ID's picture

If they raise the minimum wage we can expect more people on our unemployment rolls. Businesses would have to cut back employees hours or let them go. Unless management and other office type people were to a pay cut. Which in most likely possibilities not likely!

Ef 9991 of MA's picture

What study do you reference to support your assertion? Everything I've read has been that it would be employment neutral.....

The minimum wage I earned in the late sixties while in Jr. high school would be equal to twenty-two dollars per hour today if it had kept up with inflation, so keep dreaming.

Ef 9991 of MA's picture

Terri, it's not the middle class that should be burdened with any more taxes but the top 600 families that are turning us into a banana republic. And guess who has the power?

John 4110 of MI's picture

Obama is in touch with demographics and picking up votes by targeting rewards to demographic groups. This H1-b increase push is not about votes but about campaign contributions - delivering what the deep pockets want - cheap labor.

John 4110 of MI's picture

It seems that the last moment for new people to enter the primaries is here. The big push for some legislative measure is too and if that fails the rogue President will take some illegal actions.

John 4110 of MI's picture

Besides the cheap labor advocates which Obama seems to listen to in an uncritical fashion (of course, they are a big source of campaign funding) other special interest groups (like Universities that want to fill up enrollment by offering Green cards with degrees) also come into play.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

Obama's minions in IL are ruining our universities. The General Assembly keeps trying to cut pensions (which they can do on new hires), but they're trying to break the contracts they made with currently employees. So, the high quality professors are leaving because they can and they don't want to retire in IL

Gene 5798 of TX's picture

Now the question is concerning retirement, did government make promises they could not keep, or is government guilty of breach of contract? Either way, more proof that government is the U.S. is unworthy of trust!!

Linda 5236 of MO's picture

So much for the fallacy that illegals are only here doing jobs Americans won't do. I've been saying this for years. We desperately need an ENFORCED E-Verify law throughout the U.S.!

Mike 3234 of CA's picture

My information may be out of date, but I remember a while ago they passed a 20K increase to the cap for those with Masters degrees and above, bringing the total to 85K (not 65K). I think educational institutions can underpay TAs on H-1B visas as well and they don't apply towards the cap.

Aaron 8129 of ID's picture

Oh great so now it's gonna be harder for our unemployed Americans to get a job!! Kick em out!! Our government is supposed to be working for the American citizens not the illegals!!

Ef 9991 of MA's picture

What a weird confluence of comments here. First off I will declare myself an unabashed democratic socialist.

I find that anything that rigs the system to take away any hard won gains made by American wage-earners to be detestable.

RE: The H1-B visa system pushed by corporations is simply designed to depress wages. I agree whole-heartedly with Robert Reich.

Flat incomes for workers, corporate welfare, differences between the tax rate for earned and unearned income, off-shoring profits, etc are ruining this country.

Without a strong middle-class we are sunk.

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Kathleen 8078 of IN's picture

This is why if you research where the Common Core standards are coming from, it is not the USA, it is India. Research Agenda21 and all the High-tech jobs were meant to go to people in India. I lost my job to a person from India when IBM moved their call centers there. This is the plan by all major movers and shakers. They do not want the USA citizen to prosper. They are trying to equalize the playing field and keep the pay scale as low as possible.

Gene 5798 of TX's picture

You are right, Kathleen about exporting incoming and outgoing telemarketing jobs. That is why when contacting a service center Americans need to hang up, and call or write the corp's CEO.

Thomas 1762 of TX's picture

I just postulated a superfluous idea. Our Government is dead set on created another, far worse amnesty. We have only a short time to stop this invasion so let's fight fire with fire and hit them where it hurts. We have millions of American Citizens that are out of a job and looking for work. I am one of them. We need to band together and spread out to every day labor facility, every home improvement, every job site, and every street corner that illegal immigrants hang out looking for work. We Americans need to be there right beside them. Everytime that a truck pulls up, we hold up a sign that says, "American Citizen - Speak fluent English, skilled laborer, and ready to work. I will work for $1.00 per hour less than those guys". At first, they wont realize what is going on if you start out slow. Each day, add another guy or two, even women. This will result in a few outcomes, all in our favor. The people looking to hire will either ignore you and hire the illegals, avoid coming by that location, or might actually hire you. The illegals will either ignore you if the bosses are, get scarce and relocate, try to intimidate you, or call in the Liberal protectors to come and harass you. In either outcome, it would be beneficial to have someone secretly recording this from a short distance or with you. I don't see how they could win with this tactic as you are looking for work, you know that they are getting work and you are not saying or doing anything that is hateful. You are just beating them at their own game.

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