On the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, decried the Obama Administration’s proposed rule giving work permits to the spouses of certain H-1B visa holders. He said Congress did not authorize the Administration proposal. “They act on their own,” Sen. Grassley said. “And, they do it to the detriment of American workers.”

Sen. Grassley argued the proposal will allow more foreign workers “to come, work, and compete with U. S. workers in high-skilled fields despite the well-documented fraud in the H-1B program. “(T)he Obama administration clearly doesn’t seem concerned with the millions of unemployed Americans, and those who have been forced out of their jobs because companies prefer to hire lower-paid workers from abroad,” Grassley said.

Sen. Grassley continued, “In addition to their lack of compassion and understanding for American workers, it’s disturbing that the administration is once again circumventing Congress and implementing their own rules. As with other unilateral actions this administration has taken, I question their legal authority to issue this rule.

“In 2001, Congress explicitly laid out in statute that the Secretary could provide work authorizations to certain spouses of foreign workers. Congress said that work authorizations could be given to spouses of L1 (intercompany transfers) and E (treaty traders/investors) visa holders. Congress did not, at that time, give spouses of H-1B visa holders the permission to work. It could have, but it didn’t.

“The administration may claim that it has broad authority to issue work authorizations to anyone in the United States. If the executive branch has such broad authority, then why would Congress explicitly lay out the category of visa holders and foreign nationals who could work in the U.S.? And, what will come next? Where will this administration stop? What other categories of individuals will be granted work authorizations?”

Read more in Sen. Grassley’s press release.

Barack Obama
H-1B visas
executive fiat
Roger 8615 of CA's picture

Quit crying and do something about it. Congress is afraid of Obama.
Obama should be impeached. No more visa's to anyone until the Amercian college students have jobs.

James 7427 of KS's picture

Chuck Grassley is doing about all he can here. What we need to other members of Congress to back him and Sen. Sessions up and quit pandering to the donors.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

Congress is not afraid of Obama. The GOP only have a majority in the House. All the pro-amnesty pols are afraid of their corporate donors. Why would they care about a lame duck president?

Brett 6588 of CA's picture

Anyone else notice that Zuckerberg, one of the biggest proponents of this,and a huge Obama supporter and donor. Just accomplished the ability to drive down his own employees wages and increase the competition for hi tech workers?

None 2150 of WY's picture

The old cliché, 'Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it'.

Of course referring to all the politicians against illegal amnesty that are afraid to go against B.O. and his crony sheep.


This will get the ball rolling.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

What do you expect them to do? The Democrats control the Senate. It looks like the RINOS will control all of Congress after the elections

Charles 3427 of NC's picture

If Congress, both the House and Senate actually gave a damn, they would bring Obama and his dictator rule to a sudden end but their a bunch of spineless whimp's. They cry and cry but do nothing about Obama's tyranny. Their as bad as Obama himself. We need to get rid of them all.

Albert 3441 of PA's picture

With his re-election in 2012 and with continued Democratic Party control of the US Senate, Obama no longer has any incentive to follow the US Constitution or to respect the rule of law. Let's hope that the political paralysis of congress will end after November 2014. If not, we can expect government by executive order for the next 3 years.

Ying 9332 of CO's picture

I hope that the Numbers would not appear to be anti-immigrants, because immigrants, myself included, are also members of this organization.

There is a real chance that immigration reform, or amnesty, will pass this or next year. Our current policy overflows the U.S. with over a million immigrants every year. 70% of them are family-based. It is not sustainable in the long run. Therefore, it probably isn't a good option to do nothing on immigration.

Folks, we really have to have a few backup plans, just in case.

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GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

The only option that the Pro-Amnesty and Open Borders Gangs will accept is AMNESTY for everyone that can cross our non secured borders! So pretty much we are only left we the all or nothing approach unless we want our nation to become just another Third World country resulting from Open Borders per McCain and Obama.

Chris 6203 of VA's picture


NumbersUSA is pro-immigrant; our primary concern is how many legal immigrants should the federal government allow in each year to best serve the interests of all Americans, including legal immigrants.

You're right - nearly 70% of our annual immigration is due to the family preference categories and another 60,000 are coming in through the visa lottery. Plus, there are virtually no protections for American workers in any of our employment-based visa categories.

But this administration, as well as almost every administration since Reagan has refused to enforce our immigration laws. Until the federal government meets its responsibility to enforce the law, it's difficult to have a conversation about the people who are in our country illegally.

As for the legal immigration numbers, we have the lowest workforce participation rate in almost 40 years. 800,000 Americans alone left the labor force in April. We are trying to have a conversation about those statistics and how our current high levels of immigration make matters worse, but instead, most of our elected officials want to find ways to issue more work permits and bring in more foreign worker competition.

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Ying 9332 of CO's picture

Hi Chris,

I appreciate your comment. I am concerned since some influential economists and journalists were talking about upcoming "70 million baby-boomer retirees." They also claimed that the birth rate in the U.S. was about 3.4 decades ago, while currently it is about 2.1, etc. They apparently are worried about the Society Security and Medicare will become unsustainable.

My background is in economics, but I just don't know how to counter this kind of narratives created by open-border and pro-amnesty advocates.

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Albert 3441 of PA's picture

In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans could afford to have larger families because they had a higher real income. Today, 2-income families struggle even when they have only 1 or 2 children. Mass immigration and offshoring of US jobs have created this situation. Only a change in government policies can reverse it.

As for social security, it is hard to see how importing more poverty (low-wage workers) into the US is going to solve this problem. Immigrants grow old, too.

Ying 9332 of CO's picture

Hi Albert, I totally agree. I joined the Numbers last year because of this nonsense amnesty push. Mid-class Americans are this country's back-bones, yet big businesses and special interest groups are forcing average American workers to bear the costs and burdens of their powerful special interests.

Chris 6203 of VA's picture

Ying, Albert said exactly what I was going to say. Since 2000, 1 out of every 3 adult immigrants doesn't have a high school education. In fact, when the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector analyzed the fiscal impact of a mass amnesty, he concluded that most of the $6.3 trillion burden would hit American taxpayers when the immigrants reached retirement age and started drawing Social Security and Medicare.

As for the baby boomers, there are 92 million working-age Americans not in the labor force. And even if we had net-zero immigration, the population would still increase for at least another 40 years. So I think we'll have plenty of available workers to meet our labor needs over the next few decades.

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Terri 9170 of IL's picture

If they need more people paying taxes then they'd better get legal immigrants who will become citizens. Illegals come here to work for nothing and undercut Americans in the job market. They get paid under table and don't pay taxes or they make so little money, they get a tax rebate instead of paying taxes. Many of them pursue illegitimate businesses and they don't pay taxes. If these people are legalized, they will refuse to work for peanuts and then the corporatists will start funneling illegals in from Russia and Ukraine.

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Ying 9332 of CO's picture

Very true. I support a reduced immigrant flow until the U.S. Economy gets better. I hope that new legal immigrants are able to support themselves and would not rely on our social welfare system.

Meanwhile, we should demand to eliminate tax credits for U.S. Companies' foreign investment expenses, which should help reverse job outsourcing, etc.

John 4110 of MI's picture

The fact that in weak labor markets an immigrants employment essentially means an American's unemployment seem to be one of those unfortunate facts that has been shirked throughout the recession and recovery. The fact that so many Americans have been unemployed for so long as a result that they become nearly unemployable is also a consequence.
Going forward the Chamber of Commerce tells us that American workers will somehow benefit from the super immigrants that fill the available jobs.

Ying 9332 of CO's picture

Chris, here is what I came up with. I told them that because of the automation and computer technology, many low-skill jobs could be eliminated within the next ten to twenty years. So are you guys planning to add these people to our welfare system?

GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

They most likely are willing to add these groups to the welfare system long term along as their political contributors continue to financially benefit from the ILLEGALS even if it only looks to be a short term gain after all the Citizen taxpayers will continue to furnish the welfare.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

Gene, One problem with that. If this trend continues, soon we won't have enough of a middle class to support all the people on the dole. Then our economy will collapse.

GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

We as Citizen Tax payers realize tax support can not continue without “collapse” and sadly our politicians also realize the same thing but they just do not care as long as they continue to receive large political contributions from the Special Interest Groups that benefit financially from the ILLEGALS.

Chris 6203 of VA's picture

Some low-skill jobs will be replaced through automation, but we'll always have jobs in food service, retail, and other service industries that can't be replaced by automation. The problem is that many of the business owners in these sectors would rather import cheap foreign labor rather than raise wages for low-skill American workers.

Terri 9170 of IL's picture

Ying, it's a good argument because 60 Minutes has been running a program showing how many workers will be replace in 5 years with robots.

M 2510 of MA's picture

Ying, there are many many immigrants that are active in Numbers. For the simple reason they understand better than native citizens the destructive effects of over-population, un-employment, ethnic conflicts, lawlessness that is prevalent in many countries they came from and do not want to follow them here. The 'anti-immigrant' is a political label to demonize this organization and its members just like the racist card thrown about. Don't fall for it.

Albert 3441 of PA's picture

Absolutely right. To paraphrase Henry Kissinger,"The demonization of your adversary is not an argument. It is an alibi for the absence of one."

GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

I know I continue to reference the late 60's and early 70's when I was in the Army but there were a few in the Army stationed with me that had escaped from eastern Europe and Cuba and were always telling us how lucky we were to live in a country without a dictatorship. They were always amazed by the amount of "goods" in the PX's and the stores off base but most of all the freedom we "enjoyed" and at the time taken for granted by us. Many wanted us not to let down our guard because freedoms could be lost very fast. I was one that lost site of our freedoms wrapped up in living my life and bringing up our families while allowing the Special Interests and their politicians to still our freedoms and our nation for their own financial benefit P.S. They could all speak English, were able to learn in their home countries, a difference between the immigrants that appreciated the U.S. and the ILLEGALS invading our country today.

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Gene 5798 of TX's picture

Glen, you alone would not have been of any concern, it took hundreds of thousands doing likewise to mess it up this bad. I admire your willingness to accept responsibility for lapse in judgement.

Robert & Doreen 8684 of MT's picture

WHY do we continue to reelect Dems, our current Pres, (and also the GOP Leadership) who want to bring in more and more foreign workers to put US jobs and wages at risk???
Time to label them: ANTI-US WORKER and make it stick.

Gene 5798 of TX's picture

I for one have, and others, upgraded the anti-US WORKER label to anti- American, and include nearly all of both major parties.

Mike 1111 of CO's picture

NATIONWIDE MANDATORY e-VERIFY could be the solution.

This system already exists, it is fast, and it's cheap. It already catches lot of Illegals, where/when it is used, and unemployment drops there.

We don't need another crazy government program that Obama can't/won't implement anyway.

Work with what's already working.

John 4110 of MI's picture

When unemployment is high to a great extent an immigrant simply replaces and American in employment.

When unemployment is low. Workers are worse off by about the same amount that employers benefit from lower wages. Immigrants are of course better off. The environment suffers- this cost is almost universally ignored by economist in the immigration discussion. Even though American workers are worse off the Chamber has convinced political leaders that somehow the change that makes the country bigger and poorer is a good thing.

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Steven 9122 of OK's picture

No immigration legal and especially illegal until the citizen unemployment rate is near zero. We can train our own and we should put those able bodied back to work if they want gooberment subsidies. It was a big mistake to do away with the work requirement for welfare.

John 4110 of MI's picture

Workers interests( not the same as union interests)once were of the greatest concern to Democrats. Since the Republican party is perceived as usually driven by the interests of business and the very well off, the Democrats can safely ignore middle class workers. This is the path that has led us to the place where American workers get thrown under the bus for the interests of business and foreign workers.

David 3281 of IN's picture

According to recent reports by the DOE, there's something like 30 to 40 million student loan debtors that are in "Default" status, due to unemployment and under-employment, mostly because of the level of that debt. Since businesses usually check credit status of applicants in the hiring process, an immigrant without that debt level is given higher priority with equivalent level of skills. Simply put, that immigrant CAN work for less. Student Loan borrowers with non-dischargeable debt are at a disadvantage. Most highly-skilled, higher educated immigrants entering our nation via the lottery or with visa's, don't have that debt, controlling their lives and decisions, but are more easily controlled by their employer due to their immigration status. All this, and more, is why we see the reports on "The Student Loan Debt Crisis"!

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Mary 4475 of IA's picture

Around this poverty-stricken part of Iowa, the teachers and welfare "workers" want the illegals allowed in because it gives them a unionized jobs they wouldn't have otherwise. Imagine, our own tax leeches wanting more taxes!

James 4680 of TX's picture!documentDetail;D=DHS_FRDOC_0001-1215

Let us pour our comments and defeat this proposed rule

You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0017, by any one of the following methods:

•Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments.
•Email: You may submit comments directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by email at Include DHS docket number USCIS-2010-0017 in the subject line of the message.
•Mail: Laura Dawkins, Chief Regulatory Coordinator, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0017 on your correspondence. This mailing address may also be used for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions.
•Hand Delivery/Courier: Laura Dawkins, Chief Regulatory Coordinator, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529; Telephone (202) 272-8377.

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John 1025 of GA's picture

After posting my opposition to granting H4 visas to the spouses of H-1B Visa holders,!documentDetail;D=USCIS-2010-0017-0001

I was surprised to see that they refused to publish it. Here is a sample of what they will not publish!

[blockquote]This proposal is unconscionable and I am strongly opposed to it. That H1-B visas are allowed to work in this country because of a worker shortage is debatable given the high number of unemployed Americans. Now we are proposing allowing their spouses to work here as well? If the spouses had any special expertise, they would be able to apply for an H1-B visa and work on their own merits. To allow them to work under an H-4 visa is a de facto admission that they do not have any special training. Therefore, by employing them you would most certainly be denying that job to an American. This is unconscionable and reckless.

Doesn't the USCIS remember the American software engineer in Florida who shot people in the company who laid him off after he trained his replacements? At some point, if people cannot find a job or lose their job, they are going to be emotionally volatile. If there is an increase in worker rampages it will be the USCIS's turn to testify before congress much like the SEC after the Madoff scandal, the GSA after the Vegas spending scandal, and the IRS investigation of conservative political groups. Surely, the USCIS does not want to risk this adverse visibility. The American people are being pushed to the limit as it is with this jobless recovery. Does the USCIS think that it is so insignificant that its actions will not have ramifications on the public? I don't think so and neither should the USCIS!

The justification for motivating H1-B visa holders to stay in the US by allowing their spouses to work here is fraught with baseless assumptions. That the 'indispensable' H1-B holder will return home so that the spouse can be employed is absurd given that H1-B holders earn many more times what they would BOTH earn in their host country. Move home so both husband and wife work to make less money? I don't think so.

Given that one spouse is already working, what harm would it do to allow the other spouse to give back to the host country by volunteering to a noble cause? Surely there are many charities, many with an international bent, that the spouse could contribute to constructively.

Finally, I have to state that there are a lot of comments in this docket favoring giving the H-4 visa to the spouse. Please keep in mind that there is no flag requiring any commenting person to identify themselves as an American citizen. While our political process should be confined to our citizens there is no control in place to assure that the comments are from Americans. That said, please review those comments in favor of the H-4 visa in the context of where their allegiances may lie. Thank you![/blockquote]

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