Florida Senator Rick Scott is currently the only Senator standing in the way of (S.386) the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” passing without a single vote by unanimous consent, in doing so, protecting American workers and highly skilled immigrants already in the United States.
Senator Scott recently authored an op-ed for the Miami Herald explaining his positions on blocking unanimous consent for S.386, stating;
It hasn’t yet passed because I am the only senator holding it up. I recently objected to passing a bill that could have long-term negative impacts on our immigration system and Florida’s economic future. Only in Washington could politicians try to sneak something like this through without Americans fully understanding the impact.
He goes on to explain the delicate balance he perceives in maintaining and protecting the diversity and immigration central to Florida's state economy and culture while still following through with his campaign promises of reforming the nations's long-broken immigration system and securing the border. He states, "Reforms must be fair and make sense for the American people and economy, as well as for those around the world hoping to share in the American dream."
He then moves to the crux of the issue;
While I appreciate my colleagues’ work on the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” (S.386), it is a piece-meal attempt to address the immigration crisis. The bill aims to fix the employment-based (EB) visa backlog by eliminating the numerical per-country caps. However, it would do so at the expense of American workers, highly skilled immigrants, workers from Latin America and Europe, as well as Florida’s most important industries.
"The United States currently places a 7 percent per-country cap for high-skilled EB visas. Eliminating this cap would initially reduce the current backlog and wait time for workers coming from the countries with the highest number of EB visa applications – India and China.
About 75 percent of current EB visa applications are from those two countries alone. I am very sympathetic for those that have been waiting an extraordinarily long time for their EB visas, and want to find a solution to help, but we cannot create an unfair system that favors certain countries over others or hurts immigrants that do not happen to be from these nations.
While 80% of H1-B visa holders are from India, 75 percent of EB visas go to skilled workers from over 100 different countries working in a wide range of industries. Eliminating the per-country cap would provide an unfair advantage to workers from backlogged countries – India and China."
The Senator goes on to talk about the direct impact such a bill would have on his state of Florida. Sadly, the effects won't just be felt in that state but all around the country in the same manner. Thus Sen. Scott's concern "that it could pass without even a single vote in the United States Senate."
Sen. Scott still seems hopeful that the Senate can move forward with a bill that is not such a "quick fix." A solution that asks important questions like "What skills does the United States need? What sectors rely on foreign-born workers? What are we doing to protect our technology sector from the threat of Communist China? Are we doing enough to protect American jobs from China?"
Scott concludes with a pertinent message, one that applies to all immigration legislation - not just S.386:
Reforms to address the visa backlog must protect give companies, foreign investors and skilled workers from across the world the same opportunity to work in the United States. And we can’t do it in a way that hurts American workers.
Despite the fact that Sen. Scott's action won him applause among the growing number of Americans and would-be immigrants who fear S.386 will radically change U.S. immigration policy to favor outsourcing by Fortune 500 companies. His courageous America First move has caught the ire of Immigration Voice, an Indian H-1B lobby group who is actively trying to put hundreds of thousands of India’s H-1B contract workers on a fast track to green cards and citizenship.
The group has even made the erroneous, and almost laughably ironic, claim that "Senator Rick Scott likes to say that he is an “America First” Conservative, but the truth is he is either a Chinese puppet, a milquetoast “Diversity” loving liberal or both – a liberal Chinese puppet in the U.S. Senate who is also an America hating liberal?” Even going further, posting pictures of the Senator in a Klu Klux Klan hood, and comparing him to a segregation supporter.
Needless to say, the subversive, destructive power of these foreign lobbying groups knows no bounds and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their way, even if in doing so has a direct negative impact on the very basis of the American immigration system. Thankfully, in recent years, a growing number of American professionals are organizing to protect their jobs, via groups such as U.S. Tech Workers and many more.
Updated: Mon, Sep 14th 2020 @ 4:10pm EDT