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Bill Easing Employment-Based Visas Blocked

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) cites concerns it does not protect Americans at a time of high unemployment.


Aired 12/6/11

Green Card Bill

— Following years of gridlock on immigration reform, a bill to ease restrictions on employment-based visas sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives, only to meet a major roadblock in the Senate.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would lift current limits on the number of worker visas that can be handed out to immigrants from any single country.

Currently, no more than 7 percent of the 140,000 employment-based visas granted yearly can be given to workers from, say, India or China. The bill would not raise the total number of employment-based visas.

“What this ultimately does is create a first-come, first-serve Green Card system,” said Rebecca Peters, director of legislative affairs at the American Council on International Personnel. The group represents U.S. employers who support immigration reform for highly-skilled workers.

A U.S. Green Card.

Above: A U.S. Green Card.

Peters said some foreign, high-skilled employees of U.S. companies have been waiting decades for visas. She also said the bill would help the U.S. retain more foreign-born innovators who graduate from American universities.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 389 to 15 to pass the bill.

But Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) blocked it, citing concerns that it does nothing to protect Americans seeking high-skilled jobs at a time of high unemployment.

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Avatar for user 'gichristian'

gichristian | December 6, 2011 at 5:16 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

While I'm not a fan of protectionist policy, I don't know if I want all immigrants of any class from one particular place (ie-India, China, Great Britain, etc). I think it may be better to have some diversity in the pool. If they need to raise the ceiling for each country to 10, 15, even 20%, so it goes, but the system should not end up being served best to the nation with the easy to use embassy or best lawyer.

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Avatar for user 'beverlyroberts'

beverlyroberts | December 7, 2011 at 2:09 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns. An interesting research article called High Speed Universities is the solution to stop your job hunt. Search for it online.

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Avatar for user 'The_Outsourced_One'

The_Outsourced_One | December 7, 2011 at 7:51 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

This bill is not about "fairness". It is a gift to the Indian IT outsourcing firms.

For years they have brought people into the US to assist in moving the IT work of US-based companies to India. It has gone on for much longer, and been so much more profitable, than they ever expected. Many of their workers are here under H1-B visas. A visa originally pitched to the American public to be used by Swis atomic scientists, British fashion models and French tennis pros so that they could legally work in the US. It formed the basis of the outsourcing industry which exploded during the downturn of 2000-2002 and has been going at full strength ever since.

Now those who have been here the longest on these visas are facing the end of their ride and want to convert to permanent US residence (i.e. get a Green Card). To do so the politicians who are the puppets of the Wall Street firms - the largest users of IT outsourcing firms - have paired up with those looking for Latino votes to increase the number of visas from just three countries - India, China and Mexico - to the detriment of those from all the other countrys of the world.

It is no surprise that the sponsors of this bill are from Utah where GS is currently building out their IT insourcing group - which packages and feeds the work to India.

It is a mini version of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that removes the pressure to actually do real immigration reform and is a gift to the offshore firms. Firms - who because of our Supreme Court - are allowed to make unlimited campaign contributions to US politicians.

It this passes look for another bank bailout because there will be a wave of fresh outsourcing, leading to more middle-class unemployment, more home forclosures and finally less solvent banks.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 7, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

WHINING_ONE, why shouldn't Mexico (and Canada as well), have a priority over countries overseas?

And this has little to do with immigration reform. It's practically apples and oranges.

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | December 7, 2011 at 1:41 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Unadulterated AMNESTY! Mr. Gingrich!

What about the 20 million plus who have illegally settled here already?
Read the real costs of illegal immigration, which has been studied extensively by the Heritage Foundation. There are grids, analysis and carefully calculated grafts of federal payout and from the state coffers, which are bleeding $113 Billion dollars a year and rising. Then there is the 46 billion dollars that leave the United States to foreign banks; not re-entering American commerce.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich would have American taxpayers keep supporting the millions still unlawfully in this country? The question to ask yourself, they already committed an offense against our laws by crossing the borders or being an over-stay visa. Then to obtain a job in the U.S. other than criminal businesses not bothering to verify their hired work verification, they had to use fraudulent Social Security cards, drivers licenses, birth certificates or some other form of ID—isn’t this a FELONY by definition? THEN WHY IS IT NOT A FELONY? IF YOU STOLE SOMEBODIES ID OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND GOT CAUGHT, YOU WOULD BE IN JAIL. Study Says Gingrich Amnesty Bigger Than '86 Blanket Amnesty -- Gingrich Seems to Reject 'Attrition through Enforcement', that qualifies as mass amnesty.

The most recent polling finds that Republican voters have elevated Newt Gingrich to presidential frontrunner status. But it is difficult to believe that those supporting him agree with his amnesty plan, or are even aware that his proposal sounds like it would give jobs to around 3.5 million illegal aliens (according to a new Pew Hispanic Center study). Hopefully, Gingrich supporters can persuade him to at least cut 90% out of that.

Another legislator has joined the co-sponsors to enact 'The Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885) or extensively known as E-Verify. A mandatory law that holds businesses owners accountable, for hiring illegal workers and now only 32 sponsors to go, before it reaches the house floor. Learn more at NumbersUSA or call your Senator or Congressman at 202-224-3121 and giving your name, address to the aid and insist your representative in the Senate-House uphold the law and co-sponsor H.R. 2885.

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Avatar for user 'Pedro'

Pedro | December 10, 2011 at 5:12 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is right on blocking this bill NOT because he is concerns that it does nothing to protect Americans seeking high-skilled jobs at a time of high unemployment. But because it gives most of the green cards to India and China or almost 90% of the total. Today they already get more than any Country or almost 33% of the total.
For those that does not know, each H1-B worker is creating 4 to 5 jobs to American people so you should not be against bring smart and qualified people to work here. It will help the economy and create jobs

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 10, 2011 at 11:08 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Outsourced_one, you seem very confused.

We are talking about highly skilled Indians (and others) coming HERE and doing high-payed jobs that we don't have enough educated people to do.

That is far different from American companies outsourcing jobs to India for lower costs.

As someone who has lived in India and worked with many Indian-Americans as well, I can tell you that the Indians who come to the U.S. for work help our economy because they make high salaries, have specialized higher education, and spend in our own community.

I can also confirm that it's corporate AMERICANS who make decision to outsource, not Indians themselves.

Your logic that skilled Indians are given green cards to come here and outsource American jobs is ridiculous. I have worked at companies that outsource to India and China, and they do not need to bring Indian or Chinese nationals here to do it.

I think you are irate over outsourcing, which is understandable, but your hysteria has caused you to intertwine two unrelated issues.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 10, 2011 at 11:19 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

As an American, I want the best for my country, *regardless of nationality*.

The U.S. has decided to become a prison state, spending trillions of dollars on wars, military, and our domestic prison industrial complex.

This prison-state spending has been at the peril of our higher education system.

Just in the last few years, California began, for the first time in history, spending more on its prisons than on its public universities:

If we are not going to value education here and at the same time are going to reject importing educated labor from countries who do value education, then we don't have a place as world leader anymore. PERIOD.

Republicans insist on building an uneducated prison state and spineless Democrats allow them to get away with it. Then, the race-bating Xenophobes block logical legislation like this one.

I guess idiots like Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would prefer the system we have now - people from India, China and other countries come to the U.S. and are educated in our finest schools, then they are forced to leave and bring their specialized education skills back to their home countries. These are people who want to stay, but they are forced to leave. The U.S. is basically educating our own competition, we would be better off if these people stayed in the U.S., but racist dim-wits like Senate Republicans once again but xenophobia and political pandering over logic. We are headed towards slipping fast from being the world's hegemon.

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Avatar for user 'The_Outsourced_One'

The_Outsourced_One | December 10, 2011 at 5:08 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Rather than have me repeat the facts please read these links.

"Outsourcers corner market for U.S. skilled worker visas"

"Offshore outsourcing firms rely on the H-1B and related L-1 programs for three principal reasons. First, it facilitates their knowledge-transfer operations, where they rotate in foreign workers in to learn U.S. workers' jobs. In fact, U.S. workers are often "transferring knowledge" under duress."

"The H-1B visa program, Mr. Hira asserts, has become a vehicle for accelerating the pace of offshore outsourcing of computing work, sending more jobs abroad. Holders of H-1B visas, he says, do the on-site work of understanding a client’s needs and specifications — and then most of the software coding is done back in India."

'“There is no labor market test, using technically sound criteria, to determine whether or not there is a shortage,” said David M. Hart, an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University. The measures, Mr. Hart suggests, would include recent wage trends and unemployment rates in specific professions.'

'"IBM now has more people working in India than it has working in the United States, according to data compiled by The Economist magazine. In 2003, IBM's U.S. headcount was 135,155, while it had 6,000 workers in India. By 2009, its U.S. headcount had shrunk to 105,000, while its Indian workforce numbered 100,000. Deloitte has tripled its headcount in India, from 11,000 to 33,000. "None of this gets reported in the United States," says Hira.

India now has 2 million workers employed in the IT offshoring and business process offshoring industries. An estimated 65 percent of those workers directly serve the U.S. market, according to data from the NASSCOM, the Indian IT trade association.

"You are talking about 1.3 million jobs offshored to India," says Hira. "Part of the problem is that because no one is paying attention to what is going on, the industry can make up whatever statistics it wants. So the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using the mass layoff figures [from the Bureau of Labor Statistics] claiming that only 10,000 jobs have been offshored and they are able to get away with it."'

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