By Paul E. Almeida
President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The so-called Immigration Innovation (I-Squared) Act of 2013 (S.169) would dramatically expand the number of visas for foreign high-tech workers. These visas, called H-1B, are already bad public policy. At a time of record long-term unemployment, the I-Squared bill would only make things worse.
Foreign workers holding H-1B visas displace U.S. workers. An employer does not have to show a shortage of U.S. workers before hiring an H-1B holder.
Meanwhile, the foreign workers are at the mercy of the single employer they come to work for. The result is to avoid hiring U.S. professionals, hold down U.S. wages, and exploit foreign workers.
By increasing the number of H-1B visas, the proposed I-Squared Act will just make things worse. Its damage would extend to all U.S. workers, including African Americans, women, Asian and Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics.
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) brings together 21 national and international unions that together represent four million professional and technical people. DPE put together two Fact Sheets that explain the issues:
Guest Worker Visas: The H-1B and L-1
Impact of Guest Worker Visas on African American STEM Workers