Sunday, April 15, 2007

Senator Chuck Hagel assaults U.S. tech workers with (S.1092) “The High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007”

U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (202) 224-4224 [I spoke with Jennifer 4/18 9:30am EDT - she could not explain why it should be legal for an employer to discard the resumes of 100 qualified Americans and instead sponsor an H-1b] has introduced “The High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007.” This legislation will increase the number of H-1B high-tech industry visas from 65,000 to 195,000, with exemptions that would make it virtually unlimited. His bill contains no protections for American workers from displacement. According to Hagel:

“The severe shortage of H-1B visas is a nation-wide problem, and Nebraska is directly affected. The demand in Nebraska for these highly qualified individuals in fields such as health care and computer science far out number the supply. This legislation is important to helping keep America competitive in the 21st Century workplace.”

The article perpetuates an H-1b myth by writing: "Many industries use H-1B workers to fill jobs when American workers can’t be found."

This is false. Aside from no requirement to first recruit American workers before hiring an H-1b, the study "American Made" found at page 24 that in the majority of cases employers do not hire H-1b to fill a shortage shortage of skilled U.S. workers, but rather because they simply desire to hire a specific foreign worker. This could be an Indian immigrant preferring to have other Indians on the team, or a desire to hire family members or former associates from the home country. (Many companies founded by Indians are comprised almost exclusively of Indians - "Americans Need Not Apply.")

The article then lists H-1b visa users in Nebraska. I've added a hyperlink to their LCAs

  • Union Pacific (Union Pacific Railroad) or (Union Pacific Corporation) (About 20 H-1b over a 5 year period. These are large corporations so a few H-1b per year should not be a significant factor either way.)

  • Streck Labs (5 researchers, 4 earning under $40,000)

  • First Data (2 VP H-1b earning $170k. 66 total H-1b, median around $60k. Their website lists several open IT jobs)

  • Valmont (Only 5 H-1b over a 4 year period - they are unable to hire one American per year? Median pay $48k)

  • Terracon (here) and (here) (52 H-1b over a 5 year period, but only 2 of the H-1b are in Nebraska)

  • Western Electric (No LCAs found)

  • DTL Industries (No LCAs found - unable to find alternate company name via Google)

  • NIC USA, Inc. (30 LCAs for software jobs paying around $70k, but all are in Kansas)

  • Omaha Public Schools (here) and (here) and (here) (40 school teachers over 5 years earning about $35k)

  • Lexington Public Schools

  • Great Plains Regional Medical Center (4 physicians over a 3 year period, earning - holy cow - $250,000. They have about 70 physicians in the directory, so one H-1b per year is not going to make or break this facility.)

  • Mary Lanning Hospital (21 H-1b over 5 years, half are technologists and therapists earning under $20/hour)

The vast majority of employers in Nebraska get along fine without any H-1b workers, and with a bit more recruiting the above employers could fill every position with American workers. These examples do not support raising the cap but rather that Congress should suspend this "U.S. Worker Replacement Program."

America already has a President bend on destroying the American middleclass. Sorry, we don't need another one.


Anonymous said...

I truly believe Senator Hagel works only for the corporate greed machine and is intent on purposefully and intentionally destroying any and all technical industries in the US for the sole purpose of profit for the corporations at the expense of American tech workers. This is NOT the role of a senator or ANY presidential candidate to intentionally undermine an industry just for corporate profit and greed at the expense of the American tech worker.

Anonymous said...

Senator Hagel's is once again undercutting American workers.

His votes are in step with his PAC contributors, 92% of which were business and only 2.8% labor.

Senator Hagel, with his wealth, couldn't even vote for an increase in the $5.15 minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

I wish more Nebraskans knew about how their Senator is selling out their interests.

As long as American workers do not know where theire interests lie, and who is serving them, our standard of living and way of life will decline until we are living in a Third World Country, with a few rich people like the Senators' supporters, and the rest of us living like the poorest peasants.