Immigration policy is being used to pink-slip American workers
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Immigration policy impacts Americans of all skillsets and education levels. It is often incorrectly assumed that our immigration system only brings in low-skilled laborers who compete with blue collar Americans in an increasingly difficult job market. Many politicians, whose jobs are not threated by foreign labor, often welcome mass immigration; in their minds, high levels of immigration means cheaper landscapers, housekeepers and au pairs. Elites in the halls of Congress and in many of the nation's newsrooms simply don't care about the impact low-skilled immigration has on American workers.


But some are starting to take notice about the impact of our nation's immigration policy on high-skilled Americans who work in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. The New York Times recently ran an interesting expose titled "Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements," detailing how American tech workers were replaced by foreign laborers through the H-1B program. It was a follow-up to Computerworld's piece, "Fury rises at Disney over use of foreign workers." The American workers — one of whom noted that he had received a pay raise and the highest possible performance review — were told they had to train their foreign replacements or face repercussions. "Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing," explained one worker.

This troubling trend is not limited to Disney. Similar replacements were reported at Toys "R" Us, Southern California Edison, Cengage Learning, Pfizer and other companies. Professor Ron Hira of Howard University says that the H-1B program "has created a highly lucrative business model of bringing in cheaper H-1B workers to substitute for Americans."

If journalists and politicians can understand the impact H-1B visas have on high-skilled Americans, there is reason to be optimistic that they will eventually come around to understanding the negative impact mass, low-skilled immigration has on other American workers.

The Center for Immigration Studies is hosting a panel discussion this Thursday focusing on the impact of our nation's immigration policies on American tech workers. Discussion will center on a new book authored by Michelle Malkin and John Miano titled Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires and Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasals Are Screwing America's Best and Brightest Workers. (The event is open to the public at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 12, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., but give us a call if you plan to stop by so we can try to hold a space for you.)

Speaking at the panel discussion will be co-author Michelle Malkin, a conservative columnist syndicated in more than 100 newspapers, Fox News commentator and New York Times bestselling author. She is founder of Hot Air and Also speaking will be co-author John Miano, an attorney with 30 years of programming experience and founder of the Programmers Guild, an organization committed to advancing the interests of technical and professional workers. Miano is also a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies.

Additionally, the panel will include Leo Perrero, a 20-year veteran of the information technology (IT) field and a former information technology engineer at Walt Disney World who was recently fired and replaced by a foreign worker. Perrero was recently interviewed by an ABC affiliate in Florida about his experience at Disney, and the video is worth watching.

The book, Sold Out, shines a light on the right-wing and left-wing groups and politicians that promote the H-1B program (and high immigration, generally) and makes the case that purported shortages of American workers do not exist and that there is nothing special about the H-1B visa-holders who are being welcomed into the country (unless you consider "working for less" to be a special trait). The book frames the immigration issue in a way few books do, it's chock full of compelling case studies and data, and it offers about 100 pages of endnotes to back up the research.

Those who do not work in the STEM field may feel inclined to ignore this book, but workers in all fields will learn that their jobs are not necessarily safe from the mass immigration agenda that runs deep in Washington. American workers should know who is behind the scenes, pulling the strings and this book names names.

The issue of American workers being replaced by foreigners is one that is bound to be a hot topic during this election season, as many of the candidates have taken very strong positions on the H-1B program. For example, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFive years after the Pulse nightclub massacre the fight for LGBTQ+ rights continues Rubio calls on Biden to 'forcefully' confront Iran over movement of war ships Bipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua MORE (R-Fla.) wants to triple the number of H-1B visas issued each year, while Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Tex.) has proposed quintupling the number — though he seems to be discovering that his position is unpopular. The Democratic candidates have not come out against the H-1B program or attempted to justify how it is being used; they're simply hoping talk about the H-1B program just goes away. Those who profit off the H-1B program are hoping the same thing.

But the more the public knows about how our nation's immigration policy is being used to replace American workers, the more quickly the mass immigration advocates will be stopped in their tracks.

Feere is the legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.