At UCSF, a Too-Familiar Tale; American Workers Fired, H-1Bs Hired

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

March 9, 2017

Recently, the University of California, San Francisco campus fired 49 information technology workers, and will replace them with foreign-born H-1B visa holders. On the story’s surface, the news is disgusting and disheartening, but hardly headline-making. H-1Bs have routinely displaced Americans since Congress created the visa more than 30 years ago.

Taxpayer-subsidized UCSF boots American workers, hires H-1Bs.

The UCSF disgrace, however, has an angle to it that makes it more shameful than the Disney, Southern California Edison, Toys “R” Us, etc., ad infinitum, mass firings that destroyed American workers’ lives and families. Unlike the heartless corporate giants that often have long histories of undermining their employees, UCSF is a taxpayer-subsidized institution. Generations of Californians like my family and, I suppose, many of the fired workers’ families, have paid into the UC system for decades.

Last fall, journalist Michelle Malkin interviewed some of the soon-to-be fired UCSF workers that, as is the sickening practice, are required to train their replacement to ensure that their severance packages would be paid. Raymond Dy, a UCSF systems administrator, the married father of two and no doubt speaking on behalf of his now jobless colleagues, told Malkin that the severance mandate is “a big slap in the face” and “insulting.

Malkin co-authored with lawyer and foreign labor expert John Miano the blockbuster exposé “Sold Out” which details the corporate greed behind firing Americans and replacing them with cheaper, more pliant foreign national visa holders.

The Trump administration offers a ray of hope to threatened American IT workers. Effective April 3 and scheduled to last for at least six months, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will stop H-1B visa premium processing which allows corporations to fast track applications in exchange for a token $1,250 fee. In a separate announcement, the Trump administration said it will review a Save Jobs USA court challenge to prevent H-1B spouses, H-4s, from working. The Obama administration unilaterally initiated an executive action that allowed the spouses to work, an affirmative benefit immigration law previously prohibited.
 

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