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.
Diep Tran, chef and owner of Los Angeles’ popular Good Girl Dinette, recently wrote a passionate opinion column that criticized food journalists for promoting cheap eats lists. Tran, a Vietnamese refugee, said that by advertising dining establishments that serve lower cost food than available elsewhere, publications sanction, perhaps unknowingly, hiring immigrants who invariably work for lower than the going rate an American or legal resident would expect.
The reaction to President Trump’s speech delivered to a joint session of Congress fell along party lines – no surprise. But even among the president’s most fervent supporters, those who eagerly voted for him, disappointment is growing and intensifying over his failure to keep an important campaign promise.
Here in Pittsburgh, we don’t have much immigration. As I sit writing this blog post, I’m trying to remember the last time I heard a language other than English spoken around me. I can’t recall. The jobs that legal and illegal immigrants so often fill in California and other immigrant-heavy states are, in Pittsburgh, almost exclusively done by Americans.
President-elect Donald Trump’s repeated promises to create jobs, and bring unemployed and under-employed Americans back into the fold resonated strongly with disenfranchised voters, and helped put him in the White House.
Analysts hoped that the October economy would have generated 175,000 new jobs. The actual number the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported was even less inspiring, 161,000 of the usual low-paying, part-time jobs. Changed little over the past month was employment in major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade and transportation.
At a one-day conference in Pittsburgh called the White House Frontiers Conference, President Barack Obama announced that he will allocate more than $300 million in federal and private funds to support science and technology. The total will include about $165 million for so-called smart city initiatives like reducing traffic congestion.