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.
It’s getting harder and harder for the poohbahs of U.S. tech companies to peddle their sad tale about shortages of American workers to do tech jobs. People are starting to catch on to the truth as they read story after story of companies firing their American workers and hiring foreigners commonly brought in on H-1B temporary visas. Often before they go, the Americans have to train their replacements in order to get severance pay.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced a long overdue bill to close the multiple loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visas. Called the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, the legislation would protect U.S. workers and crack down on foreign outsourcing companies’ abuses that deprive qualified Americans from gaining employment and getting high-paying jobs. U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is a co-sponsor.
Patrick Talamantes, CEO of the McClatchy newspaper chain, began a letter to his information technology (IT) employees in a cheerful and up-beat fashion. He told them that the company was “pleased to unveil our new IT transformational Program, a program designed to provide improved service. . .”
An oft-told lie these days is that Americans are just too stupid and unmotivated to do jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). So to make up for this alleged shortfall in talent, many U.S. employers say they have to import foreign geniuses under the H-1B visa program. A related big lie is that Americans aren’t up to starting businesses anymore. Therefore we must bring in foreigners who – we are told – possess marvelous entrepreneurial talents far beyond those of U.S. natives.
In a recent press release, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global consultancy firm, wrote that in 2015 the U.S. technology sector – computer, technology and telecommunications firms – announced 79,315 planned job cuts.
Now I know why my son, an engineering graduate, struggled so long to find his first job!
In December 2014, I was a proud father. My 22-year-old son had endured four years of one of the most grueling majors in higher education – electrical engineering – and had just graduated with a respectable GPA from one of the top engineering colleges in the country – Virginia Tech.
News that Southern California Edison (SCE) fired 400 American IT workers and replaced them with foreign-born H-1B visa holders is remarkable only in the sense that the media picked up the story. Other high-visibility employers like Disney shamelessly rely on H-1B workers, and in the process overlook many qualified Americans.