From Coast-to-Coast Thousands Line Up For Jobs

By Joe Guzzardi
July 22, 2016
As Seen In:
Newark Advocate
Wabash Plain Dealer
Mansfield News Journal
Zanesville Times Recorder
The Waxahachie Daily Light

Considering the bluster about job creation politicians put forward, they offer precious little in the way of tangibles about how they’ll improve the grim employment picture. One solution is addition by subtraction; that is, offer fewer employment-based visas to overseas workers.

Reducing such visas would, by definition, open up more jobs to unemployed or under-employed Americans. The State Department offers more than 50 different categories of work-related visas valid for hundreds of employment categories.

But even though last year’s high-profile cases at Disney, Toys “R” Us, Southern California Edison and Abbott Labs proved conclusively that importing workers, specifically H-1B visa holders, displaces Americans and stagnates wages for those that still have a job, lobbying for more visas continues unabated. Rosario Marin, U.S. Treasurer under President George W. Bush, wrote in her recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that “American companies need high-skilled international workers, not only to compete, but to survive.”

Marin may not know that in Silicon Valley, tech layoffs during 2016’s first four months have more than doubled compared to the same period last year. Accordingly, hiring has slackened. The workers Marin wants to import would have no place to go unless they take an existing employee’s job. The Economic Policy Institute took a broader look at the economy and found that 2.6 million potential workers are neither employed nor looking for employment. EPI calls them “missing workers.”

Silicon Valley giants don’t have to go abroad to recruit talent. Plenty of it exists right in their backyard. Earlier this month, young techies came out in droves in the Bay Area with the hope of finding a good job. More than 5,000 college-age students and interns registered for San Francisco’s annual Internapalooza jobs fair. The crowd included UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology, Duke and University of Pennsylvania graduates with degrees in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering and marketing.

Increasing the numbers of visas would be good news for employers because it means more cheap labor, but terrible for the young Americans who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their educations. When the political class and the corporate elite advocate for more visas, they’re also supporting fewer jobs for Americans which begs the question: Why don’t elected officials care more about struggling citizens than they do about votes and corporate interests?


Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987.