A new immigration bill aimed at allowing more overseas tech workers to enter the United States is being slammed by critics as a blatant attack on American workers. The bipartisan bill, which is being sponsored by Representative Orrin Hatch and is currently being considered in Congress, would expand various immigration programs and triple the amount of skilled-work US visas available.
“We have Americans being replaced by cheap foreign workers and the response is to supply industry with more foreign replacements to put even more Americans out of work,” says former technology worker turned lawyer John Miano. “Giving more foreign labor to the industry is like giving cocaine to an addict.”
Tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft are hailing the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 as a long-overdue fix for the immigration system. The bill would see the cap on skilled worker H-1B US visas rise from 65,000 to 195,000 per year, with no cap on visas for overseas students who graduate from American universities. Miano points out that companies that employ such workers have no requirement to pay Medicare or Social Security tax, thus making it cheaper for companies to hire foreign workers than American citizens.
Skeptics, including Rutgers professor Hal Salzman, are unimpressed with the bill. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Charles Grassley, says that it would fail American workers, while Salzman notes that immigration programs have resulted in domestic wages being flattened over the course of the last 15 years and undermining the United States’ STEM education.