The "National Foundation for American Policy” (NFAP) came out with a policy brief on employment based visas for foreign workers. [Reforming America’s Regulations and Policies on Employment-Based Immigration (PDF)]If you are wondering why you should care, consider this: the mass media and the Washington DC elitists and policymakers consider the NFAP to be a paragon of truth.
NFAP lobbyists are the voice Congress hears when they are making policy decisions. There is a new push to pass legislation for more H-1B visas and employment based green cards (EB). Most of the arguments that are being put forth for more visas can be found in the NFAP policy paper. Since we can expect politicians and the media to quote this study to justify the importation of more foreign workers it's worthwhile to analyze excerpts of it's main points.
Before discussing the study it's perhaps useful to describe what the NFAP is. In simple terms they are a lobby group disguised as a non-profit research organization.
They are another sordid example of the revolving doors in Washington DC where ex-government officials use their expertise and influence to milk the system to the benefit of special interests. Here is a brief rundown of the NFAP cast of characters:
Revolving door #1—Stuart Anderson: if there is one character who is as infamous as lobbyist Harris Miller it's Stuart Anderson, who is the Executive Director of NFAP. [Email him]Stuart is an example of a Washington DC bureaucrat who worked for the government and then exploited the loopholes in the laws that are supposed to discourage insiders from jumping between private employers and top level government positions.
During the years 2001 to 2003 Stuart had executive level positions at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Before his stint at the INS he worked for four and a half years on Capitol Hill on the Senate Immigration Subcommittee for two Senators that were pivotal figures in pushing for H-1B and related visas: Senator Spencer Abraham (see #2) and Sam Brownback. Prior to that, Stuart worked at the Cato Institute. Stuart got an M.A. from Georgetown University and he has written for liberal icons of immigration enthusiasam such as the Wall Street Journal [See The Other Immigrants]and the New York Times.[See America’s Future is Stuck Overseas ] Stuart Anderson is the prototypical global elitist. [VDARE.com note: Check out his 1995 review of Alien Nation.]
Revolving door #2—Spencer Abraham: he received a law degree from one of the bastions of globalism—Harvard University. He was nominated by President George W. Bush as the tenth Secretary of Energy of the United States in 2001. Prior to that Abraham served as a U.S. Senator from Michigan for six years. As senator, Abraham was an infamous supporter of H-1B. Perhaps one of his worst misdeeds was his sponsorship of the 2000 H-1B bill that nearly tripled the yearly H-1B cap from 65,000 per year to 185,000.
Abraham [Email him]shamelessly received campaign money from lobbyists like Harris Miller, who at the time was president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). Abraham was so bad on immigration issues that a coalition of labor and immigration control groups united to boot him out of office. He lost his 2000 bid for re-election but that has never slowed down his work for expansion of visa programs for foreign workers.
Revolving door #3—Jagdish Bhagwati[Email him]: he was born and raised in India and graduated with a PhD from Columbia University. Bhagwati is slightly different from the first two examples as he made his career by using the revolving doors of world government instead of the U.S. federal system. He is a classic example of a globalist who came to the U.S. as an immigrant but owed his pledge of allegiance to world government. Professor Bhagwati served as Economic Policy Advisor to Director-General, GATT (1991-1993) and did a stint as Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization (2001). He still works with the globalists as an External Adviser to the WTO. Bhagwati is a media darling who is widely quoted regarding international trade theory. The titles of some of his books are enough to give away where he stands on outsourcing, immigration, and world trade: "Protectionism" (1988), "The World Trading System at Risk" (1991), "A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflections on Trade, Immigration, and Democracy" (1998), and "The Wind of the Hundred Days: How Washington Mismanaged Globalization" (2001). When Bhagwati isn't authoring books he writes propaganda for publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, and he appears frequently on national TV programs, including CNN and the PBS News Hour.
The 24 page policy brief is a collection of essays that are authored by organizations and individuals that lobby for expanded immigration quotas and amnesty. Not once in those 24 pages were the consequences for Americans discussed—even though the NFAP proposals would allow the labor market to be flooded by large increases of foreign workers entering the U.S. In the interest of brevity only the most egregious excerpts from the 25 page paper will be discussed. All of the following quotes from the NFAP paper are followed by my commentary.
“Sharply curtail requests for evidence by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicators and adjudicate cases in a timely manner.”
The NFAP is blatantly obvious about their desire to help out employers who don't want to bother with anything they consider burdensome, like filling out paperwork. The NFAP is asking the U.S. government to process visas without evidence that could be used to prosecute them if they lie or cheat. In other words, they want adjudication to be nothing more than a rubber stamp. Some would argue the process is already enough of a rubber stamp!
“This labor certification process is outmoded, burdensome and expensive. Employers who could be using those resources on expansion, marketing, or some other productive manner are instead "investing" them in a meaningless, non-productive compliance process that exists solely for its own sake. A better alternative is to return to the process of the late 1990s, when employers could show DOL what they did to conduct a "real" recruitment.”
This says that employers want to get rid of labor certification requirements for green cards that require that employers must prove they made an effort to hire an American first.
“The current standard is that availability of a minimally qualified U.S. worker prevents Labor Certification, even if the U.S. worker’s minimum qualifications are far below the employer’s normal hiring standards. For example, the employer might normally require top grades from select schools, rather than a ‘minimally qualified’ person with very low grades in a weak program. The standard should instead always be the same as the one that DOL already applies to college and university teachers through ‘special handling.’”
The phrase "special handling" may seem innocuous but it's actually as destructive as a keg of dynamite. The "special handling" they are talking about was used in the 1976 Eilberg Amendment to give colleges and universities the power to hire foreign professors without having to prove that there wasn’t a qualified American. If all employers are given "special handling" there will be no recourse or protections for American workers who claim they have been discriminated against. Special handling was a major contributor to the devaluation of the PhD degree since 1976 and it would be used in a similar fashion to attack the entire skilled labor force.
“To keep skilled foreign-born professionals in America, return labor certification, a process required for an employment-based green card that costs up to $25,000, back to its original intention. At the time of the 1965 Immigration Act, the late Senator Edward Kennedy stated: "It was not our intention, or that of the AFL-CIO, that all intending immigrants must undergo an employment analysis of great detail that could be time consuming and disruptive to the normal flow of immigration." He said the Labor Department could simply use available statistical data on employment.”
This is perhaps the most interesting part of the entire paper because it emphasizes that Senator Edward Kennedy fully understood that it was never the intent of his 1965 immigration bill to protect American workers from unfair competition by immigrants. Further, Kennedy didn't want to impose any control that would get in the way of the corporate desire to replace American workers with cheap foreign labor.
“An idea with strong support in the employer community is creation of a Trusted Employer registration program that would reduce the paperwork burden and render more efficient and consistent decisions for employers that have proven their commitment to compliance with U.S. immigration laws.”
This idea is understandably very popular among employers. That's because as long as an employer is on the Dept. of Labor "good ol' boy" list they will not be subject to audits or investigations—and they will have carte blanche to almost instantly import foreign workers. Because of lax enforcement very few companies ever get on the DOL bad list and even less will if the other NFAP suggestions ever get passed as law.
“Expand the circle of employers who can use existing programs. One of the nation’s biggest and most significant agricultural sectors—dairy—is barred from participating in the H-2A program. Dairy farmers’ reliance on foreign workers has skyrocketed in recent years as young Americans move away from rural areas and even the children of dairy families seek less arduous and less demanding work. But dairy farmers are largely excluded from the only program that offers farmers a legal way to hire foreign workers. This must change—or the dairy industry will eventually move offshore. Dairy farmers should have access to the H-2A program—as should an array of food packers and processors who are also excluded.”
On the surface this sounds like a good idea, except for the fact that Americans will be eliminated from dairy jobs when it becomes easier to import cheap foreign labor. Based on the history of the H-2A program it's doubtful that a change like this would have much effect on dairy farms. Currently the H-2A program covers most agricultural jobs but it's rarely used because employers prefer hiring illegal aliens instead of hassling with a program that requires that nonimmigrant H-2A visa workers be provided bare minimum housing and a fair wage. The phrase "reliance on foreign workers" is a smokescreen term they are using instead of "illegal alien"— which are the ones they hire now, and will probably continue to hire with or without H-2A.
The whole thing amounts to a conspiracy between employers and New Class professional globalists like Anderson against both the American worker and the American taxpayer. These organizations tend to be better funded than VDARE.com [supported by your donations] but their arguments are so obviously self-interested that they refute themselves.
Rob Sanchez (email him) is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization and author of the "Job Destruction Newsletter" (sign up for it here) at www.JobDestruction.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to Rob Sanchez, click here.