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Coalition talks immigration reform benefitting high-tech, skilled workers

By MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: March 16, 2017 2:34 PM

COLUMBUS -- Members of a new state coalition want policy-makers to make it easier for immigrants with high-tech and other skilled backgrounds to enter and remain in the country legally.

The new Ohio chapter of the national reform group Fwd.us includes businesspeople, academics and others who say immigrants help to bolster the economy.

"We make it very difficult for high-skilled immigrants to stay in the state," said Carl Ruby, executive director of Welcome Springfield, a group that supports immigrants. "There are other countries that actually provide economic incentives and are paying these graduates to relocate in their countries and yet we have a system where they have to jump through lots of hoops, they have to get in long lines back in the countries where they're from."

Ruby joined other members of the new state coalition during a morning press conference at the Statehouse Wednesday. The larger national Fwd.us group was founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and more than a dozen other tech-company owners, with a focus on advocating for immigration reform.

"We do not, in this country, have awareness of the positive impact that immigration makes," said Josh Davda, owner of Optimum Technology Inc. in Columbus, noting that the founders of Apple and Google were both children of immigrants. "We only hear the noises about the border and Muslim ban and all the rest."

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Among other reforms, the new Ohio group is calling for a streamlined process for high-skilled immigrants.

"To me, the immigration policy needs to ask the question, what do we need economically?" Ruby said. "What number of immigrants do we need to function at an optimal level economically and then we need to make it as easy as possible for those immigrants to come to our country quickly and to contribute back to our economy."

The group also backs border security as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

"It's a very high priority, make sure that our borders are secure and that we know who's coming into our country and that we're keeping track of people so they don't overstay their visas," Ruby said.

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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DonHonda Mar 17, 2017 1:44 PM

An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists' thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/does-immigration-harm-working-americans/384060/

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DEFDC1430F934A15750C0A9609C8B63

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/notes-on-immigration/
The Conscience Of A Liberal--Paul Krugman

"First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small."
" But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

"My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand...

"Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. "

Also, it is patently untrue that "immigrants" are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/01/immigration-reform-declining-start-rate.html

DonHonda Mar 17, 2017 1:43 PM

The Government Accountability Office put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at "Level I", which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment". Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at "Level IV", which is officially defined by the US Dept. of Labor as those who are "fully competent" [1]. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they're experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing "the best and brightest" is meaningless), or they're looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry-level pay scale. In my opinion, companies are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35 [2], especially those at the Level I and Level II
categories.

Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (remember - the vast majority of H-1B visas are granted for computer-related positions). In fact, according to their survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2% [3][4].

References:
[1] http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1126.pdf
GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM - Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program
[2] https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/h-1B-characteristics-report-14.pdf
Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014
[3] https://web.wpi.edu/Images/CMS/CDC/2015-fall-salary-survey_(1).pdf
NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey
[4] http://career.sa.ucsb.edu/files/docs/handouts/2014-september-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf
NACE Salary Survey - September 2014 Executive Summary

DonHonda Mar 17, 2017 1:43 PM

There is no STEM crisis. There is in fact a surplus of US workers for STEM:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/06/06/true-or-false-america-desperately-needs-more-stem-workers/

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/257041-obamas-latest-plan-to-rewrite-immigration-law

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/21801-sen-sessions-rep-brat-warn-colleagues-to-curb-immigration

Watch Dan Rather's Doc: No Thanks For Everything
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoBWzIRuic

http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth-an-ongoing-discussion
The STEM Crisis is a Myth: An Ongoing Discussion
Throughout the month of September, we'll provide continuing coverage and debate

https://gspp.berkeley.edu/assets/uploads/research/pdf/h1b.pdf
The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration Policy on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries

http://www.epi.org/blog/h-1b-visas-do-not-create-jobs-or-improve-conditions-for-u-s-workers/
H-1B Visas Do Not Create Jobs or Improve Conditions for U.S. Workers

The immigration attorneys from Cohen Grigsby explain how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT finding any qualified applicants, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H-1b workers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmers_Guild

On May 2, 2008 a civil court judge sided with the Programmers Guild in their complaint against a Pittsburgh computer consulting company and ordered it to pay $45,000 in penalties for discriminating against legal US residents by advertising only for developers on H-1B visas. The case was brought against iGate Mastech for placing an advertisement for thirty computer programmers in 2006 "that expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of US citizens, lawful permanent citizens and other legal US workers" according to the US Department of Justice.[8]

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/did-you-know-obama-just-took-new-executive-action-on-immigration/article/2562053

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/28/obama-prepares-give-away-white-collar-jobs-citizenship-foreign-graduates/
Obama Prepares Give-Away of White-Collar Jobs And Citizenship To Foreign Graduates

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/238574-trade-agreement-is-a-trojan-horse-for-obamas-immigration

Obama just expanded definitions of "specialized knowledge" and no rule to hire US workers first leads to even more abuse of the L1-B Visas

Here's where Job Brokers abuse the H1B Visas, provide fake job histories and resumes, provide bogus training:

http://www.revealnews.org/article/job-brokers-steal-wages-entrap-indian-tech-workers-in-us/

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Grassley-Statement-Concerning-Immigration-Reforms-296630751.html