Saturday, July 28, 2018


Republicans Vote to Gut Enforcement, Increase Foreign Workers 

The DHS funding bill shows the skewed priorities of GOP appropriators 

By Mark Krikorian

National Review Online, July 27, 2018 

The House Appropriations Committee this week approved the Department of Homeland Security funding bill for fiscal year 2019 (starting October 1, 2018), after considering a raft of amendments. This is not necessarily the final product; the bill will likely be amended further if and when considered by the full House of Representatives, and again when the House and Senate confer on reconciling their respective versions of the legislation. 

Nevertheless, at this stage the DHS appropriations bill, passed Wednesday on a party-line vote of 29–22, is a snapshot of priorities of this most important committee. And it contains several harmful provisions that would increase illegal immigration and the importation of foreign workers on “temporary” visas — provisions passed with the support of the Republican chairmen of the full committee and its Homeland Security subcommittee. 

The following is not necessarily an exhaustive listing of its immigration-related provisions, but it highlights the most important ones. 

Funding levels. The provision most remarked on is the $5 billion for “Border Security Assets and Infrastructure,” i.e., construction of an estimated 200 miles of border barriers, without the restrictions that are in the current-year funding bill that prevent use of funds for anything like a wall. 

The bill also funds more than 400 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and increases the number of detention beds by more than 3,000 over the current level, to 44,000. That said, the funds approved are very different from what the administration requested. The mostly non-immigration part of ICE, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is given about 17 percent more funding than the administration requested, while Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), which handles deportations, is given 19 percent less than requested. 

Asylum standards. The worst mischief comes in the amendments. Among those added in Wednesday’s markup, perhaps the most damaging is one introduced by Representative David Price (D., N.C.), supported by Representative Kevin Yoder (R., Kan.), chairman of the panel’s Homeland Security subcommittee, and approved by voice vote. The measure prevents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from implementing the attorney general’s ruling regarding eligibility for asylum. 

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed the creeping expansion of asylum by formally determining that domestic abuse and gang violence are not grounds for asylum from persecution due to “membership in a particular social group,” as specified in the 1980 Refugee Act. This expansion of the grounds for asylum took place under the prior administration without congressional action and has contributed to the surge of Central American minors and families at the border. 

The amendment to the funding bill would have its immediate impact on the first step in the asylum process, called the “credible fear” interview. When an alien at a port of entry or in the custody of the Border Patrol expresses a fear of return to his home country, he is interviewed by a USCIS officer to determine whether the fear is credible and could lead to a successful asylum claim. If the alien’s fear of return is deemed credible, he may then pursue an asylum claim, though many who are released into the U.S. to do so don’t follow through, but simply disappear into the illegal population. Aliens have thus been coached by smugglers to claim asylum as a way of gaining access to the U.S. 

The attorney general’s ruling, and the subsequent guidance from USCIS to its officers, has had an immediate effect at the border. For if fear of gangs or of an abusive partner — i.e., private violence rather than state or state-sanctioned violence — is no longer a grounds for asylum, then aliens asserting such fears no longer pass the credible-fear interview and can be turned away or deported immediately. 

Were the Price-Yoder amendment to be signed into law, the attorney general’s ruling would remain unchanged, but USCIS officers could not rely on it in making credible-fear determinations. It’s not clear how that would work as a practical matter, but the clear goal is to ensure that any alien who claims “persecution” on the ineligible grounds would nonetheless be let into the United States. This would make regaining control of the border difficult, if not impossible — no matter how big the wall might be — because the Obama-era welcome mat for bogus asylum seekers would not only be restored but enshrined in statute, meaning smugglers could rely on it as a means of getting their customers past the Border Patrol and into the interior of the country. 

Foreign workers. Two amendments expanding work-visa programs were also passed by the Appropriations Committee. The first determines that H-2A seasonal-farmworker visas no longer have to be seasonal. This was done to satisfy lobbyists for the dairy industry, which works year-round and wants to import cheap foreign labor through this unlimited visa program; it is stymied by the wording of the statute, which limits the visa to work “of a temporary or seasonal nature.” The appropriations bill does not change the wording of the statute creating the farmworker visa; it merely says that workers will be admitted in FY 2019 under that provision of the law “without regard to whether such labor is, or services are, of a temporary or seasonal nature.” It would result in large, ongoing increases in the number of these “temporary” foreign workers. 

The other foreign-worker amendment affects the H-2B visa, which is the non-agricultural equivalent of the H-2A, used mainly by landscapers and hotels and restaurants. The amendment was just the latest round in lobbyists’ relentless backroom push to exempt from the visa’s numerical cap all those workers who came in prior years (in this case, in the prior two years). This was accomplished in the previous two budgets via a gutless gimmick — the DHS secretary would be authorized (wink, wink) to exempt returning workers from the cap if it seemed necessary. That way, congressmen wouldn’t have their fingerprints on the increase. At least this time they chose not to hide behind the gimmick. 

Country caps. Another amendment also benefits those on “temporary” visas, though it doesn’t increase overall numbers. This measure (which has been floating around for years and was reintroduced in this Congress as H.R. 392) would eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based visas and increase it for family-based visas. 

The per-country caps were enacted decades ago as a kind of circuit breaker, to prevent a handful of countries from monopolizing the immigration flow. Their effect today is to lengthen the wait for certain immigrants from India, China, the Philippines, and Mexico, compared with similarly situated immigrants from countries that account for less of the immigration flow. The caps result in a more diverse immigration flow. 

The lobbying juice behind this change is Big Tech and the Indian “temporary” workers it has imported on H-1B and L visas. These are also ostensibly temporary visas, but are widely used as stepping-stones to permanent immigration. But so many of them are given out that the workers endure extended periods of de facto indentured servitude waiting for their numbers to come up. Eliminating the cap would speed up the issuance of their green cards, making the H-1B that much more attractive to potential low-paid tech workers and that much more useful for employers looking to replace their American workforce with foreigners. The flip side is that people from other countries, generally more highly skilled than the H-1Bs, would be crowded out as virtually all employment-based green cards went to Indians. 

There’s more! Not to drag this out, but there are more bad amendments that the GOP appropriators tacked on. Representative Yoder himself co-sponsored a provision prohibiting the separation of children from parents unless “the parent has a criminal history, a communicable, disease, or is determined to be unfit or a danger to the child.” This is a formal, statutory exemption from prosecution for illegal entry for all adults who bring children with them — and will thus result in even more border-jumpers’ bringing (or renting) children. 

A seemingly pointless amendment prohibits the deportation of anyone in the lawless Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It’s pointless because DACA, by definition, prevents your deportation, and the only DACA beneficiaries who get deported are those who forfeit their status because of crimes. Since the amendment can have no actual result, the real point seems to be to codify Obama’s illegal DACA power grab by getting Congress to acknowledge it and incorporate it into law. 

And needless to say, the Republican-run Appropriations Committee did nothing to defund sanctuary cities. 

It’s not clear to me why Representative Yoder, as Homeland Security subcommittee chairman, orchestrated this fiasco. He actually has a respectable career immigration grade from Numbers USA of B+; not as good as Ted Cruz’s A+ but better than John Cornyn’s C+. And, for including wall funding, Yoder was effusively endorsed by President Trump and rewarded with a ride on Air Force One — and the next day he sabotaged the president’s immigration agenda. 

Hill staff assured us that the most egregious items won’t make it to the floor or will be killed in conference (if the bill even gets that far). But why take the chance? Will the Democratic appropriators stock their bills with Republican priorities if they take over next year? 


REPORT: The assault to finish off the American middle-class is NOT over

“The report noted that many illegals don't have jobs or have difficulty in landing good jobs because of local laws.”

“However, it identified several states that have begun easing employment laws so that illegals can get a job.”

College-Grad Salaries Eroded by Hidden Army of 1.5 Million Visa-Workers

Every CEO in every company sees the business opportunity: Will I earn higher profits by replacing my American staff with cheaper H-1B workers? The answer is an obvious yes.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with foreign labor. That process spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. The policy also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.

It will more likely come on the heels of economic dislocation and dwindling wealth to redistribute.”
"The kind of people needed for violent change these days are living in off-the-grid rural compounds, or the “gangster paradise” where the businesses of drugs, guns, and prostitution are much more lucrative than “transforming” America along Cuban lines." BRUCE THORNTON

There can be no resolution to any social problem confronting the population in the United States and internationally outside of a frontal assault on the wealth of the financial elite. 
 The political system is controlled by this social layer, which uses a portion of its economic plunder to bribe politicians and government officials, whether Democratic or Republican.


"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."

Illegal Immigration and Poor Americans

The Democrats and the left have a rallying cry regarding the Trump administration's policy toward those crossing the border illegally.  They point to the separation of children from their parents and deplorable conditions.  They claim that it is a humanitarian effort, but how humanitarian is it to drop off numerous unaccompanied children or release them into an unknown territory where they can become the victims of predators?  They never address the negative impact on the poor American citizen.
They are calling attention to pictures of children in cells, yet, in 2014, when Obama was president, American Thinker interviewed then-governor of Arizona Jan Brewer, who stated, "Each child has a designation of cells, such as 'cell 7 or cell 8.'  There is a chain link fence surrounding them and they are sleeping on bed mats with just a blanket.  It breaks my heart to see babies being born in these facilities.  I spoke with a fifteen-year-old who is pregnant.  I was told by a lot of these children that they had to pay between $5,000 and $7,000 and that they still owe money to those who brought them here.  You know what these cartels will do – use extortion.  We need to question if there were any children that never arrived, and what happened to them?  What about the potential for these children to be part of a human-trafficking ring?  Do we know anything about the people they are being released to?  As a mother, I can never conceive that these children would be sent with a stranger to a strange land on a fifteen-day hazardous journey.  I understand the humanitarian argument and feel the situation is pathetic and pitiful.  But what about the children who are American citizens living in ghettos and are fearful for their lives because of gang violence?  The bottom line is, America is not big enough or rich enough to accept all these people."
Another instance was told to American Thinker by a member of the Civil Rights Commission, Peter Kirsanow, who also happens to be a great thriller-writer, his latest being Second Strike.  A few years ago, he and his colleagues went to a Texas detention center and found the conditions to be the opposite of Arizona's.  "We found very nice facilities where the people there were given three meals a day, dental/medical care, clothing, and a nice recreational area.  Yet the majority report included two photos showing horrific conditions.  My assistant discovered that these were not of the detention center, but of prisons," which also separate families when either a mother or father is incarcerated.
Kirsanow is frustrated with what is happening in America today.  He is a black American and believes that illegal immigration has a devastating effect on low-income American citizens.  It seems that the Democrats and left are just using the illegal immigration issue as a talking point, supporting aliens at others' expense.  "We need to understand illegal immigrants have some negative competitive effects on American workers.  They drag down wage rates, drag down employment, and compete directly with blacks in industries such as service, hospitality, and construction.  Welfare and college spots have been taken from Americans and given to illegal immigrants.  They are a net drain on the economy."
Steven A. Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, agrees.  "Because the overwhelming share of illegal immigrants residing in the country have not completed high school or have only a high school education, it would require highly implausible assumptions to avoid a substantial net fiscal drain from this population.  In short, illegal immigrants are a large net fiscal drain because of their education levels, and this fact drives the results."
He compared the amount in annual expenditures on children in detention centers to those of American children: "the March 2017 Current Population Survey has 24 percent of American children living in a household making $35,000 or less.  And it is my understanding that is what we spend on kids in detention."
Senator Robert Kennedy was in the Mississippi Delta 50 years ago for a Senate subcommittee examination of War on Poverty programs.  Ellen B. Meacham wrote in an op-ed, "What he saw on his widely publicized trip shocked a nation, but Americans would be even more shocked to know that 50 years later, the Delta remains desperately poor," with one in three people running out of food each month.  Perhaps this is because the attention has shifted to the illegal alien.
Concerning the separation of families, the Heritage Foundation found that single parents make up the overwhelming majority of all poor families with children in the United States.  Welfare programs create disincentives to marriage because benefits are reduced as a family's income rises, such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
It is striking that the conditions of a poor American child do not draw the same attention and sympathy as children of illegal aliens.  Kirsanow wants people to understand that 73% of black children are born to a single mother, up from 20% in the 1960s.  "Liberal policies have been responsible for this.  The Democratic policies facilitate single parenthood, separating children from their families."
Kirsanow cites the statistic that competition from illegal aliens has caused 40% of the nineteen-point decline of black employment levels over a couple of decades.  "We are talking over a million jobs.  Black wage rates were suppressed by $1,000 annually.  Democrats are throwing blacks under the bus by appealing for the Hispanic vote by calling for open borders.  The lives of blacks in cities like Detroit, with uninterrupted Democratic rule for decades, have not improved significantly.  These policies have been devastating to blacks."
All Americans should strive to protect our fellow citizens and their interests first.  As Kirsanow summarized, "it is really disappointing to see an entire party more invested in the plight of foreigners than in the welfare of Americans.  The Democrats understand that even though they have policies devastating to blacks they still get 90% of their votes.  They have disjointed appeals to different identity groups, with electoral politics trumping all."
The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

GOP Rep. Yoder Offers Green-Card Giveaway to 200,000 Foreign College-Grads

Immigrants Great
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder engineered a committee vote in the House which puts 200,000 Indian visa-workers on a fast-track to green cards and citizenship, despite the growing economic impact of visa workers on American college graduates.

Yoder’s Indian-giveaway amendment was approved July 25 even without an on-the-record vote by the GOP-run House appropriations committee, and it is being applauded by tech firms which prefer to hire cheap Indian college-graduate workers instead of young American graduates.
If made law, Yoder’s 2019 budget amendment will widen the Indian pipeline of graduate contract-workers which are already flooding the labor market for U.S. college graduates, said John Miano, an immigration lawyer and former software professional
Yoder’s amendment will also skew the nation’s immigration system by making it difficult for non-Indian foreigners to get green-cards over the next five years, Miano said. “I don’t think Mr. Yoder has thought through what his amendment does … He has not looked at the big picture,” Miano added. 
Current federal immigration law sets “country caps” to spread the distribution of the 140,000 green cards which are allocated to employers. Yoder’s amendment kills those 7 percent country-caps as “national discrimination” and allows the huge backlog of more than 300,000 Indian visa-workers — plus a similar number of family members — to jump to the head of the green-card line. Once the Indians jump to the head of the line, people from other countries are pushed into a wait of at least five years.
“From the Indian perspective, this is wonderful —  it transforms the American immigration system into an Indian-first system,” said Miano. “Every [other] ethnic lobbying group will be screaming because only people from India will be getting [employer-sponsored] green cards,” he said. 
The removal of the country caps will also lock-in India’s critical role in the U.S. software sector, Miano said. Without the caps, U.S. companies will face a multi-year delay before they can provide green cards for valuable foreign experts who are not Indian. The delay will deter them from trying to create a non-Indian pipeline because few foreign experts will stay with U.S. firms if they cannot quickly migrate into the United States, he said.
Non-Indian visa-workers in the backlog are already protesting their likely exclusion:

We're now visiting @casapuebloorg in -- a self-sustaining community group that produces coffee, manages local forests, teaches kids & is solar powered. ’s energy future should be renewable! Learn more:
Dear Congresswomen and Congressmen
Please remove the from DHS appropriation bill. It is for sure against the US commitment to diversity. Highly-skilled applicants from more than 100 nations will suffer from it. Please say

Indians play a central role in the U.S. software sector because the Indian tech industry has created a large pipeline of contractors who are willing to work at low wages in the hope of eventually getting citizenship, said Miano. Their central role is made worse because U.S. CEOs allow the growing number of Indian subcontractors in the United States to quietly exclude Americans from contracts and opportunities sought by Indians, said Miano. “I have personally experienced it and I hear more and more of that is going on,” said Miano. ‘Their [U.S.] clients want cheap foreign workers from overseas,” not Americans, he added.
Yoder, who is chairman of the House’s homeland defense appropriations subcommittee, did not try to trade his giveaway to business for reforms which could help Americans, such as curbs on visa-worker outsourcing or reforms to asylum laws. No Republican on the committee spoke against Yoder’s giveaway, but a Democratic leader said they would oppose the giveaway because it did not also include a “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
In the same markup meeting, Yoder also helped pass amendments to triple the inflow of H-2B blue-collar visa-workers, to increase the number of H-2A visa-workers for farmers, and also to revive President Barack Obama’s catch-and-release rules on the Mexican border, all of which help to suppress wages for blue-collar Americans. 
GOP opposition to Yoder’s amendments was muted partly because he can use his chairmanship of the homeland defense subcommittee to quietly punish other GOP legislators who publicly oppose his priorities.
Yoder’s office did not answer questions from Breitbart News about the green card plan.
Yoder’s visa-worker giveaway is being applauded by Indian lobby groups and by the huge employers who are hiring Indian college-graduates for professional-track jobs at Americans’ hospitals and universities, as well as software, insurance, banking and business-consulting firms. Yoder’s amendment was applauded by Amazon, Microsoft, and, an advocacy group of tech-industry investors who want cheaper foreign white-collar labor.

Amazon applauds @KevinYoder on the passage of his amendment to the @DHSgov appropriations bill, H.R. 392, that would remove the per-country limit on green cards. This is an important step towards green card reform, and Amazonians thank you for your leadership on this issue.

Thank you @RepKevinYoder for being a champion of . Your amendment to the FY19 Homeland Security @HouseAppropsGOP bill is an important step forward to fixing the green card backlog.

The lobby groups formed by the Indian visa-workers also applauded Yoder’s giveaway:

Indian workers are a bargain for U.S. companies because they accept low wages and work long hours in the hope of getting a hugely valuable deferred bonus — the federal government’s offer of citizenship to them, their spouses and children, their parents, and their chain-migration in-laws. In contrast, American graduates must get all of their pay in company dollars that are also wanted by company CEOs and investors, such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The vast majority of Indians get into the United States — and onto the green card backlog — via the outsourcing programs for visa-workers.
The visa-worker programs include the H-1B program, the little-known L-1 program, the Optional Practical Training program, the E-1 visa, the TN visa and the J-1 visa. Overall, these laws are outsourcing roughly 1.5 million jobs to a resident population of roughly 1.5 million foreign college-grad workers. This huge population of foreign workers is helping to suppress American graduates’ salary growth even below the slow growth in blue-collar wages. The resulting profits spike higher stock values on Wall Street.
These programs deliver foreign workers into many professions in academia and software, engineering and health, in every state. In 2017, for example, Kansas employers asked the federal government for 951 H-1B visa workers, according to The employers wanted H-1B visa-workers to fill 25 physician jobs, 16 financial-analyst jobs, 15 biochemist jobs, and 28 engineering jobs, even though Kansas produces many skilled graduates each year. The employers wanted foreign workers for 399 jobs in Yoder’s district around Overland Park  — including 80 jobs at three Indian-owned companies.
In 2000, Congress allowed these visa workers to extend their temporary stay by applying for employer-sponsored green-cards, so converting the visa program into multi-step immigration programs.
In general, Indians dominate the software sector, while Chinese postgraduate students are hired into the nation’s science laboratories. This reliance means a very large number of Indian and Chinese nationals apply for the employer green cards. The country caps limit the number of Indians and Chinese who get the cards, so there is a huge and growing backlog of former visa workers from India and China who are working in the United States while waiting for green cards.
The backlog hurts Americans graduates because it effectively smuggles roughly 400,000 additional Indian and Chinese college-graduates into the U.S. labor market. The problem could be ended if agencies simply established a regulation saying additional applications would be rejected once the waiting list has reached past five years, said Miano.
The backlog now includes 306,000 Indian workers, plus their 325,000 spouses and children. These migrants have a huge incentive to lobby for the removal of the country cap because the change would vault them to the head of the line — and also allow them to sponsor their parents and in-laws to arrive in the United States.
Indian advocates fighting the country cap say the wives of the Indian visa-workers have proved to be the most persuasive, partly because U.S. politicians do not want to be seen as rejecting their pleas. For example, Yoder has repeatedly showcased the Indian wife of an H-1B worker murdered in Olathe, Kansas, February 2017. During the July 25 appropriations committee markup, Yoder mentioned Sunayana Dumala repeatedly, saying:
She has become an inspiration as an outspoken advocate for this legislation. We’re so proud to have her here today.
To pass his amendment, Yoder emotionally painted the country caps as unfair discrimination against Dumala, while he ignored the impact of cheap visa-workers on the young Americans in his Kansas district: 
Without this fix, Sunayana will very likely never become an American citizen ….  Her backlog may make it so that she never become a United States citizen. Yet someone born today in almost any other country around the world, save for China or India, someone born today can go through school, go through higher education, can come to America, 30, 40 50 years from now on a high skilled H-1B visa and still get in line before Sunayana Dumala because she happens to be from India.
Mr. Chairman, that is discriminatory, it is wrong, it is unjust, and we have a chance here today in this committee in a bipartisan way to put a stop to that, to make this a first-come, first served basis and to quit this horrible discriminatory practice and to stand up for the Sunayana Dumalas of this country
Yoder also invited Sunayana Dumala to the 2018 State of the Union speech. He told a newspaper for Indians in the United States that:
“It was my idea—I’ve gotten to know Sunayana very well over the last year after the tragedy –the murder of her husband in a hate crime,” he said. “She’s become a very powerful symbol against some of the hate in this country directed toward minorities, with her response of love and kindness and trying to bring this country together that has been so inspirational. I thought a lot about it this week even and it really speaks to Dr. Martin Luther King’s message that it’s only love and light that can drive out the darkness and hate. And, she is the walking embodiment of that and so, I have a lot of respect for her and her struggle and her courage. So, we thought it would be fitting to have her as my guest at the State of the Union.”
In 2017, Yoder explained his reasons for supporting the country-caps bill to Forbes magazine:
We have a strong and vibrant Indian community in my district. They’ve been kind enough to invite me into their community, I’ve been able to participate in many of their cultural events – I’ve even taken a stab at playing a game of cricket. Many of them have brought this issue to my attention and when Representative Chaffetz retired and the bill needed a new lead sponsor, I was eager to jump at the opportunity. I’ve heard their personal stories and the discrimination they face and uncertainty and fear they live with. Many of these immigrants are my neighbors and friends and they need a voice to stand up for them in Congress, to tell their story.
Advocates with the main advocacy group, Immigrant Voice, celebrated after the vote:

Outside Appropriations Committee room in the US Capitol, as congressman @KevinYoder & widow of the Austin’s bar shooting, Sunayana Dumala, celebrate passage of amendment to adopt (what she advocated for as Yoder’s guest for state of the union). Photo from Yoder team

The Kansas City Star newspaper posted an interview with Dumala and reported:
She flew from Johnson County to Washington Wednesday morning. Her travel was funded by the advocacy group Immigration Voice, a move intended to hold the Johnson County Republican to his promise to deliver the legislation to the president’s desk in the near future.After the vote, Yoder emerged in the hall to cheers and high fives from the widow and other Indian immigrants from Kansas who had traveled to Washington for the vote. “Hey, hey,” he said spreading his arms wide. Then he enfolded a tearful Dumala into a hug.
“It’s a powerful moment,” said Yoder. “We’ve been working a long time to get to this moment.”
“Congress does not work for Americans …. they don’t do a thing for Americans,” Miano said. 
Many Indian visa-workers will get their green cards in the next few years even if Yoder’s change is rejected, so his amendment benefits the roughly 200,000 Indian workers — and their 200,000 family members — who now have to wait for more than five years to get a green card.
Government data shows the biggest backlog among Indians are those with a Master’s degree, partly because many Indians earn Masters degrees at U.S. universities to get into the H-1B program:
To suppress Americans’ growing opposition to the outsourcing programs, pro-migration advocates accuse critics of discrimination against foreign nationals, despite the widespread discrimination against Americans. Leon Fresco, a lobbyist for the Indian visa-workers, tweeted:

the only reason to oppose HR392 is if you believe that our laws should intentionally discriminate based on national origin. HR392 simply says someone born in 2060 should not receive a green card before someone who applied 10 years ago, solely based upon the country their births.

Fresco, an immigration lawyer and a former official in President Brack Obama’s administration, also argued that Yoder giveaway is good for Americans because its means Indians will not serve as cheap indentured workers for many years before they can get green cards.

(1/4) simple 4 part lesson for HR392 opponents to understand using only facts—no country caps exist for student visas. India sends less than 15 percent of all foreign students. 

(2/4) but Indian nationals represent over 70% of H-1b recipients, which is the feeder system for green cards? Why is that, when employers have all of these other students to choose from?

(3/4) the reason is because the per-country limits mean that if an employer hires an H-1B from India, they can keep that worker indentured to them on H-1B for several decades because they cannot change jobs while waiting for green card without tremendous difficulty and risk.

(4/4) Why would an employer then choose someone from any other country who could leave immediately with a green card? Only HR392 solves this problem and levels playing field for all, including US workers!!

Fresco’s “indentured servant” argument is logical — but Miano argues that Yoder’s offer of fast-track green cards will encourage even more Indians to become visa-workers via the H-1B program and the uncapped L-1 and OPT visa-worker programs. Any greater supply of visa-workers shrinks salaries for American graduates, and make it difficult for blue-collar parents to help their children get into white-collar jobs, he said.
Fresco also defended the Yoder amendment by saying it does not create additional H-1B visas:

(5/4) Once no country cap, green cards will become MORE diversified, no less. will look like the distribution of student visas (where India is less than 15 percent). Claims of “cheap labor” make no sense here because not even 1 additional GC or H-1B visa is part of HR392.

But Fresco’s statement does not mention the L-1 visa-worker program — and there is no limit on the number of L-1 visas which Indian workers can use to get on Yoder’s fast-track to citizenship.
In 2013, Fresco served as the top immigration aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer during the “Gang of Eight” controversy. That bill allowed an unlimited number of foreign college-graduates to get jobs in the United States, Fresco told this reporter in 2013.
Yoder’s amendment was backed by Amazon. According to, Amazon has asked for 1,441 green cards for visa-workers since 2015. Half of those workers are from India, and one-seventh are from China.

Amazon also asks for hundreds of H-1B visas each year:
Amazon does not use L-1 workers, but many Indian subcontracting firms use large numbers of L-1 visa workers. The total number is hidden from the public because the Department of Homeland Security does not release the number of L-1B workers who are imported via “blanket petitions.”
Overall, the Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via immigration shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap foreign labor. That process spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. The policy also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions. Immigration also pulls investment and wealth away from heartland states because investment flows towards the large immigrant populations living in the coastal states.
Got any tips about the H-1B, L-1 and OPT programs?  Email Neil Munro here or at 

Number of foreign college graduates staying in U.S. to work climbed again in 2017, but growth has slowed

A record number of foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities obtained temporary authorization to work in the United States through the Optional Practical Training (OPT)program in 2017, but growth in the once-booming program has slowed dramatically, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.
Growth of foreign graduates who stayed and worked in the U.S. slowed in 2017In recent years, the OPT program has surpassed the H-1B visa program as the nation’s largest source of new temporary high-skilled immigrant workers. In 2017, a record 276,500 foreign graduates received work permits under the OPT program, up from 257,100 in 2016, according to data obtained from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement through a public records request. However, growth has slowed considerably: The number of enrollees grew by 8% in 2017, compared with 34% in 2016. That’s the largest decline in the annual growth rate since 2004, the first year for which data on all foreign students are available. The slowed growth also follows a longer period of rapid expansion for the program. From 2014 to 2016, the number of enrollees nearly doubled in size, growing by 93%.
Declining growth of the OPT program is due in part to a smaller increase last year in the program’s foreign graduates who majored in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2017, enrollment of STEM graduates in OPT grew by 13% over the previous year, compared with 48% annual growth in 2016. This slowdown happened despite the maximum length of employment increasing from 12 to 36 months in 2016 for foreign graduates with STEM degrees. (By contrast, an extension for STEM degree holders in 2008 did contribute to a large increase in OPT approvals.) The decline in 2017 also coincided with low unemployment rates for U.S. workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The Trump administration has tightened regulations that govern the OPT program. Under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rules posted online in January, foreign graduates working under OPT must now work at the employer’s place of business. (Previously, foreign workers could work at a third-party site, such as at a client’s office.) In addition, the administration has announced plans to roll back the 2016 employment extension for STEM graduates, though this change had not been implemented as of July 2018.
Indian foreign graduates under OPT saw largest decline in growth, 2016 to 2017OPT enrollment growth slowed substantially in 2017 among foreign students from India and China, the program’s two largest countries of origin. In fact, only France, Nepal and Nigeria saw their annual growth rates increase in 2017 (among nations with 10,000 or more foreign students enrolled in OPT from 2004 to 2017).
Growth of master's degree holders who stayed and worked in U.S. under OPT slowed considerably in 2017Growth in the number of foreign graduates under OPT slowed in 2017 across all degree levels, but the trend was most pronounced among master’s degree holders. About 188,600 foreign students held master’s degrees in 2017, a 9% increase over the previous year – far lower than the 45% annual increase seen in 2016. This slowdown follows a period of rapid growth: From 2014 to 2015, the number of foreign students with master’s degrees jumped by 57%, the highest annual increase of any degree level since 2004.
Note: The full methodology for this analysis can be found here. Also, see where foreign student graduates worked in the U.S. between 2004 and 2016 in our interactive.
  1. Photo of Neil G. Ruiz
     is associate director of global migration and demography at Pew Research Center.
  2.  is a research assistant focusing on global migration at Pew Research Center.