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Goldman Sachs: Almost One Million H-1B Foreign Workers Hold University-Level Jobs Here



Goldman Sachs estimates that almost one million foreign H-1B contract workers are now employed in college-level jobs throughout the United States, even though many media outlets routinely say the federal government approves only 85,000 H-1B visas per year.

Goldman’s February estimate of the huge H-1B population also ignores multiple other visa programs which invite foreign graduates to work in the United States. These other temporary work visas are used to employ an additional 470,000 foreign college graduates in the United States, according to a study released on March 7 by the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute.

The EPI study, titled “Temporary foreign workers by the numbers,” says U.S. companies employ roughly 470,000 foreign professionals via the little-known O, L, J, OPT, and TN visas.

The EPI study estimates that the H-1B population at a much lower level of only 460,000 employees, partly because EPI says many H-1B workers quickly get permanent green cards, which converts them into legal residents, not contract workers.

If Goldman’s estimate of almost one million H-1Bs is combined with the EPI’s estimate of various other skilled white-collar visa programs, then the government data shows that U.S. companies employ roughly 1.4 million lower-wage college-graduate temporary workers in the United States. The imported workers are not immigrants, citizens, legal residents or green card holders, but are supposed to return home after several years.

Companies have used them to fill enough outsourced jobs to fully employ nearly all Americans who graduated from college with skilled degrees in 2015 and 2016. This population of white-collar temporary workers has pushed many established U.S. workers out of jobs, partly because none of the visa programs require that Americans be hired before foreigners.

“I’m working at one of the Home Depot [hardware store] … there’s a lot of people in my position,” said Les, a former New York City technology worker for Disney, Pearson publishing, and other U.S. companies. He was pushed out of the business when companies outsourced their U.S. workplaces to Indian companies, many of which need U.S-based H-1B workers to link their U.S. clients to outsourcing offices in India. Les has a 13-year-old teenager to raise, and would return to the sector if he got a job offer, he said. “That’s what I know– it is not like I could go back to school to become a dentist or lawyer or a teacher,” he told Breitbart News.

The two new reports also that U.S. companies also employ roughly 185,000 foreign blue-collar temporary workers, plus roughly 200,000 foreign white-collar temporary workers. The EPI report also says the population of agricultural contract-workers is roughly 75,000, or just seven percent of at least 930,000 university trained guest-workers resident in the United States.

Campaign Promises

The huge U.S.-based population of professional-grade foreign contract workers—ranging from 1.4 million up to 1.8 million—is a problem for President Donald Trump, who repeatedly promised to reform the H-1B program during his 2016 campaign.

“I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program,” said a Trump statement in 2016. “No exceptions.” In his inauguration speech, Trump declared his national economic policy is: “Buy American, Hire American.”

So far, Trump has not revamped the H-1B program, although his deputies have temporarily ended a fast-track H-1B approval process supported by business groups. That change was adopted amid intense lobbying by brand-name companies—including Google, Microsoft, Facebook—to preserve the annual inflow of cheap white-collar workers.

On April 3, the Department of Labor will start distributing another 85,000 H-1B visas to companies, as required by law.

Statements from White House officials suggest that a reform of the H-1B program will be linked to a larger plan to comprehensively reform the nation’s family-chain immigration system into Trump’s proposed merit-based immigration system.

Business groups will likely oppose Trump’s merit-based immigration reform unless they can negotiate a promise for additional H-1B contract workers. In 2013, Democratic politicians supported this negotiated demand by business groups, because the business groups promised to pressure GOP politicians to create “a path to citizenship” for the resident population of at least 11 million illegal aliens.

Trump would be reluctant to endorse any increase in white-collar contract workers because polls show that voters—especially his voters—want Americans to get jobs before companies can import more contract workers.

For more than 20 years, blue-collar pay-packets have been slashed by the large population of 8 million working illegal immigrants, and by the legal immigration of roughly 800,000 non-college immigrants each year.

University-trained Americans now face a growing economic threat from the inflow of university-grade contract workers.

No matter their skills, American white-collar workers face a huge disadvantage because the guest-workers have a much greater incentive to work long hours at low wages.

The distorting incentive is the federal government’s willingness to offer a deferred bonus of citizenship to foreign workers who stay in their temp jobs for six to 10 years. This government-provided, deferred compensation package is worth many millions of dollars to contract workers, partly because the citizenship benefit can be duplicated for their spouses, children, parents, siblings, and descendants.

Those benefits of citizenship are vast — they include all of the rights enunciated in the U.S. Constitution, plus the right to live in a high-trust society largely free of petty corruption, clannishness or tribalism, of class, caste, racial or regional discrimination, plus full access to the efficient economy, the free education system, the massive federal welfare system and the national banking system, plus the physical security ensured by gun rights, law-abiding neighbors, efficient police and military services.

But companies cannot offer American job-seekers this subsidy instead of wages because the Americans already are citizens.

If they want to hire an American instead of a foreign contract worker, companies have to pay Americans their full, unsubsidized marketplace value. So hidden federal subsidy of citizenship-for-foreigners skews hiring practices in favor of foreign workers, much to the disadvantage of the 800,000 young Americans who graduate with skilled degrees each year.

Roughly 660,000 H-1B workers are employed throughout the software business, says the Goldman report. Many are employed in writing software, but many are hired as managers, business experts, financial analysts, and salesmen by American and foreign-owned companies. An additional 340,000 H-1B contract workers are employed throughout the nation as doctors, therapists and pharmacists, professors, engineers and financial planners, managers and designers, soccer coaches and economics teachers, government scientists and university lab technicians, architects, lawyers and even journalists, according to job descriptions found at MyVisaJobs.com.

Amid this widespread use of white-collar contract workers, the salaries of young American professionals have stalled since the real-estate bubble imploded. In the last five years, they’ve grown by roughly one percent a year—after deducting inflation—according to a January 2017 report titled “National Compensation Forecast,” by the Economic Research Institute.

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