Another Day, Another Obama Executive Order On Immigration

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Cover image from American Freedom Fighters

On Tuesday, Barack Obama, Occupier of the Oval Office, made yet ANOTHER executive order on immigration that looks like it is intended to open the flood gates for foreign guest workers here in the United States.

It did not make headlines immediately within the United States, but by executive order, Obama is further relaxing the already incredibly generous L-1B Visa conditions under which an American company can move a guest worker into the United States.  The EO is written as a memo for comment, but is effective as of August 31.  As the law was originally written by Congress, there must be a demonstrated need for a worker’s skills that is not found in the United States or is in short supply.  Obama is making the concept of “short supply” and “needed skills” a lot more flexible.

(This is where the number of people who could not make it through computer engineering programs thanks to our dumbed down education industry comes into play.  There just aren’t enough Americans in certain fields to keep this argument from having any sort of weight.  Many American conglomerates can hire workers from other parts of the world for considerably less money.  They can and they do – and American engineers rejoice when they can solve problems that the foreigners cause.)

From Byron York at the Washington Examiner:

…under Obama’s new rules, Customs and Immigration Services adjudicators will not be able to consider whether or not there are American workers available to do the job when determining whether to grant an L-1B visa. “A petitioner is not required to demonstrate the lack of readily available workers to perform the relevant duties in the United States,” according to Obama’s proposal.

So, we’re just going to let anyone into the country if a company wants to use foreign workers rather than Americans?  As reported by any number of sources, and experienced by many Americans either displaced by foreign workers or having to work with them in already halfway toxic corporate environments, it’s not like the standards were all that strict to begin with.  Yes, documentation was required to apply for and receive an L-1B Visa, but it’s not like there were that many refusals or hoops to jump through on the burden of proof front.

In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general investigated L-1Bs and found that “the program allows for the transfer of workers with ‘specialized knowledge,’ but the term is so broadly defined that adjudicators believe they have little choice but to approve almost all petitions.” Standards were tightened somewhat after the study, but now Obama wants to loosen them again….

“The L-1B is much worse than the H-1B program in terms of its impacts on American workers and the American economy,” says Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University who studies the immigration system. “There are no wage standards — foreign workers can be paid home country wages, which is $6,000 a year for an IT worker in India. American workers can be displaced by L-1B workers. There are no recruitment requirements and no educational requirements (the L-1B worker doesn’t even need a degree).”

Interestingly enough, just as Americans groan at the idea of yet more of the stereotypical Indian guest computer engineer, the IT engineering sector there, which is very much dependent on work via American companies, Rediff Business reports is less than enthusiastic about this Obama move.  They recognize that for the flood gates to open, and more Indians to get work here (and ship money home), that Congress needs to actually act.

Most senior industry players said until the government takes some concrete action to make it easier for Indians to get a visa in the category there is not much relief in sight….

“The press in India has carried reports to indicate that the provisions of the 2015 Draft L-1B Memo are going to be advantageous to Indian companies and are part of some great plans that President Obama has with regard to India.

“After an initial reading of the memorandum we are not very optimistic about this — there is no magic waiting around the corner for L-1B workers from India!” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest.

The piece quoted here goes on to lament that since 2006, after the Inspector General’s report referenced above, that over half of the L-1B Visa applications were rejected across the board, while ONLY 68,000 guest workers are allowed in per year.  Additional grievances are the long administrative processes.  All that Obama did with this new executive order, or memorandum, or proposal – in the end it will go into effect at the end of August – was reset the clock to 2006, and rescind the tightening of the rules that defined what counts as a specialized skill.  Companies seeking to import cheap labor will not even have to prove that there is not a critical mass of workers here who can do the job.  From the Daily Caller:

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week on this kind of abuse of guest worker programs. “Today’s hearing … leaves no doubt as to what is happening,” Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said in the hearing. “Large corporations are using foreign worker programs explicitly for the purpose of replacing American workers at lower wages.”

And that is what has AMERICANS, the people of the country where everyone wants to come to work, steamed.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.

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