President On Immigration - Act 2
In a press conference with the White House press corps immediately following the Presidential election, President Bush said, "... I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it ... -- and I'm going to spend it for what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is -- you've heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror." At no time was immigration reform discussed during the 50-minute press conference. In his actions, however, President Bush has made immigration a top priority. Secretary Powell paid a visit to Mexico immediately following the election during which immigration reform was top on the agenda. Moreover, in an interview on Sept. 22 with The Washington Times, Presidential consigliere Mr. Karl Rove noted that a Bush victory would "be an opportunity" for the president's guest-worker proposal. President Bush's recent meeting with Sen. McCain lends support to the possibility that President Bush's immigration reform initiative will piggyback on the McCain/Kolbe/Flake bill (and will not follow the SOLVE Act or Sen. Cornyn's legislative proposal). It appears that President Bush's awaited immigration reform proposals originally heralded earlier this year will finally arrive in Congress as early as January 2005. We look forward to the New Year beginning with a bang for immigration law.
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Now that the election is over and President Bush will have both houses of Congress in his pocket, what is he going to do about immigration? Since the year 2000, the president has referred to the US-Mexican immigration question on many occasions. He has repeated many times: "I do believe that when we find a willing employer and a willing employee, we ought to match the two. We ought to make it easier for people who want to employ somebody, who are looking for workers, to be able to hire people who want to work."
Mr. President, I am a willing employer who has found a willing employee who wants to work, but just how do you propose that I go about hiring this person? I am prepared to sign an affidavit of support and/or whatever other papers that may be necessary to legally hire this individual but attorneys who specialize in immigration law inform me that at this time mine is an impossible quest.
To think that over 3,000,000 undocumented Mexican immigrants are reported to be in this country (64,000 in Columbus, Ohio alone) and it is impossible to sponsor even one legally, is beyond my comprehension. When Mr. Clinton was president he recognized the immigration contribution to our economy when he proposed some sort of status be included for them at the time of his budget discussions with Congress, but he was unsuccessful.
Mr. President, your friend and supporter, Mayor Guiliani, in his farewell address pointed out (to New Yorkers) that "the key to our success as a city, the reason we are the most famous city in the world, and the reason why we are really legitimately the capital of the world is really just one thing: immigration."
Mr. President: Do you agree?
Richard E. Baer
Despite Immigration Daily's pro-Republican policies, and attempts to put lipstick on this administration's anti-immigration policies, it might now consider the real effects on Americans of these policies. In particular, the effect on the importation of nursing services from overseas. DHS has almost totally shut down H-1B applications for RN H-1Bs and Congress refuses to consider another H-1A. There are other ways to bring in an RN, permanent residence being the best. As of January, EB-3 numbers will be rolled back to I-140s filed in 2001. The effect will be a virtual cessation of RNs coming to the US. The effect on our health care facilities and on the health of our ill and injured, is immense. There will be a heightened death rate, based on a forseeable increase of mistakes made by our overworked and understaffed RN population in most medical facilities. President Bush has a war to prosecute, killing evildoers wherever he finds them. He has obviously decided that our ill, injured and aged citizen population falls into this category, because he is prosecuting a fine war against them as well. For each Iraqi and terrorist he kills, by war, he kills at least one ill, injured or aged American with this policy.
Interestingly, this policy will exacerbate the death rate. With the almost total cessation of foreign RNs coming to the US, the aging out of the current domestic RN population and the increased workload caused by the inability of medical facilities to get replacement nurses, the rate of retirement of our domestic RN population will increase. How many deaths does it take for this administration to recognize that it has a very bad domestic policy? Fortunately for the Congress and the President's family, they have very good health plans. The rest of us should be so lucky.
Charles A. Grutman
President, Pilot Employment Agency II, Inc.
I can believe that ILW.COM wants to remove the cap. It is
sponsored by employers/attorneys that work for employers who seek the cheapest workers they can find. The H-1B program is a sham. DOL cannot even verify whether or not U.S. workers exist to fill those job vacancies. The DOL Office of National Program-Foreign Labor Certification Program states "Alien labor certification are generally designed to assure that
the admission of aliens to work in this country on a permanent or temporary
basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, and working
conditions of U.S. workers." The H-1B program does not look at this. I understand
that people from other countries want to come to US to work and send money home to family in need. I would do the same thing. If India, Pakistan, China, and Mexico had a big increase in American workers in their society which
effected their citizens, they would send us home. When ICE wants to deport an Indian home, the Indian government charges the U.S. $100 a person and sometimes makes us wait a year to deport them to India. Pakistan, well we are basically
funding that country now. China look at our trade deficit. The Chinese government basically makes its citizens work for pennies on the dollar to products to sell in the US at Walmart. The last is Mexico. What would be the effect on American workers if we lowered the cap? Lower the cap and lets see. Yes, the US government is concerned about US businesses. Any US employer would hire a cheaper qualified worker over a more expensive worker. If the US has a deficit of qualified American workers, (which I doubt) then lets train and teach people to fill the slots that US employers allegedly need.
You would think that a cap on the h2b visa's would be against the proper thought of getting more temporaries to work legitimately in the US paying taxes. Believe me, there are a lack of employees to take the jobs that are offered here in the US that non-immigrants are more than happy to fulfill. Let's hope that someone comes to their senses and raises this 66,000 cap.
Aren't these guest worker visa programs a temporary band-aid? If the main purpose of these visas is to fill a gap, shouldn't Congress visit the issue annually to ensure proper adjustments? And shouldn't there be in place a program to get more US citizens used in these positions? If training is needed, then train the US citizen. Also, with the high numbers of un and under employed IT US born workforce, how can an increase in H-1B be justified? And why are immigration lawyers handling non-immigration visas? These non-immigration visas are not governed under the immigration laws nor labor laws. They are simply a corporate welfare program with no checks and balances and no accountability. I would think as professional counsels, you would act responsibly and honestly in this regard.
Downers Grove, IL
Xavier Augustin's article purports to lament the development of the consulting companies which are disproportionately large users of H-1B visas. The arguments raised by Mr. Augustin are entirely irrelevant. He laments the conduct of what he terms "Indian consulting companies", but he never bothers to define this term. But what makes this criticism particularly amusing is that he is the president/CEO of an "Indian consulting company". The suggestions he does offer are largely ineffective. For example, he suggests that the quota be raised to 200,000 visas per year. This would certainly mitigate the harm caused by the present quota, but as his article makes clear, quotas are artificial limits which harm the economy and should be abolished. He suggests that there be minimum criteria for visas sponsorship, and regulation of the sponsors. These criteria already exist in the law, and the DOL pursues investigations of substantiated complaints concerning H-1B violations. The obvious implications of Mr. Augustin's complaints about the existing system should lead to the conclusion that the quotas be abolished, and that labor market decide how many employees are required in the domestic workforce. But what he fails to grasp is that there is a substantial mismatch between the available and required skills. American employers which need individuals with particular skills would not irrationally refuse to hire domestic workers ready willing and able to perform required services. Demand for foreign workers and the advent of the consulting company are the reaction of the marketplace. Analyzing the underlying economic rationale behind the existing system is a prerequisite to advocating rational reforms to change. Unfortunately, Mr. Augustin fails to offer a sensible analysis of the existing visa process and labor market for IT professionals and the function of consulting companies in serving this market.
S.K. Gupta, Esq.
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