Gary Endelman, in his article "Light From The Dark Side: Why Tancredo May Be Right On The H Visa", was very astute when he wrote that Rep. Tom Tancredo's "Be Real Act of 2003" is perceived as a sell-out by many of us who oppose
nonimmigrant visas. The very fact that an immigration lawyer who cashes in
on the lucrative visa business considers Tancredo's bill a good idea is
ample evidence that a sell-out did indeed occur.
Tancredo has been one of the few politicians that American workers could
rely on to fight the job destruction that H-1B has caused. That has all
changed with his "Be Real Act". This legislation makes a Faustian bargain -
jobs for American citizens are sacrificed for promises of border enforcement
and the elimination of amnesty.
Tancredo proposes to eliminate visa categories such as H-1B and H-2B by
combining all of them into one big "H" visa. High-wage earners such as
programmers, engineers, and accountants will be lumped into a generic labor
pool with low-wage workers such as grape pickers, burger flippers, and hotel
clerks. The amalgamation of the labor pool doesn't just stop there however.
An Orwellian job registry will be created that lists all people who are
looking for jobs, both aliens and citizens. This intrusive database will
contain the personal information of all job seekers and it will be open for
all employers to view. Looking for a job will require a risky sacrifice of
Melding all nonimmigrants into one "H” visa could have unforeseeable and
undesirable side-effects, and none of them will favor middle-class workers.
Unlimited numbers of visas are allowed so the damage to U.S. workers could
Tancredo's bill probably won't discourage the bottom feeders from using
illegal aliens but it will give sweatshops such as Tyson Chicken a way to
hire cheap labor legally. It will be a net gain for low-wage employers
because they will be allowed to legally tap into unlimited supplies of cheap
3rd world workers. Unscrupulous employers will enjoy the fact that their
foreign employees are de-facto indentured servants. Bosses only need to
crack-the-whip to remind their "boys” their that noses better be on the
grindstone. Nonimmigrant workers will know that anything less than complete
obedience will result in a report to the border patrol – and that means
Higher wage jobs usually require a legal work visa, and the easiest way for
employers to import cheap labor is through the use of nonimmigrant visas
(NIVs) such as H-1B and L-1. Tancredo's bill is a net gain for these
employers because they will be able to import unlimited numbers of workers
to replace higher paid U.S. citizens.
Tancredo's "Be Real Act" will further the agenda of the radical libertarians
who believe that companies have the right to match "any willing employee
with any willing employer". His bill might not ever become law but it will
haunt the American middle class for a very long time. That's because George
Bush used Tancredo's database concept to fashion his own guest-worker to
amnesty bill. Bush borrowed some of the worst elements of Tancredo's bill
and pasted it onto the "Border Security and Immigration Improvement Act of
2003" sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Jim
The ruling elite in the United States view wage earners as mere commodities
that are to be bought and sold at the lowest price that the global market
will bear. Many of us thought that Tancredo was different but his "unreal
act” proves otherwise.
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