House, Senate GOP Leaders Gearing Up to Increase Guest-Worker Permits
Top Republican leaders in the House and Senate are gearing up to push legislation in the next Congress that would increase the number of foreign guest-workers even in industries that do not need them. They are hoping such legislation would “open the door” to a broader comprehensive immigration bill.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who chairs the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, wants to push his Immigration Innovation Act (I-Squared) that would increase the number of high-tech visas, even though there is no evidence that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers. Tech industry lobbies, like Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, have spent millions trying to secure massive increases in guest-worker visas that would give them an endless supply of cheap foreign labor even as companies like Microsoft are laying off 18,000 American workers.
“If we can do I-Squared, I think it would open the door to real, decent, honorable immigration reform itself,” Hatch told Reuters.
As Reuters notes, “Hatch represents the tech-rich ‘Silicon Slopes’ state of Utah, and regularly talks to tech moguls.” He has met with Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook, and he recently tolda gathering at Overstock.com headquarters that “there is agreement on reforming the rules governing high-tech visas, known as H-1b visas” and it could “help pave the way for additional and more far reaching reforms.”
Hatch, whose “bill was first introduced last year with Republican Marco Rubio and Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons” and ended up in the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” comprehensive amnesty bill, reportedly said, “I think virtually every Republican would vote for this, and I suspect that we’ll get a considerable number of Democrats too.”
In the House, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Judiciary Committee Chairman, told The Hill that House Republican leaders are looking at “legislation dealing with reforming our legal immigration programs, particularly for high-skilled workers and for agricultural workers.” He said, “I think that we are going to look at moving those early in a new Congress.”
Last year, Goodlatte hosted a Silicon Valley fundraiser in which donors gave between $10,000 and $40,000. One guest, venture capitalist Rob Conway, said that before he wrote his check to Goodlatte, he “wanted some assurances that Bob Goodlatte would be prepared to discuss immigration reform and what the timetable is for immigration reform, because we’re coming down the wire here with the [midterm] elections [approaching] and we need accountability.”
As Breitbart News has thoroughly documented, “despite evidence to the contrary, the tech industry has spent millions trying to get massive increases in the number of H-1b guest-worker visas, claiming that they ‘can’t find’ Americans to do various tech jobs” even though there is a proven surplus of America high-tech workers.
Even President Barack Obama, though he still supports massive increases in guest-worker permits, has said he is “skeptical” of claims from companies—like those in the high-tech industry—that they cannot find enough Americans to fill open jobs.
“I’m generally skeptical when you hear employers say, ‘oh we just can’t find any Americans to do the job,'” Obama said this week at an immigration event in Nashville. “A lot of times what they really mean is that it’s a lot cheaper to potentially hire somebody who has just come here before they know better…”