Mayorkas is backing business demands for more imported contract workers, such as H-1B visa workers, but Raimondo is trying to steer Americans into high-tech jobs.
On Monday, March 28, Raimondo released a “Strategic Plan to Boost America’s Competitiveness,” saying, “With this plan, we are positioning America’s workers and businesses for success in the 21st century. And all Americans, especially those that have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity.”
Raimondo’s plan does not mention immigration, visa workers, or the investor-backed, Mayorkas-managed H-1B program that has put more than three million foreign graduates into the career-starting jobs needed by Americans since 1990. Instead, Raimondo’s report says:
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Worker shortages threaten to slow the economic recovery. These shortages demonstrate the need for employers to offer quality jobs and that American workers have the skills and competencies needed to fill those jobs. The Department will expand employer-driven education and training experiences with targeted wraparound services, designed to prepare workers for and connect them to quality jobs. To support business growth and create pathways for underserved workers to enter the labor market, the Department will emphasize the value of earn-while-you-learn programs. The Department will promote innovative and effective employment practices to ensure businesses can recruit, develop, and retain a skilled, diverse workforce … The Department of Commerce’s bureaus and programs will engage with businesses, workers, and other key actors to create sustainable career pathways that meet the labor needs of regional economies and expand access to quality jobs.
In contrast, Mayorkas is using his regulatory and bureaucratic powers to grow the number of visa workers flowing into American jobs.
Mayorkas is also taking a very public stance in favor of business demands for more foreign workers. On March 25, Mayorkas posted a tweet about his meeting with Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who is lobbying hard to get Congress to pass legislation that would spend at least $52 billion to help Intel and other companies build new “fabs,” or factories for computer chips.
The House version of the legislation includes a massive expansion of the visa worker programs. Breitbart News reported on February 1:
The draft “America COMPETES Act of 2022” would allow foreigners to win an uncapped number of green cards by studying to become ordinary chemists, doctors, engineers, and statisticians — or accountants, tax experts, computer security experts, statisticians, ecologists, and many other types of professionals.
“It’s insanity — the idea that you would create a bill that supposedly improves America’s competitiveness [against China] by outsourcing all of the [skilled] labor is just nuts,” said Rosemary Jenks, government relations director for NumbersUSA. “It’s dystopian.”
The bill emerged from the House shortly after the Senate blocked the Build Back Better bill, which tried to create new pipelines for foreign graduates to get U.S white-collar jobs.
The provision would create a massive economic incentive for U.S. universities to effectively sell the green-card PhDs to paying foreign customers – and a huge incentive for foreigners to buy U.S. jobs, green cards, and citizenship via a third-rate degree from a third-rate university.
Intel supported the House bill, and on March 25, Mayorkas aligned himself with Intel and the House bill with a tweet saying, “Its leadership and vision in so many areas, from quantum computing to immigration, are building a better and safer future for us all.”
In contrast, Raimondo opposed the House immigration language. On March 22, during a press event to tout the technology-spending bill, she rejected a demand from investor Eric Schmidt for more visa workers to fill the jobs created by the spending bill.
“Talent is everything,” interjected Schmidt, who is an investor and a former CEO at Google:
We need this [funding] bill passed and we collectively have got to figure out a way to get all the really, really smart people in this area to work on this. That also, by the way, includes high skills immigration to get people who want to work in the United States to work in these fabs — and the citizenry in those states are going to benefit enormously from this as well.
Raimondo rejected the demand, diplomatically: “These are jobs, these are good jobs and these are jobs Americans should have,” Raimondo said.
Raimondo may win the fight. On March 28, the Senate voted to send its technology bill to the House without any of the House’s migration language.
Schmidt has a net worth of perhaps $30 billion, and is a leading player in the investor-funded West Coast faction with the White House, alongside Mayorkas and Vice President Kamala Harris. On March 28, for example, Politico reported:
A foundation controlled by Eric Schmidt, the multi-billionaire former CEO of Google, has played an extraordinary, albeit private, role in shaping the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy over the past year.
More than a dozen officials in the 140-person White House office have been associates of Schmidt’s, including some current and former Schmidt employees, according to interviews with current and former staff members and internal emails obtained by POLITICO.
Schmidt also used his work with a commission set up by President Barack Obama to demand more so-called “top tier” contract workers, even though the vast majority of visa workers are mid-skilled, and many need training from the Americans who are pushed out of jobs.
In contrast, Raimondo is a prominent member of the East Coast faction within the White House, which wants to raise Americans’ productivity, investment, and wages. In 2021, the Associated Press reported:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gina Raimondo only wears watches made by Bulova — a company that laid off her scientist father, closed its Rhode Island factory and moved production to China in 1983.
The watches give Raimondo, the U.S. commerce secretary, a sense of mission as President Joe Biden’s de facto tech minister, a responsibility that is focused on adding the kinds of cutting-edge factory jobs that are now abroad.
“It’s been a tribute to my dad,” Raimondo said of her watch choices in an interview, “and a reminder to me that we need to do more to get good manufacturing jobs in America.”
Raimondo was in the sixth grade when her father was discarded by Bulova’s investors.
She “knows the pain a job loss has on a family, and has never forgotten where she comes from and the real impact economic and trade policies have on real people,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain told the Associated Press.
Raimondo is a former governor of Rhode Island and was considered by Biden in 2020 as a candidate for vice president.
On March 21, Mayorkas met with his new advisory panel of CEOs and pro-migration advocates.
On March 29, Mayorkas’ agency promised companies faster processing for foreign contract workers.
“Practically speaking, what USCIS will be doing is more rubberstamp approvals, for more well-heeled corporations that are willing to pay extra, so that they can bring in more foreign workers as quickly as possible,” responded Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He added:
Yesterday, the Biden administration released a FY 2023 budget that will expedite the processing and admission of illegal aliens attempting to enter our country. Today, they are taking steps to expedite the admission of foreign workers seeking to fill premium American jobs and extend the duration of their authorization to work in the United States. In effect, the administration’s current immigration policy amounts to greasing the turnstile at the border to accommodate the flood of illegal aliens, and the turnstile at USCIS headquarters to accommodate insatiable corporate demand for more foreign workers.
This week, Mayorkas’s agency is also expected to award another 85,000 H-1B work permits to employers.
Currently, at least 1.5 million white-collar jobs in a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies are held by visa workers who were imported via the H-1B, J-1, L-1, OPT, TN, and other programs.
That inflow has pushed myriad U.S. technology professionals out of well-paying careers. A 2021 study by the Census Bureau reported:
The vast majority (62%) of college-educated workers who majored in a STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] field were employed in non-STEM fields such as non-STEM management, law, education, social work, accounting or counseling. In addition, 10% of STEM college graduates worked in STEM-related occupations such as health care.
The path to STEM jobs for non-STEM majors was narrow. Only a few STEM-related majors (7%) and non-STEM majors (6%) ultimately ended up in STEM occupations.
This huge displacement goes far beyond Silicon Valley or Fortune 500 jobs. For example, hospital chains have used the visa workers and immigration rules to bump at least 1 million Americans out of skilled nursing and other healthcare technician jobs. Nationwide, almost 20 million working-age men have been pushed out of the workforce by the massive inflow of low-wage migrants.
The displacement is great for CEO and investors because the flood of extra workers reduce salaries. In January 2022, a job site for the tech sector reported that salaries rose by 6.9 percent during 2021 but ignored the losses due to inflation and rising home prices. The result is that tech workers’ wages rose by – at best – 2 percent during a boom year where employers’ stock values rose by roughly 40 percent.
Employers and investors also want the visa workers because they lack workplace rights and dare not disagree with managers. Even the legal immigrants who have full rights are often less willing to challenge their employers, as American professionals are expected to do.
But the loss of work tension between professionals and executives helps the CEOs to boost their share prices by sacrificing long-term priorities, such as productivity, quality, security, and safety.
“I was brought up that if you find an [technical problem] issue, raise it immediately,” a former Intel employee told Breitbart News. But the rules are different in an office run by Indian managers, he said:
When you find a bug, don’t announce it [to your department colleagues]. Announce it to your [Indian] boss [because] they want to make sure it’s not their problem and not their bug. Don’t go through the normal process.
On March 17, Intel announced it would be spending $10 million a year to help train Ohioans for jobs related to its planned $20 billion chip factory in Ohio.
Since at least 1990, the D.C. establishment has used a wide variety of excuses and explanations — for example, “Nation of Immigrants” — to justify its policy of extracting tens of millions of migrants and visa workers from poor countries to serve as workers, consumers, and renters for various U.S. investors and CEOs.
The self-serving economic strategy of extraction migration has no stopping point. It is harmful to ordinary Americans because it cuts their career opportunities, shrinks their salaries and wages, raises their housing costs, and has shoved at least 10 million American men out of the labor force.
Extraction migration also curbs Americans’ productivity, reduces their political clout, undermines U.S. workplace rights, and widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats’ coastal states and the Republicans’ Heartland states.
An economy built on extraction migration also radicalizes Americans’ democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture because it allows wealthy elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.
Not surprisingly, the wealth-shifting extraction migration policy is very unpopular, according to a wide variety of polls. The polls show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.