I was extremely disappointed a few days ago when the U.S. Congress finally agreed to bipartisan support of one immigration bill, “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” (H.R. 1044, S.386). That occurred in both houses of the Congress in an era where bipartisan support of anything is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, passage of this bill would not be good news for American workers.

Its purpose is to eliminate per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas and as such, it would fundamentally change our legal immigration system. In our current laws, no country’s nationals can comprise more than 7% of any visa category — a standard that leads to diversity in employment and welcomes talented immigrants from across the globe.

Presently, there is an enormous backlog for Indian and Chinese employment-based visas, accounting for about 68% of the employment-based visa waiting list. Under H.R.1044, Indian and Chinese nationals applying for employment visas would not face the annual caps, thereby allowing hundreds of thousands of applicants from India or China to dominate the employment categories, keeping out applicants from other countries.

Perhaps most concerning is that H.R. 1044 rewards tech and foreign outsourcing companies that have replaced American workers with hundreds of thousands of low cost, less skilled H-1B guest workers, while compelling the American workers being replaced to train their foreign replacements or forfeit their severance pay. There are numerous examples of companies where this has already occurred.

H.R. 1044 may have bipartisan support, but that doesn’t make it a good bill. The effort to pass it is aided by lobbyists and corporate support (political campaign donations) that hide the fact that it harms American interests and American workers.

A little research into which Representatives in the House support this bill revealed that Rep. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, supports it. Much to my disappointment, Rep. Cline seems to be just another RINO — apparently willing to compromise his principles for campaign donations and reelection. How sad.

FRED WYNE

ROANOKE

Load comments