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H-1b Visa Wrongdoing Is Ripping Off the American Middle Class
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April 12, 2015, 06:45 PM
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On Sunday, Fox News weekend host Tucker Carlson focused on the lingering scandal of Southern California Edison firing Americans workers to replace them with cheaper foreign workers. A few days ago a group of 10 bipartisan senators called for a federal investigation of H-1b visa abuse in the case, following a March hearing which explored the issue of immigration malfeasance.

Southern California Edison, a major utility in the state, saved considerable money by firing American citizens to hire cheapie foreigners.

Professor Ron Hira was an expert who testified at that hearing [WATCH] and was a guest on Fox’s morning show with Carlson.

CARLSON: The law requires that “the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.” That’s the law least followed, yet reports have surfaced that a popular visa program one that everyone in Washington supports, including all the Republicans running for President, is doing the opposite. It’s being used to fire U.S. workers and replace them with immigrants who are cheaper. . . .

Every politician I’ve ever met is for this.

HIRA: Well, not every politician. And certainly American workers are not very happy about these programs, but the tech industry has done a lot to paint the picture that these programs are really good, it’s sort of motherhood and apple pie, when in reality it’s undercutting American workers.

CARLSON: I should be totally clear: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has called out this program as contrary to the interests of workers. But tell us how it works. U.S. workers we know for a fact are being displaced by foreign workers with this program?

HIRA: Yes, that’s right. So what happens is these are not exactly immigrants; they’re guest workers who are brought in for up to six years with what are called H-1b visas, and the way the rules work, the employers can bring these workers in way below market, in this case 40 or 50 percent less than American workers, so there’s a big incentive for employers to bring these foreign workers in and replace Americans. And what’s going on is they’re going to american workers — in the case of Southern California Edison, there’s 500 American IT workers who lost their jobs — and they’re telling those workers, look you need to train your foreign replacements. We’re going to fire you because we can hire these cheaper folks and you need to train your foreign replacements. . .

CARLSON: This is not an example, and we often hear this, of a job that there are no American workers to fill, we just don’t have enough educated people in this country. There were workers filling these jobs and they were displaced by cheaper foreigners. . .

HIRA: It’s not even a skills gap, in this case the foreign workers have less skills than the American workers; they’re being trained by the American workers, so it’s not about skills, it’s not about need, it’s all about the fact that you can bring in these guest workers at a lot less money.

CARLSON: I wonder what’s happened to the middle class. Immigration undercuts wages. This is like Econ 101.