The fable of the camel’s nose should be familiar to most of you. Twenty-four years ago, after the passage of the Brady bill that the NRA had protested as “the camel’s nose in the test,” the president of Handgun Control, Inc gleefully noted that “Today we would like to tell you what the rest of the camel looks like.”
President Trump’s efforts to curb abuse and overuse of the H1B visa program, a program that even the Huffington Post admits was designed to lower wages and keep Americans out of tech jobs, have provided a new metaphor, which I will call The Camel’s Backbone. Prior to Mr. Trump’s election, the media generally repeated the factoid that H1B visas are limited to 65,000 per year. You couldn’t find an American media source that would even hint at the real numbers behind H1B.
Now that Trump appears poised to significantly restrict the program, the gloves are off and we are seeing the whole camel, so to speak.
The Times of India reports that there are closer to 1.5 million Indians in the United States thanks to H1-B. A spokesperson for the Hindu American Society called H1B workers “the very backbone of our STEM industries (in America).”
But wait, there’s more.
Turns out that the H1B extensions by their very nature served as a path to citizenship. So there are also hundreds of thousands of foreign “high skills” workers who came to the United States and used H1B to become citizens.
Now we understand why the much-hyped “tech boom” seemed to be so ineffective at improving the economic situation of the American worker. Tech jobs were supposed to replace manufacturing and service jobs that were sent overseas — but it turns out that a couple million of these new jobs were simply handed to immigrants. And while we weren’t looking, the H1B and H1B “graduates” became the “backbone” of American tech. We are told that there aren’t enough Americans to fill these jobs — conveniently forgetting all the Americans who were told to train their Indian replacements.
We are also told that there aren’t enough young people getting tech degrees. I can’t blame them. Why rack up student loan debt for a job that will be filled by a foreign worker by the time you graduate? Right now you’d be a fool to take a degree in CompSci or any other similar discipline.
Not to worry, kids. The future holds all sorts of job opportunities for you. There’s manufacturing… no wait, that was sent to China. There’s service work… cancel that, it’s all being done by undocumented dreamer uber-citizens. Well, at least you can get a degree and work in tech… except there are 2.5 million people from another country in line ahead of you. Have you considered selling handmade jewelry on Etsy?
This week I should have a remarkable number of articles coming out, so check back soon before I, too, am replaced by a guest worker!