Hillary Tech: US STEM Students Don’t Matter

In her technology agenda (which you can read on her own web site) Hillary Clinton gives the nation’s technology moguls, hedge funds, and teacher’s unions everything they could want: billions of dollars for technology research, internet expansion, and computer science education.  Then she gives US graduate students in STEM subjects a big slap in the face.  She wants to give green cards to foreign STEM graduate students along with their diplomas.  That’s right, green cards!  These aren’t the non-immigrant H1B work visas that allow a foreign worker to work for one company; these cards grant permanent resident status with a path to citizenship.

So, how does this hurt US graduate students?  A permanent resident can apply for any job with any company, anywhere, any time.  That puts foreign graduates in direct competition for the best jobs with US graduates, and once in the job line they’ll probably get favorable treatment.  This competition is globalism at it’s worst.  It’s inherently unfair, one reason being that there’s no reciprocity with other countries.  A US student couldn’t get an MS in Computer Science in Canada, for example, and expect to be granted automatic residency.  The result will be that US students, already burdened with the heaviest debt, will be relegated to the lower paying, less challenging jobs.

How can anyone who wants to be president of the US suggest establishing a completely open global job market in the US?  Globalists like Soros must be cheering.  Hillary shouldn’t be elected, and if you’re a STEM student or have students in college you now have a good reason to not vote for her.  She’s working for Wall Street, not for you, regardless of what her signs say.

There is an alternative: the H1B visa program.  While I’m opposed to employers using the H1B visa system to replace experienced US professionals I recognize that this program has a legitimate purpose in allowing employers to fill necessary jobs that are unfilled by US citizens.  If the H1B visa regulations were strengthened to protect US citizens as I suggested in “Does STEM Matter Any More” we could balance the needs of technology employers with the right of US STEM graduates to be at the front of the employment lines.

 

A vote for Hillary is a vote against US students.

Does STEM Matter Any More?

As our progressive government and it’s subservient public school system try to steer students towards college degrees in STEM subjects the Democrats are simultaneously devaluing those degrees.  Did you see the article about STEM graduates working in Wal-Mart to pay off their huge student loans?  Want to know how this administration is undermining US citizens?  The answer is H1B visas.  Conceptually companies can only request H1B workers to do jobs for which no citizen is qualified.  Some companies are using foreign contractors to bypass the intent of the visa program.  Most recently, April 24th was the last work day for IT workers at Abbott Labs as they were replaced by contract workers, some of whom are here on H1B visas.  In some cases US workers have had to agree to train their foreign replacements and not sue the company in order to get their severance packages.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  Some companies just go the direct route.  Tech giant Intel has announced a 12,000 person layoff at the same time it has requested over 14,000 H1B visas.  Could that be a coincidence?  The whole H1B visa scam began in Silicon Valley, where cheaper foreign workers replaced US workers who were conveniently labeled “obsolete”.

So why is this happening?  One is the progressives’ obsession with globalization.  US workers must compete, even if unfairly, for US jobs.  India has an education industry created solely to teach students computer programming and minimal English so they can come to the US.  This is what I described in “Undocumented Foreign Aid”, i.e., the money these high paid workers send overseas.  Another is simply the ignorance of the public that’s more concerned with the latest reality TV show than their children’s’ futures. There’s even a bit of UN Agenda 21 as this is de facto wealth redistribution.

To protect US workers I propose the following modifications to the H1B visa program:

  1. No employer shall terminate or coerce a US employee into leaving in order to replace that worker with a foreign worker, either directly or through the use of a contractor.  If an employee is terminated the position must be filled by a US worker or left open for one year.  The position cannot be eliminated and recreated with a different title to bypass this rule
  2. No employer can require a terminated employee to sign any agreement that would protect the employer from a lawsuit if the ex-employee learned that the position had been filled by a foreign worker within one year.
  3. No terminated employee (unless terminated for cause such as theft) shall be denied any promised severance package for any reason whatsoever.

I have also proposed inversely indexing the H1B visa quota to STEM unemployment and raising the cost of H1B visa holders to US employers.

Next time President Obama says “every child should learn to code” ask him “why?”.

Update:  Billionaire Zuckerberg wants even more H1B visas to replace US workers and foreign companies taking US jobs.  He’s starting with $24 million to help train Africans in computer programming.  Since he can thank the US for being so rich why doesn’t he fund retraining for US IT workers who have been displaced by foreign workers?  Since they already know computers they shouldn’t have any problem learning the latest coding techniques, and they actually speak English.

Update 2:  Hillary Clinton’s “Tech Agenda”, her plan for US technology should she win the 2016 election, would be to “staple” green cards (permanent residency) to diplomas of foreign STEM students.  More foreigners in Silicon Valley, more citizens flipping burgers.

Immigration is a privilege, not a right.

Immigrants built this country (even when they weren’t welcomed) and they’re still a vital part of it.  Neither closing our borders to all nor opening them to all are sustainable options.  We must manage immigration fairly and securely.  While much of the current discussion of immigration reform focuses on “undocumented workers” I’ll talk about the legal immigration process first.  It’s complicated and probably unnecessarily so.  Let’s rebuild it to be simpler, fairer, and more in line with what you’d find in other developed nations.  I’ll start with four principles:

  1. The US government’s obligation to protect it’s citizens from foreign criminals is absolute.
  2. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” – President John F. Kennedy.
  3. E Pluribus Unum. It’s Latin for the “great melting pot”.
  4. US citizenship is a commodity of value that cannot be stolen or won.

Anyone applying for permanent or long term residency must undergo a medical exam to ensure that they won’t present a risk to public health and a background check for criminal or terrorist activity.  Convictions for crimes that are felonies in the US, violent misdemeanors, multiple DUI convictions that show a disregard for life, participation in genocide, and known association with a criminal or terrorist organization are automatically disqualifying (see #1 above).  An individual with a lengthy record of petty crime that suggests that person just wants a criminal career might also be disqualified.

No nation on earth invites people in to be on welfare. Some countries require visitors to have booked their passage out before they’re allowed in.   Immigrants are expected to have some training or skill to be able to obtain employment (see #2 above).  This doesn’t apply to student visas if the students are financially supported from their home nation.

Some countries, including Canada, use a merit-based immigration system.  Applicants are awarded points for education, job skills, professional licenses, speaking the language, etc. and they must meet a threshold to be admitted.  Criminals are kept out.  Canada’s immigration is so strict that visitors (not immigrants) who have a prior DUI conviction cannot drive in the country.  That’s protecting a nation’s citizens.

Applicants for citizenship must pass a civics exam and they must learn English.  Learning English doesn’t mean reading “See Spot run”; it means being able to conduct typical life activities like opening a bank account, visiting a doctor, voting, or reporting an emergency to 911.  A common language unifies a nation (see #3 above).

Those on student visas are expected to be enrolled for the full academic year.  Universities will be required to report any foreign students who fail to register for a regular term.  The US also reserves the right to deny student visas to residents of nations deemed hostile to this country.

The “Diversity Lottery” should be ended.  We shouldn’t be handing out 50K permanent resident visas to random people who may not even be able to support themselves.

Refugee status isn’t supposed to be permanent.  Refugees should return to their home nation as soon as whatever situation they were fleeing (often a civil war) ends.

Now let’s look at how we can make it easiest for immigrants.  The laws are complicated and waiting times long.  Some are loaded with travel restrictions and time limits.  Some keep families separated for no apparent reason.  Every one of them needs to be examined and, if they are arbitrary or outdated rules that provide no real benefit to anyone, eliminated.  Implement a merit-based applicant screening system to create a system that’s both fair and secure.  The only ones who profit from this current legal maze are immigration lawyers.