IEEE-USA: H-1B Outsourcing Bill Will Not End Outsourcing
-- Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.)
have introduced legislation to combat outsourcing within the
H-1B visa program. While the bill recognizes how destructive the
H-1B program can be, it doesn’t do nearly enough to reign in
outsourcing companies or protect American jobs.
“Hundreds of Americans
lost their jobs to the H-1B program in Rep. Issa and Peters’
congressional districts,” IEEE-USA President Karen Pedersen
said. “Yet their bill will allow thousands more jobs to be lost
in the future.”
“It is simply unacceptable
-- at any wage rate -- for companies to fire Americans and
replace them with non-Americans who will never be allowed to
The “Protect and Grow
American Jobs Act,” reintroduced Wednesday, raises the minimum
salary companies have to pay their H-1B workers to avoid
complying with regulations protecting U.S. and H-1B workers.
Under the bill, the current threshold of $60,000 would increase
to $100,000. The legislation would also eliminate an exemption
from the regulations for H-1B workers with master’s degrees.
IEEE-USA has the following
concerns about the bill:
- No wage rate is
acceptable for companies to replace American workers with
employees who are non-citizens.
- Compensation is more
than just salary. Employing H-1B workers can save companies
money on retirement costs, healthcare costs, training costs
and virtually every other benefit.
- H-1B workers can be
dismissed at will without any legal complications, negating
decades of hard-fought worker protections.
In Issa and Peters’ San
Diego-area congressional districts, hundreds of American
employees of Southern California Edison were replaced by workers
on H-1B visas. The company hired a firm whose business model is
to outsource American jobs to lower-wage foreign employees. The
American workers were forced to train their replacements to get
IEEE-USA believes that, if
companies really need to hire non-American employees inside the
United States, they should be allowed to do so. But as American
citizens, not temporary guest workers. Real immigration, built
on green cards and citizenship, strengthens the U.S. economy and
creates jobs for all Americans. The temporary H-1B program is
popular with corporations specifically because it does not.
IEEE-USA calls on Congress
to demonstrate its opposition to H-1B outsourcing by prohibiting
it. Anything short of this is implicit permission for the job
losses to continue.
“Outsourcing companies use
the H-1B program specifically because it does not allow workers
to become Americans,” Pedersen said. “It enables companies to
avoid having an American workforce, while still enjoying the
benefits of doing business in the United States.”
Issa press release on the
IEEE-USA serves the public
good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of
nearly 190,000 engineering, computing and technology
professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.