In Health, Economic Crisis, America Should Decrease Reliance on Foreign Workers

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Statement from Kevin Lynn, Exec. Director, Progressives for Immigration Reform

We call upon Congress and President Donald Trump to HALT the H-1B visa lottery.

We call upon Congress and President Donald Trump to HALT the H-1B visa lottery that will bring in 85,000 foreign workers in 2020 and to suspend the recently approved addition of 35,000 workers for the H-2B visa. The importation of workers should be undertaken with great caution during this period of tremendous economic uncertainty. Last week’s filing of more than 3 million unemployment claims, with projections that unemployment could reach 30 percent in the near term, demands that we reassess our need for foreign workers.

In this health and economic crisis, Americans understandably are extremely concerned about their well-being and livelihoods. But even before coronavirus, many American workers were afflicted by another insidious virus. That is the stealthy, multi-decade displacement of American workers by employment visa programs, including the H-1B and H-2B, that employers have been using to hire cheaper and more pliable workers from abroad.

Decades of crowding out U.S. workers with nonimmigrant visa holders has devastated our workers, a fact well documented in numerous reports of American workers laid off at Fortune 500 and other companies, but not before training their foreign replacements that were brought in through the H-1B visa program. Many more Americans have simply been displaced in industries and vocations now dominated by foreign hiring managers. Those not fired outright have experienced wage deflation and growing job insecurity.

With the historical displacement of workers, compounded by the current crisis, it is very concerning that the Department of Homeland Security is working to accelerate the delivery of H-1B and H-2B workers to the United States. We ask that you stand up for the productive class of this country and protect the interests of American workers.

At this time of unprecedented challenge, Americans are counting on Congress and the President to protect them. Now is the time to act, to do the right thing for America and protect the workforce in a time of crisis.

For interviews, contact Maria Fotopoulos at 310.479.2002 or mfotopoulos@pfirdc.org, Los Angeles.

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Maria Fotopoulos

Kevin Lynn
@PFIRorg
since: 05/2009
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