MIRIAM JORDAN, how exactly is a guest worker visa, legal immigration?

Last time I looked, the H-1B, L-1, etc. were non-immigrant guest worker visas.

Visas specifically used by companies to break the back of the American workers just like scabs were used a generation ago to break the unions back.

End result.

Americans, born and raised in America, go without jobs to provide for their families while the government hides behind a U-3 number that does not count those whose unemployment benefits have expired and have not found work.

The labor force participation rate amplifies what I am saying.

My own chart that I developed by dividing the total nonfarm payroll numbers by the population shows similar results.

Yet the New York Times does little to tell the story of the Americans whose future has been destroyed by this massive tidal wave of non-immigrant guest worker visas bought by companies wanting to deny American citizens the opportunity to be all that they can be.

Nor do they tell the stories of the companies sending their jobs to other countries which also denies the American Citizen the opportunity to compete for these jobs so that they can be all that they are capable of becoming given the opportunity.

One of them, the “Buy American, Hire American” order, singles out the H-1B visa program. Hailed by proponents as vital to American innovation, H-1Bs also have been derided as a way to displace United States workers with cheaper foreign labor; in one highly publicized case, some Disney employees were told to train their foreign replacements if they wanted severance payments.

Each year, 85,000 H-1Bs, which are valid for three to six years, are available to companies, according to a ceiling set by Congress. Demand far outstrips supply when the economy is healthy, prompting the government to hold a lottery.

But now even applicants lucky enough to be chosen are drawing more scrutiny.

Officials are asking for extra details about applicants’ education and work history, the position to be filled and the employer, requiring the company to amass many additional documents, which can postpone a decision by several months.

For H-1Bs, the number of such “requests for evidence” from January to August this year jumped 44 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the most recent data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

So far, the government is still greenlighting most H-1B applications that survive the lottery, but the approval rate is inching down.

For the first two months of this fiscal year, October and November, 86 percent and 82 percent of H-1B applications were approved. That compares with 93 percent and 92 percent for the same months last year. The data does not reflect companies that give up after receiving requests for more evidence.

Once a company has spent thousands of dollars in attorney fees to petition for a worker, “there is huge discouragement after an R.F.E. is issued,” said Roxanne Levine, an immigration attorney in New York, “because of the massive extra time, effort and money required to respond.”


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