The Immigration Innovation Act of 2015, or I-Squared, introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and five co-sponsors would flood the computer-related workforce with hundreds of thousands of temporary guest workers every year. This is even though studies have repeatedly shown that there is no shortage of US workers to fill computer-related jobs. Temporary guest workers are an excuse for employers to send jobs overseas and a source of cheap labor. Hatch is putting US workers out of jobs in order to benefit corporate interests.
“I-Squared does nothing to fix our broken immigration system and, in fact, would make it far worse. We must demand comprehensive immigration reform that protects US citizens and creates a path to citizenship,” says Paul Almeida, president of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO.
For many years, the DPE has written about false claims made by employers about a shortage of workers in the computer-related workforce. The DPE issued a fact sheet on the H-1B and L-1 visa program in 2013 and the study, Gaming the System, Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the US (2012). Together, they debunk the myth perpetrated by employers that there is a shortage of available workers.
According to the DPE, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter to all senators urging them to refrain from co-sponsoring the legislation. “At a time when we face unprecedented levels of inequality and decades of wage stagnation, it is irresponsible to expand access to employment-based temporary work that will continue to hold down wages, increase worker vulnerability, and reduce social mobility for deserving workers,” he points out.
After the I-Squared bill was introduced in the 2013-2014 session of Congress, Almeida sent a letter to Sen. Klobuchar detailing what was wrong with the legislation. He is meeting with Congressional staff to urge rejection of the I-Squared bill.
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