Eugene Smiley on Mon, 7 Jul 2003 09:54:05 -0400

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[PLUG] Tech jobs and politics

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I know that there are a few people on this list like myself who are looking for work. I wanted to throw the following article up for discussion. I know I may risk offending someone on this list that has an H1-B or similiar, but I'd like to know what people's thoughts are on this subject.

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Unemployment Reaches 10-Year High
Push for Guest Worker Program Continues in Spite of Dismal Employment Picture

(Washington, D.C. July 3, 2003) Despite the bleak employment picture, congressional leaders and the White House are moving forward with plans to expand the number of foreign guest workers admitted to fill U.S. jobs. Under pressure from some domestic industries and the Mexican government, serious negotiations continue in an effort to add to the legions of foreign guest workers already working in sectors of the economy ranging from high tech, to manufacturing, to construction, to agriculture. The June unemployment data indicate a gloomy Fourth of July for millions of American workers as joblessness reached 6.4 percent of the workforce, the highest levels since March 1994.

For the fifth straight month, American businesses have trimmed payrolls, bringing the total number of jobs lost to 913,000 since March of this year. ?The most amazing thing is that there is not even a hint of embarrassment on the part of American business or our government that hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving pink slips, while they work feverishly to bring more foreign workers to this country,? said Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). ?Many sectors of our economy seemingly believe that access to cheap foreign labor is their right. Meanwhile, the politicians who talk about jobs, jobs, jobs seem to be more than willing to trade jobs for campaign dollars.?

In addition to the disingenuousness of pursuing an expanded guest worker program at the same time that unemployment is growing rapidly, FAIR noted that the rush to move more foreign labor into this country potentially threatens national security. ?By their own admission, the new Department of Homeland Security is still feeling its way around as they try to play catch-up on decades of inattention to the connection between immigration and national security,? said Stein. ?On top of dealing with the formidable task already before them, a new guest worker program would require significant time, manpower, and money to vet a new influx of workers from dozens of countries.

?On this Independence Day holiday, it is clear that the priorities of our government are not the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness expressed by our Founding Fathers, but rather the pursuit of cheap labor and votes,? Stein said.

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