In July of this year, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. The bill had broad bipartisan support, with Democrats voting 224-8 in favor of it and Republicans voting for the act by a measure of 140-57. The legislation represents one of the most horrific acts of aggression against the American worker in decades. It reveals that American immigration policy is really just a competition among various groups struggling for supremacy, with Congress ceding control of immigration to the most powerful foreign actors: India and China.
Currently, a cap is in place that limits the number of H-1B tech visas so that no more than 7% of the total number of those visas come from any one country. H.R. 1044 eliminates this cap. The primary benefactors of this removal are the Indian tech workers who have been brought over to this nation and face a backlog due to this cap as well as the workers in India who seek to come to the U.S. It is estimated that once this legislation goes into effect, India will receive more than 90% of these visas for the next decade. The legislation also increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% to 15%.
As if this were not enough, the legislation also alters the number of EB-5 investment visas that a nation can purchase — opening the door to mass migration from China.
In 2017, the U.S. issued roughly 180,000 H-1B Visas. Assuming that each of those visa-holders brought over a wife and two children and 90% of those Visas came from India, this would mean an addition of roughly 6.5 million new Indian residents over the next decade. This would more than triple the Indian population in the U.S. even before chain migration kicked in.
The average pay for tech workers in the US is $39,000 a year. The effect this legislation would have on this already low salary as well as to the established culture of the nation will be catastrophic, to say the least.
The list of congressional representatives who support and oppose this legislation shows that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. Included among the narrow swath of opponents are the normal cadre who oppose mass migration as well as those who oppose the bill for personal reasons, such as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from Michigan. Omar is an immigrant from Somalia, and Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.
So why does an immigrant and the daughter of immigrants oppose legislation that would open a massive door to large numbers of immigrants? The answer to this question is as simple as it is painful. These representatives want immigration to come from their native lands, and H.R. 1044 reduces or eliminates immigrants from those nations in favor of India and China. In effect, America is up for grabs, and Congresswoman Omar and Congresswoman Tlaib see this legislation as detrimental to their people's ability to gain a larger foothold in America.
Ten of the 23 Republican representatives from Texas cosponsored the bill (the state with the highest Republican support). A total of 16 of those 23 voted for the legislation. Texas already has an immigration problem, and this legislation would exacerbate this problem for the Republican party.
Ernst and Young and Deloitte LLP are two of the largest recipients of H-1B Visas. These two companies have donated an average around $10,000 to 16 or 17 Texas Republican congressional representatives in each of the last few election cycles. The interesting part about this is that many of the representatives who received this money voted against the legislation, and some that received none of it voted in favor of the bill.
Newly elected congressman Dan Crenshaw (District 2) cosponsored the legislation. He and Congressman Weber (District 14) are two notable exceptions to the list that received money from Deloitte and E&Y. Congressman Crenshaw'sthird highest donor is a firm that specializes in real estate known as Ilan Investments. The company donated more than $11,000 to Congressman Crenshaw's campaign and is owned by an Indian-American named Chowdary Yalamanchili. Congressman Randy Weber (District 14) voted for the legislation and received more than $13,000 over two election cycles from the Azhar Chaudhary Law Firm — which specializes in H-1B visas.
In addition to this, there was a great deal of lobbying around this bill. The examples of Crenshaw and Weber show that if you sorted through the maze of money around direct donations, PAC money, and lobbyists, you would eventually find something that could be seen as revealing a quid pro quo for every congressman who voted for the legislation.
What was needed in this case was for each congressman to explain why he feels the need to drastically alter immigration policy in this manner. There was very little debate on this legislation, and this is the single most revealing aspect of it. For reasons that no one can really nail down, Congress feels the need to alter immigration to heavily favor two nations in support of an employment field that is already overcrowded and should be a staple of the American middle class. The fact that they seemed to feel no need to consult with the American people or explain this action reveals the true nature of the relationship between Congress and the American people.
Joshua Foxworth is a congressional candidate in Texas. Facebook. Twitter.