Why Employers Hire Foreign Workers: Centre for Immigration Studies Reveals

Foreign worker in IDF unfiorms, Israeli Negev

Foreign worker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Not Because of a Labor Shortage

The Center for Immigration Studies has published a new backgrounder, “Motivation for Hiring Alien Workers? Hint: It’s Not a Labor Shortage”, analyzing the reasons behind the employer push for a massive increase in temporary foreign worker admissions.

The new analysis finds that temporary alien workers are attractive to employers not only because of below-market wages but also because they are indentured by their terms of admission to the United States. Further, these workers are recruited from relatively docile, authority-fearing Third World populations and thus can be easier to manage than Americans. Finally these programs allow the employer to avoid the nation’s age discrimination laws and to hire a disproportionately young work force from overseas.

The backgrounder’s author and a Fellow at the Center, David North, comments, “Politicians and advocates for mass immigration were successful in having an enormous increase in foreign worker programs like the H1-B inserted in the Senate bill (S. 744) by citing a labor shortage and the need for the ‘best and the brightest.’ However, a shortage only exists because employers are not willing to increase wages. It is clearly in their best interest, as opposed to the best interest of the American worker or the economy, to instead get Congress to adjust and expand the work force.”

View the paper at: http://cis.org/labor-shortage-not-reason-employers-want-alien-workers.

North also discusses a rarely mentioned policy problem, ethnocentric hiring practices. An H1-B visa employer is not required to adhere to equal employment opportunity laws when hiring overseas, allowing him, if he so chooses, to hire from only one ethnic group or country. But the problem is bigger than just a few small operations; there are entire industries engaging in such practices. The backgrounder cites two specific examples, the outsourcing firms in the computer and IT-related fields, generally, and one set of tax-supported and charter schools, specifically.

Before laying out the motivation for employers to seek increased foreign workers, Mr. North debunks the idea that the United States has a labor shortage or lacks access to the necessary best and the brightest workers. According to the backgrounder, rather than targeting the programs to the limited number of unique situations, “these systems impose both serious displacement and wage-depression impacts on the U.S. labor market.”

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization. Since its founding in 1985, the Center has pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.

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