After getting routed in the Arizona, Illinois and Florida St. Patrick’s Day Democratic primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chances of becoming his party’s presidential nominee are effectively zero. But on his way to nowhere, Sanders pointed out to the debate audience how destructive guest worker visas are to the exploited foreign nationals to whom they’re issued.
Biden and Sanders have the identical radical positions that favor amnesty, open borders and sanctuary cities, and they oppose E-Verify. But when Biden called out Sanders for his no vote on the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Vermont Senator testily replied he opposed expanding the H-2B visa because it was akin to “slavery.” The employer controls the H-2B’s visa status which subjects the employee to indentured servitude conditions.
Sanders’ accurate description should awaken the public about how employers underpay and otherwise exploit defenseless low-skilled H-2B visa holders, an estimated 66,000 annually. Employers love guest worker visas. If H-2B visa employees don’t adhere to their bosses’ demands, the employers can initiate the deportation process.
Every year, employers in the landscaping, hospitality, forestry, building, meatpacking, seafood and other nonagricultural industries falsely claim that a domestic worker shortage requires a foreign labor infusion. The industries, their lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce have successfully duped the current administration which has increased the 66,000 visa annual cap each year since Trump’s inauguration. In breaking coronavirus-related news, the State Department announced that it will, as of March 18, suspend all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services in most countries worldwide.
The liberal-leaning, pro-immigration, Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute’s research into H-2B abuse confirms that Sanders’ assessment of the program as “slavery” is spot on. The employer can underpay his H-2B worker or force him to work in unsafe conditions, while the migrant, fearful of deportation, would have little incentive to speak out. EPI’s exhaustive research also found that no verifiable worker shortage in any industry could be confirmed.
The H-2B, other guest worker visas and legal immigration serve as a principal factor in U.S. wage stagnation. On average, the United States has admitted 1 million immigrants every year since 1990. In addition, between 700,000 and 800,000 guest workers are admitted each year. There are 28.4 million immigrants in the labor force, including more than 7.6 million illegal aliens.
In addition to dwelling on what Biden and Sanders – both of whom support more Green Cards and amnesty for millions – say today about immigration, the public can focus on their past voting records. Reviewing frontrunner Biden’s congressional votes, his vice-presidential immigration advocacy and his campaign trail platform, he strongly favors more immigration which in turn means more work-authorized foreign nationals. As a U.S. senator and vice president, Biden advocated for less enforcement at the border and in the interior. He also supported work authorization and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants as well as an H-1B increase, but didn’t support E-Verify checks that confirm whether new hires are legally authorized to work in the U.S.
In August 2019, Biden said that the U.S. could easily take in another “2 million people,” all of whom would receive employment authorization documents. And, recently, Biden outrageously threatened, if elected, to fire any Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who arrests and deports removable aliens if they don’t have existing felony convictions. Candidate Biden has said that he doesn’t consider drunk driving, which kills an average of 27 people a day, a crime.
Sanders’ valid “slavery” comment aside, in his nearly 30 years in Congress as a U.S. representative and a senator, he has repeatedly voted to continue population-busting chain migration, to allow refugee and asylum fraud to fester, and to let porous borders remain open.
Today, more than ever, American workers and their communities must be protected from unnecessary visas that imperil job security and overall well-being.