American Elephants


U.S. Companies Have Laid Off Thousands, Now Demand Immigration Reform for New Workers. by The Elephant's Child

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Last Tuesday the chief human resource officers of more than 100 of America’s largest companies sent a group letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging swift passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

We have General Electric, Walt Disney, Marriott, Hilton Hyatt, McDonald’s Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, the Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard and many more familiar names. They want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill and high-skill workers, and a path to citizenship for the millions currently illegally in the U.S. The officials cite a trade group publication the HR Policy Association which calls for immigration reform to address the reality that there is a global war for talent. They need more immigration. Well, not so fast.

The problem is that they don’t want to hire anyone who has been laid-off, for they assume the reason they were laid off is because they were lousy employees. Fresh Blood, please. Because we don’t really know how to sort out the potentially good workers out of the applications we get, and some of our picks have turned out really badly. So give us a clean slate of new people and nevermind the 9 million people currently out of work.

You have heard, I am sure, that there are just not enough STEM graduates (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and American companies need more talent. This is NOT true. There are far more STEM graduates than there are available jobs, and 10 years after receiving a STEM degree, 58 percent of STEM grads had left the field. Many stem jobs are linked to a particular project, and when the project is completed, the jobs are over.

The claim is that there are just not enough workers in the economy, but the data do not support that claim. Over the last 13 years, nearly 16 million new immigrants arrived, 5.4 million since 2008. The last 13 years make it clear that large-scale immigration can go hand-in-hand with weak job growth and persistently high rates of joblessness among the native-born. Between the first quarter of 2000, and the first quarter of 2013, the native-born population accounted for two-thirds of overall growth in the working-age population (16-65), but none of the net growth in employment among the working-age people has gone to natives.

Since recovery in employment began in 2010, about half the new employment has gone to immigrants. There has been a decline in jobs for all educational categories. The fall in the share of working-age natives holding a job has been most pronounced for men, blacks and Hispanics.

It would seem that the chief human resource officers want a bigger pool of potential workers to draw from, and plenty of downward pressure on wage costs, hence the push for more immigration. I am not impressed with the corporate whining. They have deep pockets, and lots of lobbying power with Congress. If they want an immigration bill passed, they are likely to get it.

Retired border control people say that there are probably 20 million illegals in the country, not the 11 million usually cited. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said we need immigration reform and more immigration so we have more people enrolled in ObamaCare. What?

And as for those major companies looking for more immigrants— Hewlett Packard laid off 29,000 employees, their VP of Human Resources signed the letter. Cisco, announced plans to lay off 4,000 in addition to the 8,000 cut in the last two years. Signed. United Technologies, layoffs of 3,000 this year. Signed. American Express, Signed, cut 5.400 jobs this year. Procter & Gamble, signed, cut 5,700. According to a recent Reuters report, U.S. employers announced 50,462 layoffs in August, up by 57 percent from 2012. The Center for Immigration Studies says the immigration bill is “more of an effort to level the wages of American citizens.”

The major problem with our current immigration laws is that they are not being enforced. Anything interfering with immigrants flowing freely over the borders, and most regulations governing visas are being ignored. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” legalizing in short order those who were brought here as young children and know no other home. (They always have a sad story “for the children.)” Obama just effectively  passed it with executive orders.” If Congress refuses to do what I want, I’ll do it on my own.” ICE agents have sued the Department of Homeland Security, and Janet Napolitano for preventing  them from doing their jobs.

Chalk this one up under “Major Obama Scandals,” but you might want to discuss it with your congressman.

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