Justice Department Debunks Silicon Valley’s ‘Worker Shortage’ Claim

The Justice Department’s discrimination lawsuit against Facebook debunks the Fortune 500’s fraudulent claim that a shortage of American workers forces managers to hire foreign workers, U.S. immigration experts say.

The federal lawsuit says Facebook hid more than 1,000 job advertisements from eager American graduates so U.S.-based managers could pretend the only qualified candidates for the jobs were the company’s temporary foreign workers. The pretense allowed the company to request permanent green cards for the temporary workers:

From January 1, 2018 to April 28, 2019, Facebook’s online job postings for … [normal job] positions that it ultimately filled received on average 104 total applicants per position.

In contrast, in the 1,128 recruitment reports that Facebook prepared in connection with its [green card] applications filed [in the 10 months] between July 1, 2018 and April 28, 2019 … Facebook reported that it received zero U.S. worker applicants in 81.5% of these reports (919 reports), that it received one U.S. 10 worker applicant in 18.3% of these reports (206 reports), and that it received 2-4 U.S. worker applicants in the remaining 0.3% of these reports (3 reports).

“Big tech companies say — and get Washington to echo for them — that there is a shortage of STEM workers in America. That’s a myth, and this lawsuit proves it,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers.

Congress lets many companies import cheap and compliant temporary foreign workers without even forcing the companies to seek American hires, said Lynn. But the labor-shortage fraud is exposed when the companies try to keep the temporary visa workers by sponsoring them for green cards, he said.

To get the green card for the visa workers, “they have to demonstrate that there isn’t an American that will do that job” — and the federal lawsuit shows there are 100 Americans trying to get each advertised job, Lynn said.

“If there were a real shortage of American workers, tech companies wouldn’t have to go through this [hiring] charade,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Congress has created these [legal] steps that tech companies have to go through supposedly to show there’s a shortage. It’s all a legal fiction intended to placate voters, but it ensures that tech companies can still hire the cheap [foreign] labor that they lust after.

The hiring fiction is discriminatory, according to the Justice Department:

Facebook’s discriminatory recruitment and hiring practice is routine, ongoing, and widespread. It discriminates against U.S. workers because of their immigration or citizenship status, and it harms them by limiting their ability to apply, to be considered, and to be hired for all PERM-related jobs at Facebook.

Silicon Valley, the Fortune 500, and their myriad subcontractors employ roughly 1.5 million tied and compliant H-1B, H4EAD, L-1, J-1, or OPT foreign workers. This workforce strategy minimizes the hiring of American graduates who could eventually use their skills, experience, and professionalism to create innovative companies and rival products.

But those imported foreign workers are not just a narrow group of software experts.

The justice department’s lawsuit showed how Facebook hid jobs from American art school graduates so could use the so-called “PERM” process to get green cards for its huge population of foreign temporary workers:

On September 18, 2018, Facebook filed a PERM application for an Art Director position with the Department of Labor, certifying that it had conducted good-faith recruitment but found no qualified and available U.S. workers for the position …

[But] advertised positions for [22] non-PERM-related Art Director positions received a total of at least 2,612 applications. Facebook did not hire at least 288 applicants for these Art Director positions because, though they were not unqualified, there was another more qualified candidate.

Facebook did not consider or hire any of the U.S. workers who applied to the non-PERM related Art Director positions for its PERM-related Art Director position, even though they were comparable positions advertised at the same time with the same company.

“What we are seeing here is that employers are using claims of a tech worker shortage to expand their ability to hire cheap foreign labor into other occupations,” said Krikorian. “The logic of this will enable employers to fill any job eventually with foreign workers — if Congress and the agencies don’t step in to change the rules.”

The “worker shortage” claim extends far outside Silicon Valley, into many Fortune 500 companies, according to Krikorian. Lynn, and many others.

The fraud also damages many millions of American graduates who are not directly hurt by hiring discrimination, Krikorian said:

Educated Americans who are displaced by these foreign worker programs usually have the wherewithal to find other work. But they find it in other areas, which may increase competition in those other occupations.

It certainly results in inefficient use of their talents because a person who might otherwise be a tech worker may end up managing a convenience store. That’s a perfectly honorable job, but if the person was trained as a programmer and has now been discarded in favor of cheap controllable foreign labor, that’s not socially or economically optimal for the United States.

The labor shortage fraud also helps to create political support for rewarding fraud, such as Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT)  S.386 green card giveaway, Krikorian said:

The Lee bill is the inevitable consequence of the misuse of the H-1B program as a tryout immigration program. If the H-1B program was used as it was supposedly intended to be used — for short-term, high-skill assignments — you would never have the problems because the people coming on these temporary visas would be temporary.

U.S. journalists have given the white-collar hiring fraud — and the Facebook lawsuit — little scrutiny while they focus on the concerns and priorities of pro-migration groups.

“My eyebrows are being raised that DOJ wants to go after Facebook on this issue at all,” said a tweet from Tal Kopan, a D.C. reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, whose website does not appear to mention the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was covered by the New York Times. But the Times covers the visa worker issue so rarely that it misspelled the H-1B program as “H1-B,” and mischaracterized  H-1B temporary workers as “temporary immigrant workers.”

In contrast, migration reporters broadcast the claim that the U.S. government has somehow severed contact between cellphone-carrying migrant children in the United States and their cellphone-carrying extended families in the United States and in Central America.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to raise the inflow of foreign white-collar workers since 2016 has forced companies to hire many Americans. For example, the New York Times described one American’s gain during the Trump years — but without crediting Trump’s curbs:

Robert B. Johnson Jr. worked as an administrative assistant at a finance company in Dallas for a year and a half. It was his first experience in an office, picking up professional skills like working in teams and business communications. He was interested in technology, and while there he heard of free computing coursework offered by Merit America, a nonprofit, that could be done on nights and weekends.

Mr. Johnson, 24, finished the computer programming course in six months. Soon after, he was hired by a local software company, where his annual salary is about $55,000, compared with $30,000 before. Today, he has savings in the bank, and he and his girlfriend moved into a new apartment in January. They are looking to buy a house and talk of starting a family.

“It’s the American dream stuff that didn’t seem feasible for me until now,” Mr. Johnson said.

The alleged Facebook discrimination tactic has been used since at least 2007, one American tech worker told Breitbart News.

In 2007, he said, he saw a job ad from an unnamed company in the Chicago Tribune newspaper:

It was a tiny ad, saying that they were looking for a network analyst, and they had an M.E. Clark as an attention-to and a P.O. box. I thought, ‘This is really strange. We’re already on the Internet. Why are they posting a network job in a newspaper? An actual physical newspaper?” … So I actually made a resume and put it in an envelope, and sent it registered mail to the P.O. box. Nothing happened. But about six weeks later, I get a call from an Indian woman with a thick accent saying, “Would you like to work at Cisco?  We’re going to pay you just $35 [an hour],” which was a joke of a salary.

“This shit has been going on forever in Silicon Valley,” he said, adding, “If only Americans were competing for these jobs, the average salary would not be in the $150s — but in the $250s.”

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