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On November 20, Congress passed a provision to increase the number of H-1B visas issued to foreign workers who come to the United States to take American jobs. The provision was buried in the large omnibus spending bill conference report, H.R. 4818, and was House roll call vote 542 and Senate roll call vote 215.
Nov. 17, 2004

Stop Foreign Workers Taking U.S. Jobs


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Congress is back in session this week to conclude the 108th Congress. Members are focusing on completing the annual appropriations bills, which are expected to be combined into an omnibus bill. The danger any time Congress creates an omnibus is what else gets attached and buried in the bill. This time is no different. Open borders advocates are lobbying Congress to add an immigration measure to the omnibus, which will make thousands of immigrants eligible to take U.S. jobs.

H-1B visas are awarded to foreign skilled immigrants to work in the U.S. There is currently a limit of 65,000 H-1B visas per year. The high tech industry is lobbying to increase the cap or create exemptions to the cap for foreign workers with advanced degrees (Masters or Ph.D.).

Thousands of high tech American workers are still out of work from the 1990s "dot bomb" fiasco. Furthermore, there is no shortage of U.S. citizens with graduate degrees. Adding more foreign workers to the already flooded technology labor pool will further drive down wages.

Call your Senators and Representative and tell them to keep the H-1B visa limitations in place.

Also call the following Members who are engaged in the Omnibus negotiations: Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Rep. Lamar Smith, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.


Additional Information follows:

Last Chance to Stop Stealth Foreign Worker Increase
Call Key Decision Makers RIGHT AWAY!

Your continued effort is needed to help stop a sneaky end-of-the-year push for more foreign guest workers. Earlier, we asked you to contact your legislators to build opposition to efforts to expand the H-1B "high tech" and H-2B "seasonal" guest worker programs. Now we ask you to focus on Senate leadership and key committee members. Help us burn up their phone lines. CALL RIGHT AWAY.

Urgent Action Needed:
Call Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) (202-224-3344) and urge him to keep the omnibus appropriations bill free of amendments to expand the H-1B "high tech" and H-2B "seasonal" guest worker programs.

Check the list below to see if your senator sits on the Appropriations Committee. If so, call immediately and urge your senator to reject efforts to attach language to the end-of-year omnibus spending bill that expands these guest worker programs. (See below for phone numbers and talking points.)

Keep calling your legislators and urging them to oppose this.

Background:
Business lobbyists have been pushing for more H-1B "high tech" and H-2B "seasonal" guest workers all year. Now that elections are over, it's payback time, and American workers are going to pay if this end-of-the-year guest worker expansion is passed.

Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are seeking a limitless exemption to the H-1B cap for foreign nationals holding advanced degrees from U.S. universities. Chambliss is pretty good on other immigration issues, but Kennedy is open-borders all the way and is constantly looking for ways to liberalize our current immigration system.

This guest worker expansion is going to be virtually impossible to defeat if added to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill as planned. Please help us convince key decision makers to keep the appropriations process clean. American jobs are on the line.

Senate Appropriations Committee Members

Alabama - Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744

Alaska - Sen. Ted Steven (R-AK) 202-224-3004

California - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841

Hawaii - Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) 202-224-3934

Idaho - Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) 202-224-2752

Illinois - Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152

Iowa - Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) 202-224-3254

Kansas - Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KA) 202-224-6521

Kentucky - Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 202-224-2541

Louisiana - Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824

Maryland - Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) 202-224-4654

Mississippi - Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054

Missouri - Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) 202-224-5721

Montana - Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) 202-224-2644

Nevada - Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 202-224-3542

New Hampshire - Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) 202-224-3324

New Mexico - Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) 202-224-6621

North Dakota - Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) 202-224-2551

Ohio - Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) 202-224-2315

Pennsylvania - Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) 202-224-4254

South Dakota - Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842

Texas - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) 202-224-5922

Utah - Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) 202-224-5444

Vermont - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-4242

Washington - Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621

West Virginia - Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) 202-224-3954

Wisconsin - Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) 202-224-5653

Talking Points:
As long as Congress allows employers to look overseas to fill jobs, it's always going to be a race to the bottom for wages and working conditions in this country.

It's outrageous to expand guest worker programs when general unemployment is high and unemployment among high-tech American workers is at a 30 year high.

In 2003, caps on the H-1B and H-2B visa programs were reached within no time, which is a clear sign that employers are abusing these programs to cut costs at the expense of American wages and working conditions.

These guest worker programs need to be curbed or eliminated, not made more generous.

CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD: (202) 224-3121


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