December 29, 2005: A New Center For Immigration Studies Publication Should Inspire Canada's Federal Government To Make The Following New Year's Resolution: Examine The Effect of Mass Immigration On Canada's Workers
Canada's Immigration Minister has often claimed that Canada needs skilled worker immigrants. A number of U.S. businesses have voiced the same claim. Recently, these U.S. businesses requested a 30,000 increase (above an allotted 65,000 annually) in the number of visas to be granted to foreign skilled workers.
However, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies states that this claim by American businesses is questionable. In fact, this organization says, U.S. businesses want the skilled worker immigrants mainly because the businesses can pay skilled immigrants much less than they have to pay American skilled workers. The result is that many U.S. skilled workers face unemployment or under-employment.
Similar claims in Canada should be questioned, and their effects on Canadian workers should be properly quantified, says Immigration Watch Canada. The question, “What has been the effect of mass immigration on Canada's work force?” has never been answered.
In fact, providing a thorough investigation into this issue would be a long-overdue (but very responsible) New Year's Resolution for Canada's federal government.
The new American study was done by U.S. software industry expert John Miano and is published by the Center for Immigration Studies. It is entitled “The Bottom Of The Pay Scale: Wages for H-1B Computer Programmers”. According to the Center For Immigration Studies,”It compares wages in computer programming occupations to wage levels of U.S. workers in the same occupation and location.” It is on line at http.//www.cis.org/articles/2005/back1305.html
The additional visas that U.S. businesses requested are called H-1B visas. According to Mr. Miano, the visas are temporary guestworker documents which apply to “specialty occupations”; last for three years; and can be renewed for up to three years. Last year, between 80,000 to 100,000 H-1B visas were issued.
The purported Canadian need for skilled workers has been contradicted by some unions which have recently complained of wage depression. The unions have complained that wage depression has been caused by recent immigrants competing for jobs with Canadians. Immigration Minister Volpe and other members of Canada's House of Commons Standing Committee on Immigration discussed this briefly in November, 2005 meetings with one another.
However, Mr. Volpe has not announced any intention to guage the extent of wage depression in Canada. And the House of Commons Standing Committee on Immigration has not called for any such study.
The U.S. Senate has just recently refused to approve the American business request for an additional 30,000 visas. In contrast, many Canadian MP's have recently expressed approval of Immigration Minister Volpe's recent proposals for an additional 80,000 to 90,000 immigrants, some of whom will be skilled workers. But, as most Canadians know, this increase has been put on hold because of the current election campaign.
As experts have noted, this issue has repeatedly surfaced in both the U.S. and Canada and undoubtedly will rise again.
The many thousands of Canadian-born whose employment aspirations have been negatively affected by mass immigration should note the alleged deceit in the American business claim. On election day in particular, these Canadians should recall that Canada's federal government has covered up this very important matter.
Canadian elected officials at all three levels of government who have supported current high immigration levels and echoed Volpe's proposal for a 40% increase in those levels, should also take careful note of the alleged deceit.
And Canadian unions, entrusted with the interests of their members, should pay particular attention. Or, even more appropriately, Canadian unions should perform the obligation that Canada's federal government refuses to perform for its own people.
END OF PRESS RELEASE
Immigration Watch Canada provides the entire Center For Immigration Studies announcement on this issue. Earlier academic studies in the U.S. have drawn conclusions similar to those drawn in this new analysis published by the Center For Immigration Studies.
NEEDED SKILLS OR CHEAP LABOR?
Report: H-1B Workers Paid Less than U.S. Workers, Despite Wage Rules
CONTACT: John Miano, email@example.com
WASHINGTON (December 2005) — The budget bill was approved by the Senate Wednesday minus a provision that would have added 30,000 visas to the H-1B foreign-worker program. But efforts to increase this visa program are certain to resume next year.
To help inform this debate, the Center for Immigration Studies has published a new analysis of thousands of Labor Department applications which finds that employers are paying H-1B workers less than comparable American workers.
The ''prevailing wage'' requirement for this visa program is designed to prevent the hiring of foreign workers from depressing U.S. wages and to protect foreign workers from exploitation. Instead, the data show that the H-1B program is primarily used to import workers at the very bottom of the wage scale. The wide gap between wages for U.S. workers and H-1B workers helps explain why industry demand for H-1B workers is so high and why the annual visa quotas are being exhausted.
The new study is entitled ''The Bottom of the Pay Scale: Wages for H-1B Computer Programmers,'' by software industry expert John Miano. It compares wages in approved Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for H-1B workers in computer programming occupations to wage levels of U.S. workers in the same occupation and location. It is on line at http://www.cis.org/articles/2005/back1305.html
Among the findings
* In spite of the requirement that H-1B workers be paid the prevailing wage, H-1B workers earn significantly less than their American counterparts. On average, applications for H-1B workers in computer occupations were for wages $13,000 less than Americans in the same occupation and state.
* Wages for H-1B workers in computer programming occupations are overwhelmingly concentrated at the bottom of the U.S. pay scale. Wages on LCAs for 85 percent of H-1B workers were for less than the median U.S. wage in the same occupations and state.
* Applications for 47 percent of H-1B computer programming workers were for wages below even the prevailing wage claimed by their employers.
* Very few H-1B workers earned high wages by U.S. standards. Applications for only 4 percent of H-1B workers were among the top 25 percent of wages for U.S. workers in the same state and occupation.
* Many employers use their own salary surveys and wage surveys for entry-level workers, rather than more relevant and objective data sources, to make prevailing-wage claims when hiring H-1B workers.
* Employers of large numbers of H-1B workers tend to pay those workers less than those who hire a few. Employers making applications for more than 100 H-1B workers had wages averaging $9,000 less than employers of one to 10 H-1B workers.
* The problem of low wages for H-1B workers could be addressed with a few relatively simple changes to the law.
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Please Note: In a December 21 press release, Immigration Watch Canada quoted from a press release issued by the Canadian Coalition of Democracies. The CCD press release attributed certain comments to Mr. Omar Alghabra, the Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Erindale. The CCD has subsequently stated that it was incorrect in stating that Mr. Alghabra had made the statements and that, in fact, it was Markham City Councillor Khalid Usman who had made the comments. The CCD has said that it regrets any misunderstanding their announcement caused for Mr. Alghabra. Similarly, IWC regrets any misunderstanding its press release may have caused for Mr. Alghabra.