In 2015, a controversy erupted after the New York Times reported Disney was letting go of 250 employees. The company required highly-skilled technical workers to train inexpensive immigrants replacing them on temporary visas. Fast forward, America is experiencing 40-year inflation highs. Some of the causes of the high prices can be attributed to rising wages as employers try to attract people to their companies.
Now, it appears the Biden administration supports congressional legislation that could hurt Americans’ prosperity. The EAGLE Act proposes approximately $29 million to push Americans out of white-collar jobs and reduce investments in the heartland that would incentivize the creation of more employment opportunities for Americans.
EAGLE Act Could Allow Inexpensive Immigrant Labor to Replace American Workers
According to the immigration activist group Immigration Voice, over a million immigrants face a decade or more getting an employment-based Green Card. The organization claims the EAGLE Act is the only legislation that will fix the problem without adding a “single new green card or guest worker visa.” They say the proposal benefits American workers and foreigners already living in the country.
Some don’t agree with that assessment. Opponents say the EAGLE Act reduces jobs for college graduates in the heartland. It happens because, without a cheap flow of labor, Fortune 500 corporations in California, New York, Texas, and North Carolina won’t face pressure to relocate or add facilities in lower-cost cities if cheap labor offsets it.
In addition, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) argued the bill would unfairly benefit certain immigrants at the expense of black ones. Clarke heads the immigration task force for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
How Does EAGLE Act Work?
The proposal allows immigrant workers to obtain permanent work permits after approval for a green card. Employment authorization permits allow foreigners to work in a job until they get a green card. This gives companies a workaround to bring in cheap white-collar labor through an endless supply of foreign employees. Ultimately, green cards allow immigrants to apply for citizenship for themselves and their families.
Additionally, the legislation doesn’t cap how many foreign hirelings a company can bring in through H-2A visas for agricultural work, H-1B visas for white-collar jobs, or other programs.
The push to pass the bill comes as corporations begin laying off employees. The program allows companies to drive down wages by shifting work from well-paid American workers to foreign ones.
While Democrats and corporate leaders support the plan, eight House Republicans co-sponsored it. House supporters include Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Don Bacon (R-NE), John Curtis (R-UT), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Pete Stauber (R-MN) and William Timmons (R-SC). In addition, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is a strong proponent of the measure.