An op-ed by Thomas Broadwater in Investor's Business Daily argues that blue-collar work visas "are boxing millions of minority citizens out of jobs."
The number of good-paying blue collar jobs is shrinking. Since 1980, America has lost more than 12 million manufacturing jobs to automation or offshoring. Wages have stagnated.
Competition is fierce for the jobs that remain. So it's ludicrous that Congress is currently trying to quadruple the number of low-skill work visas for manufacturing, construction, and landscaping positions. The move would hold down wages and make it harder for minorities to secure employment.
Widespread employment would cure many of the problems plaguing minority American communities.
BuzzFeed News reported in December that "companies across the country in a variety of industries have made it all but impossible for U.S. workers to learn about job openings that they are supposed to be given first crack at. When workers do find out, they are discouraged from applying. And if, against all odds, Americans actually get hired, they often are treated worse and paid less than foreign workers doing the same job, in order to drive the Americans to quit...."
And a New York Times editorial from July wrote: "Why would Congress expand the H-2B system? Because businesses that profit from cheap and subservient labor are demanding that it do so. Employers are supposed to recruit American workers before they hire H-2B workers. They are also supposed to pay guest workers the prevailing wage Americans would earn. Legal loopholes and lax enforcement have allowed them to sidestep those rules."