Richard Trumka admits his fellow amnesty supporters use immigration to lower wages (AFL CIO)
Policy proposals from multinational corporations often come with slick, poll-tested rhetoric. It is always worth digging deeper.
And the more you dig into the idea that we need to hugely expand the number of employer-based temporary worker visas for tech companies, the more you uncover the truth: This is about powerful companies pursuing lower wages.
The "liberal" forces supporting amnesty have spent years trying to claim that mass immigration has little or no effect on wages. So, it's a bit surprising to see Trumka admitting facts rather than pointing to studies that aren't based in reality (see immigration economics).
Given his intro, you might expect him to turn against Big Business and oppose comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, he's not doing that: he supports amnesty as strongly as the US Chamber of Commerce, the Koch family, and Grover Norquist. He just wants to change the numbers a bit and let his Big Business colleagues invite slightly fewer people to come here and he wants them to eventually become citizens (and thus many who'll be voters for the Democratic Party):
First, let's be clear. Immigration helps America. People who come here to pursue their dreams and aspire to be citizens strengthen our country. America's unions embrace immigrants and new citizens.
But we need the right rules and policies in place to reach our potential. When foreign temporary workers get stuck in a revolving-door system that does not give them a realistic chance to stay and become citizens, then the ladder to the middle class is broken. And this is definitely reason for concern.
Then, it's back to the crocodile tears for those he pretends to represent:
We worry about corporations firing or passing over qualified American workers in order to import temporary foreign workers at lower wages.
We worry about a declining middle class as corporate profits reach record highs.
Americans aren't looking for handouts. We aren't looking to be hired for jobs for which we lack essential qualifications. We just want a fair chance to use the skills we have earned — often at the cost of huge student loans — to work our way into the middle-class jobs of the future.
If Trumka put those he pretends to represent before other interests (such as voters for the Democrats or more dues-paying members), he'd turn his "worry" into action and oppose Big Business on immigration. Obviously, that's not what he's doing.
Finally, he works in some commonsense economics (bolding added):
High-tech companies say there are "too few" American high-tech workers, but that's not true.
Today there are 20,000 fewer African-American computer programmers and system analysts employed than in 2008.
In the fields of computer and information science and engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50% more students than there are new hires.
Basic supply and demand suggests that if there were too few qualified tech workers, their average salaries would be going up. But tech wages haven't risen since Bill Clinton was president.
Clearly, high tech is not looking to bring in H-1B visa holders for a few years at a time because there is a shortage of tech workers. They want a massive expansion of H-1B visa holders because they can pay them less.
This is not about innovation and job creation. It is about dollars and cents.
The African-American part came out of left field; the issue in STEM occupations is that employers are looking for younger workers. However, perhaps  explains why he included that.
The economic arguments Trumka makes apply to lower-skilled workers as well: his Big Business colleagues use lower-skilled immigration in order to lower wages for lower-skilled American workers. And, that too is all "about dollars and cents".
His editorial is a good first step, the only thing that remains is for Trumka to put the interests of American workers ahead of his interest in more union dues and his and the Democrats' interest in more political power.
 dpeaflcio . org/wp-content/uploads/The-STEM-workforce-2012.pdf