A Biden White House Would Prioritize Cheap Labor Over American Workers


November 19, 2020

By Dale L. Wilcox

If Big Tech and the media achieve their goal to install Joe Biden in the White House, it will be a huge win for large corporations seeking cheap foreign labor. The losers will be millions of American workers who saw their wages and opportunities grow in the last four years of the Trump presidency. This is a gross injustice that must be fought in Congress, the legal system and in the court of public opinion.

Even before the election has been certified and while recounts and fraud investigations continue, acolytes of the embryonic Biden government-in-waiting and their allies are chomping at the bit with open discussions of how they will overturn large swaths of the Trump administration’s immigration achievements.

At the top of their list is a dismantling of more restrictive H-1B visa policies which leveled the playing field for American skilled laborers and made it less profitable for corporations to replace them with foreign labor willing to work for substandard wages. If Biden indeed assumes the Oval Office, the scale will be tipped in the favor of large corporations at the expense of our fellow citizens who have worked hard and played by the rules.  

How did we arrive at this point? In post-World War II America, the goals of Big Business seemed generally aligned and intertwined with the good of the country. Companies like General Motors, U.S. Steel and IBM were the bedrock of the country’s economy, employing millions of Americans with good pay, benefits and opportunities to advance. As the fortunes of those companies rose, so did those for their employees and the country.

Today, corporations that are based in the U.S. see themselves as more multinational than American. If they can squeeze some extra profitability from a strategy that is not in the best interests of the U.S. and its workers, that strategy is deployed with little concern for the collateral damage.

These mega-corporations are extremely powerful, and they do not hesitate to throw their weight around to advance their interests. When President Trump announced a temporary halt to several visas including H-1Bs in June, Big Tech blasted the decision. Apple chief Tim Cook repeated a tired refrain by suggesting that opposition to cheap foreign labor is evidence of a latent American racism. Rarely, if ever, does a Big Tech billionaire ever state concern for the effect their policies will have on American workers. 

In October the administration announced new rules tightening regulations on H-1B visas. TechNet, a group of executives from leading Silicon Valley behemoths, filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit to challenge the rules. Whenever there is an initiative to give U.S.-based tech workers a fair shot at employment, you can be sure that there will be millions of Big Tech dollars fighting it.

My organization, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, has been one of the few voices fighting for American workers on the H-1B issue for years. We recently filed a brief on behalf of displaced U.S. tech workers in California district court. The plaintiff in that case, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is an example of how permanent Washington has largely abandoned American workers. By its name alone, one would think the Chamber would be working to improve economic conditions for the entire country. Sadly, the Chamber today is a de facto lobbyist for big business to feed their never-ending addiction to cheap foreign labor.

That brings us back to Silicon Valley, the so-called “Masters of the Universe,” who depend heavily on H-1B workers. In the 2020 campaign, employees of Big Tech titans Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Oracle donated almost 20 times more money to Biden than Trump. Employees at those six companies donated almost $5 million to Biden, with more coming from other non-tech sectors.

Did these companies favor Biden because of his charisma and lofty ideals? Hardly. They went all-in for Biden because they know he will capitulate to them. They made a significant investment in Biden, and they expect that investment to yield results. The expected results will include a restoration of loose H-1B visa rules and a pipeline of cheap labor flowing into the country, the best interests of America and its citizens be damned.  

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at: Dale L. Wilcox, A Biden White House Would Prioritize Cheap Labor Over American Workers, American Greatness, November 7, 2020.

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