Michelle Malkin doesn’t waste time taking an ax to her opponents — Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires and Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best and Brightest Workers goes after the accused right there in the subtitle.
The central theme of the book tackles three lies — that there aren’t enough American tech workers, that tech companies need unlimited foreign labor, and that American workers are protected by visa laws. Sold Out paints a full picture of how immigration hurts white-collar workers, and how immigration reform should and could help protect them from losing their jobs and/or facing lowered wages.
Crapweasels. Screwing. These are fiery, emotive words for a passionate accusation — that the Establishment, both private and public, is hurting American workers. Malkin makes sure to repeat those words throughout the book, as she elaborates exactly how hard and thoroughly folks are being “screwed.”
Although the imagery of immigration populism suggests that low-wage foreigners are hurting blue-collar workers, Sold Out focuses on the effects H-1B visas (and other such programs) have on tech workers – the faces of the tech boom that has been a cornerstone of American innovation in the 21st century. Malkin’s co-author, John Miano, is an expert on how foreign labour suppresses tech wages and helps companies replace American workers.
The book is not merely some populist jeremiad. From the beginning, Malkin and Miano present tables, footnotes and historical background to make their case against the various visas that companies use to import foreign workers. They date this trend back to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which created the H-1 and H-2 visas. They note “the H-1 visa differed from the H-2 visa in that it did not require showing that Americans were not available for the job”.
The authors add that these visas were abused through backdoor provisions, and that quotas for foreign workers were raised by bills passed in the dead of night. Combined with the lobbying of the tech industry for cheap foreign work, it becomes clear that Big Government and Big Business — the crapweasels — banded together to import foreign labour.
Furthermore, these visa holders are not well-tracked by the government, which doesn’t keep a database on who holds visas and doesn’t enforce the time limits built into them. The authors write that an estimated “40-45 percent of the current illegal immigrant population in the US consists of foreign visa overstayers.” Far from the image of illegals hopping fences, our illegal immigrant population also includes students and workers from Asia and elsewhere, who have studied here or taken American work — and have never been forced to leave by our government after quite literally overstaying their welcome.
Malkin and Miano also point out that these visa workers are also used as links to help outsource jobs to Asia and elsewhere, in particular, India. Six of the main companies using H-1B visas are Indian, and five others have a major presence there. Not only have these companies used visa workers to deny “costly” American workers their jobs, but they have then moved a great deal of their business overseas.
The book is comprehensive, tackling not only H-1B in part I, but four other visas in part II, dealing with foreign students and other visa immigrants. For any conservative interested in tackling the immigration issue and crapweasels of all sorts, it’s an essential book.
Original CBC review by Assistant Editor Brad Matthews
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