Source: NEIL MUNRO

House Democrats have drafted a bill to counter China’s technological gains — but their bill encourages universities and companies to fill research jobs with more Chinese migrants instead of innovative Americans.

“They’re doubling down on the same failed policies that have gotten us to where we are today,” said Kevin Lynn, the founder of U.S. Tech Workers. He continued:

This investing in foreigners versus our own citizenry, this [corporate] efficiency model that is looking to always improve that bottom line, the profit margins, and not doing the things necessary to train the [American] people that will be innovative and more productive, has actually made our companies and the country less productive and less innovative.

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These immigration provisions represent an investment in foreigners versus an investment in Americans, and none of that should be done with taxpayer dollars.

The House bill is titled the America COMPETES Act of 2022 and is a version of the Senate-passed Competes Act.

The Senate bill was widely panned for dodging core problems about the corporate transfer of research and manufacturing to China. It passed in June and promises to spend $250 billion on subsidies to help shore up U.S. competition with China. But the Senate bill does little to reduce growing U.S. reliance on Chinese labor in U.S. laboratories or the movement of manufacturing — and the entwined science and expertise — into China.

The bill also does little to counter Chinese government spying, technology theft, or market manipulations. “We have to have safeguards,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Breitbart News in November.

The House bill version of the bill, introduced January 25, adds immigration measures to help universities and investors.

The House bill allows foreigners who get PhDs to ask the DHS secretary for green cards. The PhDs would have to be from a “program of study involving science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, the bill says. However, the eligible PhDs include accounting, taxation, conservation, and agriculture, the draft bill says on page 1,710.

The foreigners would first have to pay for their PhDs at qualified universities. The bill suggests that at least 266 U.S. universities would be eligible to put their customers on a fast track to citizenship. But the bill also puts Historically Black Universities and other minority-serving universities on the list.

The Democrats’ bill also allows some foreign universities to put their graduates on a fast track to U.S. citizenship and U.S. science careers. Forty-nine of the world’s top 100 universities are located outside the United States, including three universities in China, according to one rating system.

The bill also allows the DHS secretary to import “refugees” from Hong Kong and to give green cards to 5,000 people from Hong Kong each year. “The Secretary of Homeland Security may, in consultation with the Secretary of State, prioritize the issuance of visas to individuals with a bachelor’s or higher degree in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, or health care,” the bill says.

The bill also allows the homeland defense secretary to award work permits to people who ask for a “start-up visa” and who can claim an up-front investment of $250,000 from “qualified investors. This rule has been pushed by investment groups — such as FWD.us — since at least 2015, and it would give investors the ability to import foreign professionals and get huge leverage over their inventions.

The immigration changes would push Americans out of Fortune 500 jobs — and out of university science jobs — by allowing universities and companies to hire more indentured foreigners for jobs, said Lynn.

You’ve got to look at who the beneficiaries are. First, the universities … in the face of declining [American] enrollment, they’re going to have an eager body of foreign students looking to [pay tuition to] get a degree from their university, get an [jobs via the Optional Practical Training {OPT} program or J-1 work permit] and then a green card, and then citizenship. So that’s the payback to them.

Also, it’s companies. We see this currently with the OPT and H-1B  [visa worker programs, where companies are] getting foreign nationals [and] if they’re not working at that company, they could be deported. So it makes them more compliant [and cheaper] workers. That’s not what we want.

The U.S. already has an O-1 “genius visa” for accomplished foreign professionals, Lynn said. But the large new programs in the House bill would gradually import an “overclass” of credentialled foreign scientists and managers, Lynn added:

We would be importing a class of people that will ultimately be the managerial class who will oversee Americans, because that’s what higher education does in America, that’s what skills do in America. This is dangerous … it will actually make America less competitive because it’s hollowing out the citizens who are part of the social fabric of this country

Roughly half of the skilled workers in U.S. laboratories are foreign “postdocs,” often on OPT or J-1 work permits. They are favored over many Americans because laboratory directors can work them harder than U.S. citizens and pay them with hopes of government-provided green cards. The huge number of foreign postdocs ensures that are many young Americans are denied places in academic research.

“The root of the problem is the academic power structure,” Yale scientist Akiko Iwasaki wrote in Nature.com: in April 2020:

[Laboratory chiefs, or Principal Investigators] PIs can hold trainees hostage through letters of recommendation and publications. International trainees are even more vulnerable, because PIs can hold them hostage with their visas. I have seen numerous DMs describing PIs saying “if you don’t work harder, I will not be writing a good letter of recommendation for you” or “since you took the weekend off, I am tempted not to renew your visa” (paraphrased). Other PIs simply do not care about their trainees at all.

“Academic science is a breeding ground for toxic dynamics, mainly because lab heads have so much power over their trainees,” Sherry Moss said in Nature.com. “In many ways, lab members are captive, making them more vulnerable to abuse [because] Ph.D. students and postdocs depend on supervisors for publications, funds and letters of recommendation,” Moss wrote in 2018.

The abuse pressures many young scientists out of academia, according to a November 2020 report in Nature.com. A survey of worldwide 7,600 postdocs showed:

51% of respondents said that they had considered leaving science because of mental-health concerns related to their work … Some groups are especially likely to have such doubts. Fifty-five percent of female respondents said that they had considered quitting science, compared with 46% of male respondents.

One U.S. researcher responded:

Academia has truly ruined my life. All of my peers are either married with kids or they’re making six figures at their job with only a Bachelor’s degree. I am still single, no kids, have depression and extreme anxiety, and I’m still poor.

But Democrats are touting their hire-Chinese bill — partly because it delivers much money to HBCUs.

“The America COMPETES Act of 2022 is the boldest, best option we have to stand up to China’s harmful actions and support American workers,” said a January 25 statement from Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) the chairman of the House tax-writing committee.

“The success and competitiveness of the American economy depends on the strength of our nation’s workforce,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “The America COMPETES Act will connect our nation’s students and workers with the skills they need to succeed in high-tech industries while keeping our economy competitive in the years ahead.”