Fact-Free Fact Check on H-1B

By John Miano on February 2, 2012

The recent incident where a woman asked president Obama why we are importing foreign workers on H-1B visas has attracted much attention to the issue...and has brought out the worst in American media.

I remember a gentleman I met in 2000. I'll call him "Joe" because he wanted to get out of the limelight. In 1994, Joe worked at AIG in Livingston, N.J. He was one of 250 American workers AIG fired and replaced with foreign workers on H-1B visas. After that, Joe appeared on ABC's 20/20 program when they ran a segment on Americans being replaced by H-1B workers. Joe subsequently got a job at Dun & Bradstreet. When I met him, he had been recently fired at Dun & Bradstreet as well and was training his H-1B replacement there.

Returning to recent events: ABC News's web site announces (scroll about half way down), "Are Americans losing jobs to foreign workers getting H1B visas? Huma Khan's fact check."

That should be easy for ABC to check. They could go back to their 20/20 archives. They could do a search on Nexis and find articles about Americans being fired and replaced by H-1B workers at AIG, SeaLand, Dun & Bradstreet, Pfizer, A.C. Nielsen, and many others.

Doing a modicum of research, ABC would have found: Yes, Americans are losing jobs to foreign workers getting H-1B visas. A no-brainer.

Had ABC dug deeper they would have read about how an attempt was made to close the loophole in the law that allows employers to replace Americans in 1998 (H.R. 3736). They could have discovered how industry lobbyists fought to mat to kill to it.

ABC could have learned that the largest users of H-1B visas are the foreign offshoring companies that specialize in moving jobs overseas.

Here is ABC's "fact checking".

No mention of Americans being replaced by H-1B workers. No mention of how H-1B drives offshoring. It's all left up in the air.

If you're getting your news from ABC, you're not getting the news.