Turnabout Is Fair Play: A Spoof

By David North on April 24, 2012

While the members of the U.S. Congress are busily considering how to bring in more high-tech nonimmigrant workers, a counter movement is afoot.

A band of techies, advocating the interests of unemployed U.S. computer programmers, engineers, and other professionals, is considering the creation of the HR-1 and S-1 visa program, which would increase the productivity of Congress and lower its costs while bringing some of the world's "best and brightest" to the United States as nonimmigrant lawmakers.

While the program would certainly displace some U.S. workers (incumbent U.S. senators and congressmen), it would "enhance America's competitiveness", according to Techies United (TU).

The H-1B proposals before Congress aim to expand the visa program for alien high-tech workers and make other arrangements along the same lines. These programs have allowed employers to shoulder aside hundreds of thousands of U.S. resident high-tech and other professional workers in the past, so that they can hire less expensive foreign workers, explained John Q. Doe, TU's executive director.

The unemployed Americans working with TU have modeled their proposed lawmaker visa program after the H-1B program. Since alien worker programs all have initials and numbers, TU has named this one the HR-1 and S-1 program, for the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

But critics of the proposed congressional workers program say, "shouldn't we give some preference to U.S. citizens in the proposed new visa program?"

"Of course not — fair is fair", said Doe. "The H-1B program offers no preferences or any other protection to American workers. Why should political workers get better treatment than tech workers?"

The TU, which has allied itself with the Improve Congress with Improved Congressmen Committee (ICICC, pronounced "ick-ick"), has pointed out the remarkable pools of low-cost talent in other nations' elected legislatures. All members of various parliaments and provincial legislatures, they have won election in competitive contests and all have faced problems comparable to those faced by our Congress — and all are paid much less.

"In many cases, these legislatures actually make decisions and govern the country", Doe said, "in sharp contrast to this do-nothing-but-fight Congress."

Some of these potential HR-1 and S1 congressional workers have been elected in relatively new democracies, but others have served in entities like Iceland's Althingi or Britain's House of Commons, which are much older, much more established institutions than ours on Capitol Hill.

"Let's tap this wonderful reservoir of skills, let's avoid the extraneous work-to-the-rule requirements now employed by Congress such as its silly, narrow insistence that the Congress consist of U.S. citizens and let's get the best people in the world to manage the nation!" said Doe.

As to who makes the hiring decisions in the HR-1 and S-1-program, the TU and ICICC, again using the H-1B program as its guide, said such decisions will be made by anonymous authorities accountable to no one.

The newly recruited legislators from other nations would probably be paid about 25 percent more than they currently earn, but none would be paid anything like the $174,000 a year Congress currently pays itself. They will also get smaller staff allowances. Members of the House of Commons, for instance, are paid only $100,362 a year and many would welcome a chance to take the place of a U.S. Congressman or Senator; members of the storied, more ancient House of Lords are paid even less.

Under the proposed legislation, the new alien political workers will be allowed to continue to wear their traditional garb — ermine-trimmed robes for ex-members of the House of Lords, for instance — or American business attire. "It would be politically incorrect for us to impose our own dress code on the newcomers", Doe explained.

The new HR-1 and S-1 legislators, like all nonimmigrant workers in the United States, would work at the pleasure of their bosses. Should they displease them, they would be fired and forced to leave the country.

"The question is", Doe said, "Will Congress be consistent and adopt the HR-1 and S-1 visa program, as it has adopted the H-1B and many similar non-immigrant programs? Or will it continue to tolerate different and more favorable rules for its own members than it does for other citizen workers?"

"Let's treat political workers like high-tech workers", Doe concluded.

Topics: Politics