March 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Tighter rules to hire foreign workers?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With more and more Americans out of work - the government is putting up roadblocks for companies that want to hire foreign workers. And that includes higher and lower skilled workers; everyone from dude ranchers and fruit pickers to lifeguards and computer programmers.

Are there really jobs Americans can't or won't do?

The Wall Street Journal reports that at least three avenues of legal immigration have been cut back. For starters, companies getting federal bailout money must prove they've tried hiring American workers for highly skilled positions before they can hire guest workers.

Also, the State Department is calling on some sponsors of seasonal employers - like hotels, golf resorts and summer camps - to voluntarily stop hiring as many foreign workers. And the Labor Department is considering suspending an agricultural guest worker program.

It's a bit of a sticky situation for the Obama administration - which insists it doesn't want to become protectionist when it comes to goods and services. However, with an 8.1 unemployment rate, there are millions of Americans out of work who don't want to see jobs filled by foreigners.

Critics say it's hypocritical to be protectionist when it comes to hiring practices. One immigration lawyer tells the Journal, "You don't abandon regulations because you have one bad year."

But many seem to finally be questioning the idea that there are certain jobs that Americans can't or won't do. Some employers say they are now getting more U.S. applicants for positions that were normally filled by guest workers; while others say they still can't find Americans who want to do certain jobs.

Here’s my question to you: As more Americans lose their jobs, what restrictions should the government place on hiring foreign workers?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike writes:
Restrictions? How about just not paying them to do it? IBM fires 5,000 Americans and hires 5,000 Indians and then says that they could generate 1 million jobs in 12 months with $30 billion in stimulus funds. Where? Are we really stupid enough to keep bankrolling our demise? I'm a software developer who made over $100K in 2000 and now can't find work for $25 an hour.

Chris from Buffalo, New York writes:
Government regulation is what got us into this mess. What the government should do now is get out of the way, let these business owners hire whomever they choose to hire and let us, the people of this nation, pick ourselves up and out of this recession. Developing a xenophobic attitude will not do one thing to lift us out of this mess we're in.

Molita from Texas writes:
Don’t hire guest workers. There is no shortage of labor, just a shortage of livable wages for U.S. citizens doing physical labor. How many white faces do you see at the large growers in CA, FL and TX? Companies that employ green card workers are the problem because they see their bottom line as being less profitable for them. They will scream bloody murder if forced to hire legal citizens at livable wages.

Kevin in Iraq writes:
We cannot simply alienate our legal immigrants who are seeking work in this country. However, it is important to ensure that American applicants are considered first to ensure that our capital is staying here in our economy, where it is needed most.

Pam writes:
Jack, Americans should begin to migrate to other countries where their skills are needed. This is a global economy and Americans have to make adjustments.

Geri from Oklahoma writes:
If we want to continue to see the unemployment rate go up and consumer spending and local, state, and federal revenue plunge, then by all means, we should continue to hire as many foreign guest workers as this country possibly can.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. Carl D.

    First and foremost, check to see if they are here legally, if not deport them. In my opion, no jobs should be given to foreign workers until the American people are fully employed, this is just common sense.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Joan B

    Are we America, or are we India, Pakistan, China or Mexico? Our Leaders seem to show by their actions "to hell with Ameican Citizens".
    Joan B

    March 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  3. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    They need to enforce the laws they already have on the books. Very
    stiff fines for companies hiring illegal aliens would help. Make it
    unprofitable for these companies so they'll hire American workers
    and documented aliens. Increase educational standards so Americans can actually compete in the global market. Our kids are
    way behind the curve and need to catch up.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    I think that all new hirings should be prioritized. Qualifying military veterans first, followed by other U.S. citizens then foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Diane/Allentown PA

    I think in order to hire a foreign workers, the employer needs to justify this by explaining the reason why he cannot employ US citizens for the open positions. If that justification cannot be furnished, there needs to be some kind of increase in taxes, or decrease in their tax credit.

    But seriously, who's going to track this Jack? INS? They've done a standup job so far. Million have walked right in!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Pablo in Tejas

    The impetus for hiring either immigrants or illegals is often the desire for cheap labor.
    So how about this:
    Absent any extenuating circumstances, the employer who has hired an illegal immigrant should serve one day in jail and pay one thousand dollars for each day the illegal worker was in his/her employ. Furthermore, the illegal worker should be deported to his home country at the employer's expense.

    Similar fines should apply if employers are found to be unjustly compensating immigrant workers at lower levels than US workers.

    This would encourage employers to be much more thorough in their back ground checks and make a more than ordinary effort to locate and hire legal immigrants or US citizens and to pay fair wages.

    Treasury, Customs, and their constituent Federal agencies should hire train and field more investigative and enforcement personnel.

    Arlington Texas

    March 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Venia PA

    If wealthy republicans would stop hiring illegal workers for their corporations than we wouldn't have such a bad problem with foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Senator Grassley says, "you should fire the foreign worker first, and the American worker second." You should hire the best person who qualifies for the job-race or ethnicity shouldn't apply-–but then again--read Grassley's comments-and if we restrict the hiring of foreign workers--who is going to be left to perform the jobs that are rejected by Americans? We are [all] foreigners Jack--genetically.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  9. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Deport all of them yesterday.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Kerry Diehl

    YES, YES, YES!!!!!

    AND...the ones WITHOUT a proper visa, green card -etc. should be fired AND sent back to their country (one-way until they get the proper paper work and re-enter legally!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Bob

    The penalty for hiring people who are illegaly in this country should be increased and there should be actual enforcement of the laws which prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens as oppossed to the "look the other way" position of the Bush Administration.

    Louisville, Ky

    March 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  12. bob z.from pa.

    they should stop all legal immigration till our economy gets better and cancel all hb visas and secure the border but the gov. won't do any thing.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  13. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Abolish the H-1-B visa and make American companies hire Americans for technical work.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Jenna Wade

    As more Americans lose their jobs, what restrictions should the government place on hiring foreign workers?

    American companies should be heavily taxed for every foreign worker they bring into the US to take a US job.

    The only reason a worker should be inported is if no American can be found to do the job required – the company will also be required to come up with proof if asked of pay an enormouse fine.plus pay a fine to every person who is qaulified for the job, who applied for it and did not get an interview or the job.

    That should get Americans hired.

    Roseville CA

    March 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Allan Hanson Placerville, Ca

    YES, YES,YES. It is. no company should be able to use foreign workers until all available Americans are employed. Companies that lay off "fire" Americans to move the work overseas sould be penilized. IBM is now fireing Americans and moving the work overseas this is very wrong

    March 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  16. Peg

    Time to employ US citizens! Make sure we employ citizens first,
    then we can employ foreign workers with green cards. Anyone who employees illegal aliens should be heavily fined and the illegal aliens sent back to their respective countries of origin; on their dime or the dime of those foolish enough to employ them.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Esther , Massillon Ohio

    country first isn't that what the republicans said. I believe we have the people in this country to do the jobs we just looking for an easier softer way and that's wrong for america

    March 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Fred R Deleon

    Just follow E-Verify is as simple as that. Of course Pelossi will have a different way of looking at this issue. What is her job in Washington any way?

    March 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Tennessee

    foreign workers are not our problem.. when most to be legal in the US.. have to be Doctors or RN's of which we need more of.

    Last week I read that the US boarder turned away a canadian headed to a trade show that he was going to steal jobs?
    Had he been allowed in.. and bought something.. anything.. that would make jobs. Shipping, packing, production.

    Even tourist being turned away.. Is this the time to turn down anyone's money?

    Media doesn't need to hipe this fear.

    H-1B Work Visa Eligibility Requirements: The H-1B Non-Immigrant Work Visa may be issued to applicants seeking temporary work in a "Specialty Occupation" which requires the skills of a professional. "Specialty Occupations" include: accounting, computer analysts, programmers, database administrators, web designers, engineers, financial analysts, doctors, nurses, scientists, architects and lawyers. The petitions are submitted by employers based on their need for the non-US.-resident employee. H1-B Visa holders must posses a minimum of a bachelor's degree. However, requisite experience can substitute for education, depending on the individual case. The H-1B Work Visa Application Guide is comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand. It contains everything one needs in order to successfully apply for a H-1B Visa.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Frank from Peterborough

    Unfortunately there isn't likely much that can be done as greedy employers prefer to hire immigrant workers over domestic workers in hopes they will do much more for much less money.

    Short of suspending all immigration until the unemployment rate gets below 4% nation wide is about the only answer but we all know that will never happen in a capitalist culture that is hell bent on making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  21. Paula in Albuquerque

    Probably 30 years, when my family and I lived back home in the Los Angeles area, there was the usual, cyclic hue-and-cry about immigrant farm-workers, or what were called "braceros". I remember a farmer, who normally hired Latinos to harvest his crops, decided out of his patriotic duty to forestall such hirings, and, instead, to reserve his jobs for Americans, only. A local television news-crew was alerted by the farmer to come to his property, in order to record the vast numbers of people who would replace what many derisively termed, "stoop laborers". The day for picking fruit started early in the morning, and there was a decent contingent of American workers, on hand. As the sun grew hotter, and they began to "break a sweat", more and more of the American workers complained that the work was "too hard", and that they were just "too hot", and uncomfortable. By the noon hour, jif I remember correctly, there weren't more than a couple of Americans still working in the farmer's groves!!! From then on, the farmer said that, in the interest of his crops, and his livelihood, he would hire none other than willing-to-work, Hispanics, illegal or not, because he found that they were dependable, and NEVER complained...

    March 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  22. Steve ,NY

    No restrictions, just move them back where they came from.
    Should be a no brainer for Obama. Pres Eisenhower and Pres Truman did it, why can't Obama do it..

    March 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  23. Steve

    With the economy the way it is we need to be more protectionist and give these jobs to our citizens at a livable wage. It's time to give the average worker a wage they can survive on.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  24. Will North Charleston, SC

    Jack our government acts as if Mexico is a state in the USA. I believe E Verify works just fine congress should make sure all employers use it. Lets put a 90% tax on employers who hire illegal aliens.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  25. Irv Lilley

    Jack, There are akready rules on the books about hiring illegal or foreign workers. All the fgovernament needs to do is enforce them and make companies who break or skirt the law pay for it.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  26. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    Firstly the government should be checking up on companies who hire illegal aliens. If they're here legally, then they have a right to get a job here. Basically just enforce the laws that are on the books.

    Secondly they should do away with the H1-B Visa program, all it does it make it harder for US Citizens who have IT skills to find a job–esp when you bring in foreign talent at a far cheaper rate.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  27. Mickie

    They should not be allowed to hire foreigners while our unemployment is so high. England and most of Europe follows that principle. Why do we feel like we have to allow the world to walk all over us?

    March 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Will from San Jose

    If Speaker Pelosi has her way then we won't deport illegal immigrants or use e-verify to check their status when hiring them for a job. So instead the plan is that we are going to restrict options only for people who work within the system legally. In what universe does that make any sense?

    March 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  29. Richard, in Kansas

    The number of legal foreign workers allowed into the country should be directly tied to the unemployment rate. When unemployment is up allow fewer foreign workers in thereby opening up more jobs for American citizens, when it is down allow in only as many as needed. And then of course there are the illegal workers who could be dealt with if our government would enforce the laws we already have. If this is protectionist fine, AMERICA FIRST!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  30. Terry from North Carolina

    Yes tighter rules, how about before you hire foreign workers you hire American citizens first !

    March 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    I was surprised the govt was doing anything already. Usually, the govt. reacts far later than needed for issues like this. Make it law for hiring restrictions to kick in once unemployment hits a certain level, say 7 %? That way there is no debate.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  32. John S. Cleary in Dayton Ohio

    In addition to needing more restrictions on hiring foreign workers,why would the US gov. consider giving bailout money to IBM,who is sending thousands of US jobs to India?

    March 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  33. Jane (Minnesota)

    Eliminate any tax breaks for companies that have outsourced American Jobs and offer tax breaks for companies that bring ourtsourced jobs back in the country.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  34. circy in New Mexico

    Unfortunately, tighter rules won't work because people hiring foreign workers will always find a way around the rules. That is the nature of a society like ours that allows the wealthy to hire the best attorneys so they can continue to make hugh profits. Bill Gates, for example, does the same thing. Being one of the richest people in the world doesn't mean squat to him; he wants to continue to make as much money as he can. That's why he is constantly pushing for regulations to allow more guest workers. I guess he thinks he can take the money with him when he dies.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  35. Daniel Indiana

    It is America's best interest, and that of guest workers, for American businesses, those seeking employees within the borders of the US, to be hiring Americans who are willing to do the work. Those companies need to ensure Americans that they are not hiring illegal aliens, who might have "valid" documentation of citizenship. America needs to ensure that American companies are putting Americans to work before using any form of non-American as employees. Otherwise, a boycott of their products or services should be begun.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  36. Steve C

    How about placing restrictions on American companies giving jobs to workers who can barley speak English in frogein countries like India and Pakistan?

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    March 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  37. Sue Austin Texas

    Yes it is time for tough restrictions. Employers tend to hire foreign workers because they will work for less. U.S. workers should at least be hired first. Employers that refuse should be fined then maybe the bottom line of the cost of operation would force them to comply.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  38. Pam

    Jack, Americans should begin to migrate to other countries where their skills are needed. This is a global economy and Americans have to make adjustmants

    March 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  39. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely Jack
    How on earth can any country have millions steaming across the border and have no idea who they are and I do mean to be polite.
    Yet once again as the last 20 times on many issues.Congress will
    only do what the lobby tells them to do PERIOD!!!!!!!.We have this border problem because congress will not act...........WHY? you ask.
    Well Jack its sure not about the country or its people.Its ALL about

    March 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  40. Paula

    Wasn't that always the the rules were? Are they tring to Put President Clinton's rule back in. With him, it was at least a 60 to 40% ratio. If no american workers wasn't already doing the job. No company could fire you to hie a Foreign worker. Under both Parties when President Bush took office-They changed it. Right along with all trade policies-Green Card Statuses.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  41. Katiec Pekin, IL

    The restriction should be that not one foreign worker should be hired until they can prove Americans turned down the jobs. If training is required than training should be provided.
    We Americans brought some of this on ourselves refusing to do work that was "beneath" us. Times have changed and there are many
    out there that are willing to take any job they can find. And these jobs should not be given to others.
    And, how about bringing jobs back that involve telephone service etc. It is almost impossible to reach someone you can understand when having questions about products etc. And, all those various jobs our government has sent overseas?? Much could be done to help our unemployed if they would do it.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  42. patrick

    I am so sick of hearing about Protectionism as if wanting the best for your country is wrong!! As if wanting to protect your country from Narco Terrorist & ILLEGAL immigration is wrong!! As if protecting the poor and middle class communities from a waves of illegals depressing wages over running school systems and watering down education with children who should not even be here is wrong! The propaganda of "illegals in the shadows" and "these are the people who mow our lawns & and are nannies to our children" only apply to the wealthy, Last time I checked we had no lawns to manicure in the inner city or nannies but hey I guess life must be good up on that high horse right Hilary & Obama!! Stop brown nosing mexico and remember who you work for!! Militarize our boarders& demand respect for our sovereignty!!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  43. Larry, Ohio

    Here we go again,Jack,we'll try to close the gate after the cattle are gone,.Actually I'm okay with legal immigration,it's the illegal immigrants that really get me going.They are illegal,so why are they here?They are criminals, enforce the immigration laws,deport them.Once again they are not undocumented workers,they are illegal immigrants!!!!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  44. Geri

    If we want to continue seeing the unemployment rate continue to go up and consumer spending and local, state, and federal revenue to continue to plunge, then by all means, we should continue to hire as many foreign guest workers as this country possibly can just like Bill Gates and his friends want to do.

    Geri – Oklahoma

    March 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Jim from Chicago

    U.S. companies have been hiding behind foreign guest workers (and illegals) for years as a way to push down wages. We do not have an illegal immigration problem as much as we have an illegal hiring problem. Cut the number of jobs and the illegals and foreign workers will go home. Yes, Jack, now is the time to cut the immigration hypocrisy.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  46. Ken in NC

    Simple Jack. Take care of home first. Hire American first. Then seek out foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  47. Mary - California

    The government should make it clear that companies hire Americans first before the hiring of foreign workers. That includes Illegal Aliens
    and HB2 Visa people. This is America and Americans should be respected and not "thrown aside" for an outside person. Also, as long as companies outsource jobs, that limits employment opportunities in this country.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  48. Dennis north Carolina

    Yes, the restrictions should work both ways which means that Americans must work at jobs which they would normally refuse.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  49. Sonny in SC

    well since half the population of mexico is here working this is like dolsing the door to the chicken house after the fox has come and gone isn`t it

    March 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  50. Tony IL

    Jack, unemployed Americans should get the chance over foreign workers. Everyone knows that ag jobs were always done by foreign workers. Well, times are tuff and most Americans will take any job they can get. Maybe even after the economy improves, more Americans will stay at these jobs to prevent foreigners, mostly illegals from coming in and taking them.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  51. Susan A, Rochester NY

    If we enter a depression, we might see Americans willing to be migrant workers. Until then, companies should have a deadline to fill their jobs with American workers, after which empty jobs can be filled with guest workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  52. Wayne in Atlanta

    We don't need knee jerk reactions that will effectively rob Pedro to pay Paul. The problem is not at the hiring desk but at the borders. We need to agree if illegal aliens are illegal. If they're illegal, ship them back. If they're legal, America isn't supposed to discriminate.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  53. Kevin P. in Iraq

    We cannot simply alienate our legal immigrants who are seeking work in this country. However, it is important to ensure that American applicants are considered first to ensure that our capital is staying here, in our economy where it is needed most.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  54. Jerry Alpharetta. GA

    I am very familiar with many illegal aliens working in the US. Believe it or not, most I have talked to do not want to become US Citizens, they just want a decent job. Why can't the government simply issue work permits and be able to tax these workers? The new initiatives in health care will undoubtedly extend benefits to them, why not get the taxes to support that effort? The US government could then come down much harder on employers who offer jobs to these workers since there would be no motive to hide their activities except for greed.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  55. Billy G in Las Vegas

    sure doesn't make much sense to me for the govenment to spend my tax money to "stimulate" work for non citizens and THAT goes to giving money to corporate weasels like IBM that are shipping jobs to India.

    IBM, and other corporate outsourcing quislings LIKE them, shouldn't get ANY of my tax money.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  56. S, Michigan

    Anything that gives first preference to an American and forces employers to prove with validity taht they honestly tried to hire a qualified American before they need a non-American to do that job. However, it is true that Americans just won't do all the jobs available in America.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Eddie in NC.

    Most Americans will say yes, but I am not sure we are at a point in life that would make us go out and pick our own fruit.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  58. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    I think the United States of America should open our borders to all foriegn workers to attend free college paid for by the Tarp Talp and stimulus legislation. With the understanding they will work on Wall Street as Investment Bankers and Careeer politician. All other jobs shoud lbe off limits. These people just need training.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  59. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    Very simple Jack. Until we have 100% employment there should be no foreign workers in the country. I realize that it is cheaper to pay illegals low wages. They can't complain because they are breaking the law by being here but it is not helping our economy when there are millions of legal citizens out of work.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  60. Matthew from Orange,CA

    The only restriction that companies care about. Restrict their income. For every illegal worker found on the payroll, slap them with a million dollar fine, or worse. Make it heavy and painful. They'll wise up, and that goes for the labor unions as well!

    Also, as far as work that Americans can't or won't take, it's never won't. I don't believe out of the millions of American workers who are unemployed or worse, homeless, not one of them will scrub a toilet or pick a strawberry. The problem is that jobs typically filled by immigrant laborers are protected by aggressive labor unions that block native and naturalized Americans from taking these jobs, and the companies that hire the laborers are more than willing to go along with it.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm |

    How about enforcing existing laws? I know its a radical departure and might hurt some companies that will have to pay new workers more than five dollars and hour, but hey, we all have to give a little.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  62. Jim S from Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, to me this so called effort to put up obstacles to these foriegn workers, most of which are hispanic, is kind of futile. Americans must first break the addiction to cheap foriegn labor with no benefits in order to get a hold on this problem and who's going to make them do that? In a sense, it's like the crooks on wall street who broke the law to make higher profits and more money although it was hurting the average american. Sure the price of veggies and fruit will go up, but so will employment by American citizens. The down side is that the employer as well as the buyer is going to ante up to make it work. Will they? I don't think so.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  63. Jonathan in Virginia

    Step one : enforce the laws on the books on hiring illegals. The fact that we are even discussing whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to work in this country baffles me. Any company caught hiring them needs to be hammered. Hard.

    Step two: cut or eliminate welfare and unemployment benefits, perhaps by adjusting the standard for what is considered "poor" (like the guy with the cell phone taking Michelle Obama's photo at the soup kitchen). We will soon see if there really are jobs people won't do. Starvation is a strong motivator.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  64. Mark WI.

    Yes Jack there are certain jobs that Americans won't do. However times as they are, more"people" are becoming more willing than ever before to secure a job of any sort. The suit person might have to go and pound nail's, and the nail pounder might have to go back to school to get that sheepskin to even be considered to push a broom and take out the garbage. That being said, the owner's of business's will, as always, tend to hire foreign workers because they will work for less than an American worker even though the owner charges his or her hours out at an inflated rate. The government is in a tight spot here. Damned if you do damned if you don't. There should be some regulations especially on firms that employ a large number of people. However it's the small contractors that do most of this hiring. Tough situation.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  65. Richard - Knoxville TN

    1) It is a given there are jobs US workers think are below their dignity(do ya think that's about to change?) and 2) Employers need to stop using illegals at slave wages -

    A big step in the immigration situation is the "E-Verify" program and going after employers who use illegial immigrants - The next step is building the flipping border fence - like now - It would make a great 2-year stimulus project -

    March 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  66. Molita TX

    DONT HIRE GUEST WORKERS. There is no shortage of labor, just a shortage of livable wages for US citizens doing physical labor. How many white faces do you see at the large growers in CA, FL and TX?

    Companies that employ green card workers are the problem because they see their bottom line as being less profitable for them. They will scream bloody murder if forced to hire legal citizens at livable wages – which is the ONLY reason Americans can not compete with the "guest" workers – they work at min wage or cheaper and live like roaches so they can work at min wage. Vicious cycle for all.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  67. Chris from Buffalo, NY

    Government regulation is what got us into this mess. What the government should do now is get out of the way, let these business owners hire whomever they choose to hire and let us, the people of this nation, pick ourselves up and out of this recession. Developing a xenophobic attitute will not do one thing to lift us out of this mess we're in.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  68. Ray, Florida

    The same restrictions they should have applied for the past 20 years Jack! The restrictions that are already on the books. It's funny how a few years ago, when there was this big uproar about immigration reform, the people complaining about undocumented workers were called evil and racist. Now with some of the same people in favor of open borders back then, are now worried about the rise in unemployment and the drug violence along our southern border.
    I'm an unemployed cook right now and it isn't easy to find a job!
    I can tell you from being in the restaurant business for many years, there is a high percentage of undocumented workers in my field.
    Right or wrong more and more people are facing my situation every day and getting very angry!

    March 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  69. Barbara, Texas

    American LEGAL citizens SHOULD get first choice at the jobs. NO foreign worker should be first choice here, especially illegal workers. A lot of Americans WILL do the jobs if they really need to feed their families.
    Employers are real quick to tell an applicant they are over-qualified for the job. That just isn't fair when an applicant is needing a job to pay bills and feed his family!!

    March 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  70. Al, Lawrence KS

    This should be a no-brainer. Every restriction possible. And it should be done immediately. I can't believe that this even merits a discussion.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  71. Pugas-AZ

    We have had enough of the "worker bees" and all the problems that have been caused by the illegal immigration that came looking for the honeycomb. It's time to put our own citizens to work even if massive education efforts are required. In hard times people should know the value of hard work and be willing to put forth effort. The wefare state should be declared dead. If we do not do this now we have had it as a first tier country.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  72. Sandy

    Dowagiac, Michigan

    I live in a rural agricultural area near the now infamous Elkhart, IN. Our unemployment rate has risen dramatically due to the downturn in the RV industry.

    I have a friend who farms about 500 acres. Their labor has always been primarily Mexican migrant workers. They have most of the same workers who return each summer. They have tried to hire locally but have never been able to find workers who are willing to do the hard manual labor for primarily minimum wage.

    It will be interesting to see this year whether or not they will find local workers who are willing to work on the farm.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  73. DAME-O / TEXAS

    Jack, AMERICAN workers should be first choice hire regardless of the job if they qualify. Foreign workers should be considered second at least until we get this economy back on track. It would be the right thing to do Jack, don't you agree?

    March 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  74. Linda in Florida

    My opinion is that American citizens, naturalized Americans and aliens who are here legally should be getting available jobs. I don't believe illegal aliens should be able to work anywhere in this country. And, I don't want to hear that they do jobs that Americans are not willing to do, because I have friends who are out of work and they would be willing to take those jobs if they weren't already filled by illegal aliens!

    March 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  75. lou

    If they are so serious about protecting our jobs that they have to pass a trillion dollar stimulus bill to do it, they better be just as serious about protecting those jobs from foriegn workers. Let those guys go home to their own countries and pressure their governments to pass their own stimulus using their own tax dollars.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  76. odessa

    if they want to work here, pay up higher fees for taxes,become a citizenship, and mainly speak english.what kills me that certain states which are borderline to them, they know how to get through our land quickly than getting our selves out of iraq..there must be tighter security not just using walls or wires.. i don't feel for them getting poltical aslyum because the system isn't fair for everyone and they don't deserve it..punish harder on the businesses who are hiring because they won't even hire americans to work for them..thats not right at all..so if foreign workers doesn't like the rules, please leave or deal with necessary changes to stay in our country.touching subject, thats why racism still hits hard everyday towards different ethnic groups.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  77. Dave

    Jack with all the work being moved off shore they will have no reason to come here. Truckers are moving all the work but the driving. Mfg. can not move fast enough, all but the warehouse work. Retail is moving all the office work. Soon we will only be stock folk, drivers, cops and health care workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  78. Mike

    Restrictions? How about just not PAYING them to do it? IBM fires 5000 Americans and hires 5000 Indians and then says that they could generate 1 million jobs in 12 months with $30 billion in stimulus funds. WHERE? Are we really stupid enough to keep bankrolling our demise? I'm a software developer who made over $100K in 2000 and now can't find work for $25 an hour. Do we need another tea party in Boston? Are we all going down on a ship of fools? I'm glad my father – a Korean war and Vietnam war veteran – didn't live to see what has been done with his generation's sacrifices. He would probably have dropped his rifle and headed to Canada.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  79. Melissa

    That depends.

    For people already in the country legally, so long as they have the skills needed, there should be no change in restrictions.

    Why? Because everyone needs to live and everyone needs to work whether they come from another country or not. They came in legally, so getting a job shouldn’t be difficult.

    For hiring from outside the country, it should be made more difficult so that they can keep Americans employed.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  80. Jay in Texas

    I think only one restriction should be placed on employers. That is companies like AOL, credit card corporations, and any other big corporations who hire people overseas to handle their customer service and telephone calls should be forbidden from doing so. Those are the jobs that need to stay in this country. Also, all employers in this country need to be monitored to make sure they are paying at least minimum wage to all employees.
    Brownwood, Texas

    March 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  81. Rod

    Did we see this kind of outrage in the early 80’s when they first start coming in this Country? This whole thing was design to overtake the African American population in the urban area so they would not have a majority vote, after seeing Harold Washington win the election in Chicago. It backfired on the conspirators of this plan as you can obviously see. They are now starting to make the White population become the majority power, no longer. When it comes to complaining, I guess it better late than never. Before you bash me for facial based comment, I would like to let you know that I was a precinct captain for George Dunn, who was the second most powerful people in Illinois during that time. The truth hurts sometimes doesn’t it?

    March 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  82. Philly guy

    People work for money. If driving a septic truck paid 6-figures, you would have a willing population of professionals lined up to take on this crappy job (no pun, I swear). Being that it may pays around 32K, most people think 2x before doing this. Picking fruit and berries? What is the opportunity in this besides making it to the next month?

    I don't think the government should impose any regulation on seasonal low-level labor. In fact, they should open the flood gates. Cheaper rates mean higher profits and better investor returns. More money in the pockets of business and investors means more growth, more spending and an upswing in our economy. Seasonal labor allows for staffing augmentation to drive these numbers.

    For professional jobs (IT, Accounting, Law, customer service, etc), I do believe that foreign labor and outsourcing of jobs needs to be regulated.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  83. R.C keep OREGON green!

    Canada dont have these problems.EX if you want to work in this country you must live here you must have a skill that is needed you must speak english and have a sponser you must have a certain income level otherwise you can only visit for 6 months then you leave and you need money to cross over passport,I.D background check,so I guess we need an induction center at the border where english can be taught and the American way of life and what is to be expected of them as a citizen.Once we seperate the good from the bad by knowing whom they are were they come from where they are going.Same with trucks drivers know them tag them this way you dont have to stop all of them,so really the problem is we dont know whom is crossing and why.Ellis Island does any one remember?Mexico is our friend act like it.Canada does not have drug cartels they have marijuana clubs and they plan on planting hemp for paper its not legal its just not illegal Canada embraces different cultures no fear factor no war on anything clean no murders.YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.Americas drug war is evil,people on S.S.I disabled 600 a month whatever money I get on my own government takes half no matter how I got it,I cant use my medicine (marijuana)for the fear of going to prison,but tobacco is sold in stores.The drug war is why we are in this mess Nixon,D.E.A war on the middle east hash,Vietman heroin,Afgan heroin,South America cocaine,Mexico marijuana it is about control all these drugs are legal in some form it looks like the war has come home.Selling crank,tobacco should be illegal,but not prison.WAkE up look in your medicine cabinet!PEACE

    March 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  84. Donna Wisconsin

    Perhaps you should ask some of those Americans who are homeless and living in tent cities. I'll just bet if someone would give them the bus fare to a place they could work, even for minimum pay they would take it. Of course we all know a lot of those 'guest workers' make much less than minimum wage. Any how, living in a tent in California without a job is probably not as high on the list of 'I wish I could" verses maybe Idaho picking potatoes.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  85. CJ in Atlanta

    Foreign workers must be here legally. This is a plain, simple and effective restriction.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  86. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    I think that Americans should be considered for American jobs ALWAYS first before foreigners are then considered, during this period of terribly high unemployment.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  87. J Georgia

    Tighter rules? You mean like the tax rules? Or the drug rules? Or the traffic rules? Or the rules I have to follow verses the rules my Senator has to follow? I'm just about to the point where rules don't mean anything. Too many meaningless rules. Laws that aren't enforced. Stratified society where the upper crust get away with murder, but I get to pay. Go ahead. Tighten up those rules and see where it goes. Desperate people don't read the signs, Jack.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  88. David Alexandria, VA

    The restrictions should be simple common sense! First, seal the borders so we have some control over who and how many people we allow in the country in the first place. Second, get some sort of labor needs monitoring system in place to determine what needs we have, given our own unemployment and jobs to be had. Third, enforce the H-1 visa program based on established goals/capacity. Fourth, put in a manageable guest worker program (we have the technology) to allow employers to hire, without undue fear of reprisal from our own government for trying to ire illegals who the government let slip in in the first place. Finally - get some transparency into the whole thing.

    Stop making it so hard on ourselves.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  89. Liz in Towson, MD

    Why do we even allow ANY employment of guest workers in this economy, anyway? For that matter, why do we allow it in ANY economy? Whether our economy is in good shape or not, there will always be legal American citizens who don't have jobs. Isn't it our responsibility to take care of our own citizens before we take care of another country's?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  90. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. There are far too many examples of American companies firing American workers so they can be replaced by cheaper guest-workers or shipping jobs out of the country. I believe I saw a news bit yesterday that a company that is receiving TARP money is sending another 5,000 jobs off to India. I'm no protectionist but this is no way to treat the people of this nation. Executives demand loyality but wont give any to their workforce. Management wants workers to labor for lower wages but be more productive. Shouldn't management lead by example first? Many guest workers are legal and productive, those I welcome if they are paid a fair living wage as American workers should be paid. But companies should hire citizen of this nation first. Companies that do not, the management needs to go to the graybar hotel.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  91. Mike, FL

    Not one of them pay taxes, and then get food stamps, medicaid, and even some get subsidized housing here in FL. Walmart, MoneyGram, Western Union makes millions off them sending money back to Mexico.

    You can send $500 for $15 to Mexico, but it costs $12 to send $200 within the USA,, at Walmart. Guess Illegal Mexicans get it cheaper than US Citizens.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  92. David in Granville, Ohio

    None. I know from first hand experience (H1-B computer professional)that the current restrictions are tough enough if they are enforced properly.

    With wide availability of broadband, outsourcing offshore is always a viable option (see IBM) for computing jobs. Which is better, to have talent here contributing to our economy, or in other countries contributing nothing? Either way these jobs will not go to Americans – it is just not in the employer's interest.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  93. Greg, Ontario

    Employers should not be permitted to employ non-Americans as long as there is an American that can and will do the job. Your problem (like ours) is looking in the wrong place for systemic problems.
    Who cares about a bunch of fruit pickers from Mexico when you have companies like IBM taking bailout cash and then sending jobs to India or Pakistan. Think about it.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  94. Gigi in Alabama

    My restrictions would not necessarily be on the worker, but rather on the employer. That employer would have to hire American workers first and if there are no American workers to be found for the job, then hire legal, documented foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  95. Lisa B in Yucca Valley, CA

    Halt all Work Visas, enforce exisitng work visas that have expired, enforce our immigration laws, enforce E-Verify, secure the border, put strings on all our bailout money that tells recipients they must hire citizens, and keep jobs in the U.S. Tell IBM to return those 5000 jobs they just discarded in favor or shipping them overseas, Tell Bill Gates to stop lying to Congress about us needing more foreign workers. That is what this bailout is about isn't it? recovery , saving American jobs, stimulating our economy? It is not about shooting ourselves in the foot while raising foreign interests, over our own

    March 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  96. Mike, FL

    I also think Americans who are 65 and older that have who job as additional income or just for gambling need to step down and let younger workers have these positions. Many Companies like Wal-mart hire retirees to reduce healthcare costs and work them part time. Where as younger people need more hours. Sad!!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  97. LInda in Bisbee, Arizona

    Every one you can think of. There shouldn't be any foreign workers taking up jobs Americans can fill.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  98. Indira

    America is a land of opportunity and freedom !! While Legal Immigrants are most welcome, I would say that all " contract workers" should be asked to go back !! Place American Citizens back to work !!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  99. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    How about no foreign workers hired unless it can be proven that there are no American applicants what so ever. Then if a foreign worker is hired, the same salary amount must be paid into a fund for unemployed Americans. This is disgraceful. I would support fines for those who hire non Americans to fill any jobs.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  100. Allen, Hartwell GA

    Jack, a few years ago I was a "guest" foreign worker in another company, so I should have some sympathy for the foreign workers in the USA. However, the country I was working in was required to have foreign workers at their international airports in order to be certified, so I was doing a job that a national could not do.
    What we're talking about here is a different matter. No foreigner should be brought in to do any job that a qualified American can do, period. Greed got this country to where it is today. The greedy should be forced to give up their cheap labor in order to stay in business in the USA.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  101. Ken in NC

    Take care of home first. Hire American first. Then seek out foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  102. Gwen

    (from St. Paul, Minnesota)
    Employers who beat down their own citizens in favor of cheap foreign labor are guilty of treason. What else would you call it?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  103. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    The restrictions should be in line with what other country's do with regards to foreign workers. What are the policy's of other country's? It is really that simple, considering that if this is in fact a global economy, then the playing fields should be the same across the board. If it isn't, then we adapt to the other prejudices. Simple.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  104. Mac

    ANY foreign worker hired BEFORE an American citizen is just WRONG.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  105. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: We already have regulations in place: it's a matter of enforcing them. Sadly, some American workers still see themselves above the type of jobs that the foreign workers will do. This is especially true in the border states such as AZ.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  106. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If the government puts more restrictions on foreign workers, how is poor Mr. Dobbs going to run his horse ranch?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  107. Roger

    Are "guest workers" the politically correct way of saying illegal immigrants??

    March 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  108. Ryan McCarthy from New Jersey

    none, we are one world, we rise and fall as one. The best workers should get the job. period.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  109. Alberto

    If we had replaced all House & Senate members during the Bush regime with foreign workers with temp Visas (1/2 Price) we would not be in the mess we are.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  110. Jim Vucci

    The only restriction that should be placed on immigrants seeking work is that they should be American Citizens here legally.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  111. Walter in Erie, Pa

    Come on Jack, we can't even make sure that the people coming into our country have visas...

    March 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  112. Jon Whitten


    I don't see any problem in hiring foreign workers. I am absolutely certain that there are some really good foreign ceo's, directors and senior managers who would work much cheaper than their american counterparts and save the shareholders a bundle of money.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  113. John Johnson

    If over 8.0 americans are out of work and the numbers are steadily
    climbing,Americans will take any job they can find,and there will
    be no trouble employing us.And the Lawyer that's griping should
    wait until he's jobless,homeless and hungry then come back and
    talk to me.


    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  114. Mem

    The U.S. government should definitely make more restrictions on the hiring of foreign workers using tax incentives. There are plenty of capable Americans in every field of profession and the argument that there aren't Americans to hire is bogus and baseless. Companies often hire foreign workers because they can offer them less, so offer more tax breaks to companies that hire Americans and you will see a change in the companies' hiring policies.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  115. Samuel Adams from Athens, GA

    i love how we're now talking about placing limitations on the remaining businesses in this country that can't afford to relocate to cheaper labor markets after the major corporations have been allowed to "move" (to p.o. boxes) overseas and hire as many foreign workers as they want...

    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  116. John

    I am an Irishman working in Florida. The job I do requires me to be Irish due to the product being imported from there. I am heading home to renew my Visa in two weeks. Will I encounter problems?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  117. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    In any normal business situation, when you have a surplus of work you job it out. When times are lean you don't expect to have those subcontractors take you to court for not giving them work. America is going through a lean time. I see no problem with shutting out foriegn workers until things improve. Nothing personal, it's just business.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  118. Debbie

    Restrictions have got to start at the borders and with the department of INS. After that my suggestion is higher fines for anyone employing undocumented workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  119. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    The answer is none. We need these workers today, tomorrow and next year. This cannot be turned on and off like a kitchen water faucet. The politicians doing the talking are just trying to look good so they can reelected again. To bad, so sad.

    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  120. Bruce Wilkerson

    Jack, it is high time that America started giving priority to Americans for AMERICAN jobs. It shouldn't just be that way during tough times, it should be that way ALL the time. America is not responsible for helping the entire world find jobs. We should take care of our own first and foremost. Let foreign workers find jobs in their home country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  121. David

    Why don't we just suspend these foreign worker programs until we can get Americans back to work. Once our employment figures stabilize, then we may continue these programs. It's hard to justify foreign worker programs when we have seven states with double digit unemployment. Right now, it seems as if these programs spit in the face of American workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  122. Mary

    What if every country in the world set tighter rules due to the economic climate and sent all Americans working abroad back to the US..... leading to more Americans in the US without jobs. America is not the only country in the world that hires foreign workers.

    What about the benefits of having diverse workforces? Ex: diversity in thought, new approaches to problem solving etc.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  123. Karl

    Proof that a company couldn't find American workers first is a start. There should be taxes on companies that outsource jobs overseas
    also. Don't make it cost effective to outsource jobs.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  124. Lee in MN

    Yes there should be tighter restrictions, but there are also jobs Americans will not do. We need to block companies who want to hire cheap foreign labor to fill the pockets of a greedy few. That has been the corporate way in resent years and it needs to stop. No tax dollars should go to hire people from outside the country or to subsidize foreign companies doing business in the USA like Toyota and others. Lets build American and buy American.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  125. tyboo

    Our companies here on US soil should hire US employees first. What good will it do us if we hire foreign labor over our own? I do dot believe there is jobs Americans will not do if out of work, especially these days in times of crisis and employment benefits running out for so many.
    I own my own construction company and where I use to get calls for work about twice a week is now averaging 20 or more a day.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  126. Ted

    It is a no brainer, of course we should hire American citizens, especially where our and their tax payer money is being used to stimulate the company on city or state involved.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  127. Tim

    In regards to jobs that are undersirable, the American stance should be to allow foreign workers. However, allowing the exportation of skilled trades, industry, and advanced work – these should be maintained in the states. I personally know several people with degrees in IT/ technology who have been laid off or cut back, yet a lot of Americans reach foriegn IT support when they call in. Hiring foriegn workers takes money out of American pockets.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  128. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    I don't believe the corporation's will ever stop hiring foreign workers, you don't believe me come here to Las Vegas and see for your self, who do you think are cleaning the big hotel rooms and working in the restaurants on the strip ? it will never change.....it should greed rules here..

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  129. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    How are you! Really appreciated your time last night at Larry King Live!

    I think I would look at your question from another angle since some people do not want to take some jobs and we do not want to create a system where we end up with a shortage of workers in some fields and then endup seeing the business suffer which means the economy will suffer! I would use what I used to see in government...select a number of employees registering for a specific position, justify each employee chosen by giving real examples of reasons for that choice made : i.e. american qualified and ready to work, immigrants qualified and ready to work while no other american applied for the job!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  130. Oswaldo - Seattle

    Of Course it is all about being hypocrite. As soon as the country runs into a road block (i.e bad economy) it immediately turns into a witch hunt to that targets a minority, in this case it is foreigners. I guess America will never learn.
    But then the freedom of capitalism will show that companies will increase their operations abroad, for the whole purpose of cutting costs. So Hurray!! for all the foreign world.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  131. Kevin in Taxachusetts

    If you can't beat them ..... join them. Yes, this year when the census taker comes around register yourself as an undocumented no citizen (illegal alien) You can get money from the government, not have to pay back taxes, kids go to college for free, and you can get first crack at the best jobs. It is the best way I can think of to equal rights.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  132. Beverley

    huh!!!! Americans (or Canadians for that matter) work in the fields in for instance California picking vegetables in the blazing hot sun for a salary of plus or minus $8.00/hr? I don't think so Jack......that is why "guests" of your country and my country get these jobs. There is no way an American, even one out of work , will go do these types of jobs. Work in a hotel as a cleaning person? Changing other people's bed....cleaning their toilets, etc. I don't think so. This is why "guests" come into our countries....they wil do the jobs our citizens will not do and for little salary too.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  133. John from U.P. Michigan

    Hello Jack,

    I think we should set the minimum wage at a 'living wage'. A living wage is tied to a certain standard of living that rises as inflation rises, the minimum wage is just is a slave wage, which is $7.40/hr. Would you work for that Jack? I figure you most likely would not. We should value all work in our society, and if we had a living wage for agriculture and other grunt jobs....I am sure many U.S. citizens would take the job!! Thanks

    March 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  134. Sam - Brevard NC

    We should OF COURSE restrict or eliminate foreign workers at ANY job as long as there is an American to fill it. Anything else makes no sense at all, and is a blatant insult to Americans. Why pay a foreign worker AND unemployment benefits for the American who would gladly take the job? If Pres Obama truly wants to cut wasteful spending, here's a great opportunity to do so!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  135. Rockville Dave

    I like the concept of limiting or even eliminating the guest worker programs. In these times, when jobs are scarce, Americans should be willing to take a position that they normally would have passed on previously; maybe just as a stop gap until things turn around.

    US companies have always looked for the most inexpensive labor. In my experience, they have not always done “everything” they could to attract US talent. There should be a way to tie their efforts to fill positions, to the ranks of our unemployed. Incentives could be given to the employer for hiring from these ranks, and incentives for the Americans to take these positions, might be a better use of our tax dollars.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Rebecca in Seattle

    The ignorance over this issue is just staggering. Show me the US workers with Master's degrees who can perform the high-level engineering tasks! They aren't here! By law, to pursue a Green Card, the employer first has to test the market for qualified US workers. If none can be found, ONLY THEN can the foreign worker be hired. The safeguards are already there to protect US workers. The issue is just being used a distraction and a scapegoat now because of the current economy.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Mike Lauderdale

    "IT" now stands for "Indian Technology". I suspect that if US companies and job shops had to pay $25,000 a year for every h1B they bring in, the alleged shortage of IT people would miraculously disappear. The only shortage is of people smart enough to do the job but dumb enough to take what is offered.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  138. erier2003

    There are really no jobs that Americans can't or shouldn't do. If we want to repair this country, revive the economy, and jump-start our own paychecks, we shouldn't shy away from the hard work that it will take. I'm a high school junior preparing for college, and I know full well that I'll have a difficult time guaranteeing that I get a few acceptance letters. But I'm not going to give up just because it will be tough. If we allow foreign workers to take our jobs, we're essentially saying, "We can't do this, we're not up to it." That's not the America we're trying to be.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  139. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I don't know what restrictions the government should apply. If a "guest worker" has the appropriate visa and paperwork to be here and to have a job, then how can that person be restricted from getting a job that he or she is qualified to fill? If Congress and the President only want American citizens to have the opportunity to apply for and get all jobs, then they will have to pass new laws to reflect those views. Then, in my opinion, we will need to stop most immigration to protect our American-born workers. We as Americans will have to decide if that is really what we want as a country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  140. Cat West

    It is not the day laborer work here and there that is the problem for the economy. It is the en masse hiring of laborers, undocumented, by mega corporate businesses who simply want to defeat min wage and other requirements, FICA, SS, and taxes. They receive minor fines while increasing their profit by millions.

    The other really big problem is where the HR1 visas are abused to defeat workers in higher paid sectors. People have to train foreign workers who will take over their jobs, at 60% or less in salary. Companies lie saying that there are not enough high tech workers here. They are here, and they are unemployed. Microsoft and others make billions and cheat the economy of the nation that made their wealth possible.

    There is more lost in the HR Visa abuses than are ever lost in common labor. Both are bad, just one is more visible than the other.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  141. Robert Barr

    Americans citizens should have first right to any job in America. It's our country. Why else do we pay taxes and sacrifice with the give and take of government/ big business. Companies that do actually have to hire foreign workers for jobs they can NOT actually fill should be required to be payrolled taxed double or triple the rate. Maybe then they would start valuing the American citizen worker and invest in healthcare and education.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  142. R Jones

    I feel that they should suspend most work visas at this time until we can get our unemployment rate headed back down. Most available jobs can be filled by current citizens/residents. The only corporate objective is to drive wages down to further pad the bottom line. These employers have no regard for what this has been doing to our workforce as well as diluting our population with more immigrants willing to work cheaply.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  143. Dot

    I believe many people will now willingly do these jobs. Why not give these jobs even to our teenagers who want to help their parents out? My husband and I are both 60 yrs old. We're physically unable to this this type of work, but we'll work at a fast food restaurant or anywhere else if we could. Just open a door for us. Or, give the jobs to our teenagers – – I have 2 grandsons who will do the work – – and they will help out their family.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  144. Megan

    It is quite interesting that the jobs "americans" once rejected are now being taken away from those who work so hard and go through hell; Not to mention, work their ass' off to get a minimum wage job. I think it would be "un- american" to take away those jobs that are already held by "immigrants" just to give them to those who previously were "too good" to hold such a job!!!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  145. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Boy, that's a tough one. Everyone needs to work. That's why they come here. I wish IBM wuld leave their jobs here. Sending our jobs overseas and importing what we used to manufacture is the problem I think.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  146. Antonio

    I dont think we need to do anything , these are God'speople they need to work also, you can't just push people aside just cause your having problems. Becareful how you treat others. We all may have to go to Mexico, you never know when we will need the Hispanic people to help us.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  147. Marcus

    Honestly if you are in this country illegally no one should be hiring you.
    Americans need these jobs.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  148. Kevin

    The govt has their hands full, I believe Americans have begin to realize there is no more free lunch. We need to tighten our belts, take the available jobs and work together as a reasonable society with reasonable expectations, not a country of individual paper chasers. Place more value on education and the accumulation knowledge, not quantifying our lives by the depths of our pockets.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  149. Alison Sacramento,CA

    I don't agree with the government enforcing restrictions for employers to hold off on hiring immigrant workers. I can understand the frustration of not being unemployed, but I don't think that this would be the solution. If many of these companies have no choice but to hire immigrants that what does that say about what skills we hold as American workers or even how we view certain jobs? If companies are hiring more immigrant workers than American, this should be a wake up call for all of us to step our game up and acquire more job skills to use for ALL types of jobs. If the government does enforce the restrictions for employers to hire American workers over immigrants, it is not living up to what democracy is nor the ideal of America being a land of opportunity. What happened to a fair chance for all? This plan should only work for illegal immigrants, and not punish the immigrants that DID become legal citizens the right way.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. Emma, CA

    Too bad it takes high unemployment rates across the nation for the FEDS to enforce immigration laws; whatever it takes I say!

    I'd like to see non-profit agencies like the Housing Authority and social services agencies who are state funded also prohibited from requiring bilingual (english/spanish) applicants on their job annoucements. I have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and social work and I can't speak spanish so I am not allowed to apply for any of these jobs posted. Talk about outrageous!! I am all for the prohibition of hiring any illegal workers no matter what the circumstances are. Gee what a concept---hire American only!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. Mick Roberts

    Here in eastern North Carolina we have a fair number of "fish houses" that hire Mexican workers by contract for a specified number of months. However, employers must first offer the same conditions and pay scales through the state employment office to American workers. It seems no gringos want to pick crabs or head shrimp for a guaranteed hourly wage supplemented by a quantity incentive. The Mexicans are the only people who want these jobs. I would guess there are plenty of other openings that go wanting at the employment office. Farmers and fish houses have no other choices ... at least not here.

    Mick Roberts
    Oriental, NC

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  152. R oger lavallee

    Its's about time that this Country starts thinking of it;s own people . Stop hireing all the outsiders and give the people here a chance for work. It may help some of them from having their families go hungry.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  153. IT guy

    If you want to restrict foreign workers, do that across the board whether it's an india or Malaysia IT worker working remotely from oversea or Mexican laborer crossing the border.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Mayur

    I am a non-immigrant on H1B visa and I feel there are some areas in technology where it is hard to find Americans. I am working on a job which was open for 6 months and no one applied. My skills matched fairly to that profile and that is how I'm working. I believe that if such restrictions are enforced the American companies will lose the competitive edge and will eventually lose talent.
    I read a recent report which said 86% of PhD degrees and around 60% of Masters degrees are awarded to international students which clearly shows the trend that there are more qualified non-immigrants in certain technology jobs.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  155. Thomas in Virginia

    The same restrictions that should always have applied to hiring foreign workers, Jack. If they don't have citizenship (permanent as well as tempoary) they should not be able to get a job in this country. Where businesses have needs, there is someone legally in this country who will fill it. Americans are proud, but when it comes to survival we will get dirty just like anyone else.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  156. Diane

    Absolutely! In the IT industry there are thousands of people out of work. Meanwhile, corporations such as IBM are firing American IT workers and hiring non-Americans overseas to take their place. This should be illegal!! Even if an American IT worker doesn't have the *exact* skillset, the American worker should be hired instead of the overseas guy. Why? IT workers are easily retrained on new and different computer technologies; we're talking 2-4 weeks max to get up to speed. If necessary, get government funding for the retraining. This would be better for America than the current practice of "deflating" IT salaries and outsourcing American IT jobs to cheap foreign labor.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  157. Chandler T in Rockaway, Nj


    Jobs in this country have been systematically destroyed for years. I came to the conclusion recently that I will never again hold a W-2 job. Until job creation for Americans becomes the only priority, the economy will remain in the tank. Show foreign workers the door, throw employers who hire illegals in jail for life, and slap large tariffs on services outsourced to low-wage countries. If there a jobs Americans won't do, it is because the employers refuse to offer enough money. If picking lettuce paid $80,000 a year with full benefits, people would line up around the block to apply.

    Rockaway, NJ

    March 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  158. Louis A. Carliner

    Why oh, why is Sallie Mae not using its lobbying muscle to stop the unbridled and abusive and often fraudulent use of guest workers, especially the H1-B visas has decimated employment by US workers in the information technology field? Every worker holding a student loan that has been displayed by any one of the guest worker programs is yet another risky loan made that will eventially cause another major financial failure if not stopped! In particular, the now legal but ugly practice of requiring workers about to be displaced to train their replacement must be stopped. In fact, this should be considered prima facia evidence of insincerity and fraud! This practice is not much different than when Nazi Germany forced concentration camp inmates to dig their own graves at the point of a gun!

    Back in the mid-fifties, my late mother inherited a piece of commercial property on St. Paul Street near 23rd St. in Baltimore (I'm sure that Nancy D'alesandro Pelosi knows where this is) for which she wanted to erect a commercial office building. At that time the lending institutions required that a substantial portion of leasable space be committed with long-term leases. This did not happen and the building never emerged from the architectural drawings.

    Sallie Mae needs to FIGHT to protect the only collateral it has, the prompt employment in the field of training of its debtor graduales at wages sufficient to support payments of the loans!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  159. Thomas Fisher

    Re your question about guestworkers: I would like to point out that many students at our universities are foreigners who would like to graduate and use their oftentimes critically-needed skillsets in the U.S. Instead they are obliged to go Canada and other nations with less restrictive employment policies, leading to the much-commented upon "brain drain" in science and mathematics related fields that we are currently experiencing.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  160. Alaina Moise

    I am only 15 years of age, but lets be truthful. This country is the land of the home the brave and the free; It is the melting pot. But In the Bible the Lord said that you have to take care of HOME before you can achieve anything. I know that America want to be kind. But we need to take care of the American people first. Hire and fill jobs with people that are in the USA . This is common sense. Look at the homeless situations in Sacramento and all over the U.S. Why take care of other when AMERICA is sinking. This is outrageous. Stop hiring outsider PLEASE. Fill the opening with U.S people. Other countries will take care of there economy before they take care of anyone else. America take note. TAKE CARE OF HOME FIRST. This economy is terrible and this is coming from a 15yr old.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  161. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    Hi Jack – enjoyed your time last night with Larry King. But I have to say I think you're wrong in advocating the kind of cut backs suggested in your 4 PM piece. I do understand the sentiments and there may be some logic to it, but I think on balance it would be counter productive to drastically restrict such seasonal employement because of present economic circumstances. I'm not convinced the overall employment situation (for U.S. workers) would change that dramatically and here in a northern Virginia suburb I've met in years past some of those same guest workers around local swimming pools. This small good will token (I believe) pays dividends that, while not immediately measurable, are valid and worth preserving. Today's WashPost highlighted a WTO story that underscored the negative effects on global economic recovery and employment of actions already taken by many who will be at the G20 meeting next week in London.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  162. Michael

    Americans are lazy. This is an excellent time to go back to school and get a job that isn't outsourced. President Obama wants to see scientists, engineers, teachers, and doctors. If not, expect to compete for the same wages as mentioned foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  163. Sreekanth

    I Dont think tough rules should be placed on Foreigners, We also Invest Money in USA for Studying and we pay more taxes than an average American and more productive.

    ~ Sreekanth

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  164. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Employers are already required by law to check to be sure all new hires have legal status in this country, and they should continue to be allowed to hire the best qualified person for the job. For manual labor postions such as field work, roofing, cement work, hotel cleaning, etc., traditionally held by legal aliens, I find it difficult to imagine there is a lot of competition coming from citizens collecting unemployement checks. Any unemployed citizen who wants to do that kind of work can probably get the job.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  165. Robert Kirk, Naples Florida

    Please ban ALL foreign workers coming into the USA on the H-2B and the H-1B visa. I lost my communications job with the local phone company. A job I had for over 10 years. I found out that a contractor that was in the USA on a H2B visa from Sri Lanka had 900 hours of overtime to my 90 hours of overtime in September 2007. I filed a complaint/grievance with the union and a lot good that did. As soon as the company found out I had filed that grievance I was terminated by management. Florida is a right-to-work state and the union told me there was nothing they could do. My termination took place on September of 2007 and I am still unemployed. Since this has happened, I have found out that Embarq has hired three more contractor friends of this person from Sri Lanka. If they were not allowed into this country, I would have had those 900 hours overtime and would still be employed on a $71000 a year job.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  166. Mario, Orange NJ

    NONE! What are we becoming? Should the French take their lady back? If your here in this country, we cannot forget that you exist simply because your illegal. Let them work, pay taxes, and let the best human being win.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  167. Jerry Harris

    When ever American is working then we can hire foreign workers, isn't that the way it works in their home countries.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  168. Dr. Ursula Acosta

    I immigrated in 1954 from Germany after waiting one year for my visa. I do believe immigration has been an important part of the history of our country. However, it should be legal immigration with laws that do not discriminate against certain races or religions (as it has happened in the past). I am totally against illegal immigration. It is time we follow the law.
    Ursula Acosta
    Puerto Rico

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  169. Megan

    I agree completely with "Jay from Texas!" Why not give the jobs held oversees to those who are in need in the U.S.?? Instead of taking them away from those who are working hard to support the U.S. ...!?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  170. Reginald

    I live in Chicago.This is a city that hires illegasl over black people.I think Obama is out of touch when he said that all cities should be run like Chicago.If you are black in chicago you don't get the job.I think the whole nation should cut back on hiring illegals.This has been really hurting blacks and poor whites in this city and we are catching hell.We have been in a depression for years cause we can't get hired.Obama needs to tell mayor Dailey that we need to be able to make a living too.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  171. Susan From Twin Falls Idaho

    We have lots of laws already no one adheres to them. Why add more. If the government tries to enforce they hide in churches and the bleeding hearts come to their rescue.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  172. Aaron, NYC

    Corporations are wrong to outsource for cheaper labor. But we also shouldn't stop them from seeking out the most qualified people.

    I say, impose some sort of regulation that forces a company to pay outsourced workers the same amount of money that they would have to pay an American.

    That way, it comes down to who's most qualified, and not how much some money grubbing corporation can hang onto.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  173. Ryan Kennelly

    Sure, with unemployment as high as it is now, we should look to keep jobs in American hands, but this is where it gets sticky. I hope this doesn't mean keep jobs in the hands of white people, because we too are foreign to this country. Just because someone may be hispanic, or black, or asian, or whatever, doesn't mean they haven't lived here their whole life or aren't citizens, they deserve the job as much as anyone else.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  174. Tony IL

    Jack, Americans should get the first chance at jobs. However, these jobs that Americans won't due is partly because of the pay and some just will not lower themselves to do that kind of labor. Although I am against illegals coming into the US, taking these jobs that Americans will not do, unemployed Americans need to wake up and realize that if they want a job to provide for their family, then they need to get off of their dairy aires and take any job they can get....regardless.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  175. Anna

    Jack ask IBM if they let go 5 thousand US workers and replace them with workers in India is this because they could not find talent here or is this only ecause cheep labor. We need our big business to be American and hire American workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  176. walley

    I invite you to San Diego Ca. billed America's finest City.It is also one of many Santuary Cites in America ,I welcome you to vist a Wal-Mart in zip codes San Diego Ca. 92154 or National City Ca.91950 ,
    then leave from there and go to a Home Depot in Lemon Grove Ca. 91945 or San Diego 92113 on Imperial Ave.. or any( fast food )resturant in those areas on any Saturday or Sunday you can see first hand ,and report back to America.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Antonio

    It's not the Hispanic people fault of whats happening to America, If the High and powerful rich would stop robbing us, maybe we would not be in all this mess. The Rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. All this was written in the BIBLE there is nothing we can do about it.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  178. Kevin520

    Jack, the need to hire foreigners needs to stop and sanctions should be in place. I was thinking of this the other day. I called CapitalOne and I get India . . . I call HughesNet I get India. Companies do this because it's cheap labor and the government needs to start handing out strict taxes, fine or whatever, if they fail to hire americans first or go out of the country for tech services and/or customer support. It's aggravating and it's WRONG!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  179. Grumpy in Colorado

    Companies have touted the "we can't find American's who want the job" mantra for years but I've always suspected that they can't find Amreican's who will work for peanuts....hence the practice of laying off American employee's and hiring foreign guest workers or offshoring. I believe that companies should have the right to chose who works for them, but those businesses who choose a foreign labor force over Americans should not be eligible to benefit from taxpayer dollars or tax cuts.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  180. Paula Joneli

    Hey Jack, Since we have so few "qualified" workers for all these jobs, I suggest that for every visitor work Visa that is issued, the beneficiary company should be required to award a 4-year full-ride scholarship to a qualified student, then provide mentorship so that student will be fully "qualified" for the position upon graduation, when the foreign worker's Visa expires. I understand we are currently issuing about 30,000 work Visas per year. Imagine how another 30,000 college graduates per year would strengthen our country's future!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  181. Kyle

    Iagree with protecting American jobs. Millions are out of work and still companies are hiring foreign employment for lower wages. Let the foreiger go because they don't pay as much in taxes anyways.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  182. Ralph Nelson

    Require employers check social security numbers. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  183. A Visitor to America

    Hi Jack,

    I think it would be great if you and your government denied all legal immigrants work -effectively starving them out of this country. At the same time, as a visiting Canadian to the U.S., and viewing your program, I can't wait until the Canadians kick out the 600,000 Americans working in Canada. Those people should be prevented from stealing Canadian jobs. And that move would go a long way to solving Canada's unemployment problem. Thanks for the suggestion, Canada for Canadians all the way!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  184. D Carr

    absolutly jobs should go to qualified americans first. and it is about time the powers that be admit that there is virtually no job will reject as long as it provides a living wage. in addition at 300 mil and climbing it is past time that our imigration policy was changed from give us your huddled masses to give us your best and brightest!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  185. Jeter Cooper

    I saw this coming , am a US trained registered nurse, I moved away from US to Canada because immigrants like me would be the first ones to be blamed for american unemplyoment. Thank God canada is a welcoming country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Larry -- Belton TX

    The government should restrict all U.S. labor to U.S. citizens, except for vegas.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  187. Susan

    There are many jobs that Americans won't do because the pay is to low; the work is to hard or they think it is to degrading. Plus it is easier to collect welfare and government assistance. There are some people who just don't want to work, thats reality. I feel bad for the hardworking ilegal aliens that have been in our country for years working the grueling jobs we won't do so they can feed their children and send them to school. I'm sure they would like to be here legally but for some reason they can't due to fear of being deported. There needs to be special guidelines to get these type of immigrants that are productive citizens legal.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  188. Terrence in Gainesville, Florida

    I work as a private consultant, mostly in construction. Presently, the job where I work employs about 350 workers, and only 40-50 of these are Americans, and they fill mostly foremen and supervisor positions. While most trades are effectively regulated to combat this issue, the non-union trades are hit the hardest. I don't think that it is protectionist to mandate that companies hire American workers, conversely I think it is mandatory that the government protect American jobs. There is a great deal of animosity towards companies that hire illegal workers, and I also sense that there is animosity growing towards the illegal workers themselves. If the economic situation continues to decline, I believe that the administration will be forced to recognize these problems and will have to choose these so-called protectionist measures.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  189. Dana Meier

    Stop giving bailout money to ANY company or corporation that ships business overseas to hire cheap labor instead of unemployed Americans. For example Washington Mutual, whose entire credit card customer service is based in some 3rd world country, and getting any help for resolution is impossible.

    Hire American and I will buy your goods, (when I can afford it, again.) Hire cheap immigrant labor to save a buck, or ship your company to another country and lay off American workers, and you have lost my business forever.

    Time to take care of our own, so we CAN help others.

    Dana in Oregon

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  190. Warren Wehmeyer

    The big city Easterners do not seem to understand that the reason we need workers to help harvest our crops in the West is simple. The Crop lands are far from the cities where the unemployed live. The work requires long hours for short seasons. In the State of Washington, the "unemployment compensation" is near two time the minimum wage. You can make more money on the dole than working, away from home, hard work, short season, living conditions and on and on. The ecconomy in our small Eastern Washington towns depend on the orchards surviving. We will not survive if we can not pick our crops and, if you would get out of the Big Cities and see just what it is like harvesting fruit, you might understand. Might, but, It seems your minds can not fathom what spoiled, uneducated drop outs believe is their rights. It certainley is not attempting to equal the efforts we need and are provided by our migrants.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  191. Jason from Detroit, MI

    I don't see what jobs employers can't get American workers to do. I can't think of a single job I wouldn't want to do. If I needed to feed my family I would do anything to keep putting food on the table. I have worked in many different facets of employment in this great country. It took me years to find my place in the work force. I guarantee I have performed at the least 30 different jobs in my 26 year life. I am blessed to know what it is I am here to do now. But before this washing cars, dishes, and cleaning offices were not too good for my pocket. I personally believe these companies are trying to make up statements so they can not pay the foreign workers correctly for their positions. This is sickening. They ought to be sued by every American worker who does put in for the position they say Americans don't want to do. This is ridiculous.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  192. janet

    the laws for guest workers program already on the books are very specific, you only get approved for guest worker visas when there are no applicants for the mandatory posted job openings. We just went through the process needed 10 workers and received 1 who was unable or unwilling to work the required shift. 5am to 11am. We would love to hire US workers the visas cost us $800 to $1000 per visa.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  193. Mary in AZ

    The Government has to protect US workers! I've worked as a Registered Nurse 20 years, and the last few have seen a mass entry of Philippine Nurses to US Hospitals, while new US nursing grads are being rejected! Hospitals save wages, Americans Suffer!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  194. Ernie Jansen from Ohio

    No restrictions at all, Jack!!! The only restriction today is the ones Americans place on themselves when they don't want to work for $2/hr in intensive jobs! I'm sure if Americans really wanted those jobs immigrants do, the companies would hire them in a heartbeat!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  195. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    As the world economy contracts, American companies are reducing inventory and overhead. This means hiring foreign workers, legal and illegal here in America and outsourcing jobs or moving entire companies abroad to increase their bottom line. Companies will say they can not find enough skilled or unskilled American workers. But the truth is American companies want to hire foreign workers so they can pay third world salaries and benefits. This practice did not just start when the economy tanked. Freeze the hiring of all foreign workers and lay-offs should include foreign workers first. End tax breaks for companies that send jobs abroad.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  196. Ken

    Though I believe in hiring the best person for any job, I believe employers should perform as thorough a search as possible for American workers who are more than deserving, happy and willing to do the job. The problem here is that as long as there is a market available for lower wage workers and a ready supply of people willing to perform the best job for the lowest dollar, many Americans, due to loopholes, will always be stuck with the short end of the stick.


    Chicago, Ill.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  197. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Until someone finds a way to find those who insist on hiring illegals, nothing will change. The illegals will work for less so they make more money for their employers. No way to change that unless the govenment goes after the employers and there are a lot of big employers who contribute mucho money. Fat chance of that being done.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  198. Terry Jones, Alberta, Canada

    Listern to the code word from Jack "Immigrants are bad"

    March 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  199. Tiger Joe

    The quota of foreign worker visas granted each year should obviously reflect current market conditions and unemployment rates. In the late 90s, during the tech boom, it made sense to have a high number. At the very least that number should be scaled back.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  200. Robert Hines

    If I'm not mistaken the Oath of Office taken by most ,if not all Politicians and Federal officials contains the words" To Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States". So what's wrong with protecting US jobs and businesses for US Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens.

    Besides, when did the word Protectionist become a bad word? We should protect the American was of life... not sell it off for a vote!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  201. Eric in Minnesota

    With all the technological advances, the larger companies that outsource their support and help-centers overseas could pull that back and contract Americans to do it from their homes. The contracts would likely cost less and could put the smaller companies back into the mindset that they can find the help they need without crossing an ocean.
    It's time for the economic trend-setters to step up to the plate and show us that the trust in their brands is well placed.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  202. Pat

    I am really sick and tired of hearing "best and brightest" , "talent barrier" etc. 99% of H1-B visa holders works for standard IT skills underpaid, overworked. As an unemployed software engineer, I have watched my friends loosing their jobs now it is my turn.

    If we want to bring real talent to US, solution is really simple: $150,000/year unlimited visa, no lawyer, no waiting as longs as they are paid.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  203. Antonio

    We need to be complaining about all the jobs going across seas, stop the jobs from going over to India, keep them here. Leave the Mexicans alone.

    Little Rock , Ar

    March 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  204. Bobby

    The citizen in the USA should be first no matter. There is no work for the citizen. Why bring more problems too this country. There is no work for guest workers so why bring them.There should not be any illegal immigrants in the USA. If so they need to be put in jail and deported.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  205. Dave

    I am replying in regard to what should be done about forien workers.
    I think the US should do like Germany and not alow Foreiners to work in the US for there first two years and give them a place to stay and food for that two years and if they become qualified after that two years and decide to stay then they can try to get a job. also I think it would help not giving foreiners seven years free of taxes while we still have to pay normal taxes.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  206. George Boutin

    It would be really nice if a system was implemented that would the training and hiring of skilled American workers. Right now a company can hire a H1-B software engineer that is here temporarily from India for far less than what it would cost to hire an American citizen. That is if they don’t move the whole operation off shore… I understand that it’s difficult to run a business and remain profitable – that is why it is time for our elected officials implement incentives for businesses to hire and train Americans to fill the high tech positions – AND keep those jobs here. Hiring H1-B’s should be an absolute last resort, not common practice. Not to mention the H1-B’s have also been used to undercut the wages of American tech workers by flooding the job market with cheaper skilled workers.

    We need to make it easier for employers to hire American citizens, and make it easier for American citizens get a great education making us competitive as a Nation.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  207. Bert

    Well Jack I do believe it should be illegal for anyone to hire an illegal immagrant!
    There are many employers in this country that have illegals working for them and they should be fined.They say it is because they can't find anyone to work! Thats bull! Its because they can get them to work cheap and work them like dogs.
    I know of a few employers that are doing it right now in my area so I'am sure it is all over our country.
    Should be somewhere to report it.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  208. Joe in Indiana

    Halt all new work visas. Have employers fill the open positions with US Citizens. There may not be an exact match in the US, but I am sure there is someone who wants the position with enough skills to do the job. The company could probably use some of the stimulus money to assist with training the individual. This will bring the knowledge (missing skill) that employers need into the US. I believe President Obama is correct in believing in Americans to overcome. Skilled workers can be created right here at home.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  209. Morris

    Fore every illegal immigrant working in country two u.s. citizens should be rehired back in high paying mgnt. prositions. now since that's not being done we should start to enforce our own immigration and tourism laws.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  210. Joe Shmoe

    Putting up any kind of regulation won't solve anything, the problem isn't hiring foreigners, it's hiring Cheaper Labor and unfortunately almost every business does it for better competition.
    As long as Americans view that they should be entitled to work for $15+/hourly wage or get a $60k+/yearly salary just like the Joneses do, while the 70% rest of the world works for as little as $1 – $5/hour max then we won't fix anything or get anywhere unless we clamp down and destroy the Free Market Economy in itself.
    No, what will eventually happen is one of two things probably, either we will stay the same and most Americans will stay unemployed for a very long time until all the jobs come back here when we decide to work for $1-3/hour without any benfits, vacations, or healthcare and live in huts and slums, or the other choice, which will need to happen is a Global Minimum wage policy set and enforced by the United Nations at around $6-8/hour, or probably much higher to match those of the European system.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  211. julia

    I believe we should obey the law as far as hiring people whp are here illegally. I also believe we should hire American workers first. There are lots of college students who need jobs this summer and would be glad to have a job in a hotel, resort or golf course, etc. We also have thousands of kids who, after graduating from college, are unable to find work. Give us a break.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  212. Ed

    So long as we allow executives blinded by greed to claim that American workers are expensive, lazy and dumb there is very little we can do. Outsourcing was and always will be a form of self-destruction, and, until we can educate these people to that fact, I’m afraid we are destined to be strictly a nation of consumers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    First, arrest the people that hire the illegal's. Then send all the illegal's home. Keep all of the jobs in this Country and let none be shipped to India, Mexico, China, etc. Don't let anyone have a job in this Country until all of the American citizens have jobs. If the owners that hire them don't comply, lock them up for good.
    Lucy – Illinois

    March 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  214. Peter Jefferson, oregon

    Americans should be thankful to foreign workers especially nurses and doctors, these are the people saving America today, remember that American are so lazy they do not what to do sciences, its the immigrants doing science oriented jobs.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  215. Kim - Blair, NE

    Upgrade the online system to check status of applicants & current employees. If legal, I have no problem with foreign workers. I believe asking employers to comply with laws will help a great deal in curbing the problem we have right now. Employers who don't comply should be called on the carpet & fined.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  216. Ashley

    You're right people. Let's completely eliminate competition so that we Americans can all just sit around on our lazy bums and stop trying. It's called survival of the fittest. If you want to get a job just like the immigrants who are LEGALLY here or who are being hired abroad to LEGALLY come work here, than make sure that you stand out as THE BEST. I understand what it's like to be out of a job. I understand how difficult it is, particularly with our current health care system. It's horrible...but if you work hard enough, you WILL get a job. Be resourceful. My HUSBAND has been here LEGALLY for a year now WITHOUT work authorization....No matter what he does he cannot get a job. However, he still gets up every morning at 8am and works often until 10pm at night to LEGALLY make money by starting his own companies here in the U.S. People are hiring, people are making money. YOU need to make sure that one of those people is YOU.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  217. Roland - St George, UT

    I'm less concerned with hiring foreign workers than I am with the policy of allowing foreigners to come here and get educated and then take that education back out of the country with them. If they get educated here, let them put that education to work here as well. When it comes to hiring Americans, part of the problem is that we do lack qualified people for many highly skilled positions. While many Americans do complete 4 year degrees, not as many of those degrees proportionately are in the Sciences or Technology fields. I think part of this is because of our Hollywood driven culture. It's not "cool" or "glamorous" to be a scientist or geek, but being a Madison Ave. Advertising Exec or a Wall St. Stockbroker or being a Lawyer, Architect, etc., those are all "glamorous" or sexy jobs. If we are going to stop allowing companies to hire highly educated foreign workers, then we need to give our educational system a serious overhaul first.

    As far as picking lettuce goes, I think the farmers should be allowed to hire whoever will do the job. If an American wants to do it, great. But I'm inclined to believe that we'd have to do away with welfare first, before Americans would get hungry enough to go out and work that hard. (Roland/St. George, UT)

    March 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  218. Ni (N and long I)

    First of all, immigrants are not qualified for certain jobs not all. I've gone to 4 job interviews and they've all told me, I'm over qualified, but the immigrant you came into the US is?!?!? What kinda crap is that. I've gone to college and graduated with a A.A in Human Services...I worked at my last job for 3 years and they hired 3 individuals who had no experience in Human Services or dealing with Mental Health patients, nor did they have any computer skills. I was forced to train them and while they were making 17 bucks a hour, I was making 8 bucks a hour, one of them didnt have a GED and she came from Columbia earning $18/hr. Ofcourse I asked for a Raise more than 5 times. I guess hiring an idiot is better than hiring a well educated American

    March 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  219. Allen Ouellette ("Well LET")

    Jack, it's even worse than you think. We annually allow 65000 foreign workers in the H1B category alone, let alone the thousands more we allow in as L-1s, J-1s Most of the H-1bs have been educated here, many with financial assistance provided in various ways but all paid for with tax-payer dollars. When they complete their academic programs, they are allowed to work here for an additional two years in order to gain "practical training" so that they can go to work back in their home countries. In fact, what almost always happens is that the training company merely files for the student to get a green card so that he can stay here. The student doesn't even get counted as a foreign worker after that. If you're wondering what role the Department of Labor plays, here it is: The DOL issues rubber-stamp "certification" that the company has been unable to find qualified U.S. citizens to fill that job. Your kid need not apply. The job is no longer available, it never really was. And here's the worst insult of all: When the crunch comes and the company is forced into lay-offs, any H-1B in a position to be eliminated must be returned by the employing company to wherever he is from. That costs money, of course. Far easier and cheaper to lay off your kid; he can take a bus home. Bill Gates and his cohorts can rant all they want, but they're NOT looking out for anything but their bottom line.

    Look, why not create a program to repatriate every illegal alien at our expense, with the understanding that there would be no penalty. The alien would be allowed to return with whatever legitimate visa he can qualify for. However, those who did NOT come forth voluntarily would eventually be outed and deported - no hasty marriages, no hokey labor certifications - and barred from returning for a VERY long time.
    THAT would be money well spent. And it would open up an awful lot of jobs for U.S. citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  220. Dan, Minneapolis MN

    Jack, America needs to be able to bring in the brightest and best from around the globe – especially now during these troubled economic times. Put those brains to work for this nation's best interests rather than that of others. Closing the doors for legal immigrants now will only kill the country's competitive advantage. God bless America!!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  221. Paul / Charles Town, WV

    There are jobs Americans refuse to work due to the low pay and/or nature of the work. Some would rather collect unemployment, go on welfare or resort to illegal means to support themselves. Some Americans are simply getting soft and lazy and have a sense of entitlement that they can from college to huge salaries and skip the hard, gritty work that built this nation and binds it together. We need a job corps that requires all citizens at the age of 18 to commit to an industry having trouble hiring Americans to fill positions to work for 6 months full-time or 1 year part time. This will put everyone in a position to understand what it is like to do hard, gritty work for small amounts of money and will give them some experience, too. And it will provide lots of help to the industries to better prevent a need for foreign workers.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  222. Mike Beckovich

    I am against illegal immigration and am now against legal immigration for companies that want to hire foreign workers that are sending jobs overseas. These companies like IBM who are sending US jobs overseas should not be allowed to hire immigrant workers until they start providing jobs for US workers.

    In addition, we lose taxes and have more people ending up on government or state programs increasing the burden on citizens. These companies should be taxed for each job they send overseas.

    Clairton, PA

    March 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  223. maria, california

    We need to enforce all immigration laws that we have in the first place! I don't believe that the majority of these jobs are jobs that Americans won't do. We have done them before, we are stopped from doing them because employers can get away with hiring illegal workers or foreign workers for less. We need to get back into the thinking of responsibility for workers again. Not just how companies can screw the last dime out of their workers and the race to the bottom that we have now. Americans should be hired first. A living wage should be paid. And our educational system needs to be stepped up so that we are able to compete with the rest of the world. And no bailout/taxpayer money should go to companies that outsourse or hire foreign workers over Americans.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  224. Darren

    Here's a thought, how about we focus on hiring more American's and helping outselves get out of this terrible recession we got ourselves in..

    March 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  225. Thom Richer

    It is quite simple, Jack. Do not permit employers to hire any "illegal" immigrants, period. Put a freeze on hiring "legal" immigrants until the unemployment rate for American citizens is below 3% in each of the 50 states. Simple enough don't you think?

    Negaunee, MI

    March 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  226. Jean in Fayetteville, NC

    Our country needs to put our citizens first. We should stop all immigration for now. Be like the European Union – no jobs for non EU citizens unless there exists a shortage of qualified people from the EU to do the job.

    Send all illegals home – this can be accomplished by having employers who hire illegals fined and serve mandatory jail time. This country needs to pass a constitutional amendment that says that children born here to illegal aliens are not American citizens.

    In this economic crisis, our citizens should not have to pay the price of educating, supporting and providing medical care to non-citizens. The government of the United States of America has an obligation to care for their citizens first.

    The United States of America is not responsible for the citizens of Mexico, El Salvador, or any country, except for ours.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  227. LDG

    Jack, I think if there is an American applying for a job and they are qualified to do that job, then they should get that job before any non citizen. It's been my understanding that in most other countries their citizens will be hired before us, if we are allowed to work at all in some countries. Isn't Mexico one of the countries that do not allow us to work at all?

    I would also like to know why the Republicans aren't up in arms about the government help in Fargo. Isn't the federal help that Fargo's getting considered a socialist program?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  228. Francesca/HR Director in Los Angeles

    As an HR Director with over twenty years of experience in Human Resources management. I am thrilled to see this issue brought to the forefront. Within certain fields especially those within Manfacturing, Hospitality and various types of services workers to often these fields are inundated with monolingual (Spanish) speaking, illegal immigrants who are working under falsified documents and social security numbers
    I am often strongly encouraged by senior management to place classified ads which require an applicant to be bi-lingual in Spanish not because its necessary for the job but because the majority of the employee base employees cannot or do not want to speak English. Placing such ads often inadvertently deny Americans the right (those who only speak English) to apply for such positions. You should not be required to speak another language in America to secure a position unless it directly relates to your position. However, if you come to America and you want to live and work here and become apart of our American society. The least we can do is require that they are required to speak English in tandem with their native language whatever that may be.

    Positions open within America (especially within this economy) should be offered to american born citizens first or those who are here legally. It would be great if we could employ and feed the world but simply we cannot without forgetting about home (America) first.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  229. John Okubo, Delaware

    I have just called my president in Nigeria to begin firing all the 1050 Ameicans working in the oil indusry in my country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  230. Stephen H Smith

    No new restrictions for two reasons. The down economy is already reducing the number of immigrant workers many of whom are returning home. American workers consider themselves above the menial labor that may illegals take and would not do those jobs no matter how bad things got.

    I cannot wait to see the makeup of the workforce on all those construction projects the stimulus plan is bringing forth.

    Fredericksburg, VA

    March 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  231. Beverley, Fredericksburg Va

    Why can't we have a zero immigration until the recession is over – that way jobs can be filled by Americans until the recovery takes place. Once the need for more worker goes up – we can have a reponsible debate on what kind of immigrants we "need" – be that migrant workers or skilled workers. Right now with unemployment reaching double digits – I am sure Americans can fill most jobs!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  232. Don in Boca Raton

    I've been in the IT field for 19 years now and have worked as a Project Manager for the major player's on wall street (yes, that place) and have seen entire divisions disolved due to outrsourcing to the India labor force. In all cases this was a strategic miscall, poor QA, no understanding of the product or its functality. In most cases the project was dropped entirely.

    There is by far too much U.S. grown talent that is being jerked over by corporate america for cheaper worker's wages and the ability of inept management to appear to look good however unqualified they may be.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  233. YellowShark

    i think if any restrictions are to be put in to place, that they should focus on jobs beneath a certain wage level, like say $100K. highly skilled immigrant labor is a valuable element of our economy, and also jobs above this wage level comprise a very minute percentage of the jobs in our country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  234. Tony IL

    Put a stop on foreign workers, then bring American technology into businesses here in the US making our own brand of cell phones, computers, etc and let the made in the USA label visible in stores like Walmartetc.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  235. NYC REPUB, Bronx, NY

    Let's just make sure they're legal, and that they're not being exploited!!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  236. Antonio

    There are Russain, German, Candians and other Eurpean illegal immigrants over here right now and no one is making big deal about them being here. No one kicked out all the Immigrants in the early 1920 and 30's that came from the Eurpean countries. I thnik The Attorney General was right we are a nation of cowards. Stop crying about jobs and go work harder to get a better job or do what you allways do and creat another job from no where, most of you that are crying, are the ones that where living above your means anyway.

    A nation of Cowards... I agree 100%

    March 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  237. Susan

    Unfortunately, when you go to the American Universities to recruit Electrical Engineers they are mostly from foreign countries. It is unfortunate our children aren't encouraged to go into this field.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  238. charley

    No, keep on importing the best and brightest to US economy until we are able to produce the right kind of work force that can compete globally. In the mean time we will need the best and the brightest to help us maintain our place in the global economy.

    Let's look inward and take this recession as a warning that we need to improve our education and training of our work force that can compete globally.

    Ironically in the accident days invaders will capture the best and the brightest and bring them back to their communities to improve their living standard. Now we are looking at a gift horse in the mouth. Romans tried the same concept in expelling their "foreign workers" and result in the fall of the Roman Empire.

    from Oregon with 10.8% unemployment third highest in the country.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  239. Barbara Mathews

    Does it really matter where they are from if they are the type of employee the employer needs?

    March 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  240. Diane - Lake Zurich, Illinois

    As far as American companies having to prove that they've interviewed American applicants first before hiring foreign applicants, I've observed that this is such an easy loophole to get through, since all the companies have to do is say that the American applicants were not as qualified as the foreign applicants (even if this is untrue), and go ahead and hire the foreigners. I worked as a research and development engineer in a plastics development company for over eight years, and during the time that I worked there, the ratio of foreigners in technical positions (like engineers and chemists) compared to Americans was always quite high (at least greater than 5 to 1). I can't believe that there were THAT many underqualified American applicants coming through our doors (especially since I was included in the process of interviewing these people myself)! There must be a way that we can eliminate this loophole so that we can preserve technical positions for qualified Americans who want (an deserve) them .

    March 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  241. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, Ct

    We have plenty of law written! What we need is law and order!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  242. Michael in Western PA

    Jack, Americans always come first. If employers utilized hiring illegals are what there into, speaks volumes about the company's goal of changing for bipartians. Fair is fair. Will companies go for the goal of hiring natural born citizens hurting that would pick lettuce out West. America first.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  243. Jim


    the submitted answers to your question seem to be wandering down many alleys. Are we talking about only illegal aliens? Guest workers from other countries with proper credentials? Anyone who isn't an American citizen? Anyone who isn't a caucasian American citizen? Should we go after the workers or those who hire them? Should there be exceptions for those who have been in the country, albiet illegally, for a number of years and have proven to be productive law-abiding citizens? What about immigrant chlldren born in this country? This is a complex question, Jack. There are no easy answers. In a truly free market system, employers are free to hire the most qualified persons to fill open positions without regard to nationality or citizenship but with obvious restrictions on candidates who are not qualified due to legal issues.

    Reno, Nevada

    March 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  244. Susan - Plano, TX


    We should band stop hiring foreign workers at time like this while our unemployment rate is still soaring every day. Americans should be the watchdogs to report any employer hires foreign workers...our priority is to get our unemployment rate down before the family tragedies soar and crime rate soar...Feed our own people first!

    For those foreign workers, you need to go home and ask your own government for help. Not here.

    Plano, TX

    March 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  245. Dona Leecraft

    I have a friend who works in computers...a PHD and also has a law degree. His whole department was fired so they could bring in computer people from India at lower salariies. This is beyond WRONG! A lot of companies are also turning to India in their consumer service areas...you can barely understand them when you call in! There should be a ban on "Guest Workers"!!!! Put Americans to work first!!!!

    March 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  246. walley

    25 million plus illegal immigrant in the USA , ...Some making $20-45 per hour there, here in San Diego Calif. a Santurary City.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm |