Monday, the Drudge Report linked to an inflamatory article, "American IT workers forced to train guest workers' hired to replace them!" The surprise is how the prince of the tea party movement, Senator Ted Cruz, became a target. It was published by Computerworld and received little notice until Drudge added a link; however, the article has since generated over 3.400 comments, many brimming with outrage.
Omitting the name of the worker and the name of the company involved, Computerworld revealed that amid rumors that "220 IT jobs" were at risk, employees learned directly from the CEO they were to be terminated and replaced. At that time, most of the employees didn't know much about H-1B visas but they soon learned the hard way.
While young employees left for new jobs, about half of the American workers, the older, more difficult to place employees stayed as long as they could out of fear they wouldn't be able to find another job. Towards the end, their replacements shadowed them, asking questions and just generally used the American workers, at the instruction of the company, to take a hyper course in what had been the American's career.
According to the source, some of the replacements from India cheerfully inquired about where the American employees were off to work next. One employee responded, "No, I'm not going to another job.You are taking my job. I don't have another job to go to."
As a symbol of their pain, the report recalled that the American workers placed miniature American flags in their cubicles. Unfortunately, this symbol didn't impact the workers from India. A replacement worker tried to "friend" the person whose job he was taking on Facebook.
Comments ranged from expressions of great sympathy for the American employees who had been replaced with foreign lower wage workers to frustration that the names of the companies were not included so a boycott could be formed. Many also felt the worker's names and photos of them and their families should be published in order to put a face to the profound slight to American workers.
Then the conversation turned to political solutions. When Ted Cruz's name appeared as a politician who was admired for his resolute fight against illegal immigration, a surprising thing happened. One after another posts appeared which indicated that though Cruz was, indeed, unwavering on his push for strong border control, Cruz was on record pushing for a "500 percent increase" in H-1B visas.
A video has been included with this article of Cruz explaining the reason he feels the increase would benefit American workers. Many quoted the following:
Secondly, I believe we should expand legal immigration, reduce the barriers, reduce the waiting periods and I've introduced two amendments to significantly expand legal immigration, to double the caps on legal immigration from 675,000 to 1.3 million and to increase temporary high skilled workers by 500%." - U. S. Senator Ted Cruz
In addition, personal testimonies were included in the comments about how government circumvented the rules that required companies to hire qualified Americans, when available, only turning to visa holders as a last resort. All a company had to do was contact an American worker 1500 miles away from their home office, follow up with a call from their attorney to document that an attempt to hire an American for the job had been made, and then they could lawfully hire the foreign worker.
Most Drudge Report headlines work for conservative or libertarian causes, and often include links to Cruz articles. There is no way to know from the links if Drudge supports or disdains the immigration aspirations of Cruz. However in this case, the backlash was directed where few expected.