Clinton bias accusations chase top Democrat Wasserman Schultz

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the current chair of the Democratic National Committee and former co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, can’t seem to shake accusations of bias in favor of the former Secretary of State.

As the polls tighten between Clinton and her main rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, Wasserman Schultz is facing a first-ever primary challenge for her congressional seat.

Tim Canova is appealing to the progressive wing of the party and district by accusing her of bias against Sanders.

“She has tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and made sure virtually no one would see the primary debates. She has stood in the way of the progressive movement, and she has consistently put her own political interests ahead of the Democratic Party,” he said.

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Canova decided to run against Wasserman Shultz because her stance on issues like Wall Street reform, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and big corporations did not align with the progressive beliefs of some party members.

She also supported the anti-net-neutrality bill SOPA and voted to remove part of the Dodd-Frank law that stopped big banks from using deposits for speculative financial derivatives.

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Wasserman Schultz denies the accusations of bias toward Clinton, saying she would not be DNC chair if she wanted to favor a candidate.

Perhaps the biggest suggestion of bias lies in the charges that the DNC purposely limited Democratic debates and held them on weekends and nights with low audience ratings, such as the weekend before Christmas and at the same time as an NFL football game.

Some feel this was an effort to limit the time voters would be exposed to both Sanders and O’Malley’s strengths, and Clinton’s shortcomings.

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Clinton’s campaign had lobbied against an earlier proposal for eight debates.

The Democratic candidates had six debates, with only four held before the first of the caucuses in Iowa. The Republicans will have 12, and will have had seven before Iowa.

In 2008, there were 26 Democratic debates.

Unofficial debates have been banned by the DNC, with Wasserman Schultz threatening to ban any candidate that took part in an unsanctioned debate from the remaining debates.

This week, MSNBC and the Manchester Union Leader paper in New Hampshire organized an unscheduled debate for February 4.

Sanders and Clinton made statements that they would participate with the blessing of the DNC.

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Wasserman Schultz released a statement Tuesday: “Our next DNC-sanctioned debate featuring our major candidates will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin hosted by PBS on February 11th, with another already scheduled for March 9th with Univision and the Washington Post. We have no plans to sanction any further debates before the upcoming First in the Nation caucuses and primary, but will reconvene with our campaigns after those two contests to review our schedule.”

Other accusations against the DNC chair include the controversial cutting off the Sanders campaign’s access to voter data following a data breach, due to an external firewall issue.

READ MORE: Thanks Hillary! Sanders raises $1.4 mn in a day after Clinton attacks backfire

Both Sanders and his supporters blamed Wasserman Schultz for blocking them and making a statement without warning the campaign.

The DNC is also accused of packing the audience with Clinton supporters for the second debate in Iowa. Tom Fiegan told the Washington Times: “People are frustrated at how small the venue was and the lack of transparency from the DNC of how it was handled — the allocation of tickets was a total secret.”

Other party members have spoken out against the debate schedules.

DNC finance chair Henry Munoz III reportedly helped organize a fundraiser for Clinton, in violation of rules that state all DNC members must be impartial. Wasserman Schultz did not reprimand Munoz.

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A petition to remove the DNC chair started by Roots Action called into question the choice of questions during the debates for failing to address important issues: “For example, climate change and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

“In Congress, [Wasserman Schultz] has served as a pro-militarist and corporatist tool of the high bidders,” Roots Action said. “Among recent disgraceful acts was her vote to enable racial discrimination in car buying. Enough is enough.”

Wasserman Schultz is seen by some as an establishment politician whose beliefs do not align with more progressive elements of the Democratic party, particularly the new, younger Sanders supporters.

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In 2016 alone, she has received contributions from Goldman Sachs, Comcast, Google, and Lockheed Martin.

Wasserman Schultz is against legalizing medical marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, and has received fundraising from alcohol lobbyists ($18,500) and private prisons.

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She made comments about young women’s complacency on abortion rights when asked about young women and excitement surrounding Clinton’s campaign.

Some felt this was a dig at female voters supporting Sanders over Clinton.

A USA Today/Rock the Vote poll showed women under 35 support Sanders over Clinton by 20 points.

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Writing on his blog Saturday, former Green Party and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader warned Sanders of other “corporate” Democrats trying to derail the Vermont senator’s campaign.

In a piece titled Hillary’s Corporate Democrats Taking Down Bernie Sanders, Nader wrote: “Before announcing for President in the Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders told the people he would not run as an Independent and be like Nader—invoking the politically-bigoted words ‘being a spoiler’. Sorry Bernie, because anybody who challenges the positions of the corporatist, militaristic, Wall Street-funded Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, in the House and Senate—is by their twisted definition, a ‘spoiler’.”

He highlighted comments by centrist Democratic California Congressman Adam Schiff about Sanders’s electability, who suggested he could have “very significant downstream consequences in House and Senate races”.

Nader also referenced the “poisoned darts” thrown by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week at Sanders, distancing her wing of the party from his call to raise taxes to pay for Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care.

“He’s talking about a single-payer, and that’s not going to happen,” she said. “I mean, does anybody in this room think that we’re going to be discussing a single-payer?”

Nader concluded in his piece: “Pelosi doesn’t expect the Democrats to make gains in the House of Representatives in 2016. But she has managed to hold on to her post long enough to help elect Hillary Clinton – no matter what Clinton’s record as a committed corporatist toady and a disastrous militarist (e.g., Iraq and the War on Libya) has been over the years.”

HAARP, Faroe Islands, Valencia City: Google Earth’s classified locations

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HERE are countless sites around the world deemed so classified that they are pixelated or blacked out by Google Earth.

Some are understandable, like some military sites, royal residences and say, the whole of North Korea. Others may surprise you. Pretty much all of them are the subject of conspiracy theories.


This site is home to the highly controversial operation known as HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) and is located near the Washington-Oregon border.

Rumours HAARP works in conjunction with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) have led to speculation about hidden agendas.

The conspiracy-minded believe HAARP is a secret weapon for weather modification and have blamed it triggering floods, droughts, major power outages and even earthquakes in Iran.

HAARP — the High FrequencyActive Auroral Research Program is hiding under the green rectangle

HAARP — the High FrequencyActive Auroral Research Program is hiding under the green rectangle


This Hungarian oil facility requested to be rendered green, with its buildings and grounds deleted, and nobody understands why.

Even more bizarre is the rumour that the only thing the green block is protecting is a field of grass. Which begs the question: what’s underneath the grass?

This is not a very well-maintained sportsground but the site of the Szazhalombatta Oil Refinery in Hungary

This is not a very well-maintained sportsground but the site of the Szazhalombatta Oil Refinery in Hungary


This Christmas tree-shaped man-made reservoir in South Carolina has been heavily blurred by Google. While authorities have never confirmed it, it is believed the dam helps run the Oconee Nuclear Station. The paranoid often refer to the site as “America’s Fukushima”.

America’s Fukushima? Keowee Dam in South Carolina

America’s Fukushima? Keowee Dam in South Carolina


This one is pretty chilling. Not only is there something dodgy about the blur itself compared to say the Minecraft-esque pixelation of the Volkel Air Base in The Netherland (see further down), but there’s a sinister story behind it.

The site is in the Siberian Tundra and the closest Russian city is believed to Egvekinot, which neighbours Alaska across the Bering Strait. In 1986, authorities sealed off dozens of cities and towns, many of them with populations of more than a million.

Some had mysterious numbers attached to their names including Krasnoyarsk-26, Tomsk-7 and Arzamas-16 — the latter believed to have been home to a colony of nuclear engineers who put an end to America’s nuclear monopoly.

Some believe that this site could be one of the mysterious secret cities taken over by the government during the Cold War era. Others say it’s either a radar station or missile


Several netizens have commented that the area surrounding the blur appears to have been cut and pasted from another part of the country.

Is there a secret city lurking underneath that thick blurry smudge in the Siberian Tundra?

Is there a secret city lurking underneath that thick blurry smudge in the Siberian Tundra?


The Faroe Islands are located halfway between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean but are controlled by Denmark. Islanders are known as Faroese and known for their proficiency in music. Nobody knows why sections of the archipelago have been blurred but its possible (at a stretch) that it has something to do with fishing rights.

No idea what’s so secret about the Faroe Islands

No idea what’s so secret about the Faroe Islands


The censorship of this site is a work of art compared to some of the other examples and the use of a camouflage coloured pixelation is rather cute.

What it hides is anything but cute, however. According to former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud

Lubbers, there are 22 US nuclear bombs stored in the bunkers of this air base. They include B61 thermonuclear bombs and a device said to be four times as powerful as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Wikileaks published a diplomatic cable that confirmed the presence of nuclear warheads at this base in 2010.

Mr Lubbers confirmed the existence of the weapons three years later in a National Geographic documentary when he said: “I would never have thought those silly things would still be there

in 2013. I think they are an absolutely pointless part of a tradition in military thinking.”

The Volkel Air Base in The Netherlands: Much more dangerous than a game of Minecraft

The Volkel Air Base in The Netherlands: Much more dangerous than a game of Minecraft


This site in Utah is on land largely controlled by the US military and used to test biological and chemical weapons. That’s pretty much all we can say.

The Michael Aaf building is kind of like Utah’s Area 51

The Michael Aaf building is kind of like Utah’s Area 51


Valencia City, population 160,000, is believed to be the headquarters of the government’s missile defence program and is pixelated for national security reasons.

Valencia City in the Philippines is mostly blurred out

Valencia City in the Philippines is mostly blurred out


Baker Lake in Nunavut is home to the Inuit nation in northern Canada. It has not been officially explained why large sections of the region have been blacked out. However, a notorious online conspiracy theorist known as Dr Boylan has spent many years trying to convince fellow earthlings that they hide the locations of “extraterrestrial beacons”.

Hello? Is there anybody out there? At least one conspiracy theorist believes the blacked out sections of Baker Lake in Nunavut obscure “extraterrestrial beacons”.

Hello? Is there anybody out there? At least one conspiracy theorist believes the blacked out sections of Baker Lake in Nunavut obscure “extraterrestrial beacons”.

Social Networks In Germany Crush Criticism of Immigration

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Facebook, Twitter, Google Collude With German Government To Censor Discussion On Immigration


The two largest social networks, Facebook and Twitter, and the world’s largest search engine, Google, have teamed up with German law enforcement to delete “hate speech” within 24 hours in what is being seen as a last-ditch effort to silence public dissent about a gigantic wave of Syrian immigration.

The partnership to crack down on what Germany deems illegal speech comes after German law enforcement’s reported concerns about “racist abuse” posted to social media after the country’s huge and extremely controversial import of over a million Syrian refugees.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas is reported to have warned social networks that they must not become “a funfair for the far-right” and that “the benchmark to be applied will be German law and no longer just the terms of use of each network.”

Specialist teams will be used to track down, examine, and remove offending posts, and the process is not to take more than 24 hours.

After World War Two, all Nazi-related imagery and material was made illegal irrespective of context in Germany. All Nazi-related swastikas and salutes were replaced in the Wolfenstein video game remake, owing to this law.


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Job listing raises concerns following case of Ebola relapse


The State of Idaho is seeking a person with healthcare system experience to head up their Ebola division, following reports that a nurse suffered a relapse of the deadly virus in London.

A job post appearing on the state’s site 7 days ago, according to Google, details the “Ebola Coordinator” job opening, a position whose candidate would be responsible for organizing with federal authorities.

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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s (IDHW) Public Health Preparedness Program is currently recruiting for an Ebola Coordinator in the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness,” the posting for the $23.38 per hour job states.
“We are seeking someone who has familiarity with Idaho’s healthcare system, project and grants managements experience, critical thinking skills, developed interpersonal skills, and excellent written and verbal communications skills.”

The posting explains the state has received federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response through 2016.

“The bureau is seeking a part-time, benefited temp to work approximately 26 hours per week,” the post says.

One of the “responsibilities” the candidate should be prepared for is assisting “in development of statewide transport and referral plans for an Idaho Ebola patient to be transported to the Region 10 treatment center.”

It’s curious exactly why the CDC has chosen Idaho for the position, especially since it is not one of the states that has experienced an outbreak, according to their own information.

On October 6, a Scottish nurse who had beaten Ebola was readmitted to a Glasgow hospital where doctors feared a relapse of the virus. Doctors are now claiming she was suffering from meningitis caused by the virus and not a recurrence of the actual virus.

Boise, Idaho is one of the 130 cities and towns where Syrian refugees have been resettled.


“Money has been collected on false pretenses.”


Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano has warned the family of the ‘clock kid’ Ahmed Mohamed that they could be facing a fraud case if the incident is proven to be a publicity stunt.

Appearing on “The Kelly File,” Napolitano noted that “If this was part of a purposeful stunt and if the parents were involved in this and if everybody from Mark Zuckerberg to President Obama fell for this, this is not good.”

Napolitano highlighted the fact that thousands of dollars have been donated to Mohamed, following the incident where he was arrested for bringing what he described as a clock to school, despite the object looking like a bunch of wires in a suitcase.

“If the parents were involved in the hoax, now you now have a fraud going on because money has been collected on false pretenses,” Napolitano said, referring to donations received via legal and scholarship funds.

This is people overreacting because of his last name, or his skin color, or the atmosphere of fear,” Napolitano continued.

“We saw a clock, we assume it’s dangerous. The kid who made the clock, or brought it in, has a Muslim ancestry. I wish race could be out of this but all of that goes aside if this was some sort of a purposeful stunt,” the judge concluded.

Mohamed’s family are planning legal action against the school and the police, and have reportedly pulled their son out of the Texas school.

Electronics wizards have pointed out that Mohamed’s “clock” closely resembles a 1970s or 1980s Radio Shack digital clock. They charge that he simply took it apart and partially put it back together, purposefully leaving wires exposed to make it seem threatening and create a public furor.

In addition, it has been noted that Mohamed’s father, Mohamed ElHassan Mohamed, is a known activist who has engaged in several stunts to call out what he has perceived to be anti-Islamic activity.

Mohamed himself has even implied in a YouTube video that he knew that the clock he had built looked suspicious and threatening.

“I closed [the ‘clock’] with a cable, I didn’t want to lock it to make it seem like a threat. So I just used a simple cable so it won’t look that much suspicious,” Ahmed stated.

Since the incident erupted, Ahmed has been lauded by the left leaning media, and invited to the White House by the president, as well as receiving invitations to events from Facebook, Google, and was even offered an internship at Twitter.


Microsoft, Apple fight for data privacy as US govt seeks broader snooping powers

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Apple and Microsoft are at odds with the US government over access to private customer data in two concurrent cases, as both giants refused to comply with DOJ orders. Microsoft and the US government are to face off again in an appeals court on Wednesday.

Both tech giants have been unwilling or unable to comply with Department of Justice’s orders in two separate investigations that have triggered more calls from officials for changes that would provide easier access to customer data.

Microsoft vs US government: Legal battle over servers in Ireland

A US appeals court was set to consider Wednesday if search warrants from law enforcement apply to data stored overseas, thus compelling American technology companies to turn over emails and messages kept in foreign countries.

Microsoft has been at odds with Department of Justice (DOJ) since December 2013, when the company rebuffed requests to hand over emails from a drug trafficking suspect stored in Ireland. Microsoft argues that the emails are protected by Irish and European privacy laws and thus beyond the reach of the US government. However, the DOJ, which has already won in Federal District Court, sees no international conflict in the case since the American company still controls the email records.

“French want their rights under French law, and Brazilians under Brazilian law. What is the US government going to do when other governments reach into the US data centers, without notifying the US government,” the New York post cited Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith as saying.

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The White House declined to comment because the case is still in litigation. It is has yet to publically comment on the argument that its victory in the Microsoft case would pave a way for other governments, including in Russia and China, to access computer servers located on US soil.

“Only Congress has the institutional competence and constitutional authority to balance law enforcement needs against our nation’s sovereignty, the privacy of its citizens and the competitiveness of its industry,” Microsoft said in its brief.

Microsoft is supported by nearly 100 organizations, civil liberties groups, and individuals, who are largely opposed to the government’s position on snooping powers.

“Clearly, if the US government wins, the door is open for other governments to reach into data centers in the US,” Smith said earlier.

Verizon Communications Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. have warned that if their customers fear that their private data can be seized by the US regardless of where they live, their businesses could be damaged too, Reuters reported.

It’s encryption, not Apple: Tech giant rebuffs FBI order

While this case is currently being closely watched by privacy advocates and business groups, there is potentially another similar case on the horizon – with Apple.

Some senior Justice Department and FBI officials are pushing for Apple to be taken to court because it refused to hand over iMessages in real time, as had been requested in “an investigation involving guns and drugs,” according to the New York Times.

Apple declined to comment to the New York Post about the case.

At the time, Apple said that its iMessage system uses end-to-end encryption, which means that encryption and decryption are done by iPhones at either end of the conversation. This makes it impossible to access the data in real time. Apple says it does not keep copies of conversations unless one of the users stores their information on the so-called “iCloud,” where it can be accessed, but backdated. That was the case in this summer’s drug and gun investigation, the New York Time reported. Apple managed to turn over some of the conversations between the suspects.

Despite not being delivered in real time, law enforcement said the information had been useful, and considered it as a sign of cooperation.

The same encryption system is also used in FaceTime, Apple’s Skype-like video conversation application.

Another type of encryption used by both Google and Apple makes it impossible for anyone except the phone’s owner to access stored media, such as pictures and video as well as messages, without a password.

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The FBI opposes the system, saying that it puts them at risk of “going dark” by denying them access to communications regarding criminal activity or between terrorists.

The military is less critical, saying it depends on the mission they are involved in.

The DOJ wants Apple, as well as other tech giants like Google and Microsoft that use end-to-end encryption, to comply with the same kind of wiretap orders as phone companies. As for now, Apple and Google are not considered telecommunications companies, and hence are not covered by the wiretap law.

“If you ask about wiretap functionality in the broad privacy context, you get one answer,” George J. Terwilliger III, a lawyer who represents technology companies, told the New York Times.

“If you ask it in the context of a guy with a loose nuke, or some kind of device, you get a different answer.”

While, according to businesses, the demand for built-in encryption is growing, some government officials are firm in their position that it can “undermine” the government’s efforts to thwart criminals and terrorists.

“It’s important that we do not let these technological innovations undermine our ability to protect the community from significant national security and public safety challenges,” Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general, told Congress this July.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 6.55.38 PM

Apple, for its part, is arguing that by weakening encryption for the government, they would also open the door for hackers and endanger privacy, which has been one of the company’s main concerns since Edward Snowden exposed the extent of the NSA’s spying programs.

“There’s another attack on our civil liberties that we see heating up every day — it’s the battle over encryption,” Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, told a conference on electronic privacy this June. “We think this is incredibly dangerous.”

“If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too,” he added.

While a legal battle with Apple is possible, some officials believe that bringing the confrontation to a head could yield the opposite result – companies could dig in and refuse to compromise. For now, they told the newspaper, tech giants had privately expressed more willingness to find common ground than otherwise.

President Barack Obama has ordered Homeland Security and cybersecurity officials, as well as DOJ and FBI and intelligence agencies, to come up with solutions to the conflict over access to technology. According to the New York Times, law enforcement and administration officials say the debate is still ongoing.

Tech firms post want ads: foreign workers only…


A post-graduate student-visa program is just another scheme to displace American technology workers.


American technology workers won a big victory in the federal courts this month. The D.C. District Court ruled that a STEM-related visa program created by the Department of Homeland Security was potentially damaging to the domestic labor market and also in violation of federal rule-making procedure. For the plaintiffs in the case, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, however, the fight against BigTech lobbyists and Homeland Security has only just begun. DHS’s so-called Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. on a student visa even after graduation. In a rule promulgated by DHS in 2008, foreigners graduating in a STEM field at a U.S. school had these authorizations extended to nearly two and a half years after their graduation. U.S. employers love this because, on top of the longer work period, they have a greater chance to transition them into the H-1B program, a “professional specialty worker” visa that can last up to an additional six years. Also, employers receive a tax benefit for hiring OPT participants over Americans, as they do not have to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes for aliens on student visas. Plaintiffs’ counsel, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (which I work for), argued in court that the OPT extension, created not by statute but entirely by DHS, was really just a way to circumvent the existing H-1B cap of 65,000 annual visa grants set down by Congress years before. Helpfully for us, DHS had already admitted that this was the purpose for the extension. As it explained in the agency rule creating the extension, “the H-1B category is greatly oversubscribed,” which, as a result, has “adversely affected the ability of US employers to recruit and retain skilled workers.” With the H-1B cap having been held up by Congress over the last few years, DHS did the next best thing. As H-1B guru Norm Matloff describes in a blog post discussing our case, the agency simply went ahead and created “a de facto expansion of H-1B.” Let me digress for a moment on the H-1B lottery and the “oversubscription” issue. Unlike other visas, the fees for H-1B applications are refundable; there is no penalty for oversubscribing. As a consequence, heavy H-1B users, such as the outsourcing firms that supply BigTech companies as well as BigTech companies themselves, always apply for more visas than they really want in order to get close to their target. David North at the Center for Immigration Studies explains the process here. So when you hear in the press and elsewhere that “petitions have outstripped slots yet again by two-to-one,” the numbers are merely a reflection of companies’ trying to game the lottery system. RELATED: The H-1B Visa Program Gives American Workers a Raw Deal As Matloff explains, OPT is “just as harmful as H-1B.” The two programs are now similar in size, and the benefits to BigTech are also similar. Like H-1B holders, OPTs are younger than most American technology workers, and therefore cheaper. Citing the “prevailing wage” rules that technically exist for H-1Bs, Matloff notes that “the legal wage floors for H-1Bs depend on experience” (the worker’s age, in other words), “so hiring young H-1Bs in lieu of older Americans is legal.” As he says with cases such as SoCal Edison and Disney, “age was the key factor underlying the wage savings accrued by hiring H-1Bs.” See this link for information on a similar suit against Google based on age discrimination (which the company has since settled).

In the case of OPTs, however, this “wage floor” isn’t even available; being recent graduates, they’re all young (and cheap). Further, OPT participants are even cheaper to employ because, as stated earlier, aliens on student visas are exempted from Social Security and Medicare. Fundamentally, the OPT program, like H-1B, allows BigTech firms to flood the labor market, creating artificial competition and pressuring the standard of living we’ve earned through decades of hard-fought democratic and labor reforms. The cost savings, meanwhile, get siphoned up by private technology firms, many of which grew out of taxpayer-funded military programs. Thankfully, much of this wasn’t lost on the judge. DHS had asserted that our plaintiffs didn’t have standing to sue because (a) they couldn’t prove an OPT participant actually took one of their jobs (an impossible and unfair demand) and, in the alternative, (b) the plaintiffs were currently employed and so couldn’t show any injury — all are employed, mostly in contract positions. The judge knocked down both arguments by pointing out that “an influx of OPT computer programmers would increase the labor supply, which is likely to depress plaintiff’s members’ wages and threaten their job security, even if they remain employed” (emphasis added). RELATED: ’You’re Fired — Now Train Your Replacement’ More concrete evidence was also offered. Plaintiffs showed examples of job advertisements where only OPT participants were requested to apply. As Matloff likes to note, these companies are not just using H-1Bs and OPT participants to replace American workers, as in the SoCal Edison and Disney cases; they’re also hiring them instead of American workers. And many times, it isn’t “highly skilled” types that are being imported but simply “ordinary people, doing ordinary work.” The benefits of circumventing the H-1B program are apparently big. Arguing that DHS’s chosen 29-month extension period was an arbitrary and therefore invalid decision, plaintiffs showed the court that industry lobbyists CompeteAmerica, lobbyists from Microsoft and the Chamber of Commerce, and others had all been in contact with DHS requesting the same 29-month extension. And showing just how eager it was to comply, DHS implemented the rule without going through the statutorily mandated notice-and-comment period, a window of time in which the public can criticize agency action. GET FREE EXCLUSIVE NR CONTENT DHS tried to argue in court that skipping the process was necessitated by a looming “fiscal emergency” in the U.S. economy that could be ameliorated only by letting “tens of thousands of OPT workers” join the tech industry. Whose economic analysis did DHS cite to back this up? Studies from the technology industry itself. Ultimately, although the court knocked down the OPT extension on procedural grounds, the victory is only temporary. DHS can open up the rule to notice-and-comment and try again. MORE IMMIGRATION DID FACEBOOK INTENTIONALLY BLOCK POSTS FROM CONSERVATIVE IMMIGRATION THINK TANK? ON IMMIGRATION, SANTORUM ADDS SUBSTANCE WE CAN APPLY THE 14TH AMENDMENT WHILE ALSO REFORMING BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP Further, the judge rejected our argument that the program violates the law on other, more substantive (and less procedural) grounds. According to congressionally made statute (Immigration and Naturalization Act § 1101(a)(15)(F)(i)), student visas cannot be allocated for working purposes and may be allocated only to “bona fide students . . . solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study . . . at an established . . . academic institution” (emphasis added). But again, OPT, entirely a DHS creation, purports to let student-visa holders join the workforce. By ignoring the stipulations of Congress, the program exceeds DHS’s statutory authority. By giving DHS the authority to redefine what a “student” is, the court is allowing the agency to set the duration and conditions of a student’s stay, potentially letting them occupy the labor market for years upon years. Good for the foreign “student,” good for the trillion-dollar tech industry, but bad for the American worker.

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