The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama hides Obamacare subsidies for foreign students, guest workers

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama told Americans Friday that federal aid is reserved for citizens, even though his deputies have drafted complex regulations to give taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidies to foreign students and to millions of guest workers.

He made the misleading claim during a televised roundtable at the second stop of his two-day, two-state tour promoting more aid to students.

“Obviously, when it come to federal grants, loans, support, subsidies, that we provide, those are for our citizens,” Obama told a student questioner from the friendly audience of college professors, administrators and students at the Binghamton University in New York.

“You know, a lot of Americans are having a tough time affording college, as we talked about, so we can’t spread it too thin,” he told the Turkish student, who was asking for aid.

A 1996 law bars foreigners and recent immigrants for most means-tested products.

But the Obamacare system will provide valuable health-care subsidies to many student-workers and foreign guest workers hired for jobs in America.

The costs of this Obamacare subsidy will likely escalate if Washington rewrites current immigration law, because leading House bills would double the inflow of foreign blue-collar workers, professionals, students and agriculture guest workers.

“Most Americans … don’t want their tax dollars subsidizing health insurance premiums for anyone just visiting, studying or temporarily working in our country,” Rep. Jim Gerlach said in a statement to The Daily Caller.

“We keep finding examples almost every day of how this law is going to result in Americans working fewer hours and taking home less pay while still leaving 30 million people uninsured,” said Gerlach, a Pennsylvania Republican.

“The entire law needs to be repealed and replaced,” he said.

Companies are already being subsidized by the influx of lower-wage guest workers, and the Obamacare subsidy allow further reductions in guest workers’ wages, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

“As this guest-worker model expands, you’re going to see it used in more and more of the economy,” said Kirkorian, who wants to reduce the inflow of immigrants.

In 2012, the government provided short-term or long-term work visas to roughly 650,000 non-agriculture guest workers, including to roughly 70,000 students at U.S. universities.

The Senate immigration bill, if it becomes law, would double the inflow to roughly 1.2 million workers per year year, according to data provided by Krikorian’s group.

The Senate bill would also double immigration and provide a staged amnesty to roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. Overall, the bill would increase immigration into the United States to 46 million by 2033, even though roughly 20 million Americans are already unemployed or underemployed.

Guest workers have long comprised a large slice of the workforce in some high-tech sectors.

The pending immigration bills would likely expand companies’ growing use of guest workers in non-tech jobs. Already, Goldman Sachs is hiring foreign financial analysts; CVS and Rite-Aid are hiring foreign pharmacists; schools and universities are hiring foreign teachers and professors; health-care companies are hiring foreign doctors and therapists, while other companies are hiring marketing experts, graphics designers, managers, accountants, auditors and many other professionals.

Polls suggest the large-scale outsourcing is unpopular.

Obamacare is also unpopular, according to polls.

No poll has asked Americans if they support the award of Obamacare subsidies to guest workers in outsourced jobs.

The offer of subsidies to guest workers could have a large impact on blue-collar and white-collar professionals, said Krikorian. Guest workers are usually paid less than what Americans earn in equivalent jobs, and there are minimal rules to prevent employers from replacing Americans with guest workers, he said.