The Fate of Undocumented Tech Workers

Newspaper Job Search“Inc.” an online tech news outlet recently ran a piece entitled “As Election Looms, Undocumented Tech Workers Face Uncertainty Over Their Future.” The article bemoans the plight of aliens with technology backgrounds who are unlawfully present in the United States. It also highlights what’s wrong with most American media coverage of immigration issues. Although it does quote FAIR and Californians for Population Stabilization, the piece is inaccurate and far from balanced or objective.

First off, it uses the term “undocumented workers” to refer to immigration law violators. This is a blatant rhetorical device, intended to cast opprobrium on the appropriate term “illegal aliens.” Then it sets up a false dichotomy, quoting a Mexican illegal identified as Jorge Orrantia. He says, “Even though I have this high-tech education, I don’t have the freedom to go and apply wherever my services can be used.”

The author implies that Mr. Orrantia is suffering discrimination because he isn’t “free” to work in the United States. Of course, that implication sidesteps a crucial point. Mr. Orrantia lacks any authorization to live or work in the United States. He’s a trespasser. And nothing is keeping him from departing the country and returning to Mexico, where he can legally take any job he wants. Yet the American reader is supposed to feel ashamed because he’s not able to put his tech skills to use here.

From a humanitarian perspective, Mr. Orrantia may represent an empathetic case. He’s identified as a polio sufferer, who originally entered the U.S. seeking treatment. But one must wonder – who paid for his medical treatment and his education? A betting man would wager that Mr. Orrantia has been the beneficiary of significant amounts of American largesse. Every year, thousands of illegal aliens receive medical and educational benefits at taxpayer expense.

The article closes with the observation that “As Americans cast their votes [in the upcoming election], they could be deciding the fates of undocumented tech workers….” But this too is wildly inaccurate. The will of the American people regarding immigration has been clear for years – they want the law enforced. As such, Mr. Orrantia’s fate should be decided by an immigration court. The only people who don’t seem to understand that are mainstream journalists and establishment politicians.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    Ligaya Fabian of 1631 El Camino Real #8 Tustin Ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid money to obtain a driver’s license but the dmv found out and revoked the license. She jumpshipped her flight from Germany to Canada at lax to get here. She now has a green card. …..

  2. avatar

    When Colonial British subjects found themselves oppressed and abused by a tyrannical and elitist government,, they rose in rebellion, risking their fortune and their lives for a promising but uncertain posterity. One can but wonder what would happen if those to the south of our sovereign borders would find the temerity (that’s a fancy word for “brass ones”) to remain in their respective countries (they really cannot be called nations) to rally against corruption, oppression and socialist jingoism, in order to build a better future for themselves and their future generations.

      • avatar

        The “guys from the south” are on welfare at higher rates than native born Americans. Some “contribution”.

          • avatar

            You can repeat this nonsense every time you come on here but it’s still not true. For example, Hispanics are 17% of the population but are 31% of those on Medicaid.

          • avatar

            Leland get your facts straight… specifically Welfare.. we are the main problem not the immigrants.. stop blaming others for our mistakes

  3. avatar

    In the article above: “yet the American reader is supposed to feel ashamed.” The GUILT that we are “supposed” to feel is HUGE FACTOR in mass immigration. First-world people, especially Caucasians, are “supposed to” feel guilty for everything that people before us did wrong, and make it up to third-world people by being extra nice to them. Rarely a mention of how they should work to improve their countries, or how mass immigration harms Americans and earlier immigrants, or how we take more immigrants than any other country.

    • avatar

      There’s not a group in this world that hasn’t done wrong. It was Africans who sold their fellow tribesmen into slavery. Not to excuse our part in it, but it would not have happened without the active participation of other Africans, something ignored when it comes to teaching history. Hillary is pulling out the T. Martin card again. Poor innocent little baby gunned down by a crazed neighborhood watchman. Never mind that the jury found that he could have just keep going and gone home, but doubled back a couple hundred feet and sucker punched G. Zimmerman. Do we really want four more years of this garbage?

      • avatar

        Such lane baseless explanation n excuse…… ultimately Leland…that would have never happened. If they would have never been bought … what a stupid comment really

    • avatar

      Our “faults”, real and alleged, are broadcast everywhere. Yet, there’s so much evil elsewhere that doesn’t make the headlines. The scary thing is that most people I know here in N. California buy into media lies and misinformation about darling immigrants and third-world people and “hateful” Americans. The blame-America-first mentality is very strong here.

  4. avatar

    What has been the charge against all the tech billionaires and their almost unanimous support of Hillary. The charge is that they want unlimited visas for foreign workers to lower wages and they know that Hillary has openly endorsed ever more H1B visas. There is a just released WikiLeaks e-mail sent by Google’s Eric Schmidt, a big Hillary supporter, to Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and other officials in 2014.

    He gives advice on where to locate her campaign headquarters. This one line sticks out like a sore thumb: “It’s important to have a very large hiring pool [such as Chicago or NYC] from which to choose enthusiastic, smart and LOW PAID PERMANENT EMPLOYEES.”

    What more do you need to hear? They want to make billions while the “low paid” workers have to fight to be paid peanuts against a tide of foreign workers. Back in the late 1800s we had the equivalent in the “robber barons” who paid starvation wages while they lived like royalty. Those guys all wanted wide open immigration to keep wages low.

    Now these robber barons mostly support the Democratic party. One of the biggest recipients of their campaign cash has been Chuck Schumer, who will be Democratic Senate leader in the new Congress. No need to tell you Schumer supports expanded H1B visas.

    • avatar

      Even though I am not a fan of Trump personally, when it comes down to it and I have to vote, do I vote for the candidate I don’t like who is going to screw me over and flood the labor market with cheap foreign labor while her billionaire donors in their gated communities enrich themselves at my expense? Or do I vote for the other candidate I don’t like who is for border security, but who to my knowledge has not done anything worse to women than Bill Clinton, who will be in the White House as the “First Gentleman”?

      And then there are the American women who won’t be raped or murdered by illegal aliens when our immigration laws are enforced and our border secured. And the media is always fawning all over the Kennedys, and Ted actually killed a girl. But killing a girl can be overlooked as long as you are an open borders Democrat who the media loves.

      • avatar

        Pretty much how I feel. The choice is that stark. And if Trump resigns or gets impeached we have Pence.

        • avatar

          Silly hoping thinking… the same reality we have, represents your thinking….very 3rd World Country like!!!

  5. avatar

    Undocumented Foreign Slaves’ Overstays???

    When Detroit butcher axed 250K technicals in 2007 and Obama closed NASA down by laying off 100,000 scientists. Lets not forget the 100,000 engineers in DOD being systematically removed like the good generals were also butcher axed “who didn’t support NWO “spineless” military policies [like giving Iran ransom money]…

    Where is the engineer in America today? Designing transmissions for automobiles? Nope, we off sourced or General Motors and Ford have to team up to have enough engineers to design 6 speed transmissions….Chrysler outsourced this effort to Germany [ZTF] for their 9 speed Jeep and muscle car lines….PATHETIC!!!

    We are a 3rd world country. WE NEED TRUMP SO BAD!!!!