The jobs could in fact be done by Americans with no degrees at all. This cultural indoctrination that you must have a degree must end
In my 30 years of programming experience I have rarely seen a job advertisement that did not say 4-year degree or equivalent, equivalent as in on the job experience, as your experience suggests.
... I've been programming for 30 years as a profession and I have never had a degree, and I'll never submit to the immoral status quo by getting one. I have both the theory, the experience, and the necessary practical skills under my belt, and all without a single degree.
Some of the best programmers I know never finished college. However they are **extremely** rare. They will read and figure out college level material over a broad set of topics on their own time on their own initiative, a broad set of topics comparable to those found in a typical degree program. However most of the self taught do not seem to be that self motivated, they may study some topics that are of interest to them but they will not have the broad understanding that the former or the formally trained typically have. Many of the formally trained are no more intelligent nor any more self motivated, but they had external motivations compelling them to study things that they had little interest in. The odd thing about many of the less interesting topics is that they often have unforeseen application to problems you eventually encounter and/or they are actually more important than you knew.
That said, there are also many in college who really have no interest in programming and are just there to get their "ticket punched", to get a piece of paper. They did not enter the program because of any inherent interest in programming and engineering, rather someone told them it was a good career path. Such individuals do not turn out to be the better programmers either. In contrast those with an inherent interest in programming often go far beyond the work required for class and use the incredible resources found at a university to study things that otherwise would have been beyond their resources.
So if a person has the time and resources to attend college they would do a great disservice to themselves to skip it due to some political position. You get out of college what you put in, and you will have access to resources and people you probably could not find anywhere else. And that includes likeminded peers. Its one thing to collaborate on code over the internet, its another thing to sit side by side staring at the same screen trying to puzzle something out and walking around campus bouncing ideas around. Plus there is also ready access to individuals studying other necessary disciplines. The density of useful knowledge and experience is quite high among fellow students at a university, its just a matter of finding people with genuine interests in their respective fields rather than the ticket punchers.