Sunday, February 12, 2017

Indentured Servitude Through HB-1 Visas

If you listen closely, you can hear the transnationals squeal.  President Donald Trump is keeping his campaign promises on illegal immigration and HB-1 visas and this isn’t sitting well with the open borders crowd.   Silicon Valley has a particular disdain for American workers.  They would rather import labor that is equivalent to indentured servitude.  Even the Huffington Post admitted that is the driving force for hiring foreigners.

To see how this works, note that most Silicon Valley firms sponsor their H-1B workers, who hold a temporary visa, for U.S. permanent residency (green card) under the employment-based program in immigration law. EB sponsorship renders the workers de facto indentured servants; though they have the right to move to another employer, they do not dare do so, as it would mean starting the lengthy green card process all over again.

This immobility is of huge value to many employers, as it means that a foreign worker can’t leave them in the lurch in the midst of an urgent project. In a 2012 meeting between Google and several researchers, including myself, the firm explained the advantage of hiring foreign workers: the company can’t prevent the departure of Americans, but the foreign workers are stuck. David Swaim, an immigration lawyer who designed Texas Instruments’ immigration policy and is now in private practice, overtly urges employers to hire foreign students instead of Americans
Not only can they control these so-called employees, they pay them substantially less money.  A tech worker in Charlotte, North Carolina admitted this is another huge factor for hiring foreign workers.

One visa worker from New Delhi, taking a smoke break in uptown Tuesday afternoon, said he’s concerned about Trump changing visa rules.

“It’s going to worry the entire IT industry, all the IT companies, from India,” he said. “Because a significant part of their revenue comes from the U.S. market.”

The worker, who has been in Charlotte for five years, said he develops business processes for a bank he wouldn’t name. Working in the U.S. offers him a chance to earn more than he could in India, but he believes visa workers are paid at least 20 to 30 percent less than Americans would be paid for the same jobs.

“I think they would pay a lot more for an American,” he said.

He said the potential for new restrictions from Trump is raising questions about what that will mean for workers and companies.

“Everybody is trying to assess how it’s going to impact them and how to mitigate the impact,” he said. “We are trying to figure out backup plans.”

American citizens are waking up to the fact that big businesses have hijacked our country.  It’s time to flush out the politicians who are selling us out and slap sanctions on companies that violate the spirit of the law.



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