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AFL-CIO reports indicate that the new sheriff, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, will waste no time in cleaning up the town.

Hilda Solis has asked for a review of the visas that were granted so that building contractors in Florida would be able to hire workers from abroad. When the visas were issued, more than 1,000 members of the Sheet Metal Workers union (SMWIA) were out of work in the same area. The issue concerns work on the St. Regis Hotel project in Bal Harbour, Fla.

This diary does not intend nor does it imply any negativity toward foreign citizens or workers present in the US. It is only a discussion of employer visas, and the current policies of US government with respect to labor practices by US employers.

AFL-CIO report continued

Many employers want to bring in more guest workers to keep wages low, experts say. Many companies pay less than a living wage, and some force the foreign workers to live in horrid conditions and work long hours.

Solis wants to know how CYVSA could hire foreign workers when there are sheet metal workers out of work in South Florida. At a town hall meeting earlier this week, as part of the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in Miami, Solis said:

   

We are going to have to take a look at it and, hopefully, work closely with [Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano to see how we better focus so that these things don’t happen and that we avoid them [in the future]. There were before I came into my position visas that were permitted under the Bush administration that we will take a very, very close look at and [with] a very keen eye go through. But, rest assured, we will take a strong view on that.

At the town hall meeting, Solis indicated that her mandate is to clean up the errant labor practices of many employers in the US.

The common theme among many of the unacceptable labor practices is bypass. US citizens and other authorized workers are ignored, while US employers bring workers in from abroad to do the work. After so many years of getting away with EEO violations at will, many employers have developed a policy of entitlement toward their ability to bypass US workers, using a variety of visas and processes in the process. The details of which visa is used in which case is hardly significant. The principle of allowing employers to use bypass is extremely significant.

Sens Durbin (D-IL) and Sanders (I-VT) have also been active in supporting US workers when it comes to the labor practices of US employers. Senator Durbin co-sponsored SB 1035. Senator Sanders co-sponsored ARRA amendment SA 306. Solis joins them as another member of the Federal government who is prepared to act in support of US workers and STEM professionals. Will Kossacks agree to examine labor issues in the light of day, along with the great progressive leaders of the US today?

Some of the variations of the theme of bypass that are being practiced are the PERM process and the initial placement on employer visas.
This is important to many US tech workers since many are hoping that Solis will also begin to scrutinize employer practices vs the laws governing these other areas of labor as well.

Consider the infamous PERM seminar presented on May 15, 2007, by Cohen & Grigsby, a Pittsburgh, PA law firm.

In the clip, entitled Cohen & Gribsby's Seventh Annual Immigration Law Update, Lawrence Lebowitz, Vice President of Marketing, is captured on film while instructing US employers on the best way to sidestep the current laws pertaining to the transition from non immigrant H-1B visa to green card. This is known as the PERM process.

...our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker.

The reason for the seminar is that the process does involve a labor certification requirement, which some CEOs find unsuitable for their tastes. The lawyers have a few underhanded legal maneuvers that they can teach their apt pupils. CEOs who prefer to bypass local talent strut boldly around the law and continue to get what they are after: cut-rate labor that is, as an added bonus, secured in the position. After the initial placement on a visa, the worker from overseas depends on the visa for his/her position in the US as a non immigrant worker. Even after the PERM process has begun within a few years, the company still has the worker on the hook because, in order to turn the temporary work situation into resident alien status, or green card holder, they must go through a lengthy process.

The entire procedure, first on a visa for a specific job, then through the visa-to-green card transition acts as a the best guarantee US employers have that the new worker will not be able to leave the company without going through an enormous hassle first. In addition, a worker on an employer visa may be unwilling to risk the opportunity to become a permanent resident in the US, and eventually a citizen, by looking for another job. When US employers have developed a policy of entitlement, such as the Cohen & Grigsby clients definitely have, they begin to expect that they will usurp the role of US government on certain key issues. They obviously feel that they are the best qualified to determine who will be bypassed in the first place, who will be hired for jobs in the US, and who will be acceptable for tech careers, based on work authorization or citizenship status. They determine whether they will replace the qualified, available, and interested US citizens and green card holders.

Employment based preference totals for PERM

PERSONS OBTAINING LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS BY TYPE AND MAJOR CLASS OF ADMISSION: FISCAL YEARS 1998 TO 2007

Employment-based preferences
1998 = 77,413
1999 = 56,678
2000 = 106,642
2001 = 178,702
2002 = 173,814
2003 = 81,727
2004 = 155,330
2005 = 246,877
2006 = 159,081
2007 = 162,176

The vast majority of these "adjustments in status" are non immigrant dual-intent L-1 and H-1B visas.

The damage done to US citizens who are gullible enough to believe that the job really exists for them will experience an increased drain on their savings if they attempt to travel for PERM interviews. I have personally known people whose savings, investments, and 401k holdings were exhausted during 2001 to 2003, the earlier days of the PERM fake job ads. They were holding onto hope that a job was available for at least one of them. They delayed the inevitable by flying that person around the US to interview for jobs because of these bogus job ads! In the end, highly questionable professional connections had to be renewed, and the placement was finally made successfully after a period of roughly two years of unemployment. This married couple was off to a brand new start after ten years of first rate technical experience in the US! They had no burdensome savings, stock, or 401k left to weigh them down. Is that what the US is all about?

Now let's look at the figures for the initial placement on a visa. The annual totals for H-1B and L-1 are taken from this table.

Classes of Nonimmigrants Issued Visas (Detailed Breakdown)
(Including Crewlist Visas and Border Crossing Cards)
Fiscal Years 1989 - 2008*

H-1B Temporary worker - performing services other than as a registered nurse

1989 = -
1990 = 794
1991 = 51,882
1992 = 44,290
1993 = 35,818
1994 = 42,843
1995 = 51,832
1996 = 58,327
1997 = 80,547
1998 = 91,360
1999 = 116,513
2000 = 133,290
2001 = 161,643
2002 = 118,352
2003 = 107,196
2004 = 138,965
2005 = 124,099
2006 = 135,421
2007 = 154,053
2008 = 129,464

L-1 Intracompany transferee (executive, managerial, and specialized personnel continuing employment with international firm or corporation)

1989 = 13,648
1990 = 14,342
1991 = 16,109
1992 = 17,345
1993 = 20,369
1994 = 22,666
1995 = 29,088
1996 = 32,098
1997 = 36,589
1998 = 38,307
1999 = 41,739
2000 = 54,963
2001 = 59,384
2002 = 57,721
2003 = 57,245
2004 = 62,700
2005 = 65,458
2006 = 72,613
2007 = 84,532
2008 = 84,078

These are the two most commonly used types of employer visas with the totals from 1989 through 2008:

L-1     880,994
H-1B  1,776,689

total 2,657,683

The visas that could be applied to jobs in the STEM fields are as follows: H-1B, L-1, E-3, J-1, TN, and OPT. The total number of these visas that have been granted throughout the years 1989 to 2008 is well over 2.5 million. The length of time the visas are valid varies, but the H-1B is valid for 3 years initially, extensible for another 3 years, and then again for a seventh year. It is safe to say that, if American workers were bypassed in order to place workers on employer visas, then they were probably forced into other occupations as a result or into unemployment. The number of US citizens adversely affected by the employer visa programs could be as high as 2 million. This is not only a blatant violation of EEO principles, it is also a violation of the Constitutional rights of US citizens to practice their professions.

The same unscrupulous US employers who use bypass in the PERM process and in the initial placement on their employer visas will obviously bypass the American students who are fresh out of school. Their preference is to hire inexperienced workers from abroad on employer visas, and then provide on the job training to them for their tech jobs. The want ads prove that beyond any question.

An ad for workers from abroad who will be granted visas to enter and work in the US.

XTS Group is a leading provider of quality IT services and Integrated Solutions offering a wide range of expertise in the areas of Software Development Services, System Integration, ERP Solutions and Product Development. We help our clients like Exxon-Mobil, GE, GM, Walgreens etc with our in-house projects implementations and Staffing Solutions.

Headquartered in Dallas Texas, XTS Group is a fast growing company with offices in Edison New Jersey, Chicago Illinois, United Kingdom, Singapore and Hyderabad India. To satisfy the constant needs of our clients, we actively seek talented technical professionals with all levels (recent graduates to entry level to an experienced level) of expertise in Information Technology field with decent Communication and Analytical skills.

XTS group welcomes students to enroll into Programs which start at the end of summer, fall and Spring Semesters and Jumpstart your career with advanced technologies SAP CRM

Coaching and guidance through out your career and ongoing training to enhance your abilities and help you move up in your career path. Coaching coasts no charges.

H1-B sponsorship to F1/OPT/H4/L1/L2, H1 - H1 Transfers, Green Card sponsorship through PERM.

Some of our other benefits include Free and comfortable accommodation, Relocation assistance (airfare, hotel accommodation, car rental etc.), Health insurance, Dental and Vision insurance, Life insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, 401(K), 6 paid national holidays, Certification exam fee reimbursement, Employee referral program and much more.

Doing Business with a human touch, care and concern is our motive.

Once again I really appreciate for your time and we look forward to working with you. Please review the attached document.

That's not all:

The Growing Immigration Backlog

We estimate that as of 30 September 2006 there were 500,040 principals in the main employment-based categories and an additional 555,044 family members awaiting legal permanent resident status in the United States.

This is being perpetrated on US citizens and other authorized workers at a time when unemployment in the US is at post-depression highs.
California: over 10% unemployment

As many as 2 million US STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professionals are currently out of their professions as a result of the visa programs and offshoring. When will the ongoing destruction of this career path for mid career or senior level American STEM professionals finally end?

Students in the US are not even bothering to enroll in the STEM programs in schools as they once did, since they know for sure that their government, their employers, and the rest of their countrymen will gladly sell them out after they have finished - in the name of "the greater good." It does not even matter how well the US students do in school, if bypass is being practiced. The best performers among us will be bypassed along with everybody else.

The previous diary posts are very clear in describing the situation in further detail.  I recommend you take the time to familiarize yourself with them, if this topic is new to you.

H-1B capped at 65,000? Bunk!

Top Five Myths

Education Update

Black Talent in Computer Science

The Tech Lobbyists' Secret

Can Kossacks support a return to the EEO? Do we need to support the local base of talent in the US? Is this issue not vitally important to the sustained growth and the health of a free nation?

Originally posted to tech ed on Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 12:14 PM PST.

Poll

I disagree with the presentation of stats in this diary. I believe that the issue is being misrepresented by a combination of shallow analysis and lazy reporting, and that the diarist is merely intent on whipping up anti-immigrant outrage.

16%9 votes
19%11 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
55%31 votes
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5%3 votes

| 56 votes | Vote | Results

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