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As Americans continue to struggle with record-high unemployment levels, there's an area of serious job inequality that most of us are surprised to know is even legal.

Right now in America, corporations post, recruit, and fill job openings without ever considering an American citizen or green card holder for their U.S. positions. Instead, corporate visa programs like H-1B allow companies to recruit abroad first, without ever seeking local talent.  Today, there's about 180 discriminatory ads
--most are for entry-level jobs, with free training!  

It's so widely accepted in technology and finance to ignore U.S. talent that these companies routinely host U.S. job fairs and walk-in interviews -- in India!

These are the very "jobs of the future" that President Obama speaks of.

By restricting these U.S. job openings to foreign citizens only, our nation has attracted and created multi-national outsourcing companies that will do everything, including breaking the law, to avoid hiring Americans.

Our nation's technology firms morphed upward mobility into "training our foreign replacements." And we have attracted a class of criminal businessmen who warehouse unemployed Indian tech workers in guest houses and "market" them to Fortune 1000 companies.

For U.S. citizens, green card holders, even undocumented immigrants, our nation's promise -- that we would make a better life by working hard and playing by the rules -- has been broken.

That's why we have come together as Americans for Job Opportunity, a new campaign organized by Bright Future Jobs. We want Congress to end corporate discrimination against local talent, so Americans receive the fair opportunity to apply for U.S. jobs they are qualified to do -- and have the opportunity to keep "the jobs of the future" on our shores.

We have a powerful ally: the Department of Justice. They are recommending that Congress rewrite H-1B visa law, requiring companies to seek local talent first and "to hire any equally or better qualified U.S. workers who apply." They are concerned that "U.S. workers...have been impermissibly replaced by H-1B visa holders" and are seeking to "identify employers who may be engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against U.S. workers."

And just this week, the Department of Justice announced it had extracted fines and a change in behavior from a discriminatory employer. "All workers who are authorized to work in the United States, whether they are citizens or not, have the right to look for a job without facing discrimination," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. This is only a first step, but we know more cases will be filed and more companies will be forced to change their ways. But that doesn't mean we don't need to fix the law.

Fortunately, also among our allies is Senator Dick Durbin, who has attempted to address this injustice with legislation in 2007 and 2009. "Congress created the H-1B visa program so an employer could hire a foreign guest-worker when a qualified American worker could not be found," he said at the time. "However, the H-1B visa program is plagued with fraud and abuse and is now a vehicle for outsourcing that deprives qualified American workers of their jobs."

This summer, we expect that Senator Durbin will be reintroducing legislation to accomplish this goal once and for all. To make that a reality, Americans for Job Opportunity plans to begin a nationwide education program.

In getting the word out, we have another unlikely ally: Dan Rather Reports featured us in this video. They broke this story two months ago and featured our campaign to put Americans back to work. Our blogs on Daily Kos were part of the reason Dan Rather Reports got in touch!

We need your support to get the message to every American: there's tremendous power and strength in ending the corporate discrimination in the current employment visa programs.

It's important to unite behind a national aspiration to put Americans back to work and stop the outsourcing of our future jobs. We can do this by passing Durbin's H-1B & L-1 reform bill. And it won't add to the deficit!

We invite you to read the material on our site and consider a donation of $10 to help us end this unfair gift to corporate greed.

America needs good, secure jobs in the industries of tomorrow. And Americans deserve the opportunity to fill those jobs. Please help us with your generous contribution, and together we will make it happen.

Donna Conroy
Americans for Job Opportunity
www.brightfuturejobs.com

Originally posted to Americans for Job Opportunity on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Having experience getting an H1B visa for an (0+ / 0-)

      engineer.

      5 years ago when I did this, there was a requirement in the H1B visa process to post the job for one month in the US.

      And yes this engineer had unusual and exceptional talents.  His pay was also in line with other engineers at the company.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:37:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How should Democrats reconcile these two (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, antirove, VClib

      apparently conflicting thoughts on immigration.

      1. H1B visas should be further limited, and more tightly enforced reducing those who immigrate to the US under this program.  Numbers of people under this are in the hundreds of thousands.  There is a strong history of people who entered the US under this program starting many significant sized businesses that hire many US citizens.  This group largely competes with college graduates which have an unemployment rate of  4.5% compared to a national 9.0% unemployment and they have a far higher  labor participation rate of 77% compared to 64% nationally. see BLS data for April 2011 at http://www.bls.gov/...

      2. Undocumented immigrants should not be treated differently than other residents of the US, should not be deported, should be protected by labor laws, etc., and given a path to citizenship. Numbers of people in this group are estimated between 10 and 20 million.  Not surprisingly, this group has a much weaker history in starting many significant sized businesses that hire many US citizens.  Starting a significant business with undocumented status is difficult as well as this is a group on average with far less education than the above H1B group.  This group largely competes with US citizens who did not complete high school which has an unemployment rate of  4.5%  see BLS data for April 2011 at 14.6% and far lower labor participation rate (45.5%).

      Isn't the pro-immigrant position supporting the aspirations of both of both groups.  Should we support immigrants entering under H1B any less than undocumented workers?

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:04:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pro-immigration position is with BFJ. (4+ / 0-)

        No, Nextstep, pro-immigration isn't supporting both groups, since both groups are undocumented and corporations.

        Remember, these are corp programs that assure corp discrimination.  So the main group supporting undocumented getting a path to citizenship is National Immigration Forum and AFL-Cio.

        NIF did support these corp programs, but when the corps screwed them in mid 2000's they dropped support for these programs.

        AFL_CIO has always been against these programs.

        the Solution to discrimination is not kicking people out; it's recruiting and hiring the talented but bypassed group.

        Remember, undocumented, once they become US citizens, will also face corporate discrimination.

      •  Easy. (7+ / 0-)

        H1-B's aren't immigrants.  It's a guest worker visa, not an immigrant visa.  The entire point is for the workers to work for a few years and then go home.... although renewals are pretty badly abused in the tech industry.

        •  Renewals are almost assumed (0+ / 0-)

          and it for all practical purposes H1Bs are immigration.

          How are immigrants on H1Bs any less immigrants than the undocumented?

          Citizenship is just a wedding away.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:45:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  H1-b is about corporate recruiting & hiring; not (7+ / 0-)

            immigration.  Renewals are a corporate decision.  Remember, this has nothing to do with the foreign citizen; it's about the corporation.

            The beltway mischaraterizes these programs as "guest worker" programs, so you have been misled to (logically) conclude it's about the worker.

            Funny how corporations have done this!

            •  Do you mean the person with the H1B visa (0+ / 0-)

              has no say if he works in the US?  In every case I have seen the person on the H1B visa very much want to work in the US.

              I see the H1B as being both about the company and the person who wants to work in the US, as well as the impact it has on the US and world economy.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:11:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, the foreign citizen must co-operate...however (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, Corwin Weber

                Unemployed foreign citizens who are on H1-b visas many times do want to return to India.  Opportunities are better there.

                Corporation discrimination is always about the corporation and the preferred group.  It is NEVER about the group that is ignored.

                The central thrust of a discriminated group is to change from ignored to recognized.  This is our goal.

              •  Of course they want to work in the US. (0+ / 0-)

                Immigration is about staying here.

                •  not true at all. This is the biggest myth! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  IT Professional

                  Corwin, many Indian IT workers want to work here for a bit, but their goal is to go back to India where jobs are plentiful.  In fact, as Dan Rather said, "It's a never ending job fair."

                  In fact, many visa workers on less favorable visas than H1-b want desperately to go home.  But they will be blacklisted and never work again in India.

                  It is career-suicide to ask to return home.

                  •  Different discussion. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib

                    Working here and going home isn't immigration.  By definition.  Immigration is coming here and staying here as a citizen.

                    I'd love to work abroad for a few years and come back.  The problem with this is that under most circumstances, that's just not possible.  Other countries don't have an equivalent to this visa.... so the only way I can go there and work is to immigrate to that country, which I'm not interested in.

      •  H1-bs can't, and don't, start businesses (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        It's hard to break H1-b law if you are a foreign citizen; easy if you are a corporation.

        About the only way is to start a business.  Some do though; it is fairly common for H1-bs to start ma & pop labor contracting businesses in order to exploit other Indians and of course, the only way they do this is by breaking the law.

        •  They start working in US on H1B (0+ / 0-)

          then then go onto other activities that earn them a green card.  H1B was the starting point.

          H1Bs can be part of a group of founders. The founded company then applies for the H1B extension.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:48:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, few H1-bs get employer based green cards. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kitsap River, G2geek

            The majority of h1-bs are employees of multi-national outsourcing companies or employees of these digital sweatshops.

            Neither one of these companies has an interest in employer-based green cards.  This is a corporate benefit; has no relationship to your goodness, or badness.

            That green card process is, again, a corporate program.  No humans can apply.

            •  About 40% of venture backed (0+ / 0-)

              Silicon Valley companies are started by immigrants who first worked in the US on a work visa (for some other company they did not found) before they helped found a company.

              While on the original visa, they developed skills, networked with other people, etc.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:05:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Corporations aren't hiring H1B's in order to (0+ / 0-)

        bring them over to become US citizens.  While there are certainly exceptions, the H1B problem is that it is frequently abused simply to provide cheap labor that is discarded again before it becomes too expensive.  The last thing H1B abusers want is for the people they're using to become Americans and start demanding equal pay and benefits.

        (And note, I'm not saying all H1B's fit that pattern, but many do.  It's not some benevolent 'bring them here to become citizens' idea.)

        •  the only way corps pay less is by breaking law (0+ / 0-)

          Ezekial, if the company is paying h1-bs lower wages, they are breaking H1-b law.

          In fact, most do so, in a variety of different ways.  Durbin's leg will give oversight to federal regulators.  It's currently missing in H1-b law.

          Without corporate visa programs and their assurance of segregated recruiting and hiring, these companies couldn't displace us.  The corporate culture of "churn" is fueled by corp discrimination.

  •  American IT worker here. (13+ / 0-)

    Endangered species. Please help.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:39:37 AM PDT

  •  Similar proposal that Chuck had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, Kitsap River

    this isn't a unique idea, but it's not yet common political sense.  I think it should be.
    Dems should center job strategy on ending offshoring.

  •  I have worked my entire career (11+ / 0-)

    in high tech (software engineer) and this has been a fact of life for at least the last 10 years. Very frustrating, what contact I have with projects that have offshored is that it may look cheaper initially, but it costs more in the end due to communication problems and lack of rapid flexibility.

    Companies may eventually figure this out but won't hold my breath.

    Trade always exists for the traders. Any time you hear businessmen debating "which policy is better for America," don’t bend over. -George Carlin-

    by not4morewars on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:47:42 AM PDT

    •  I worked 15 years in software test (3+ / 0-)

      Now there are essentially no jobs to be had in the field unless you are an experienced programmer who doesn't want to be paid as much as you'd rightfully earn doing programming. Everything else has already been offshored or turned over to H-1B sweatshops.

      Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

      by Kitsap River on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:44:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A story from Microsoft. (11+ / 0-)

    I have a friend who's been with the company for 22 years, yes, he's rich.

    And liberal...except for the H1-B issue.  He claims that M$ can't find nearly enough US citizens to move to Redmond, thus, the H-1B Indentured Servitude Program is vital, again, according to him.

    How does M$ get around it?  They've located a massive campus north of the border in Vancouver.  There they can bring in unlimited amounts of "H1-B" workers, pay them significantly less and never worry about trying to tap native IT talent.

    Great guy, total ass about this tho.

    "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

    by grog on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:52:41 AM PDT

  •  I would go further. (8+ / 0-)

    To me it is not enough that companies be forced to hire "equivalently qualified" American workers.  Companies must be required to hire any American worker who is trainable for the position.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:54:42 AM PDT

    •  this is the requirement in the Green Card process. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, G2geek
    •  right now, we have so many overqualifed that I (7+ / 0-)

      support this very strongly.  We've got an overabundance of experienced, highly-skilled IT pros that can go back to work immediately if they are give a chance.

    •  We must put the overqualifed back to work. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, G2geek, IT Professional
      •  the often underqualified (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River

        the often ass kissing under qualified bosses would want none of that, they are too insecure with their jobs.  You never hire someone who is more intelligent and qualified than yourself, that is corporate 101.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:12:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Overqualified" (7+ / 0-)

      Meaning, of course, "You'd be great for this job but we'd actually have to pay you what it's worth. Next!"

      I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

      by eataTREE on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:11:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "We actually had a more junior position in mind... (0+ / 0-)

        "...and your level of experience and background would be an inappropriate use of your talents for the posted position, and to be fair, it'd be a significant drop in pay grade for you, based on your salary history.  But with your approval, we'd like to keep your resume on file in case we have the need, as would be reflected in a far more suitable job requisition description for a more senior level IT staff such as yourself.  To be honest, this is a lower level job which will require reporting to someone with less experience and less education than you, and it might not last for more than 6 months to a year.  I'm sure you can appreciate that neither you nor the manager would honestly feel very comfortable with that sort of disparity.  We here at ABC company really pride ourselves and value matching up the right talent within appropriate teams, and we'll certainly keep you in mind as a potential key resource when a more high powered team is needed.  Have a nice day and don't forget the free samples..."  

        That was probably the nicest send off I've heard, which properly translated means "You look way too old for this job grandpa--everyone on that team (and in HR) is 20 to 30 years younger. Worse, you would probably feel free to tell off the already cranky junior manager when you explain how to do it better or smarter and rock the already uneasy boat, and we certainly don't want to pay you anywhere near what you may deserve, nor do we intend to add a high risk oldster near retirement like you to our insurance plans. So go away grandpa, and don't try to sue us for discrimination.  As you can tell, we got some clever lawyers that tell us how to say stuff so we can't be caught."

        I do hope this Americans for Job Opportunity organization is a great success and stimulates employment law changes at state and federal government levels, and especially enforcing the existing laws.  I'm estimating there's at least a million of age 50+ experienced workers still unemployed or underemployed since the early 2000's or even the late 1990's.  To me, putting the age 50+ back to work seems logically required in order to realistically consider upping the retirement age or Medicare eligibility age.  Can't actually retire from anything later than 50+ as long as employers are not penalized for rejecting the age 50+ job applicants.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Thu May 19, 2011 at 05:40:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Foreign grad students (0+ / 0-)

    One of America's great strengths is the ability to attract the brightest foreigners to study here and remain here first as visa holders, then eventually as permanent residents and citizens.  

    One part of this path is obtaining H1-B visas.   In making the changes you are proposing we should try not to restrict the hiring of foreign graduates of American universities for whom the H1-B visas are important to retaining their expertise for America.

    •  sorry (7+ / 0-)

      sorry, they can have a job AFTER americans are offered.

      We have caught these tech firms red handed and their are videos to prove what we have been saying.

      Tech forms creates a position with requirements that are total bullshit, that are almost impossible to fill, so they then can declare no americans are qualified, so they can then go go cheaper less uppity workers from around the world.

      Ive seen it first hand myself, there is an pending job opening where friends and family dont fit ( they are the only americans ever really considered)  they create a list of requirements that not even many NASA engineer or software developers could fully meet,  that then frees them up to go abroad etc.

      Now the kicker in all of this, is most of these jobs could be done well and filled with any american with at least some IT knowledge and a willingness to learn, but god forbid we have that.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

        I've also seen it first hand. Unfortunately, as long as the H1B program exists I don't see any realistic way of stopping this. Are regulators going to examine the job listings to see if the requirements are realistic? Are they going to look at candidates who were rejected and assess their ability to do the job? Obviously, no.

        My boss once showed me a job posting he had written to fill a vacancy on my team and asked me what I thought about it. I answered that it appeared he would never hire me again, despite the fact that he was very happy with my work. He had listed so many technical skills as must-haves that not a single member of our successful, productive group could come close to satisfying them.

        My boss wasn't looking to hire an H1B - he was just shooting for the moon. But writing job descriptions that no one can ever satisfy certainly protects the employer from all kinds of discrimination suits as well as from complaints over H1Bs.

        I also worked side-by-side with H1Bs who were doing work that countless unemployed citizens could have done in their sleep.

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:08:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our greatest strength is to right a wrong. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kevin k, Kitsap River, G2geek, antirove

      Corporate discrimination is wrong.  

      The DOJ fined a company for seeking only H1-bs or OPTs.  (OPT is an on-the-job training visa for foreign students.)

      More than half of the job openings filled under H1-b are entry-level jobs.  US citizens & family based green card holders must have a chance to compete for these entry-level jobs.

      The DOJ agrees.

    •  See Want Ads only for foreign students (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, G2geek, IT Professional

      here's a link to Dice.com a national tech job site where I have selected OPT (on the job training visa for foreign students).

      There's about 180 current "OPT only" want ads now

    •  Then let them apply.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      ...for citizenship.

  •  Please also look at the publishing world (7+ / 0-)

    that has done the same thing with regard to H1-B visas and with outsourcing/off-shoring jobs.

    There are millions of qualified Americans with advanced degrees in many fields, and the jobs we trained for and worked in for years were suddenly off-shored to places where employment is cheaper.

    And every single time I complain about it, I get called a racist or told I should stop whining and retrain (for what, god only knows) -- even on this site. I'm surprised the apologists haven't shown up yet.

    I'm glad to see your organization -- I think. I'm going to go check out your site. I can't contribute anything however, because I haven't worked in four years. I have a master's degree and I'm over 50, so I'm not worth hiring, according to current practices. When I was just starting out in the working world, I was told I couldn't make more money or advance because I was too young. Now the world has turned upside down, and I can't get a job at all because I'm "too old" at 54, which should be the prime earning years of my life.

    Bring decent jobs back to this country! There is nothing wrong with American workers. It's the betrayal by our former employers that is the problem.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:48:52 AM PDT

    •  Ahmen! here's a writing job want ad! (3+ / 0-)

      this is a writing job that's been outsourced to India.  But they must come here to be trained to do the job:

      Job location – MUMBAI
      Job location – US for 3 to 6 Months (If person is having valid US Visa)

      Base location – Mumbai

      Position - Contract/Permanent

      Qualification –Mechanical, PRODUCTION, INDUSTRAIL PRODUCTION, AUTOMOBILE, (DIPLOMA/DEGREE). Fresher with technical writing courses.

      Exp – 0 to 8 Yrs

      Required skills –

      H1B or B1/B2 VISA should be ready for Onsite positions.
       Soft tools:
      Authoring tool:   Adobe Frame Maker / Adobe RoboHelp / Epic Editor
      Illustration tool: Adobe Photoshop/ Adobe Illustrator ISODRAW CorelDraw

      For freshers technical Writer certification course would also do.

      From Monster India

  •  Go DOJ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, antirove

    It's good to know. I have a recruiter who I know is a H-1b visa recruiter. I think, as an American, where we are able to apply and be considered for any job, that I will start applying of some of these jobs.

    If I am qualified and rejected then maybe the DOJ can recover some of the tens of thousands of dollars of lost income that these off shore contracts have been responsible for "stealing" from my bank account.

    Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night? -- Jack Kerouac

    by lascaux on Thu May 19, 2011 at 01:05:02 PM PDT

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