With the new administration coming into office, especially with the appointment of Senator Sessions, there is a lot of talk about H1B visa reform or abolition. This is, of course, a great start towards a solution to the problem. First, we must understand the problem before we can determine its solution.
Problem: American companies are hiring foreign based companies to eliminate large portions of the workforce by bringing in foreigners who take over the Americans’ jobs with the Americans training the foreigners for up to 90 days. Some of the workers are immediately terminated from their jobs and “rebadged”–they become employees of the foreign based company contracted for the job of eliminating the American jobs. After the Americans, hundreds to thousands, are fired from their jobs, the foreigners stay at the job for a short period of time. The Americans trained the foreigners at the desk to do their jobs but also trained foreigners in a foreign country over the computer. Most of the time the training over the computer is recorded so the American is training many foreigners for long periods of time….much longer after that American is fired.
The foreigners at the American company usually stay at the company until most of the work can be done overseas in a foreign country. The foreigners in the USA then move to another American company to repeat the process. The foreigners typically remain employees of the foreign based company so there is not an employment change with each execution of this business model.
The typical end game of this business model is to offshore as much work as possible. WHY? The companies pay the foreigners in the foreign countries SUPER CHEAP WAGES WITHOUT THE PROTECTIONS OF AMERICAN WORKERS. It is about saving costs on labor.
What happens is devastating to America, Americans and the foreigners:
1. Thousands of jobs are eliminated from the USA monthly with USA workers out of jobs.
2. Countless number of non-immigrant visa holders enter the USA every year on H1B, H2B, L, B and other type of visas. (Non-immigrant means the foreigner is not planning to stay in the US forever–it is a temporary stay.)
3. ALL OF AMERICANS’ PRIVATE BANKING, MEDICAL, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, CELL PHONE RECORDS AND MERCHANT INFORMATION GOES OVERSEAS WITH THE JOBS. THOSE COUNTRIES ARE NOT BOUND BY THE USA LAWS SO OUR DATA IS VULNERABLE AND SO ARE WE.
4. The CEO’s of American companies and top shareholders are the beneficiaries of this business model. They make billions of dollars in salaries and bonuses while the company suffers from foreign countries running their businesses.
5. The foreigners in the foreign country are cheaper because their country does not protect them. Because their country does not protect them, the American companies exploit them and use and abuse them in anyway permitted by the foreign country. They pay low wages like $12,000 per year. They force the foreigners to work ridiculous hours like 90 hours every week with no additional pay or benefits. There are discrimination/harassment laws that are rarely useful. There is no requirement to pay workers compensation insurance or health insurance. The foreigners are basically modern day slaves. Because the foreigners do not live on the USA soil, we do not consider it slavery but it is. Americans cannot be treated in the way that the foreigners are being treated by the American companies. Our laws would never permit it because we, Americans, have fought for centuries for basic human rights in employment.
6. Americans have basic human rights in employment that are NOT optional. An American worker cannot decide that they do not want the protections and minimum wages provided by the government. It is a requirement that is involuntary. Because the American worker is forced to keep their rights, they are not unable to compete with the slavery conditions of the foreign workers in the foreign countries. Americans are then considered an unnecessary expense and they are discarded at will of the American company.
H1B Reform is a great start but we need reform of the other visas as well. We need to stop the offshoring of the jobs and the data. If there is H1B reform only, the companies will continue to use the other visas to continue the business model and they will pay managers of the American companies to go to India, Mexico, and other foreign countries to do direct training overseas. This is already done to some degree. The end game will continue and the goal of the companies, to eliminate the jobs in America, will not be stopped.
To stop the offshoring of jobs, the solution is simple and important. We pass a law that prohibits Americans’ “private data” to be accessible outside the virtual borders of the USA. We define “private data” as broad or narrow as we choose. If the private data must stay in the USA, then most of the jobs offshored will no longer be possible to do overseas. Without the data, the jobs cannot be done. The jobs that require private data immediately come back to the USA. Also, if a company wants to compete for American business which requires private data, they have to open offices in the USA and hire workers in the USA. This will actually bring more jobs to the USA because we, as a matter of all practicality, are amazing consumers!!!!!
I agree with H1B Reform. I merely believe it is not enough. It does not fix the problem and it should not be the only plan for change.
Please note that there are exceptions to each of the above statements. This is the general/basic business model that has been occurring across the nation for over a decade with millions of jobs lost because of this business model.