- Say so long to the plumber's crack. So long Roto Rooter
Man. To be precise, so long to the Roto Rooter man you used to know. But,
the plumber you used to know is not the only worker you soon won't be able
to recognize. Your doctor, nurse, architect, accountant, your librarian,
lawyer, dentist, your physical therapist, psychologist, acupuncturist,
chiropractor, your social worker, your children's teacher, your puppy's
vet, even the judge you may stand before, or your country's nuclear engineers
are among the workforce being imported to America. So, too, they could
be your new salesperson, sales manager, or your company's sales representative,
attorney, the graphic artist that designs the company letterhead, the pharmacist
that fills your next prescription, or your next auditor. Perhaps even the
biologist or chemist in any number of American corporations or government
institutions. As a matter of fact, we are in the midst of the highest percentage
of immigrant workers America has seen in 70 years.
- America's corporations are importing workers as fast
as they are exporting jobs. Any workforce from any country where the beleaguered
populace is willing to work for a pittance is a viable candidate for the
insatiable greed of the American corporation. At a time when there are
more American workers out of work than at any time in our history-ten million
or more unemployed, without any hope of employment--without a scintilla
of savings, with their unemployment benefits having long run its course,
and an estimated 20 million skilled and educated American workers that
are under-employed, our legislators have voted historic increases in H-1B,
L-1 visas securing a foreign workforce that is economically practicable
and beneficial for none but corporate America.
- Amazingly, the true numbers of H-1B visas, as well as
H-2A, H-2B, J-1, L-1, and TN visas are not known because INS, the Immigration
and Naturalization Service, does not keep an accurate accounting. Although,
Corporate America would attest that these visas are necessary--that they
are temporary visas created because high-tech companies couldn't find workers
with math, engineering, and computer science skills, the truth is far-less
- Corporations and our government are utilizing H-1B and
L-1 visas purely to import a cheap, effective workforce in lieu of hiring
the more expensive and educated American worker. Estimates from those in
the know figure we now have more than the entire populace of Canada in
alien and work-related visas.
- Early in 1998, the 65,000 allowable work-related H-1B
visas were already issued resulting in high-tech companies clamoring for
an immediate increase. Congress obliged and raised the number to 115,000
in 1999 and 2000 and to 107,500 in 2001.
- In 1999, Senator Phil Gramm, (R-TX) sponsored, and Trent
Lott (R-MS) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), co-sponsored Bill S 1440 IS, to
allow the H-1B work-related visa to raise the annual cap to 200,000 for
the years 2000, 2001, and 2002. The three additional co-sponsors were republicans
from Michigan, Utah, and Kansas. On March 9, 2000, the Judiciary Committee
approved a related bill, S 2045.
- S 2045 IS, or the American Competitiveness in the 21st
Century Act, sponsored by Orrin Hatch, (R-UT) and co-sponsored by 19 fellow
republicans, who included then Sen. John Ashcroft, and 4 -democrats, of
whom one was Sen. Joseph Lieberman, increased H-1B visas to 195,000 annually.
- Contrary to popular understanding, not all H-1B visas
are granted to college educated graduates. A good immigration attorney
can win an applicant status with proof that they gained professional expertise
through experience that is equivalent to a degree.
- For the employer's role, they must certify that no U.S.
workers will be adversely affected and that the H-1B employee will be paid
the prevailing wage; the L-1 visa, which has grown monumentally has no
such wage restriction and no caveat regarding any undue harm to the American
worker. Also, unlike the H-1B visa that is filed per individual worker,
the L-1 can be filed for a group of workers. Employers argue that they
just want access to the best talent and if they didn't import workers it
would undermine their competitiveness and force them to outsource more
jobs far from our shores.
- Lobbyists representing millions of companies use unrelenting
fear tactics to tout their position. Recently, Randel K Johnson, vice president
of labor, immigration and employee benefits of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
told a congressional hearing, 'Any limitations on this visa category could
severely harm the ability of US companies to operate and expand in the
domestic and international markets.'
- Another spokesperson before the aforementioned hearing,
Sandy Boyd, Chair and V.P. of American Business for Legal Immigration,
said matter-of-factly that "it would be unfair to undermine the program
simply because a few companies have misused it".
- Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), stated before a senate
committee regarding the L-1 visa that the L-1 was originally established
to allow companies to temporarily bring managers and executives to the
U.S. to impart their knowledge to the U.S. staff.
- Poignantly, he added, "What is self-evident is that
the status quo is not acceptable. American workers have a right to expect
Congress to do what is necessary to protect their jobs - so that they will
be able to continue to provide for their families."
- Clearly, the American worker has been the brunt of Corporate
America's shenanigans. It is time to relinquish their stranglehold on the
nation and its workers. It is time to repeal their power and reduce them
to the entities our founding fathers reserved for them. Primarily, states
and its citizens chartered and monitored corporations. If they did not
act "for the purpose of serving the public interest" their charters
- Through chicanery corporations manipulated the courts
into deeming them "personhood". That single act of malfeasance
gave them the power to become the unwieldy behemoth it is today. It is
time to reel them in.
- Until we do, not only will the Roto Rooter man you used
to know take on a new look, but so too, will the face of America
and the American worker will disappear into oblivion.
- "Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication
allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
- Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org,
an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal
responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties.
She is also an award-winning writer/producer. She is a new columnist for
- Published in the February 23, 2004 issue ofÂ
- Copyright Â© 1997 - 2004 Ether Zone.