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!
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.
Americans for Job Opportunity