• Lawyer says visa loophole being used to hire foreigners for cheap, pink-slip U.S. workers
By Victor Thorn
On April 22, 2011 attorney James Otto filed a pioneering lawsuit against Long Beach, California’s Molina Healthcare, Inc., alleging that the 21 clients he is representing were fired because they were American citizens. During a December 6, 2011 interview with this writer, Otto outlined the most under-reported employment story in our country today.
“In my complaint, I contend that a conspiracy existed between Molina and a company named Cognizant to replace their workers because they were all Americans,” said Otto. “Further, none of these dismissals—225 total over a three-year span—occurred for disciplinary reasons.”
When AMERICAN FREE PRESS inquired as to how he obtained this data, Otto replied, “All of the information originated from workers on the inside of Molina. These were people that ran the company on a day-to-day basis and saw their cohorts being fired, only to be replaced by Indians.”
As proof, Otto cited Chief Information Officer Amir Desai, who was brought from India by President John Molina. Desai was overheard saying: “I will not hire any Americans.”
It is alleged in the lawsuit that Molina approved this move, which is especially troublesome since Desai enjoyed a close relationship with Cognizant Technology Solutions, Inc., which acted as a headhunter to import huge numbers of nationals from India into the United States.
By some estimates, U.S. companies as a whole are hiring up to 2 million foreign workers each year by illegally discriminating against American-born employees, who they then summarily dismiss without excuse.
Molina’s outrageous conduct is even more egregious, according to Otto, because they’re supported solely by government proceeds.
Otto’s lawsuit contends that “The entirety of Molina’s annual income comes from U.S. taxpayers via the federal government, which pays the Medicare and Medicaid claims filed by Molina’s insured.”
By firing American workers and replacing them with Indians, Otto’s suit charges that “Several billion U.S. taxpayer dollars have gone directly to India without any benefit to the American economy or U.S. taxpayers.”
Otto said that Molina specifically used the employment agency Cognizant to find workers in India that could be sent to the U.S. As a result, Cognizant made a commission off of every Indian worker hired. Even more appalling, Cognizant only interviewed Indians and segregated every American from job searches they conducted between 2006-2010.
Otto explained, “Molina’s internal records revealed that it turned their diverse Information Technology [IT] department into one that employed 98% Indians. Molina falsely swore under oath that they tried to find qualified American laborers, but the Department of Labor has found no evidence of this claim. The Indian workers brought over by Cognizant weren’t meant to supplement U.S. laborers, but to replace them.”
Although Indian nationals obviously benefit from this arrangement, the real villains, according to Otto, are U.S. employers that are perverting and violating a variety of laws. They do so by manipulating a foreign worker’s H1-B immigration status by arranging for overseas laborers to be admitted into our country precisely because U.S. companies are giving them jobs.
In fact, some employers—even though it is discriminatory—seek only H1-B visa applicants and solely invite Indians to their job fairs. Their reasoning is this: imported workers and trainees are preferred because their wages are generally one-third to two-thirds less than what Americans are paid. Moreover, employers don’t have to pay Social Security or payroll taxes for guest workers, and the laws that require higher overtime wages.
Instead of importing overseas workers, why not simply outsource these positions to India or China?
Otto answered, “For non-skilled, blue-collar manufacturing jobs, that is precisely what still takes place. But there’s not enough infrastructure in these countries to facilitate high-tech positions, so foreign workers are ‘onshored’ into America.”
The numbers reflect this startling trend. Between 2001-2006, the U.S. imported, on average, 860,000 workers per year. Yet, in 2010 alone, that total leaped more than threefold to 2,816,525. With real unemployment figures pushing 20%, why are nearly 3 million foreigners being legally allowed into the U.S. to fill positions that Americans have been fired from?
A definite endgame is at play, as Otto quoted a training seminar video where the speaker actually instructed American companies on how to shun U.S.-born laborers.
“The goal is not to find a qualified American worker,” said the video. “Attorneys are teaching corporations legal strategies to avoid hiring American workers while they hire cheaper foreign workers.”
GREENSPAN, BUSH, CLINTON TO BLAME
When tracing the plight of how displaced American workers are being betrayed by employers in their own country, attorney James Otto looked at the big picture.
“Ever since 1890 until recently, Congress has passed immigration laws that protected U.S. jobs,” Otto said. “But former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan didn’t like these immigration codes. So, in [Greenspan’s] book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, he advocated the elimination of U.S. immigration quotas.”
Otto elaborated on this globalist financier’s motives. “Greenspan said U.S. businesses would benefit from the lowering of middle-class wages,” he said. “It was all about reducing the money they earned.”
Taking Greenspan’s lead was President George W. Bush’s secretary of labor, Elaine Chao, who is married to House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Otto pointed out that “Chao said it was okay for U.S. employers to discriminate against American workers. When hiring, they didn’t have to search for competent U.S. workers and could instead replace them with foreigners.”
Otto warned of the consequences. “Today, if you graduate from college or high school and try to find a well-paying job, you might as well forget it. You don’t have a chance because American students are being discriminated against in favor of cheaper ones from foreign countries.”
And if that’s not bad enough, Otto referred to how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton authorized up to $26 million to build a computer school in Sri Lanka so that their graduates could travel to America and fill high-tech jobs.
To prevent this crime against U.S. born citizens, Otto offered a solution. “All immigration quotas that benefit foreign workers need to be immediately eliminated, especially those with H1-B statuses.”
Indentured Servitude in U.S.
By Victor Thorn
In pondering forced labor and human slavery, one imagines cramped Chinese sweatshops, tribal African overlords wielding whips or Hispanic “coyotes” illegally transporting illiterate Mexicans into the United States. But there is another kind of indentured servant in existence today who is not enslaved in some Indonesian textile mill or picking crops for dollars a day. Today, even white-collar engineers, accountants and computer programmers with college degrees working in respectable office buildings can be slave labor, who toil endlessly for the profits of multinational corporations.
Akin to the fees charged by smugglers when carrying truckloads of illegal aliens across our southwest border, corporate headhunters are similarly forcing foreign workers to pay hefty sums of money before landing a job on American soil.
To retain legal distance, U.S. companies subcontract this sordid practice to what are called “body shops.” These are the functional equivalent to low-rent apartments where dozens of Mexicans reside in cramped rooms, but instead they warehouse H1-B workers from India or China in overcrowded, sometimes squalid conditions.
Once these H1-B visa workers arrive on U.S. shores, the gullible foreign employees often discover that promises made to them were untrue or that they had been deceived into signing less than-appealing contracts. Fearful of being deported or losing their work visas, the foreigners are forced to endure harsh conditions and long hours for little money and can never complain.
Increasingly, the majority of laborers flooding the United States are originating from India. Not only are these individuals exploited, the aftermath of what is being done to American workplaces is equally devastating. And this has resulted in a flurry of lawsuits.
Denver attorney Curtis Kennedy is suing telecom firm Qwest, alleging that the multi-billion dollar company has been running roughshod over U.S. employees and systematically replacing them with H1-B Indians. Commenting on how entire information technology departments were being restructured with foreigners, Kennedy said, “They want to dismantle them. We’re going to get a complete picture of the destructiveness of Qwest’s downsizing. It’s nothing but an example of corporate greed, shattered lives and shattered communities.”
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) reflected on the sordid techniques used by employers and their unscrupulous headhunters.
“Some of these companies are nothing but pimps,” said Grassley.
However, until massive loopholes relating to the influx of H1-B workers are tightened, American workers will continue to suffer.
In a June 22, 2011 article in SFWeekly entitled “H1-B Visa Program Creates Caste System for Silicon Valley,” reporter Matt Smith examined the problem.
“A 2008 Department of Homeland Security audit determined that one in five H1-B visas were obtained through fraud or as a result of technical violations,” wrote Smith. He added that a 2003 study by the University of Michigan claiming that the U.S. suffered from a shortage of qualified technicians and programmers was completely bogus.
Smith zeroed in on the actual cause and effect of this phenomenon.
“H1-Bs are merely a cheap labor pool, and many companies exploit the program as a way to replace older and thus less desirable U.S. employees,” he wrote. “Another study showed that H1-B workers weren’t even particularly highly skilled. They were merely compliant and cheap. This is all about whether Microsoft can hire an engineer for $30,000 per year instead of $80,000 per year.”
Echoing this sentiment, David Bacon spelled it out in his book Illegal People.
“H1-B status is just a way of getting a cheap worker,” he wrote.
Lest anyone forget that thousands of jobs are still being outsourced from America to other nations, another disturbing trend continues to fly beneath the mainstream media’s radar. Large American retailers such as Walmart are greatly benefiting from the use of prison laborers that receive at most $2 per hour and often less.
On June 24, 2011 Victoria Law, writing for the online news site “Truthout,” investigated how the Arizona Department of Corrections subcontracted its prisoners out to a firm named Martori Farms, which is the exclusive supplier of fruits and vegetables to Walmart Supercenter stores. Through various interviews with female prisoners, Ms. Law exposed an array of appalling practices. In addition to working in the blazing sun on 100º-plus days, the women also battled bees, snakes and scorpions. All for practically no money whatsoever.
Although medical care was provided to the inmates, it frequently left much to be desired. One detainee wrote a letter describing what happened after she’d been injured in the field.
“There’s no anti-venom available for snake bites, and they want us to use Windex (yes, glass cleaner) for scorpion stings,” she wrote. “It’s absolute insanity.”
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 50 books.