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Congress closes front door on transfer visas -- administration opens back door and all the windows
Federation for Americation Immigration Reform ^ | June 2, 2003 | Unknown

Posted on 06/02/2003 4:16:19 PM PDT by Mini-14

While Congress May Close Front Door on Intra-Company Transfer Visas, The Administration is Opening the Back Door and All the Windows

(Washington, D.C. June 2, 2003) Legislation pending before Congress to curb the abuses in the L-1 visa program may be rendered moot by executive agreements being concluded by the Bush Administration. According to The New York Times, the L-1 visa program, which allows companies to transfer employees from overseas branches or subsidiaries to company offices in the U.S., "are now routinely used by companies based in India and elsewhere to bring their workers into the United States and then contract them out to American companies - in many instances to be replacements for American workers."

Congressman John Mica (R-Florida) has introduced legislation that would prohibit this sort of intra-company transfers for the purpose of subcontracting employees to other firms in the U.S. But the bill would not halt the out-sourcing of work to a firm that hires only foreign L-1 visa workers. And, even if this legislation were enacted, agreements already concluded by the Bush Administration, and others being negotiated, would effectively negate the limited reforms of the Mica bill, contends the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

On May 6, President Bush signed the Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is not a treaty and therefore does not require Senate ratification. Included in the Singapore FTA are provisions dealing with intra-company transfer of employees. The language of the FTA states that: "A party shall not: (a) as a condition for temporary entry [of intra-company transferees] require labor certification tests or other procedures of similar effect; or (b) impose or maintain any numerical restriction relating to temporary entry."

In addition to the agreement with Singapore, the administration is expected to finalize a similar agreement with Chile within the next month. Other such pacts are currently being negotiated with a group of Central American nations.

"Even before Congress can get around to curbing the abuses of the L-1 visa program, the administration is already looking for ways around any limits that might be set on the number of low-wage high tech workers who can be brought into the country," charged Dan Stein, executive director of FAIR. "The administration is playing a game of political Three-Card Monty, and American workers are once again the marks."

The abuses of the L-1 program have drawn sharp criticism, as the number of such visas increased from 41,739 in 1999, to 57,700 in 2002, despite a slump in the high tech industry. Moreover, unlike the better-known H-1B program, which at least offers a few protections for U.S. workers and has a limit, L-1 transfers are not required to be paid the prevailing wage and there is currently no limit on the number of such workers who can enter.

"The language of the Singapore FTA, if it is replicated in trade agreements with other countries, will institutionalize the abuses that have been widely reported in The New York Times and elsewhere," Stein cautioned. "Control over employment-based visas will effectively be taken out of the hands to the peoples' elected representatives, and into the hands of corporate executives. Not only that, but in the future, the executives making decisions affecting the lives of millions of American workers are more likely to be in places like Singapore, Bangalore, and Lahore, than someplace like Baltimore.

"All pretense about protecting American workers - be they blue collar or white collar - is being abandoned in a shameless effort to get the cheapest workers possible to do any job that needs to be done in the United States," said Stein. "If workers begin to catch on to abuses in one program, then a new loophole is opened up to satisfy the demands of employers who do not want to pay American wages. From farms, to factories, to hotels, and now to laboratories, U.S. immigration policy has become about one thing, and one thing only: Cheap labor.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: employment; h1b; immigration; job; jobs; l1; offshore; outsourcing; reform; unemployment; visas; work; workers

1 posted on 06/02/2003 4:16:19 PM PDT by Mini-14
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To: Mini-14
As the nother of a woman who lost her job in high tech,with 15 years experience,this infuriates me.

I voted for Bush but will not vote for him again unless he does something about the immigration problem,and it looks like he's not going to do anything.

Sorry folks,but this situation is personal and GWB has been a disappointment to me in this matter.
2 posted on 06/02/2003 4:25:04 PM PDT by Mears (.)
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To: Mears
Ooops,I'm a mother,not a nother.
3 posted on 06/02/2003 4:41:32 PM PDT by Mears (.)
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To: Mears
You likewise would be infuriated by this policy at HP: .
4 posted on 06/02/2003 4:53:41 PM PDT by flamefront (To the victor go the oils. No oil or oil-money for islamofascist mass anihilation weapon production.)
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To: Mears
I voted for Bush but will not vote for him again unless he does something about the immigration problem,and it looks like he's not going to do anything.>>>>>

Same here.....

Looks to me like Bush has just opened the flood gates for *legal* immigrants to come to the USA and put more Americans out of work, and in two years Bush has done
NOTHING to stop the INVASION of the *illegals* that also put Americans out of work.

Wonder how all this *cheap labor* is going to be able to pay the EXPENSIVE American TAX BILL ???
5 posted on 06/02/2003 5:08:03 PM PDT by txdoda ("Navy-brat")
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To: Mears
I have tried to point out that W is a globalist and cares not a whit for the American public but what he can get out of them. What is this crap that it is an "agreement" and not a treaty not requiring Senate approval? This is clearly extra-Constitutional. Any "agreement" with a foreign power is by constitutional definition a treaty. This needs to be legally challenged. The President is obligating this country to specific treatment of a foreign entity in a specific economic set-up. It is only within his power provided he gets the Consent of the Senate!

6 posted on 06/02/2003 5:08:08 PM PDT by Ravenstar (Reinstitute the Constitution as the Ultimate Law of the Land)
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To: Ravenstar
7 posted on 06/02/2003 6:05:50 PM PDT by dagnabbit (Tancredo for President 2004)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Mears
immigration problem
High tech is more suffering problems from an emmigration of the work.
And for as much as I like to blame the government for this problem, taxes and the like isn't the reason why work costs $50/hr here and only $5/hr in India. Just cutting our taxes won't help, there's going to have to be tariffs on work sent overseas for the US market to survive.
9 posted on 06/02/2003 9:11:05 PM PDT by lelio
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To: lelio
If you are to buy a house in the silicon valley, you have to make $50/hr.
10 posted on 06/02/2003 9:17:28 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
Exactamundo! We have a higher standard of living, and people are acting like its a bad thing not to have mud huts serving as shelter for 80% of your population.
The only thing I can see this outsourcing trend doing is:
- enriching the pockets of CEOs
- increasing the US bankruptcy rate
- maybe helping out a poor person in India afford a toaster
- causing a brain drain out of the US as why live here if you have any smarts and can't get a job over minimum wage?
11 posted on 06/02/2003 9:56:02 PM PDT by lelio
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To: lelio
So does all this talk about killing the American economy make anyone wonder what they are really discussing at the G8? Like, does the freedom of information act apply to politicians and government employees making behind the door secret treaties with global corporations?
12 posted on 06/02/2003 10:01:22 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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