Global Labor Auction

eWEEK guest columnist Rob Sanchez sounds off on nonimmigrant work visas and offshore outsourcing.

Until recently, workers who entered the United States on nonimmigrant guest-worker visas were used primarily for low-paying, menial jobs such as building railroads and picking farm crops. The year 1990 marked a radical departure in philosophy as professional white-collar workers using nonimmigrant work visas such as H-1B and L-1 were allowed to work in the United States. These visas were inserted into the General Agreement on Trade and Services as part of the World Trade Organization plan to globalize the labor market.

Corporate lobbyists ran an expensive campaign to coerce Congress to pass nonimmigrant visa legislation. The cornerstone of their marketing campaign was the creation of the myth of a shortage of U.S. high-tech workers. Shortage shouters included organizations such as the Information Technology Association of America, American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Indian-owned National Association of Software and Service Companies, and the National Science Foundation.

Harris Miller, president of the ITAA, is a professional shortage shouter. His corporate-funded organization creates anecdotal reports claiming that massive shortages of technical workers threaten the U.S. economy. ITAA studies are merely opinion polls of corporate human resource departments, but the data was used to convince Congress that worker shortages exist.

NASSCOM lobbies the U.S. Senate and doesnt hesitate to grease the skids with plenty of money and perks. Its agenda is to allow more outsourcing of jobs to India and, of course, to allow more nonimmigrant visa holders to take jobs in the United States. The persuasion of U.S. politicians is furthered by organized junkets for the India Caucus. NASSCOM helped organize the latest India Caucus junket to Mumbai for an entourage led by congressional lap dogs Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Chris Bell, D-Texas; and Kendrick Meek, D-Fla. These pandering politicians were wined and dined in Mumbai while they pledged to sacrifice U.S. jobs by moving them to India.

"Free-trade" corporatists seek to globalize the world into rich plutocrats and units of labor that work for a living. The church of globalism, sometimes called the WTO, has mandated that business owners have the right to move workers across national boundaries. The WTO calls these mobile units of labor "natural persons," and they will be traded on the world commodity market as a service.

Disparate groups of international workers cannot effectively coerce reform while corporations maintain an economic stranglehold on the governments of nation-states. Responsible leaders must define the rules in order to stop the plundering of their economies and the exploitation of workers from other nations.

Join author Rob Sanchez in the eWEEK forum Oct 30-31 to discuss this article.

Rob Sanchez, a software engineer from Arizona, is the Webmaster of and author of the "Job Destruction Newsletter."