July 16, 2003
Do American jobhunters have to get their up-to-date employment news from The Economic Times of India? That faraway newspaper carries
sensational items that somehow don't make news in the United States.
The Economic Times published a report that the Bush Administration,
speaking through U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, has assured
India that its workers who come to the United States on H-1B visas will
receive Social Security benefits even though they don't comply with the
rules American workers must meet.
The Economic Times of India reported that India's Commerce and
Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said in Washington, D.C. that Zoellick "gave
him the assurance," and that Jaitley also met with Commerce Secretary Bob
Evans who presumably confirmed this assurance. Since the article was
datelined out of Washington on June 14, it is all the more remarkable that
we didn't hear about this on U.S. networks.
In order for you and me to receive Social Security benefits, we have
to pay taxes into the system for 10 years or 40 quarters. Those who come
here from India on H-1B visas are allowed to work here for three years and
get one three-year extension, for a total of six years -- but that's not
"Totalization" is the bureaucratic buzz word to describe executive
agreements to give foreigners employed in the United States Social Security
benefits to which they are not entitled. A similar "totalization" plan is
now cooking in our State Department to give Social Security benefits to
Mexican aliens, even if they are in our country illegally.
Totalization makes sense only if you understand that the goal is to
force U.S. taxpayers to subsidize the scandalous practice whereby
multinational corporations hire cheap-labor foreign replacements for
American workers. This makes even better sense when you understand that
the big contributors to politicians are corporations and their executives,
not U.S. workers who are laid off.
A second India-based news source, Rediff.com, reported another comment by Minister Jaitley at that same Washington event. He said that Zoellick
promised India (and Jaitley said he quoted Zoellick's exact words) that
"the federal government opposes it and is trying to resist it."
"It" refers to the attempt by New Jersey and some other states to ban
the outsourcing of taxpayer-paid services to foreign countries. New Jersey
taxpayers created an uproar earlier this year when they learned that their
state officials had outsourced the handling of calls from the state's
welfare recipients to operators working in Bombay, India.
At least 12 state governments and nine federal agencies have
outsourced computer work to be performed by foreigners whose wages are paid
by American taxpayers. Jaitley ducked the question when asked if India is
lobbying against state legislative bans on taxpayer-funded outsourcing.
Employees of EDS, a company based in Plano, TX, first found out about
their company's outsourcing plan from an Indian newspaper. The next day,
EDS announced the elimination of 2,700 jobs.
Another bit of employment news that we learned about only from the
Economic Times of India was datelined March 21 from New Delhi. It reports
that the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the
INS) has taken several steps to promote the entry of more foreign nurses.
In order to increase the number of foreigners who can come in and take
U.S. jobs, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools has just
approved several new organizations to administer the English language test
to foreigners. These moves are designed to make it easier and quicker for
foreigners to enter and take U.S. jobs.
Corporations are induced to import foreign workers not only because
the cost of their wages and benefits is substantially less, but because
many federal laws (open-borders policies plus the promiscuous granting of
H-1B and L-1 visas) encourage discrimination against American workers.
Outsourcing jobs to a site in a foreign country enables the corporations to
avoid the numerous regulations with which U.S. businesses must comply.
The following long email (one of many I've received) dramatizes the
impact on individuals:
"I'm a victim of the outsourcing of high tech jobs. I was a Systems
Analyst/Programmer. Our bought-and-paid-for Congressmen increased the
number of H-1B and L-1 visa workers to cover the 'shortage.'
"Now, I'm reading that the same thing is happening to the medical
industry. This is deja vu.
"The irony is that I retrained to be a Medical Office Billing
Specialist. I thought that if I trained for a small town type of job, I
would be safe. Now I find that outsourcing is going to be eliminating that
opportunity for me also.
"I can't tell you how discouraged, disheartened and depressed I am at
what is happening to my country. I can't sit idly by while the economy of
my country is being dismantled piece by piece. Can you help me?"
President Bush and Members of Congress, are you listening?