Visas, Inc: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence in the U.S. Temporary Foreign Labor System

Read about how the landscape of American employment is being dramatically altered by an expanding system of guestworker visas issued to hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, in the report Visas, Inc: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence in the U.S. Temporary Foreign Labor System, presented by Global Workers Justice Alliance. Visas, Inc provides the first comprehensive analysis of the many visas that employers use and misuse to bring foreign workers into the U.S. in every field, from low-wage jobs in agriculture and domestic work, to specialty occupations in health care, education or information technology. The system is vulnerable to misuse by employers who use foreign labor to undermine established wages and working conditions in the U.S. The result is that U.S. workers are losing out on opportunities, and foreign workers have almost no protection from exploitation, unpaid wages, unsafe conditions and even trafficking and other abuses.  

Global Workers Justice Alliance combats worker exploitation by promoting portable justice for transnational migrants through a cross-border network of advocates and resources. The primary author of Visas, Inc is Ashwini Sukthankar, international labor rights researcher and advocate, who conducted research for the report in some of the countries that send workers to different U.S. industries: Mexico, China, India, Philippines, Jamaica and Guatemala. 

Read full press release

Access the "Visas Commonly Used for Temporary Foreign Labor" chart


Global Workers orgaized two events in Washington, DC to discuss the findings of the report. Read the blog to find out more.

Watch the EPI event, Replacing future immigrants and Americans with temporary foreign workers - part I , part II 


June 2012

Building Bridges (radio) - Executive Director, Cathleen Caron joins host Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash on WBAI's Radio Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report to discuss corporate control and policy incoherence in the U.S. temporary foreign labor system.
CIS blog - "This holistic approach is not the one usually taken by critics of these programs, and certainly not by the government, so it was a refreshing suggestion at a refreshing conference. It was nice to see a group of young minds tackle a difficult social issue without ever bowing to the normal operating ways of Washington. I look forward to the organization's contributions in the future."
In These Times - "We discovered a complicated, fragmented system that few understand well,” the study said. “The temporary worker visa system is utterly chaotic, constantly metastasizing to develop more visa categories or carve-outs, in response to employer demands.”
Palm Beach Post - " A new report by the advocacy group Global Workers Justice Alliance reveals how various federal visa programs funnel workers into special high-demand sectors, like amusement park staff or computer programmers... The economic logic is simple, according to the report: externalize the costs to those who can’t afford to challenge authority."
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