November 1, 2014

Seriously, they're just finding this out? People in the media must not know any normal working people:

A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about a well-known visa program setup to recruit foreign workers to the US: Is it indentured servitude in the high tech age? Or is it a necessary business model to compete in a quickly changing high tech economy?

NBC Bay Area and CIR’s team discovered an organized system that supplies cheap labor made up of highly-educated and highly-skilled foreign workers who come to the US via H-1B visas. Consulting firms recruit and then subcontract out skilled foreigners to major tech firms throughout the country and many in Silicon Valley.

[...] While many of the consulting companies that use H-1B visas appear to play by the rules, NBC Bay Area and CIR found numerous examples of other companies taking advantage of foreign workers and breaking federal law in the process. “’Indentured servants’ is a pretty accurate term because in many cases that’s exactly what’s going on,” said Phillip Griego of San Jose’s Phillip J. Griego and Associates. Over the years, Griego and his law partner, Robert Nuddleman have represented several H-1B workers in lawsuits against body shops.

[...] A guesthouse is a small apartment or home where as many as eight to ten workers stay at once. A dozen different interviews confirmed that the guesthouses are commonly used by body shops. One worker from India described how the body shops explained the guesthouse when he arrived: “We are placing you in the guesthouse. Until you get the job you have to stay in the guesthouse, you should not go out, even for a walk,” the worker said.

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