So I was astonished to read today (H/T DD) Visa program encourages seasonal hiring of foreign students while U.S. youths go jobless By Nancy Lofholm The Denver Post 06/19/2011
At a time when job creation has top political billing and American high school and college students can't find summer work, more than 2,100 young foreigners are filling seasonal jobs at resorts, farms, amusement venues and national parks in Colorado and hundreds of thousands more nationally under a government-sanctioned cultural exchange program.
Colorado has the nation's largest number of foreign students employed under a work/travel program on a type of visa called the J-1. Their duties include running cash registers at Rocky Mountain National Park, changing beds at Mesa Verde National Park and packing fruit at orchards on the Western Slope.
This is by far the best discussion of the seasonal employment aspect of the issue I can recollect ever seeing in the MSM. Abuse by greedy employers of ”student workers” used to particularly enrage Joe Guzzardi.
The J-1 work/travel visa…can be traced to the 1960s Cold War-era… Last year, the program received $635 million in government funding for administration(That is, the American Taxpayer paid $635 million to deprive young Americans of summer work.)
She does a very thorough job of getting those in favor on the record:
...this (the J-1 program) makes our lives more comfortable," said Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms in Palisade. He employs 20 to 30 Russians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Taiwanese in his family's packing shed each summer and fall in lieu of hiring locals who rarely last the entire season. (Ask Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms does anything matter besides his comfort.)And in particular
"We place workers in any entry-level jobs," said Vadim Misnik, a native of Belarus whose seasonal staffing company places 800 to 900 foreign students a year in American jobs.Lofholm, amazingly for an MSM journalist, supplies the websites of three gangmastering outfits involved in this trade:
And further reports
SeasonalStaff.org ...tells employers they will save 7.79 percent on total payroll expenses for each J-1 worker. The site also promises "most of our students will be happy to work for sixty or more hours per week."
Complain to Vadim Misnik
This J-1 visa scam has been hijacked from its original (and now redundant) Cold War purpose into a cheap-labor orgy
Critics of this program administered by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs say it cuts into opportunities for unemployed Americans. It gives tax breaks to employers, including government contractors, and it has been abused by some employers who treat the students like indentured workers. It also has been abused by some agencies that promise jobs, collect fees and leave students without employment…what began as an educational and cultural program has evolved into a source of cheap labor for service industries. Scrubbing toilets and stocking shelves was not what the language in the founding legislation promised.
The key point to remember here is that Americans are being hurt by this racket.
…the numbers of the far-easier-to-negotiate J-1 visas issued nationally have been rising while the numbers of H2-A and H2-B applications decreased. There is no cap on the number of J-1s the State Department can issue in a given year.
At the same time, the summer U.S. unemployment rate for Americans aged 16 to 24 has risen from 11 percent in July 2005, to 19.1 percent last July. The measurement is taken in July because that represents the peak of seasonal hiring of youth…Nationally, there were 320,805 visas for all categories of J-1 visitors for 2010.
Nancy Lofholm even went to the trouble of checking with Colorado’s Senator Udall, who professed ignorance:
"Mark is concerned and checking into this issue with the Department of Interior to get more information," wrote Udall spokeswoman Tara Trujillo.
Since as a Senator, Udall has scored a resounding F- in the NumbersUSA ranking, there is no doubt where that enquiry is going.