Some U.S. companies, such as American Express Co., are using Indians to service U.S. customers by telephone. The Indians adopt Western names (Sanjeep becomes Sam, Radhika turns into Ruth), learn how to avoid British colloquialisms and take speech therapy so that they sound like American.
Many U.S. companies subcontract with Indian software-serving companies, especially with the three largest: The Tata Group of Companies, Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Wipro Technologies. These companies transfer their employees to the United States on L-1 visas, which are supposed to be issued only to key employees.
Business Week reported that L-1 visas were the ticket of entry to take a U.S. job for half of Tata's 5,000 workers, for one-third of Infosys' 3,000 U.S.-based workers, and for 32 percent of Wipro's U.S. employees. L-1 visas enable Indian workers to replace U.S. workers. Many of these Indian workers bring their spouses and children to the United States on L-2 visas.
New Jersey residents were shocked to learn that state officials had hired contractors who in turn arranged for operators working in Bombay to handle calls from the state's welfare recipients. New Mexico residents were shocked when KOAT-TV reported that the state hired aliens as computer programmers in the Taxation and Revenue Department and paid private attorneys to process their work visas.
The large amount of taxpayer-paid computer work performed by non-citizens for at least 12 state governments and nine federal agencies is a scandal crying out for investigation.
Age discrimination is a significant factor in the layoffs of U.S. citizens. The termination rate for those over age 40 is generally 10 times higher than for those under 40, and even those as young as 35 are at risk.
Sun Microsystems Inc. is defending itself against a lawsuit alleging that it laid off 2,500 older U.S. workers and replaced them with young, lower-paid workers from India. The lawsuit alleges that Sun discriminated on race, national origin and age, and that Sun manifested an "institutional bias" in favor of Indian workers because they are "more compliant" and "less willing to make waves."
Not only is the claim made by many tech companies that the United States suffers a shortage of computer programmers and engineers a fraud, but so is the claim that the aliens they import have specialized knowledge that is needed to retain the tech industry's competitive edge. In fact, most foreigners coming in on H-1B or L-1 visas are ordinary workers making ordinary salaries.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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