Do American job hunters 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 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 10 years!
"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 foreign labor to replace 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 that concerns attempts by states to ban the outsourcing of taxpayer-paid services to foreign countries. Jaitley 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."
New Jersey and some other states are trying 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, Texas, 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 foreign country enables the corporations to avoid the numerous regulations with which U.S. businesses must comply.
The following long e-mail (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 a '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?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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