Arizona’s immigration law is due to take effect July 29, in a few days, and the pot is heating. Vigilantism has started, and those foaming to persecute are not just in Arizona and Texas but also in Utah. http://bit.ly/9YTRjN
However, the heat might turn. A little-known visa, the U visa, started in 2000 under President George W. Bush, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes a long list of crimes that rewards illegal immigrants who help authorities investigate and prosecute; used in Fair Oaks in the Guillermo Hernandez case. http://bit.ly/ac39b
Many visas are available for bringing workers into the U.S. The most used, in Sacramento County, as well as throughout the country, appear to be the H-1B visa – for the import of High Tech workers and professionals. H-2A and H-2B visas for legally bringing seasonal agricultural workers and workers of other trades are hardly used. These require employers to pay minimum wage, take deductions and provide some benefits.
No doubt about the need but the greed keeps employers importing and hiring, illegally. Without a visa, workers can be exploited, and not even paid, just threatened with the “migra” and let social programs pick up the burden. If wages are paid and deductions taken, they are rarely reported, and said to be pocketed by most employers.
About 5% of the workforce in the U.S. is undocumented. Most are Mexican who work the fields, sweatshops, and construction, mow lawns, clean, cook, and raise their employer’s children. Business leaders and advocates for immigrants’ say that most undocumented workers pay taxes and for benefits, but, again, most deductions are not reported. Other undocumented workers include Asians, Europeans and Canadians.
When did all this immigration from South America start? The answer is like, what came first the chicken or the egg?
The U.F.W. Union has challenged U.S. workers to “Take Our Jobs” However, since June 24, only few of the 4,000 responses are genuine, the rest is hate mail. Most that applied lost interest due to the harsh nature of work and conditions, below minimum wage with little to no benefits. Maybe Arizona is doing migrant workers a favor. However, not the U.S. – many companies are already moving south. http://bit.ly/9oQAjM
An unspoken agreement between employers and the undocumented is: present credible documents and the Federales will look the other way. “In 1999, under President Bill Clinton, the U.S. collected $3.69 million in fines from 890 companies. In 2004, under President George Bush, only $188,500 was collected from 64 companies. And in 2004, there were NO fines.” http://bit.ly/an3V5N
In 2007, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported 65,000 H-1B annual visas to fill High Tech and professional positions plus 20,000 H-2B visas to fill semi-professional positions. All positions that unemployed Americans want and need. Yet, legislators say, as Congressman Lungren of Sacramento, says “employers within the 3rd Congressional District claim that they have positions that they are unable to fill with Americans” http://bit.ly/98aar8
Since the 1990s Norm Matloff of the U.C.D. has opposed the H-1B visa program for skilled immigrants and calls it a “sham.” http://bit.ly/bOYiTR Top ten U.S. technology companies receiving H-1Bs http://bit.ly/aHZdxg
Discouraged, students in the U.S. are not pursuing studies in the sciences that would prepare them for high tech industries. Visas are also used to give foreign students opportunity to study in the U.S. Many economists say that it is “an assault on America’s middle-class and of benefit only to the wealthy.”
Here is a roundup of visas used in the U.S.:
B-1/B-2: for temporary visitors for business or pleasure.
J1: exchange program under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961.
H-1B is for “professional”. Employers are not required to prove that American workers can’t do the jobs. Same for H-1B1 and H-1C: for specialty occupations.
H-2A: are strictly for seasonal agricultural workers.
H-2B: for Seasonal non-agricultural workers.
H-3B: for Industrial trainees.
L-1: for “transferees” to work “in executive or managerial specialized positions.
TN Visa (TN-1): effective in 1994 for Canadians/Mexicans eligible professionals.
K: may be petitioned for fiancé (e) s, spouses and unmarried children of fiancé (e) s and spouses of U.S. citizens.
V: for spouses of Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card holders).
Electronic System for Travel Authorization is not a visa. http://bit.ly/dD99iQ
1. What is a Visa? U.S. State Department
2. “Immigration Classifications and Visa Categories.”
3. United States Department of Homeland Security