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Visas, Inc. by Global Workers Justice Alliance

By Ashwini Sukthankar  

Preface: Visas, Inc. goes behind the scenes of the ad hoc set of visas that are sometimes referred to collectively as the “guestworker program.” It has become a lucrative business for employers, but with high costs for U.S. society as well as foreign and American workers. Employers are driving a system that lacks coherence and has serious long-term consequences for the United States.

Without thoughtful consideration of the future of U.S. labor needs as they were likely to evolve throughout the economy, Congress has responded over the years to industry-specific demands and created visas that addressed particular issues at particular moments in time. As the formal “work” visas became more regulated, employers learned they could skirt the tougher rules altogether by using other visas that were never intended to serve primarily as “work” visas. The result has been unsatisfactory to almost all the parties involved, especially the workers.

When we decided to look further into the system what we found was confounding and, ultimately, the reason for this report. We discovered a complicated, fragmented system that few understand well. It was also a place that has little room for the interests of foreign workers.

Now is the time to take a step back and reflect on the broad effects of this ad hoc system.

We hope that this report can help advocates already deeply engaged in the hard policy work on individual visas and abuses to see how problems for many different kinds of workers and communities are all connected in this chaotic system. We also hope it encourages new voices in the U.S. and overseas to join this conversation and work together to find solutions that will eliminate abuses and work better for everyone involved.

Access the Full PDF here: Visas Inc By Global Workers Justice Alliance (2) 

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