February 2, 2009, - 11:49 am

The Work Americans Won’t Do?!: Bailed Out Banks Hired Thousands of Foreign Workers for Executive Jobs

By Debbie Schlussel
Why are we bailing out banks who are hiring and bringing to America thousands of foreign workers to be corporate senior vice presidents, lawyers, junior investment analysts, and human resources specialists?
This is “the work Americans won’t do”? I don’t think so.
But Associated Press found in an exhaustive investigation that the dozen banks receiving the biggest bailout packages requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the last six years for these jobs, from which Americans were let go.
We constantly hear from corporations (and the Wall Street Journal editorial page) pushing Congress for more foreign worker visas, that these are for “skilled” jobs that Americans aren’t qualified for, that they can’t find any Americans who meet the specifications. So, tell me: Does America have a shortage of lawyers? HA! Junior investment analysts? I’ll tell that to my brother, who does just that and has plenty of friends in his profession looking for jobs. Human resources personnel?


Protectionism or not, the fact is that the loss of American jobs is a big factor in our sinking economy. People who lose their jobs don’t have money to buy products, and then companies who can’t sell the products cut jobs to cut costs because no one is buying. Then, those new out-of-work employees can’t buy products, which leads to more layoffs and job terminations. It’s a nasty cycle. And hiring foreigners–and bringing them here on visas–to do work Americans can and will do is a big problem. Again, these visas are supposed to be for jobs Americans won’t fill and/or don’t have the required skills for.
Not the case:

Major U.S. banks sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers into the country for high-paying jobs even as the system was melting down last year and Americans were getting laid off, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.
The dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.
As the economic collapse worsened last year – with huge numbers of bank employees laid off – the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP’s analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in the 2007 budget year to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.

The AP reviewed visa applications the banks filed with the Labor Department under the H-1B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized-skill and advanced-degree positions. Such visas are most often associated with high-tech workers. . . .
During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. . . .
David Huber of Chicago is a computer networking engineer who has testified to Congress about losing out on a 2002 job with the former Bank One Corp. He learned later the bank applied to hire dozens of foreign visa holders for work he said he was qualified to do. . . .
“You’re using taxpayer dollars and there’s an expectation that there are benefits to the U.S.,” said Ron Hira, a national expert on foreign employment and assistant public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “What you’re really doing is leaking away those jobs and benefits that should accrue to the taxpayers.”

And look who’s all for this taxpayer subsidy for stealing American jobs:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes more access to “worldwide talent pools” will better position U.S. financial companies against global competitors, spokesman Andrew Brent said.

Oh, really? Better positioned? For what? A deep depression. That’s what.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services declined to disclose details on foreign workers hired at the banks that have received federal bailouts. The AP has requested the information under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

I’m sure the picture won’t be pretty once this info is released.

Nearly all the banks the AP contacted also declined to comment on their foreign hiring practices. . . .
Jennifer Scott of Yreka, Calif., a retired technical systems manager at Bank of America in Concord, Calif., said in 2004 she oversaw foreign employees from a contractor firm that also sent overnight work to employees in India.
“It had nothing to do with a shortage, but they didn’t want to pay the U.S. rate,” she said, adding that the quality of the work was weak. “It’s all about numbers crunching.”

As I’ve noted in the past, there are law firms–like Cohen & Grigsby–that specialize in teaching corporations how to cheat Americans out of jobs and avoid hiring them so they can hire cheap foreigners and bring them here on those visas. Sadly, the feds–while initially investigating one law firm caught on video–declined to prosecute.
And so it continues. We subsidize the elimination of American jobs and the creation of a new class of foreign workers coming here to take our white collar jobs.
More reasons why bail outs don’t work.

11 Responses

The problem is bigger than a jobs for Americans issue (and I totally I agree that this is big jobs for Americans issue). Why would banks need to import “corporate lawyers”? Since when do foreign law schools teach American law? As for “senior vice presidents”, you only get to those types of positions after you know how to work the system.
I think we are going to start seeing these banks stop acting in the interests of this country both politically and economically. Since the major banks are the lifeblood of the American economy (look at what has happened since these banks stopped lending) the shape and direction of American commerce will be at the whim of foreign interests.

i_am_me on February 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Israel needs to take a lesson from you, with all of the foreign workers and dependence on [non-Israeli citizen] Arab labor.

Ben-Yehudah on February 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

IMHO this is probably the biggest reason we are in a recession and possibly going to go into a depression if the voters are not outraged by the recent events in manipulating our Economy.
It has been estimated that under Clinton and GWB we have lost over 8.4 million good paying jobs. Both administrations were actively allowing the in sourcing and out sourcing of good paying American jobs to foreigners.
This is the plan that has been implemented by the Rockefeller CFR/Trilateral Commission. They intend to destroy our economy and replace it with a one world order with America becoming a North American Union just like the European Union.
We were told that out sourcing and importing cheap labor from Mexico was good for economy. This was nothing but lies. How can anyone with a little common sense not realize that when you eliminate whole manufacturing industries like textiles and television manufacturing industries that a job flipping burgers will not replace the good paying job in manufacturing.
The Rockefeller free traders in Congress and the Senate are responsible for the demise of whole industries in America so that multinational corporations can send our jobs overseas and import foreign labor via H1B visas.
Microsoft announced recently the layoff of over 50,000 employees are in the works so that they can import the replacements from India using H1B visas.
This is nothing more than TREASON in my opinion and we need to either vote these people out or consider it is time for another revolution before the middle class is completely destroyed.
People like Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul have been warning Americans that this would happen but they have been ridiculed and ignored as Protectionists by the same people that are destroying our middle class.
I urge you all to educate yourselves about this crisis before you too lose your job to the Rockefeller Globalists and a H1B visa holder:

ScottyDog on February 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I can see the use of H1B visas for these positions in a very limited sense — e.g. investment analysts to evaluate foreign countries that these people are from, and maybe corporate lawyers for specific overseas problems in countries these lawyers grew up in.
But the scope of these hirings obviously far exceeds this. This has long been a cutting-edge issue for those calling themselves conservatives. All too many so-called conservatives are all in favor of losing American jobs to foreigners. Sooner or later though, with the economy in shreds, people will wake up. I’m just sorry that it is taking times like these for that to happen.

c f on February 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm

One other thing that a lot of the bigger banks are doing is raising application fees for mortgages, in some cases doubling them.
I understand that many individuals have responsibility for their own mortgage problems, buying beyond their means, or disregarding the risk of their investments.
But these banks received billions of dollars from the taxpayers, supposedly in order to make mortgage credit more available, and they are doing the exact opposite now, because of less competition. Overall, more applicants are being rejected, and, as a rule, rejected applicants still had to pay for appraisals and credit checks.
Is this the way the flim-flam politiicans publicized the bailout?

c f on February 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

The have the EURO in Europe.
Soon we will have the PESOS in North America.
Don’t you love globalism?
Since America is truly blessed with idiots and traitors on all levels, we should expect the demise of America in our lifetime.
Enjoy, you are witnessing History.
The end of American History.

Independent Conservative on February 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Could you please stop using that picture of the day laborers every time you post a column about illegal immigrants? I’m sure they were gesturing at some Guido in a pick-up shouting racial slurs at them.
Mexicans are hard working, quiet and Christian. They work in sweltering hot kitchens and slaughter houses and never utter a peep. They keep their head down, go to church and pay their taxes. If you want to know what will happen to your town when they finally deport all the Mexican illegals, just look at Postville, IA. Be careful what you wish for!
And before anyone brings up drugs and gangs, try to remember who consumes all the drugs in this country – white kids from the suburbs, snowboarders and Olympic swimmers.

LoveAManInAUniform on February 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Debbie, I always get a kick out this picture you post, but this time is it doesn’t fit. Is corporate America cruising corners to pick up these workers for legal work, junior investment analyst or human resource staff? If this is where we get our lawyers, analysts or HR staff then we got deeper problems than we ever knew.
Well this all part of the corporate free-trade, WTO garbage that has been shoved down our throat since even back to Reagan. Anytime you bring up stopping free trade or globalization to a Republican or Democrat pre 2006, you were looked at like you had a third eye. Now since Ron Paul and a few others, we finally can have a discussion about globalization and free-trade. Only after the lies and scams by the same experts and financiers who lobbied for it. It is kind of too-late, the inmates have escaped the prison. The whole goal of free-trade was to create huge profit margins through cheap labor. Idiots could make money if your production was in China. Look at all the slaves corporations had access to. Similarly corporations were insourcing illegal labor. You had corporations opening the door to illegal aliens so they could reap huge profit margins off this labor at the same time throwing Americans workers under the bus.

californiascreaming on February 3, 2009 at 12:27 am

Congress has never done anything of significance to protect American jobs from companies that prefer aliens. And it is not an issue that Obama has had any interest in. There has been no great public out cry. Most Americans that work for a living just hope congress won’t make things even tougher for them. I think too many have long ago despaired of having any influence on the government. Congress is run by the lobbyists and so is the Obama administration.

snaggletoothie on February 3, 2009 at 7:39 am

LoveAManInAUniform and Calforniascreamin
The picture of the day laborers does fit this story. Just take a day and drive around in Los Angeles.This is a common occurence in most neighborhoods and yes it is gross but is that not the point.
I have several friends that cannot get employment out here in Mexifornia because they are not brown skinned and more importantly to the H&R managers they are not bi-lingual and willing to work for nothing after 4 to 6 years of college.
In the last year, I have 3 personal acquantances that have lost their jobs to H1B visa workers one at Microsoft that was making 160k and was replaced by a guy from India making 38K.They had the balls to ask him to train him before he left.
You would think that Steve Balmer and Bill Gates are rich enough already.

ScottyDog on February 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

The point is H1B visa workers are legal resident aliens. They are here legally. They are not lawbreakers, if we assume that those in the picture are illegal alien lawbreakers. They aren’t the illegal aliens who are standing on the corner. They don’t have to. People keep saying they rail on illegal aliens and are for legal aliens, but when they come here legally there shouldn’t be a problem. The anger should be directed at corporations and politicians.
If you read the rest of my post, I rail against the globalization, free-trade policies and “insourcing of illegal labor” that created this atmosphere. Corporations are friends of Republicans but not conservatives. Conservatives are for policies that put America first. H1B arguably may have served a purpose at one time and now like many policies pushed by lobbyists get abused one way or another. Should we eliminate H1B visas now that people are losing their jobs, is worth a discussion. I think that may have been the point of the article. Corporations getting our tax dollars in one hand to undermine American citizens in the other.

californiascreaming on February 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm

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