“Hire Americans” Senate Says to Bailed out Banks

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by Nekessa Opoti •The Senate voted Friday to restrict the hiring of foreign workers by banks that are receiving government bailout funds while undergoing vast layoffs.

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The legislation by Sens. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would require the banks to seek American workers before turning to foreign nationals when they’re hiring. It aims to prevent replacement of Americans by foreigners working under the H-1B visa program, which allows employers to bring in workers for high-skilled and advanced-degree jobs.

This law would affect about 300 banks across the US.

Sanders says that this stipulation in the bill would, “make sure that banks receiving a taxpayer bailout are not allowed to import cheaper labor from overseas while they are laying off American workers.”

Read more here.

Just a brief commentary: H1-B visa-holders are not “cheaper” labor. They are generally hired for their professional qualification in their specific trade.The visa worker program is great for the diversification, of talent and work experience, of the American workforce.

Originally published 2/7/09

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