L-1 Guest Worker Visa Leaves Fired Derivatives Workers in a Lurch

Bloomberg has a story which is supposed to tear at our heart strings but I have a different reaction. In profiling out of work derivatives technology workers, Fired Doctor of Derivatives Waits to Cry as Finance Jobs Vanish Bloomberg tries to show the pain of the greater than 250,000 jobs lost.

Firstly, it is precisely these derivatives, mathematical models which are part of the problem, so these people losing their jobs does at least imply banks are no longer just cranking out black box mathematical models (ahem) to generate more products and massive fees.

Also buried within this story is the L-1 Guest worker visa.

Merrill Lynch fired Raj on Jan. 22 after he’d worked on the bank’s technology systems for 10 years. He got a promotion in 2006, sold his house in London, gave away the dog and moved his family to the U.S. Now, he’s scrambling to leave before his nine weeks of severance runs out and his L-1 work visa -- his right to be in the country -- is void because he’s out of a job.

Half a dozen calls to Merrill in three weeks -- some furious, some teary -- have yielded nothing, says Nita on a wintry February Friday. The New York-based firm so far has refused to pay the family’s $10,000 moving expense, buy four one-way plane tickets or help figure out how to let the children finish the school year, they say. Nita can’t work without a permit, and Raj, 45, has little time to find another company to sponsor him. The two British citizens don’t qualify for U.S. unemployment benefits.

A L-1 Visa is an intra company transfer visa. It means one works for another division overseas and it supposed to be used as a temporary Visa to bring in overseas employees for a short project or training purposes.

Now firstly why exactly was someone on a L-1 temporary guest worker Visa for over 10 years?

Secondly, note how Merrll Lynch isn't paying a dime for these people's way back home. On a L-1 guest worker Visa, corporations can fire employees and leave them stuck in the United States with zero funds or assistance to leave. That's just wrong. An international move is not cheap usually at least $12,000 dollars. Of course that L-1 visa worker has no right to a job for it is simply a temporary intra-corporate Visa, it's simply so multinational corporations who have offices around the globe can have their employees temporarily come to the United States for a short period.

Something seriously stinks if Merrill Lynch had workers on temporary Visas for a decade. Even more suspect is were these workers imported via another company, working on contract within Merrill Lynch?

I don't know but this is clearly an example of what can happen when people are traded like commodities by multinational corporations and body shops.

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A Million More to Go

I was reading this on the web:


In doing so, the United States bound itself by international agreement not to restrict either of these visa programs in the future, regardless of the state of the U.S. economy or the level of unemployment of similarly qualified U.S. workers.

Why would somebody sign that agreement? how can America benefit from such an agreement? Just plain nuts.

So even if there are no jobs in the U.S, we still have to take 65,000 h1b and unlimited L1 guest workers.

We need to be kicking out

The transnational CEOS.

They've proven themselves to be traitors and represent a clear and dangerous opponent to the people of the United States. Rip away their citizenship, freeze & confiscate their assets, make sure that their children can't get visas or naturalization to come back. EVER. Until we start treating the con artists like the subhuman race they are, we'll just get more of this crap over and over and over.
Moral hazards would not exist in a system designed to eliminate fraud.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Free Trade Back-door Legislation

The real agenda of "free trade" agreements is to provide a back door means for multi-national corporations to institute laws and rules that the US Congress can't or won't pass. Laws/rules like the ones you mentioned about L1 and H1B visas.

"Free trade" agreements are not really about trade. For example, the proposed South Korea FTA. We already trade heavily with South Korea. I see Samsung LCDs, Hyundai autos, LG phones, ... all around me. So trade is not the issue. So what is? More hidden back-door legislation that Congress could never pass in the light of day.

I don't believe that the laws/rules in FTAs should be permitted since only Congress has the constitutional authority to create such laws/rules.

anonymous drive-by back door free trade

Congress set the terms and conditions for the L-1 and since it was never intended to be used as a permanent or labor arbitrage visa, no one realized the loophole of firing employees in not their home country but leaving them without any financial support to get home as an issue.

Trying to get reforms on L-1 and H-1B is a royal fight for corporate lobbyists and now NASSCOM (India business association) swarm the hill demanding their agenda.

There is a bill S.1035 from last session but they attack it and unfortunately one of the bull author's Dick Durbin seems to be believe S.1035 is simply a bargaining chip for gutting on the "amnesty" agenda.

To get this bill passed, intact, separately, well, we need outrage from the people and there actually is huge outrage....but Congress ignores them.

There are attempts to get these Visas put into Trade agreements. The TN Visa actually is but so far on the two above visas, L-1, H-1b, Congress still has legislative authority over them.

I share your anger, but

I share your anger, but perhaps it should be aimed at entire global system with many players that all contributed to this down fall. See: http://buchanan.org/blog

It's not just the players

It's the fallacy that you can have a working economy past two degrees of friendship at all. Maybe it's time to do away with the idea of a "global" system.
Moral hazards would not exist in a system designed to eliminate fraud.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Usury is part of it...

Thomas Goeghegan suggests that much of our current labor problem can be traced to usury (legislated back in the 70s that made manaufacturing a low ROI). See: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/04/0082450

Gregman2 format your links/quotes

Please start formatting your links! I've asked now many times. Look here is the user guide and I cannot make it more easy to format posts. Would you please read it and follow the directions? Thank you.