There's a secret that Americans don't know: visa holders face high levels of unemployment.
Some background: H1-b is a corporate program to fill US job openings with citizens from other countries. It is mis-characterized as a guest worker program but foreign citizens cannot apply to this program, only corporations can do so. Temporary agencies using these programs often post want ads excluding Americans for non-existent jobs. In our report, "No Americans Need Apply," 20% of the discriminatory job ads we analyzed clearly stated they did not a have a job to fill.
Temp agencies build a "labor inventory" to place at an American company on a moment's notice or horse trade these visa workers amongst other temp agencies. Here's evidence of how it's happening.
1. A foreign citizen reports on Immigration Voice that he/she received an H1-b from a corporation. But that corporation did not have a job for him/her. He or she states, "got H1B in Oct 2008 but couldn't get a job." This is just plain wrong. If these programs made companies seek American talent first, this foreign citizen would not have been unemployed for 6 months. Here's the full comment:
"I came in the US on H4 in Jan 2006, got H1B in Oct 2008 but couldn't get a job so had to get back to H4 in May 2009. My H1b expired in Sep 2011. If I apply for H1B again, will it fall under 2013 quota and have to wait till April 2013 to file it? Can I apply for it now and start my job before Oct 2013?"
2. This foreign citizen is also facing unemployment since "my current employer who doesn't have enough client to get a new position soon for me." He is currently holding a foreign student work permit (OPT) and waiting for an H1-b.
He's nervous that his employer will not receive approval for an H1-b visa. This is because the company might not be able to prove to the DOL that it even has a job opening. He asks what to do in case, "If I get approved for h1b after 3-4 weeks and however, still if my employer couldn't find a new client [editor's note: temp job] for me." In his case, his foreign student OPT work permit does allow periods of unemployment.
All white collar visa programs allow companies to discriminate against Americans and warehouse unemployed foreign citizens. It's all about maintaining high levels of unemployment here in the US for Americans and foreign citizens alike.