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OP-ED: Verizon Wireless: Fewer dropped calls, more dropped American workers

author Published by Eric Ruark

An opinion piece this week in the Washington Examiner by Paul Nachman reveals that as many as 5,000 Verizon workers will lose their job over the next three months.

Imagine heading into a meeting expecting a raise or promotion. Instead, you’re told you’ll be laid off in 90 days. To add salt to the wound, your final task at the company is to train your replacement — a foreign laborer willing to work for less money.

Up to 5,000 Verizon employees could soon face that harsh reality. In late September, the telecom giant announced it would outsource many information technology jobs to Infosys, an Indian offshoring company. Infosys relies heavily on imported “H-1B” visa workers who come to the United States, train under soon-to-be-laid-off Americans, and then transfer that job knowledge to their coworkers back in India.

Such stories are very common. Corporations grossly abuse the H-1B-visa program to cast aside hardworking Americans. It’s time for reform.

Nachman points out that Verizon is far from alone in its use of the H-1B program to displace qualified Americans. This practice is allowable under law as written by Congress and upheld in federal courts. The only way to prevent this is to change the existing law that puts in place protections for American workers.

Congress could make it illegal for companies to replace American workers with H-1B holders. The program ought to be reserved for times when companies truly cannot find a qualified American within our continent-wide workforce.

H-1B-visa holders should complement American workers – not undercut them. By abusing these visas, Verizon and dozens of other U.S. companies have displaced thousands of qualified American workers. It’s up to Congress to prevent more Americans from falling victim to this out-of-control program.

Nachman is a retired physicist and an affiliate research professor at Montana State University. He is a founding member of Montanans for Immigration Law Enforcement.

See the full op-ed here.

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