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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:33 AM


Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange: The $100 Million Summer Work Travel Industry

In the summer of 1969, after graduating from Wellesley College and before entering Yale Law School, a young woman from Illinois named Hillary Rodham scooped the innards from salmon at a cold, wet processing plant in Valdez, Alaska.... For decades, summer jobs in Alaska have beckoned to American college students... But in 2011 about 2,000 of these jobs – at fish processing plants, national parks, and other locations – were filled by young foreigners who come to the United States under a “cultural exchange” program administered by the State Department, which is directed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

They are participants in the Summer Work Travel program (SWT). Every year SWT provides J-1 visas to more than 100,000 college students from around the world, allowing them to work for three months and take an additional month to travel. Because they pay an average of about $1,100 in fees to the private organizations that sponsor their participation in the program, the program generates well over $100 million in annual revenues for those organizations. They pay many millions more in visa fees to the State Department and in travel expenses to and from the U.S.

The J-1 students, as they are sometimes known, can be found at national parks and beach resorts; amusement parks and neighborhood swimming pools; seafood processing plants and farms; upscale restaurants and fast food franchises; convenience stores, toy stores, and candy shops; roadside vegetable stands; factories, warehouses and moving companies. All in the name of cultural exchange.

Critics claim that the State Department office responsible for administering the program has provided such lax regulation and permissive oversight that it has spun out of control and – in some cases – into the hands of abusive employers, unscrupulous sponsors, and predatory third-party agencies overseas...


Criticisms include the fact that the program generates private profits, avoids certain costs for employers like insurance (participants have to buy their own) & exemption from payroll taxes they'd have to pay for american workers, and, because of the expense involved, constitutes a kind of indentured servitude for the foreign workers.

Another cheap labor policy. Which is our government's policy.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:40 AM

1. I have no problem with cultural exchange if it fosters good will.


But if it is abusive that seems to defeat the purpose. We can't allow bad treatment of these kids who are our guests after all.

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Response to dkf (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:42 AM

2. Cultural exchange my ass. You want cultural exchange, do a homestay.


Our "guests"?

No. they're exploited labor imported to drive wages down here. Like all these other phoney-baloney unpaid internships, h1b visas, teach for americorps, displaced homemakers, cheap labor crap.

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Response to dkf (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:48 AM

3. umm sounds like these "kids" are employees, not guests nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:37 AM

6. While our kids can't find work in the summer to help for college expenses.

No, just another back door to cheap labor. THIS needs to be petitioned and stopped. When our economy is up and running and all is well, okay, then we can open our jobs and doors. While our kids are standing on the street corner because of lack of employment, then we complain. I wondered where the summer jobs had gone to - been lots of articles lamenting their loss. Now we know.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:27 AM

4. My son's fiance from Sofia, Bulgaria has come here for several summer jobs on this program

It's helped them maintain their relationship.
It's allowed him to meet her friends, and vice versa.
It's helped her to continue her education.
It's opened up educational opportunities in this country.
I've seen first hand how the program has enabled cross-socialization between residents of both nations.

When I first heard that she was coming over here for a summer employment program, I was apprehensive of her being exploited or placed in an abusive situation. But my personal experience with the program has been nothing but positive.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:32 AM

5. Article is spot on, but beware of the source.

The Center for Immigration Studies is led by Mark Krikorian, who has written the books "The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal" (2008) and "How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration" (2010). Wikipedia reports: "The Southern Poverty Law Center has released reports claiming to connect the Center to John Tanton, who also founded various other organizations, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform and NumbersUSA. These reports were comprised by research of personal letters and public statements from Tanton and also allege Tanton's ties to white supremacy and the eugenics movement." Alternatively, wiki also reports CIS theory about illegsl immigration and environment: "The premise of the Center's macro issue of immigration's impacts on the United States is based on illegal and legal immigration's impact on the future increase of the nation's population. Future immigrants and their descendants will increase the U.S. population by approximately 100 million people over the next fifty years, if current immigration policies are held in place. [16][17] Due to this increase, so will the overall consumption that adds to the CO2, ecological, and environmental footprints regardless of per capita decreases in consumption. [18]"

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Response to alp227 (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:59 AM

7. So why does the government contract with them?


Contemporary funding comes from several sources. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Weeden Foundation are major funders. They have also completed contract work for the Census Bureau and the Department of Justice. They also receive donations from the Combined Federal Campaign (#10298) as well as donations from individuals.

The Center's staff have been called on to give testimony before federal and state legislators dozens of times and on numerous subjects within the realm of immigration.[6] In 2006 and 2007, as the U.S. Congress took up comprehensive immigration reform, they gave Congressional testimony on 27 different occasions.

In response to this, Mark Krikorian wrote in to The National Review [24]:

[A] report released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center tarring . . .[the] Center for Immigration Studies—as part of a racist conspiracy, supposedly orchestrated by a retired eye doctor in Michigan named John Tanton. The fact that they went after mainstream groups rather than fringe ones shows that the goal is not elevating the tone of public discourse but shutting it down altogether. . .What’s more, CIS is an unlikely source of “intolerance.” The chairman is Peter Nuñez, U.S. attorney for San Diego under Reagan; the board includes the president of the Greater Miami Urban League and a former executive director of the National Black Caucus Foundation; the staff includes the former national policy director for the American Jewish Committee; and I didn’t even speak English until I got to kindergarten.


Krikorian frequently testifies before Congress and has published articles in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Commentary, National Review, and elsewhere.[vague] He has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nightline, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, National Public Radio and many other television and radio programs.


Tom Barry, director of the TransBorder Project at the liberal Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, noted that the SPLC’s “hate group” designation of FAIR “provided highly explosive ammunition for the character assassination campaign.”

Barry, who supports “comprehensive” reform, offered this assessment of the “Stop the Hate” campaign: “Trying to stick a label of ‘extremist’ on institutes that have massive memberships, good relations with the media, and good standing on the Hill is a measure of how desperate and isolated the pro-immigration forces that have embraced this strategy really are.”


I could personally give a rip what Morris Dee's scamming organization says about anything.

We examine the SPLC’s work in the campaign against the background of the law center’s history, acknowledging that the SPLC has done admirable work...But we also review two decades of work by investigative reporters that has exposed SPLC hate-mongering and deception of the donors on whom it depends. Indeed, the SPLC’s hometown paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its nine-day exposé of the SPLC and its founder, Morris Dees, in 1994. The current attack on FAIR is consistent with the duplicity documented by that series...

Finally, we examine the SPLC attack on John Tanton, the Michigan environmental activist who founded FAIR in 1979. We document repeated distortion and exaggeration and show that many of Tanton’s concerns about immigration, though cited by the SPLC as proof of bigotry and intolerance, also have been raised by respected scholars and journalists.

But we also discuss how Tanton has undermined the movement by adhering to a big-tent philosophy that embraces some figures who do not play a constructive role in the immigration debate.

In a civil society, proven racists, bigots, and hate mongers deserve rejection. This report shows that the SPLC, while claiming to hold high the banner of tolerance, failed to observe basic standards of responsible judgment, honest reporting, and simple human decency. It preferred to engage in character assassination.


Is there anything false in the article? Anything hate-filled?

Are cheap labor policies verboten to discuss because discussion has become associated with racists? Are people expected to keep silent around the clear government support of cheap-labor policies for fear of being called racists and hate-mongers?

If you despise cheap-labor policies, the alphabet visas, unpaid internships, Teach for Awhile, displaced homemakers get "trained" for minimum-wage jobs that don't require training, and all the other scams that drive down wages and job opportunities for ALL americans, including minority workers and recent immigrants -- you're a hate-monger?

Convenient. For big business. Which supports a cheap labor agenda, and they fund politics.
As do the big foundations like Carnegie, funded by the monied class.

Another NCLR ally in the campaign (to designate CIS's parent group as a hate org) was a new organization called America’s Voice, whose work to influence public opinion on immigration policy is being funded by a $6 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic foundation.

America’s Voice is directed by Frank Sharry, who for 17 years was executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which bills itself as “the nation’s premier immigrant rights organization.”6 Its board of directors includes representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the National Immigration Law Center, and the American Nursery & Landscape Association.

As reported in the Carnegie Corporation’s magazine, America’s Voice was launched as a “communications effort designed to more directly challenge those who oppose immigration reform.”7 The organization sponsored full-page ads that touted the SPLC’s “hate group” declaration in Politico and Roll Call, Capitol Hill newspapers that are widely read by congressional staff and other members of the Washington political establishment.8

The ruling class plays a devious game.

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