Several of the banks who have collected billions of dollars from government bailout packages sought permission to bring in thousands of foreign workers for high-paying jobs.

What? Are Americans not being laid off left and right? Why are we importing workers when the American jobless rate continues to grow each week?

A dozen or so banks who have received $150 billion dollars in bail out money have requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past 6 years. The average salaries for these jobs? $90,721. Meanwhile, thousands of American workers have been laid off.

The AP investigation reported by Yahoo News reports:

It is unclear how many foreign workers the banks actually hired; the government does not release those details. The actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 foreign workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year among all U.S. employers.

During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. The number of foreign workers included among those laid off is unknown.
Foreigners are attractive hires because companies have found ways to pay them less than American workers.

With this news in mind, it is sort of difficult to have any sympathy at all for any of them. This kind of information makes me speechless. Some things just don’t make sense to me. We are not talking about illegal immigrants here. These workers would be quite legal. I leave the comments to our contributors.

Entire story link available at Yahoo News link above.

22 Thoughts to “AP Reports that Banks Sought Foreign Workers”

  1. Opinion

    It’s a shame that we still categorize people by an accident of birth: where they were born. People should be free to go where the jobs are, purchase goods and services from the source of their choice, and come and go globally as they please. In today’s world, it’s not about Americans; it’s about Citizens of the world. The death of a child in Darfur is no less a loss than the death of an “American” child in a local hospital.

    Borders are an historical artifact of another time when power was measured by land. Our history for the last few thousand years is about seizing and holding land. Now, real power is measured by wealth (a result of free markets). Borders are the problem, not the solution. As soon as we catch up with the EU (although they are still evolving also) on a global scale, we will continue to depress the world economy (there is no longer an independent U.S. economy) and oppress millions of people who are still prisoners of “an accident of birth.”

    Free markets, no borders, allow people to work, produce, consume, and trade as they see fit. Yes, this will impact some in the short term; however, what is it worth to bring the third world into the twenty first Century and perhaps eradicate disease and starvation on a global scale?

  2. Moon-howler

    Try convincing the American people that this is a good idea especially when they are having to pay money for it. Afraid that one won’t fly. I actually do not believe any societies have evolved to the point where they believe their borders shouldn’t be enforced. Perhaps those that have nothing to defend?

    Can anyone think of any?

  3. Opinion

    Re your question, how about Cities? Counties? The 50 states of the United States? The Canadian Provences? been to Europe lately? All of these borders (and many others) used to be “enforced” at one time. Not, they are interesting artifacts that define grographic areas. I think this will “Scale up” over time (as it has in the past).

  4. Moon-howler

    I obviously meant national borders. And actually that isn’t the issue. The issue is why banks would bring in workers in such great numbers? We are talking banks here, not an incredibly specialized area. They have now been forbidden to outsource if they take government money. Perhaps they left out the clause about in-sourcing.

    I don’t have on problem in the world giving work visas to people we need here because of their specialized skill, whether it is picking strawberries and lettuce, heart surgeon, micro chip specialist….a skill that is needed. I didn’t see one job those banks brought in people for that needed a foreign specialist. They are bringing them in to save money. A half million American workers (and they might not all be US citizens) are losing their job each week. Why do we need to bring in new people because they will work for less?

    Why do the banks need to give huge bonuses? Probabably what they saved on the backs of the workers.

  5. Leila

    That’s kind of a pollyannish view of the EU borders Opinion. They are certainly harshly enforced at their edges (ask a Turk for example), but just not once you have entered unless you are caught trying to work if you aren’t an EU citizen. And in terms of island countries in the EU, the UK for instance, the enforcement is as strict as it ever was again unless you are an EU citizen.

  6. Opinion


    Many of those borders used to be National Borders. The Republic of Texas, California, etc. You asked for an example of a society that has evolved… I gave you many (right next door). I’m guessing the Canadian and Mexican Borders will “go away” eventually. Technology and mobility have made them problimatic to enforce as it is (I”m certainly not for a fence).

    Leila, My point was that for members of the EU (including Ireland, which I am personally familiar with), working anywhere within the Union is easy. They problems you talk about are true; however, Turkey isn’t part of the EU (today). The point of my reply to Moon-Howler was to answer her question with examples. The world is far from a perfect place.

  7. Leila

    I know Turkey isn’t part of it! Though I think perhaps it should be. But speaking of ease of work, there was just a demo in the UK last week against industrial jobs going to EU workers from other countries. And in Ireland, there’s a fair amount of xenophobic reaction to the EU influx, though some welcome having a more lively cultural mix.

    The egalitarian all-EU law is way ahead of the public reaction. It is like the US in the Ellis Island era, just because immigrants were legal doesn’t mean they didn’t engender resentment in certain settings.

  8. Moon-howler, doesn’t it make one wonder, with ALL the lay-offs all over the country, if what these banks are doing isn’t more of the rule rather than the exception?

    My husband recently had a conversation with the wife of a postal employee who was concerned about the massive layoffs in the Post Office Department. She was very upset about it primarily because, as the Post Office is laying off American workers in vast numbers, they are actively HIRING illegal aliens to replace them. Now, I would think that, were the Unions really concerned about the American worker, they would be screaming about “scabbing” rather then courting the illegal aliens. Interesting when Corporate America goes into partnership with the American Unions…and the American worker becomes the loser.

  9. Leila

    AWC, how does this postal worker’s wife know that the replacement workers are illegal? Is she talking about the entire country, or just locally? It seems rather improbable quite frankly since the layoffs threatened would appear to be a reduction in force, not replacing one group of workers with another.

    You suggest they have already happened en masse, but this suggests they haven’t yet. I don’t know the answer, but it would be nice to see some documentation.

    Note all the postal workers commenting on the above from just the past couple of days.

  10. Leila

    Here’s another source that suggests that what your husband’s conversation partner describes isn’t happening, in terms of replacements, illegal or otherwise. It also says layoffs haven’t happened, though it is from 1/8/09, a couple of weeks ago. Source is:,8599,1870289,00.html?imw=Y

    “Other changes, however, could be more painful. The Postal Service has frozen officers’ and executives’ pay and cut back on travel. Unlike competitors FedEx and UPS, the agency is hoping to avoid shedding jobs. Still, since September, 156,000 employees at the nation’s largest employer — from executives on down — have been offered voluntary early retirement. About 5% are expected to accept: a first wave of 3,685 workers effectively retired on Dec. 31, while about 4,000 more will exit in February. Several thousand more departures are expected in March. The retirees will not be replaced. These reductions are accelerating a trend: before they began, there were already 100,000 fewer postal workers than there were about seven years ago, with automated sorting technology picking up much of the slack. Meanwhile, part-time employees will be limited to working fewer hours, temp hiring will be cut back, and contract employees may be eliminated altogether.”

    I would also note that over 1,000 Google news articles now available on troubles at the Post Office, the issue appears to be the reduction to 5 day a week service. I didn’t go through all 1000 plus of course! But nothing is coming up about the “massive layoffs” you report above. It would be really dramatic if that is happening to a unionized federal work force, so any citation you can give would be very much appreciated.

  11. As I said in my comment, I’m only reporting, 2nd hand, the conversation according to my husband. Now, THIS would be something interesting to look into and get the facts on. Anybody have any contacts inside the U.S. Postal Service?

    Another thing in which you might be interested. Is anyone familiar with researching private government contractors inside the government? My husband interviewed with a Chinese-owned (not Chinese-American) IT company which is setting up Homeland Security’s computer network. Now, as I recall, foreign companies could not bid on government contracts, so what are they doing with a contract in a high security area? Is anyone curious as to how THAT came about?

  12. Leila

    Hum. Well can you ask your husband what evidence the woman had for saying the USPS was hiring illegal aliens to replace workers gone in massive layoffs? It is a rather bizarre thing to allege. Surely he must have asked how she knew.

    1. Have there been “massive layoffs” at the Post Office that nobody, not even postal workers, have reported? There are certainly fears of layoffs, but have they occurred?

    2. Have those laid off people been replaced given that the plans have been for a reduction in force?

    3. Have those laid off people been replaced, as you wrote, with illegal aliens and how would this postal worker’s wife know the immigration status of all the replacements in the alleged massive layoffs that have miraculously gone unreported?

    Some things really kind of have a red flag attached when they get stated because the logic is missing.

  13. Opinion

    Microsoft: Layoffs for Some, Visas for Others

    Bill Gates is really the architect of our H1B program. He testifies before Congress regularly to try and get the caps raised. Windows, anyone?

  14. Moon-howler

    I don’t think most people have a beef with H1B visas for specialized workers. if and only IF there are no workers already here. I understand that we have to import French chefs and medical facility personnel. I don’t think we need to import human resource personnel or lawyers.

    What on earth is so special about banking? 22,000 jobs in banking cannot be filled by people living here? (I didnt even specify that they had to be American citizens) The jobs I see some of the people doing are jobs that require brief training, not a highly specialized program.

    I resent those bastards bringing in people so they can pay them less. What most people will not accept is foreign workers being brought in for substantially less wages and people already here having to collect unemployment. Now that would be dead wrong.

  15. michael

    Moonhowler, I find it absolutely unbelievable that you can finally understand why people resent “foreign workers” being brought in for substantially less wages and people already here having to collect unemployment.

    This entire blog was founded on the notion that people (primarily on the the dark side all of you love to hate) should not be so upset that “illegal” immigrants are taking US jobs away, AND causing a downturn in economic, social and criminal conditions in US neighborhoods. Notice I didn’t even refer to your use of “foreign worker” which translates to “legal immigrant”. My how the language and use of a few different words and different context of what we mean by “illegal” foreign worker means to all of us on this blog.

    Here is my point OVER AND OVER, and I have said it from the beginning and I’ll say it again.

    NO individual should be given preferences or special opportunities based on their RACE, GENDER, RELIGION or ETHNICITY. They should be held accountable only to the LAW if they are “legal” or “illegal” immigrants.

    Having said that, here is why from my own experience we MUST stop “illegal” immigration.

    The reason the banks (and my own place of employment working within the government sector) is hiring ONLY foreign workers for substantially less wages while people already here are having to collect unemployment, is that the MANAGERS within these organizations, and a significant percentage of the workforce, are NOW INCREASINGLY of a specific ethnicity, race, gender or religion AND they are ACTIVELY DISCRIMMINATING who and how many of their OWN ETHNICITY they hire underneath themselves BASED ON A PREFERENCE for races, genders, religions or ethnicities based on which work applicants are most like themselves and they are getting away with this ILLEGAL ACTIVITY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS.

    1. They were encouraged to do this to meet “DIVERSITY QUOTAS”, and were told by social activists (in these various groups) it would increase their PROFITS.
    2. They were NOT punished by any existing law when they hired discriminately, because the existing laws were to be applied “wink..wink” only to the majority “race”.
    3. They were encouraged to hire people with different languages, to communicate within a narrow market segment of TARGETED INTERNATIONAL BANKING RELATIONSHIPS and targeted ethnic group relationships (with different rules for each of them).
    4. PEOPLE who were brought in on US work VISA’s were more desperate for work at lower wages, than people already here, BECAUSE “ILLEGAL” IMMIGRANTS WERE EVEN MORE DESPERATE FOR WORK AT POVERTY WAGES, and SHOWED THEM THE WAY. THe managers quickly learned the US work society could be converted to ALL foreign workers who would work for FAR less than the wages of the employees they replaced. (in variou forms known as out-sourcing or in-sourcing).
    5. MONEY and BONUSES at the senior management levels became more important than experience or skills of the people they hired (AND IT WAS POLITICALLY CORRECT), and the customers could not complain about poor service or increased mistakes and reduction of communication clarity.
    6. WHY DO YOU THINK WAL-WART, and ALL THE STORES IN THE REGIONAL MALLs NOW ONLY HIRE “legal” foreign immigrants, and when they can get away with it “ILLEGAL” Immigrants?

    Since most of you refuse to accept or understand the truth that the very DEMISE OF OUR ECONOMY and the current global ecomomic meltdown is a DIRECT RESULT of 25 years of ignored “illegal” immigration, causing a huge population and housing bubble, changes due to “illegal” immigrant foreign ethics infusion into our “ethics culture” that leans heavily toward discrimmination, criminalization of the political infrastructure, group preference and open and blatent discrimmination and priviliging of the “law” based on race, religion, gender and ethnicity, I doubt most of you can ACCEPT or understand what “illegal” immigration is going to do to ALL of your future (an current) job stability and future decay of existing wealth (American wages and wealth are tied together), as Discriminatory, ethnic centric MANAGERS continue to hire only their own kind, continue to hire “illegal” immigrants, continue to ignore “immigration law” or quotas, and continue to give preference in work visas to “legal” foreign workers of very specific “favored” ethnicities (in most industries those “legally preferred workers are Hispanic, Hindu and Asian/Chinese, with a smattering of European and Russian “cheap labor”).

    You cannot do anything about “visa” preference for “legal” foreign workers while millions of Americans who are already here are going to be laid off in the next 2 years of this growing depression. You can ONLY do something about “illegal” immigrant workers replacing 12 million Americans who are already here and are going to be laid off and replaced by even more “illegal” immigrants who are encouraged to sneak over our borders, because our US Senators and US congressmen (mostly democrats of specific ethnicity preferences themselves who have gotten into our government in the last 25 years of “illegal” immigration) will continue to press for legislation that will favor specific ethnicities and cultural groups, even though the US constitution forbids it. (Just look at existing 8A laws for a taste of the laws to come).

    Have you ever been to the Capital region US Immigration Office?
    95% of the current US immigration workers know each other’s cultures and ethnicity preferences very well, and are almost ALL prior “illegal” immigrant Asians or Hispanics working in the field offices, working hard to get “illegal” immigrants into the country politically. So are THEIR MANAGERS.

    It is people like those who sympathize with “illegal” immigrants on this blog, that will someday WAKE UP and discover they no longer have a job will never be able to sustain the current wealth they think they should have.
    That is the consequence of a NO BORDER mentality.

  16. SJCheney

    This post is in response to the questions asked of my wife after she reported the conversation I had in the Barber Shop last week:

    My barber is married to a long time postal worker. We ended up talking about how the economy was going down hill fast and how hard it is to find a job.

    She mentioned that the USPS was having a lot of money problems and had a hiring freeze in place and that the work force was being reduced through attrition and buy-outs. Then she told me to local papers for an advertisement stating that the USPS was hiring and told me that the ad was not placed by the USPS but a local latino group that was somehow placing people at the USPS even with the hiring freeze.

    She did not say that these were illegals that were getting the jobs but she did say it was pretty bad that American citizens couldn’t get jobs and here someone was getting jobs that should go to American citizens so you take that as you like.

    If you look in the local paper in the jobs section you will find this ad but just try to go to the USPS web site and see if there are any jobs available. If there are any there sure aren’t any in my field.

  17. IVAN

    SJCheney, I’m a 30 year USPS vet. There has been a hiring freeze on for over 10 yrs. This is primarily in the mail processing fields(Merrifield and Dulles Sectional Centers). They still occasionally hire rural route carriers, maintenance and auto mechanic personnel. Small stations that lose carriers must replace them to get the mail delivered, they don’t have a surplus of people. I have been aware for a long time that various ethnic groups have a system in place to help get people from their background jobs with the USPS. This takes the form of tutoring people about the test that’s given or notifying them when hiring is taking place. I believe the Koreans were the inovators of this back in the 80’s.

    As far as legal vs. illegal is concerned, since 9/11, ever new employee, full-time, part-time or seasonal has to have the following documents prior to hiring.
    1. A drug test from an approved lab
    2. Documents relating to citizenship or residency(green card or work visa)
    3. A police report from a station in their residencial area.

    Finally, I would remind everyone that the vast majority of full-time employees were hired at a period of time when they were covered by a “No Layoff Clause” in their national agreement between the USPS and the APWU.

  18. Punchak

    My small post office has desk clerks from Taiwan, Korea, India, Brazil, Central America and maybe other countries. Once in a while there’s an Anglo but not often. The supervisors, though, are Americans – and white.

    Come to think of it, I can’t recall ever seeing a black clerk.

  19. Leila

    Mr. Cheney, thank you for the clarification. I am not sure how your wife could have gotten from your words her original phrases of “massive layoffs” and “as the Post Office is laying off American workers in vast numbers, they are actively HIRING illegal aliens to replace them.”

    Attrition and early retirement buyouts are not layoffs. I know several people laid off recently and I dare say they would have very much appreciated buyouts instead. The ad you mention gives no indication illegal aliens are being hired, or that even ANYONE is being hired. As you point out, the ad wasn’t placed by the federal agency.

  20. Leila


    The post offices I go to generally have African American clerks. That’s in DC. In Arlington, I see lots of black clerks, as well as clerks of other backgrounds.

  21. Leila, I got that from his original words to me…which is why I ask him to come here and answer your questions himself.

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