Study Shows that Immigrant Workers are Subject to Wage Theft Even in the Tech Sector

A study issued by the Economic Policy Institute on December 9th shows that even in the tech sector, immigrants are paid less than their U.S. counterparts, despite Federal legal regulations in place to safeguard against it.

The law says immigrant labor is meant only to augment, not replace American workers. However, because many multinational companies that bring over tech-skilled immigrant workers have gotten away with paying them lower wages, there is an incentive to lay off more U.S. workers who are higher on the pay scale. The lower wages in turn lower the pay standard for the industry as a whole. This is the domino effect created by the practice of under-paying immigrant workers that ultimately harms even domestic, native-born U.S. workers.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, one tech firm, HCL, is saving about $95 million per year by illegally underpaying immigrant workers. According to the company’s own calculations, they systematically pay H-1B workers as much as 47% less than its U.S. workers.

The H-1B visa program is one of several abusive ‘guestworker’ programs in the U.S. Their fatal flaw, according to Catholic Labor Network’s Executive Director Clayton Sinyai.

“They are fatally flawed because the worker’s authorization to work in this country is tied to the sponsoring employer’s goodwill,” he added. “Quitting their job to seek better wages or more humane treatment from another firm is nearly impossible. Workers fear their sponsoring employer’s displeasure, making it extremely difficult for them to organize and demand fair treatment through collective action.”

Source: The Catholic Sun