Directory of this site
For the best viewing result
TRIM your browser
On June 1, 1999, the US Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that prevented a Haitian immigrant from going to federal court to challenge his detention. The ruling is a blow to the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which basically stripped federal courts of the power to review decisions by immigration judges. The Supreme Court's summary disposition ordered the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to consider Ralph Richardson's claim that his indefinite detention violates the US Constitution. US Justice Department attorneys representing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) sided with Richardson, favoring a review of the constitutional issues.
Richardson, an Atlanta businessperson, has lived in the US since he was 2 years old. He is married to a US citizen and has two children who were born in the US. He served two and a half years in prison after after pleading no contest to a drug-trafficking charge in 1990 for possession of a pound and a half of crack cocaine. In October 1997, Richardson was detained by INS officials at Miami International Airport as he reentered the US after a two-day trip to Haiti with his mother. Since then he has been held at Krome Detention Center near Miami, awaiting deportation.
While waiting for a ruling from the Atlanta appeals court, attorney Ira Kurzban is fighting in INS administrative courts for his client's right to be free on bond while challenging his deportation. An immigration judge in Miami last week said Richardson can petition to cancel his deportation, but officials are "still taking a position that he's not eligible for release," said Kurzban, who is representing Richardson at no charge. [Miami Herald 6/1/99; Atlanta Journal-Constitution 6/17/99 from Cox News Service]
Will the Congress try to raise the cap on H-1B visas in 1999?
Senator Phil Gramm's (R-TX) announcement in June 1999 that he would introduce legislation, the "New Workers for Economic Growth Act," to increase the number of H-1B visas available from 115,000 to 200,000 a year.
A White House official said: "We just raised the caps dramatically on a short-term basis. Now the industry needs to take the long-term steps to address worker training."
Texas Gov. George W. Bush seeking to emphasize his differences with Al Gore by saying, "The limit on H-1B visas should be raised, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President."
Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) promised to investigate fraud in the H-1B program, saying that body brokers were obtaining H-1B visas for unqualified foreign workers that should be reserved for legitimate employers and foreign workers. Department of State testified that 45 percent of a sample of the H-1B petitions filed in Chennai (formerly Madras), India could not be authenticated and 21 percent were fraudulent.
Between 1992 and 1998, the US Department of Labor found employers to be in violation of H-1B regulations 109 times. Back wages were due in 87 cases, amounting to $2.3 million for 519 workers. Firms also paid $209,000 in civil penalties; DOL is permitted to investigate only after it receives a complaint.
The NSF (National Science Foundation) commissioned a report by the Computing Research Association, "The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States," released in May 1999. It concluded: "we cannot state conclusively that there is a shortage or quantify how large it might be. However, the examination of seven kinds of data strongly suggests that there is either a true shortage, or a tight labor market with spot shortages."
Another study predicted 400,000 vacancies for information technology positions the United States by the end of 1999.
The US Department of Commerce released, "The Digital Work Force: Building InfoTech Skills at the Speed of Innovation," that reported that there is no conclusive evidence of a high-tech labor shortage, and that US firms must do more to entice young Americans into high-tech fields. The DOC report criticized US companies for not training US workers for high technology jobs because they fear that trained workers will go elsewhere. Instead, the companies compete for a limited pool of existing talent.
California's Labor Standards Enforcement Division reported in June 1999 that more Silicon Valley employees are complaining that companies are misclassifying them as managers or independent contractors, and thus not paying overtime wages or payroll taxes. Lawyers representing startups say that 90 percent of those with less than 10 employees are engaged in at least one unlawful labor practice. Defenders of company practices say that Silicon Valley employment practices are the equivalent of a modern-day Gold Rush that capitalizes on the American enthusiasm for risk and speculation, and that granting employees stock options in lieu of pay is acceptable to employees, who are eager to participate in the stock-options sweepstakes. California has 140 investigators and 14 attorneys to enforce its labor laws, including 15 Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders.
The San Jose Mercury News has reported that 300 subcontractors used by Hewlett-Packard Co., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. were hiring Southeast Asians to assemble computer components at home, in violation of federal and state laws.
Many computer makers farm out assembly of their products to subcontractors, and some of them send work home so that worker's families can help to do it. A bill pending in the California Legislature, AB 633, would hold garment companies legally liable for labor abuses by its subcontractors; some want to expand it to include electronics.
One family profiled was working on 10 circuit boards to be used for testing integrated circuits; each needed 1,500 transistors, and the family received about $0.01 for each transistor installed. California's Labor Commissioner, Marcy Saunders, said there had been no complaints about home work in electronics in the past decade.
In June 1999, the EEOC filed civil rights lawsuits against a Korean-owned clothing company that sews clothes for the Gap, charging that the company discriminated against pregnant workers by refusing to provide them with mandatory pregnancy benefits. The NLRB has filed charges against several companies alleging that they unfairly prevented workers from forming unions.
In January 1999, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 50,000 current and former garment workers seeking $1 billion from 18 major U.S. retailers allegedly responsible for a "racketeering conspiracy" to produce clothing in sweatshop conditions in Saipan. Legislation is pending in Congress that would require the Marianas to abide by federal immigration and labor laws in order to continue to put "Made in U.S.A." labels on the clothing made there.
Many of the workers are women from China and the Philippines, who pay up to $7,000 to middlemen for jobs in Saipan, meaning that most arrive in debt. The women usually work about 60 hours a week for $3.05 an hour, or about $260 a week with overtime pay, and pay $200 a month for room and board in company-owned housing.
The US medical training system was put under the spotlight by the efforts of Ross University, a 20-year old for-profit medical school in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, to open a branch campus in Wyoming, which has no medical school. Most of the students at Ross are Americans who are not accepted at US medical schools; they spend about two years in the classroom in Dominica, and complete their medical training with two years of clinical studies at United States hospitals.References:
Directory Revised March 12, 2000 Page had been Hosted By
Copyleft1997-9 Doron A. Tal - anyhow my rights were lost... ... דורון א. טל - זכויותי ממילא אבודות