Monday, March 5, 2012

Full Alaska delegation jumps into J-1 visa issue

Here's an update on our recent report that the State Department might stop granting foreign students J-1 visas to work in U.S. seafood processing plants.

As you'll recall, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, was telling Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this would be a bad move, that Alaska's seafood industry heavily depends on these student workers.

Now, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, both Republicans, have joined Begich on an objection to the Obama administration.

Looking back a few months, Deckboss wonders about the role this Begich letter might have played in precipitating this looming labor crisis for the 2012 salmon season.

Begich suggested the J-1 program might need "modification," noting foreign students had come to work in Kodiak, Kenai and elsewhere without appropriate housing or transportation, and that their employment had cost local resident workers overtime pay.

Some locals even had to resort to a food bank due to the loss of income, Begich wrote.

"Especially when it comes to placing students in smaller communities, we need to assure there is accountability and we are not over-burdening the local area with additional workers competing for jobs," the letter said.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to be a politician in Alaska, where accountability is also bought off, and modificatons to any Act, way up younder in Murkowski's Dixie, with those special exemptions, like Fort Worth Bank & National Bank of Alaska?

What's the matter with the food bank, just toss a few more loads of salmon overboard, a Wards Cove Special, the Want and Waste Experts, and the State Sponsored Plantation Economy!

1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back, With a little two step in between, modification for the plantation, my oh my dixie dance queens forever!

"I fully concur in JUSTICE STEVENS' analysis of this case. Today a bare majority of the Court takes three major strides backwards in the battle against race discrimination. It reaches out to make last Term's plurality opinion in Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U.S. 977 (1988), the law, thereby upsetting the longstanding distribution of burdens of proof in Title VII disparate impact cases. It bars the use of internal workforce comparisons in the making of a prima [p662] facie case of discrimination, even where the structure of the industry in question renders any other statistical comparison meaningless. And it requires practice-by-practice statistical proof of causation, even where, as here, such proof would be impossible.

The harshness of these results is well demonstrated by the facts of this case. The salmon industry as described by this record takes us back to a kind of overt and institutionalized discrimination we have not dealt with in years: a total residential and work environment organized on principles of racial stratification and segregation, which, as JUSTICE STEVENS points out, resembles a plantation economy. Post at 664, n. 4. This industry long has been characterized by a taste for discrimination of the old-fashioned sort: a preference for hiring nonwhites to fill its lowest level positions, on the condition that they stay there. The majority's legal rulings essentially immunize these practices from attack under a Title VII disparate impact analysis.

Sadly, this comes as no surprise. One wonders whether the majority still believes that race discrimination -- or, more accurately, race discrimination against nonwhites -- is a problem in our society, or even remembers that it ever was. Cf. Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989).

Anonymous said...

There isn't a "looming labor crisis", just go to any U.S. college campus and offer work at $2 an hour above minimum wage and you will have students and graduates fighting to fill the positions.

There is rampant unemployment in the lower 48 and we have these big processors crying and paying off legislators to continue their illicit practice of importing foreigners to take advantage of them AND receiving tax breaks to do it!

These big fat cats need to start thinking about what in the hell kind of country they are leaving to their grandkids. All to make the profit line $38.75 mm instead of $38.5 mm. What a bunch of short sighted traitors.

Sell our country for another vacation house on a hill somewhere. And you wonder what is wrong with kids nowadays. Look at yourself and ask... what are you doing to help them? Importing Africans and Russians is stealing opportunities from our own.

Anonymous said...

Actually a vacation house on the river is preferred
from Bob Penney, a politically-prominent local developer connected to the Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) investigation, for about $120,000 under market-value. Murkowski failed to disclose the purchase, and later claimed it was for "personal use,"

Personal Use Dip-Netting, for Subsistence on the Kenai, including a FREE J-1 Visa, don't leave Poland without it!