Global Workers secures MacArthur Foundation project grant to conduct Foreign Temporary Worker Scoping Study
Global Workers has been increasingly concerned with conditions under which foreigners come to the U.S. to work on temporary visas. Some visas such as the H-2 program are fairly well understood, however, the J-1 visa, envisioned for “cultural exchanges” has been increasingly misused to bring in young foreigners to work in sometimes appalling conditions in low wage industries. With the support of the MacArthur Foundation’s Initiative on Global Migration and Human Mobility, Global Workers will launch an unprecedented one-year Foreign Temporary Worker Scoping Study to determine just how many workers are affected, which visas are utilized, understand how they work from the perspective of government agencies, employers and workers, and identify patterns of abuse. The project’s findings will then be summarized in a report for public dissemination. The goal is to educate advocates, policy makers, and the public on the reality of the foreign temporary worker program in the U.S., with the aim of shifting the terms of public debate with respect to this issue and promoting substantial shifts in public opinion. These shifts will make profound transformations in the framework more politically viable. Ashwini Sukthankar, a reknown international labor law expert, will be joining Global Workers to spearhead the study.