On June 26, 2007, NGA staff testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy at a hearing on the “Adequacy of Labor Law Enforcement in New Orleans.”
The full testimony is available here.
Excerpt from the testimony of NGA Executive Director Saket Soni
[W]orkers, themselves, believe that it is very important that the Department of Labor take responsibility to aggressively educate H2-B workers on their rights, to make sure that employers who don’t follow the law are decertified, and to make sure that the Department of Labor conduct random audits and investigations on H2-B employers, and, most importantly, that in the context of the high level of unemployment in post-Katrina Gulf Coast, any claim that you cannot find U.S. workers who are willing or able to do these jobs should really be scrutinized.
In the final analysis made by H2-B workers, the guest worker program, itself, is deeply flawed. The condition these guest workers are in are a window into what workers across the country will face if Congress expands the program. As long as workers are tied to one employer, as long as they come into this country with debt, and as long as there is no regulation or policing of employers or recruiters, employers will have extraordinary power over workers, and all workers will find themselves in situations [of exploitation].