One thing we hear all the time from everyone---whether those involved in wage fraud or a small business contractor being forced by development institutions tied to our government agencies----THEY ARE MAKING US COMMIT FRAUD IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENT AWARDS. That is of course the web woven for our CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA 5% POLS AND PLAYERS----
Everyone is involved in these frauds and corruptions so cannot bow out. This is even more a problem for our immigrant citizens trying to attain citizenship. Our minority contractors are up to their neck in corruption just as all others. This is yet another way our low-income immigrant citizens are held hostage to working in the US during ROBBER BARON decades.
'Good moral character is demonstrated by paying taxes and having a clean criminal record, for example, and is an important part of qualifying for naturalization'.
I'm sure our immigrant citizens who do have all those payroll taxes taken out of wages are saying the same as WE THE PEOPLE the 99%-----why are CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA stealing all of our retirements and public trusts? Should THEY BE CITIZENS?
US Citizenship Requirements: Becoming a U.S. Citizen
by FreeAdvice staff
Ask a Lawyer
Becoming a US citizen is a process that requires diligence and perseverance. Read over the eligibility criteria below before you decide to embark on the application process for naturalization. Doing so will help you decide if naturalization is a realistic option for you.
An applicant for US citizenship must meet the following requirements:
Must be admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), commonly referred to as one who possesses green card status. There is only one exception to this requirement: If an applicant has served in the US armed forces during war, that person may be naturalized without first becoming a permanent resident if they were in the United States upon induction or enlistment into the US military.
Continuous residence in the US for at least five years immediately preceding the applicant's filing for naturalization. Continuous residence is not the same thing as physically present here. That is, one must maintain their status as a legal permanent resident but not necessarily be physically inside the borders of the US to accomplish this. For example, if one is overseas for a portion of this period, maintaining an address location and paying one's state and federal taxes may help ensure continuity of residence for this requirement. Also, if overseas for any more than a few months, it may be advisable to obtain a travel document prior to departing. This may be done on INS Form I-131. Only three years continuous residence are required if the applicant is filing for US citizenship based upon marriage. This exception applies if you are the spouse of a US citizen and have been married for three years; are the battered spouse of a US citizen (even if you are separated or divorced); are a refugee or political asylee; in the US military or are a widow or widower of someone in the US military; or are a spouse of a US citizen in particular overseas jobs.
Actual physical residence (within the state in which the petition is filed) during at least the three months immediately before filing for US citizenship is another requirement.
Physical presence within the US for a total of at least one half of the period of required continuous residence. That is, two and a half years for most applicants and one and a half years for spouses of US citizens.
Continuous residence (but not necessarily physical presence) in the United States from the date of filing the naturalization application up to the date of being sworn in as a US citizen.
The ability to read, write and speak ordinary English unless they are physically unable to do so due to a disability such as being blind or deaf, or suffer from a developmental disability or mental impairment. Those over 50 years old on the date of filing who have lived here for a total of at least 20 years after admission as a permanent resident and those who are over 55 and have been legal permanent residents for at least 15 years are also exempt from this requirement.
A basic understanding of the fundamentals of US history and government. There is an oral test that covers fundamentals of US history and government and it is required for naturalization.
Good moral character and an affinity for the principles of the US Constitution. Good moral character is reflected in the applicant's behavior before applying for US citizenship. Good moral character is demonstrated by paying taxes and having a clean criminal record, for example, and is an important part of qualifying for naturalization.
Applicants should be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing. Certain exceptions exist, however, for the children of other permanent residents who are seeking naturalization.
Other Paths to Citizenship
An applicant under the age of 18, may still qualify for naturalization if one of his or her parents is a citizen or becomes a citizen of the United States.
The American people have these few decades turned a blind eye to the growing abuses and exploitation of our immigrant citizens as Clinton era transitioned to an official global labor pool and human distribution system. No doubt it existed before then in Foreign Economic Zones globally, but the laws protecting immigrant workers----their treatment and trafficing -----constant movement from job site to job site in one state then another have of course made any hopes of naturalized citizenship for most global labor pool impossible to meet. It is those human capital trafficing organizations moving them ---those 5% to the 1% immigrant citizens ----working to deliberately keep people from attaining a status of US citizenship. No doubt Congress and our state houses work hard with laws making the PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP harder----
When we allow ever-larger populations of global labor pool in our US cities shifting residence constantly we are allowing for the same treatment for US 99% citizens black, white, and brown. That is to where MOVING FORWARD goes in the coming decade or two. Being an US EX-PAT overseas earning good salaries still protected with US citizenship and laws will be ending and with that will come the same status as today's global labor pool inside US.
Those right wing voters who like to say----GET OUT----YOU DON'T BELONG HERE----are missing the fact that our global labor pool is contracted by corporations and investment firms tied to development in US cities ----often these workers have no choice.
We edited this post----please take time to Goggle original article to see how totally dysfunctional our workplace and citizenship laws have come under global labor pool constant rotation of workers.
Labor Trafficking in the U.S.:
A Closer Look at Temporary Work Visas
“They treat us like dogs.”
– Jordan, H-2B Visa Holder
While human trafficking spans all demographics, there
are some circumstances that lead individuals to become
more susceptible to victimization. Foreign nationals
who have paid large recruitment and travel fees to labor
recruiters often become highly indebted. Traffickers
control and manipulate these individuals by leveraging
the non-portability of many temporary visas as well as
the victims’ lack of familiarity with surroundings, laws
and rights, language fluency, and cultural understanding.
Victims face many barriers accessing help. Their traffickers may confiscate their identification documents and money.
They may not speak English. They may not know where they are, because they have been moved frequently. They are often not allowed to communicate with family or friends. And they may have trouble trusting others, due to
their traffickers’ manipulation and control tactics.
Since December 2007, Polaris has identified nearly
30,000 human trafficking and labor exploitation cases
in the United States through operating the National
Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline
and the BeFree Textline. In approximately 18% of
these cases, we were able to positively determine that
at least one victim of the situation had a temporary
visa. Through analysis of these situations, we have
come to understand the individuals most vulnerable
to exploitation, their experiences, and some of the
structural reasons for their vulnerability.
This report focuses on six U.S. temporary visas commonly associated with labor exploitation and trafficking as reported to the NHTRC and the BeFree Textline.
include the A-3, B-1, G-5, H-2A, H-2B and J-1 visa
categories. In FY 2014, more than 500,000 of these visas
were issued to people coming into the United States.
To ensure that migrants on temporary visas are better
protected from the risk of labor trafficking and labor
exploitation, Polaris urges support for the following
U.S. federal policy recommendations:
Prohibit the application of recruitment fees to
individuals who have obtained a temporary visa.
Require employers to provide complete and accurate
contracts directly to workers in a language the worker
Require foreign labor recruiters to register with the
U.S. government and encourage companies to use
registered labor recruiters.
Ensure that temporary visa holders can change
employers without losing their visa status
While methods of force, fraud, and coercion were
generally similar across visa types, there were some
unique differences. For domestic workers with A-3,
G-5, and B-1 visas in particular, it was far more likely
that exploiters used sometimes extreme methods of
isolation and monitoring. Potential victims reported
various methods such as confinement to the household, creating distrust of others, deliberately limiting a potential victim’s access to a support system, preventing or limiting a potential victim’s access to necessary medical services, confiscating personal cell phones, or monitoring phone records.
The denial of food or other needs was also a common punitive measure used against domestic workers, but was also referenced frequently in cases of H-2A and H-2B visas, often when work related quotas were not met or the exploiter deemed the potential victim disobedient. Verbal abuse, degradation,
and emotional manipulation were common tactics used across cases. Sometimes these particular abuse methods coincided with employment discrimination based on nationality or gender.
In addition to contract violations detailed in the
Recruitment section of this report, the NHTRC and
BeFree Textline have identified additional workplace
abuses such as wage and hour issues, discrimination,
conditions, wrongful termination, verbal and physical
abuse. These workplace violations most often occurred
in situations of labor exploitation. Potential victims
with H-2A and J-1 visas, in particular, often reported
inadequate or squalid living quarters provided by their
employers. Some examples of these conditions included
no running water, heat, or air conditioning, inadequate
plumbing, pest infestation, a lack of proper food storage
or cooking sources, and overcrowding. While the
amount of potential victims occupying one residence
varied widely, overcrowding was often so severe that
some victims reported not having their own bed, forcing
them to sleep on floors, with others, or even outside.
These hazardous/unsafe/unsanitary conditions were not
just limited to potential victims’ home lives, as evident
by the large number of reports from H-2A guest workers
working primarily with tobacco. Despite the risk of
contracting Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS),
workers frequently reported that their employers did not
provide them with protective safety equipment necessary
when directly handling tobacco leaves and pesticides.
Of the workers who were afforded the opportunity
to wear safety gear, some had to pay for their own
In many cases, victims were unable to definitively answer
whether or not their exploiter was their direct employer
because of a general sense of confusion regarding the
role of labor contractors and foreign labor recruiters.
When victims had concerns regarding wage and hour
issues, safety issues, or contract violations, the victims
most typically reported these to their direct supervisor
at the work site. In many instances, this supervisor
transferred blame to corporate entities of which the
victims had little to no knowledge. Because of a lack of
understanding of the structure of the labor supply chain
and confusion over the involvement and legal obligations
of each entity involved, victims were often unable to
ascertain who was directly responsible for wrongdoing,
who was complicit in the wrongdoing, and who was
completely unaware of the exploitation occurring. The
complexity of these labor supply chains creates huge
obstacles for the implementation and regulation of labor
laws as even the individuals most directly affected by
these systems are unsure of their positions.
We are sure in Texas as in Maryland and Baltimore the category of MINORITY CONTRACTOR has long gone to LATINO global 1% and their 2% with their own development corporations. Today MINORITY contractor is moving less to LATINO and more towards Asian, Middle-East, African global labor pool. With Latino contractors having the bulk over these few decades there has been a system of workers flowing in and out as this article says---SHADOW LABOR -----it is slave trade.
It is true that a 5% is lifted as bosses in these global labor systems but for the 99% of immigrants they come----they are pressed to the hardest of labor ---and then they go-----
All of this is driven by OUR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT AND CONTRACT AWARDS-----so, our pols and those global Wall Street Baltimore Development institutions KNOW when they outsource to an immigrant contractor that these work conditions will exist. A Texas or Maryland Assembly pol could care less about how these workers are treated---they are doing PAY-TO-PLAY-----they are getting kickbacks-----and the more global labor pool come and go the less time for pesky PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP.
Baltimore is staging for MOVING FORWARD a complex system of just this same set up in Texas----getting ready for building global corporate campuses---needing enslaved labor----no Baltimore citizens need apply.
'Their compensation often falls below minimum wage. They might receive just $90 for a 14-hour workday, or about $6.42 an hour — and that’s when they do get paid. On more than a few occasions, the brothers have gone days, weeks and even months without receiving payment for their grueling labor'.
This article is generous----more times than not these global labor pool workers do not get paid----WELL, THEY DESERVE THAT COMING IN ILLEGALLY-----know what? None of that FIXES BALTIMORE ----the blame comes back to our Baltimore City Council/Mayor----and our Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols/Governor----and all those 5% to the 1% players we know are wheeling and dealing in all this.
In Texas, undocumented immigrants have no shortage of work
An underground labor market provides abundant employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants in the United States. But working in the shadows often means accepting low pay and exploitation.
by Travis Putnam Hill Dec. 16, 2016 12 AM
Construction workers on a project in Houston on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors.
The Texas Tribune is taking a yearlong look at the issues of border security and immigration. In this part of the project we look at how our insatiable demand for illegal drugs and cheap labor make the border less secure. Sign up to get story alerts.Though it's illegal, brothers Israel and José Martinez have no shortage of work, moving from one construction job to the next in the ongoing building boom of Central Texas. They’ve worked on homes in affluent communities along the Upper Colorado River and renovated sprawling apartments in North Austin. They were on a crew that erected a new health center at a high-end retirement community, and as expert masons have built luxury pools, interior chimneys and backyard grilling stations.
Their compensation often falls below minimum wage. They might receive just $90 for a 14-hour workday, or about $6.42 an hour — and that’s when they do get paid. On more than a few occasions, the brothers have gone days, weeks and even months without receiving payment for their grueling labor.
In all their years in Texas, Israel and José — pseudonyms, since both asked that their real names not be published — have experienced a lot. One thing they say they haven’t seen: U.S. citizens doing the heavy lifting on construction projects.
“We’ve never seen any Americans carrying cement, picking up stone, working from sunup to sundown,” Israel said. “Never.”
This is the economic and social reality in which the brothers, and millions of other unauthorized immigrants, find themselves — a country so reliant on cheap labor that substantial portions of the economy are built largely on the backs of immigrants willing to do work most Americans won't, and for lower pay.
The United States, and Texas in particular, has beefed up border security in recent years to keep immigrants out while paying less attention to one of the main factors drawing them here: There are almost always jobs waiting for them, even if securing and maintaining those jobs becomes a test of physical and emotional endurance.
Various loopholes, backdoors and private arrangements allow undocumented workers and their employers to skirt the prohibitions on hiring workers illegally.
Workers pay hundreds of dollars for fake Social Security cards or other documents to show employers, or they work as independent contractors so they don't have to show any documents at all. Employers aren't required to verify the authenticity of documents they are shown or obligated to check the immigration status of independent contractors.
Many undocumented immigrants also find informal work paid in cash under the table, often at rates far below minimum wage, and the employer can pretend they were never hired.
Operating in the shadows of this clandestine labor market puts the workers in a vulnerable position: Yes, jobs are plentiful, but only in exchange for working long hours for low pay and little recourse against unscrupulous employers who cheat or exploit them.
“It’s an underground railroad,” said José Manuel Santoyo, 24, who grew up undocumented in Corsicana where he said he never had trouble finding work. “Everybody where I grew up in Corsicana knew where to go find employment if they needed it and if they were undocumented. It’s a network of people that are wanting to help each other so that everybody can have jobs and opportunities. When you’re in survival mode, you’re willing to do any job.”
Santoyo says he worked at the Sonic Drive-In at the edge of town on Highway 287. He says he held jobs at McDonald’s, a pizza joint and the Home Depot distribution center before it relocated to South Dallas. He also worked for a few months one Christmas season at the famed Collin Street Bakery, a mainstay of Corsicana known for its fruitcakes.
“There’s always opportunities for undocumented labor,” Santoyo said.
Those opportunities are the very things on which the Martinez brothers pinned their hopes for a better future when they left their home in Mexico.
Sitting at their kitchen table beneath a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe flanked on either side by the American and Mexican flags, the Martinez brothers recounted their perilous journey from Cuernavaca, Mexico, to Central Texas — a trek in which they endured the bitter cold of desert nights while dodging venomous snakes and malevolent strangers who prey on the multitudes of migrants headed to the United States in search of economic opportunity, safety or both.
“You can end up dead in the desert, and you’re walking with nothing more than God’s blessing,” said Israel, 34, speaking in Spanish. “We had to pay around $1,500 each to cross the river and bring us here.”
That river is the Rio Grande, which they crossed illegally to reach U.S. soil, and here is Austin, Texas, where the brothers, along with their father, have lived and worked since they arrived in 2004.
“The reason we came over here was because there’s almost no jobs available from where we’re from,” said Israel’s brother José, 38, who also spoke in Spanish. “And sometimes, if I do work, I still have to borrow more money to finish the week and eat. I then need to work extra time to pay for the money I borrowed, and then you get yourself stuck with debts, debts, debts. You cannot get out from there, so you need to find other alternatives. Here, sometimes employers don’t pay you and it’s hard, but it’s better than being in Mexico without a job and having debts.”
Brothers Israel and José Martinez — pseudonyms, since they asked their real names not be published — have found plenty of work in the ongoing building boom of Central Texas, but they say they've repeatedly been cheated out of their pay.Miguel Alvarez for The Texas TribuneOf the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, an estimated 8 million were working or looking for work as of 2014, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center. In Texas, 1.1 million unauthorized immigrant workers made up 8.5 percent of the state’s total labor force, concentrated in industries like agriculture, hospitality and especially construction, where an estimated 25 percent of workers were unauthorized. Researchers at the Workers Defense Project and the University of Texas at Austin put that number even higher, finding that half of surveyed construction workers in Texas said they were undocumented.
It’s no surprise, then, that construction sites are where the Martinez brothers have spent most of their waking hours for the past 12 years. “You can find jobs quicker in construction over here because that’s the industry where they let [undocumented immigrants] work the most,” José said. His brother added, “When you already know how to do construction, it is easy to find jobs anywhere.”
But first they have to get past the laws that forbid their being hired. For many undocumented immigrants, that path forward is through fraudulent documents.
“The workers present false documents of the kind that the law requires the employer to inspect,” said Bill Beardall, executive director of the Equal Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm that represents low-wage workers, many of whom are undocumented, in employment rights disputes. “Now, the employers know this. The workers know this. The prohibition on hiring undocumented workers has stimulated the growth of that whole industry in creating false documents.”
It’s not always an easy decision to use fake documents, but for many, it’s the only path they see to earning a living.
“I had to work,” said Isabella, 33, who arrived in the United States when she was just five and says she got her first job at a Dallas Jack in the Box at age 16 to help her parents make ends meet.
“I just did whatever everyone else in my situation did,” she said. “There was a place in the Oak Cliff area that was well known to duplicate Social Security cards, and that’s how [I got the job]. I just invented a number, a random number, and I used my school ID.”
She didn’t want to lie — and break the law — to help her family, but, she said, “that was the only way I knew I could work.”
Isabella asked that her real name not be published for fear that public knowledge of her immigration status would affect her business as a real estate agent for a large Dallas-area firm, a position she can legally hold as a result of President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order granting relief from deportation to young undocumented immigrants.
Fake documents are not cheap, especially for folks subsisting on substandard wages. They can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $1,000. But some undocumented immigrants pay a much steeper price for using fake papers.
Gerardo Vera was convicted of fraud after using someone else’s Social Security number to get a job at a New York restaurant. He served two years in U.S. prison and was deported to Mexico, but not before paying $5,000 for an attorney to fight the deportation order so he could instead be granted “voluntary” removal — an outcome that would allow him to eventually return to the United States. He did not prevail, despite his pleas to the judge.
“I told her I don’t have anyone here,” Vera said when interviewed in Matamoros, Mexico, after his deportation. “My entire family is over there.”
He said he didn’t know if he’d be able to rejoin his wife and children, as he would face even more prison time if caught trying again to illegally enter the United States.
Those who can’t get fake documents or who fear the legal repercussions of doing so are often hired completely off the books.
That’s how José Luis Zelaya, 29, got most of his work growing up in Houston.
“It wasn’t like I went to places and applied for jobs because I was always very afraid of using certain types of documentation because there was a fear that [immigration enforcement] would go after me or my mom,” said Zelaya, who fled poverty and violence in his home country of Honduras when he was 13.
Instead, he found informal work at a Mexican restaurant, earning $30 a day to work the door and run the register. He then moved on to mowing lawns, where his pay inched up to $40 a day.
“It was a humble job,” Zelaya said. “I was very proud of what I was doing, and I still am.”
Undocumented immigrants also find work as independent contractors — a common tactic in construction but by no means unique to that industry.
“The employer does not have an obligation to check the work authorization of someone that they engage as an independent contractor,” Beardall explained.
Hiring undocumented workers as independent contractors, or misclassifying them as contractors, he said, “not only enables you to evade overtime laws and minimum wage laws and workers comp but also holds at arm’s length any knowledge you’re supposed to check into about their immigration status.”
Complex subcontracting arrangements — in which the primary company on a project contracts work out to a second company, which then subcontracts to a third, and so on down to the individual workers — are a central practice of the construction industry. Subcontracting provides a way for general contractors to hire specialists in specific trades, like carpenters or electricians. But such arrangements also allow the companies at the top of the chain to circumvent responsibility for using undocumented labor or abuses that may occur further down, such as wage theft.
“Construction workers, especially those who are immigrants and especially those who are undocumented immigrants, are very vulnerable to not getting paid at all for their work after they've worked on a job,” Beardall said.
It’s a scenario the Martinez brothers know all too well.
In 2009, when they were working on the retirement community’s health center, the subcontractor who hired them stiffed them for what Israel said was $2,400 worth of work. They found out the subcontractor had already been paid but was holding out on them.
“There’s the boss, the supervisor, the contractor and the worker,” Israel said. “What he thought he could do was just to not pay us and keep the money the supervisor gave him.”
The Equal Justice Center took up the brothers’ case and filed a mechanic’s lien, a procedural device that can bring a halt to work at a site until a dispute can be resolved. They recovered what they were owed.
A similar thing happened the following year when the brothers and dozens of other workers were renovating and adding stone to the exterior of a large apartment complex in North Austin. For weeks, their supervisor promised to pay them but never delivered. When the workers threatened to stop working, the supervisor threatened to call the police.
“We told him that he could do as he pleased but that he had to pay,” Israel said.
Through the help of their lawyer, and another mechanic’s lien, the brothers and 44 other workers recovered their wages.
In a sense, Israel and José have been lucky, despite frequently running into dishonest bosses intent on cheating them out of their pay. They continue to find work, and when they feel they’re being exploited, they move on to another job.
“We wake up early, we go to work, we work hard, and we come home to our families to make sure they have food and a roof over their heads,” Israel said. “We don’t come here to steal or take away jobs from anyone or kidnap people. We just want an opportunity to move forward.”
Some slightly more fortunate undocumented immigrants find the means to cobble together enough money to start their own businesses. After working years as a restaurant busser and server, sometimes for as little as $30 for 12-hour days, José Sic opened his own business.
“It is a soccer field, where families can come and have fun, come and play,” said Sic, 39, who hasn’t returned to his native Guatemala since he left in 1996.
José Sic at his soccer field in Houston.Gabriel C. Pérez for The Texas TribuneThough it’s illegal to employ undocumented immigrants like Sic, there’s nothing specifically barring him from operating a business. He rents the land for his soccer field and charges customers a small entrance fee.
“My goal is to buy the land,” he said. “[I’m] planning to make this better, bigger. I have a dream. I don't know, but for me this is just the beginning.”
It’s an uplifting sentiment, one shared by many undocumented immigrants striving to carve out their own niches in the American dream. But there’s a counterweight, a bitter truth that runs through the minds of all who entered this country illegally: The fear that at any moment they could be forcibly uprooted and sent back to the countries from where they came.
For Isabella, that fear didn’t come so much from working illegally. “I think I had more fear about driving without a license,” she said, remembering a time when she narrowly avoided arrest after getting pulled over on her way to work.
It was experiences like that — the day-in, day-out of being undocumented — that took an emotional toll on Isabella.
“It made me an introverted person,” she said. “I’m naturally shy. It kind of made me [feel embarrassed a lot of times for no reason], and I guess that was the root of it. And sometimes it would make me feel insecure with myself, that a lot of the things that I wanted were impossible.”
In a way, though, it made her stronger, she said. “It also helped me to be a fighter. I fought to have an education here in the state of Texas. I fought to be able to have a voice in this country.”
But the prospect that President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on some of his campaign promises means Isabella, and others who benefited from Obama’s relief from deportation, may be relegated once again to the shadows.
Trump has promised to repeal the executive action, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, within his first 100 days in office.
DACA recipient José Manuel Santoyo hasn’t been to his birth country of Mexico since he left in 2001. He is about to graduate from Southern Methodist University and intends to go into politics. But losing DACA would put that dream on hold.
“The United States is my home,” he said. “This is where I grew up, and this is where I want to be. This is where I want to build a career.”
That anxiety for what the future holds permeates beyond these young immigrants throughout the entire undocumented community.
“All my life, what I earned is here,” José Sic said. “If one day I'm going to be deported, I'm going to leave everything behind. I'm going to lose everything, but I [won’t] let being scared or afraid [take] that away from my mind to do what I want to do.”
One of the policies installed in IMMIGRATION REFORM under Obama was the need for immigrants to stay employed in order to meet that PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP naturalization. Here we can see how that will never happen for a growing number of immigrants. This is the policy of OPEN BORDER----CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are OPEN BORDER ONE WORLD and we see the purpose of OPEN BORDER policies-----always a circulating population of undocumented workers easy to defraud and exploit.
'Of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, an estimated 8 million were working or looking for work as of 2014, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center'.
This is right wing economic policy-----getting labor free is the goal and this has existed overseas in Foreign Economic Zones for decades-----now the system is being built here in US. So, who are those OPEN BORDER folks shouting to allow exploitation and enslavement of these workers? No doubt these 5% to the 1% have businesses either building or providing HUMAN RESOURCES.
So here we have right off the bat the law-breaking that will keep these immigrants from a PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP
'Fake documents are not cheap, especially for folks subsisting on substandard wages. They can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $1,000. But some undocumented immigrants pay a much steeper price for using fake papers'.
AN ECOSYSTEM OF FEAR-----says this article-----APPLE, CISCO, all Silicon Valley tech corporations and we know there is that global 1% and their 2% East Indian citizens living in San Fran just staging these kinds of employment frauds. This is what will occur in Baltimore---already is but will soar.
These are our white collar professionals in the only economy in MOVING FORWARD---THE TECH INDUSTRY.......hello Pelosi see you are heavy into the slave trade on top of looting the Federal government as a Robber Baron pol! WHAT A HILLARY NASTY LADY!
THIS ARTICLE IS LONG--PLEASE GLANCE THROUGH BECAUSE THE GOAL IS TO DO THIS SAME SCHEME TO US WORKERS SENT OVERSEAS TO WORK.
Job brokers steal wages and entrap Indian tech workers in US
by The Center for Investigative Reporting documents how exploitation persists – through humiliation, intimidation and legal threats
Software engineer Gobi Muthuperiasamy said his father’s experience as a union leader encouraged him to fight a labor broker’s lawsuit. Photograph: Matt Smith
This article is 2 years old Matt Smith, Jennifer Gollan and Adithya Sambamurthy for the Center for Investigative Reporting
Tuesday 28 October 2014 00.00 EDT Last modified on Friday 14 July 2017 17.49 EDT
Labor brokers providing Indian high-tech workers to American companies have hijacked a professional visa program, creating an underground system of financial bondage by stealing wages and benefits, even suing workers who quit.
About 840,000 people from around the world work in the United States on temporary visas, intended to help companies seek uniquely talented employees for specific jobs. In the tech realm, labor brokers often sponsor the visas, then contract out the workers to technology companies or government agencies to build databases, test software and complete other technical projects.
For decades, critics have sounded alarms about immigrant tech workers being treated as indentured servants by the worst of these staffing firms, known as “body shops.” In a yearlong investigation, The Center for Investigative Reporting has documented why this exploitation persists – through humiliation, intimidation and legal threats. Judgments against Indian workers sued for quitting their US jobs can exceed $50,000.
One worker called it an “ecosystem of fear”.
It’s a shadow world that can turn a worker’s dream of self-betterment into a financial nightmare. Shackling workers to their jobs is such an entrenched business practice that it has even spread to US nationals.
This bullying persists at the bottom of a complex system that supplies workers to some of America’s richest and most successful companies, such as Cisco Systems, Verizon and Apple.
“You can pretty much see a leash on my neck with my employer,” said Saravanan Ranganathan, a Washington-area computer security expert here on an H-1B visa. “It’s kind of like a hidden chain … and you’d better shut up, or you’ll lose everything.”
Through thousands of documents filed with government agencies and in courts across the US and interviews with dozens of workers, CIR found the tools of intimidation included restrictive employment contracts – signed by workers unaware of their rights – as well as legal loopholes.
Even immigration experts have trouble sorting out how the brokers manage to game the system.
From 2000 through 2013, at least $29.7m was illegally withheld from about 4,400 tech workers here on H-1B visas, US Department of Labor documents show. And this barely hints at the problem because, in the hidden world of body shops, bad actors rarely are caught.
No federal clearinghouse logs labor brokers’ punitive lawsuits against employees, often filed in far-flung courthouses. But by running the Labor Department violators’ names through court dockets in tech hubs across the country, CIR unearthed a sample of 100 cases in which companies have sued workers for actions as commonplace as changing jobs.
One of them is software engineer Gobi Muthuperiasamy, who came to the United States from the southern India city of Madurai in 2007 to work for one labor broker. In 2010, while he was contracted to a project at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, he decided to switch labor brokers, to Softech International Resources Inc.
The rural Georgia staffing firm boasts online of providing tech workers to IBM, Bank of America, Verizon and other companies. Softech agreed to pay Muthuperiasamy $51,000 a year to continue improving Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation database. Instead, he changed his mind, taking a better-paying job in Ohio.
When Softech sued him in 2011 for more than $20,000, saying he had agreed to it when he signed his employment contract, Muthuperiasamy was astonished.
“You should treat people like human beings,” the 32-year-old said, “not like animals, creatures that you make money off of.”
He decided to fight back, spending more than three years and $25,000 in legal costs. That makes Muthuperiasamy unusual: In the vast majority of court cases reviewed by CIR, workers naively and ineffectively represented themselves, didn’t show up for their court date or gave up and returned to India.
Softech is a case in point. Owned by Krishnan Kumar, Softech has filed 32 lawsuits against employees in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Many of those lawsuits name workers who complain that they quit because they weren’t being paid. Yet most of the workers ended up on the losing end, through settlements or mediations or in court.
Kumar declined to be interviewed. But in court testimony and legal filings, he says he sues former workers to recoup the financial damage their departures cause his company – damage he routinely values at $20,000.
Virginia attorney Rajiv Khanna, who represents employers and employees in immigration matters, considers the financial shackles “an immoral, unethical and very probably illegal control of the workforce.”
“I’m surprised so many years have passed by and nobody has done anything about it,” Khanna said.
That the practice survives, and thrives, is a testament to supply and demand far eclipsing oversight.
For some, visa fraud is a given
On a scorching afternoon in Hyderabad, India, computer science students at Osmania University chatted in small clusters while packing up to leave their concrete-walled classroom.
These students at one of southern India’s oldest universities described the irresistible draw of landing a technology job in the US – even if it means signing a contract promising to pay off a bond if they quit. Most acknowledged that is the price they expect to pay to pursue their dreams.
“I’ll definitely go for it,” said Karunya Manvela Runja, then a sophomore.
In Hyderabad, visa fraud is a fact of life for many.
It has been the source of the vast majority of India’s fraudulent documents tied to H-1B visa applications, according to a June 2009 cable from the US State Department unearthed by WikiLeaks. Inflated work experience was a typical problem, the cable said, adding that of 150 companies in Hyderabad investigated by the US Consulate, 77% were “fraudulent or highly suspect.”
Today, tech staffing and consulting firms make up about half of the companies barred from the H-1B program for labor abuse, among other violations, according to Department of Labor records.
Yet Runja said she and other students would sign with a labor broker for “an opportunity to show, to prove ourselves.”
Behind such earnest enthusiasm lurks global economics: In India, students fresh out of college earn the equivalent of $4,500 to $5,800 a year, according to data from the consulting firm Mercer cited in The Economic Times, an Indian newspaper. In the US, they easily can bring in five times that – or more.
And landing a US tech job offers more than money: it can improve an Indian graduate’s social status and marriage prospects, according to Xiang Biao, a University of Oxford anthropologist who spent a year researching the Indian body shop industry.
Inflated work experience is a typical problem with many H-1B visa applications in India, according to a 2009 US State Department cable. Photograph: Adithya Sambamurthy/CIR
Contracting with labor brokers also benefits US employers. They can staff up swiftly for temporary jobs and slim down just as fast, with workers paid below-market rates. The brokers, meanwhile, deal with immigration regulations and paperwork and generally are on the hook for claims that H-1B worker protection laws were violated.
Some companies say they shun labor brokers; a Facebook official told CIR that her company does not use them. Others who rely on them renounce the abuses but are quick to deflect responsibility.
Asked whether Cisco Systems is concerned about its contractors’ treatment of employees, company spokesman Nigel Glennie said: “We expect high ethical and legal standards as to how we deal with our employees. We do expect those same standards of those who provide IT services to us.”
Early attempts at reform
An omnibus immigration bill passed by the Senate last year sought to thwart abuse at the source by weeding out labor brokers from the temporary visa program. The measure proposes to nearly triple the number of new annual temporary work visas to 180,000. The House has yet to take up the measure.
That was not the first effort to address abuses by tech labor brokers. In 1998, part of the federal American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act barred companies from penalizing H-1B visa holders for quitting their jobs. But a loophole inserted amid heavy industry lobbying allowed companies to sue the departing workers for financial damages.
TechServe Alliance, the lobbying organization that represents technology labor brokers, took credit on its website for blocking “the most onerous proposals” in the 1998 bill, saving employers from “burdensome new regulations”.
By allowing labor brokers to recoup costs incurred when workers quit, the law enabled them to disguise illegal penalties, critics say.
Of nearly 200 H-1B labor violation investigations completed by the Labor Department in the 2013 fiscal year, seven companies were cited for imposing – or attempting to impose – illegal penalties on workers who quit. One was a doctor, department data shows. The other six were technology consulting companies or labor brokers.
Nearly all Labor Department investigations into H-1B violations begin with a complaint by an employee or another person with direct knowledge of the situation. Even a string of lawsuits indicating that a labor broker routinely extracts money from departing workers would not prompt the department to get involved, said Jason Surbey, an agency spokesman.
Yet software engineer Muthuperiasamy tried in vain to get the US government to help. He complained to the Department of Labor, Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service that Softech was abusing the legal system by pursuing him for quitting.
The official response: a letter from the Labor Department saying it would not investigate Softech because the company technically never had employed Muthuperiasamy – even though Softech’s lawsuit was based on him being an employee who left the labor broker in the lurch.
“They said it was not a DOL problem,” Muthuperiasamy said.
The agency is primarily focused on workers in low-wage industries, including those who are “trying to get by, trying to pay for their rent that day”, said Michael Kravitz, a spokesman for the agency’s Wage and Hour Division.
Advertisement“We need to be strategic with our resources,” Kravitz said.
Workers represent themselves in court
Without the protection of federal enforcement, workers sometimes fend for themselves in county courthouses – often with disastrous results.
They “come from a foreign land and were not educated here, so they may not be aware of how the system works and may not know how to present their story effectively,” said Prakash Khatri, a Washington-area lawyer who served as the first ombudsman for US Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2003 to 2008.
Vensoft and sister company SQA Labs have sued 25 employees since 2004. Of the 20 workers who represented themselves, at least half settled privately or lost to the Phoenix-area labor broker in court. The broker won judgments as high as $51,000.
Company officials did not return calls seeking comment.
CompSys Technologies in Amherst, New York, has sued at least nine employees across the country since 2001. The labor broker won or settled all but one of the cases for a combined take of more than $80,000. The remaining case was dismissed after the company didn’t pursue its complaint.
In at least three of these cases, CompSys made workers headed to the US sign bonding agreements requiring them to pay hefty fees if they quit. They had to sign another document once they arrived, agreeing to pay $15,000 more if they quit before the end of their contracts.
“It is an artificial handcuff on workers,” said Paul Weiss, a labor attorney in New York who represented workers in some of the CompSys cases. “To impose such a draconian requirement is unconscionable.”
Raju Bade signed a two-year contract with CompSys when he arrived in the US in 2000. “They said if I didn’t sign, I would have to leave the country,” he said. The contract resembled one Bade signed in India just before leaving.
The programmer spent the next year and a half working jobs that CompSys assigned him to in Austin, Texas; Phoenix; and Memphis, Tennessee. Bade said he earned about $42,000 a year; when he was between assignments, the company sometimes cut that in half.
Fed up, Bade nearly doubled his compensation by taking a full-time job at a casino company in Memphis in mid-2001. That’s when CompSys sued him, saying he had at least seven months left on his contract.
“I definitely think companies use these tactics to make money,” said Bade, who said he paid nearly $6,000 to the company to settle its lawsuit.
CompSys founder Malini Sridhar did not return messages left on her cellphone.
Trail of accusations against Softech
Had federal regulators heeded Gobi Muthuperiasamy’s request for an investigation, they would have found a trail of accusations of abuse against Softech and its owner, Krishnan Kumar.
Software engineer Prabanand Karunanithi said he was lured to the United States by Softech’s promise of a programmer position paying about $48,000 a year. On arrival in March 2007, the 26-year-old said he found himself spending his days at a company apartment in Norcross, Georgia. His first assignment: Wait for Softech to find him a job.
After languishing for 10 weeks without work or full-time pay, Karunanithi got a contract position with Cingular Wireless LLC, the telephone company now owned by AT&T.
When Karunanithi quit for a better job, Kumar responded with threats, the software engineer said, followed by a lawsuit claiming he had damaged Softech by leaving. Discouraged, Karunanithi returned to India.
In December 2010, the Gwinnett County, Georgia, court issued a $30,070 judgment against him.
“The things that happened to me shouldn’t have happened to me,” said Karunanithi, who is still paying off the judgment in installments while back in the US, working in Massachusetts at technology services firm Cognizant. “I was completely new here. I didn’t know whom to contact. Kumar was the only one I knew.”
Programmer Gautam Pachal was recruited in India by Softech, which became his visa sponsor in July 2010. But in violation of US immigration law, Kumar didn’t pay him, Pachal claims. In a March 2014 court filing, Pachal alleged that Kumar’s company committed fraud and hid it from the Department of Labor by concocting a phony paper trail of paychecks.
“I was very upset and I decided to leave Softech, as they had not assigned me any projects, and they also threatened to return me to India,” Pachal said in his court filing.
When Kumar filed a claim demanding that Pachal’s wages at his new company be garnished, the programmer filed a counterclaim. It accused Softech of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – the law that provides for large penalties against drug traffickers and other criminal organizations.
Softech “is an outfit set up to exploit immigrant workers and potentially a criminal enterprise”, Pachal said in his court filing. The company “has repeated their pattern of seeking to defraud workers in order to steal their personal property”.
Following settlement negotiations, both parties dropped the case in April. Neither Pachal nor his attorney would comment on the outcome.
Hyderabad, India, has been the source of the vast majority of India’s fraudulent documents tied to H-1B visa applications, according to a 2009 US State Department cable. Photograph: Adithya Sambamurthy/CIRA clandestine payoff
On a Saturday in September 2010, Muthuperiasamy went to the Philadelphia International Airport and made ATM withdrawals until he had $3,500 in cash.
He had no travel plans. Instead, he was about to meet with Kumar for a spy novel-worthy handoff.
Kumar claimed Muthuperiasamy owed him money for taking another job. According to Muthuperiasamy, Kumar maintained it had cost him $4,500 in expenses that included buying a letter from a company pretending to be a Softech client, stating that a programming job was waiting.
The H-1B work visa requires proof of a waiting job, though labor brokers sometimes use paperwork to claim workers are headed for one job, then hold them in reserve for another.
“He said, ‘Pay me $5,000 and we will be good to go,’ ” Muthuperiasamy said in an interview. “We both speak the same language, Tamil, so I trusted him. I thought I should be honorable and I should pay him money.”
But not before he negotiated the debt down to the $3,500 he was carrying.
Kumar arrived with an empty manila envelope. Standing in front of a cafe near the international arrivals section, Muthuperiasamy handed off the cash, he later said in court.
He thought the problem was solved. But after Kumar returned to Georgia, he claimed the transaction had never occurred. Instead, the Softech owner later would say on the witness stand that Muthuperiasamy had promised at the airport to pay $20,000.
“I said, if he does not honor the signed agreement, there is no other option than going through the legal process,” Kumar told the jury. “Then he agreed to pay the liquidated damages within one week’s time.”
Kumar sent letters threatening to sue, according to trial exhibits. And in August 2011, he followed through on that threat with a claim for $20,000 plus attorney fees in the Gwinnett County court – 17 miles from Softech’s headquarters in Norcross and 575 miles from Muthuperiasamy’s home in Ohio.
In an interview, Kumar’s attorney, Roy Banerjee, declined to address any of Muthuperiasamy’s allegations directly but denied that Softech’s owner trafficked fraudulent documents.
Large firms use same tactics
Binding workers to their jobs in various financial ways is not limited to small-time labor brokers such as Softech, which had 81 petitions for H-1B workers approved between the 2011 and 2013 fiscal years.
Global giants such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, part of India’s Tata group, also have made workers sign restrictive employment agreements before they leave India for the US, according to interviews with several workers and company documents submitted in court.
With more than 16,000 H-1B petitions approved between the 2011 and 2013 fiscal years, Tata has been one of the top users of the temporary visas, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services records. Tata clients have ranged from tech giants such as Cisco Systems to retail firms such as Walmart.
AdvertisementIn interviews, workers said Tata demanded that they pay penalties if they quit before their contracts ended.
The company has been fighting with workers over this issue for nearly two decades. Former workers sued the company in California in 1997, arguing that the bonding agreements indentured them to “work on California projects on illegal terms and below-market wages”, according to court records.
California specifically prohibits companies from deterring employees from seeking other jobs, including forcing them to pay fees when they quit. Yet in 1997, a state appeals court panel in San Jose sided with Tata’s lawyers, who had argued that the contracts were beyond the court’s jurisdiction because they were signed in India.
“They operate under this gray area beyond the reach of US law,” said William L Stern, an attorney at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco who represented the workers in the Tata case.
V Sounder Rajan, a Chennai, India, attorney who advises labor brokers, said bond penalties don’t have legal weight in India, either.
“You cannot have a contract that restrains trade. You cannot prevent a person from getting a job,” Rajan said. “But these bonds normally are taken up by employers more to inculcate a sense of fear in the employee.”
Tata employee agreements and handbooks from the mid-2000s warned workers that they would be fined if they left the company before their contracts ended, according to documents submitted as part of another employee lawsuit filed against Tata in 2006. Tata required a year’s commitment in some cases and threatened to sue workers who left before the end of their assignments for up to $30,000, as well as withhold pensions and other benefits.
A version of this practice persists today. Earlier this year, Suresh Kaushik received an email from Tata, which he shared with CIR, demanding more than 500,000 Indian rupees – about $8,200 – for damages and an “overseas breach amount” after he resigned to take another job.
A native of Haryana, a northern state outside New Delhi, Kaushik started working for Tata at age 24 in India. Five years later, in 2012, the company transferred him to South Florida. Just before his departure, Kaushik said Tata required him to sign a contract promising not to quit his US job.
Over the next two years, Kaushik says Tata contracted him out to work 14-hour days without overtime pay as a computer programmer for Carnival Cruise Lines in South Florida. He was paid $60,000 a year, even though programmers in the Miami area then earned a median annual salary of $98,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I worked from 9am to 11pm almost every night and never got paid overtime,” Kaushik said. “I thought, ‘Why am I working with this company?’ ”
After Kaushik gave the company a week’s notice in early January, a Tata human resources representative declined to provide him with proof he had worked for the company – essential for maintaining his visa status in the United States – according to Tata emails Kaushik shared with CIR. The company also stonewalled him when he asked for the $7,000 he and the company had contributed to his retirement fund, Kaushik said.
He could not afford a lawyer to fight the company’s demands, he said, and wasn’t aware that he could alert the Labor Department directly. Eager to move forward, Kaushik in January began working as a software developer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools through another tech consulting company.
Tata spokesman Benjamin Trounson declined to make a representative available for an interview. Instead, he emailed a brief statement denying that departing employees are subject to penalties, though he said the company does not provide letters of recommendation to workers who leave without “any notice”.
Trounson added that Tata has one of the best employee retention records in the industry, with an attrition rate of 11%.
After CIR’s inquiry, Kaushik said Tata human resources officials agreed to reduce what Tata said he owed to about 300,000 rupees, roughly $5,000, for failing to give 90 days’ notice.
Kaushik’s parents dipped into their savings to pay Tata in Indian rupees. Days later, in late July, the company sent Kaushik the letter showing he had worked for the company. Two months later, he said he still was negotiating with Tata to turn over his retirement funds.
“I got my documents,” Kaushik said. “That was the priority for me.”
Bonding model spreads to US nationals
Some brokers have expanded the bonding business model to US nationals.
Concept Software & Services, an Atlanta-area body shop, makes potential workers sign up for training as a condition of employment.
During the depths of the recession, Concept advertised a training program for software developers. Participants were trained for four months and paid $500 per month. Once trained, they were to be contracted out to other companies. The catch: if the workers quit before 12 months, they owed the company $9,800, according to court filings.
But four workers interviewed quit before receiving postings. They said the training was bogus and the promise of work specious. They described the $9,800 “balance due” as a technique to keep them in reserve until contracts for technology work emerged.
Concept also used other techniques common in the H-1B world, they said, including exaggerating workers’ technical skills and experience to drum up business.
“They basically told us they were going to be falsifying our resumes,” said former employee Reuben Otero, now 29, who left the company in February 2012 after three months. “They said, ‘This is how the world works. Everybody does it. This is how you get in the front door.’ ”
Otero and his co-workers balked but were required by an arbitrator to pay up. Otero’s bill for training, arbitration fees and attorney fees came to $29,000, he said. The workers sued in federal court for underpayment of wages but lost.
Ravindra Bhave, Concept’s president, acknowledged that he instructs programmers to send padded résumés to potential clients. But he says his workers are so well trained that clients still are getting a good deal.
“Do we falsify the resume? Yes, we do. We call it ‘spicing of the resume’,” Bhave told CIR. “But my guy can actually do the equivalent of someone with two and a half years of experience.”
The $9,800 bonding contracts were a bargain for workers such as Otero, Bhave said, because Concept prepared them to obtain jobs for which they otherwise wouldn’t have been hired.
Canvas InfoTech, a Fremont, California, labor broker that boasts of providing workers to Google. and eBay, has filed at least seven lawsuits since 2011 demanding payment from workers who quit.
Deepti Garg of Hayward, California, said she had good reason to leave.
“They made me forge my résumé and made me apply and interview for positions that were much higher-level than my skill set,” she said. “It’s a total fraud.”
A US citizen originally from India, Garg enrolled in a six-week training and job placement program with Canvas in April 2011, hoping to get a better job to help provide for her two children. After paying Canvas $1,000 and signing a one-year contract, Garg decided the program was a dead end.
She rejoiced when she found a software-testing job that September – on her own. Canvas officials hit back, filing a lawsuit claiming she owed them $10,000 because she had left before completing her contract.
Sapna Marwha, vice-president of operations at Canvas InfoTech, did not respond to a call and email requesting comment.
Eager to focus on her career and family, Garg, 34, said she settled the suit with Canvas last year, though she could not recall the precise sum.
“It was the most depressing thing of my life,” she said.
Policies bar bonded labor
Many major technology companies that use brokers have strongly worded policies prohibiting their suppliers from entrapping workers, including financially.
For example, Apple’s supplier code of conduct says companies that provide services to Apple “shall not traffic persons or use any form of slave, forced, bonded, indentured or prison labor”. The company reports that last year, it conducted 27 audits into allegations of bonded labor at its suppliers, most of them offshore.
Yet Wipro, a firm with a Mountain View, California, office that supplies engineers to Apple, has required some employees to sign a pledge that for two years after leaving the company, they will not take any job opportunity that could otherwise go to Wipro. The ban is sweeping, given that Wipro ranked fourth in the number of approved petitions for H-1B workers in the 2013 fiscal year – with 4,501 approved applications – and provides staff to organizations all over the world.
The case of Anirban Paul, a highly paid Wipro technician who performed work for Apple, illustrates how a culture of coercion permeates every level of the Indian tech labor contracting market. Paul found it can be difficult to hold US corporations accountable.
He was on the staff of Wipro USA when he worked in the United States on a software project for Apple in 2011, for roughly $100,000 per year. During a visit to India, he continued working on the project.
When the project was complete, Wipro told Paul that a mistake had been made: While he was away, he should have been switched to Wipro India for lower Indian wages, according to emails Paul shared with CIR.
A company representative asked him in one email to sign backdated agreements and return salary he’d already been paid. When Paul refused, he said Wipro withheld pay, benefits and documents he needed to maintain his immigration status – and threatened to hold his visa hostage.
“They wanted to take all my salary,” Paul said. “I was forced and coerced.”
Paul contacted Apple’s corporate offices. He complained that Wipro was violating the company’s supplier code of conduct and, he said, Apple officials agreed to look into it. Meanwhile, Wipro continued to withhold $15,000 of his pay and benefits, Paul said.
Chris Gaither, an Apple spokesman, declined to comment. Wipro spokesman Vipin Nair would not comment on Paul’s case but said the company adheres to its clients’ supplier codes of conduct.
In August 2013, Paul began the master’s degree in public administration program at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government – on a student visa. He is still trying to recoup his earnings from Wipro.
Fighting labor broker in court
When he first came to the United States in 2007, Gobi Muthuperiasamy had his own American dream.
“I felt that I needed some work experience in the larger world,” he said. He envisioned eventually settling in the US to live a “little, peaceful life.”
After the airport payoff, the threatening emails and the lawsuit, Muthuperiasamy said he adopted a new American dream: he would beat Softech owner Krishnan Kumar’s lawsuit, even if that meant staying up nights working on his case, impoverishing his family with attorney fees and losing friends.
“It has been really tough for me with my family,” he said. “A lot of my friends will not talk with me now because I have asked for money. And I only talk about the problem of this case.”
Muthuperiasamy’s father was a union leader in India – a factor that influenced his decision to fight back.
“He had good, strong ethics. He taught me about good values,” he said during a break in his March trial in Gwinnett County, Georgia. “Maybe they will win. But I feel that, usually, justice will prevail.”
Inside the courtroom, jurors watched from a blond-wood jury box across from Judge Thomas Davis, a former Navy captain who spun military yarns during recesses.
At the defense table, Muthuperiasamy sat beside his attorney, Ted Lackland, a former assistant US attorney. Privately, Muthuperiasamy worried about whether Lackland was up to the task: Previously, he had represented three of Softech’s employees – and lost.
Just as worrisome was the diminutive figure at the plaintiff’s table next to Kumar. Past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia, attorney Roy Banerjee has a penchant for wearing bow ties and representing body shops. He has prevailed in many cases against Indian immigrant programmers, winning judgments or settlements from some, while others fled back to India.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming back. If the person next to you falls asleep, poke them,” he joked in one of the warm-up talks he gave to the jury during the four-day trial.
Banerjee’s case was based on a simple premise: Muthuperiasamy had pledged to pay $20,000 if he left Softech before a year was up. The employee quit after a couple of days, so he owed $20,000.
To sum things up, Banerjee evoked the image of justice’s scale.
“I don’t have to knock it over. I only need a little tip to incline it one way or another,” he said. “You just must incline to one side of the issue. You just have to tap it. Bam! I win.”
Where Banerjee was jocular, Lackland was methodical, soberly piling on evidence until, he’d tell the jury, a verdict in favor of Muthuperiasamy was inevitable. Kumar made a profit from suing employees, Lackland said.
“Does this look like the way a legitimate businessman conducts his business?” he asked.
At trial, Lackland avoided the complex question of whether the $20,000 penalty violated H-1B immigration laws. Instead, he told the jury that there was never any agreement to pay $20,000.
As proof, Lackland recruited an expert witness to assess the Softech contract attached to an email sent to Muthuperiasamy by the company. The document didn’t call for a $20,000 payment, and the expert testified that no one had tampered with it.
“If you find there is no contract, there is no meeting of the minds, there is no mutual agreement,” Lackland said.
As the jury left to deliberate, Muthuperiasamy stared into space, his shoulders slumped. He exchanged a few whispers with Lackland.
After two hours, the jury emerged and the foreman read the verdict: in favor of the defendant, Muthuperiasamy.
Muthuperiasamy didn’t quite smile, but his usually stiff expression softened. He sprang from his chair before the chamber emptied, strode out of the courtroom and down the hallway to where jurors were exiting their deliberation chambers, eager to shake each one’s hand.
So here we have again the conditions of fraud built into simply having a job and often the immigrant workers do not even know fraud is being committed. Yet, that would keep them from that PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP.
'For decades, critics have sounded alarms about immigrant tech workers being treated as indentured servants by the worst of these staffing firms, known as “body shops.”'
'That the practice survives, and thrives, is a testament to supply and demand far eclipsing oversight.
For some, visa fraud is a given'
CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and their 5% to the 1% think this is all very funny. While the tech industry pretends to be GREEN and socially progressive it has been these few decades literally MONSTERS as the last article stated. So, in Texas they are allowing construction wages left unpaid for months----here in CA human trafficing of DECENT PEOPLE BY SOCIOPATHS here in America.
What we are seeing NEXT is this----these global corporate universities like Johns Hopkins have a revolving door educating these folks and then steering them into these VISA PROGRAMS. So, this is not only in Silicon Valley it is now expanding to ALL US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES and those foreign students lured here on hopes of good employment and citizenship find themselves in this mess.
WHERE ARE THE JOBS FOR US CITIZENS? GONE WITH ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE GLOBAL LABOR POOL.
Silicon Valley's "Body Shop" Secret: Highly Educated Foreign Workers Treated Like Indentured Servants
By Stephen Stock, Julie Putnam, Scott Pham and Jeremy Carroll
(Published Monday, Nov. 3, 2014)'
A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about a well-known visa program setup to recruit foreign workers to the US: Is it indentured servitude in the high tech age? Or is it a necessary business model to compete in a quickly changing high tech economy?
NBC Bay Area and CIR’s team discovered an organized system that supplies cheap labor made up of highly-educated and highly-skilled foreign workers who come to the US via H-1B visas.
Consulting firms recruit and then subcontract out skilled foreigners to major tech firms throughout the country and many in Silicon Valley.
Those who work for these third party firms that skirt the law often call them “body shops” and sometimes they get caught.
For example in August, 2014, a Cupertino man involved with one body shop pleaded guilty and was sentenced in US District Court to 19 felony counts of visa fraud where he admitted he knowingly applied for work visas for foreigners who had no job offers, filling out applications for fake jobs for a Silicon Valley tech firm.
However, some local workers say many don’t get caught. And the workers are the ones who suffer.
“It virtually makes these employees a slave,” said one worker who came from India more than a decade ago.
Because the man fears for his safety and his future, he asked that he remain anonymous. He had worked for 7 to 8 different body shops before he spoke to us.
“There are times when I am trapped there are times when I am, yes, I feel I am trapped,” he said.
The US government reserves H-1B visas for well educated, highly skilled and specialized foreign workers; one of the requirements is that the companies recruiting the workers have a job lined up for them upon arrival.
Congress has capped H-1B visas to 65,000 each year. According to federal statistics, more than 1.3 million H-1B visas have been given out since 2008. In the 2012 fiscal year, according to a report to Congress from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services 59 percent of H-1B visas went to computer-related occupations.that same report 64 percent of the H-1B visa petitions granted in 2012 were given to workers originating from India.
According to the federal data, high tech companies in Silicon Valley use tens of thousands of H-1B workers every year.
While many of the consulting companies that use H-1B visas appear to play by the rules, NBC Bay Area and CIR found numerous examples of other companies taking advantage of foreign workers and breaking federal law in the process.
H-1B petitions approved by country of birth
Photo credit: US Citizenship and Immigration Services FY 2012
“’Indentured servants’ is a pretty accurate term because in many cases that’s exactly what’s going on,” said Phillip Griego of San Jose’s Phillip J. Griego and Associates. Over the years, Griego and his law partner, Robert Nuddleman have represented several H-1B workers in lawsuits against body shops.
Griego says the body shops “will promise to pay all of their expenses to get over here,” said Griego.
But Griego says workers tell a very different story.
“They may not even have a job” when the workers arrive in the United States, said Griego. “Which is a misrepresentation of the H-1B visa.”
H-1B visa rules prohibit companies from charging workers the cost of a visa and also require that there be a job when the foreign worker arrives.
Rules Ignored or Broken
The joint CIR/NBC Bay Area investigation found dozens of instances where companies ignored and broke those rules.
We tracked court cases involving consultancy companies or their executives, including a half-dozen civil cases filed in state and federal courts, around the country. In total, these court filings involved more than 600 fraudulent H-1B visas and petitions.
One case became a class action lawsuit based on the conditions that attorney Michael Ng found for many of the workers at Silicon Valley Systech or SVS.
“Most of these people had also paid substantial fees, illegally, to cover the cost of the H-1B visa application to the United States,” said Ng, a labor attorney in San Francisco. He considers Santa Clara-based Silicon Valley Systech to be a body shop.
Ng said many of the SVS workers were “benched” once they arrived in the US, meaning there was no job and were forced to wait for work on the “bench.” Under H-1B rules, that’s illegal.
“They didn’t have jobs lined up for any of their employees, certainly nothing at the levels that they had promised them,” said Ng.
In court filings in response to the lawsuit’s complaint, a lawyer for the SVS denied the allegations and maintained that any problems with pay, work or “benching” were a result of the workers’ actions.
Midway through the lawsuit’s process in 2009, Silicon Valley Systech went out of business, leaving workers with nothing.
“Essentially they dumped them [the workers] into the guesthouse,” said Ng.
Confined to a Guesthouse
A guesthouse is a small apartment or home where as many as eight to ten workers stay at once. A dozen different interviews confirmed that the guesthouses are commonly used by body shops.
One worker from India described how the body shops explained the guesthouse when he arrived: “We are placing you in the guesthouse. Until you get the job you have to stay in the guesthouse, you should not go out, even for a walk,” the worker said.
This worker, too, asked to remain anonymous because of fears he will jeopardize his future job prospects.
He stayed in guesthouses for several months and was told not to leave.
“My family’s in India,” he said. “I have a 6 month old baby and I want to see my son, and they [my family] want to come to the US and] stay with me,” the worker said. Yet because of the living conditions at the guesthouse, the worker said there was no way his family could join him in the United States.
The worker said the body shop made him pay $2,300 to get an H1-B visa, which is illegal under federal law. He said the body shop kept up to 30 percent of his $60 an hour contract salary for ‘expenses’ and ‘taxes.’ This was in addition to the actual federal and state taxes withheld from his paycheck. He estimated that the body shop kept about $35,000 of his salary a year.
Companies Under the Microscope
According to federal records, two of the largest consulting and outsourcing companies have been accused in federal court of breaking US laws around H-1B visas.
A civil case in Texas brought by the federal government alleged that Infosys committed visa fraud in a similar program. According to USCIS statistics, Infosys applied to sponsor 11,652 H-1B workers in fiscal year 2013.
Infosys reached a settlement with the US in its visa fraud case in October 2013. They agreed to pay the US government a record $34 million, including $24 million to the US Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Texas.
USCIS statistics also show Tata Consultancy Services, applied for 7,279 H-1B work visas in fiscal year 2013. Tata Consultancy was also sued in 2006 in San Francisco for alleged breach of contract when the company, according to the lawsuit, allegedly failed to pay temporary visa holders gross wages promised. The case affected some workers on H1-B visas.
San Francisco class action attorney Daniel Hutchinson represented H-1B workers in the class action lawsuit against Tata Consultancy.
“It comes down to people not getting paid what they’re promised to get paid or what they should be getting paid,” Hutchinson said. “And that’s actually the experience that we’ve seen for a lot of people where people have come forward and company officials have told them, ‘if you complain about this, if you don’t sign over this amount, if you don’t agree to this deduction, then we can just send you back to India.’”
In court papers, Tata’s attorney denied all the allegations.
However, after seven years in court, Tata Consultancy agreed to a settlement of $29.75 million dollars to all the workers in a class action case, or an average of $1,600 per person after attorneys’ fees and costs. Steve Tindall, the co-lead counsel on the case said that “each class member received different amounts” in the settlement.
“I don’t think the general public knows much at all about who is being employed within the tech sector,” said Hutchinson.
“It seems to be something that’s affecting hundreds of people who I’ve talked to and then through our investigations, thousands of people outside of that as well too,” he continued.
Neither Tata nor Infosys returned multiple requests from NBC Bay Area’s investigative team for comment.
Continuing to Pursue the American Dream
One of the workers NBC Bay Area spoke to says that the problem is not confined to the Bay Area, but body shops all over the country take advantage of vulnerable foreign workers.
“It’s all over the country. I can’t list a specific state where it’s not happening.”
Experts say current federal law allows for this abuse by some companies.
Those calling for change want Congress to tweak the rules governing the use of H1-B visas and want the U-S Labor Department to be more aggressive in enforcing those rules to prevent more people from getting trapped in a body shop.
For more on the research and further explanation of the issues at hand read CIR’s story.
CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and their 5% to the 1% think this is all very funny. While the tech industry pretends to be GREEN and socially progressive it has been these few decades literally MONSTERS as the last article stated. So, in Texas they are allowing construction wages left unpaid for months----here in CA human trafficing of DECENT PEOPLE BY SOCIOPATHS here in America.
What we are seeing NEXT is this----these global corporate universities like Johns Hopkins have a revolving door educating these folks and then steering them into these VISA PROGRAMS. So, this is not only in Silicon Valley it is now expanding to ALL US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES and those foreign students lured here on hopes of good employment and citizenship find themselves in this mess.
WHERE ARE THE JOBS FOR US CITIZENS? GONE WITH ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE GLOBAL LABOR POOL.
So they are not here because they are HIGHLY SKILLED where our US tech workers are not----they are here to be exploited and pushed back into the global human capital slave trade.
Ask any Baltimore City Council or Baltimore Maryland Assembly pol and that 5% player----they are building the same structures for here in Greater Baltimore.
We are just saying folks--------the goal of MOVING FORWARD is to have US workers into the global labor pool as EX-PATS just as these developing nation workers and we can bet the pipeline bringing these global labor pool workers to the US has a back flow taking US workers to overseas Foreign Economic Zones to face the same conditions as our East Indian and Latino immigrant workers---
THIS IS A SWINGING-DOOR OF MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD EMPLOYMENT.
WE THE PEOPLE must think-----why would they hire a sovereign citizen when there are 4 billion global citizens willing to flow through a corrupted employment system. We will see US citizens paying more and more for courses and 'degrees'---just as those East Indian and other Asian students did just to be pushed into that global labor pool pipeline. Think our 5% to the 1% here in US cities are not gearing up to be those BODY SHOPS?
By: Liz Eggleston
Last Update: 05/24/2017
What is a Coding Bootcamp?
Coding bootcamps are intensive, accelerated learning programs that teach beginners digital skills like Full-Stack Web Development, Data Science, Digital Marketing, and UX/UI Design. Since Dev Bootcamp first opened their doors in February 2012, the programming bootcamp industry has grown throughout the US and around the world. Bootcamps can vary in length from 6 to 28 weeks, although the average bootcamp is ~12 weeks long.
Following intensive coursework, bootcamps train students for their new career in the tech industry. Students graduate from bootcamps with a portfolio, an online presence, interview skills and more. Most bootcamps help graduates find an internship or match students with an employer network- in fact, in Course Report's most recent research, 75% of alumni report being employed in programming jobs within 120 days of graduation.
Course Report launched in 2013 with 30 total bootcamp-style programs in our directory. Today, we list over 300! About 90 of those are full-time, in-person, immersive coding bootcamps in the US and Canada. There are bootcamp campuses in over 69 cities throughout the US/Canada. Coding bootcamps are predicted to graduate 18,000 students and gross $200MM in tuition revenue in 2016.
Top 13 Coding Bootcamp FAQs
PREPPING FOR A BOOTCAMPBOOTCAMP APPLICATIONS
PREPARING FOR A CODING BOOTCAMP
1. Coding Bootcamp vs College: what's best for me?
Can you really learn everything you need for a job in the tech industry without a computer science degree? Here are 5 things to consider when deciding between 4 months vs. 4 years of school.
- Cost. The cost of a bootcamp is equivalent to one semester of a CS degree program, but leads to a rewarding average starting salary of 60-70K.
- Return on Investment. You can complete a bootcamp in less time and with less money while still holding the same earnings potential as a CS grad.
- Time Commitment. CS Degree programs require a longer time investment, which means deeper understanding and more practice hours. In contrast, you’ll finish a bootcamp in a matter of weeks, but may need to spend some time doing self-study to get up to speed.
- Curriculum. For a more well-rounded understanding of computer systems and a general understanding of coding, a CS degree is a better option. To delve right into coding languages and their practical applications, bootcamp is the way to go.
- Career Outlook. If you want to launch or join a startup skip the CS degree and go to bootcamp. If becoming an executive at Google, Apple or Amazon is in your future, plan to earn a CS degree at some point down the road.
2. Can I learn how to code on my own?
Once you’ve decided to learn how to code, you may be wondering if you can teach just teach yourself. History says, "YES!" Plenty of successful developers are self-taught using books, online resources, etc. Here are 6 things to consider when deciding if you should attend a bootcamp or teach yourself.
- Prior coding experience. Students with a computer science background or knowledge of programming, may find it easier to teach themselves. However, if you have no knowledge of programming and would like to learn quickly, it’s better to attend a coding bootcamp.
- Coding curriculum. It’s difficult enough to learn to code, and if you don’t have a guide, it’s hard to know how to teach yourself. If you find it difficult to find the tools you need, consider a bootcamp with a set curriculum.
- Learning style. Have you tried to teach yourself a new technical skill in the past? Were your past self-teaching attempts a success? Work out what your learning style is. If you find that you learn well on your own, it’s something you should try before bootcamp.
- Time and commitment. What is your Bootcamp ROI (Return on Investment)? You may save in the long run by paying for a bootcamp and reaping the benefits of a salary increase in just a few short months. Use the Bootcamp ROI calculator to determine your ROI.
- Your network. Do you know fellow programmers? Do you have contacts to find a job after you learn to code? If not, a bootcamp will surely provide a network and contacts, which are fundamental in any career transition.
- Set your goals. Are you a career changer or just seeking a new hobby? Take some time to self-teach before taking the plunge and quitting your job to join a bootcamp.
3. Am I ready for a coding bootcamp?
Coding Bootcamps are intensive programs; while very rewarding, a coding bootcamp will be stressful and will push you. Before attending a bootcamp, consider if it’s the right fit for your learning style. Schools look for the following skills in intensive bootcamp applicants:
- Willingness to work hard – this is particularly important when applying to an intensive bootcamp. It’s a huge investment to spend 40-80+ hours a week over the course of several months to learn a new skill. You'll often hear the word grit throughout the admissions process, and that's exactly what schools are looking for in applicants. Bootcamps want to know that their students are committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed for the duration of the bootcamp. At the same time, make sure you avoid burnout.
- Ability to problem solve – An intense curiosity and desire to problem-solve are vital, because many bootcamps offer limited lectures and instead require students to spend most of the day solving challenges on their own. During the technical coding challenge, your approach to problem solving can be even more important than solving the challenge.
- Interpersonal skills – Whether it’s called empathy or just “playing nice,” a bootcamp is a team sport. You’ll be spending the majority of your days learning alongside and coding with a small group of strangers. Those that demonstrate a desire to learn from and work with others will do well.
- Complete a course on Codecademy, Treehouse or Udemy to discover if you like coding.
- Test your passion for coding at a weekend workshop like Railsbridge, Rails Girls, or Girl Develop It.
- Attend a meetup to build your own community of learners!
- Take a coding bootcamp prep program.
NARROWING YOUR OPTIONS
4. What type of bootcamp should I attend?
Acceptance rates at top coding bootcamps are notoriously low (some between 3-6%), but that doesn't mean that you're not ready to learn to code. Coding Bootcamps are generally upfront about the minimum demands they make on their students. Some "zero to sixty" code schools are meant to bring beginners into the fold and other "twenty to one-twenty" bootcamps aim to help current developers make a leap or learn a new technology stack. First, figure out what your own skill level is, and then find the bootcamp that aligns with that level.
Immersive coding bootcamps – Immersive bootcamps usually last 2 months to 7 months. Classes are held full-time and students can use facilities after class to review concepts and work on projects. Many intensive bootcamp students put in 80 hour weeks. To attend an intensive bootcamp, students must be prepared to give up their full-time job and limit outside activities for the course of the program.
Part-time coding bootcamps – Part-time coding bootcamps usually meet on nights and weekends. Students study concepts over a longer period of time and spend 6-15 hours per week in class and another 10-15 hours per week on additional concepts. Students in part-time bootcamps usually hold part-time or full-time jobs in addition to class.
Online coding bootcamps – More recently, the bootcamp trend has shifted thanks to online coding schools like Bloc, Thinkful, and other popular programs. Even if you choose to study online, you'll still have options between flexible or full-time courses. Students complete curriculum and activities on their own and meet with a mentor several times each week. Most online schools also have an online community where students can connect with each other. One plus? You can enjoy the benefits of bootcamp from the comfort of your own home. Watch demos of online coding bootcamps here.
Stuck between two bootcamps? Here are a few comparisons:
- Bloc vs. Thinkful (Online)
- Lighthouse Labs vs. CodeCore (Canada)
- Flatiron School vs. Dev Bootcamp (New York)
- App Academy vs. Flatiron School (New York)
5. Which city should I attend coding bootcamp?
While you will still find the majority of dev bootcamps in major tech hubs like San Francisco and New York, bootcamps have sprung up in smaller markets since 2012 (there are coding bootcamps in over 70 US cities)! Coupled with legitimate online coding schools that offer mentorship, you no longer need to move cities in order to get a solid education. Consider these things when making the decision:
- Where do you want to work after you graduate? If your goal is to get a job in your current city, then there's no reason to pack up yet!
- Do you have obligations in your current city? If you don’t have ties or if you're just ready for a big move, then perhaps a fully immersive experience could be beneficial in freeing you from distractions and offering a new experience.
- Does your current city have a credible coding bootcamp option? The Midwest, South, and even Malaysia, all have credible coding bootcamps. It’s not necessary to move cities (or countries) to get a solid foundation in programming and get a job as a software developer.
FURTHER READING: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO: MOVING TO A NEW CITY VS STAYING LOCAL WHEN CHOOSING A CODING BOOTCAMP.
6. Which programming language should I learn?
Coding bootcamps employ teaching languages to introduce students to the world of programming. While language shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when choosing a bootcamp, students may have specific career goals that guide them towards a particular language.
In that case, first decide whether you’d prefer to learn web or mobile development. For the web, your main choices are Ruby, Python, LAMP stack, MEAN stack and .NET languages. For mobile, choose between Java for Android and Swift or Objective-C for iOS. Learning a specific language may lead you to a new job market and offer pathways to different career tracks, average salaries and areas of business. However, many recent bootcamp graduates find that they end up learning and using a completely different language on the job. There is no “right” or “wrong” language to learn!
7. Where can I find coding bootcamp reviews?
Check out Course Report for thousands of coding bootcamp reviews! Our school directory is sorted by the number of verified reviews. You can also find reviews on Quora and Yelp.
If you've graduated from a bootcamp, you should leave a review to help future students make their decision.
APPLYING TO A CODING BOOTCAMP
8. What can I expect in a coding bootcamp interview?
While coding bootcamp interviews will differ by school, you can expect certain elements across the board. Some interviews will begin with a “culture fit” while others begin with the coding challenge. Some schools have only one interview to assess both culture and technical aptitude. Here’s how to prepare:
- Written or Video Application
- Read Quora, the bootcamp’s website, and blogs by its founder, former students, and alumni.
- Prior to the application do some self-assessment to determine your reasons for going to bootcamp. Are you preparing for a new career? Trying to learn a new skill to get a promotion? Scoping out a new hobby?
- Set aside at least one hour to answer the questions thoroughly and also give yourself time to edit answers as needed.
- Culture Fit Interview
- Brush up on some of the online resources you started with, the bootcamp itself and its founders.
- If you've built personal projects or worked on something technical at your current job, be prepared to walk the interviewer through your portfolio.
- Technical Interview + Coding Challenge (optional)
Most of all, don’t freak out! If you’re passionate about getting into coding and you study up, you have nothing to worry about. You’re going into a bootcamp to learn better skills. They won’t expect you to know everything- most importantly, show that you're receptive to teaching and eager to learn.
Many code schools have placement tests or online pre-work assessments that you complete as part of your application. Check out these tools for further practice:10 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING IN YOUR CODE SCHOOL INTERVIEW, AND OUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOOTCAMP PREP PROGRAMS
PAYING FOR BOOTCAMP TUITION
9. How much should I spend on coding bootcamp tuition?
The average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,450 with some bootcamps charging up to $20,000 in tuition. When making a decision, first calculate your Return on Investment (ROI): do your research and compare bootcamp tuition costs to the average starting salary of past graduates. Be sure to consider the opportunity cost incurred by quitting your job, room & board, and any hidden fees from loans. Some bootcamps offer free or discounted housing. The amount of money that you’re willing to invest should probably correlate strongly with the amount of time and energy that you’re willing to put forth. Compare coding bootcamp tuition costs here.
10. How do I pay for bootcamp?
Bootcamps are expensive. Because code schools are not degree-granting institutions, most bootcampers don't qualify for traditional student loans like Pell Grants. As a result, many students put their tuition on a credit card, borrow money from friends and family, or use savings. As the coding bootcamp industry has grown, so too has the business of financing them. Most bootcamps offer financing options, payment plans, and loan partnerships through companies like Earnest, Skills Fund, Pave, Climb Credit and Affirm, in addition to scholarships and discounts for women, military veterans, and underrepresented minorities.
Other creative ways to pay for your code school tuition:
- Students who are already employed and are attending bootcamp to gain skills for their current job are often able to work out a deal with their employer to cover some if not all of the cost of the bootcamp.
- Crowdfunding your coding bootcamp tuition is always worth a try!
- Certain bootcamps like App Academy and Viking Code School won’t demand tuition until you’ve been placed in a job.
- Ask the bootcamp if they offer a partial tuition refund if you accept a job with one of their hiring partners. Our research finds that 15% of graduates got a tuition refund this way.
- There are many great scholarship opportunities for coding bootcamps based on merit, gender, race, service in the armed forces, and financial need. Explore all of these options and don’t leave money on the table that you could’ve been putting towards your education!
- Course Report offers exclusive scholarships and discounts to over 25 bootcamps. Check out this list to see if your dream bootcamp is on our list!
11. Will I get a job after graduating from a bootcamp?
- Network and resources — If you’re attending a bootcamp in hope of changing careers, then you should find out what services are offered. Some bootcamps set up prospective interviews with potential employers, while others offer resume workshops and provide a list of hiring partners.
- Job Placement — Consider a bootcamp’s job placement rate 30, 60, 90 and 120 days after the program. While some schools like App Academy SF only require you to pay if you get a job, most bootcamps don’t follow this model. Some bootcamps provide this information publicly (see Wyncode's Job Report), while others may require some digging on Course Report.
- Before applying to the bootcamp, do your homework:
- Read about coding bootcamps and visit their website.
- Read programming bootcamp questions on Quora to read answers from bootcamps
- Read bootcamp reviews and interviews with Alumni
- Visit the bootcamp space and talk to an instructor if possible
- Before applying to the bootcamp, do your homework:
12. Where can I go with my bootcamp education?
Coding bootcamp graduates go on to do so many cool things. Here are just a few examples:
- Get a job as a junior developer at a large company you've always admired.
- Join a small dev team at a startup.
- Take an apprenticeship and learn from the masters for a few months after graduating.
- Become a technical co-founder and help launch a product.
- Freelance while you travel the world.
- Work for another coding bootcamp as an instructor, teaching assistant, or support staff.
- Find a job as a technical product manager.
- Take on new projects at your current company (and get a promotion or a raise while you're at it)!
13. Are Programming Bootcamps Regulated or Accredited?
Yes and no. Much of the appeal for a bootcamp is the agile curriculum and ability to teach the latest technologies. While a few coding bootcamps have been "shut down" by their state's regulatory agencies, many are actively working with those agencies to become accredited. Accreditation does not mean that the code school is able to grant degrees. So what does it mean? Accredited coding bootcamps often have to submit their curricula (and any major curricula changes) for approval, invest in liability insurance in case of closure, and publicize their course catalog. Here's an interesting perspective on accreditation from Bitmaker Labs CEO Craig Hunter.
Coding Bootcamps have caught the attention of many politicians and government bodies, including the White House Office of the CTO and President Obama, who launched the TechHire initiative in March 2015.
In October 2015, the Department of Education announced EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships). EQUIP is a US Department of Education initiative that encourages partnerships between universities and alternative education providers (read: bootcamps)! You could read the entire Federal Register or the slightly more condensed fact sheet. What does EQUIP look like? Flatiron School's partnership with CUNY and General Assembly's partnership with Lynn U are examples.
In March 2017, CIRR (Council on Integrity in Results Reporting) was announced as a group of 17 bootcamps and member organizations who have developed a common framework for reporting, documenting, and auditing bootcamp student outcomes. This new coalition (which includes Course Report) is committed to publishing student graduation and job placement data in a single, standardized framework. Learn more as we break down CIRR here.