Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cyrus Mehta On Disney and H1B Visas

Photo via twitter

On his blog, immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta offers his take on the recent kerfuffle over Disney's outsourcing of IT jobs to a company that hired replacements with H1B visas.

Among other things, Mehta writes:

Would there be similar outrage if an American law firm contracted away its human resources functions and stopped hiring additional HR personnel? Or if an entrepreneur wanted to sell a newly designed stroller with interesting gizmos in the US market, but arranged to have the manufacturing done in China?

Mehta is no doubt correct. But I'm not sure that he's drawn the right analogy.

Disney eliminated its IT force. It hired another company to provide IT services. And that company staffed the positions, positions previously held by (presumably) competent U.S. workers, with foreign workers. And, for that reason, it should be no surprise that this touches a nerve. We're used to the outsourcing of manufacturing. But this sort of transaction is news to the American public.

Let's not kid ourselves. It's Disney. And that's important because of the company's high profile, its place in American culture, and the fact that it is so admired for its innovative and effective management.

And, as I've said before, Disney has a history when it comes to creative use of foreign labor.


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