I suspect that this exposé by Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury-News will surprise practically no one:
When Gregor Lesnik left his pregnant girlfriend in Slovenia for a job in America, his visa application described specialized skills and said he was a supervisor headed to a South Carolina auto plant.
Turns out, that wasn’t true.
The unemployed electrician had no qualifications to oversee American workers and spoke only a sentence or two of English. He never set foot in South Carolina. The companies that arranged his questionable visa instead sent Lesnik to a menial job in Silicon Valley. He earned the equivalent of $5 an hour to expand the plant for one of the world’s most sophisticated companies, Tesla Motors.
Lesnik’s three-month tenure ended a year ago in a serious injury and a lawsuit that has exposed a troubling practice in the auto industry. Overseas contractors are shipping workers from impoverished countries to American factories, where they work long hours for low wages, in apparent violation of visa and labor laws.
Let’s be very clear about this: the “specialized skill” that Mr. Lesnik possessed was the willingness to work for slave wages under what may have been unsafe working conditions. My suggestion? They should take Elon Musk out, break both of his legs and some of his ribs, tear the ligaments in his knee, and give him a concussion, which are the injuries that Mr. Lesnik suffered.
In a more serious vein, the enforcement of the bans on such hiring practices is too lax and the penalties are far too light.
Unanswered in the article: what was Tesla paying the middleman for this worker and why didn’t it figure out what was going on?
Is it any wonder that Donald Trump is making hay with the immigration issue? Multiply this story hundreds of thousands of times over and you begin to see the problem’s scope.