H-1b And Citigroup Collapse

Last year, Citigroup sponsored 413 H-1b visas--which makes them one of the top 40 users of that program in 2007. Citigroup has consistently been a strong user of that program since it was expanded in 1998--and has sponsored almost 6000 visas since 2000. The CEO of Citigroup is an Indian immigrant.

This year, Citigroup has laid off 23,000 workers--and has announced layoffs of 50,000 more workers.

There is a pattern emerging of companies "needing" lots of H-1b visas-and then having serious problems. Enron is another prominent example.

Earlier in my career, sometimes I found myself managing some very sensitive information--including information that could have been used to defraud my employers or blackmail folks in powerful political positions. We now face a situation in which similar information is in the hands of foreign nationals who are facing bleak job prospects in the US--and have no real connection to this country or its people. I wonder what they and various foreign intelligence agencies are doing with this situation?

Frankly, I think any bank that puts a bunch of young men far from home and from countries where they can't even do a decent background check in charge of sensitive data--and large sums of money--needs to go bankrupt so somebody competent and sane can come in and pick up the pieces. It saddens me a lot of innocent bystanders may get hurt in the process.

Somehow, I can't help but wonder what the connection is between the recent outages at Citigroup and the fact that many of their recent layoffs will be guest workers that are realizing their American dream is really a nightmare.