Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Guest Worker Visa Troubles Visit McDonald’s

"For Argentine college student Jorge Rios, a U.S. government cultural-exchange program had huge appeal: He would earn money and use it to explore the country.  But after spending $3,000 to participate, Mr. Rios said he found himself at the mercy of a McDonald's Corp. franchisee who was his employer and landlord.  This week, he and 14 other foreign students demonstrated outside a McDonald's after filing complaints with the State Department and Labor Department saying they were exploited at fast-food outlets in the Harrisburg, Penn., area and housed in substandard conditions.  The students were on a three-month J-1 visa for work and travel. … "This is a cheap-labor program, nothing more," said Carl Shusterman, a Los Angeles immigration attorney and former Immigration and Naturalization Service official.  "Since when is flipping burgers a cultural exchange?"  Immigration attorneys said the J-1 visa program doesn't face