Indian Tech Workers in the US: Bourgeois Individualists, Saffron Trumpists, or Proletarian Insurgents?

i am impressed by the “saffron trumpists” phrase, haha.

stuff people are thinking about. i relate to it personally as a child of asian immigrants.


The nativist narrative is built on a kernel of truth, in that the visa does indeed allow for the undercutting of wages. But what the narrative misrepresents is that this has nothing to do with the foreignness of the worker, and everything to do with how the H-1B visa locks in workers into something analogous to indentured servitude, where it is nearly impossible to leave a company without risking deportation – which makes it dangerous and unviable for H-1B workers to engage in serious wage negotiations, or resist pressure to work strenuous hours. A movement to reform or overhaul the H-1B and other visas and give immigrant workers the same freedoms and rights as other workers would thus also benefit tech workers as a whole, empowering a significant number of them to engage in collective action. This kind of solidarity-based working-class politics can also diffuse the divisive rhetoric of “good immigrants” and “bad immigrants”, emphasising and building on the shared interests of all workers in uniting against xenophobia and nationalism – which undermines us all.


Here is a flat-out horrifying suggestion for overhauling the visa system, which would essentially result in Bart’s experience in France from that early Simpsons episode: