‘Senator from Punjab’: How Hillary Clinton Masterminded a Global Scheme to Replace American Workers

  • Hillary Clinton co-founded the Senate India Caucus, which anti-offshoring advocates say champions “issues important to India, including outsourcing and H-1B and L-1 visas.”
  • Clinton in 2005: “I am delighted to be the Senator from Punjab as well as from New York.”
  • Clinton has called for nearly doubling the controversial H-1B guest worker program—suggesting that American workers lack the skills to fill American jobs. She has also defended the cheap labor practices of an Indian outsourcing firm, to which the Clinton Foundation has financial ties: “We are not against all outsourcing; we are not in favor of putting up fences,” she said.
  • Shortly after the CEO of HCL—the Indian firm that helped lay off 250 American Disney workers in Orlando— called American tech graduates “unemployable”, Bill Clinton delivered a speech to HCL to the tune of nearly a quarter of a million dollars at Disney World in Orlando.
  • Reports note that Clinton has repeatedly “telegraphed” her support for a globalized world to the Indian community. At a conference of 14,000 Indian Americans, Bill Clinton extolled the virtues of “open borders, easy travel, easy immigration”.
  • In 2007, Barack Obama slammed “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)’s personal, financial and political ties to India… It’s all about the money,” his campaign wrote.

At a 2006 fundraiser, Hillary Clinton jokingly told donors that she could “easily” see herself as the elected representative of foreign citizens in the Indian region of Punjab.

As India Abroad reported at the time: “At the fundraiser hosted by Dr Rajwant Singh at his Potomac, Maryland, home… Clinton began by joking that, ‘I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily,’ after being introduced by Singh as the Senator not only from New York but also Punjab.”

It was apparently a line Clinton used more than once. The Sikh Council writes that at a 2005 event in the U.S. Senate, Clinton said: “I am delighted to be the Senator from Punjab as well as from New York.”

The statement prompted the campaign of her then-opponent Sen. Barack Obama to call the New York Senator “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)” in a memo circulated to reporters— implying that Clinton represents foreign nations and foreign citizens rather than her own American constituents.

The memo was titled, “HILLARY CLINTON (D-PUNJAB)’S PERSONAL FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL TIES TO INDIA,” and it extensively detailed Clinton’s willingness to put the needs and interests of foreign corporations and foreign workers in India ahead of the needs of the American people.

The Obama campaign wrote:

The Clintons have reaped significant financial rewards from their relationship with the Indian community, both in their personal finances and Hillary’s campaign fundraising. Hillary Clinton, who is the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, has drawn criticism from anti-offshoring groups for her vocal support of Indian business and unwillingness to protect American jobs… Hillary Clinton has taken tens of thousands [of dollars] from companies that outsource jobs to India. Workers who have been laid off in upstate New York might not think that her recent joke that she could be elected to the Senate seat in Punjab is that funny.

Indeed, while these revelations have received scant to virtually-no coverage by corporate media this election cycle, Clinton has an astonishingly long record of promoting Indian corporations and foreign workers at the direct expense of American workers.

Most notably, Clinton has extensive ties to corporations responsible for some of the most egregious anti-American worker labor practices: namely, the India-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HCL.

These India-based IT firms specialize in outsourcing and offshoring and are among the top H-1B and L-1 visa employers in the United States. Together HCL and Tata have stolen tens of thousands of U.S. jobs from American workers all across the country. HCL and Tata are responsible for the layoffs of workers from Disney, Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities, Xerox, University of California, Siemens, and countless others.

A review of Clinton’s record shows that she has not only defended and enabled these corporations’ anti-American worker business model, but she has also pushed to expand it— calling for substantial increases to the number of low-wage workers admitted on guest worker visas and suggesting that American workers lack the requisite skills to fill U.S. jobs.

Interestingly, both companies have given money to the Clintons either via donations to the Clinton Foundation or paying Bill Clinton to deliver speeches.

As the Obama campaign wrote in 2007 about Clinton’s ties to India, “It’s all about the money.”

Tata

As the Washington Post has reported, Tata has given tens of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation:

Although foreign nationals cannot contribute to U.S. campaigns, Clinton has won campaign support from the Indian American community, records show… Tata Consultancy Services contributed between $25,000 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and Ratan Tata, then chairman of the Tata Group, was a speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in 2010.

Tata is also a participant in the Clinton Foundation’s STEM education program.

The Clinton’s ties to the Indian corporation extend back for over a decade.

In 2003, then-Senator Hillary Clinton was widely-credited for recruiting and helping Tata open a software development center in Buffalo, New York.

As a press release issued by Tata, announcing the opening, stated: “The deal was the brainchild of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

A year before the announcement, Clinton had courted executives from Tata and other Indian businesses—giving them a tour of the region. Clinton was so instrumental to the deal that the company even flew her to Buffalo to join Tata’s CEO, Subramaniam Ramadorai, for the announcement of the company’s opening.

Even at the time, Clinton’s decision was a controversial one.

Five days before Clinton and Tata announced the Buffalo opening, Tata came under fire for helping a Siemens unit in Lake Mary, Florida lay off its American workers and forced them to train their lower-wage foreign replacements brought in on guest worker visas.

As Bloomberg reported less than a week before the announcement of Tata’s Buffalo opening, “Siemens made no bones about the cost-cutting nature of the layoff.” Bloombergnoted that one of the foreign replacements, “who speaks halting English,” allegedly earned just one-third of the original American employee’s $98,000 a year salary.

Yet despite public outrage over Siemens and Tata’s anti-American worker business model, Clinton forged ahead with Tata’s opening in Buffalo.

“The event signaled that Clinton, who portrays herself as a fighter for American workers, had aligned herself with Indian American business leaders and Indian companies feared by the labor movement,” the Los Angeles Times reported in 2007.

Mike Emmons, one of the American Siemens workers who was axed and replaced by a foreign worker, said that he was in touch with Clinton’s staff as all of this was happening. Yet shortly after Emmons had reached out to Senator Clinton seeking representation and protection for his colleagues from Tata’s job theft, Emmons was forced to watch as Clinton celebrated Tata at its grand opening in Buffalo.

In July of 2016, Emmons decided to speak out in response to Clinton’s claim that she finds it “heartbreaking” when American workers are forced to train their foreign replacements. In an op-ed titled, “Don’t Believe Clinton’s Crocodile Tears Over Lost American Jobs,” Emmons denounced Clinton’s “preference for foreign guest workers over qualified Americans.” Emmons pointed specifically to Clinton’s long history of supporting expansions to the H-1B program and her support for legislation “that would have weakened the already laughably feeble ‘protections’ currently in place to prevent Americans from being displaced by guest workers.”

“For me, the issue is personal. I am a tech worker who was replaced by a foreign guest worker,” Emmons wrote. Emmons said that as he struggled to afford medical care for his handicapped daughter and as he watched his former colleagues struggle to make ends meet, he decided:

I could not remain silent… I reached out to elected office-holders across the country, including Hillary Clinton, who had been elected Senator from New York in 2000. Shortly after I reached out to Senator Clinton’s office, I saw that she attended the grand opening of a Tata regional office in Buffalo, New York… If Hillary Clinton truly was heartbroken about Americans being forced to train their foreign replacements, she had ample opportunity to do something about it when she was in office. I for one have good reason not to trust that she will do the right thing if elected [president].

“Tata has been responsible for destroying tens of thousands of American jobs and depressing the wages of countless more,” said IT labor expert and Howard University Professor Ron Hira, who was a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology at the time of Tata’s opening in Buffalo.

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