Never mind hiring visa workers, hire local students

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To the Editor:

With the midterm break, I came home from college to the Vineyard to see if I could secure a job for the summer. Contrary to what most people think, local college students want a job during the summer to help pay for the high expense of college.

I went to the restaurants, but learned that most of the owners were still wintering in St. John and Naples in their fancy second homes. The majority of restaurant owners want to hire foreign workers just so they can pay them $7 an hour. They do not even try to hire local youths, and they just attempt to recruit as many foreign workers as possible under the visa program.

Foreign workers jump at the opportunity to come to the United States, and the money is secondary. The restaurants can work them as hard as they can, as the young workers cannot afford to be terminated and have to pay the cost to return to their country in the middle of the season. With an average pay of $7 an hour, these foreign workers are bundled up in an old residential home, which can hold 15 to 17 workers.

Look at the local advertisements for summer help. There are no restaurants seeking workers, as the owners of these restaurants just try to recruit workers under the visa program. The incentive is that foreign workers will work for $7 an hour, and the residents of the Vineyard want a decent wage.

President Trump won the presidential election on the premises of making American workers first in employment. If the owners of these restaurants can charge $200 for a dinner for two and spend the winters in the Caribbean, they can certainly pay their help a decent hourly wage.

Gail Lewis
Edgartown