US banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the US for high-paying jobs.
The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totalling $150 billion (Dh550bn), requested visas for 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice-presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.
The figures are significant because they show the bailed-out banks, kept afloat with US taxpayer money, actively sought to hire foreign workers instead of American workers. As the economic collapse worsened last year the numbers of visas sought by the banks surged by one-third, from 3,258 in fiscal 2007 to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.