by David Phinney
Sunday June 16th 2019

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One Hundred ‘Illegal’ Indian Workers at US Baghdad Embassy Project?

The Asian Age speculates that 100 Indian workers are working “illegally” at the $592-million US embassy project in Iraq.
That is a small portion of the 40,000 workers from India employed by American and Iraqi forces in Iraq, that the newspaper estimates to be in the war-town country, but most could be there only by circumventing visa requirements and labor bans on Indian workers.

The majority of them are illegal migrants and entered Iraq through other Gulf countries without proper visas. They are mainly engaged on work in military bunkers, supplying food to soldiers and other menial jobs. A hundred of them have been drafted to work on the embassy, which is estimated to cost $592 million. The state government’s NRI cell does not have any record of Andhra workers in Iraq since 90 per cent of those employed there are illegal. They are mainly picked up from Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

Here’s the story (via Middle East Online): Illegal Indians build new US embassy in Iraq
Why are they there? Largely because work in Iraq pays well:

Ramana Reddy from Malial mandal in Karimnagar returned after working at the US embassy site for some time.”It is hard work since they are constructing a 21-building complex,” he said. “Also, we never know what will happen the next moment in Baghdad. But we risk everything for the big pay.”

Why do employers hire workers illegally? One imagines because they work for very little money compared to laborers from less impoverished nations.

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