This OpEd covers many of the right points on the subject of J-1 visa exploitation, but it omits one truly important point: imagine the situation reversed. Imagine American medical students on a summer work/study vacation in an ostensibly friendly country – let’s say France – being forced to work for $1 an hour. You can’t imagine it because it would not happen without an international incident. The reason we heard about it at all was that those students were middle class kids insisting on being treated like middle class people.
We treat poor people all over the world this way every day, all the time.