theodp writes "An AP review of visa applications has found that major US banks sought permission to bring thousands of foreign workers into the country under the H-1B visa program, even as the banking system was melting down and Americans were being laid off. The dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years. (It's not known how many of these were granted; the article notes 'The actual number is likely a fraction of the... workers the banks sought to hire because the government only grants 85,000 such visas each year among all US employers.') The American Bankers Association blamed the US talent pool for forcing the move, saying they couldn't find enough Americans capable of handling sales, lending, and bank administration. The AP has filed FOIA requests to force the US Customs and Immigration Service to disclose further details on the bailed-out banks' foreign hires."