It has now become a staple of everyday life in America that many of the call center which we reach when we call large corporations are staffed by individuals abroad. What is the legal basis for having workers outside of the jurisdiction of the US working (effectively) on the US territory in this manner? These are people answering calls in a business setting. So there is no question of whether they are working or rather just talking. This is not a question of free speech. It's a question of work authorization.
Let me clarify why I think this is or isn't an issue. If I go to hear a paid performance by a folk singer in the US, but he is not authorized to work in the US, he can't accept a payment for singing. If I call him on the phone and ask him to sing, and he lives in the US, but he is not authorized to work in the US, he can't legally sing for money during that call. But somehow if he is in a different country, then I can call him and he may be legally allowed to sing to me for money without being afoul of the US labor law. This doesn't seem legal. And yet this is what the call centers are doing.
I am not asking for some reasons why this is happening. This is a question about the US law. What is the reason why providing services to the people situated in the US is not considered working in the US from the perspective of the US law?
EDIT: a number of answers seem to center around the idea that a person who is not present in the US cannot be considered to be working in the US, by law, simply because they are not physically present in the US.
It is simply not the case that the US law cannot make such a consideration.
There is a more general principle at play here. An action performed outside of the US does not automatically become a non-US action. For example, US citizens owe US Federal income taxes on all income earned abroad.
The confusion maybe caused by a slight semantic distinction. It is not automatically the case that work done outside of the US is not work in the US. The fact remains that by servicing calls from numbers in the US, some work within the US gets done.
Whether or not the US labor law considers this to be work in the US is a matter of law. It's not a matter of fact. If it were a matter of fact, then no law could change it. But it is certainly possible for a law to exist which would make such work to be considered work in the US. So a law could (at least hypothetically) change it.
Please, limit your answers to the law.