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H-1B Foes Challenge Bush Administration In Court

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the by-some-definitions-of-emergency dept.

The Courts 464

theodp writes "Computerworld reports that the Bush administration's recent decision to extend the amount of time foreign nationals can work in the U.S. on student visas is being challenged in a federal lawsuit by H-1B visa opponents. The suit, filed in US District Court by the Immigration Reform Law Institute and joined by The Programmers Guild and other groups, charges that the administration — acting through the Department of Homeland Security — exceeded its legal authority with a no-notice-no-comments 'emergency' rule change that extended the Optional Practical Training work period from one year to 29 months. Critics say this is little more than an effort to skirt around the H-1B cap limit. Because extended stays are limited to those whose degrees are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, educators are speculating that the rule change will drive international students away from non-STEM majors."

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Weak (2, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619367)

The fact of the matter we need to increase educational spending so we lessen the need for things like H-1B's. Let alone bickering about a supposed increased cap.

Re:Weak (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619615)

The fact of the matter we need to increase educational spending

Bullshit.

The USA outspends many countries that get far better results from their schools. The NEA has been beating that "more funding" drum for decades while they fight tooth and nail against anything that might possibly bring any accountability to our public schooling cartel.

-jcr

Re:Weak (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619897)

We brought accountability to the UK school system a while back. Children were tested (nationally) more often (age 7, 11 and 14, as well as the exams at 16). Schools were rated based on the children's results, and "bad" schools told to improve Or Else.

It hasn't worked (well, the government's agency sets the exams, and makes them slightly easier every year, so they say it's worked. But university professors get angry because they now have to teach science undergraduates maths that used to be taught in school).

Teachers were (of course) worried that the children wouldn't pass the exams, so they concentrated their efforts on teaching how to pass the maths exam, rather than teaching maths. Only maths, English and science are examined (at 7, 11 and 14) so less time was spent on all other subjects to make time for exam preparation.
This results in children enjoying school less -- partly because of the reduced curriculum, but mostly because of the increased pressure.

The ranking of schools isn't useful anyway -- schools in poor areas do worse, schools in rich areas do better, it's extremely difficult to do anything about that. The government's solution is to close two nearby bad schools, build a new "superschool", and then say "there were N bad schools, now there are only N/2!"

Wales decided they didn't like all the testing, so they got rid of the tests (the 7, 11 and I think the 14). The Welsh government person in charge of education says it's brilliant, which didn't go down well with her equivalent in London. Especially as they're both in the Labour party -- the London (i.e. setting policy for England) minister strongly supports the testing.

Overall, keeping politics out of education seems the best idea. Some independent schools are starting to offer the IB instead of A-levels.

Re:Weak (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620005)

One of the problems is that a lot of these tests have nothing to do with whether you pass the course or not. If it has no impact on the grade of the student, they're more likely to goof off on it. There were a lot of smart people that I knew who did not take their standardized tests seriously and turned their bubble sheet into little pictures.

Re:Weak (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620181)

I don't think seven-year-old children have figured that out yet. (For a start, they don't get a grade at the end of the year [except the test grade], they get a written report from the teacher which is sent to their parents. I wouldn't have wanted a bad report when I was seven, nowadays it seems there are more parents that don't care if their children aren't putting any effort into their school.)

Re:Weak (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620361)

I grew up in India. There were nine exams in total every year - six mid terms, and three term exams - quarterly, half-yearly and annual. If you fail the annual exam, you have to repeat that year. You do not advance to the next grade. They failed students as early as in third grade (age 7). Granted, I went to a private school. But many government schools did the same too. All schools have exams and make students repeat the year from grade 6 onwards if they fail the annual exam. I finished high school about 12 years ago, but the system still remains the same. The negative aspects of this system was that this encouraged rote memorization and discouraged sports and other extracurricular activities.

Re:Weak (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619903)

Any helpful suggestions? And don't say private schools.

Re:Weak (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620123)

And don't say private schools.

Most private (and parochial) schools get far better results at a lower cost per student. Why do you think that is?

-jcr

Re:Weak (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620313)

And don't say private schools. Most private (and parochial) schools get far better results at a lower cost per student. Why do you think that is?

Because they can pick and choose their students.

If you don't have to bother with problematic students, of course you're going to get better results at a lower cost.

Re:Weak (1)

agrippa_cash (590103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620397)

My own public vs. private school experience suggests that bad private school teachers are fired, while bad public school teachers stay around for ever. However private schools are populated by students with 1) relatively affluent/educated parents 2) who give a shit. The bad teachers who teach in public schools require more work from the parents least willing and able to educate their children. This exaggerates the difference in outcome.

Re:Weak (3, Insightful)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620399)

It couldn't be because ( on average ) the people wealthy enough to send their kids to private and parochial schools have more time to spend with their kids, and reinforce what the school is trying to do?
( I.E. more leisure time, more likely to have one parent not working )

And related to that, parents that understand how much their educated led to their wealth, providing additional motivation to push/pull the kids in education?

Smaller class sizes in private schools?

More ability to apply technical assistance to leverage the instructors/instruction?

And if we go with all private schools, I cant help but think that the already large gap between the wealthy and the not wealthy will grow larger, I would argue to the detriment of both groups ( if the "have-nots" have less, where is the market that the "haves" will sell to? )

Re:Weak (5, Insightful)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620111)

Do you know how poorly teachers are paid? I do, I'm married to one. They make peanuts compared to what they could make in virtually any other field with the same level of education. So when the NEA talks about a funding problem, they're talking about teacher compensation. How can you attract the best talent when you don't pay competitive salaries?

The only structural problem with schools are the bloated administrations (which are not unionized.) But that doesn't even begin to explain why the schools are failing. The real problem is our culture. Parents treat the schools as (at best) a baby-sitting service. Too many of them simply don't care how well their children do academically. Failure and success begins with the parents.

Private schools generally pay their teachers *less*, so the teachers in them are no more talented. To the extent that private schools do better, it's because they cherry-pick the best students. You will fail if you simply try to privatize the schools on a large scale. That would just be shifting all the current problems into the private sector where it will be compounded by profit motives and shady accounting (seen the prison system lately?)

I get so sick of hearing that libertarian BS from people that don't even know the first thing about the real problem.

Re:Weak (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620175)

Do you know how poorly teachers are paid?

Yep. That's part of the problem.

So when the NEA talks about a funding problem, they're talking about teacher compensation.

The NEA, like most labor unions, serves the interest of its management ahead of its members, and the public. It's the teachers' union that makes it damn near impossible to fire a teacher in NYC, for instance.

-jcr

Re:Weak (1, Insightful)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620237)

You didn't even address the issues, you just want to rant about the union. Fire half the teachers in NYC and it won't fix anything.

Re:Weak (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620195)

You will fail if you simply try to privatize the schools on a large scale.

The key is to restore competition to schooling at the elementary and high school level. We have world-class colleges, including the public ones, because colleges have to compete for customers.

-jcr

Re:Weak (1)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620383)

Barely more than half of college enrollees finish a bachelor's degree after 6 years.* You're just proving my point about cherry picking. And talk about throwing money at the problem, it costs over $17k in tuition per student per year for a 4-year public university.**

* http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?level=nation&mode=graph&state=0&submeasure=27 [higheredinfo.org]
** http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/paying-for-college/2008/04/10/how-much-does-college-cost.html [usnews.com]

Re:Weak (1)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620437)

I agree. There should be a LOT more private, secular K-12 schools than there are.

Re:Weak (1)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620415)

You call bullshit, I call shenanigans.

The USA outspends many countries that get far better results from their schools.
Schools have too much responsibility these days. See below.

The NEA has been beating that "more funding" drum for decades
Many teachers in public K-12 institutions pay out of pocket for student supplies. The NEA is a teachers' union, is it not? So why shouldn't they advocate to not have to buy things for classes that schools cannot or will not buy?

while they fight tooth and nail against anything that might possibly bring any accountability to our public schooling cartel.
Like the right-wing religious nuts that push the responsibility of religious education onto the schools and then sue whenever their kid hears something the parents don't like? Not that the left-wing nuts that push the responsibility of social behavior training onto the schools and then sue whenever their rabid dog-child has to be physically removed from the kid he's biting are better and might possibly be worse.

As I said in another recent post outside this thread, there's little middle ground between warehouses and madrasas given current public school structure, and neither is particularly good at ACTIVATING young minds in productive ways.

We already spend more than enough on education (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619641)

We need to start looking at reducing administration costs of the school systems and using the money on teachers and student needs. Look at most major cities, their cost per student can be double what outlying areas have and the majority of it can be traced to anything but teachers and students. What good is throwing money at public schools if the money isn't going to improve our children? Too many city schools are jobs programs for friends of the political powers. Dumping grounds for cronies. If that county school can graduate more students at a higher GPA and their students do better in higher education all the while costing the local taxpayers less how is the city's problem money related?

I would prefer more options for parents to send their children to schools of their choice. This means the dreaded "voucher". Make it so the money follows the child and not the school. This might be the only kick in the pants some school systems will understand. We have great teachers. We spend more than enough to educate the children we have, we just spend it wrong.

The easy solution is to "throw money at the problem" but that is used as an excuse to rid ourselves of the responsibility for making the hard choices. All we get with this thrown money is more cronies. I read my local "paper" to see schools with trailers and look at the changes that go on the system. What do I notice most after capital improvements? How many more people in non teaching positions crop up. Suddenly there are committees paid out of school funds to do work already done elsewhere or not needed. More money means more government employees, not necessarily teachers.

Sorry, no more money. Account for what they have. They owe to the children. We owe it the children.

Education here is not the reason we have H1 visas. We have those because politicians put more value on the money of corporations than the people who elect them. Do any of the three current candidates support scrapping this?

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (3, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619815)

The issue is illegal immigrants crowding the city schools. A single bad student or one with limited english can drop the whole class average by a large margin.

In california where I work for a school district I am seeing this problem. Thanks to No child left behind we are seeing funding cuts as well and 1 out of 4 students are illegal or there parents are illegal in my district and no its not inner city either.

In rural areas they do not suffer from this problem so a single student who scores only 15% at grade level can not bring down the whole average.

But your assessment is correct. School administrators receive free BMW's and Mercedes and they just cut 300 teachers from their payroll at the same time. Also one administrator has ties to board of directors at Gateway computers so we keep upgrading on computers we dont need and she gets a payback from it too.

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (2, Informative)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619919)

I went to a private school. Trust me, private schools are not the solution.

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (2, Insightful)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620267)

I disagree, simply because this would increase competition if vouchers were given. If a private school produces far more students that get into top 30 universities, either public schools will have to direct efforts to educating their students or face a loss of funding as parents use a voucher to put their child in a private school.

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (1, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619921)

It's interesting to note that only when people discuss education does the phrase "throw money at the problem" come up.

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619973)

Yes, because spending money on educating the future entrepreneurs and leaders of our country is a waste, while spending it on gas or killing people whose country we invaded is just plain American.

Re:We already spend more than enough on education (2, Funny)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620265)

I thought that phrase came up whenever an American discussed a problem?

Re:Weak (4, Informative)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619841)

My kids go to a private school for about $4000/year each. Right now, the public schools in this area are spending $8500/kid/year, and claiming that they need more money to bring the schools up to par (our schools are among the worst in the state). I probably don't have to tell you that the private school kids test far above the public schools, even though the school also accepts a number of "at risk" kids each year through a scholarship program.

If money were the answer, our public school system here would be turning out einsteins.

It's not money. It's distribution that fails. (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619875)

It's not a lack of money, it's a failure of system.

Instead of encouraging the gifted, the money is pumped into classes for those that are either unwilling or unable to learn. It sounds hard, but some people are just plain dumb. So be it. That money goes poof because you can't make a horse drink, no matter how much water you drown it in.

Second, schools dumb down tests to meet the requirements to get more money. Now, how does that improve learning? Sure, all your students get straight As, wonderful, but that doesn't give them anything in the long run when this A just means that he can do basic math because advanced subjects are brushed aside since teaching (and testing) them would lower the all precious average score.

I had the chance to look at the math of an average, non-private high school final class. Personally, I was appalled. The things this test asked for are fitting for junior high at best, when you compare it to Europe. Basic trignometry was the most complex subject, the whole thing was completely devoid of any integration/differentiation, probability calculation or systems of equation with more than two variables. It was completely spoonfed, not a single question dealt with creating your own equations from a text instruction.

Now how does this prepare you for anything advanced, or any real life applications? Which is, IMO, the primary goal of high school education.

I can't talk about other subjects, but in math at least the US school system fails miserably.

Re:It's not money. It's distribution that fails. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620069)

Is high school final age 18 or 16? I think even the UK's students at 16 have an exam with probability and basic trig, but not the others. (The UK is probably the worst of these wonderful European exams.)

See for yourself: this [edexcel.org.uk] and this [edexcel.org.uk] are the GCSE (age 16) maths specimen papers. They're "higher tier", which means you can get grade A*-D (do worse and you fail). "Foundation tier" papers are graded C-G.

Has anyone got a link to the maths exam American 16 year olds would take?

Re:It's not money. It's distribution that fails. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620207)

For completeness, here [edexcel.org.uk] are the maths exams taken by 18-year-olds in England and Wales (if they choose to take maths at all, since it's optional after age 16! They can also choose to only take it for one year, in which case they do the first two papers in that PDF at age 17).

H1b scam. (1, Interesting)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619381)

H1b scheme as it is and the lottery system is a huge scam. The best way out of it is to auction the available H1b visas and let those who truly need the talent get it.

Re:H1b scam. (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619617)

Those companies TRULY needing the talent can forgo all tax deductions relating to those (foreign) employees. Remember pussy-azzs, it's not a WAR unless you shoot back.

Re:H1b scam. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619725)

By "need", did you mean: "afford"? The lottery system makes sure that the biggest companies aren't favored in a way that would only allow them to profit further on the backs of labor that is un-duly committed to staying with them.

Re:H1b scam. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619927)

The lottery system you refer to isn't the only way to get an H1B. That "game" was invented as a way to increase the diversity of people immigrating. My guess is that the US has similar problems a lot of other "first world" countries have: They are the primary goal of people from certain countries. France has its Maghreb (i.e. northern Africa), Germany has Turkey and the US have Mexico. People from those areas and countries emigrate primarily to a certain country.

What all those "target" countries fear is a strong, united "foreign block" that may abuse the democratic system to muscle for more say and more cultural influence. You can already notice it how candidates start wooing those immigrants by offering them something that is not necessarily in the interest of the rest of the people who are not from those areas.

That's what this immigration lottery is about. When you look carefully, you'll see that certain countries may not participate. Why do you think is it that way?

Land of immigrants (1)

nicolastheadept (930317) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619411)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Re:Land of immigrants (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619473)

Why do people keep implying that insisting that immigrants come here legally (and in this case, discussing what that will mean) is the same thing as insisting that they are unwelcome? Do you not see the dishonesty of that?

Saying that this is a "land of immigrants", while true, is also irrelevant since no one is trying to prove that it isn't. The issue being settled is the duration of a visa. The argument is how much time is needed to realize the stated purpose of the visa. You first have to have immigrants (more like visitors, in this case) who are welcome here before there is a question of how long they may stay.

Re:Land of immigrants (2, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619721)

Because they are simple-minded and that doesn't fit with their skewed world view.

Or, it could be that they are just malicious and assume everyone is the same as they are.

Or, they are arrogant and self-righteous, so any opinion that does not agree with theirs is automatically evil.

The possibilities are almost endless

Re:Land of immigrants (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619821)

I think the view is that it should be easier for immigrants to come to the US legally.

Re:Land of immigrants (3, Insightful)

RCL (891376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619865)

You cannot "immigrate illegally". Why do you, the freedom-loving Americans, deny the people the basic right of moving anywhere they want to?

It's unnatural, unfair and counterproductive to criminalize people for just coming to your country. Why not go further and impose Soviet-like registration of citizens, penalizing them for moving from state to state or even from city to city "illegally"? It's the same way of thinking.

Re:Land of immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620277)

Why not go further and impose Soviet-like registration of citizens

When is the last time you read the news? Check out the Real-Id Act, etc.

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620119)

The argument is how much time is needed to realize the stated purpose of the visa. You first have to have immigrants (more like visitors, in this case) who are welcome here before there is a question of how long they may stay.


Immigrants are people who go to a new country to live permanently. People who are here on a visa are expecting (or, at least expected) to be here for a limited time, then go back to their home country. Not quite the same thing, although some of the people here on visas would love to change their status from visitor to immigrant.

Re:Land of immigrants (5, Interesting)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619491)

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Note that there are no mention of non-poor, well-educated people :-)

I left the US, and now work for a company in a country which gives me 5 weeks vacation each year, with pay comparable to what I would have gotten in the Bay Area. And I don't have to worry about the visa crap or whether I will get a green card.

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

GodKingAmit (1192629) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619555)

what country?

Re:Land of immigrants (4, Informative)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619589)

Norway.

BTW, I did love living in the Bay Area. Love the energy of the area. Norway doesn't have a tech area like the Bay Area. Oslo is more finance than tech (but most tech jobs seem to be in the Oslo area).

The reason for the extension of the OPT is that Congress wouldn't increase the H1b quota. The problem then is that the quota is filled the first day it is available (April 1st), which is before anyone studying in the US has graduated. And you can't apply for an H1b (or your job can't if you can get one) before you have graduated.

Re:Land of immigrants (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619643)

"what country?"
AFAIK, almost any West European or North European country would fit that description.

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619585)

What language, and are they hiring?

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619715)

Norwegian, although all business functions (documentation, coding) is in English.

Unfortunately, Norway doesn't have H1b/Green Card program, so unless your country is an EU member (or part of the Schengen deal), you're out of luck

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619785)

Is it possible to do with English only? I'm thinking of going back to Norway, I liked it as a grad student, I spent 6 months there. My country is in the EU now, so at least that's fixed for me.

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619847)

Yes, in fact we have a British guy working for us (although he's learning English because his fiancee is Norwegian). Most people who finished University levels have a pretty good grasp of English (for no other reason than that we spend the 5 weeks of vacation time traveling to warmer places).

Re:Land of immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620035)

Norway is not in the EU.

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620221)

It's in the EEA though, so it's still an advantage to be an EU citizen.

Re:Land of immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620307)

Is it possible to do with English only?
On the job? Maybe, depending on where you'll want to work, although your choices will be more limited that way.

For everything else? Not a chance.

Re:Land of immigrants (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620041)

That's the reason I won't work in the US. I always get a giggle fit when the guy at INS asks me whether I plan to work there (having a travel visa when you're on the visa waiver list sure raises some brows, I tell you...).

Let's see, I get 5 weeks of paid vacation, free health care, free retirement insurance, free accident and handicap insurance, free and limitless unemployment insurance, secured workplace even when I'm sick for 2 months (they can't lay me off just because I'm sick), cheap housing and more money than in the US (especially with the current USD:EUR rate). Care to tell me again why I should want to work in the US?

Re:Land of immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619561)

This applies to a truly free land, i.e. small government, no (corporate or personal) welfare state - indeed, no compulsory taxation at all.

The USA is nowhere near that today. We're a lot closer to the protectionist, statist Europe, but leaning more to corporate than personal welfare, and with a much stronger military presence. Not judging whether that's right or wrong, just pointing out that the quote's irrelevant to today's America.

Re:Land of immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619777)

What kind of commie bullshit is that?

Re:Land of immigrants (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619985)

May I point out that it's a BIG difference whether you immigrate in the US in, say, 1800 and today? Back then, it was a country of hardship. Going to the US meant you had to fight for your survival.

Today, it's a country of surplus. It's the promised lands for people who come from countries where they have to struggle to survive. And the US are not the only country like this. Take Europe after WW2, it was a pile of rubbles. Immigrating there meant you had to work for your living and behold, almost nobody tried unless he had a very good reason (like, having relatives there or being deported from other areas where he was considered "not wanted" anymore). Nobody in his sane mind picked, say, Germany, France or Austria as an immigration country just to get out of his. Today, you have a very different situation.

Now, I'm not against immigration. I am actually for free choice of your workplace and your place to live. But, and here's the catch, I am not really fond of the idea to pay for the wellfare of someone whose only achivement was to come here. And you have that sentiment amongst a lot of people who go to those countries for this only reason: I'm here, so gimme. That's not how it works.

ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (4, Insightful)

MilesNaismith (951682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619521)

H1B has turned into a huge scam for corporate slavery. Employers know they can get cheap labor and throw them away when done. Most visas go to giant corporations like MicroSoft. If we want to "welcome the tired and huddle masses" then re-open Ellis Island and take them in and give them Green Cards or Citizenship papers and let them walk into a free country and decide what to do. This equine excrement that ties them to the sponsoring employer should be viewed for what it is which is a disposable cheap worker program.

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (2, Informative)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619603)

Most visas go to giant corporations like MicroSoft.

I was under the impression most visa went to outsourcing companies like InfoSys.

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619673)

Keep the program, but make sure the vast majority are hired by companies who are serious about keeping their H1Bs here long term, with preference to bona fide US companies.

Why keep the program? Because the US is competing against every other country in the world, including those in Europe, Latin America, and Japan. One of our biggest competitive weapons is that we're more open to foreigners, relatively speaking. If we don't let foreign engineering students in, someone else will.

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620155)

If we don't let foreign engineering students in, someone else will.

So what?

Seriously, most of the companies that hire H1Bs are profit-only driven scum that have no notion of national interest or pride anyway. Regardless of how high we make the H1B quota they always push for more or threaten to go off-shore. Let them. Good riddance.

It's time to get rid of the corporate propaganda that we are somehow losing the next Einstein. Sure, there are a handful of these people, literally, but the vast majority are very average VB and ASP people working for Infosys et. al. anyway. We might take a short-term hit but those jobs could be filled easily within a couple of years domestically if people saw they paid well enough to learn.

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (2, Informative)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619801)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , the top 2 H1B companies are Indian outsourcing companies, InfoSys and WiPro. Of the top 10, 7 are Indian.
(Microsoft, IBM and Sun are the Americans)

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (5, Insightful)

nasor (690345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619745)

In New Zealand they have an elegant solution; the minimum salary for a foreign worker who is there on their equivalent of the H-1B program is $55,000. That ensures that companies are only likely to bring in foreign workers if there is a genuine shortage of people with their particular skills. Your salary is usually a pretty direct measure of how scarce people with your abilities/training are and how much demand there is, so anyone who is coming into the county to fill a shortage in a particular field should almost by definition be getting a relatively high salary.

Re:ABOLISH THE H1B PROGRAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619831)

Are there significant numbers of H-1Bers making less than that?

IBM says Americans aren't good enough (5, Insightful)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619859)

What bugs me is when corps say that they can't get exceptional IT staff from America (IBM HR person in the Wall Street Journal) [wsj.com]

Certain skills still are in strong demand, says Ms. Chota, adding that the company can't find enough qualified graduates with degrees in computer science and those who have knowledge of both business and IT. "In the U.S., unfortunately, there are not enough great computer-science graduates," Ms. Chota says.""

Um excuse me? So, Americans are not good enough for IBM. Even though they go to the same great American universities just like the smarter foreigners.

So, which is it?!?

Re:IBM says Americans aren't good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619987)

Dude, Americans are stupid. I know. I am won.

Americans are good enough.. just not CHEAP enough. (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620213)

The CS program attendance plummeted at the same time salaries and job security in the field plummeted.

The talent is there, they don't want to work in a field where companies don't want to reward them.

They can't get americans to buy their crappy pay, benefits, and job security, so they want to farm out slave labor they can have deported at their whim.

Exactly! (1)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620345)

The CS program attendance plummeted at the same time salaries and job security in the field plummeted.

Even then, IBM can't find enough great IT folks out of the bunch left? I mean, now the folks attending are going to be the ones that really want to be there: they're not chasing the $$$. So, they'd be even better!

Note the weasel words she uses - there are not enough great computer-science graduates,...

She never defines "enough" or "great", only that IBM has to go overseas for "enough great" IT folks.

People like her really piss me off. Just wait. IBM will figure out that they need to outsource their HR folks so that they can recruit the locals.

Does anybody debate their claims? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619523)

I thought the Bush Administration was very upfront about the motivation for this 'emergency' rule (To get around the H-1B stalemate). Summary sounds like it's breeding controversy where none exists.

Now whether or not we NEED more H1Bs... that's a point of debate.

Don't worry, it's just jobs Americans don't want (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619529)

If they really cared about filling jobs, they'd ease the restrictions on immigration. But you'll never see that, because then workers would no longer be beholden to the sponsoring corporation. They could shop the market and earn the market rate.

And besides, why is "Homeland Security" making economic decisions, anyway? Are foreign students suddenly less a "threat"? What changed?

Nah. If you want a free trade Republican to show his true colors, just ask him, why should money and goods cross borders freely, but not people?

Re:Don't worry, it's just jobs Americans don't wan (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619807)

And besides, why is "Homeland Security" making economic decisions, anyway?
Economic Security.

Are foreign students suddenly less a "threat"? What changed?
The status of the citizen is what changed. Citizenship is made to be a penalty, not a benefit.

Implying (class|race) (warfare|exploitation)? (2, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619811)

Nah. If you want a free trade Republican to show his true colors, just ask him, why should money and goods cross borders freely, but not people?

Let me guess:

I want your money, and I want your goods, but you can keep your sorry non-white ass out of my country.

Is this roughly what you're hinting at?

It might appear that I'm trolling, but I'm very much not -- I'm honestly interested if this is what 0xdeadbeef means.

Cheers,

Re:Don't worry, it's just jobs Americans don't wan (5, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619835)

Are foreign students suddenly less a "threat"? What changed?

It may have something to do with hundreds of millions per annum being lost because all those now 'suspect' chinese students that used to go to university in the states have started to go to Europe instead.

Its been great for England, my gosh yes, the extra revenue was seriously needed, but not so great for the US. Last I heard some US Universities were having serious problems trying to make up for the loss of that money.

Oddly enough European society has completely failed to collapse, and we haven't found ourselves dealing with hordes of evil Chinese people plotting to take over our countries.

Personally it helped me learn how to make some really good Chinese meals.

One overlooked benefit ... (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619563)

Because extended stays are limited to those whose degrees are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, educators are speculating that the rule change will drive international students away from non-STEM majors.

Anything that reduces the number of lawyers is good, right? Except, of course, since this means that fewer will go into law, existing lawyers will have less competition, so more opportunity to a$$rape their clients. So this is bad, right?

Re:One overlooked benefit ... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619759)

No, because that means more international students taking up spots in STEM programs, which reduces the number of American STEM students in America, which further reduces American competitiveness and increases our reliance on foreign brain trusts.

Not to mention that it also lowers wages in the U.S. and also means more American students becoming leaches, I mean lawyers.

Re:One overlooked benefit ... (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619867)

Having those same people compete with you from their home countries, where the employment costs are so much lower, does not lower wages in the US, right?

It's better to have people compete with you on your own turn than on theirs.

Re:One overlooked benefit ... (4, Insightful)

RCL (891376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620009)

I think that the most of international students in the US are planning to settle there sooner or later. So "reduces number of American students" argument is invalid - those students will eventually become Americans, too.

Lowering wages? Well... The golden billion [wikipedia.org] of human population finally starts to feel the globalization effects.

Re:One overlooked benefit ... (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620201)

Actually, that has not been the case for a while now.

The big trend has been to come to the U.S., get an education, save up some money, go home and buy some land and live well.

Re:One overlooked benefit ... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620095)

Fewer lawyers could also mean that they all can make a living and don't have to resort to make-money-fast schemes like sending cease and desist notices about.

no-notice-no-comments 'emergency' rule change (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619577)

That's how we do things now. It's much more efficient than actually obeying all those silly laws that regular folks have to. Can I use this to end the prohibition against marijuana? That would be cool.

Programmers without borders

Re:no-notice-no-comments 'emergency' rule change (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619949)

prohibition against marijuana

Don't you mean illegal prohibition against marijuana?

Re:no-notice-no-comments 'emergency' rule change (0, Offtopic)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620029)

Ok. Please explain in detail how the prohibition against marijuana is illegal.

Re:no-notice-no-comments 'emergency' rule change (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620137)

The constitution grants the Federal government no right to enact such legislation.

President Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619665)

Just one more reminder of how the United States is a corporate dictatorship, not a democracy or even a government any more. Bill Gates wants H-1B visa limits to go away, and *poof* it was so. With less trouble than the rest of us have to go to to register a car.

forget the fluff, focus on the true issue (5, Insightful)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619739)

regardless of what you think of immigration, education, H1B's, and DHS, why are so many comments about immigration, employers, etc - and not governmental abuse of power?

if anyone would like to explain how using emergency powers in a non-emergency setting isn't abuse, please, step up to the plate.

Re:forget the fluff, focus on the true issue (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619775)

Last I checked we were in a war, which is a state of emergency. I bet if we actually checked, we would see that the U.S. has been in a state of emergency for decades.

What is this "state of emergency" anyway? (2, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619829)

Last I checked we were in a war, which is a state of emergency. I bet if we actually checked, we would see that the U.S. has been in a state of emergency for decades.

Which brings up the broader issue, how do we define "state of emergency", and how do we put saner limits on who gets to say?

Cheers,

Re:What is this "state of emergency" anyway? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620103)

Well, the government gets to say if something is an emergency, so it is a matter of the fox guarding the hen house.

And, remember, your favorite congresscritter can declare just about anything a matter of national security and thus classified. That is how a lot of stuff is kept secret in DC.

Re:forget the fluff, focus on the true issue (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619843)

Major combat operations were announced as over some time ago. So, if a war is now in a state of non-major combat operations, is it actually an emergency?

Re:forget the fluff, focus on the true issue (1)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619851)

Last I checked we were in a war, which is a state of emergency. I bet if we actually checked, we would see that the U.S. has been in a state of emergency for decades.
i was thinking more of an applicable emergency, not a semantic one. i doubt you're right about the US being in a state of emergency for decades, but given the fact that my faith in government has completely eroded (since i became a federal employee, no less), i wouldn't be too surprised.

and those extended student visas will really put the screws on al qaeda. iirc, weren't some of the 9/11 hijackers here on student visas?

Re:forget the fluff, focus on the true issue (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620067)

i was thinking more of an applicable emergency, not a semantic one.
See, you are thinking like a normal person instead of a politician. I know it hurts, but you have to think like a politician.

And, IIRC, they had over-stayed their student visas.

Candidates and courts (1)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619741)

The Bush administration is in court on a lot of controversial issues right now, and at this point, most of them, including this one, will not be resolved when the Bush administration leaves office.

Some of those things, like most or all of the claims of executive privilege, will probably be dropped by a new Democratic administration, and some may even be dropped by a new Republican administration. It seems to me that it's a reasonable question for candidates as to what they would do with a case like this. But I haven't seen much discussion of these sorts of things.

Practically, it's all in the hands of the next administration. It's something to ask about if we get the chance.

Re:Candidates and courts (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619827)

Some of those things, like most or all of the claims of executive privilege, will probably be dropped by a new Democratic administration, and some may even be dropped by a new Republican administration.

You really think anyone, whether Democratic or Republican, will voluntarily drop power? Especially since the current administration has shown that the they can get away with it?

Unless an administration is smacked down for abuse of power, the power is being kept, no matter the mascot of the incoming president.

DHS = Get Out of Jail Free card (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619743)

Until the Bush administration, through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, made the change earlier this year, foreign national students typically worked for one year after graduation on their student visa while their employers filed for an H-1B visa. Tech industry groups, however, had sought the extension because of the backlog for H-1B visas.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. You ever have one of those friends who, when asked why, would say "because"? The Department of Homeland Security now seems to be "because".

What possible twisted snake-oil scenario would give the DHS authority to extend the stay of foreign workers? I can see a very extreme scenario where they could decrease the time because of some reported imminent threat or something, but them being able to extend it makes little sense to me. It's like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms selling off the wireless spectrum.

Or am I missing something? I admit that I'm not familiar with the intricacies of federal bureaus and who is under what secretary and given which powers. If someone can explain to me why this isn't just a pure abuse of the system by saying the word "terrist", please do so. A quick search of the previous Slashdot post and related articles isn't helping much. Do they control all of immigration? I thought that was someone else.

If this is truly a complete abuse of the department, I wonder if the public would react if the media groups picked up the story as administration abuse (hahaha... sure).

Re:DHS = Get Out of Jail Free card (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620049)

Essentially, Homeland Security is now in charge of all immigration issues. State, which properly oversees such matters, has been reduced to a hollow shell (and not just on immigration; the Bush administration has basically been waging war on the entire department since the run-up to the Iraq war.) DHS is a hydra which has taken on many formerly well-defined functions of other departments and handles none of them well.

Re:DHS = Get Out of Jail Free card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620107)

Because DHS is the umbrella organization above USCIS (the old INS).

Re:DHS = Get Out of Jail Free card (3, Informative)

Zarf (5735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620115)

DHS controls ICE see: http://www.ice.gov/about/faq.htm [ice.gov] my ICD and API docs come with a nice big seal from DHS. So yes, the number of issued visas is under the DHS purview. The particulars of how a visa is granted, why, and to whom are not under direct control of DHS... merely the number, adjudication, and tracking.

Prior to 2003 these authorities were held by the DoJ but they shifted to DHS.

Who is inside the country is a data point that DHS is decidedly interested in. This is a reality I work with every single day as I develop software that tracks the whereabouts of visa holders.

Re:DHS = Get Out of Jail Free card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620247)

Do they control all of immigration? I thought that was someone else.
Homeland Security has been handling immigration [dhs.gov] for a while.

Hey, Taco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23619877)

The Preview button is very erratic.

YR Online section? (3, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620245)

How is this online? (Section: YRO.) Shouldn't it be in Politics?

Working for 3 months in tourist visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23620393)

The newest trick for offshore companies: person get a 3 months USA tourist visa, travel to USA, work 3 months, transfer the knowledge, continue working from offshore.

Just another way of taking the job of americans...
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