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Judge Rejects H-1B Visa Injunction

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the welcome-to-america dept.

The Courts 442

theodp writes "Judge Faith Hochberg has denied a preliminary injunction sought by the Programmers Guild to put a hold on a controversial 'emergency' rule change by the Department of Homeland Security to permit foreign students to work continuously in the US for two-and-a-half years after graduation without an H-1B visa. Hochberg indicated she failed to see how an increased labor supply could result in wage depression for engineers and computer workers. That seems disingenuous, since in Andaya v. Citizens Mortgage Corporation, Judge Hochberg recently saw first-hand how a US employer got away with paying an H-1B computer engineer as little as $15,000 to do a job with a 'prevailing wage rate' of $41,000. In that case, Hochberg ruled against Filipino H-1B visa holder Almira Andaya, arguing that 'nonpayment of wages as listed on the H-1B visa petition ... does not raise a substantial question of federal law.'"

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Frost Piss! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625773)

That's It.

USA is using slave labor again? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625775)

Is USA using slave labor again to bootstrap it failing economie?

Going to Bangalore (3, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | about 6 years ago | (#24625815)

Seriously, 15k for skilled labor is crazy. If the US wants to offer wages like that, all the best workers will be going off to a first world country like India.

Re:Going to Bangalore (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24625855)

It's low, but there is not indication that the 'job' was a year long. I.e., 15k for skilled labor for a week is pretty spiffy.

Re:USA is using slave labor again? (-1, Flamebait)

Punctuated_Equilibri (738253) | about 6 years ago | (#24625917)

WTF, do you have a clue what 'slavery' is?

Seriously, the justification for a free market is that it is more efficient. I don't know whether the $15k was too little, or too much. Neither do you. Neither does the 'Programmers Guild', whoever they are.

The ones who know best are the employer who offered the $15k and the employee who took the offer for whatever reasons.

Re:USA is using slave labor again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626085)

Market not free.... the H1-B program allows for this kind of shit and that's the whole problem.

Re:USA is using slave labor again? (3, Funny)

The FNP (1177715) | about 6 years ago | (#24626185)

Just remember the US employers are always trying to improve their Efficiency [tshirthell.com]

--The FNP

Re:USA is using slave labor again? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626245)

It would appear that you don't know what slave labor is. If you'd like to find out, try working as a domestic servant for one of the Saudi royals.

-jcr

welcome to the country (3, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 6 years ago | (#24625777)

Welcome to the country of unlimited possibilities ... ... to get ripped off!

Really, both the H1-B Visa holders and US employees are at a loss here.

Re:welcome to the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625821)

welcome to the country

"welcome to the jungle" sound better

Re:welcome to the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625911)

welcome to the country

"welcome to the jungle" sound better

"We've got guns n planes."

Re:welcome to the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625969)

We've got everything you want.

Re:welcome to the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626095)

Money's the only game.

Re:welcome to the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626207)

We are the people that can hire.

Re:welcome to the country (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626261)

you'll program anything we want and you'll do it for almost free, in the jungle, welcome to the jungle!

Protection of the tech jobs market (5, Insightful)

yakiimo (1024339) | about 6 years ago | (#24625789)

I find it interesting that Slashdotters and the posted articles tend to be quite libertarian on many issues, with one of the exceptions being protection of the tech jobs market. Isn't it a bit hypocritical or am I missing something?

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 6 years ago | (#24625809)

I find it interesting that Slashdotters and the posted articles tend to be quite libertarian on many issues, with one of the exceptions being protection of the tech jobs market. Isn't it a bit hypocritical or am I missing something?

What you're missing is that open borders are more libertarian than the H-1B system, which supposedly serves to create an underclass of workers with much less leverage to get reasonable (compared to other people here) pay.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 6 years ago | (#24625979)

I'd mod parent down, but I'd rather explain why I disagree. In what follows, "you" refers to "libertarian Slashdotters", not necessarily to the parent.

You say "open borders are more libertarian than the H1-B system", which is true, but a generous H-1B program would mean a more open border than what we have now. The grandparent is correct, that it's hypocritical to oppose a step in what you claim is the "right" direction.

You say a generous H-1B program would "create an underclass of workers" -- but a truly open border would be even worse in this respect, since it would drastically increase the number of U.S. resident programmers willing to work for bottom dollar.

And the elephant in the room here is that visas are irrelevant in this case. I can't think of a job that can be more easily offshored than computer programming. If you tightly restrict immigration of programmers into the U.S., they'll all set up shop in their home countries, where they can charge even less due to lower cost of living.

And if you as a programmer don't think you're going to be seriously competing against China- and India-resident programmers in a few years, you haven't been paying attention.

I say, open the borders, let everybody in, in every profession. It'll depress our wages, but at least it'll keep immigrant workers spending their money in *our* economy, and hopefully some of them will decide to become citizens and come to expect our standards of living.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

strabes (1075839) | about 6 years ago | (#24626041)

Good comment. Free trade in people/labor is little different than free trade in goods and services. If the latter is good for everyone (except the domestic producers of that product) then how can the former be bad?

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 6 years ago | (#24626081)

You say "open borders are more libertarian than the H1-B system", which is true, but a generous H-1B program would mean a more open border than what we have now. The grandparent is correct, that it's hypocritical to oppose a step in what you claim is the "right" direction.

IIRC, this particular change wasn't made "properly".

You say a generous H-1B program would "create an underclass of workers" -- but a truly open border would be even worse in this respect, since it would drastically increase the number of U.S. resident programmers willing to work for bottom dollar.

No, "underclass" as in "fewer legal options". My understanding is that a H-1B comes with requirements about always having a job (and maybe requirements that the employer fill out extra paperwork?), this makes it a bit harder to go to a different employer if you're being treated like crap.

And if you as a programmer don't think you're going to be seriously competing against China- and India-resident programmers in a few years, you haven't been paying attention.

I've heard that some companies are finding that the language and time-zone barriers involved often make this totally not worth it.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626191)

I've heard that some companies are finding that the language and time-zone barriers involved often make this totally not worth it.

Because they're doing it wrong. You need to outsource the project management and a level of QA too, you can't go half-way.

Once you've got enough that they can effectively run the project on their own time in their own language, all that's left to do in the States is a final QA check to make sure what was created matches the requirements.

Programming isn't magic. There's nothing about it that makes US programmers better than foreign programmers. If you've been paying attention to the US school system, you'd notice that there is quite a lot that makes foreign programmers superior to US programmers. There's a reason most Linux programmers aren't from the US.

I think you're missing the point (2, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 6 years ago | (#24626161)

H1B's would not depress wages if they made the simple change that the H1B visa holder could change jobs at will. Right now, H1B wages are depressed precisely because the visa holder will be deported if they quit.

      "Hey boss! I found out that minimum wage pays more than you pay!

        Oh, sorry about that. Let me discuss your feelings with the IMS.

        Oh dear, where did my 'valued' employee get to?"

The system right now pits the Visa holder against the Citizen/Resident worker which further benefits large corporations. It's not a question of visa holder versus resident; it's both of those classes of people against large corporations who are (in my opinion) using H1B's to hold low-cost workers hostage and keep the price of resident labor as well.

Re:I think you're missing the point (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626321)

As a H1B visa holder, let me just squash this myth right here: H1B visa holders can quit and change jobs at will. If you quit, you have 60 days to find a new job before you are asked to leave the country. Most people I know find a job first and then leave. And there are no binding contracts or such associated with the visa. And there's only minor paperwork involved when changing jobs. So yeah, your above-mentioned scenario is total hogwash.

But hey, don't let me and my facts get into your way of perpetuating anti-immigration propaganda.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626167)

I'd mod parent down, but I'd rather explain why I disagree.

Offtopic, but if you mod comments down because you disagree you're being a douche.

ALWAYS comment instead of modding down. Hiding things you disagree with from others is admitting you don't think you can refute it. By commenting, you not only put forth your perspective that lead you to believe the person is wrong but you also allow for others to support or refute.

Personally, there are a lot of details i would not have learned for a long time if I hadn't taken the time to put my foot spectacularly into my mouth.

Just sayin.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 6 years ago | (#24626297)

I agree, except...and this is a big exception... it has to apply to all professions. Otherwise, you get wage distortion which is what you get in places like France.

Can you imagine an America where cheap foreign engineers come in and depress wages so a good engineer makes 40K / year. Meanwhile, a teacher makes 60 K and a doctor still makes 300K? No American in their right mind would go into the field. Within 1 generation, even the H1B workers would catch on and not do the work anymore. The jobs would end up in India any.

Now, the day you open up doctors, teachers... to free market competition then this kind of open borders might work as their wages would get depressed as well. Engineers keep shooting themselves on some fantasy of 'fairness', but in the end the rest of the professions don't obey these rules.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

KeithJM (1024071) | about 6 years ago | (#24626389)

I can't think of a job that can be more easily offshored than computer programming.

I don't really disagree with your main point, but this line is just hyperbole. Light manufacturing is more easily off-shored, that's why garments are almost not produced in first-world countries at all. Likewise with any repetitive activity. Coding certainly can be off-shored, but developers need to be closer to managers (because there are lots of decisions to be made, and a lot of these require feedback loops to constantly adjust decisions). It can be off-shored, but it's not any where near as easy as it sounds.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (4, Funny)

EdZ (755139) | about 6 years ago | (#24625811)

Because, contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to fall somewhere between 'Pinko Commie' and 'Right-Wing Nutjob'.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 years ago | (#24625833)

it IS possible to fall somewhere between 'Pinko Commie' and 'Right-Wing Nutjob'.

yeah, but don'tcha just hate those Pinko Nutjobs.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626035)

and Right-Wing Commies!

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (4, Funny)

rve (4436) | about 6 years ago | (#24625835)

They took our jobs!!!

Everyone on the pile!

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 6 years ago | (#24626223)

Durk a durrrr! :(

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24625863)

Count to 1 million. Every 1,000 (for the 1 in 1,000 people who might actually comment), cut off 0.001 inches from the tip of your finger. Enjoy your missing knuckle.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625925)

100000/1000 = 1000 * 0.001 inches = 2.54cm
Your math is off, unless you've incredibly small fingers

I don't have a problem. And... (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24625887)

I'm out of work.

What I do have a problem with is companies like IBM who say that they cannot find "excellent" IT staff in the US. Basically saying that, even though the US has generally the best universities in the World, somehow these excellent universities are producing average or mediocre IT folks. I can't find it, but even here on /., a CTO posted that he can't find excellent Perl programmers in Boston. Really?!

Now, before anyone posts that CS is about algorithms and etc... I realize that (get a CS Ph.D. if that's what you want to do.). But with a BS you're going to be hired as a programmer, admin, DBA, etc... And what matters is your laundry list of skills - and you better have at least 2+ yrs of experience with all of them. Period.

Now, can anyone tell me what "excellent" means? What makes an "excellent" IT person? It's not exactly working cheap. I finally got an answer from a defense contractor. They can't really play the H1-B game. They need citizens who can get a security clearance. Their complaint: They have a hard time getting coders who are productive enough. That's right, "excellent" is the ability to pump out code fast.

Get it done. Get it working. Get it done fast.

Re:I don't have a problem. And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626029)

If you seem anything like a BitterOldGuy, I wouldn't hire you either.

It can be very hard to find skilled folks, at least in the Valley.

It sort of makes me wonder if producing "well-rounded human beings" as our high school and college and admissions system attempts to do (load up on extracurriculars, etc) causes our graduates to be less competitive..

Re:I don't have a problem. And... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 years ago | (#24626283)

It sort of makes me wonder if producing "well-rounded human beings" as our high school and college and admissions system attempts to do (load up on extracurriculars, etc) causes our graduates to be less competitive..

"Well rounded human beings" = emo faggotry. I sit in a client sites and code and debug all week and most of the weekend fuelled by coffee and greed. My only attempt at social interaction is trolling slashdot and lying to the people around me to make them back off so I've got some chance of finishing and heading off to another identical project in a different country. I love my life, but I'm not well rounded. Hell I'm not even a human being.

Re:I don't have a problem. And... (2, Interesting)

PLBogen (452989) | about 6 years ago | (#24626055)

I've seen the complaint many times. The problem is that in the US their is a shortage of IT education. Most universities have CS programs but as you said yourself CS is not about programming or IT, and yet we encourage people who want to program or do IT to get CS degrees. What we really need are vocational IT degrees.

No one would hire an Electrical Engineer when all they wanted was an Electrician, so why do companies hire Computer Scientists when they want IT people? When I was an undergraduate I saw three kinds of people in CS generally. Good CS people that could program but didn't really care about IT and software engineering, Good IT and Software Engineers who couldn't quite grasp CS, and people who were crappy programmers/IT/Software Engineers who didn't really grasp CS and just squeaked by on brute force. The first group went on the grad school like I did, the second group tended to end up in semi-abusive programming positions where the company overworked you or at companies with no future. The third group minored in business and got high paying jobs on BS and are now in management positions many of them working on MBAs.

Currently as a CS doctoral student I have dealt with alot of people out of the Indian universities and a large percentage of these people are what business want -- people with a vocational IT background who churn out code, and yet they make lousy CS grad students. The MCS (as opposed to the MSCS and PhDCS) degree has become a way for foreign programmers and IT professionals to get a foot in the door and get hired by an American company.

Re:I don't have a problem. And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626347)

Maybe what they really mean by excellent is graduates who know the difference between alot [wikipedia.org] and a lot. [reference.com]

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626255)

Slashdotters are not monolithic. If you can find any individual who purports to be a libertarian but wants government interference in the market for their own industry, then yes, that person would by hypocritical.

-jcr

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (1)

yfarren (159985) | about 6 years ago | (#24626279)

I find it fascinating that you wrote your comment 6 minutes after the article went up, making your comment, which I would hope at +5 insightful would have a factual basis, merely presumptive. I hope people mod your name-calling down to -1 flamebait, which before any conversation has actually taken place, is all it is.

Re:Protection of the tech jobs market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626285)

You miss the point. We want a fair playing field. I can't go to their country and get a job at the prevailing wage without gaining a proper working visa. Why should they be allowed to do that in my/our country?

The H1-B visa rules are fairly easy for employers to get around the "spirit of the law." Basically, they need to create a disincentive for qualified individuals to even apply. When someone does apply, they do everything they can to remove that candidate over a mandatory skill that isn't listed on the resume, but the candidate may easily have. Here's a video where lawyers teach HR how to get around the law: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

Another question ... is it better to have people able to work, wanting to work, put back to work inside the country they already live
OR
import workers from outside the country and not pay them the honest prevailing wage for the same work?

When I was a programmer in 1996, the prevailing wage at my company (not in SoCal) was $45K/yr for an entry level full time employee. I find it hard to believe that either $15k or $41k are still current wages. At that company, my team was 80% H1-B holders. They were excellent workers, good friends and most are now citizens, with just a few still limited to permanent residency since they happen to be born in high-terrorist-dense countries like Indonesia.

"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (-1, Troll)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 6 years ago | (#24625791)

because she is just that STUPID

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | about 6 years ago | (#24625867)

"Faith" must be a bush evangelical...because she is just that STUPID.

Or maybe she is just that stupid because she was a Clinton nominee [nara.gov] .

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (0, Troll)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 6 years ago | (#24625907)

oops my bad, yep clinton did that. She just seemed like she must be a bushie. How can anyone be sooo stupid as to not understand foreign workers will depress wages. Economics 101. she has the stench of bush even if clinton appointed her. Wonder if she was a trade to get someone clinton wanted, or if she was really wanted by clinton. Clinton at least understood the economy.

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (0)

megaditto (982598) | about 6 years ago | (#24625935)

Short-term, wages might be depressed. Long-term, more work is being done, more demand is generated, the economy grows, and everyone is better off. Since 1900 our population has trippled... are the wages higher or lower today than in 1900?

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 6 years ago | (#24625971)

silly me, I didn't think we had H1-B's in 1900. I thought we allowed people to immigrate.

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

D.McGuiggin (1317705) | about 6 years ago | (#24626147)

Silly me, I thought your stupid comment about "I didn't think we had H1-B's in 1900." was an irrelevant smokescreen to avoid admitting you're wrong about immigrant labor.

Oh wait, it is and you are? I see...

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 6 years ago | (#24626205)

I never said I was not for immigrant labor. It is not the same as a H1-B. I worked with H1-B's. They frequently learn, then return home and apply their newfound skill in their home country. That is not the same as immigrating where you typically stay as they did in the 1900 and keep those skills here. If you don't get that, then you will not understand my argument.

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

D.McGuiggin (1317705) | about 6 years ago | (#24626129)

"How can anyone be sooo stupid as to..." run their idiot mouths before bothering to look up the judge they're running their idiot mouths about?

I agree, so why did you do it?

Re:"Faith" must be a bush evangelical (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 6 years ago | (#24626239)

because at this point I hate (yes hate) bush so much I blame everything on him. It isn't right, but it is what it is:)

They are helping our economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625825)

They're just doing jobs Americans won't do. Would you want to write code for 15K a year? How about engineering a bridge or skyscraper for 16K a year with no benefits? Such low paying jobs are better suited to foreign born workers that are happy to work for the princely sum of $7.50 an hour doing menial labor like brain surgery and rocket science. Better to save our college graduates for more demanding jobs like flipping burgers.

Re:They are helping our economy (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 6 years ago | (#24626195)

"Would you want to write code for 15K a year?"

Not when minimum wage about the same amount ($7.25/hour is $14,500/year).

As to paying engineers $8.00 per hour, I'd rather not drive over that bridge.

Don't complain (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 6 years ago | (#24625831)

a controversial 'emergency' rule change by the Department of Homeland Security to permit foreign students to work continuously in the US for two-and-a-half years after graduation without an H-1B visa.

A good percentage of you here on /. voted for those chuckleheads. So big surprise when they turn around and dick you by making it easier for your employer to replace you with someone making cardboard slum wages. And even if the next president cuts it off the day they take office, the people already here will be able to stay to middle of their term.

Nice.

Funny how the rules on the war on terror manage to line up with corporate interests, isn't it? Just hilarious.

Re:Don't complain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626323)

H1-B is a sucky system, and should be abolished. But the truth is, there is a huge shortage of American born programmers. My group doesn't hire H1-Bs because of the paperwork hassles. Despite that, over half the team is foreign born, and more than half the qualified applicants are foreign born.

The US quite simply does a lousy job of producing decent engineers.

There's also a lot of crybabyism here. I've been a working programmer for two decades, and my salary has always been at least double what my wife, a schoolteacher, makes. Pretty much any salary survey shows that software engineers make near the top of what one can expect for a non-managerial position that doesn't require anything beyond a four year degree.

Warren Buffett's take on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625851)

Warren Buffett is suggesting that we allow more skilled workers into the country because it will help shore up the housing market and keep money in the US that would often go overseas with outsourcing.

"failed to see (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#24625865)

how an increased labor supply could result in wage depression"

Yeah, And I fail to see how increasing the oil supply will result in lower prices per barrel. In fact, I fail to see how increasing the supply of anything will reduce prices. (Sarcasm off). Let's get these guys into a union to make sure wages at least remain stable.

Re:"failed to see (2, Interesting)

megaditto (982598) | about 6 years ago | (#24625905)

That's because you don't understand differences between labor and commodity. More oil means lower prices; more workers means more jobs and more work done.

The more workers you have, the larger is your economy, and EVERYBODY is better off.

If you don't understand the concept at least compare our economy in 2008 with that in 1492 (pre-immigration).

Re:"failed to see (2, Interesting)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 6 years ago | (#24625981)

That's because you don't understand differences between labor and commodity. More oil means lower prices; more workers means more jobs and more work done.

Maybe overall and eventually, but it takes time for things to adjust.

The more workers you have, the larger is your economy, and EVERYBODY is better off.

That doesn't work if the new workers are all in one field, you end up with high unemployment and/or low pay for a while until people get displaced to other lines of work ("I just can't find a job as a programmer any more, I think I'll learn how to farm switchgrass instead.").

Re:"failed to see (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | about 6 years ago | (#24626011)

I like your point about new workers all in one field. But I believe right now most immigrants are actually in the unskilled labor pool, including the 12 million illegal immigrants and most of the legal immigrants in the "family-sponsored" category.

Re:"failed to see (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#24625983)

Here, and most everywhere, we have an economy that treats labor as a commodity, but it is seen as an expense, not an asset, or investment. More available workers means higher unemployment, or lower wages. And the labor force has to play the same game as the companies. Create an artificial shortage to keep their prices up. And our economy in 2008 also depends on low worldwide wages to sustain itself. Hence all the colonization. It makes everything look all rosy inside the walled garden, while outside the story is quite different.

Eliminate the H1-B (1, Interesting)

Daswolfen (1277224) | about 6 years ago | (#24625877)

As at IT professional, I hate the H1-B Visa program and want to see it eliminated. This judge is a complete idiot. Just because a person is from India or Bangladesh does NOT make that person a better IT worker. I work for a medium sized Midwestern University. There was another IT worker from India who went on about how technologically superior his country is and how his people are the ones that keep our technology going. Yet, this guy could not read the bright yellow and black tag on the side of a UPS that said to plug the battery in. There are about 10 others from the Indian subcontinent who work at my college in IT and every single one of them are sub par (of course, so is the rest of Information Services... but that is another kettle of fish).

As for my stance, I am for a reduction of ALL immigration, not just the H-1B.In my opinion, the the H1-B is just stupid. We should just train and hire our own people. We should also ban sending our jobs overseas just so corporations can give their CEOs 20 million dollar a year bonuses.

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (1, Flamebait)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24625913)

I was on a job where I had to explain pointers and syntax to an H1-B.

Yep, it hard to find qualified folks here in the US. *- BITTER SARCASM

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625919)

As at IT professional, I hate the H1-B Visa program and want to see it eliminated. This judge is a complete idiot. Just because a person is from India or Bangladesh does NOT make that person a better IT worker.

Do you hate me too, or only people from India and Bangladesh?

(I'm in the process of getting an H1-B visa, but I'm white and British - so does that make it okay? Or are you opposed to all foreigners? I thought the USA was founded on immigration, you know...)

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625995)

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626153)

(taking after "Julius Ceasar")

Then we hate you for your subtly condescending sense of humor!

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (2, Insightful)

Maximus633 (1316457) | about 6 years ago | (#24626211)

As at IT professional, I hate the H1-B Visa program and want to see it eliminated. This judge is a complete idiot. Just because a person is from India or Bangladesh does NOT make that person a better IT worker.

Do you hate me too, or only people from India and Bangladesh?

(I'm in the process of getting an H1-B visa, but I'm white and British - so does that make it okay? Or are you opposed to all foreigners? I thought the USA was founded on immigration, you know...)

What really upsets me is not the fact that the H1-B people are here. But the comments from some people that use the fact that our country was based on immigration... To say that the US was based on immigration and thus you should be loved by everyone is stupid. Yes, most of the now citizens of the US had family roots (from 1st generation to several generations ago) that immigrated over here. This however does not mean that we still feel that everyone and their family dog should be in the US. So do everyone and favor and stop bringing up that point.

If you bring your H1-B visa self over here and you allow a company to pay you $15,000/yr when any normal sane person here would make that company pay at least $40,000/yr then yes I would agree you need to go back home. Companies (as far as IT goes) need to pay their people a fair market price based on the work of the job. Should a company pay me $50,000/yr to just sit down and answer phones for changing people's password? No. Should a company pay me that for handling and maintaining mission critical servers and ensuring that they running and if they go down I respond rapidly to take care of the problem? Yes.

The difference in the two jobs is that it does not take a skilled person (in most password reset systems) to do a password reset. But for the person who does work on servers they have to know a lot more information.

My thought is this if an H1-B visa person and someone who is here not on a visa has the similar training and background then I would say that the person here in the US should get the job over anyone on a visa. My family paid the taxes to keep this place around. I should be allowed to first get the benefits of my country before someone who is not from here.

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | about 6 years ago | (#24625949)

so much for capitalism and the "free-market" hollered by your US government. :-P

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625999)

There are about 10 others from the Indian subcontinent who work at my college in IT and every single one of them are sub par (of course, so is the rest of Information Services... but that is another kettle of fish).

John, is that you [yahoo.com] ?
The VP of IS just called.. he is not very happy...
With love,

Mizzou

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (2, Interesting)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about 6 years ago | (#24626033)

I am for a reduction of ALL immigration, not just the H-1B.In my opinion, the the H1-B is just stupid. We should just train and hire our own people. We should also ban sending our jobs overseas just so corporations can give their CEOs 20 million dollar a year bonuses.

Speaking as a computer professional who lives and works outside the USA[0], I strongly agree with you[1] and would encourage all US citizens to lobby their politicians to adopt the above position (to paraphrase Randy Bush).

0. I guess, given your parochial view of global economics, that that makes us competitors, in your mind.

1. Seriously: I strongly disagree with some of the indentured-servitude aspects of the H1-B programme. They're unfair on the workers, and they're economically counter-productive to your country.

Re:Eliminate the H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626179)

Disclaimer I am a H1-B dev from Europe and at the moment the only reason I could be considered underpaid is that the dollar is so weak. (For the H1-B haters this post can be summerized as I am here to take your jobs, women and beer.)

The problem here is and I am making a big assumption, your job is mainly reliant on experience of the systems used and common sense. This is totally unsuitable for H1-B work, if you compare that to what I do, working on the network code of an internet facing server. The situation is different I have had occasion to review 2G core dumps to fix bugs. My experience is that very few people can do forensic analysis of executables generated from an optimized compiler and translate that into a fix in source code. My skills were generated from coding for the z80 at age 10, my Comp Sci degree is a nice bit of paper, 25 years later no one is graduating with that skill set, no one with that skill set is unemployed. (I have never failed to recieve a job offer from any interview I've attended in the last 15 years and never had to apply for any job since my first.)

My point is not all H1-Bs are the same, the problem with the system is it appears to be a shotgun visa for anyone who does something a common joe can't. What it needs to be replaced with is a way to get highly skilled individuals in the US permanent residency and the ability to change jobs at will. This will fix the depressing jobs accusation as the employer will be forced to pay the prevaling wage or have the employee move on. Companies looking for cheap labor won't get it from this visa, only companies with a real need to attract and retain skills will use the visa. Adding an expensive application for the company that originally sponsors the visa say 10k you can then really ensure the visa applicant is more expensive than a local.

Welcome to America! (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626341)

Congratulations on your success. The availability of experts like yourself is one of the key things that makes the computer industry in the USA as healthy as it is.

This country has for centuries been gaining the skills and efforts of those people like yourself, and like my ancestors, who had the initiative to get here. When immigration stops, that will be the time when we know that the USA's days are numbered.

-jcr

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24625891)

As I get older, I seem to be getting more cynical (or less naive). It seems like there is no rule of law, no consistency, no fairness - only self-interest, hypocrisy, betrayal, etc. Judges decide whatever they want, damn the plain reading of prior cases, or the law. Politicians flagrantly violate the law, without consequence. Average people cheat, steal, commit crimes, and otherwise screw over others, with little or no consequence. Maybe I'm the last boy scout. Tell me why I'm wrong if I am. Otherwise, maybe I should just do whatever the hell I want without any regard for others, the law, etc.

bad for people, good for economy (1)

ezh (707373) | about 6 years ago | (#24625899)

the fact that u.s. does not allow engineers to turn into yet another 'elitist' group of professionals is good for the economy. otherwise companies would continue the trend of moving jobs overseas. u.s. engineering sector would crumble if engineers started earning as much as lawyers and doctors. now, i think they should not stop there and allow doctors and lawyers from other countries to come and work in u.s. as well. but i don't believe this would happen anytime soon - speaking of hypocrisy of those in power...

Re:bad for people, good for economy (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about 6 years ago | (#24626019)

That is a broad sweep of logic. I assume by economy you mean people in general and not just a few. Since profit is not distributed to everybody equally, then what is good for the economy, means what is good for those who use the workers and as a result, nobody else. It seems that when you say economy, you mean money for a specific group that you may be a part of? I would like to see a model of the process you describe and the algorithms that affect the process implemented in a systems modeling tool.It seems it would be easier to consider if the modification of certain system control functions could be measured in the distribution of the gain developed.

Who really built Silicon Valley? (5, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | about 6 years ago | (#24625947)

People like Judge Faith Hochberg ignore the obvious fact that Silicon Valley would not exist without the Midwestern middle class WASPs. As Tom Wolfe documents in his Forbes article: Robert Noyce and His Congregation [forbes.com] ,[August 25, 1997] virtually all of the essential inventions upon which Silicon Valley was founded were created by the much-derided, non-"vibrant", "white-bread", "middle class" of "fly-over country".

Last month I asked the aging Bob Johnsonâ"former CTO of Burroughs Corporation when it was a leading mainframe company in Minneapolis where he developed the magnetic ink you see on the bottom of your checksâ"what he thought caused the loss of the Midwestern high tech leadership to the coasts, and he said it was the financial dominance of the coasts.

That squares with what I observed while at Control Data Corporation/Cray Research, Inc.

The reason Bill Norris and Seymour Cray were able to start CDC thence Cray Research was because they violated SEC regs and went around selling stock at PTA meetings, making a lot of middle class people retire very comfortably. My late father bought some Cray stock early on which helped greatly with his retirement.

When I was at CDC in Arden Hills, MN attempting to deploy the mass market version of the PLATO network with Internet-like capabilities (the system that Ray Ozzie (Bill Gates' replacement at Microsoft) cut his teeth on) in 1980 the primary resistance was from a middle management that, due to the financial press' hostility toward Norris's vision of a society disintermediated by computer networking, small high-tech farms and locally produced and consumed essentialsâ"had itself grown hostile to Norris.

My proposed solution is simple to state but will perhaps require a war to institute:

Replace all taxes on economic activity with a tax on net-assets, assessed at their in-place liquidation value, at the risk free interest rate (which according to modern portfolio theory is the short-term US Treasury rate) so as to extract all economic rents from the private sector, and then, to prevent public sector rent-seeking in pork-barrel politics, disperse those funds evenly in a dividend to all citizens, as the beneficiaries of the land-trust called the United States.

That will not only stop the vicious centralization of power in the private and public sectors, but it will clarify the role of immigrationâ"it is a dilution of the benefits intended for the Posterity of the Founders of the land trust called The United States of America.

Re:Who really built Silicon Valley? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626375)

Socialism - good idea, huh?

Why would I ever go to work when someone else's stuff will be mine for just waiting around until the government takes it away?

Idiots. Socialism doesn't work and is harmful for the human soul.

Some see negatives and others opportunity (0)

codepunk (167897) | about 6 years ago | (#24626059)

Some people are bound to see only the negatives but not the opportunities that present themselves. There is
opportunity in the waiting here if you are willing to go out and grasp it. There is nothing stopping any of
us from taking advantage of these low paid programmer or engineers. Now I certainly would not bother farting around
with any h1b visa's but there is a bundle of money to be made by outsourcing grunt work to third world programmers
for 5 bucks a hour. Put your great American brain to use implementing great ideas using cheap foreign labor.

Article Summary is Misleading (1)

TechForensics (944258) | about 6 years ago | (#24626063)

The Judge's reasoning is based on the principle of "standing"-- whether someone is actually injured and therefore is a proper person to sue. Since the plaintiffs are by their own admission "unemployed or underemployed" they have no ACTUAL INJURY which gives them standing to sue. The case would probably have been decided the other way if the plaintiffs had been well-paid and lost their jobs to immigrants, because such facts would have let the judge *grant* them the standing required.

I wonder whether it was possible that the judge decided as she did even against a possible personal bias, based on the preliminary necessity she be able to find a precedent to grant the plaintiffs "standing". (The law can be like that..)

FAIL! (5, Insightful)

danwesnor (896499) | about 6 years ago | (#24626069)

People who pretend to be the media should be cautioned against editorializing new facts into existence. Show does not say:

she failed to see how an increased labor supply could result in wage depression for engineers and computer workers.

She says:

in no sense could "wage depression through the economic forces of supply and demand" rise to the level of justiciable injury, rather than the "conjecture or hypothetical."

Instead of assuming the judge is an idiot, why not favor the much more likely scenario that the suit failed to show how the plaintiffs would be harmed and to what degree. They are claiming they are would be harmed by having their salaries reduced, when in fact they are "employed" or "underemployed". You can't claim you'll be harmed by having you salary reduce if your salary is already zero. It is not the judges job to "see" how harm could be done. It is the plaintiff's job to demonstrate how harm will be done. If they cannot do that, the judge's hands are tied.

Re:FAIL! (3, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626295)

the suit failed to show how the plaintiffs would be harmed and to what degree

More like, she rued that "they took our jobs" isn't a complaint on which relief can be granted under the law. The last time this kind of issue arose was when black laborers were competing for jobs with white laborers, and were willing to work for much less, and the upshot was that the unions demanded the minimum wage laws.

-jcr

Less H-1B's, more and faster citizenship (4, Interesting)

Brian Stretch (5304) | about 6 years ago | (#24626087)

Instead of H-1B indentured servitude, gilded as it may be, we should fast track such people for citizenship. Any country that can make America's marginal tax rates look good or otherwise sufficiently pisses off their people DESERVES to lose their best and brightest. America has traditionally been the common meeting place of the world's best and brightest and I'd hate to see that change.

But the big corporations that give $megabucks to the Democratic and Republican parties, slightly more to whichever is dominant at the time, really like the H-1B system so I don't expect much to change. The fast-track citizenship idea is from National Review.

Re:Less H-1B's, more and faster citizenship (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626371)

Instead of H-1B indentured servitude, gilded as it may be, we should fast track such people for citizenship.

Agreed. I see no benefit to the USA from raising the hurdles as high as we have, and the fact that H1B visa holders are unable to change jobs and remain in the country is damaging our economy.

-jcr

No, article submitter (0)

D.McGuiggin (1317705) | about 6 years ago | (#24626109)

"That seems disingenuous, since in Andaya v. Citizens Mortgage Corporation, Judge Hochberg recently saw first-hand how a US employer got away with paying an H-1B computer engineer as little as $15,000 to do a job with a 'prevailing wage rate' of $41,000. In that case, Hochberg ruled against Filipino H-1B visa holder Almira Andaya, arguing that 'nonpayment of wages as listed on the H-1B visa petition ... does not raise a substantial question of federal law."

Nothing disingenuous about it, it's just another example where someone with an uninformed lay opinion (YOU article submitter) doesn't understand the difference between a matter of fact and a matter of law.

Do yourself a favor and avoid discussing things you're clearly ignorant of.

It's about time, Editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626131)

For a site that caters to techies, the editors have sure been avoiding the number one issue which impacts tech jobs. Makes you wonder if they're being pressured from above (or from advertising) to clam up on this important issue.

Thanks for FINALLY posting something about the H1-B scam. I say finally, because there has been a lot of other related news about this travesty. And indeed, this particular news itself is old.

And thanks to the Programmers Guild for pushing this effort. You can show your support by joining today.

Smearing campaign (0, Offtopic)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 6 years ago | (#24626149)

Apparently her husband was incidentally questioned in a fraud case many years ago.

Some thought it was part of a smearing campaign:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9A02E5DB1139F931A35751C1A963958260 [nytimes.com]

============
  Federal authorities are examining whether the surgical group that employed the husband of the United States Attorney in Newark submitted false medical insurance claims to the Government, law enforcement officials said today.

The criminal inquiry involves the former medical practice of Mark Hochberg, the husband of Faith S. Hochberg, the Clinton Administration's top prosecutor in New Jersey. The investigation comes at a politically vulnerable moment for Ms. Hochberg, who on Monday was nominated by President Clinton to a Federal judgeship.
=========

Maybe she stepped on someone's foot again?

You lazy americans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626157)

Just because you know how to code, you think you deserve a 6 figure income. This is not a high tech skill anymore, it was 20 years ago. You shun math, science, and anything that's difficult. IT now is more like being a handyman.

On top of that, you refuse to work long hours, and when you "work" it's 50% of the time chatting by the coffee machine.

You are turning French.

Crisis Management Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626165)

In the judge's own writing:

"Instead of alleging concrete injury, plaintiffs assert a generalized grievance with a particular government policy,"

In other words, the plaintiffs have suffered no damage; they only believe that they will suffer damage in the future.

IWNWTBAL (I Would Never Want To Be A Lawyer), but it seems that a proactive stance on the issue, however reasonable and accurate, is not sufficient to bring the case any merit.

What about the issue of global warming? Are we forbidden to take action to protect the planet just because no damage has yet occurred?

It seems to me that projected effects, if established by qualified and informed parties, could and should very well be the basis for current action.

But such proactive philosophy is severely at odds with the practice of crisis management, or responding only to immediate threats, that pervades most organizations within the US.

Big Blue is one of the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626177)

As a seasoned IBM employee (>10years) and a recipient of the 15% pay cut earlier this year, I can tell you first hand that IBM Global Services is still cutting pay for US workers out east by eliminating shift premiums for workers on Alternate Work Schedule (3 days working week 1, 4 days working week 2).

This is justified by telling the workers that they are rebalancing pay to stay competitive with their Global Factory model. (i.e. workers in Brazil or SE Asia earning a fraction of what workers in Europe or US earn) I know of what I speak since I worked with our management regularly to keep our FTE (Full Time Employee) costs on the account in line with the factory model costs. The billable rate for overseas workers in some cases was 1/3 what customers were billed for US workers. IBM still bills the customers for a whole FTE even though the workers overseas are working several accounts and only spending an hour or two on the account being billed.

And yes, I am looking for a new employer now while I am still with IBM. After the paycut, I started working from home 100% of the time and using the time I used to put in OT to study and certify for LPI and MS certs. Since IBM made the decision a few years ago not to pay for training or certification tests, I have no problem studying during business hours now.

Compete (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626209)

If you're unsatisfied with your prospects of competing with these folks, then increase your skills and compete better. I absolutely do not feel sorry for someone with an immigrant comes in and "takes your job" for less pay.

You have had the advantage of living in one of the best countries in the world in terms of getting tech education and experience. You have no excuse for why you can be out-competed. You lost, stop making excuses, work hard, and win tomorrow.

Re:Compete (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626315)

I absolutely do not feel sorry for someone with an immigrant comes in and "takes your job" for less pay.

An immigrant, a younger worker, any other person willing to do the job for less, the principle is the same: a job is not a right, it's a business transaction in which either party is free to go and find a better deal if they can.

-jcr

Free Market and Visas don't apply to judges. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626227)

Actually, there are two solutions here: the first is to organize to create a licensing process for programmers whereby you have to pass minimum standards and apprenticeship to licensed programmers in order to perform the job, with fines for anyone performing the job without a license. That is how the legal profession in the United States maintains its monopoly.
The second, and far more lucretive, is to try to enact laws so that judges can be outsourced to foreign countries and the trials conducted via internet.

Re:Free Market and Visas don't apply to judges. (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#24626391)

Actually, there are two solutions here: the first is to organize to create a licensing process for programmers whereby you have to pass minimum standards and apprenticeship to licensed programmers in order to perform the job, with fines for anyone performing the job without a license.

This is not a solution, it's a whole new problem. The entire purpose of professional licensing has always been to protect those already in a given profession from new competition, to the detriment of the customer.

That is how the legal profession in the United States maintains its monopoly.

Exactly. You can add medical doctors, dentists, plumbers, and even hairdressers (in some states) to that list.

-jcr

Enemies of our trade (1)

Kim0 (106623) | about 6 years ago | (#24626247)

Yet another reason for obsoleting judges, like the music industry has been obsoleted by computers and programmers.

It is a pity their trade is an enemy to our trade,
since this is totally unnecessary.

So, what about making free systems that predict judgings?

Any other suggestions on how to accomplish this?

Kim0

Re:Enemies of our trade (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626387)

Translation:

"As an American techie born in the Internet era, I deserve a not-too-stressful job earning at least $70K/yr. Hey, I even went to college and picked up some skills. Anyone who gets in the way is obviously incompetent and evil, or is the product of an evil system.

Movies, music, and software should be freely downloadable whether or not their creators choose to make them so or not. For anyone who might lose their jobs because of this, well, that's just too damn bad if they can't adapt to the new realities. Earth to musician, earth to game programmer, hello?? Maybe McDonald's is hiring *snicker*."

Hoo-kay!

what is the Programmer's Guild anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626269)

I sure didn't authorize them to lobby on my behalf.

Labor unions are great at forcing companies and organizations to adopt above-market wages, featherbedding and other money-wasting practices during boom times. Everyone is happy for awhile, and people buy nice homes in the suburbs and sock away money for their kids' college education. Eventually, the industry gets hit by a recession so deep that the viability of most of the participant companies is threatened, and the game is up. The wages and salaries are way too high and the union can't compromise fast enough (since the members have mortgage payments and other commitments) so there are massive layoffs, factory closings, and other downsizing.

Moral: do not rely on unions to insulate you from the effect of Adam Smith's invisible hand. It just doesn't work.

H1B's for her office... (2, Interesting)

Flavor.Dave (109599) | about 6 years ago | (#24626273)

Let's start accepting H1B's for lawyers and judges. I guarantee she will change her tune then.

American or Global (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24626305)

How do you define if a company is American in today's global world where companies do their business wherever there is money to be made, with the company being registered in some remote place employing people all around the world..

This begs the question then;... (1)

jskline (301574) | about 6 years ago | (#24626317)

This begs the question then of who has paid whom how much money (American currency)..?

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