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Rescued Banks Sought Foreign Help During Meltdown

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the simple-fairness dept.

The Almighty Buck 749

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

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I want to know... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688841)

... what the hell Americans are doing if they're not available for the tech OR the banking biz...

Sheesh, get out of Wal-Mart folks and get a job!

Re:I want to know... (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688927)

The real problem was the only Americans they could find wanted to give out loans to unqualified applicants, and they already had enough of those idiots in-house.

Re:I want to know... (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689087)

It seems more likely they had run out of the domestic supply of that particular breed of idiot, and were looking offshore for people with a bare grasp of English and math.

Re:I want to know... (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688997)

Yeah, that's what I want to know. I'ld gladly take a job at a bank for 65k+ a year while I'm still in school, bankers hours would still give me time for class. And as an applied math minor, and a CS major, I'm sure I could handle these so called difficult positions. But it sounds like they weren't willing to pay the 75k+ a year that folks like me would like. I mean, when applicants start asking for 85k+ a year, you'ld think they were asking for more every time they mentioned the position...

Re:I want to know... (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689043)

There are plenty of us out there....fucking banks...just don't want to pay close to a living wage for the US to US workers...

Yet....they can afford new jets (French ones), they can afford millions of dollars of bonuses...etc.

I've always been against anyone telling a company how much someone could make...and I still to an extent am...but, shit...if the US tax payers are bailing them out, how about a little favoritism to same US citizens for jobs, eh? An exec. making that much salary, with failing times...should not get a fucking bonus, but, use that money to hire US citizens out of work.

Re:I want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689089)

Your expectations are laughably high. How about $40K college boy?

Re:I want to know... (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689139)

Yeah, that's what I want to know. I'ld gladly take a job at a bank for 65k+ a year while I'm still in school, bankers hours would still give me time for class. And as an applied math minor, and a CS major, I'm sure I could handle these so called difficult positions. But it sounds like they weren't willing to pay the 75k+ a year that folks like me would like

The info on your web site says you have no significant experience in technology, and you do not yet have your degree. Perhaps part of the reason these companies are looking for H1Bs are because there are so many people at your level of experience who think they're worth 75k a year.

Re:I want to know... (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689205)

Just because that poster had no clue about the job market today doesn't mean that there aren't a ton of highly qualified Americans who are willing to work for reasonable wages. There's simply no need for all the H1Bs.

Re:I want to know... (2, Insightful)

jfern (115937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689179)

No one makes $65K a year while they're in school in this economy. You'll be lucky to make that much with a Bachelors.

Re:I want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689295)

Do you have any idea how bad the job market is? I have a PhD in Math, and a degree in CS, and it took me 7 months to find a job making about 80k in a high cost of living area.

I am a non-American working in your homeland (0, Flamebait)

Potor (658520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689163)

Get over it. And I am even more stealthy, because I am white. Like 74% of you (2006 figures) [wikipedia.org] .

And before that, I worked as a foreigner in Europe. And then Asia. And then again in Europe.

I have stolen jobs all over the place.

But you know what - some jobs actually require foreigners, who bring new skills and open up perspectives. This idea of requiring citizens first is actually quite stupid, since it forces corporations to jump through hoops even when their prefered candidate is a foreigner (regardless of salary considerations).

When the going gets tough... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688845)

...people turn to protectionism. No news there.

Re:When the going gets tough... (5, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688907)

As they should. When millions of people in your country are without jobs, you want your government to protect your ability to get a job, not a corporation's ability to get cheap labor from somewhere else. At least, last time I checked the government is supposed to work for the people.

Disclaimer: I'm a small business owner who despises organizations using H1B visas, since it's only used to get high quality talent at dirt cheap wages.

Re:When the going gets tough... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688941)

You think your way of life doesn't depend on getting high quality foreign talent (upbringing and education paid elsewhere) at dirt cheap wages?

Re:When the going gets tough... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689129)

You think your way of life doesn't depend on getting high quality foreign talent (upbringing and education paid elsewhere) at dirt cheap wages?

No, as a matter of fact I don't. I'm honestly getting tired of big companies blaming "the U.S. talent pool" for their own failures as businesses. And you're off on another issue: much of that cheap foreign talent comes here to get educated, often at the expense of qualified American students. The GP is absolutely correct: my taxes go to my government, whom I have every right to expect to put the interests of my fellow citizens first. That goes for every country on Earth, actually, so America is no exception. This is all about maximizing profit margins at the expense of people, period.

Re:When the going gets tough... (5, Insightful)

Potor (658520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689307)

You're on to some nativist bullshit here. I have payed taxes in many countries, only one of which I could vote in or depend on "my fellow citizens." And yet, I paid as much percentage of my wages in taxes as any of my colleagues.

Your logic is that taxes give you rights. Well, according to your logic, if they collect taxes, governments should protect taxpayers, not citizens.

Moreover the parent here makes an excellent point: your standard of living has in fact been based on cheap labour for a long time, not just the direct "cheap" labour of H1-B visas.

Re:When the going gets tough... (-1, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689359)

You're on to some nativist bullshit here. I have payed taxes in many countries, only one of which I could vote in or depend on "my fellow citizens." And yet, I paid as much percentage of my wages in taxes as any of my colleagues.

Your logic is that taxes give you rights. Well, according to your logic, if they collect taxes, governments should protect taxpayers, not citizens.

Moreover the parent here makes an excellent point: your standard of living has in fact been based on cheap labour for a long time, not just the direct "cheap" labour of H1-B visas.

You're a tad confused about a number of things, I'm afraid. I'm honestly not interested in educating you, since you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. A little Googling will enlighten you.

Re:When the going gets tough... (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689377)

Well, according to your logic, if they collect taxes, governments should protect taxpayers, not citizens.

Just to be clear here, you believe that a government (in particular, my government) has no duty to protect its citizens? That a foreign national should enjoy the same treatment as someone who has spent his life paying into the system, whose family has been doing the same for generations? And all this because certain large corporations see a way to reduce costs, while simultaneously availing themselves of the benefits afforded by the very taxpayers you so offhandedly disparage?

Wow. I mean, just ... wow.

It's not necessarily that. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688983)

The government runs on taxes.

The best way to get the most taxes is to push the most money through the economy at the fastest rate. The more times a dollar is spent on taxable items/services IN THIS COUNTRY the more taxes the government collects.

Spending less money on foreign workers is not a good way to accomplish that.

Giving $2 billion in bailout funds to a bank so they can give it to their "top 10" executives as "bonuses" results in different spending patterns than sharing $2 billion in cash amongst all the US citizens making less than $30K a year.

Re:It's not necessarily that. (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689007)

Your argument assumes foreign workers are going to spend more money domestically. I find that argument to be incorrect. I argue that foreign workers will live extremely frugal in the US while sending the bulk of their earnings back to their home country. The best example of this is migrant Mexican workers.

No, I agree with you. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689099)

Your argument assumes foreign workers are going to spend more money domestically.

Sorry if I had phrased that like that. My point was that putting money into US citizens at the bottom of the economic ladder gets more taxes generated for the government than putting the same OR LESS money into foreign workers.

I argue that foreign workers will live extremely frugal in the US while sending the bulk of their earnings back to their home country.

That has also been my experience. They come here, live as cheaply as possible, save their money (good so far, right?) and then start their own business back home when they return.

During good economic times and high employment, that doesn't impact the economy very much.

During bad economic times, you're sending money away from the US economy ... and taking jobs from US workers ... and increasing the tax burden on the other workers to pay for unemployment benefits of those workers ... and so forth. The government collects fewer taxes, but ends up with spending more on the unemployed. It's a double hit.

Re:No, I agree with you. (3, Informative)

ThePeeWeeMan (77957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689227)

As someone who's currently on an H1-B work visa within the US, allow me to correct some parts of your comment and the comment you replied to.

1) Mexican migrant workers don't come in to the US on H1-B visas. They most likely come in under H-2 or H-3 (seasonal/agriculture). H1-Bs are meant for specialty occupations (IT, finance, etc)
2) H1-B visa holders don't pay any less taxes than Americans do. We have the same amount of taxes deducted from our pay (FICA, federal and/or state) as Americans do. Plus, we get to pay sales tax too just like everyone else!
3) While it's true that some people live very frugally in the US and remit money regularly, I think you'll find that's changing, especially in the software industry. For an example, consider how many SUVs and sport cars there are in Redmond or Silicon Valley (where there are a *lot* of people on H1-B visas).

I don't doubt that something needs to change, but I think you're looking in the wrong place for it. I believe that paying out bonuses is not fundamentally wrong even in these times, but the banks/Wall Street shouldn't be using bailout money to do it.

Re:It's not necessarily that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689201)

The best example of this is migrant Mexican workers.

Not just Mexicans. My fiancee is African, for example, and she supports family back home. I don't have a problem with that (I would be more concerned if she didn't care) but I think you're correct. The basic assumption that increasing numbers of foreign workers is automatically of benefit to our economy is flawed.

Too many Americans want to justify what is happening, probably because they perceive themselves as personally benefiting from what's happening. But, if you look at the way countries such as India and China go about this, they've both made it pellucidly clear that they don't want American workers (or competition, for that matter.) They do, however, want every last bit of our scientific and engineering capabilities. Yet, we are expected to welcome anyone and everyone with welcome arms, just because they claim to have skills and talents.

Long term, we're better off growing that talent at home. Everything we're talking about here are short-term fixes for what probably aren't even real problems. The long term cost won't be worth the price we're paying.

Re:It's not necessarily that. (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689171)

Giving $2 billion in bailout funds to a bank so they can give it to their "top 10" executives as "bonuses" results in different spending patterns than sharing $2 billion in cash amongst all the US citizens making less than $30K a year.

You might think injecting the money at the bottom of the economy would do better at stimulating the economy than letting it gather at the top. Until you realize that Wal-Mart is just a short-circuit from the bottom to the top. Next idea, please...

Re:When the going gets tough... (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689107)

The problem is, so does everyone else.

Gonna mandate that public construction be done with US steel, even if the cost is a little higher?

It'll help american companies and american jobs, sure. But then the europeans decide that if you're not playing fair then they won't buy stuff you make, they'll use their own.

Result? We lose out on the global economy, which is largely responsible for the last 20/30 years of growth, everyone pays higher prices and things are no longer done best or cheapest, they're done in isolation.

Re:When the going gets tough... (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689169)

errm "high quality"??? are you fucking kidding me. i'm not knocking all workers here, but it seems the ones desperate to move in under these kinds of visa's are fucking useless. i've had 4 of them cycle through my work place under similar schemes here and only 1 of them was any good, and i wouldn't call him high quality, merely competent.

industry is full of crap when they claim there is a people shortage, what they really mean is there is a shortage of industry willing to train people inhouse.

Re:When the going gets tough... (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689197)

Or you know, you can always have the government let you work at a competitive wage. The problem is, if Pedro who came here from Mexico is willing to work for $7 per hour and no native-born American wants to work for less than $9 per hour, who is the logical choice? Now, without unions its easy to get a job by saying that you would work $7 per hour just like Pedro, the Mexican immigrant would, but with unions that you might be forced to join you would easily lose out because the company would obviously want to pay $7 per hour rather than $9 per hour even though you are slightly more qualified.

Basically, if the government would eliminate the minimum wage, allow cooperations more freedom in hiring people, we would see unemployment drop like a rock, prices would fall and we would be back to economic stability. These days, if a company (think more of the lines of manual labor) can't make minimum wage on 100 workers, they might have to cut 25% of their workforce, on the other hand without minimum wage they could employ the same number of people just with a cut salary.

Re:When the going gets tough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689337)

I think that a job should go to the most qualified person for the job, no matter his race, age, religion, sexual preference, or nationality.

Re:When the going gets tough... (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688975)

Of course! It's in the preamble of the constitution. I'd say ensuring fair wages and preventing the exploitation of cheaper foreign workers falls neatly within promoting the general welfare. And the fact is, the H1-B program has been abused wildly for quite a long time. It is rife with fraud and abuse and needs clean-up and re-examination. Putting people here out of work while importing people from outside the country does dangerous things to the economy and while it isn't as drastic as what we already see, it is a needless rise in unemployment which is a tax burden for people such as yourself not to mention the potential connection between higher unemployment and homelessness and higher crime rates.

If there was TRULY a shortage of good people, the companies should do what they did before H1-B -- TRAIN PEOPLE.

Re:When the going gets tough... (3, Insightful)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689137)

You can train people all you want, it won't necessarily make them smarter.

My team at work has five engineers and a manager. I'm the only one that was born in the US. Some of them have become citizens and others are here on visas. They are extremely smart and know their shit. There is a shortage of top-notch talent, and the only way for a company to remain competitive is to hire people from outside the US. In my opinion it is better to bring them here to work than to set up an office in their native country (offshore) because the employees make more and they spend most of it within the US. That's a net win.

Re:When the going gets tough... (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689189)

Maybe that have tried and failed because of a lack of motivation amongst the availiable applicants. I know in some industries people come in with high hopes, don't get them and then end up causing more trouble than they are worth, or just leave.

On the other hand, setup a system like the visa program and ALLOW it to be abused by not protecting those it brings in like they were your own and what can you expect? You get what you deserve.

Re:When the going gets tough... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689273)

If there was TRULY a shortage of good people, the companies should do what they did before H1-B -- TRAIN PEOPLE.

But the problem is the wages. For example, say the average American expects to get paid $9 per hour for a job, when they have been trained specifically for that job they expect even higher wages (just look at certifications in the computer world, such as how a Red Hat Certified technician expects to get paid more than a recent IT graduate of the local college). The average H1-B person might expect to be paid $7 per hour for a job that they are already trained at. Its simple economics, if you were looking for a systems administrator for a Red Hat server, do you want the 23 year old thats fresh out of college that expects $80K a year, or the 30 year old experienced sysadmin that is certified and expects only $70K per year.

The problem with most Americans is they won't work for less than a certain amount (and the minimum wage only serves to make that worse) and expect to be paid more after training.

Re:When the going gets tough... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689119)

For the record, protectionism is when a government restricts the inflow of foreign goods and services, or increases specific taxes to prevent same.

It's not protectionism when the people in a country decide among themselves to buy local in their own best interest. That's just good common sense.

Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688847)

I do payroll and deal with ACH (Automated Clearning House files), and I have a CISSP/MCSE and a whole lotta linux to boot. I can even pass background checks to TS/SCI, but there are no prospects for me in banking. If I want a future of employment, I have to help the government correlate IP log data so they can read all your emails.

What they really mean (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688865)

The American Bankers Association blamed the US talent pool for forcing the move, saying they couldn't find enough Americans capable of handling sales, lending, and bank administration.

They're just copying well the tactics of others.

What the above paragraph really means is they couldn't find enough Americans capable of the job, who were willing to take less pay than average, so their costs would be less, and their profit margins would be more.

For the purposes of their requests, people who want to be paid somewhere near the market price for their services aren't suitable candidates capable of the job.

Re:What they really mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688971)

they couldn't find enough Americans capable of the job, who were willing to take less pay than average

That is the principle of Capitalism.

Re:What they really mean (5, Insightful)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689153)

What the above paragraph really means is they couldn't find enough Americans capable of the job, who were willing to take less pay than average, so their costs would be less, and their profit margins would be more.

H1B rules say that you specifically cannot pay them less. An American worker has the right to go to a company, demand the salary, related qualifications and job descriptions. If the American citizen can prove that she is qualified for that position, then the company cannot continue hiring the H1B. In fact, all this information is REQUIRED BY LAW to be posted in a public space in the company (in the bulletin board of the hallway).

There are rules and safeguards up the wazoo about hiring workers with with lower pay on H1B.

On the other hand, H1B sponsorship costs money in application fees and lawyer fees. You'd have to hire the H1B for ridiculously little for the whole system of underpaying to be even worth it and have a way to get away with it.

As far as I know, there has been no major disclosure or legal action against a practice like this. All that has been are stories that people have put up in the web.

The banking industry needs a lot of IT and database people. This is where a lot of H1B hiring goes on I believe.

Re:What they really mean (5, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689265)

I hire a lot of foreigners. Trust me, we pay out the ass for them. They're more expensive than 90% of Americans who apply for the same job, and then again, they're more qualified than 90% of Americans who apply.

Blackwater (0, Redundant)

solweil (1168955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688879)

How long until banks start using Blackwater as their primary security service?

Re:Blackwater (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689025)

All bank robberies would be utter failures if Blackwater, DynCorp, or Triple Canopy were providing security. There's a big difference between your average rent-a-cop and a highly proficient, former military combat arms, security operative.

Re:Blackwater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689223)

I think the grandparent was trying to allude that the banks are cooking up another Business Plot or something to that effect - Or, more probably, that they'll need either the National Guard or mercenaries to protect themselves in the near future, from a populist rage that doesn't exist.

Gives "tone deaf" new meaning (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688881)

Retreats at luxury spas, buying private jets, handing out billions in "retention bonuses" when there are 10's of thousands out of work in the finance industry and the companies are asking for a taxpayer bailout. Then they repay those same taxpayers by trying to hire foreigners to replace them.

It's obvious to everyone outside Wall St. that these people just don't get it. Entitlement has become so entrenched it's a way of life for them.

Re:Gives "tone deaf" new meaning (1)

diablovision (83618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688949)

Don't give those *ssholes your money anymore (tax dollars or savings)! They will dry up and blow away like the wind.

Re:Gives "tone deaf" new meaning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689297)

I disagree. These Wall Street "sell-side" assholes basically gambled away their businesses, taking down much of the economy with it, and took away huge compensation packages. We certainly can and should hold them accountable for that (why does BofA's Ken Lewis still have a job??), but to also insist that they need to give preferential hiring to American citizens is too much.

We need them to be effective managers and set a constructive example as far as their individual compensation and perks are concerned.

This statement needs to be qualified (1)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688883)

"...couldn't find enough Americans capable of handling sales, lending, and bank administration."

They couldn't find Americans willing to work for 20-40% less.

The statement does not need to be qualified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688977)

The inability to handle sales and lending properly, got the banks into problems in the first place!

Don't you have any insight in what is going on at all?

banks the new sweatshops? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688889)

This just smacks of wanting to use cheap labor so the pigs at the top can continue to feed at the trough.

So the banks looking for the biggest handouts ... (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688893)

... were also looking for the cheapest labour they could get.

I'm suspecting that you'll also find that those were the banks handing out the biggest bonuses for their executives.

When this disaster is over, I recommend lots of government regulations to ensure that, in the future, none of the banks (or other financial institutions) ever get "so big that we cannot let them fail".

In theory, with the "Free Market", these banks WOULD fail because they were badly managed. Instead, we're propping them up and rewarding their failed management.

Re:So the banks looking for the biggest handouts . (1)

diablovision (83618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688937)

I don't get it. You claim that in the free market would these banks would fail, yet you want to introduce more regulation to make sure no banks get big enough in order for the market to let them fail.

When is it "over", btw? And what do you recommend until then?

Here. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689013)

You claim that in the free market would these banks would fail, yet you want to introduce more regulation to make sure no banks get big enough in order for the market to let them fail.

There is no "Free Market" as originally described. The people with the money can get politicians to write laws protecting them.

But they keep quoting the "Free Market" when it is advantageous to their position to pretend that it exists.

It does not exist.

So just don't pretend that it does any more and ignore those people who use it to justify their abuses and just make it impossible for any SINGLE organization to get so big that the government has to rescue it.

It's all about privatizing profits while socializing losses.

If you don't like the game (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689287)

Don't play.

Re:So the banks looking for the biggest handouts . (1)

rearden (304396) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689035)

I think you missed his point. Many feel we need to regulate the banks so that we don't let them get so big that a failure of one would bring down our economy or other banks and sectors in mass. One of the basic tenants of the Free Market/ Capitalist system is to ensure competition. If we let a bank get so big that it is a cornerstone or major support of our entire economy (CitiBank, Bank of America, etc) then letting it fail is not as reasonable or acceptable a premise because the pain is no longer on the investors but the population as a whole. We have seen in this economic collapse that allowing financial institutions to become interwoven and then having them make up a large segment of our economy means that a failure in one part can bring it all down. However, if we limit the bank size (like they used to be for 50 years) to a smaller percentage of deposit and loan market and don't let them insure their own loans or be in insurance then if we let them fail they hurt the risky investors (as intended) and not the entire nation.

Personally, neither system seems very good to me, however the limited size of banks seems the least objectionable IMHO.

And how long will this go on? (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688905)

They recklessly kept pushing derivative ponzi schemes until they collapsed, then brazenly took billions from the government to stuff in their own pockets, and continue displacing american workers with cheaper foreign labor. These people are morally corrupt, to the capital CORE.

Ah the 1930's are back (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688947)

And with it, the protectionism and labor unionism that plagued the country for decades. Want to see what happens when the whole US economy becomes like GM ? You're in for a ride.

Now let one thing be clear. What is a H1-B ?

It's a piece of paper from the government which says: you can work for your employer, and we will not come with guns to force you back on a plane.

What a privilege ! How can citizens allow WILLING EMPLOYERS and WILLING EMPLOYEES to contract, between the 49th parallel and the Rio Grande. What an outrage.

Mind your own fucking business. Hire who you want, work for who will want to hire you, but don't try to dictate who your neighbors can invite or hire on their property.

Re:Ah the 1930's are back (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689123)

Labor unions 'plagued the country for decades,' you say?

The UAW was a disaster, I'll agree, but only because they did in reverse what private enterprises too often do to warrant unionization among their employees. Instead of General Motors exploiting and abusing its workers, the UAW exploited and abused General Motors while their incompetent management ran the company into the ground. (And would have done so with or without the UAW's help.) To brand unions as a universal evil like you do is just as bad as branding them as a universal good.

Bring back the guillotine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688979)

And put it on pay-per-view.

Visa (5, Insightful)

dsieme01 (1108105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688981)

America has a choice. Bring in foreign labor that sometimes is much better and sometimes much worse than American labor over here legally or outsource their functions and loose all the benefits in the process.

Re:Visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689219)

Then outsource and change the country to communism I say! People won't smarten up until they suffer.

Re:Visa (4, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689221)

America has a choice. Bring in foreign labor that sometimes is much better and sometimes much worse than American labor over here legally or outsource their functions and loose all the benefits in the process.

Or the obvious answer - hire people from the US.H1B visas were designed to expedite bringing in people when there was a legitimate shortage of people to fill a position, not to ensure that employers were guaranteed a low cost workforce. Per the last stats I saw, H1B recipients were making 75% of the standard wages for their professions.

I find it preposterous that a bank was unable to find qualified Sales agents within the US. What they couldn't find was people willing to work for 3/4 of the salary of everyone else in the office.

Re:Visa (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689327)

The purpose of H1B is not to improve the ability of American business. It's to deplete the IQ of the developing world. Be skimming the cream of the crop we can draw the best minds and prevent them from aiding their local communities.

The flaws in the plan are that genius is far more common than expected, and the net has holes.

Re:Visa (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689401)

What utter nonsense. America simply needs to employ Americans who already live there, and offer on the job training over time so the workers can stay qualified throughout their careers and learn new skills.

stop the xenophobia (5, Insightful)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688989)

I'm worried by the increasing number of stories on /. up in arms about companies bringing in *gasp* foreigners. America was founded by non-natives and our economic strength comes from the thousands of immigrants who come here for a better life by getting good jobs or starting businesses.

The contempt for the foreigners coming here on H1-B visas, and the companies that hire them, disgusts me. What makes you any better or more deserving than these people? The fact that you were born in the US? Please. These people have the should have the same right as all of us to come here and be successful. By preventing people from immigrating, especially talented, smart people, we are damaging the future of this country. The ability to attract the best and the brightest to come here is one of our greatest strengths. Erecting barriers to trade and enacting protectionism, especially during this economy, will lead to our downfall as a nation.

The economy isn't a zero-sum game. Allowing foreigners to come here to work enhances their life and the life of those in this country. If you believe you are inherently more entitled to a job than someone from another country, just because you were born here, then you are a xenophobic prick.

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689011)

There aren't enough jobs to go around as it is so you think diluting the population even more is a good idea?

Plus, the real reason they want to bring these people in to the country is because they will work for peanuts. Anything to live in the US. Is it fair that they accept being essentially underpaid slave labor just to live here?

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689347)

The parent has already answered that:

The economy isn't a zero-sum game.

Jobs isn't some kind of resource you dig up from the ground. So arguing "There aren't enough jobs to go around" doesn't really make sense. Just a single Henry Ford or Thomas Edison would create tons of jobs. And for yours:

Plus, the real reason they want to bring these people in to the country is because they will work for peanuts.

There are quite a few possibilities here:

  1. Foreign workers add less value than American workers, but they're cheap.
  2. Foreign workers add equal or more value than American workers, and they're cheap.
  3. Foreign workers add less value than American workers, but they aren't cheap.
  4. Foreign workers add equal or more value than American workers, and they aren't cheap.

You seem to be assuming case 1 to be true, but where is your evidence?

Re:stop the xenophobia (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689065)

No shit, this stuff is really pissing me off.

Look, the federal law is that H1B workers are paid the same as American workers in the same job. These companies are asking for H1Bs because they need the talent, NOT because they want to cheap-out on the payroll. If H1B employees are being paid less, then the company hiring them is in violation of the law. It's as simple as that.

Re:stop the xenophobia (5, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689195)

Honest question - who decides what American workers get paid? Does the average for the foreign workers have to be the same as the national average? Or some other metric? Or does the company just have to pay their own foreign and American workers the same for the same position?

Because if it's the latter, what's stopping a bank from lowering the entry-level pay of all, say, branch managers from $15/hr to $10/hr, then when they can't find enough qualified Americans willing to work for that amount turning to H1Bs? They'll pay the Americans they do get the same, but there won't be enough willing to take it so they can claim a shortage and pay everyone less.

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689071)

Precisely!!! These workers are bolstering an otherwise failing economy (not that my cynical view thinks there will be any reprieve.... but that's another rant)

Re:stop the xenophobia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689131)

Not only do I believe I am more entitled to a job here, but so does the US govt., as do most foreign governments. That is one of the primary reasons countries have immigration laws idiot.

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689161)

I'll second this. Most commenters/posters have made the assumption that the American doing the job is going to be better than the foreigner, which is out right arrogant.

The reality, particularly in the tech industry, is that non-Americans are leaders in the various fields. Pick up any industry-related journal, and 90% of the articles are by people of non-American decent.

Part of this is related to desire. Those of us that don't grow up with Daddy's trust fund have more drive in life. Things matter to us. We don't go binging on the weekends and barely pass the exam, because if we don't do well we won't get a job.

A company I was working for in California did a fund raiser for an underfunded/educationally poor school in the area. The school had two pools, volleyball and tennis courts, and an auditorium. My school had none of that, yet the graduates of my school are probably doing better than those of the "underfunded" one.

Part of the problem is the initial assumption that the US is the best. Wake up, you're not. Unless the US can accept this and continue letting in foreigners, companies will move out of your country and into ones where the talent exists. Eventually, this will blow up the bubble the American people have placed around themselves and give them a glimpse of reality.

Re:stop the xenophobia (5, Insightful)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689241)

The reality, particularly in the tech industry, is that non-Americans are leaders in the various fields. Pick up any industry-related journal, and 90% of the articles are by people of non-American decent.

Very true. This is to be expected because America makes up only, what, 4% of the global population? This alone means we'll have only a small percent of the top-talent natively.

We probably have a higher percent in actuality because our wealth allows more people to go to higher education, whereas large swaths of the world are prevented from reaching their potential, either through poverty, health, or non-free governments. This is a huge shame; I can only imagine the scientific progress and quality of life improvements we'd make if everyone were allowed to live up to their full potential.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689165)

thank you! thank you!

Do people equate people who come here legally with illegals?

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689175)

Yeah - except corporations use them so they can pay someone 20-40% less to do the same work - so the big wig can make tens of millions instead of just millions.

I worked with a guy who came to this country to make money and sent it back home. He hated America, hated the equal rights for woman, hated everything about us. Wanted to work here for 15 to 20 years so he could go back home and never have to work again. We don't need these kind of people.

I'm all for immigration but not as the expense of wages and opening a money super-highway back to other countries.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689387)

If the big wigs is the problem, then fix the big wigs. Sending away foreign workers is just fixing one of the symptoms, they'll always have another way of screwing you up.

If the people hating you are a problem, you should send a few nukes to their home country as well. "We don't need" isn't an efficient way for fixing that problem. Either that, or you're looking at the wrong solution.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689193)

I live in Canada, but I think even I understand what the problem is that is presented in the story.

It looks like in this case the problem is not with the foreigners, it seems that the problem is with these banking institutions.

Do you realize that they have just received billions of US dollars that are really supposed to be money that came out of taxes that the US citizens/corporations are paying? If this is so, then the question is absolutely legitimate and your objection to the story becomes off-topic. The question is this:

If the US citizens are good enough to bail out the US banking institutions, why are they not good enough to be hired by these same institutions?

That's the story here: the fucking politicians that the fucking US citizens elected supposedly, are in it together with the fucking banks, who just gave themselves enormous fucking bonuses (and boners) to the tunes of tens of billions of fucking dollars that came out of the fucking taxes. [about.com] These same fucking politicians are allowing these same fucking banks to hire people who had nothing to do with paying these fucking taxes that were given out as these fucking useless bail out packages. Well, they really are useless for fixing economy, but they are reaaaaally fucking great as fucking bonuses. Don't you fucking understand how this can and should drive the fucking US citizens* fucking nuts?

*oh, and I should have really said 'US consumers', citizens is an outdated term and is no longer used to describe people there.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689257)

If the US citizens are good enough to bail out the US banking institutions, why are they not good enough to be hired by these same institutions?

People aren't interchangeable cogs. It's quite possible that the banks need to hire people with rare skillsets that they simply can't find in their local job market.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689319)

I know, the rare skill-sets better include working for about half a price.

Now that was sarcasm, the following sentence is not:

bank clerks learn their job at work, the skills required are math, patience, ability to pay attention to detail, pedantry.

Other skills are harder to get, but I believe they are sort of American in their nature: ability to come up with schemes to make it seems as if good business is taking place while in reality Enronesque money laundering is inflating the credit bubble. Yeah, those people who can do that are worth their weight in gold. The rest of the jobs are trained in the place of work.

Certainly we know that fewer Americans today are proficient in math than before, but there bound still to be some that can be hired and I am sure it's more than 85000 work visas that are allowed by the gov't in a year.

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689271)

Of course, if they had voted against the bailout they would be accused of not doing anything for the economy (re: your link).

The American people equate spending money with improving life - whether that is the economy or some aspect of personal life. Money is god, and people are willing to throw it at all their problems thinking they will go away (when in fact, that is their very problem).

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689329)

no, the real problem is that an average American has in fact become nothing else but a consumer. That's the problem, and it causes all kinds of other issues, like a believe that the government can somehow magically fix anything, especially economy.

Wholeheartedly Agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689215)

I'm sick of looking at most of American society. Foreigners will come to the US, take advantage of the system instead of whining about "they owe me" or "i'm this color, so you should do this for me". Every foreigner I've seen have put their backs to the grindstone amidst all kinds of bigotry and worked for degrees, certifications, etc. Hell, that's the kind of can-do attitude that created this country. The only citizens we have now are entitlements: welfare (which in its current form doesn't encourage anyone from getting off their ass and working - and the current stimulus package is going to FURTHER encourage it), pro-race, etc.

I'm sick and tired of the lazy asses in the US. Hell, if they'll come here and actually work, then more power to them. They don't stand around and say "so and so is a white male manager, he makes more than me..wahhh", etc.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689237)

Furthermore, 85,000 is a drop in the ocean for a country the size of the US. Some H1b people have to leave every year as their six year term is up and they don't have green cards or citizenship. Those 85,000 are spread across different industries, diluting the impact in one particular area. Toronto receives more new immigrants per year than this (maybe 50% more), and it has a 1/60th the population or less... it's generally considered a good thing though. So what's up with this ridiculous over-blown xenophobia? H1bs really aren't affecting people that much.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689239)

Oh the Xenophobic card. Of course the people who claim that there is a shortage of qualified Americans when there obviously aren't just aren't xenophobic at all.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689269)

Or maybe Americans have an inflated view of their own ability. I'm humbled by the foreigners and H1-B visa holders I work with.

Re:stop the xenophobia (2, Insightful)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689313)

If you believe you are inherently more entitled to a job than someone from another country, just because you were born here, then you are a xenophobic prick.

What I think is that if a company is receiving American tax dollars to stay in business, it's first obligation is to those people whose money it's taking. Got a problem with that?

And why do oikophobes [brusselsjournal.com] always feel obliged to refer to those with opposing views with terms like "xenophobe", that imply disagreement must some form of neurosis?

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689365)

If the company is on the brink of disaster and is receiving bailout money in order to save the company (which I oppose), then they should do everything in their power to stay afloat. If the H1-B workers are providing a better deal than Americans, or have skills that can not be replaced, then getting rid of them to support American jobs endangers the company and goes against the whole bailout effort.

Re:stop the xenophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689383)

I'm a Canadian who did some work for a US firm a few years ago. We are technically a foreign company but have a US presence. I was only onsite at the US firm a few days but noticed immediately that non-US (read: Indian) IT workers were treated entirely different than US IT workers. Being Canadian, I was treated 'normally' but I was disturbed by what I saw. I commented on it to our local branch manager who said he was well aware of the problem. I finished up my work quickly and professionally and politely refused any more assignments for that firm. Last time I checked, our company is no longer providing any consultants for that firm.

I agree with you completely - it's time for slashdot to stop the xenophobia.

Re:stop the xenophobia (1)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689385)

Why am I up in arms about this? If you want to work in MY country, then you can apply for a visa and get a workers permit like the rest of us. The process takes time, and is a real pain in the ass, but that allows you to work here legally.

The H1B visa is a visa that allows an employer to fill a job, temporarily while they find a qualified person to do the job, or for that person to start the application process to get a normal visa. It is not a cost savings, it is not a way to 'insource' certain tasks. H1B had a place when everybody was working and certain talents were in much greater demand than people were available in the USA that had those talents. That is NOT the case for 99.999% of the jobs, especially those sales positions that the banks were looking to replace.

If you fire somebody, don't replace them immediately with a foreign worker on a temporary visa. They proves right then and there there WAS somebody to do the job, and is against the impetuous of the H1B Visa.

easy fix. (2, Insightful)

FreakWent (627155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689015)

they couldn't find enough Americans capable of handling sales, lending, and bank administration.

The banks could have _trained_ people. It's called 'investing', and banks are supposed to be good at it.

Re:easy fix. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689251)

I'm in the training and education field, so take this with the sarcastic tone I write it with ... "Taking time to train our people costs money and time, which reduces profit for the shareholders, therefore training is bad." It is the same attitude we have with the vast majority of our public education, and that's one of the reasons there are so many openings for H1-Bs. If we as a country valued education more, we would use the number of H1-Bs as an indicator of where we are failing to educate our own students. I don't have a problem with individuals being brought in on H1-Bs; but, I do have a problem knowing that one of the single biggest systemic reasons why are currently bringing in outsiders is lack of education and training.

Re:easy fix. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689391)

The problem also is, education basically sucks in America. Basically in all classes from elementary school onward, you regurgitate information to please the teacher/professor pass that class and go on with the next. So much is either A) irrelevant to your field B) Has information that is relevant but is taught by someone who makes their class almost impossible to learn anything in C) rephrasing things in order to please the teacher because otherwise you will fail even though the information is the same or D) wasting your time because the teacher decides to rant about something totally irrelevant to the subject at hand (and these are always the few that actually care that you show up to class every day).

All "education" is in America is jumping through hoops to get a good grade to get a good degree to get a good job to get more money to live a (hopefully) happier life. Now, there are a few professors/teachers who actually teach and actually give you an education, but for the vast majority, its jumping through more hoops.

Full citizenship rights for all immigrants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689053)

National chauvinism is poison to the workers! Expropriate the banks under a workers government! Not one penny for the capitalist speculators!

Time line is a bit off (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689085)

Rescued Banks Sought Foreign Help During Meltdown

and then

...requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years.

I wasn't aware the banking system was already melting down in 2003. Given the delay inherent in gov't bureaucracies, H1-B visa requests granted now may have been in the system for months, if not years.

Could I give a tip to my fellow Americans? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689167)

I am a manager at major technology company. One that nearly anyone would love to get a job with.

I have hired a lot of people over the last few years. And a lot of people straight out of college. And I've hired a LOT of foreigners. I've had to deal with H1-B issues every year for 4 years.

I dearly want to hire Americans. I have a candidate right now who is really good and I'm frothing at the mouth to sign him up.

And I don't believe Americans are stupid or can't do what foreigners can. But here's the thing, Americans in college mostly seem to have lousy resumes.

Remember when you are getting a job out of college, that most of your peers (meaning college students graduating nationwide) will have no actual experience in anything but the basic concepts of your field. Most employers realize that a college student is mostly considered a smart blank slate, one they will have to train a while in the ways of work before they can contribute well.

When I see resumes from Indian students, both educated in India and educated in the US (often just graduate school), the Indian students have FAR better resumes than any of the American students. The resumes list specific courses which show that the applicant has done projects which involved design and implementation while still in school. Also, they will often have fantastic summer experience. Meanwhile, American students will apparently have been delivering pizza for the summer because there's usually nothing listed.

So, Americans, do yourself a favor. When you enter college, do a resume search of students graduating from your school or similar ones. Look at some of the resumes from the Indian students. See the experience they are listing, and then go get yourself some of this experience, both in school and during the summers.

Yes, work your butt off in classes too, but you also need to work extra hard to make sure you land a good-quality internship between your junior and senior years. And take project-type classes that show you can do work in the field you want to land a job in, not just that you know the concepts and math involved. And make sure when someone reads your resume, they can tell from it what you learned/did.

You'll make things a lot easier on me too, because I want to hire Americans (trust me, the government is still doing a good job of making it easier to hire Americans than foreigners), and if you make it easier for me to find you, we both win.

Re:Could I give a tip to my fellow Americans? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26689285)

Of course the H1B's have good resumes, they made up exactly what you wanted to see. Do you have any idea how common H1B resume fraud is?

Re:Could I give a tip to my fellow Americans? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689341)

The problem is it is a vicious circle. Whereas in India it is easy to find a decent low-skill tech job (tech support anyone?), most US tech jobs either expect a degree, many hours of work (that would interfere with classes), or are require a certification of some kind. Unless you are going to college in a major city (New York, LA, Boston, etc) about your only options for tech jobs while you are still in school are A) Sales (such as Best Buy) B) Repair (such as Geek Squad which doesn't really give you any experience), or if you are lucky you can get a low skill secretary-type job at a local business, but that won't give you more than keyboarding experience.

The problem with technology in America is you have to have experience to get the experience. And unless you are lucky enough to go to school close to a major IT firm, your options for job experience is sorely limited. Now, you can play with Apache on your Linux box all you want, but what good does that do you on a resume?

I'm shocked, shocked! (3, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689217)

Banks making decisions according to financial factors?! Say it ain't so!

Congressmen act surprised because they want their constituents to believe that by bailing out the banks, they're saving the American worker and the economy. But I have serious doubts that any of the Congressmen who voted for the bailout *really believed* that it would create jobs or help the economy.

The problem Congressmen *might* be facing next election is that those workers laid off by the banks receiving bailouts are not the ignoramuses they assume. These workers went to college, took courses in economics, and generally speaking, understand as much about the economy - if not more - than their congressional counterparts. They lived through eight years of the Bush White House, and can recognize cronyism when they see it. They lived through eight years of Reaganomics, and not only do they recognize it when they see it, they know it doesn't work.

And they, like me, are frustrated that the wool is being pulled over our collective eyes. We're frustrated that Congress is rewarding greed and avarice, and trying to sell it as creating jobs. They know better; we know better.

Oh, and that Change that Obama was talking about? Well, our government is going to take your dollars, and leave you with pocket change. Welcome to Democracy.

it's funny how... (1)

SwampChicken (1383905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689245)

...the top jobs aren't farmed out to foreigners as well. Imagine the savings in only have to pay your top execs 200k bonuses instead of 2 billion?

first the ibm story now this (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689367)

is slashdot now a bastion of protectionism?

here are your choices:

1. bitch, whine, and moan. sink further into mediocrity

2. shut up, and make your fortune in the NEXT big new thing

apparently, the america of can do attitudes and innovation is being supplanted by loud sniveling voices of priveledge and entitlement

protectionism never works. if there exists some sort of talent outside the borders of your country that can do what you can do for less, simple economics will gravitate to that. either it will be the multinational you work for doing that, laying you off, or if that multinational is blocked from doing that due to protectionist laws, then some other company will capitalize on the cost difference, your multinational will shrink from the competition, and you will get laid off thataways. see? there is NO protection from simple economics and PROGRESS

you are not entitled to the same good job your entire life. no morality, natural law, or sense of fairness exists in which that attitude is supported

tighten your belt, shut up, move on, and make your mark somehwere else

really

Re:first the ibm story now this (5, Insightful)

Average (648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689413)

protectionism never works

I wouldn't quite go that far. The U.S. was known as the king of protectionism from Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures" to the late Nixon administration. So much so that moderate protectionism (i.e., Smoot-Hawley was indeed too far) was known as the "American School of Economics". Henry Carey? Friedrich List? The 'National System'? Have history classes completely been turned over to "America always worshipped Adam Smith" revisionism?

We currently are the least protectionist we've ever been in our history, and are far less protectionist than most of our "free-trade partners".

We moved from colonial backwater to walking-on-the-moon superpower on protectionism. It didn't work?

So what? (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689381)

Don't change the subject! They've hired a bunch of H-1Bs, and I bet their employees didn't brush their teeth every day either... So F***ing what?? C'mon that's not the real issue and you know it.

The titles says that as if were a crime to employ foreign workers using H-1Bs, which is perfectly legal. And what's with the evil guy pictured in the article? Is he the investigator or an H-1B holder thinking how to take your job? What a load of BS!! Can't believe this made it to the frontpage of /. It's dissapointing.

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