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Senator Pushes For Tougher H-1B Enforcement

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-room-for-you dept.

Businesses 262

mk1004 writes "Computerworld says that the industry lobbying group TechNet is calling on Congress to eliminate the per-country cap on H-1B workers. Last year a bill was passed in the house, 389-to-15, to remove the cap. Grassley put a hold on the bill in the Senate, indicating that he would be willing to lift the cap if companies faced an annual audit. The US currently allows 140K H-1B workers, but allows only 7% of those to come from any one country."

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I'm for it. (5, Interesting)

PerlPunk (548551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476073)

It would be a big incentive to attraact the best of the best from around the world to the United States. It would go hand-in-hand with smart immigration policies that tried to retain that talent.

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476117)

It's wonderful until the job market is flooded with 140k h1b workers working for absurdly low wages, soaking up the few jobs there are in your particular field, sending the bulk of what they do earn home instead of spending it here.

I'm sure corporate america loves the idea though. Can't get the price of capable labor down low enough? Bring in people that will live 6 to an apartment and work cheaper than anyone with those old, outdated ideas of a family, home and a lawn to mow!

Re:I'm for it. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476145)

It's wonderful until the job market is flooded with 140k h1b workers working for absurdly low wages

And who are these H1B workers on absurdly low wages? It costs Microsoft 30% more to hire foreigners on H1Bs because there aren't enough Americans graduating with master's and PhDs in STEM fields. MSFT would gladly hire Americans to do these jobs, if they could. I'm quite confident this generalizes to other tech companies.

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476295)

They can, there are plenty of people with the qualifications they need. It's just that they would just have to pay more or offer better working conditions. The prospect of jobs that pay well and offer good working conditions would also cause more people to get their degree in a STEM field. The current push down on wages and into H1-B and outsourcing is why less students are choosing that career.

So, MS has to spend 30% more to hire an H1B than they would if there was a glut in the employee market? So how much less do they cost compared to the actual market rate under the actual conditions of supply?

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476423)

They hire H1-Bs as engineers. Starting salary is about $75k (or was, 5 years ago). How does that compare?

Disclaimer: I work for MS, but they don't pay me to post here. That would be stupid.

Re:I'm for it. (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476465)

The current median is 85K in that area. Keep in mind that figure will be distorted low due to cheap H1-B labor.

According to glassdoor [glassdoor.com] , their current offerings are a bit on the low side compared to google, amazon, and similar in that area.

It looks like they would have a LOT less trouble hiring qualified people if they would go 5-10k higher. So, big surprise, lowball offer = a problem finding takers.

Re:I'm for it. (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476569)

No, it's just a skills shortage. We can't find anyone who's willing to work for $75kpa, who does exactly what we want them to do, but for someone else, with 10 years of experience in a language/product that's only been around for 5. That's why we need to hire people from overseas who can tell HR that they have 10 years of experience, and who will be willing to work for $70 kpa. It's simple really, and for the good of the nation.

That, or companies could actually take on university graduates like they used to do, train them, treat them well, and have some high class permanents who know what they're doing. Oh wait, that's a long term strategy. And long term's no good because in the long term we're all dead anyway.

Or how about experienced workers?!? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477341)

That, or companies could actually take on university graduates like they used to do, train them,....

Or get an experienced worker who's done alot of the work before but maybe in a different language or on a different platform?

As an experienced C++ programmer, it took me at most 3 hours to learn Java's syntax AND how to navigate around the libraries.

C#? Picked it up immediately.

I think hiring managers are the ones who need to realize that their particular technology or platform isn't all that special or any harder than any other platform or language.

Those laundry lists that HR has? The managers ordered them to do it. Remeber kids, HR works for management - don't let anyone tell you different.

And then there's the first line management cockiness that I see way too often You'll see it here. For example, folks saying that they can't get anyone qualified - too many "wannabes". WTF is a "wannabe"?

Or having problems getting folks because they can't find someone to answer some "key" question they ask like "Where do you see yourself in five years?", "What is your favorite IDE?" or "What kind of projects do you in your spare time?"

That last one is ridiculous. Uh, when I've been working 50+ hours a week (which is the norm now), the last thing I want or can do is go home and code. I NEED to workout, spend time with my wife, and relax with a movie, good book, or cook a meal for said loved ones. Code?

Oh wait, you want a 20 something or an immigrant with no ties and no life who have nothing better to do than sit in front of the computer.

Got it. I finally figured it out.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476783)

> They can, there are plenty of people with the qualifications they need

Bullshit.

I work for a well-known software company that lobbies congress on these topics. Hiring decisions are not arbitrarily made by high-level managers and HR types. Most of the people on interview loops (which inform the hiring decision) are non-managers at the bottom of the totem pole. Though many people like to think otherwise, we really like hiring and working with smart, talented people. There just aren't that many good, qualified people who come through the interview loop. It's not about "can this candidate write a brain-dead for-loop". It's all about "can this candidate do a bang-up job, and help us all grow".

It's not like we have lots of people who can be hired for the job, and then choose between them opting for one kind of worker over another. We need and want good people. If you didn't get hired, it is probably because the folks on the interview loop didn't think you'd be a good hire. I know that this is the case in my company, and most of the other well-known tech companies.

Not all companies are the same, and this is just one perspective. All I know is that, if you are qualified, my company wants to hire you, and I want to work with you. So, apply already. And, if you didn't get hired, or didn't get the salary offer that you liked -- maybe, just maybe, it is because you aren't as good as you think you are. And having been a part of many interview loops ... most people aren't nearly as good as they think they are.

Re:I'm for it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477065)

Bullshit, perhaps if companies would start actually hiring entry level workers there would be workers available to fill those jobs. As it stands pretty much all the entry level job postings I see require 5 years of experience and a level of degree above what's realistically needed.

If employers aren't finding the people they need, perhaps they should think about not pissing in the pool and start doing something to encourage the development of that section of the work force.

Refusing to hire anybody entry level and then using the H-1B program to fix the situation isn't what that program is for.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

sleepy_weasel (839947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476985)

So, what you're saying is, is Ranjeet from Bangalore works in like Sub-basement B designing Windows 8, right next to the furnace and eats rats for lunch, while Cameron (insert white guy name) works on the 4th floor, in a nice office, eating from the lobby commissary? /me apologizes to any Ranjeets out there. First name I thought of.

Re:I'm for it. (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477287)

May I be having my stapler back please, yes?

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476319)

And who are these H1B workers on absurdly low wages? It costs Microsoft 30% more to hire foreigners on H1Bs because there aren't enough Americans graduating with master's and PhDs in STEM fields. MSFT would gladly hire Americans to do these jobs, if they could.

According to who, Microsoft? Gee, I can't think of any reason they might want to lie about this.

H1B workers are easily abused because changing jobs is far more difficult. The upfront costs of hiring them may be higher, but they end up working longer hours for less pay. That is why Microsoft, along with all the other tech giants, go before Congress every year and lie and beg.

Re:I'm for it. (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476891)

I can see the argument for smaller businesses needed h1b workers. Perhaps there should be cap like if you already have X number of employees you are not eligible to hire non citizens. Work in domestic facilities.

There is no reason a big firm like Microsoft can't select the best of their own internal talent and develop it. Either by sending them down a traditional accredited academic track or some other means to get them the knowledge they need. A company like Microsoft absolutely could afford to send their better performing employes to classes 20 hours a week.

Our lack of domestic STEM educated people is because of the imported labor and the rather nutty idea that the only time anyone can go to college is right outa high school.

most college are not setup to be part time (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477359)

most college are not setup to be part time class part time work. In-less you are working nights.

Now the tech schools and community college do offer night classes (but even then the time tables for classes may still may you have to take some day classes)

No that classes 20 hours a week needs to be a apprenticeship system where work and class time is part of the over all time table not 2 differnt party's having there own time tables.

Re:I'm for it. (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476977)

It's wonderful until the job market is flooded with 140k h1b workers working for absurdly low wages

And who are these H1B workers on absurdly low wages? It costs Microsoft 30% more to hire foreigners on H1Bs because there aren't enough Americans graduating with master's and PhDs in STEM fields. MSFT would gladly hire Americans to do these jobs, if they could. I'm quite confident this generalizes to other tech companies.

References for your assertions? Demonstrate that there weren't enough Americans that could do the jobs in question, don't just make a statement without anything to back it up.

Re:I'm for it. (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477115)

I take it you've not watched How NOT to hire an American [youtube.com] then? Fraud is RAMPANT in the H1-B program, with BS qualifications like 5 years of Win 8 experience or 15 years of .NET being all too common. Then once they get the "qualified" H1-B they are paid below the market going rate for the ACTUAL job.

But in the end everyone here should be against the H1-B because not only are we looking at nearly a trillion in student loans, with defaults jumping to 12% in the past couple of years, but the simple fact it completely destroys supply and demand and makes sure there will NEVER be an American for those jobs. After all, what idiot is gonna go $50k-$75k in debt for a job they know they'll have to compete for with a guy that paid less than 15K for theirs?

In the end the vast majority of their wages will go overseas, never to return, and the H1-Bs themselves will go overseas with the education and work experience. if you look at the real numbers we are looking at something like 23% unemployment, what are we gonna do with all those people? Do you know how many are going straight from their college graduation to the unemployment lines? When you are in a recession and there aren't enough jobs to go around as it is the LAST thing you want is corps poisoning the system by distorting supply and demand and driving yet more money overseas.

Personally, I don't know about everyone else here, but i'm sick to damned death of the "just give the corps what they want and things will get better" horseshit. We have been doing that for over 20 years now, are things better? We have practically gutted regulation, the ACTUAL amount of taxes the fortune 500 pay thanks to loopholes has never been lower, with many corps like GE actually getting money out instead of putting any in, are things better? maybe for the 5% at the top but for everyone else it sure as hell ain't. When unemployment is below 4% then and ONLY then should we be talking about importing workers, not when we have many of our young people buried in student loans and working at the Pizza Hut.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477157)

That's horseshit. The H1Bs that I see come in are almost always temps. Sure they cost 30% more PER HOUR. If you care to do the accounting like that. But the cost of a real worker, one that requires health insurance, vacation, raises and A DESK far dwarfs what they pay these H1Bs that come in. They hire them because they are disposable. When they decide to lay them all off, no one will complain.

I'm all for easier immigration. But we should give these people easy paths to citizenship so they can join the market and enjoy the same protections we all have. Currently we give them slave visas, use them until we don't need them any more and then kick them out of the country. We should be ashamed, not just do to the harm to our workers but also the harm to these immigrants we're exploiting and our own integrity.

master's and PhDs should not be needed for the job (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477291)

master's and PhDs should not be needed for the job.

Re:I'm for it. (2)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477317)

"there aren't enough Americans graduating with master's and PhDs in STEM fields"

BULL - SHIT

Publish an advertisement for whatever STEM grad that you want. $200,000 per year plus great benefits, incentive bonuses and stock options. Are you trying to suggest that ZERO American citizens with the right qualifications would apply for this job?

"MSFT would gladly hire Americans to do these jobs,"

Yeah, they would be glad to hire Americans. i.e. Americans that are willing to work at the same shit wages they pay foreigners. There are plenty of Americans qualified to do the actual WORK, just not for subsistence level compensation.

Re:I'm for it. - ABSOLUTE FALSEHOOD (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477323)

Gates himself (check the audio archive for his speeches) said he'd rather hire
foreigners than U.S. citizens
. And no, U.S. corporations are provided fininacial
incentives to hire Hr1B workers - in addition, assuming they stay in the U.S less
than (don't remember the # of days), they do NOT pay Federal income tax. So,
it does NOT cost MS 30% more to hire non-U.S. citizens; that's complete nonsense.

CAPTCHA = charcoal (why yes, I'm feeling a little burnt)

Re:I'm for it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476147)

It is wonderful that morons like you believe what you read.

summary is grossly wrong. only 65k h1bs are issued a year.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476813)

No, you are just an idiot.

65k is the current limit. However, there are some exclusions to that limit so 20k additional visas can be granted to those who got a masters (or higher) degree from a US university. And US Universities have free reign and they can use h1b visas without them counting against the limit.

http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY2011NIVWorkloadbyVisaCategory.pdf [state.gov] makes it pretty obvious to anyone who isn't a moron that more than 65k are issued.

Re:I'm for it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476199)

Either you let the cheap workers come work for corporations in the USA or the corporations leave the USA and go where the cheap workers are.

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476307)

So give them a green card so their employer can't hold their status hostage.

Re:I'm for it. (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476991)

So give them a green card so their employer can't hold their status hostage.

How about just hiring the fucking Americans who can do the job even though it costs a bit more to the company?

Why are you so ready to knock down the American standard of living?

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477173)

America is a country that was built on the backbone of immigrants right from the 19th century (see references). Your American Standard of living is a bubble that is waiting to explode. Ultimately Companies push for cheaper labour to bring down costs simply because you the American buyer choose to buy cheaper products instead of opting to pay more for American goods.

So if the people really feel strongly about it, take action by refusing to buy cheaper goods made in China etc. and ask for American goods etc. If everyone speaks up then it will happen. Otherwise there will continue to be a global equalization effect, where American and foreign workers will ultimately be paid on equal terms subject to their qualifications and merit.

Also not sure why anyone is unhappy. The overall cap is still the same, its just that you are now saying that we will only select the best and brightest from across the world within the cap rather than have a quota per country. You may see an increase in immigrants from a specific country, but overall the total number of immigrants coming in per year will be constant.

You could put in rules that prevent companies from cutting wages purely on cost, so that an immigrant competes with an american purely on merit and not on wage. Ultimately a country prospers when it has a stealthy stream of skilled immigrants coming in on a controlled basis - fresh blood, new ideas, new vigour. Blocking it off completely ultimately would lead to stagnation and decline. But there needs to be a balance - you cant just throw open your borders.

No references here just my theory - will try digging up refs later - If immigrants come in and are earning on par with americans, then that means more taxes for the govt, more grants to education centres, potentially more scholarships for education..you get the picture..ultimately everyone benefits. Cheap labour only results in a short term benefit and long term harm.

Disclaimer: I don't work in the USA, but my skills are specialized enough that I know there is an actual scarcity of American labour with my skillset, so I actually can get paid as much as the next American if I choose to move there if the visa problem wasn't an issue. However that's not to say that all cases are exactly like mine. Each should be treated on a case by case basis.

Some references:
http://www.xtimeline.com/evt/view.aspx?id=210421
http://www.termpaperwarehouse.com/essay-on/The-Backbone-Of-America-s-Might/73351

Re:I'm for it. (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477175)

This is a capitalist society. Either compete (and win) or die. You want a high standard of living? Earn it.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477245)

How about require that H-1 B workers get paid no less than current market average?
The red tape involved with foreign workers will encourage hiring locally.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477369)

How about require that H-1 B workers get paid no less than current market average?

You're already required to pay H1-B workers market rate. However, you can also work them 18 hours a day...

Re:I'm for it. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476233)

Not sure where you've worked, but I've yet to find any H1Bs in tech living anything like you're describing. Okay, so during his (and my) first year at my old job, my H1B co-worker and I rented a four bedroom apartment together. So that's kind of close, although he later married and bought a house. It only has a small lawn, so he mostly has to stick to around the deck or BBQ and sadly look over Puget Sound, thinking of how unfortunate he is.
 
The other H1Bs included the guy with the brand new 3-series living in a fancy glass and steel downtown condo, and the guy with the Range Rover who had restrained but expensive tastes. The other H1B in my group was rather stoic so perhaps he lived with 5 other H1Bs in an apartment, although it'd be weird since his salary was well into six figures and a decent studio in the most expensive parts of the city were ~$1000/month with parking.
 
Yes, H1Bs can be paid on the low end of the scale since they're at a major disadvantage if they're unhappy with their job. But it's not a huge difference, it's just that corporations would be happy to sell out their own country for a penny. In fact, because I went front-end and my ex-roommate went server-side, he was making more than me within 3-4 years on the job.
 
That said, there is very little need for H1Bs in terms of supply and demand as was pointed out in this recently posted transcript [ieee.org] , and it'd be nice if lawmakers and other people involved in immigration policy recognized this fact.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476285)

The problem isn't as to whether or not there are good people being brought over as H-1Bs, it's that companies are using H-1Bs over qualified American citizens, when plenty are available and want to work. There should be a requirement that a company attempt exhaustively to find an American to fill the position, and then with proof, put their efforts in public record so everyone can see just how diligent they were, as well as the credentials of the H-1B hired for the position. This way, people who applied and were as qualified as the H-1B who gets the position can come forward and demonstrate potential H-1B fraud. Just toss a severe penalty on it and the problem goes away. Companies should be accountable for their hiring practices when they have a resource that is so potentially disruptive to America.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476521)

Of course, you are correct in that Microsoft and the other big IT companies take maximum advantage of the H1B program to hire top-tier engineering talent.

But you've never seen the contracting company which operates a slum apartment building in Fremont full of imported H1B web coderz. Nor the business who brings in rich, well-connected H1B Brits to serve in sales and administrative roles. ("why not? there's no enforcement") The program might be well-intentioned, but it is being massively exploited.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476749)

If they pay slave wages for H1B workers ("slum apartment building in Fremont full of imported H1B web coderz"), they're breaking the law. H1B workers legally must be paid within a certain percent of the average prevailing wage for an equivalent position in your area. And it would be a strange argument indeed to criticize a law using as your example people who aren't following it. If your problem is with enforcement, argue for greater enforcement, not changing the law, unless you have a *legal* example of what's wrong with H1B.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476325)

They come to the US and usually become citizens. So overall it is a net gain in that you have added intelligent citizens without having to pay for their education or upbringing.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

jestsaying (2667445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476407)

Does the bill audit for direct vs body shoppers?

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

guacamole (24270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476775)

I am sorry man, but you have no idea about the reality of H1B workers. Most I have known are fairly smart people and they were already relatively well to-do by the standards of their country. They would certainly NOT come here to live 6 an apartment. Also, a lot of the successful ones eventually convert their H1B visa status to a more permanent visa to stay here. Now, it's possible that some of them send money back home. So what? Would you instead prefer to see entire corporate offices with ALL jobs moved to India, Taiwan, China, or Russia? This is not that hard at all, you know.

To put this a little blunt, this is a global competitive economy, and if you can't adapt then you should improve, change your career, or just perish. Sorry. No other way around this.

Re:I'm for it. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477343)

Would you instead prefer to see entire corporate offices with ALL jobs moved to India, Taiwan, China, or Russia? This is not that hard at all, you know.

Yes, yes it is hard, and moreover, it will cost you customers.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477127)

It's wonderful until the job market is flooded with 140k h1b workers working for absurdly low wages, soaking up the few jobs there are in your particular field, sending the bulk of what they do earn home instead of spending it here.

I'm sure corporate america loves the idea though. Can't get the price of capable labor down low enough? Bring in people that will live 6 to an apartment and work cheaper than anyone with those old, outdated ideas of a family, home and a lawn to mow!

the reason h1b workers are trying to work in the united states is because of higher wages and better working conditions. if upon working at the U.S. and they will get the same pay and the same working conditions, why would they spend the effort trying to go to the U.S. after all?

Re:I'm for it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476255)

smart immigration policies

The h-1b isn't a smart immigration policy. It's a tool to drive down US worker wages by making immigrants your bitch.

This isn't a "they tewk er jerbs" thing, either. Some of the crap the h-1bs go through... the immigrants deserve better, too.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477213)

Welcome to Capitalism.

Re:I'm for it. (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476287)

It would be a big incentive to attraact the best of the best from around the world to the United States. It would go hand-in-hand with smart immigration policies that tried to retain that talent.

The problem is that a fraction of what the immigrant earns is sent out of the country. Thus only part of the benefit to the corporation stays.

Deeper still, the problem is that the corporation's interests aren't aligned with the country, nor has it any pressure to make them so.

Deeper still, the problem is that the corporation is just a product of the economical system. Society cannot specify how to create businesses following a certain set of rules and then claim that the resulting corporation is bad.

A solution would be to have the state control the corporate behaviours that harm the country, however that doesn't work because the state is not the country, just a subset of individuals who are vulnerable to corporation power, which was given by the rules decided by society.

A solution to that would be society removing that power from the corporation, but the corporation was made following rules that society itself imposed, so its the rules that would have to be changed first.

And we don't know what other set of rules works better than the current one, nor whether the new corporate-like entity crerated by them would have even stronger power over the state.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476727)

Most H1-Bs I know of work for standard wages, or close to.

Even if they work for less, how is this worse than fresh American college grads working for peanuts in the Valley for a chance at the startup lottery?

Re:I'm for it. (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476971)

It doesn't invite the best of the best. It invites people who will do the same jobs as Americans but for much less money, thus increasing corporate profits while helping to ensure the continuation of high American unemployment.

gtfo (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476103)

Like we need more out of Country workers. Remove heads from ass, pay attention to WHATS HERE ALREADY

Would this apply to UK citizens ? (2)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476121)

Would this mean it would be much easier for me (from the UK) to leave this screwed up country and move to the states?

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (1)

donutface (847957) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476149)

Would this mean it would be much easier for me (from the UK) to leave this screwed up country and move to the states?

No, it would make it harder for you to leave. I don't think UK workers make up 7% of the H1B, but other larger nations such as India certainly would.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476227)

So you assume that no more than 7% of H1Bs come from India? Actually they discuss the next step - moving from H1B (non immigrant status) to Green Card (immigrant status) where some principles of diversity are in play.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476201)

If you're going to leave screwed up UK, why would you pick the US of all places!?

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476293)

If you're going to leave screwed up UK, why would you pick the US of all places!?

I heard you have greener grass over there.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476309)

There are few countries in this world built on the principle that people can take care of themselves and I am not an American praising himself.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (-1)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476385)

Would this mean it would be much easier for me (from the UK) to leave this screwed up country and move to the states?

The UK's screwed up, but not half as much as the US.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477337)

The UK's screwed up, but not half as much as the US.

Get back to us when the UK has free speech, let alone the right that lets you keep it.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476657)

You're off your trolley, mate. You want to leave the Little USA to go to the Big USA? Our government is so far up America's ass they both pick the same nose.

Still, I suppose we don't assassinate our own citizens on foreign soil... Yet.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476733)

As other pointed out. It would make it worse. However, why should you leave one screwed up country and go to another? It would be much more logical to fix the UK (as long as you are a citizen of that country) than moving to a country where you have no influence at all.

Re:Would this apply to UK citizens ? (1)

RoboJ1M (992925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477035)

I think it makes it harder because there won't be a cap on the other countries.
Now, instead of 7% reserved for the UK, there's 0% reserved for the UK.
Or something like that.
One more nail in the coffin of wanting to go work somewhere else one day.
All *I* want to do is just go work somewhere else for a bit.
I mean, who wants to only see snapshots of other countries on a 2 week holiday each year?
I dream of tech-job-circum-navigating the world on medium term visas, but the US is a big barrier to heading west.
Apparently it's much easier to go work in Canada.

I don't want a green card, I just want to come visit for 3 years! :(

140K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476123)

Is that supposed to be a designator for a type of H-1B worker, or is it supposed to be 140,000? ...or are the workers just really really really cold?

Article is wrong (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476179)

There is no per country cap on H1Bs. As usual, Computer world is trying to rile up anti immigrant/anti H1B sentiment.

There is a per country cap on Green Cards. This means that to get a green card, there are separate queues based on the country you were born in. Because of this cap, an engineer from India or China, if he applies in the advanced/special skills category that needs a Masters degree in engineering or science has to wait in the same job for more than 6 years to get a green card, while the guy from Iceland gets one in six months.

Re:Article is wrong (2)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476215)

I don't see a problem with this. Having a diverse immigrant workforce is a good thing. No single country should dominate our immigration system.

Re:Article is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476251)

I don't see a problem with this. Having a diverse immigrant workforce is a good thing. No single country should dominate our immigration system.

There a billion and a half Chinese and a billion and a quarter Indians on this Earth. Better get used to a lot more Chinese and Indians in the workforce.

Re:Article is wrong (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476359)

Actually they already are in the workforce - so the question is a bit more subtle: whether the world's best and brightest work at companies in the USA or whether the world's best and brightest work at companies in other countries.

If you're an American worker, then the question you should be asking is whether you want the world's best and brightest working with you to make your American company successful or whether you want the world's best and brightest working at foreign companies competing against you.

Re:Article is wrong (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476873)

Actually they already are in the workforce - so the question is a bit more subtle: whether the world's best and brightest work at companies in the USA or whether the world's best and brightest work at companies in other countries.

The best and brightest will usually find a similar job in their home countries and feel no pressure to emmigrate. (Except perhaps highly specialized research where you have to make up your mind if you want to apply at CERN or Fermilab)

If you're an American worker, then the question you should be asking is whether you want the world's best and brightest working with you to make your American company successful or whether you want the world's best and brightest working at foreign companies competing against you.

Difficult question... I don't think I would want the best and brightest of the world competing with me for my next promotion.....

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476333)

I don't see a problem with this. Having a diverse immigrant workforce is a good thing. No single country should dominate our immigration system.

I do see a problem with the law. It's a thinly veiled substitute for the Chinese Exclusion Act. If the EU should incorporate as a single federate state, Congress would reformulate the law some other way, maybe based on the latitude of your birthplace.

The current system is unfairly hurting the large Indian H1B contingency.

I'm saying this as one of the former beneficiaries of the racist scheme.

Re:Article is wrong (3, Interesting)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476383)

It's a thinly veiled substitute for the Chinese Exclusion Act.

India and China have no natural right to dominate the US immigration system simple because each country alone has a greater population than the entire US.

To have a true melting pot, you need a diverse population. When you have a huge immigrant influx from a single region of the world, your melting pot will start to form lumps. That gives rise to a number of socioeconomic issues.

Re:Article is wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476411)

Well, there are more high-IQ people in china than the entire population of the US. The US would be at loss if it did not attract chinese talent.

Re:Article is wrong (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476463)

India and China have no natural right to dominate the US immigration system simple because each country alone has a greater population than the entire US.

To have a true melting pot, you need a diverse population.

A few points:

  • Indians are more diverse than Americans (different cultures, religions, languages, ...).
  • So you're ok with Europeans dominating the US immigration system only because they have more seats in the UN?
  • The Green Card quota is too small to cause abrupt demographic changes in the US.

Re:Article is wrong (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477243)

You are completely ignorant of history. Immigration has NEVER occurred in small steady flows - It has always occurred in large chunks from this country or that country. Just like a good fondue, the chunks melt down and get absorbed by the time the next one comes.

Re:Article is wrong (5, Interesting)

hooeezit (665120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476317)

As parent says, the article is utterly wrong. There are no per-country caps on H1B. The caps are on Green Cards (permanent residence) issued under certain categories, EB2 (Employment Based 2nd) being the most affected. The problem is that all countries, irrespective of their population, get a fixed ceiling of 7% of the total allocation of 140000 GCs issued per year. So, H1B workers from China and India have to wait at least 5 years, sometimes 10 years depending on the whims of USCIS, to get their Green Card. During that time, they have to continue being employed by the same company that originally filed the GC application, and in a materially similar position as at the time of filing. A major change in job description requires refiling. If you don't realize what that means, it makes those workers subservient to their employers. This has quite the opposite effect that you think it does - it doesn't help US workers any since these foreigners are already employed, but it gives the employers a position of power from which they can dictate terms on pay raises and promotions since they have the workers by the leash.

This is definitely hurting US tech companies because many excellent techies getting good salaries are leaving the US and setting up their own companies either in their home countries or in some other immigration-friendly country, Canada and Singapore being the top destinations. They would rather spend 2 years setting up their own company and getting permanent residence and a path to citizenship there than toil for 6+ years in fear with no certain timeline on when they'll become a permanent resident, much less a citizen of the US.

I myself am an example of a person who left the US after being there for 11 years. I was on H1B and making $120k/yr, so definitely not an underpaid worker. But I'm loathe to serve 6 years in a big corporation doing the same job day in and day out. So, I moved back to India, and I'm using my contacts in the industry to provide embedded software and hardware development services to small companies in the US. At the same time, I'm providing Industrial Automation consulting services to Indian companies and am currently working on a new data logging product for the South African market. So, the US lost the tax revenue it would have received. It lost a bunch of local jobs due to US companies outsourcing work to me in India. And it lost the new jobs I'd have created there if I'd continued building new products in the US.

So, you decide what works in US's national interests? Keeping people like me away from that country, or giving us an incentive to set up companies of our own? And if you claim that I'm a minority, that's an irrelevant argument. A very useful minority is still being alienated. I loved being in the US, and would happily go back if the immigration situation becomes easier and more deterministic. But I seriously don't see current US politics being conducive to ANYTHING that's of real value to the country.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476339)

I feel you. I had to buy my way into a green card (under EB5 category), because of this stupid process. And not many of my friends want to stay in the US now, as many see a lot of growth potential in India and China. More and more of my friends are moving back.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476625)

You don't want to work in China if you're bitching about the US process. I live and work in China right now and I have no job security, employers are often times even more cut throat than the ones in the US and when you lose your job you lose your right to live in the country. The pay is going to depend a great deal on what you're doing, but the chances are good that you'll end up spending a much larger amount of time dealing with bureaucracy as that's one of the ways the government has of ensuring that there are enough jobs to go around.

Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful place to live, but if you're concern is immigration regulations, China is probably not any better than the US is.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476653)

I was referring to my Chinese and Indian friends. They have the right to be in the country as citizens, and they know the system well to get around bureaucracy (they also have very good experience dealing with bureaucracy as part of their F1 visa process, OPT process and H1 visa process).
 
Most of my immigrant friends were, once, my grad school classmates.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476431)

The system needs an audit, you lost, but look at those who get through from the tier placement companies.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476511)

The tier placement companies and their H1 employees are lying through their teeth, under oath, to get this done. As someone who considered being part of this, I would never recommend anyone undertake this.

Re:Article is wrong (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476491)

...than toil for 6+ years in fear with no certain timeline on when they'll become a permanent resident, much less a citizen of the US.

I'm an American (born and raised) scientist currently living and working in Asia and, after the way my non-American wife and her family have been treated by USCIS, I'm not at all eager to go back to the USA, either.

In my wife's case, we spent years waiting for all the various paperwork to clear - during which times my wife wasn't allowed to work, or go to school or even leave the USA. And it's totally arbitrary: even now that my wife has permanent residence (a "green card") USCIS could take it away for no reason and, at best, we'd have to start all over again.

And then her sister, who had a five year multiple entry visa, essentially applied for a renewal to do some traveling with us - and was denied - again totally arbitrary and with no due process or rule of law or possibility to appeal.

But I seriously don't see current US politics being conducive to ANYTHING that's of real value to the country.

Yeah, I voted for Obama hoping things might improve - but from what I've seen they've actually gotten worse. I sure won't be voting Democratic this year.

Well, anyway, I can always hope that some other country will invade and occupy the USA and straighten it out. :)

Re:Article is wrong (1)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477155)

This is definitely hurting US tech companies because many excellent techies getting good salaries are leaving the US and setting up their own companies either in their home countries or in some other immigration-friendly (...).

So, you decide what works in US's national interests? Keeping people like me away from that country, or giving us an incentive to set up companies of our own? And if you claim that I'm a minority, that's an irrelevant argument. A very useful minority is still being alienated.

So true... I was advised in no uncertain terms that I was playing on a level field with Mexican goat herders. The US is losing entrepreneurs and scientists, one unimpressed candidate immigrant at the time.

Re:Article is wrong (1)

Ora*DBA (101576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477283)

How, exactly, did you compile the list of industry contacts and relationships that helped you get your business off the ground in India? Working in India? Obviously not. You are yet another ingrate incapable of attributing your success to anyone but yourself.

I am a skilled, certified, educated American citizen who has seen his consulting rates steadily eroded because of the waves of H-1B workers brought in by big consulting companies and Fortune 500 corporations. I see 'mafias' of nationals form in these companies, promoting their own over more deserving workers (not necessarily US citizens, either). I have seen, time and time again, Indian or Chinese consultants taking a lower rate to get a spot, then telephoning fifty or a hundred friends to get recipes to actually attempt to do their job. Hiring managers know this is going on, but do it anyway to keep costs down.

The problem is not necessarily the H-1B program, it is the abuse of these regs and the willingness of US corporate management to tolerate the lower-quality workforce in order to hit their quarterly numbers. Me? I'm getting steadily more profitable trading currency pairs. That's my future. Corporate Amerika can go to h*ll.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477397)

On EB3, everyone waits 6+ years. The problem is not the by country caps, but the fact that there are caps at all: Get PERM, get a well enough paying job, get visa.

Re:Article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476329)

As a H1-B holder, I concur. There are no country quotas in H1B (well, except singapore which has 2000 quota). Even if we assume, they meant green cards and not H1Bs, the summary still does not make any sense. Why would they want monitoring of H1-B employers to remove country caps on green cards. May be, there is a new law on table to introduce country specific caps in H1-B, and the senator is proposing to drop the clause in exchange for audits? Can some read the article and clarify this?

Re:Article is wrong (1)

dcblogs (1096431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477269)

The story is correct, but the Slashdot blurb confused the two. The Senate is considering a bill approved by the House to eliminate the per country caps on green cards. Sen. Grassley put a hold on that bill, but is attempting to work out a compromise. He will allow removal of the green cap limit in exchange for giving the Labor Dept. more power to conduct audits on H-1B use.

We need this for politicians too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476243)

Instead of fighting against this trend I've decided it should be applied to politicians as well. Bring in some real talent where leadership is concerned and allow these H1-B Visa holders to run our country as well, why not? At least in other countries other than the U.S. we have all seen their respective leaders turn around worse economic situations than we have here in the U.S. so give them a shot to turn our economy around. At this point I'd like to see more Indian, Chinese, and Russian influence in the White House rather than the self-defeating jingoistic ranting that is polluting our current administration. Lets get down to the numbers and finally do something with as much help as we can get. I refuse to accept that based upon ethnicity that these cultures are just better at IT and development and are incapable of leadership (an idea that has been reprinted in our U.S. textbooks for years).

Re:We need this for politicians too! (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476497)

Instead of fighting against this trend I've decided it should be applied to politicians as well. Bring in some real talent where leadership is concerned and allow these H1-B Visa holders to run our country as well, why not?

Already been done.

At least that's what Donald Trump says.

Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476327)

Because there's no such thing as to many indian's.

Re:Because (0)

hooeezit (665120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476347)

But there *is* such a thing as too illiterate to use one's own native language properly.

You, sir, probably wanted to use the adverb "too" which conveys the meaning of "to an excessive extent or degree" and the plural (capitalized, since it's a proper noun) Indians as opposed to the incorrectly spelled possessive "indian's".

Yes, I'm Indian, thank you.

Re:Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476471)

ha well I'm korean so fuck you.

Re:Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476475)

Someone down modded you. Thats what you get for feeding the trolls.

Re:Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477203)

Yes, I'm Indian, thank you.

I need you to come to my cabin and show me again which folder the vee-eye editor is in. Please do the needful.

Annual audit... that's hysterical. (2)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476381)

Did so much good at the banks and financial institutes.

Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (4, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476499)

The simplest solution is to raise the minimum salary for all H1B employees to something more reasonable, like between $100,000 to $150,000, depending on the area and profession. (Note this is a minimum, the maximum is open.)

That way companies would be forced to pay the extra amount for foreign workers if they really are needed, and be incentivize to first look for local talent and/or provide training.

And H1B's recipients would stop being considered as cheap low-cost labour putting downwards pressure on salaries.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476827)

The simplest solution is to raise the minimum salary for all H1B employees to something more reasonable, like between $100,000 to $150,000

I see a flaw...
A gallon of milk will just cost $40, and that $20k minimum wage slave will make $200k.
...absolute values don't account for inflation well.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477249)

This is only for the H1B employees. This would just move them closer to everyone else. Inflation is the same for everyone, H1B salaries only for H1B workers. So your flaw is not applicable at all.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477267)

That's all nice until some administration inflates the currency by a factor of ten in order to satisfy some campaign donors.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477329)

There is no such thing as a 'wage slave'. Everybody is free to attempt their own business or live on charity.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (2)

imbusy (1002705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476979)

Isn't that how it already works? The employer has to offer a salary that is above average of what the standard is. Foreign workers on H1-B visas ARE more expensive. But maybe they are willing to work in a lower position than they normally should so all in all they cost less. BTW, I'm someone who missed this year's H1-B quota by a few days myself.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477325)

Feedback loop, and what's more people on H-1B visas aren't in any position to demand raises or additional perks. Chances are that if you're not giving them the ones that other employees get that they won't complain. What's more, they'll probably work crap hours and settle for the pay that results. I'm betting they won't use their vacation or sick time or at least do so less often than citizens would.

Wage is only one dimension of salary and being a foreign worker in any country leaves you in a vulnerable position when it comes to enforcing your rights.

After a while you'll find that the wage for that particular sector isn't increasing quite as much as it had been prior to the practice.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477241)

The minimum is currently 60th percentile wages for the job they are in. The problem is that this is unenforceable for a lot of reasons. How do you define the job they are in? That's the first problem. The second is that if you bring in a bunch of people, it's going to lower the wages across the board.

I think the real problem is that there's no enforcement. I'd like H1Bs to be allowed to sue for back wages if they were paid under the minimum. Corporations would think twice about hiring H1Bs for cheap.

Re:Simply Solution, High Minimum Salary for H1B's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477419)

Maybe that works in the valley, or seattle, but go look at how many Americans make those kinds of salaries in the Midwest. 10 years of experience, and you might break 6 figures, maybe. New graduates make about half. If you force their salaries to be that out of whack, in essence you are saying that you don't want them, period.

Where were the people from the other thread that said nobody was against legal immigration?

The Real Shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476535)

There is no shortage of available talent. The shortage is found in the pool of intelligent, informed voters who will elect honest representatives that can parse the corporate lobbying for deceptive portrayals of the real labor picture. Perhaps the only way to get the suits to pony up living wages for domestic talent and stop the exploitation of immigrants would be to place a five-year moratorium on all H1B visas to allow unskewed market forces to drive change in corporate hiring and compensation. True, it is strong and bitter medicine, but short of government-imposed wage minimums in STEM professions, what other alternatives are there? Then again, maybe I'm just letting Utopian dreams cloud my rational cynicism.

It's craziness! (2)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477049)

Why should workers with flu-like symptoms have any such legislation? I don't care what country they come from, if they're sick they should stay home and get better, otherwise pandemic is inevitable.

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the US (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477367)

For those who also didn't know, it's [wikipedia.org] :

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or leave the US.

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