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Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the either-that-or-they-don't dept.

Businesses 795

walterbyrd sends this snippet from an article by Robert X. Cringely: "Big tech employers are constantly lobbying for increases in H-1B quotas citing their inability to find qualified US job applicants. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and other leaders from the IT industry have testified about this before Congress. Both major political parties embrace the H-1B program with varying levels of enthusiasm. Bill Gates is wrong. What he said to Congress may have been right for Microsoft but was wrong for America and can only lead to lower wages, lower employment, and a lower standard of living. This is a bigger deal than people understand: it's the rebirth of industrial labor relations circa 1920. Our ignorance about the H-1B visa program is being used to unfairly limit wages and steal — yes, steal — jobs from U.S. citizens."

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If Americans cannot compete with non Americans... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781421)

Americans have MORE opportunities than non Americans for education (they have the entire American market, and are free to study for 4 years to attempt to secure a seat in top colleges around the world (India needs 4 years prep, selection ratio of about 200k for 2500 seats in IIT's, other countries are probably better off))
Why are they unable to compete other that sheer incompetence and laziness?

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (5, Insightful)

beamin (23709) | about 2 years ago | (#41781451)

Willingness to accept substandard wages?

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781535)

Is this really true? I have yet to find a single example of someone on an H1-B and is being paid below the average. I myself am paid at par with my American colleagues. One of my friends does contracting work and is paid roughly 50% more than me.

Or are you getting confused with outsourcing?

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#41781733)

I myself am paid at par with my American colleagues.

...and that's the problem. If $MEGACORP can get employees for a lower price by way of H1-B, then the local people trying to get a job there are forced to accept the same lower wage, or they don't get the job.

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41781817)

Otherwise known as a fair market wage?

Whoever's writing as Cringly is just being racist here. There's no moral wrong when a non-American gets an "American job", whether through immigraiton or offshoring. Everyone deserves to compete for any job, without prefernce given by race or place of birth.

Sure, I'd personally like to see all the cool developer jobs reserved for somewhat overweight middle-aged white guys, but that's because I'm a greedy bastard, not because it would be some kind of moral virtue!

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (4, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41781753)

When I was a H1B, I was the highest paid member of the team, at a Fortune 100 company.

Now that I'm not a H1B, I'm still the highest member paid.

This is a net benefit to me, and to the country, IMO.

[obviously, I'm the highest paid because I'm damned good, not because they like to pay me more than anyone else for no reason]

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41781719)

Willingness to accept substandard wages?

I'm not sure the Chinese guy with an H-1B would agree with your definition of "substandard". I think he must be over the moon about his new material prosperity.

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781499)

and are free to study for 4 years to attempt to secure a seat in top colleges around the world

Could you elaborate on what you meant by this?

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#41781549)

I suggest you read this [edweek.org] before you marvel at the opportunities Americans have for education.

You know why H1Bs threaten American jobs? Because they mainly come from countries where education is better and free, so they come better educated and debt-free. Debt-free people accept lower wages and employers prefer people with a better education.

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781813)

"where education is better"

If this is true why do we have a major influx of foreign students studying in US universities?

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781849)

If this is true why do we have a major influx of foreign students studying in US universities?

They weren't smart enough for IIT so they had to settle for MIT.

Re:If Americans cannot compete with non Americans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781653)

May have something to do with the fact that most Americans don't live in slums with open sewers, on a salary of a few hundred dollars a year.

Here here! Well said. (2, Interesting)

Maximalist (949682) | about 2 years ago | (#41781431)

This needs more attention. Congress needs to be forced to think about this.

Re:Here here! Well said. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781577)

Yes, taking the cream of the crop of foreigners who you don't have to pay for their education or upbringing and having them work in tech or science fields is terrible economics. A mediocre American who the government has to subsidize $200k for education is such a better investment.

By the way, how many H-1Bs were issued last year? 65,000. Out of a labor force of 150 million.

This is just xenophobia.

Re:Here here! Well said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781625)

You're assuming that the foreigner is the cream of the crop, that the American is mediocre, and that unemployed (or even underemployed) citizens don't cost the government anything.

Re:Here here! Well said. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781741)

An unemployed citizen isn't going to cost the government nearly as much as raising and educating a citizen to the level to work in a tech or science field. And this foreigner will almost certainly become a citizen. In effect, an H-1B allows the US to steal the valuable labor and contributions to society from another country.

From my experience, the people who oppose H-1Bs tend to be very xenophobic. Have a conversation with them and soon it will digress to topics like self-deportation or worse.

Re:Here here! Well said. (4, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#41781729)

Read the article. there are about 700k H1-Bs in the US today

Re:Here here! Well said. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781661)

I agree! I don't want to have to compete, I want protectionist policies to ensure that I never have to work hard because I deserve everything to be handed to me. That's the only logical way.

Re:Here here! Well said. (4, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 2 years ago | (#41781681)

Are you kidding me? Congress has lost its goddamned mind and now works for the "job creators" who complain about a shortage of cheap labor. There's plenty of domestic labor in this country, its just not being considered because it has the audacity to ask for a living wage. I swear, the rich want to drag us back to the gilded age.

Re:Here here! Well said. (0, Troll)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41781847)

No one deserves a "living wage" or any wage except what someone is willing to pay. No one deserves anything from another, except to be left alone when desired. It's on you to gain some skill that others need so much that they'll pay well for it!

Government abuse, too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781439)

I've known even the Federal government to use H1B visas to employ virtual slaves at reduced cost who will be deported if they don't perform.

Probably true ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41781443)

There isn't a shortage of labor, there's a shortage of cheap labor.

Industry just wants to keep making massive amounts of money, but pay their staff less than the salaries the market created.

Re:Probably true ... (2)

robot5x (1035276) | about 2 years ago | (#41781629)

exactly. This is the globalised capitalist dream we all signed up to. I can imagine that big corps don't give a fuck about american jobs, or british jobs or ANY kind of jobs. As long as there is cheap labour somewhere they can practically utilise, and their target market is either wealthy enough or has enough access to credit, to be able to buy their products en masse they will be happy.

Of course even middle-class americans don't really have the disposable income to afford many of the stuff popular in consumer culture - but a cynical government can easily relax lending regulations if they need to make sure money keeps spinning around this house of card economy. Sound familiar?

Re:Probably true ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781663)

Here is a list of H1B salary wages: http://www.h1bwage.com/index.php

Could you please point out a couple of examples where you think the wages are below par?

Re:Probably true ... (1)

Alan Shutko (5101) | about 2 years ago | (#41781751)

Well, the going rates for software engineers in Monmouth Junction, NJ are a lot higher than this:

ORION SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS, INC PROGRAMMER ANALYST
$60,000
2011-05-09

Re:Probably true ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781685)

There isn't a shortage of labor, there's a shortage of cheap labor.

Industry just wants to keep making massive amounts of money, but pay their staff less than the salaries the market created.

Erm, sort of. 'Industry' (read:corporations) currently owe everything to investors. The prevalent philosophy in business seems to be "profits for the shareholders at all costs". In the short run this makes for a lot of happy investors. In the long run this makes for slave labor.

 

Yep. I wrote it. SLAVE LABOR.

Call it whatever you want but hiring people to work in THIS country but paying them less than it costs to live in this country is a form of slavery. I'm sure the proponents of the H1-B visa program, the ultra-low minimum wage, and all of the other programs to pay people as little as possible would argue that 'as long as people are paid it isn't slavery', but come on! At what point do you start paying your employees in food stamps and section-8 housing vouchers so you can cut out the middle-man? When do we (as in 'we the people') finally say people shouldn't live like this just for the sake of profit?

If humans have a 'right to life' as so many of the Republicans like to say, then they have a right to earn a decent living. If corporations can't pay employees what they should then maybe it's time we did a mercy killing on the corporations. People before profits.

Re:Probably true ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781709)

There is no shortage of cheap labor. Assuming that the premise of your argument holds water (I disagree), then if you can't bring the heads you need in cheaply, you should instead figure out how to outsource entire departments. Sounds stupid, no?

However, wages for H-1B workers are illegal if they're lower than what would normally be paid to an American working in the same position. Stop making the H-1B program the boogeyman. If it's being abused, go after the abusers.

Re:Probably true ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781713)

Not just in the IT world. In the construction industry I was pretty much able to demand $30/hr and the employers wouldn't even bat an eye. Now days I am expected to work for roughly 60% less because Julio will, plus he doesn't have any kind of Visa and the money he makes gets sent back to Mexico so his family can pay to sneak over here as well. And don't start calling me a racist. I grew up with Mexicans(and they like the term "Mexican" not "latino" or "hispanic") and they hate these guys just as much as I do.

This article is ridiculous. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781449)

This article fails to even mention that H-1B visas are dual intent - green card applications are common for H-1B visa holders, and many large tech companies encourage green card application as an employee retention mechanism.

Re:This article is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781655)

Many large tech companies would tell an employee that it rained hundred dollar bills every 20 years if it kept their employees placated. But that doesn't mean that they aren't full of ****.

so what? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781457)

Jobs shouldn't have a nationality and national boundries are overrated anyway.

Re:so what? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#41781507)

Jobs dont have a boundary, jobs in a country do. If you want to hire a cheap programmer then fine, open your office in india and hire a staff to support the office and hire the programmer. What they want is to hire cheap labor in a specific country, where the average rate of pay for that position is much higher then what they want to pay

I'm surprised (5, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#41781463)

That this isn't common knowledge, corporations are trying to return us to 1800's regulation, it isn't just the H1B's, it's every facet of the larger corporations.

Most become US citizens though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781477)

So there are a lot of these H-1B visa holders I know of in the health care industry that the program is a wedge that opens the door for them to become US citizens. Does it really take away jobs from US citizens if those H-1B holders become US citizens eventually?

Re:Most become US citizens though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781701)

Uh, yes. Just because they eventually become a citizen doesn't mean that the H1-B hasn't caused a citizen to go without that job in the meantime.

Re:Most become US citizens though (3, Interesting)

cob666 (656740) | about 2 years ago | (#41781839)

In the tech industry? I would be surprised if more than a small percentage actually became citizens. Based on my experience, every H-1B employee I've ever worked with (~ 25) left the country after their visa expired.

THEY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781481)

DEY TOOUK ERRR JERBBBBZ

Without making light of the situation, this is not cool. They abuse this "looking for jobs from other countries" for even entry level jobs that require NO training other than on the spot in person on grounds training. They can get them over on a visa, and since those people would never make anything near what our minimum wage is, they have no issues taking minimum wage, and "staying" at minimum wage by the companies.

Pure profiteering, screw the locals!

Re:THEY (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41781811)

Pure profiteering, screw the locals!

I suppose you're a Native American/Amerindian/whatever they are called today. If not, please excuse me while I'm savoring the irony of former immigrants/former immigrants' kids despising the new immigrants.

what is the average H1-B wage? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781483)

what is the average H1-B wage?

I don't think H1-b workers are cheap, plus the Visa+lawyer fees

Re:what is the average H1-B wage? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | about 2 years ago | (#41781523)

Ask yourself why large corporations would want to have more H1-B visas.

Re:what is the average H1-B wage? (3, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41781667)

That is easy to answer. They are paid the same as Americans. However, for the most part, they are much more supplicant. In other words, they'll kiss their boss' ass and we know how much they love that. There is a fear that they will be fired and forced to return home.

Re:what is the average H1-B wage? (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41781689)

The law says prevailing wage... but it is never enforced.

Immigration Is Good (5, Interesting)

GeneralSecretary (1959616) | about 2 years ago | (#41781487)

If they weren't working in the US they would be doing the same work for US companies overseas. Visas allow the workers to work here where they also contribute more to the US economy as well as US society. They might also start companies and create jobs. True, wages may fall in the short-term, but having a larger educated and working population will help us in the long run.

Re:Immigration Is Good (1)

platypusfriend (1956218) | about 2 years ago | (#41781537)

If they weren't working in the US they would be doing the same work for US companies overseas. Visas allow the workers to work here where they also contribute more to the US economy as well as US society. They might also start companies and create jobs. True, wages may fall in the short-term, but having a larger educated and working population will help us in the long run.

Does that scale to the point where there are no more whites in America? I'm not claiming that case to be good or bad, by the way; I'm claiming it as a thought exercise.

Re:Immigration Is Good (2, Insightful)

codeAlDente (1643257) | about 2 years ago | (#41781799)

In your thought exercise, are whites allowed to immigrate to America?

Re:Immigration Is Good (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41781539)

They might also start companies and create jobs. True, wages may fall in the short-term, but having a larger educated and working population will help us in the long run.

Not really. Under the visa, they can only stay a few years.

In the long term, you're training foreign nationals to do your jobs, and then take that knowledge with them.

Competing with India for wages in the long term is a losing proposition ... they have vastly more room to go up, than you do down.

I'm willing to bet of the 500,000 or so tech workers with H1B visas, there's almost as many of your own citizens in the same field who are out of work. This is just a cheap labor pool for corporations, and short term benefits.

Re:Immigration Is Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781687)

You are not taking the quality of labor into account. You are assuming that every American worker, and Every H-1B worker is identical and similarly qualified and capable.

In technology at least, there is a huge variance in the abilities and circumstances of each individual. To claim that 500,000 American's are out of work in the tech industry and that it is because there are 500,000 H1B holders working in the US does not make sense. It is possible that these 500,000 americans are in places where the jobs aren't located, or they are trained in technologies that are no longer relevant, or they are really bad at doing interviews, not very good at interviews, or a number of other things.

The point is an american tech company tries to get the best workers it can at the cheapest possible price. Just like you try to get the best product you can at the cheapest possible price. Americans who shop at Walmart cannot then come back and complain that Walmart sources it's products.

Re:Immigration Is Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781643)

If they weren't working in the US they would be doing the same work for US companies overseas. Visas allow the workers to work here where they also contribute more to the US economy as well as US society.

That's a fallacy. They may work for non-US corporations in their country of origin. They may become entrepreneurs in their country of origin. They may not work at all. Its a straw man, and looking at granting Visas through that lens isn't productive.

They might also start companies and create jobs. True, wages may fall in the short-term, but having a larger educated and working population will help us in the long run.

The bolded is not true. "H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. H-1B aliens may work for more than one US employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer."

People who've start companies and create jobs aren't H-1B Visa holders, they've immigrated.

Re:Immigration Is Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781647)

Also, keep in mind that the majority bitching about H1B's forget that private businesses are in charge with whom they hire/fire.

You don't like it, start your own company or work for a company that doesn't hire H1B's.

Disclaimer: I am a very qualified foreigner and my skill set surpasses most of my American peers' at my work place. And yes, I will work for much less if I will be given the promise of a green card. I don't consider myself a slave. This is the rule of the game. You don't know what I'm talking about? Ask your grand-grand parents.

Re:Immigration Is Good (0, Troll)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41781697)

Hey1

Careful where you sling that truth!

This is slashdot where reason and the truth almost count for nothing...

Re:Immigration Is Good (5, Interesting)

aeortiz (1498977) | about 2 years ago | (#41781721)

Visas allow the workers to work here where they also contribute more to the US economy as well as US society. They might also start companies and create jobs.

I agree with General Secretary.

Anecdotal evidence:

I'm a Honduran who won a college scholarship to study in the US, but forced to return to Latin America immediately after graduation (1998). I now live in Mexico, and work as a consultant. Often I'm hired to do work for US firms, and am paid less than half of what I would be in the US. But since this is Latin America, these wages let me live comfortably in the middle class.

I've since got my master's degree, and dream about starting a company someday. But I hesitate to return to the US. If I did, because of my ethnicity and birth country, many would think I stole their job. But isn't the US a meritocracy? What about the American dream?

Union Talk (2, Insightful)

number17 (952777) | about 2 years ago | (#41781501)

This sounds like union talk as they are against H-1B visas. Unions are bad therefore H-1B visas must be good. Remember, if you don't want to get paid the same wage as an H-1B then get another job as there is somebody else in line!!

Re:Union Talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781591)

Unions are bad ? Can you elaborate ?

Re:Union Talk (1, Interesting)

timjones (78467) | about 2 years ago | (#41781659)

For most companies, it's all about competing on COST instead of QUALITY of work. Example: A lot of internal-corporate software is now written in Java, instead of a better, more efficient language simply because the cheapest engineers have been trained in Java, to the exclusion of everything else.

Re:Union Talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781669)

Actually it's all about fairness. I'm all for H1-B visas provided they get paid the same prevailing wage as a US citizen. Of course that won't happen as it destroys the reason for hiring H1-B candidates in the first place.

Puzzling.. (5, Informative)

xtal (49134) | about 2 years ago | (#41781519)

I'm a Canadian, and I guess, a reasonably talented EE. One avenue not mentioned is the TN-class visa; same general idea, but yearly renewable. (Canada/Mexico)

The process to actually _immigrate_ to the US is a real pain and very lengthy. So much that the logical extension is that they don't want skilled immigration on a permanent basis - at least from Canada. However, exporting work from the US is made very easy.

What's the problem with opening it up? Why not just find a way to document, all the undocumented? Am I missing something?

Re:Puzzling.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781737)

In theory, opening it up is fine.

In practice, there are 2 issues that need addressing.

1) the US is a melting pot (not a salad bowl like the libs would make it). If you dump in too much new metal into a melting pot, the whole thing freezes up. So you need to make sure new metal (people) come in at a rate than can be absorbed. Obviously high skilled people can integrate easier - they're the equivalent of metal that's pre-heated, so you can add more of them than you can high school dropouts.

2) We all learned in Kindergarten (or earlier) to wait our turn in line. This simple rule that helps everyone get along seems to be lost on the "undocumented" - or as they're more accurately called the "criminals".

As far as H1-B visas go, at least the job is still here where I can compete for it. Anyone tried to get a job in India? (Good Luck).
My company has a design center in India- started in no small part because they literally could not get people hired here. My manager relates tales of new college grads walking into an interview and asking "What's your path to millionaire?", and if they weren't given one they'd just leave. (Dot-Com bubble days, not recently - but that's when they started the center in India).

Re:Puzzling.. (0)

Ossifer (703813) | about 2 years ago | (#41781831)

I would support joining our friends to the north in an free/open labor market à la the European Union. Hell, even a common currency. We have similar economies, education, labor markets, etc. There wouldn't be any flood of canucks southward, or yanks northward. I would even support this with our friends to the south, once their economy is on par with US/Canada.

H1-B has nothing to do with your jobs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781531)

For the software industry leaders, H1-Bs are used for bringing in MSc's, Ph.Ds, and other top talent from other countries. Ordinary IT jobs aren't at stake because that type of job is beneath them.

Re:H1-B has nothing to do with your jobs (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41781677)

You're talking about what the visas were originally designed to do, not about what they are really used for.

On a CNN discussion of this years ago (when they would actually discuss such things... they don't anymore because H1Bs fit their corporate agenda) they admitted that they hired journalists on H1B visas. Sorry.. that doesn't fit with the intent. And that's just a trivial example.

Re:H1-B has nothing to do with your jobs (5, Informative)

Ossifer (703813) | about 2 years ago | (#41781777)

I have worked in the software industry since 1984. Not once did I meet an H1-B who was MS, PhD, or other top talent. Every single one of them has been ordinary software engineering jobs. I have witnessed how companies make fake jobs ads that cater to the specific person, and HR admitting they automatically pay H1Bs $10k less because they can...

Global market for labor needed (2, Interesting)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 2 years ago | (#41781547)

If there is a global market on the price of oil, why is there not one for labor? Is it because global high tech customers see employees as worth less than western/US counterparts? I suspect no. People should all be treated equally and not be discriminated based on nationality.

Re:Global market for labor needed (5, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41781739)

Thank you, cyberspittle, for volunteering to have your salary equaled out with the world average in your field. Since I presume you're in the first world, this will mean about an 80% pay cut for you. Please report to your employer Monday and inform them of your noble sacrifice. And God Bless You, cyberspittle!

Re:Global market for labor needed (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41781771)

Because you want to keep a standard of living higher than somewhere else.

People aren't objects. There are more considerations there. I've seen the "compete" meme here on Slashdot for years, but it's meaningless. The only way to compete with slaves is to become one.

You might be absolutely correct to say that the marketplace would iron out the difference, but that isn't ethical in the same way that using experimental drugs aren't ethical. You would be ruining the lives of a certain number of people and we value human life (and his/her quality of life) above the existence of objects. At least we used to...

Re:Global market for labor needed (1)

Ossifer (703813) | about 2 years ago | (#41781853)

I agree on principle, but not in terms of practicality. At the current time this would result in great social upheaval.

Joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781555)

I wish the editors at ./ would have their jobs stolen so we would not have to read this socialist drivel.

Re:Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781765)

I for one welcome our communist-drivel-spouting overlords!

Oh Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781569)

The whole US economy is based on exploiting an underclass of labour. Currently mostly Mexican.
H-1B is at least somewhat transparent on what it is trying to accomplish.

Protectionist propaganda (5, Interesting)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 2 years ago | (#41781571)

This is a recurrent topic on Slashdot. I will not pretend I know how it's done in every single company but, as an H1B I have:
- paid the same amount of taxes as citizens in my company - had the same wages (even higher actually) as citizens - had the same access to healthcare as citizens - created an extra legal cost to my employers for maintaining my immigration status - not worked more (at least hours-wise) than citizens

The BLS (bls.gov) regulary publishes a list of the jobs with the most potential on the market. There is a lack in STEM. It's a fact (unless BLS is conspiring against the people, this is Slashdot after all).


In my field there are roughly 20% of citizens that fill positions, in any given company. Not sure why. Maybe head over to the engineering department of a big university and see who's attending and getting top grades. You have a sh*tton of people from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and also now Latin America, working their asses off. Not many Americans... no they're all at the Business School learning 1- blah 2- blah 3- profit. Let's fix that first, then complain.


signed: former H1B, now permanent resident, one day citizen



Oh, and obligatory: "I took yer jerb".

Re:Protectionist propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781759)

Thank you, I fully agree.

Re:Protectionist propaganda (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41781823)

signed: former H1B, now permanent resident, one day citizen

An unbiased opinion, I'm sure...

Re:Protectionist propaganda (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781835)

Yes you get paid the same as me...but I get paid less because you are desperate to stay here and will accept a shitty offer.

Re:Protectionist propaganda -- not really (4, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 2 years ago | (#41781837)

Not *every* company using H1B is doing it for evil reasons. But some of the larger ones certainly seem to be. I have seen "help wanted" ads posted looking for Masters' degree in Comp Sci with some extremely specific qualifications and ridiculously low salary. I refuse to believe that there are not any US citizens who could do that job. I doubt anyone who went through a US university could afford to take it, though.

Re:Protectionist propaganda (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#41781855)

Recurring topics on Slashdot are surprisingly consistent. Like, piracy.

People feel they're entitled to jobs, and so the job going to someone else is them STEALING their jobs. Really?

People feel they're entitled to entertainment that they can copy without direct, immediate impact on the produces of said entertainment (i.e. the original producer isn't involved in the copy), and so it's not STEALING to download music and movies and not pay for them. Really?

The reality is somebody else started that business, they make the product, and those damn Mexicans--shitty workers they may be--are actually getting the jobs and doing the work and accepting the lower pay. Stop being so entitled to a $25/hour salary and take $15/hr like a Mexican and you can work, IF the company doesn't feel like hiring non-domestic workers anyway because--face it--it's their company. A US decision to tariff outsourcing and the like would be an ECONOMIC decision, but not a matter of whether or not you or anyone else is entitled to a job; it's a matter of overall health of the local economy and of economic sustainability, and Joe Plumber can pound sand. Any benefit to the American's ability to get a job is a side-effect of an effort to improve the American economy (which would have such implications, yes).

Piracy is the same issue. If nobody paid for music, well... nobody would make music anymore. Before recorded music, musicians made their living on their music, on performance. Now there's so many more musicians, you can't make a living playing banjo sitting on the street corner and a bard's no use carrying tales from one place to another.

Re:Protectionist propaganda (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41781857)

Maybe head over to the engineering department of a big university and see who's attending and getting top grades. You have a sh*tton of people from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and also now Latin America, working their asses off. Not many Americans... no they're all at the Business School learning 1- blah 2- blah 3- profit. Let's fix that first, then complain.

I'd like to see some stats on that, actually, given that it's diametrically opposite from my own experience (graduated two years ago). EE and CS maybe, but all the other engineering disciplines, including my own Mechanical, were overwhelmingly American natives. The foreign students seemed to flock to pre-med.

Potential difference (4, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41781587)

Wage arbitrage now was caused by labor mobility barriers set up in the past.

Lesson: Don't set up a large potential difference if you don't want to get a big shock arcing through down the road.

*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781593)

There is absolutely nothing new in this article. A cursory look at Wikipedia tells me that these criticisms and studies have existed for almost a decade. This article is only trying to get pageviews with sensationalized headline.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781769)

It's Cringely. What did you expect?

H1-B (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41781597)

The problem is that if you don't grant H1-Bs the companies will pretty much move operations offshore if they are large enough to support that sort of operation.

With H1-Bs you at least keep the tax revenues in the US.

The *really* bad aspect of this is that it weakens US educational institutions. With these people coming into the US it discourages US citizens from going after these sorts of technical degrees in the US. That's got all sorts of negative effects.

Perhaps one sort of H1-B visa that would be less damaging overall is the type that is granted to foreign students holding a degree from a US university.

Re:H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781679)

How is the federal government going to move its operations offshore?

Re:H1-B (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781819)

he problem is that if you don't grant H1-Bs the companies will pretty much move operations offshore

No they won't. You think *management* wants to move to some shithole country where you can't drink the water, to keep an eye on things. No, they want to bring the slaves here, where they get all the benefit of a first-world country but still can get away with paying wages way below first-world standards. Win-win for them. Lose-lose for anyone looking for a decent non-slave job.

H1-B fake jobs: an annoyance for job seekers too (5, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41781605)

H1B's are not only artificially driving down wages and generally screwing over American programmers, engineers, etc., but they are also a blight on the job market for another reason: fake jobs.

There are a LOT of fake job ads are out there right now that employers are only posting so they can run crying to Congress and the Labor Dept. later, claiming that they can't get enough "qualified applicants" (and to beg for more H1B visas). You know, that ad that asks for a programmer with 20+ years of Java programming experience, or with qualifications so specific that it HAS to be tailored to a specific H1B candidate, or that asks for an experienced programmer with a salary range of $30,000-$35,000, or that never seems to get filled no matter how many qualified people apply? These are the jobs that colleges cite when they try to sucker in new programming and CS students, that applicants waste valuable time and effort on, and that create an artificially rosy appearance of the technical job market. They make it look like there are way more jobs than workers out there (that's what they're designed to do), when in reality the REAL job market is a lot more dismal, especially for newbies. They're a blight for honest job seekers, and a tool for the dishonest to use to con Congress, the Labor Dept., and desperate potential students.

Re:H1-B fake jobs: an annoyance for job seekers to (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41781749)

There are a LOT of fake job ads are out there right now that employers are only posting so they can run crying to Congress and the Labor Dept. later, claiming that they can't get enough "qualified applicants" (and to beg for more H1B visas). You know, that ad that asks for a programmer with 20+ years of Java programming experience, or with qualifications so specific that it HAS to be tailored to a specific H1B candidate,

There is another reason for this type of advert: Labor Certification in support of a green card application. Making the ads too specific isn't actually allowed, but I have no doubt that it happens.

Re:H1-B fake jobs: an annoyance for job seekers to (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#41781851)

This video [youtube.com] sums it up pretty nicely. Posting fake job ads, claim there aren't enough qualified local folk to fill this job, then claim an H1-B is necessary!

"What's our goal here? Well our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified U.S. worker. That sounds funny, but that's what we're trying to do here!"

Quite true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781615)

I came here on from India an H1B and am a citizen now. While I got lucky and escaped abuse by chnanging employers, it was pretty common for these H1B sponsors to plan layoffs around visas. The more egregious issue was around Green Card though. The GC process was non-portable then. Companies would encourate folks to file GC ASAP and then slow walk the labor approval, resulting in poor saps stuck in low-paying positions for 7-9 years, even as they took on greater responsibilities and played bigger and better roles. They were little more than bonded laborers, essentially working on far lower pay than equivalent US employees.

There is no need to have so many H1Bs and if they do forge ahead, insist on providing 100% easy and transparent job portability to those who are sponsored. Then, just watch the demand dry up.

The situation might be different in a hotbed like Silicon Valley but even there you should compare the H1B salary and employment length to those of citizens.

counter-intutive for congress oldsters. (2, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41781657)

It's is a real uphill battle for congresscritters, especially the long time reps, to understand this.

Post WWII until maybe mid-80s I think it might have been a valid belief that doing whatever helps the biggest corporations will automagicly help the economy. I think high speed communications invalidates this idea completely.

In other words, it used to be that if a company grew that it would force them to help the individuals that needs jobs. If that ever was the case it isn't so now. So pouring money and tax breaks into a big company does nothing but enrich the few people at the top of that chain because they can just as easily hire someone offshore.

I don't think people in Congress understand this. And it extends to H1Bs, because if they get the "smart" immigrants then it means more domestic jobs under similar logic. I think many reps in Congress probably want to help their local constituents but haven't been able to break out of this logic. Look at how dumb our legislation with tech is... it falls in the same category of ignorance.

Again, I think there are some that just don't care if they are helping normal joes or not. Personally I thin Romney falls into that camp.

Well you forgot the other half of the equation no? (2)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 2 years ago | (#41781695)

What about higher COSTS for business which get passed on to ALL consumers? And don't cry me a river about corporate profits as I suggest you go look to see what is in your 401k or other retirement plan - public or private. The sad reality is that the US can no longer command the wages it once could, whether thats in tech or in digging ditches.

Cringley is right IF the labor statistics are too. (1)

109 97 116 116 (191581) | about 2 years ago | (#41781723)

If the labor statistics on unemployment are to be believed, and I'm rather sure we have worse unemployment than the labor statistics show, Cringley is correct in his assertions. I know so many slashdotters get all emotional about national borders being irrelevant in a perfect world, and fairness in employment across the world being a great thing in their logical minds, and I agree for the most part, logically at least, but as of now we are working in a system where we still have national borders. Central governments still DO take care of their populations currently, (some better than others) and there is no current world fixture in place to assure society functions properly across these borders. So within these known constraints we still must do right by our own nation's citizens currently first. Unfortunately we are not, and I would like to see foreign programs like this cut back and eliminated based upon employment statistics.

Make a job (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781725)

Anyone that feels they are entitled to a job is a fool that doesn't deserve a moment of my time. The idea that someone could "steal" your job is silly. You find a job, you create a job, you work for a job, but never are you entitled to a job. If we want to hurt our economy to help those less entrepreneurial to have jobs so be it. It worked for the automotive industry. Taxes, tariffs, and quotas are a fools way to pretend to stay competitive.

Skepticism of immigration and diversity (5, Interesting)

hessian (467078) | about 2 years ago | (#41781727)

I know this is an unpopular topic, but I see that throughout history that diversity -- of any form: religious, ethnic, cultural, racial -- has failed wherever it has been tried because it offers people a choice between having no culture or being ostracized for maintaining a cultural identity.

Immigration seems to be popular with the construction industry, cheap labor employers, and serf-masters like the big Silicon Valley companies. Cheap lawn mowing and cheap software production are high on their agendas. However, it's not really working in that this country continues to have clashes between value systems, including those rooted in culture, and increasingly, between our lack of values and anyone who does have cultural values.

Can anyone name a time and place in which diversity has thrived? It seems like all of our accounts come from a couple centuries later when the experiment has failed, and left behind a culturally-confused third world nation.

Perhaps instead of just walking lock-step with the rest of the herd, we should think independently about this issue, and unlike the rest of our society, question whether it's a good thing at all.

Is there really an accute shortage of US talent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781745)

Or just cheap US talent?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU&feature=youtu.b

Heard it all before (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781747)

Hey that sounds familiar... the guy's pretty much parroting the stuff that European far right nationalists / would-be fascists vomit out every time they need more votes. Oh no we're losing jobs and money to those dirty rotten immigrants (which invariably are anyone who is NOT a white anglo-saxon)! You'll learn to shut out the droning soon enough.

San Jose (2)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 2 years ago | (#41781757)

Is anyone really surprised with this report? I know people who have worked as "contractors" with H1 B and if you ever see the way these IT contracting companies exploit the system, you will be shocked. It is a machinery in place in pretty much all of California and North East where folks that cannot get jobs here apply. Once they get in, they are given a quick training on some IT stuff and then their resumes are modified to make them look like "experts" in that area. After that they are fitted into companies mostly banks in NE and big companies like Cisco/IBM ( because there they are just 1 in a hundreds of thousands of employees and no one cares how they got in.) by way of contracting. Half of their pay is docked by the contract firms as part of the agreement and they are not given any health benefits. But hey, with even what those people make, they somehow still survive. They would rather be here than go back!

Seeking a Better Life (2, Funny)

Baldrson (78598) | about 2 years ago | (#41781763)

The solution to the H-1b abuse problem is to simply evict corporations from the US. Outsource not only IBM's programmers, but their entire executive suite and board of directors. The political zeitgeist of immigration is basically that no nation has a right to its territory when there are people elsewhere -- even if numbering in the billions -- that want to "seek a better life". Why not take the "better life" to them where they live? GIVE them IBM, HP, et al and good riddance.

There is a shortage (3, Insightful)

popsensation (1405041) | about 2 years ago | (#41781773)

I disagree with this article. I believe there a shortage of developers. I know there are cited studies but in my experience there is a serious shortage of developers in the USA. Being part of the industry for ten years now I've never seen a time where a developer was unemployed for any reason other then personal choice. Tucson, for example, has been steadily adding/employing about 100 additional programmers each year while graduating 90 (most of whom immediately relocate). High paying software jobs sit unfilled for months, in some cases years at Ratheon, UofA, IBM, and many more places.

Skilled labour and the H1B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781779)

While I'm hardly an expert in the area I rather suspect a part of the problem is the utterly crap and overpriced education system in the US.

From what I've heard is that the generic collage isn't really appreciated atall. The expensive schools that are highly valued are extremely expensive. Not to mention you spend money on non-academic people for selecting students without money (Football).

So logically what happens is, you get a small sampling of random rich people, who might be stupid or intelligent, but unlikely to be very motivated, a few middle class who have managed to figure out a way to pay for it, a bunch of random athletes (who are unlikely to get interested in engineering), and a few gifted people, who have an elevated likelihood of being socially limited.

What you really should get is:
a) No idiots (academically ungifted)
b) No totally unmotivated (rich, or otherwise)
c) The generic academic student.
d) The gifted

I won't claim the Nordic model of free schools is optimal either, it rather creates long graduation times and wasted effort with dropouts, but merit should be valued over money. Or football.

Quoting "Red Skull" from the film (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781791)

"Captain America" -> "You wear a flag on your chest, and yet You *think* you fight a battle of nations! I have seen the future Captain - there are NO flags!" (he was right)...

* Insanity abounds... & loyalty + nationalism/patriotism with "taking care of your own" (U.S. Tax Paying Citizenry)? WTF is THAT??

APK

P.S.=> The REAL pity is, that IF our politicians weren't more than lapdogs to the "big money" that put them into office to do their bidding, they'd have told companies this:

"Want to do offshoring/outsourcing of U.S. Jobs? Fine! We'll do "laissez-faire" & LET you do it... but, as "good government"?? Well - we will take a GIANT SLICE of that 'profit pie' of yours in tax penalties - so much so, it will become UNPROFITABLE for you to do it... we're only doing this since your practices lessen good paying jobs (beyond minimum-wage hand-to-mouth pay), based on a falsehood (that there isn't sufficiently skilled talent in the USA)"

It'd make them STOP, cold, because it defeats "the machine" itself - which IS geared to constant growth & profits due to the stock market (biggest craptable in existence & the MAIN "profit-center" of the 1%'ers, who don't work for their money - their monies work FOR THEM!)...

(Of course, THAT will NEVER happen... ever! Not as long as the wealthy "run the show" but then again? They ALWAYS have!)

... apk

They outsourced my job, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781807)

...and that guy that took my job also jumped and committed suicide!

That could have been me at Foxconn!

Oh, wait...

The Jews, as usual, are behind this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41781825)

No, not the poor Jews! The TV (run by the JEWS) told me that Jews are eternal victims, and helpless. We are the evil ones for not wanting them in control of OUR country!

Mass immigration is genocide of white people, plain and simple.

The super rich want a slave population who are constantly fighting one another, and are not intelligent enough to see what is happening and rise up against their oppressors - who are the Jews.

Now mod me down for being 'full of hate', or 'hate' speech, or some other anti-intellectual bullshit which liberals come up with to deny their political opponents FREE SPEECH.

You try to deny others free speech because you know you're wrong.

If third worlders are so wonderful, then their countries should be better than ours, right? What a ridiculous joke this 'diversity' bullshit is - and guess who came up with it? Why, our friends, the Eternal Jews...

H1B keeps the job in USA (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41781833)

It is definitely true H1B visa reduces the wages in USA. But, it is too late to close the barn door because the horse has been stolen already.

Before the global infrastructure built up, before so much of investments were made by big companies in India, before many mid level execs have hitched their wagon to the out sourcing horse (which was stolen from the barn mentioned earlier), it might have been possible to reduce H1B and kept the job in USA.

But right now, if you reduce H1B, it is going to move the whole damned job to India. At least they (or us, because I am an ex H1B) work in USA, pay taxes in USA and spend most of their money in USA and save and invest in USA. The outsourced job lives, spends, invests and pays taxes in India.

I ran the rat race in India, and won it. And the prize was US Citizenship. I don't want my daughter fighting for jobs with the next generation of me who wins the rat race in India. But that makes me sound like the guy who dynamites the bridge after crossing it himself. This is quite complicated.

As Obama said in the third debate, "Some jobs are not coming back. They are low wage low skill jobs. I want high wage high skill jobs here", it would be great if we could make sure the jobs that were lost are all low wage low skill jobs and keep the high wage jobs here. Even if that means my daughter has to fight with the next generation rat-race winner from India.

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