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Senators Seek H-1B Cap That Can Reach 300,000

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the come-to-america-and-let-our-robots-replace-you dept.

Government 605

dcblogs writes "A bipartisan group of Senators is planning to introduce a bill that allows the H-1B visa cap to rise automatically with demand to a maximum of 300,000 visas annually. This 20-page bill, called the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 or the 'I-Squared Act of 2013,' is being developed by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.). It may be introduced next week. Presently, the U.S. has an H-1B visa cap of 65,000. There are another 20,000 H-1B visas set aside for advanced degree gradates of U.S. universities, for 85,000 in total. Under the new bill, the base H-1B cap would increase from 65,000 to 115,000. But the cap would be allowed to rise automatically with demand, according to a draft of the legislation."

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605 comments

Definition of a cap (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693115)

So what the hell use is a cap that rises with demand?

Re:Definition of a cap (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#42693143)

The same use as a "limited" copyright duration that extends on demand.

I.e. it's a lot of use to the scumbags that purchase these laws.

Re:Definition of a cap (4, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#42693165)

It's political lingo for removing the cap. You see, politicans know full well that people will buy whatever as long as the packaging is right. Thus the cap is, in reality, removed, but in words it remains.

I wish they did that to green card caps, though.

Re:Definition of a cap (4, Informative)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#42693557)

I wish they did that to green card caps, though.

Why bother? Not only won't they enforce immigration laws, they outright sue state and town PDs who attempt to do so to force them to stop.

Visas? Immigration? Meh, c'mon in, apply for welfare, and retire. Only those of us dumb enough to work for a living as natural born citizens have anything to complain about here.

Re:Definition of a cap (0)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about a year ago | (#42693715)

Why bother? Not only won't they enforce immigration laws, they outright sue state and town PDs who attempt to do so to force them to stop.

Source?

Re:Definition of a cap (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42693829)

The Feds most certainly enforce immigration law.

Although they do get cranky when local jurisdictions try to do their own crackdowns.

Re:Definition of a cap (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#42693923)

Why bother? Not only won't they enforce immigration laws, they outright sue state and town PDs who attempt to do so to force them to stop.

Source?

Arizona's S.B, 1070 might be a good place to start looking. The Feds argued before the Supreme Court that enforcing immigration laws was a Federal matter, and that States had no business trying to do so themselves.

The Feds mostly won, but lost on what was probably the most annoying aspect of the law ("your papers, please").

And several other States are having to go back to the drawing board to re-draft laws they want to put into place that would've mirrored the AZ law.

Re:Definition of a cap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693229)

Just like the debt ceiling, its not a ceiling, it just words for the mouth breathing socialists to mutter.

Re:Definition of a cap (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42693487)

So what the hell use is a cap that rises with demand?

This is government.

It raises its borrowing cap all the time.

They're just trying out this idea in other fields.

Watch out for when they start talking about a credibility cap - "We can lie this much..."

Re:Definition of a cap (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#42693801)

Watch out for when they start talking about a credibility cap - "We can lie this much..."

Unlikely to happen. The only people who would have to worry about such a cap would be the very ones to legislate such a cap.

Re:Definition of a cap (4, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | about a year ago | (#42693501)

So what the hell use is a cap that rises with demand?

What the hell use are immigration laws when people circumventing them are pardoned and granted citizenship?

negatory, cut them back, hard (5, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#42693147)

if you want to educate the next generation of IT workers in the US and have them stay here for their lives, adding to the economy, start cutting back on H1Bs now. it's just an excuse to in-shore cheaper help and shoo them away before they start complaining.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42693211)

With unemployment so high in the US as it is....they'd better sign off that EVERY US citizen potential employee is hired first....then start letting outsiders in.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693375)

Yea right, don't you get it. the bastards are pushing multiculturalism and don't give a shit about us Americans, black or white. the US and europe are being colonized as we speak, I sometimes think whites will be extinct in a few hundred years.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (5, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#42693529)

This isn't about "multiculturalism", nobody cares what nationality, color or religion they are. This is about keeping wages low. This is what it is always about. Cost and profit are what corporations do, they have no concept of anything else.

No more H1Bs, slavery was abolished a long time ago. If corporations truly cannot find qualified citizens (and I think they define that as capabilities/$), then I would allow them to sponsor a certain number of people for green cards. If avg. wages dropped the next year, I would not allow them to sponsor any at all. Then I would say anyone here on H1B may either apply for a green card, or serve the rest of his sentence and return home, but there would be no more H1Bs.

If this is truly about labor shortage, this process would work fine. But we know there's plenty of people out there who can do the job who are under/un-employed.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42693835)

If there weren't a shortage of developers, then programmers wouldn't commonly be making triple the median income.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42693383)

Why on earth would we want to do that? Historically our technological innovation has been driven domestically in part because we have such an open policy to immigrants. The space program was dramatically accelerated by accepting German immigrants. The Manhattan Project owes a lot to immigrants. Let's get our collective nationalist heads out of our asses and acknowledge that there are people around the world who are smarter than most unemployed Americans. Unemployment for those with Masters in computer science/engineering is in the low single digits.

Which would you rather happen: foreign talented developers to start their companies in Asia, Europe or South America or for them to be in the states and hopefully develop their idea in the states? Most tech startups are employees who work at Microsoft or Google and then leave to create their company. If they don't come to the US, their good ideas don't come with them and we lose the best ideas in the world because we're afraid a burger flipper won't somehow magically get a job at Google because of the big bad Indian who took his hypothetical job.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1, Informative)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about a year ago | (#42693431)

Theres a seperate program for these people, like the german immigrants, who get in with green cards much faster.

H1-Bs are the IT equivalent of on-shore sweat-shops only they're legal.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#42693457)

The space program was dramatically accelerated by accepting German immigrants.

Try again. We didn't accept them, we captured them. We got Von Braun and the other Nazis and had them work for us. Our rockets kept exploding but it was the Nazis, with their usual efficiency, who got us on the right track and took us to the moon.

Obligatory XCDK comic [xkcd.com]

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42693465)

We're not talking about importing cream of the crop folks. No Einsteins or Von Brauns. We're talking about entry level programmers and tech flunkies.

Sure, there are good people in that pile - that really isn't the point. The issue is that the transnational corporations are trying to drive down costs (and drive up profits) irrespective of the local damage caused. They can go elsewhere, after all.

All it takes is getting a few cheap whores^Hpoliticians to do their bidding. Just the price of business.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1)

Zephyn (415698) | about a year ago | (#42693533)

Why on earth would we want to do that? Historically our technological innovation has been driven domestically in part because we have such an open policy to immigrants. The space program was dramatically accelerated by accepting German immigrants. The Manhattan Project owes a lot to immigrants. Let's get our collective nationalist heads out of our asses and acknowledge that there are people around the world who are smarter than most unemployed Americans.

And such people with exceptional abilities are granted O-1A visas, not H1-Bs.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#42693555)

H1Bs aren't the only way to do that. We have green cards for immigration. If those green cards aren't going to the right places, fix that problem.

But the corporate world doesn't like green cards, green card means "can compete on wages".

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693731)

Not sure if you're trolling...There's a huge difference between PhD holding nuclear physicists selectively brought here to work on projects and the average immigrants who by and large are un-educated racists who showed up for the free hand outs stupid white guilt liberals keep doling out at tax payer expense.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (5, Insightful)

irenaeous (898337) | about a year ago | (#42693817)

You are completely correct. But I hope you understand that the H-1B scam does not do this. H-1B workers are not immigrants. The H-1B program is badly abused to the determent of American workers. Slashdot has covered this before [slashdot.org].

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693869)

accepting German immigrants

That is categorically untrue. A small handful of scientists helped the U.S. space program. And
the circumstances were much different. Not the thousands you imply.

Here's the problem. People are claiming racism if you complain about H1-B, but fact of the matter is
that they accept sub-standard wages for the same job a domestic would perform. How? They live
multiple families to a home. Yes, I know that they do because I work with them.

If you're okay with adopting their culture to your own life, taking a significant pay cut, then board
up with your neighbours and you'll be able to compete with them in the job market.

But, it's not against the person to exploit the entitlement given to them by our government; I'd take free money if it was offered...

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (2, Interesting)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42693447)

With unemployment so high in the US as it is....they'd better sign off that EVERY US citizen potential employee is hired first....then start letting outsiders in.

That's just silly. You are saying you would not import one single programmer until every single American who has no aptitude at programming has a programming job.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42693887)

...except we aren't really "importing" anyone.

We are just creating indentured servants. If this law were really allowing genuine importation of talent, there would be far lot fewer objections.

Temporary cheap scab labor for relatively low skill jobs does little to enhance anything except the wealth of the 1%.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#42693871)

With unemployment so high in the US as it is....they'd better sign off that EVERY US citizen potential employee is hired first....then start letting outsiders in.

Absolutely why the H1-B Visa program is a major problem. H1-B's work cheaper than similarly skilled citizens, and so are preferred by employers. In turn it will keep those otherwise employable American IT workers on unemployment. This legislation should be treated as an assault on the US citizens that it is.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693217)

Is there any organized group attempting to do that?

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42693233)

Agreed. Seriously reduce H1Bs and offer them citizenship if they agree to stick around for 10 years.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42693283)

People that are not of the "corporate class" (hint: this doesn't include workers in corporations... this is the CEO & Executive class) have, for all intents and purposes, NO VOICE in lawmaking.

Why are there so many people that don't see this as a problem?

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693751)

Legislators are overwhelmingly lawyers, with only a few businessmen thrown in (so it's not exactly "the corporate class", albeit big business lobbies to get what they want). IMHO, we could do with a lot more researchers, engineers, healthcare professionals, and such in congress. But, I suppose that's an artifact of the system, where lawyers have the baseline knowledge and may get a pay raise for going into politics, while other professionals don't have that background and often earn quite a bit more outside the government. I'm personally fine with limiting politics to professionals (e.g. highly educated or otherwise successful), as I think it's a job that requires a fair bit of intelligence. That is also why I'd like to see fewer lawyers in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693345)

I have a BS from SUNY in computer science, Cum Laude. graduated 2009, career is stillborn due to my drug felony conviction. Hoping to get it sealed or expunged. I suppose I should try harder to apply to places. I did try to start my own consulting, but I am really horrible at sales.

I am sure there are lots of US citizens, criminals or not, who have a technical education and are fucked. Right now I wish they would tighten up on Mexican immigration so that I could possibly feed myself doing menial labor. Of course that job market isn't looking for white guys either it seems.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42693503)

I have a BS from SUNY in computer science, Cum Laude. graduated 2009, career is stillborn due to my drug felony conviction.

And US companies actually check your criminal record?

Work in a different country or work for yourself.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42693403)

They don't want that.

They want to lower wages by putting more supply in a market that can still today produce a middle class income. They will try to do all they can to kill that.

Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (3, Insightful)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | about a year ago | (#42693787)

Except that you can't really "in-shore cheaper help" very easily using H-1Bs--you're required to pay at least the "prevailing wage". Perhaps foreigners artificially keep the prevailing wage from rising, but it can't go down due to immigrants under the current system. Also, you're supposed to show that no American wants the job at hand, which is rather difficult to show.

And the H-1B has a time limit of 6 years, I believe. The foreigner has to get a green card or get out before the visa expires.

Also, think of the alternative--if you are correct that the foreigners will work for less, if you keep them out of the US, then the tech firms will instead set up offices in India. It makes more sense to keep the jobs in the US, use a system to make sure the foreigners don't depress wages in the US.

nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693159)

That will never pass senate.

Sounds like they are trying to drive down costs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693171)

This sounds like they are trying to drive down the costs of labor in the US labor market. I think they are buying into the crap that there are no qualified people to fill positions. My organization has no problem finding skilled labor. We also pay well and have good benefits.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693179)

This could be better than the offshoring that is currently occuring as dollars would be kept in the country.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693897)

Yeah, sorry how this sounds, but you're completely wrong in every way. If these people are working here on H1Bs then they are not looking for a green card. They are sending or saving the money for home.

Demand. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693187)

There are less than 2.5mil jobs in the tech sector (what H1-Bs are for). There are already too many people here in US illegally, permanently. The H1-B is a 6 year visa with pretty much an automatic extra 3 years. I demand my government stop trying to keep me an indentured servant. The federal government guaranteed my student loan, and is actively seeking to suppress my employment in the sector in which I received training by means of a loan.

I demand my government stop trying to keep me in a life of involuntary servitude.

Re:Demand. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693695)

You need to exercise your Second Amendment right before it is too late and your country is overrun with Indian cockroaches. Call the Orkin man or woman today!

Less than one percent of total population (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693189)

Seems reasonable if not slightly racist.

Re:Less than one percent of total population (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693493)

But more than 10% of the number of technology jobs total.

So clearly a move to increase supply and drive wages down.

A better approach (4, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#42693203)

Reduce the percentage of H1-B's by the unemployment rate every year.

Re:A better approach (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42693237)

Not to be too much of an ass, but shouldn't there be a nominal baseline percentage subtracted from that representing the understood cyclical unemployment of the system?

Re:A better approach (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year ago | (#42693389)

Not to be too much of an ass, but shouldn't there be a nominal baseline percentage subtracted from that representing the understood cyclical unemployment of the system?

I don't see it as an ass thing. Take the GP's idea, factor in a base-line and there you go. Maybe add some industry-specific unemployment baselines (because why would we cut back on tech H1B visas if 90% of unemployment is due to construction or non-technical jobs?).

Re:A better approach (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42693515)

You start doing that, putting in all of those fudge factors, and you end up just pulling a number out of your ass. Typically the number agrees with whatever political persuasion you hold dear. Might as well be honest and put the number that you 'want' in it.

The goal of this bill (4, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#42693219)

is further destruction of the middle class. By replacing American tech workers with H1B slaves, they drive down the wages of the Americans who still have jobs.

Once the rich have taken everything away from the middle, they'll have to turn on each other. That will be fun to watch.

Re:The goal of this bill (3, Funny)

suutar (1860506) | about a year ago | (#42693323)

yeah, but we won't be able to afford popcorn.

Re:The goal of this bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693659)

Bah, nonsense.

When people get pushed out of society, they will form their own society.
Farming will take over the lives of many people, as well as production jobs to export for resources to make more.
Money will become a secondary thing to most of these people, replaced by a local currency method as a temporary system to keep some sense of order.

Or war. Most likely war. Then the above later on.

Re:The goal of this bill (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693409)

The middle class is more than a handful of H1-B immigrants. The middle class has been systematically taken apart since the 1980s. You must be very young, to add to your xenophobia.

The reason is all the non "IP" jobs are being pushed overseas, engineers are overseas, skilled maintenance staff man the oversea factories. The west shot itself in the foot when it chose to use child and near slave labor in eastern countries to make their widgets. You think Apple's "designed in America" means anything? They're building their iStuff from components that are designed and built, guess... yes, overseas! Even the likes of Intel are mostly staffed with either immigrants or overseas engineers.

Once the rich have taken everything away from the middle, they'll have to turn on each other. That will be fun to watch.

Yes, it would, but it won't happen. They'll just focus on the global market next.

Re:The goal of this bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693435)

Just because there are millions of foreigners willing to do your job for less than what you expect to be paid doesn't make it slavery. It does make your personal standard of living difficult to maintain though. Sucks to be you.

Re:The goal of this bill (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about a year ago | (#42693595)

Just because there are millions of foreigners willing to do your job for less than what you expect to be paid doesn't make it slavery. It does make your personal standard of living difficult to maintain though. Sucks to be you.

It's slavery if the reason they're willing to do that job for less is because they'll get kicked out of the country if they don't have a job. Employers have a slight advantage at the bargaining table there.

Re:The goal of this bill (2, Informative)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#42693707)

The H1B visa only allows a foreigner to work in the US for the company that sponsors their visa, therefore, H1B visa slaves must accept any working conditions and pay that they are given. If they don't like the work situation their only choice is to go back to where they came from.

Re:The goal of this bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693575)

They took er jerbs!

Re:The goal of this bill (1)

Fallout2man (689436) | about a year ago | (#42693665)

is further destruction of the middle class. By replacing American tech workers with H1B slaves, they drive down the wages of the Americans who still have jobs.

Once the rich have taken everything away from the middle, they'll have to turn on each other. That will be fun to watch.

LOL, no it won't. Who says you're going to be able to "just watch" or that the Rich are going to just attack each other? Isn't it history itself that teaches us that when the Rich wage war it is the poor who die?

Re:The goal of this bill (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#42693681)

Entire new classes of jobs have been created in advanced, high-tech fields by creative, and then wealthy, people, and you haul out 19th century class warfare rhetoric?

When that holds sway, you simply don't have the rapid advancement with new jobs. Look at the bigger picture instead of taking the curerent state of affairs as magically appearing.

The ant who labored is a "have" in your worldview, to be characterized as...a lazy thief?!?!?

Lets do Job Protection Correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693235)

I am not joking here. Increasing HB-1 Visas is going to be a royal pain. Not because we have smart people from other nations working for less doing similar work. What we will allow is the Border Patrol assholes more reasons to limit US citizen rights and monitor (illegally) US citizens in the name of foreign nationals on US soil. Homeland security must be have a royal orgasm right now. Yo, we get more funding.

"They took our jobs!" (4, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#42693243)

Trying to weigh all the parts of the bill, I think I would oppose it.

I think foreign workers in all jobs are good, but increasing the number of visas granted is bad in an economy like ours. We need our jobs to rebuild our individual financial infrastructure. Younger workers need to be able to pay off those credit cards.

Google, Yahoo, IBM, etc *should* be forced to hire more US workers. First it would force companies to start giving people with a criminal record a chance. Felons at age 26 with marketable skills in IT, web design, or coding/software engineering are still Felons...they never make it past HR...

Just look at any thread on /. about getting hired...Human Resources is a difficult barrier even with a spotless record.

A second reason to oppose more H1-B visas is that it would force Americans to go back to college or get marketable skills another way. State university systems are economical and could be adapted to be essentially profit-neutral and give 100% financial aid to all who are accepted.

So yes, Americans do need to get off their asses, get some skillz and get to work...adding more *non-US* workers than we already allow is dumb right now

Re:"They took our jobs!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693485)

Felons at age 26 with marketable skills in IT, web design, or coding/software engineering are still Felons...they never make it past HR...

You sound like you're soft on crime!

Ridiculous, of course, but that's why we'll never see a reversal of the asininity of felonies-that-should-not-be.

A second reason to oppose more H1-B visas is that it would force Americans to go back to college or get marketable skills another way. State university systems are economical and could be adapted to be essentially profit-neutral and give 100% financial aid to all who are accepted.

Here's where I argue, though - this would not force Americans to do anything.

The jobs - in the IT industry - are out there. You don't even need a college degree at all to get one. You may have to be willing to learn new things. You may have to start at the bottom (as you should even if you're fresh out of college). You may have to - gasp - move to a location that actually has business, giving up the comfort of Assendofnowherestan where you grew up.

People don't do it, though. It's too "hard".

If getting paid high five to six figures a year to write shoddy PHP code isn't motivation enough for people, nothing is.

So yes, Americans do need to get off their asses, get some skillz and get to work

Absolutely, but lowering the number of H1-Bs is not going to make Americans get off their asses.

Not that I'm against lowering the amount of H1-Bs; but I'm willing to admit I'm in that camp for the money. Less workers available == even more ridiculously inflated salaries. ;)

better university classes (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#42693901)

"You may have to be willing to learn new things..."

My contention is that, indeed as you say 'the jobs are out there'...however I contend that the avenues to attaining the skills required are not as open as you indicate.

Yes, theoretically, a random person willing to do the things you list (delve into coding, relocating, entry-level work) could, under laboratory conditions get a job.

I'm talking about people who don't know that avenue exists, which are many. College is still considered the place to go to become a professional, and as I'm sure you'd agree, getting a job in IT/tech is not degree-dependent like other fields such as teaching or nursing.

Colleges need to do a better job of teaching tech/IT skills. It is a long-term project to be sure, but it needs to happen. If you put the money there, the techies with good interpersonal skills will come to Academia.

I have a degree in education from the University of Colorado-Boulder and the overlap between current education theory and 'machine learning' artificial intelligence stuff is very interesting and developing. IMHO it is the perfect time to improve technology education in Academia...major overhaul

Re:"They took our jobs!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693505)

"So yes, Americans do need to get off their asses, get some skillz and get to work..."

Ah yes, the old unemployed are lazy and unskilled lie. You can't swing a dead cat in the bay area without hitting an unemployed PhD molecular biologist. There is no skills gap, the unemployed are working harder than anyone has in generations to land a job, any job, but there are still four times as many unemployed as there are job openings.

hey AC, didn't want to go there (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#42693729)

"So yes, Americans do need to get off their asses, get some skillz and get to work..."

>"Ah yes, the old unemployed are lazy and unskilled lie."

I didn't mean to go there. I *don't* think that, but I know that there are Republicans and closeted GOP'ers ('libertarians') who I respect on /.

I was trying to weigh the bill all the way around, from all perspectives.

Re:"They took our jobs!" (4, Interesting)

undeadbill (2490070) | about a year ago | (#42693623)

I think I'd like to see this bill at least tied to the following:

1. No more questions about prior felony convictions. It is too easy to get popped with a felony, a class of crime that used to be limited to serious criminal offenses.
2. Tie this to an additional H1-B payroll tax, with the revenue going to online certification training (much like the ACM offers as part of their membership), as well as vouchers for a certain amount of tests.
3. Make it more desirable to hire and promote junior staff. H1-B is attractive because they have fewer workplace protections, and have to take a bigger gamble to come to the US to work. Fix some of those restrictions (such as severe limitations in job-hopping), and institute measures that promote hiring interns and junior IT people.

Right now, it is harder than heck to find qualified IT staff, and HR departments are all asking for 3-5 years of experience in whatever they are hiring for. The problem isn't in the lack of willing senior staff who want to train and mentor people. It isn't in the lack of available training for the unemployed. It is in the lack of will on the part of C level execs who don't want it, and can't see the labor shortage coming up on them, or what that can mean in the long term (in my view, out past 5 years. In the view of a CEO, the long view is not more than 5 years).

Competition for employment (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#42693841)

I think foreign workers in all jobs are good, but increasing the number of visas granted is bad in an economy like ours.

So you don't want to sound xenophobic but you really are. Foreign workers contribute to the economy, pay taxes, and bring specific talents that are badly needed by companies but you think we should hire Americans just because they are Americans?

Google, Yahoo, IBM, etc *should* be forced to hire more US workers.

You've never tried to run a business have you? Forcing a company to hire substandard talent is literally counterproductive. Companies need to and should hire the best talent they can get regardless of where the person is from. If that happens to be people from the US that is terrific. Companies need specific skills and those skills don't have anything to do with national boundaries. If the US workers are the best available option then I guarantee you that companies will hire them. If they aren't the best then they don't really deserve the jobs now do they?

A second reason to oppose more H1-B visas is that it would force Americans to go back to college or get marketable skills another way.

So less competition for jobs is somehow supposed to push Americans to get more training? Curious logic since generally less competition has exactly the opposite effect. If I don't have to compete for my job, I'm going to have zero motivation to spend money or time on additional education.

Legislators are so stupid... (5, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | about a year ago | (#42693303)

But the cap would be allowed to rise automatically with demand...

Um, that is the exact opposite of a 'cap'.

Why not just increase legal immigration? (5, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | about a year ago | (#42693329)

Importing people who will be automatically put into a process of exporting if they lose their job always seemed more than a bit cruel to me.

The effect of H1b has been to flood the market with fake job offers (intended to find no one available), increase the desperation of the average job seeker (where it doesn't lower wages directly, it has other effects), and to shift the job market gradually overseas as intimate knowledge of US business is shifted to people who aren't allowed to remain in the US market.

It's a mixed result - but mostly negative for the US at large.

Why not just allow more immigrants for technical fields? That way, they can start companies here, they don't have to live in such fear while working, and can pay socially beneficial taxes when they do (statistically) reach the higher incomes they are bound to reach.

Passing laws just to increase profit margins of companies at the expense of workers seems highly corrupt/inefficient. We're a nation of immigrants - we shouldn't shy away from making the nation stronger with citizens - and we've had huge problems with, um, drawing distinctions about labor variants of citizens in the past.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Why not just increase legal immigration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693697)

Because we're already overwhelmed with the current levels of legal immigration right at the moment (which is at a million plus PER YEAR...)- and this H1B stuff is just another excuse to cripple the middle class. I'm quite disappointed that Hatch is even remotely involved with this travesty. Some conservative he is...about like Bone...er...Bohener.

Normally I would agree with keeping the limit low (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about a year ago | (#42693353)

But... :) Tech sector unemployment is quite low [dice.com], so there actually is a demand for workers now. Adding tech workers to the employee pool will allow firms to grow, which will create jobs in the long run.

Re:Normally I would agree with keeping the limit l (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#42693541)

The supply of domestic tech workers will never increase until the price (pay) is allowed to rise with demand.

People argue about the minimum wage. This is what I call our "maximum wage" policy. We have this fixed notion of what different jobs "should" make. And when supply and demand gets out of line with our preconceptions, we allow immigration to drive down wages on picking fruit, or construction, nannying, technology work, or whatever.

Screw that! If we need this for anything, it's doctors, since the supply is artificially limited by the AMA [usatoday.com]. So why isn't that happening?

Re:Normally I would agree with keeping the limit l (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about a year ago | (#42693653)

It's not happening because we lack a powerful tech worker lobby. :)

However, back to the original point, allowing wages to rise is not a short term solution. It is a long term solution, and one that I naturally agree with being a tech worker. :)

Re:Normally I would agree with keeping the limit l (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#42693701)

disclaimer: I am currently an alien worker in the US under working visa.

I believe the question of how many foreign workers to allow in the country is a very difficult one. There are many things to weight.

First, of course, is the level on unemployement in the country. If you have many unemployed skilled workers within the country, then you do not help your citizens (which should be the point of a government).

Second, as was pointed out before, foreign workers increase offer and tends to decrease salaries; which can also be detrimental to your workers.

But there are also good effects in foreign workers. It brings people that are (typically) debt free and that the will to make important decisions. It is a H1B worker now, but it might be a company tomorrow.

It can brings more skills in the country. Visa workers might stay which means you instantly gained a new trained worker. You lured him pretty much for free. That means he contributes to your economy and not to his country of origin's economy.

It increase competition. Surely american people should understand that's a good things.

Re:Normally I would agree with keeping the limit l (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about a year ago | (#42693773)

Would be interesting if that "low" unemployment actually equated to raises which even matched inflation....

2006: Inflation rate: 3.8% Tech Salary: 1.7%
2007: Inflation rate: 2.8% Tech Salary: 4.6%
2008: Inflation rate: 3.8% Tech Salary: 1%
2009: Inflation rate: -0.4% Tech Salary: 0.7%
2010: Inflation rate: 1.6% Tech Salary: 2.4%
2011: Inflation rate: 3.2% Tech Salary: 5.3%

So if you started with a salary of $100,000 in 2005, it would mean the following (inflation adjusted to 2005 dollars):
2006: $97,977
2007: $99,692
2008: $97,003
2009: $98,073
2010: $98,845
2011: $100,857

In other words, a paltry 0.8% raise in real salary over those 6 years!

Get rid of these senators (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#42693369)

This is unthinkable. It's this kind of corporate pandering that has gotten us into the unemployment problem we're currently in. I have no problem with hiring people from other countries -- when there is a surplus of work to go around.

How about.... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42693377)

How about no H-1B visas until unemployment drops below 5%.

Re:How about.... (2)

cfulton (543949) | about a year ago | (#42693519)

How about. But, it won't happen. The real incentive here is profit in the Tech Sector. American developers are paid a living wage (most of the time). This bill allows American tech companies to bring in workers who cannot compete in the open market for the best pay. This allows the tech companies to pay them much less than an American. The powers that be may want low unemployment, but they also want low wages.

Re:How about.... (0)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year ago | (#42693925)

How about we put the bastards pushing this change on a slow boat to India? Then we sink the boat.

Dateline: Ship sinks. Shark eaten by Orrin Hatch.

Senator Sanders (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693385)

Here's hoping Senator Bernie Sanders pushes back again on this one. Anyone familiar with the Senator knows that he has been a thorn in the side of H1-B advocates, introducing and pushing amendments to limit the program and fund US STEM for years.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/05/24/338394/-H-1B-Labor-Sen-Bernie-Sanders-Introduces-Amendment-to-Strengthen-America

Confused why this opposition? (0)

goblinspy (2738809) | about a year ago | (#42693543)

H1-B is only granted if a US Citizen or a permanent resident is not available or willing to take the position. Just make sure that these are followed to stop abuse. Quotas make it difficult to companies to hire people here and if the pain to hire here is more than managing an offshore team say bye bye to American jobs. Also there are many indirect jobs that are created with the filling of the position. There are abusers of every provision and decisions should not be made on these bad apples.

Re:Confused why this opposition? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#42693627)

Locals would be more willing to take a position if a competitive wage, benefits and scheduling flexibility option was actually offered.

Re:Confused why this opposition? (2)

Meeni (1815694) | about a year ago | (#42693805)

H1B is not free (application is quite expensive actually), and the employer doesn't get to set the salary as pleases him. Usually, immigration will return a "ok, but a 20% more than proposed". I definitely don't think that applying to a position and saying the recruiter that you'll need a H visa (and all the associated cost) helps your case.

Sometime, local workforce is not available without retraining. Now since everybody bright in the US gets a law or MD degree, there is a shortage of bright IT/tech people that needs to be filled with foreigners. If you remove H1B, you'll have to ease on the green card, but I'm not sure it's the intended purpose ?

Re:Confused why this opposition? (0)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#42693917)

Only idiots or suckers get a law degree these days. There are no jobs for lawyers, and they teach you nothing you actually need to do the job in school.

Re:Confused why this opposition? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42693663)

Which means they write a requirements sheet no one can meet and lie about the person they are hiring.

The simple answer is to say all H1Bs must be paid $200,000/year or more and the visa is not tied to the company.

Re:Confused why this opposition? (1)

goblinspy (2738809) | about a year ago | (#42693857)

So this means the prevailing wage classification needs improvement as not all IT Jobs are the same and I do strongly support your second point of making it not tied to the company.

Here is an idea... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#42693615)

Eliminate all H1b visa's and that so called demand results increases in pay, other compensation and scheduling flexibility until more people have the incentive to move into those positions. Who would guess that high demand might increase the price of a scarce supply of goods(labor)?

wrong approach (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42693769)

Don't create more visa's, give the workers easy pathways to citizenship. Work on an H1-b for 5 years without run-ins with the law and you're a citizen. If you don't want citizenship then you lose your visa. Simple as that. Is there not enough skilled labor? Or is there not enough cheap labor? Making more visas brings in cheap labor. Making more citizens brings in talented labor. If you're a law abiding person and go through the proper channels citizenship should be easy in this country. I work in a shop with a lot of H1-B people, from India, Russia, Israel, etc... and I'd be happy to have any of them get citizenship here. They're great people and I like most of them better than my asshole neighbors.

I propose an amendment (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | about a year ago | (#42693783)

I am fine with these visas, however, they should make it very easy for the person hired using one of them to switch jobs at will without a slew of requirements that keep them effectively owned by the first company.

Of course, many corporations would oppose it because the people here on such a visa would be asking for much better salaries and benefits, but the only stated purpose to increase the number of visas and the whole idea of the H1-B is to get more workers. Note: I said "stated" purpose.

Automatically vote no (2, Informative)

Pop69 (700500) | about a year ago | (#42693797)

Anything that has Orrin Hatch involved is an automatic vote against as far as I'm concerned

c'mon slashdot comments... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42693799)

Slashdot - I remember when you used to have informative comments... every day you're getting closer and closer to the bile spewed out on youtube comments...

H1Bs require LCAs which require the income to meet the standard for that position. This $ figure is set by the government with the intention that companies cannot bring in foreigners and pay them less then citizens.

I know because I've been through the process. I'm an Australian working in the US on a H1B earning as much as I would back home. The minimum wage listed by the government on the LCA seemed fair to me so I have no idea what you all are complaining about.

opposite reactions (2)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year ago | (#42693825)

Until recently I've been one of those guys who was always defending free trade, immigration, multiculturalism and the like. Crap like this doesn't change my views incrementally, it makes me see the polar opposite. These immigrant workers are not "friends". They're here to take whatever they can from us. The government isn't working to improve conditions for the average citizen. They're just making shady deals with companies whose only philosophy is "greed is good".

I've been a fool, but I won't get fooled again. Who said that?

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