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Should Techies Trump All Others In Immigration Reform?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the front-of-the-line dept.

Education 231

theodp writes "In an open letter on TechCrunch, Vivek Wadhwa calls on Congressman Luis Gutierrez to lift his 'hold on Silicon Valley' and stop tying immigration reform for highly-skilled STEM immigrants to the plight of undocumented immigrants. So, why should the STEM set get first dibs? 'The issues of high-skilled and undocumented immigrants are both equally important,' says Wadhwa, but 'the difference is that the skilled workers have mobility and are in great demand all over the world. They are getting frustrated and are leaving in droves.' Commenting on Gutierrez's voting record, Wadhwa adds, 'I would have voted for visas for 50,000 smart foreign students graduating with STEM degrees from U.S. universities over bringing in 55,000 randomly selected high-school graduates from abroad. The STEM graduates would have created jobs and boosted our economy. The lottery winners will come to the U.S. with high hopes, but will face certain unemployment and misery because of our weak economy.' So, should Gutierrez cede to Wadhwa's techies-before-Latinos proposal, or would this be an example of the paradox of virtuous meritocracy undermining equality of opportunity?"

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How about... (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858193)

How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858227)

I'm for that. Sounds like business colluding with government to drive down tech wages. Last year I saved our company over a million dollars, yet I only see a tenth of that, and I'm considered top of my pay scale.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858315)

If you are in business, you should know that price is not related to cost (except when it is too low). Same thing applies to salaries.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42859157)

I saved Dell $700,000 and got paid less than $35,000.
I left for another company.

Re:How about... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858237)

Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Oh yeah, I am SURE he'll be completely objective about this subject.

By any chance did his campaigns go like "I have the same group identity as you - vote for me!"?

Re:How about... (4, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858497)

He didn't have to run a campaign at all. Illinois' 4th district has been so grotesquely gerrymandered that it's been nicknamed 'earmuffs.' It's designed to include two majority Hispanic areas.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/IL04_109.gif [wikimedia.org]

This man hasn't ever received less than 75% of the vote, and has had this seat for 20 years. He hasn't had to run so much as a primary since around 1994.

Re:How about... (5, Insightful)

mpsmps (178373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858285)

How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home

Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

Re:How about... (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858389)

Yes. If this sarcastic post doesn't make obvious they are all immigrants.

Re:How about... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858407)

I'm sorry when did Einstein come to America again....wouldn't have anything to do with the rise of Hitler.....

Re:How about... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858495)

Are you suggesting that we clone Hitler in the hopes of driving competent techies to the U.S.?

Re:How about... (1)

boristdog (133725) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859083)

If I only had some karma points for you.

Re:How about... (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859111)

Sounds like a plan! Just keep any bionically-enhanced commandos away from the guy and it should work.

Re:How about... (1)

nucrash (549705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858439)

Don't forget Werhner Von Braun. It's not like we ever would allow former Nazis confidential access to key systems in the US government to accomplish tasks like get us to the moon.

That wasn't his point. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858443)

Kids aren't going into STEM these days because they aren't encouraged, don't see much opportunity, and let's face it, you want to get really rich and successful, STEM isn't the way. US citizens aren't going into STEM (except maybe medicine) because there aren't enough opportunities for them.

Why bust your ass to get a Ph.D. in some science field, do post doc, and eventually in your 40s start making a decent living whereas an MD will have you raking it in by 35?

There just are not that many opportunities to begin with, anyway in science.

Engineering: when a kid sees IBM, Intel, and other big companies moving their R&D overseas WTF are they supposed to think?

And then with these immigrants coming in, it puts further downward pressure on salaries - which is EXACTLY what industry wants. This isn't about lack of talent; this is about messing with supply and demand of labor.

Things have changed dramatically since Tesla, Bell, etc ...

Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

Oh right! All those tens of thousands of H1-Bs are going to be like them!

Re:That wasn't his point. (1, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858911)

US citizens aren't going into STEM (except maybe medicine)

That "M" isn't for medicine, but for Maths.

Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

Oh right! All those tens of thousands of H1-Bs are going to be like them!

Most likely not. But the bigger the number, the bigger the chance that someone like them will be among them.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858605)

How about no STEM visas for anyone? Instead, throw the effort at growing these folks at home

Yes, folks like Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, An Wang, Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Bjarne Stroustrup merely took jobs away from native-born Americans instead of creating more opportunities for them.

You might as well say we should just go back to war with some huge ominous country we "disagree" with just to have a valid excuse to go in and "liberate" their top scientific minds again. Also, some of the people you mentioned are directly responsible for the dire shitfest we have going on here in the USA. I would gladly exchange any venture capitalist for an actual scientist.

Oh and the first person you listed was a racist and helped spread racism globally, and who's contribution to racism inspired Nazi Germany greatly. Glad he died a Canadian.

Re:How about... (2)

wisty (1335733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858685)

Arguably William Shockley too. His parents were American, but he was born in the UK.

A couple of the Traitorous Eight (who left Shockley's lab, to found Silicon Valley) were immigrants too, including Kleiner. Yes, the one who bankrolled Google (among many other things).

Re:How about... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858725)

Shockley is not a good example. If you have one parent who is a US Citizen, you child is a natural citizen – not a naturalized citizen (which is important if you plan on running for President).

The other examples, on the other hand, are wonderful.

truth as trowll and flaymebayte (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858895)

I suggest a reading of the essay "Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-competitive States" by Col. Ralph Peters (ret.).

The problem arises with those who come from societies that have relatively more corruption than here in the USA. Couple this with the concept that "religion is the essence of culture and culture is the dress of religion" and the result is what we see today. Immigrant entrepreneurs from clan-based cultures will either self-employ or employ only their own kind, thus denying the aforementioned employment opportunities that immigrants were to create.

In the days when Europeans dominated technology, the government came and imposed affirmative action and forced minorities upon them. Now that minorities dominate the sector, the government's silence declares that utopia has been achieved. Those who dominate today with twinkles in their eyes and curls in their lips glibly state "Meritocracy." They know damn well that they use the word as a veneer that barely covers their culture of connectedness which is the wellspring of all corruption. How can one expect a culture of individuality when "all life is connected, every birth is a rebirth, and caste and clan über alles" is the essence of their way of life and their way of life is the dress of "all life is connected, every birth is a rebirth, and caste and clan über alles"?

One may give three cheers for secularism, but the problem is that secularism does not always blind what the eyes see in the mirror and what the mind remembers the association between what is seen in the mirror and the mindset that goes therewith. The law mandates that a man must be taken from the slum, yet that same law forbids that the slum be taken from the man.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42859149)

...the other 1 million lame Java developers that suck. I've worked with plenty of H1b visa "engineers" over the years and haven't been very impressed by any of them.

Re:How about... (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858307)

Consider this instead: STEM visa holders got an education that didn't cost a penny to the US, and brought that added value to the US.

Re:How about... (3, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858419)

And displaced an American who was educated here and along with the cost of their education...

Re:How about... (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858985)

Added value for tax dodging Texas companies you mean

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858509)

To be blunt, my thoughts on VISAs/Green Cards:

VISA: As long as you can speak English or are willing to take free classes (via grants) and perform well, you can get a Visa.
Green Card: Can you speak English well enough to communicate effectively with it?

Note: I'm not trying to be racist with the English card, but a community is tied together by communication. We have two options: Nail everyone down with a common language, or require everyone to learn a large number of languages for any possible immigrant who comes in without learning the more common langauge(s). The latter is not feasible. Also, note I didn't say proper or good English.

If it seems a bit harsh, sorry, but during high school, I had one of those jobs "Americans wouldn't do" (odd, I'm an American...) and about half of the employees were illegal immigrants - who believed everyone else should learn their language, rather than they learn the common language here.

Oh, and I'd ad both VISA and Green Card can be denied by violating a US law on US soil in the 5 years prior to application/granting and/or being documented as a terrorist.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858825)

Note: I'm not trying to be racist with the English card,

I personally have seen people from almost every race on the planet speaking English. I am unaware of any race which is incapable of it, and can't imagine which one you are referring to. Or are you just preemptively defending yourself against foolish accusations?

Re:How about... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859151)

I've certainly heard people with that view called racists before (specifically racist towards Mexicans or Chinese, which is ironic, given that by adding these comments, the people calling the original "offender" racists, are in fact, being racists).

Re:How about... (3, Interesting)

MiniMike (234881) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858709)

I'm all for increasing STEM graduates in the USA. But according to this article [usnews.com] there were 600,000 unfilled STEM jobs in the USA last year, and 300,000 unemployed STEM workers ("only one unemployed STEM worker for two unfilled STEM jobs throughout the country"- not finding one of those 600k jobs due to mismatched skill sets). This does include skilled blue-collar jobs. Even if a decent STEM education program were implemented now, and enough students entered it, it would be several years before they were ready to enter the workforce. Those jobs are there now. If there were a surplus of STEM workers in the USA, or even close to it, then there's no way we should be importing thousands of foreign STEM workers- but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I don't care how many techies get in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858201)

So long as the queers are kept out. Do you know what they're doing to the soil??

Re:I don't care how many techies get in (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858247)

Stewart?

Because as we all know (4, Insightful)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858205)

Corporate profits as a share of the economy are at all time lows, and we need to constrain rapacious labor to improve the economy. Sadly, the numbers do not bear this out. Stop giving out indentured servitude, let people stay here on work visas which allow them to change employers, and charge the same price with the same rights as USC/GC. And by the way, the evidence indicates that people are leaving because the American economy is growing sluggishly, and many countries are more attractive to return to because the are democratizing. http://www.nber.org/papers/w18780 [nber.org] But why listen to data when making policy if it gets in the way of lowering wages, throwing people out of jobs, and creating a non-voting class of workers, who cannot protect their rights with political power, against Citizen United empowered super-people?

Re:Because as we all know (2)

Vladius (2577555) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858275)

Better idea. Abolish the H1B visa altogether. Make the companies actually pay people for their knowledge for a change.

Re:Because as we all know (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858347)

And how would they get a green card if they can't work here?

Re:Because as we all know (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858427)

H1B Visa is not a green card. There are more H1B Visas given out then green cards. Obviously many of these H1B Visa holders aren't getting green cards.

Re:Because as we all know (2)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858845)

Correct, H1B visa is not a green card. However, in order to get a green card, a person must retain a good legal status at all time while being in the U.S. -- since the person stepped on to the U.S. soil. Because the process is long and tedious, it seems that the only eligible legal status that can keep the person in the country long enough to get a green card is H1B. Many of those who hold H1B visa and have to go home because they are either not interested in staying or being forced to go home (not be qualified to apply for a green card).

Re:Because as we all know (2)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858475)

I think you have nailed one of the two major issues:
a) Reform the system so H1B's are portable between employers, and
b) Keep the high-tech workers in the US.

From an outsider's perspective, one of the real advantages of the US is that people from all over the world will come and work in the US. The same can't be said for China and/or India. The issue with kicking skilled foreign workers out of the US is that they start foreign businesses outside the US to compete against workers in the US. The result is poor growth in the US economy (and the foreign companies get rich.)

It is much better to be a world center for commerce like Silicon Valley, New York, or London, than it is to be in a forgettable high-tech free, manufacturing-free place in the world. I'm from one of those places, and the US has huge advantages over those places. Don't get rid of the elements of the US economy that made the US great.

Re:Because as we all know (1)

malkavian (9512) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859041)

From an outsider's perspective, one of the real advantages of the US is that people from all over the world will come and work in the US. The same can't be said for China

Strange, the amount of tech campuses being built in China is pretty large (I saw some on my last visit there a few years ago), and the amount of people that are more than happy to work in China is similarly pretty huge.

equality of opportunity (4, Insightful)

Slippery_Hank (2035136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858207)

I don't see any reason why America needs equality of opportunity for immigrants when it doesn't even have it for its own citizens. Take only the best and do whats best for your country.

Re:equality of opportunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858273)

I don't see any reason why America needs equality of opportunity for immigrants when it doesn't even have it for its own citizens. Take only the best and do whats best for your country.

Because when you make rational decisions, someone might get offended.

Re:equality of opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858615)

I totally agree with the parent post. A few things to keep in mind though:

a) Vivek is full of SH!% if he is such a hotshot, why is he begging to stay in the USA? There should be plenty of other countries around the World who would be willing to take him in. If he thinks he is not being treated fairly, he should pick up his things and leave. He knew full well the conditions of his visa when he accepted them. If he doesn't like them any longer, he should pick up his things and leave.

b) Techies may one day be just as replaceable as anyone else. There was a time when Detroit was a great city and no one could have ever imagined those jobs would be shipped overseas. Well... they did. Techies are no different. We may realize a couple of decades down the line that all the techies we "imported" are no longer needed.

c) If there is one area where immigrant work is indeed necessary, it is agriculture. Americans simply do not want to do these kind of jobs. I have heard of farmers who are literally watching their crops rot away because they cannot find people to pick them. Of course, someone may say they would find people to pick the crops if the farmers paid more. If they did that though, they would not be able to sell the crops and make a profit out of it. Another beautiful thing about agriculture work is that it may be possible to fill that gap without granting these workers permanent visas.

Re:equality of opportunity (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858619)

And how many of your ancestors were the best?
How many jobs/positions need filling that can use something other than the best?

There are plenty of Americans who will take the "muck" jobs (I was once one, when I needed to be). However there are also plenty who won't (I can think of two individuals I know who leech off of others because they only will accept jobs in their desired fields). These immigrants will compete with the Americans willing to muck when needed, yes - but generally we are also the Americans willing to go without and compete right back to survive.

However, more people in the muck jobs can expand parts of the economy and allow more specialized positions to be open, for both those of us who can compete in those as well (such as myself), and those who won't take the muck jobs.

Re:equality of opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42859011)

And how many of your ancestors were the best?

All of them. You can tell because they didn't die before bearing and raising children to breeding age.

Re:equality of opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42859121)

so... only allow people in if they have children in the the >20 age range... but don't allow the children in until they also fit the criteria?

Re:equality of opportunity (1)

Slippery_Hank (2035136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859181)

I'm not American, so the point is moot, but I like to think at least some of my ancestors were the best. If letting in immigrants to due grunt work is whats best for America, then that's what it should do. My point was that they do not owe equality to non-citizens.

undocumented immigrants? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858225)

Can we please stop calling them undocumented immigrants and start calling them law breakers?

In any other country but the USA, if you attempt to border crash or live in the country without the proper paperwork, your thrown in jail or thrown out of the place.

Re:undocumented immigrants? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858303)

I have some...potentially startling... news for you about the efficiency and thoroughness of immigration enforcement procedures worldwide.

This hardly means that the US is at the top of the class; but the only mechanism with a genuinely notable success rate is to be so squalid and miserable at home that nobody even tries to jump the fence...

FTFY (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858229)

The STEM graduates would have created low paying jobs and boosted company profits.

FTFY

Whom do we owe? (5, Insightful)

mariox19 (632969) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858231)

[W]ould this be an example of the paradox of virtuous meritocracy undermining equality of opportunity?"

I'm not saying that we should necessarily give precedence to immigration applications from STEM candidates; I take exception to the assumptions in the statement I quoted. No country, not even the United States, owes "equality of opportunity" to those who have not yet entered the country. Do we owe the whole world this?

My father came to this country over 50 years ago under the conditions of "what can you do for the U.S." There had to be a recognized need for his skills and someone had to sponsor him. I see no reason for a completely egalitarian lottery. Unless we're going to open the floodgates, it makes sense to pick and choose to some degree.

Re:Whom do we owe? (1)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858879)

Agreed. Let's pick and choose to some degree. And let's start by choosing the people who won't start off receiving all manner of government benefits without having produced anything. Otherwise, importing only STEM workers would not give the opportunity to all the other potentially productive immigrants to get into other important fields like banking, health, education, etc.

Why study tech just to train your H1B replacement? (4, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858235)

It happens all the time in tech. Every hear of a nurse having to train his/her H1B replacement?

The idea of tech visa workers is to lower wages, not because foreign talent is needed. Anybody who works with a lot of H1Bs will tell you, they are generally not exceptional. In fact, most H1Bs are entry level, and only about 7% work at an advanced level.

Re:Why study tech just to train your H1B replaceme (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858491)

I'd rather have an entry-level H1B here, earning and spending money in the US (and paying taxes), than to have the same guy over in India or wherever.

(I'm sure being in India does constrain his ability to compete with my technology skills somewhat, but not enough that I can stop worrying about him.)

Re:Why study tech just to train your H1B replaceme (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858501)

In fact, most H1Bs are entry level, and only about 7% work at an advanced level.

In fact, 93% of statistics are made up on the spot. As far as the average quality of H1B holders, I've worked with some brilliant H1Bs, and some real idiot H1Bs. Just like among the native-born Americans, the idiots outnumber the geniuses.

You're right about the purpose of those visas, of course, but don't get mad at the H1Bs, who are leaving their home to work because that's the way they can earn as much as possible for their family back home. They're absolutely exploiting the difference between salaries in the US and salaries in other countries, but what they're doing isn't morally any different than someone from leaving Mississippi (average income $31K) and getting work in DC (average income $71K).

Only allow in people who look like me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858249)

...but won't compete for my job.

At least that appears to be the common consensus of every group involved in the debate.

Re:Only allow in people who look like me... (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858563)

Yes but this story is not so much race as class. Throw all the blue collar citizens out so foreigners can get their jobs for cheaper? Cool sounds great, after all, they can ALL retrain into tech jobs, right? Do the same to the white collar people and the white collar journalists start whining, mostly. Then you get the stockholm syndrome types where if the blue collar job market has been destroyed then the american thing to do is destroy the white collar job market too.

This "story" is a class story not a race story.

Blah, blah, blah (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858253)

Here we go again. The supposed shortage of IT workers has been repeatedly shown to be false. While the IT industry has fared much better than most after the Bush depression, to claim that there is a shortage is just plain wrong.

There are thousands of people willing to do the jobs but it is the employers who are the sticking point. They want someone under 30, with 10 or more years of experience in multiple languages, willing to work long hours for average pay.

Article after article I have read all say the same thing: employers admit they are looking for someone with exceptional skills but then go on to admit their wages are not competitive AND they are unwilling to train people.

Only in extreme situations are there shortages of qualified people and those are few and far between. The disconnect between what is available and what HR/employers say they want is the overriding reason for this supposed "shortage".

Until employers get their heads out of their asses and stop whining about how they can't find anyone when they get 200+ resumes for a posting, they can go pound sand.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858325)

Didn't you get the memo? Only a godless America-hating communist would allow market forces to drive wages up when there is an alternative.

There are no uncompetitive salaries, only lazy workers.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858473)

Correction: not America-hating communist ... rather... America-hating Imperialist Corporate Kings....

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

nucrash (549705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858483)

I would disagree with you, but I am posting this on Slashdot instead of working on another project. So apparently I am proving your sarcastic point correct.

Fucked It Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858525)

Bush depression

A perfectly rational post ruined by an ignorant, face-painting, Kool Aid drinking Homer comment.

Re:Fucked It Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858877)

And then those same ignorant, face-painting, Kool Aid drinking Homers mod down everything they disagree with.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858545)

they can go pound sand.
 
Or they can force the governments hand to open the gates to workers from third world countries who aren't totally up to their specifications but will work like dogs for the same amount as what the average Sheetz shift manager makes.
 
The American workforce was beaten down by profit margins and government regulations. I'd like to think this will change but it just really doesn't seem to be that way. I use to have higher goals for my career and I was willing to work endless hours and take on tasks outside of my job description but it got me nowhere. I'm old enough now that I know I'll never get to the kind of positions where I can make the real money so I'm just going to have to accept that given the current political and economical climate. Kinda sad when I can say that with a straight face and I'm not even 40 yet.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858549)

Ya, you might be kind of right.

I'm in the position of hiring for an "in-demand" skill in Silicon Valley. I have received dozens/hundreds of resumes but have yet (for the most part) to find a great fit. I'll admit though, the criteria for hiring is basically a) strong fundamentals b) strong knowledge of the technology ecosystem for the technology in question and c) proven experience building products w/ the technology (not including soft skills-related stuff).

95% of the folks that I've talked to fail on basic questions related to data structures, algorithms, operating systems, etc. Many others have experience but in some tangential area, and would require months to get up to speed, etc. We're a small company, w/ a small team, and "believe" that we simply want someone that can contribute fairly quickly after joining.

So, I believe you are correct in that there are plenty of people available and looking. I might disagree on whether they're all highly qualified though (i.e. somewhat qualified, or qualified in many cases, but rarely highly qualified). And so, the (small) company w/ a high bar that wants to hire the more qualified folks ends up having a hard time finding people as far as I can tell. This may be easier for the Googles and Apples of the world, as their brands attract talent.

well the schools are not teaching the skills neede (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858775)

well the schools are not teaching the skills needed. Some of them are more high level theory others are tech schools that do tech the needed skills but are held down by being tied to the older college system

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858865)

That's because you are possibly looking in the wrong places. Posting your jobs on Monster.com and allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to apply is not the best approach. Have you gone directly to say Colleges/Universities or local meetups to find people? Even with a targeted approach, you're going to have a good number of people that are not a "perfect fit."

But the real issue is that companies are unwilling to train anyone these days. People are porked off because companies and the government let in H1B's into STEM despite record levels of unemployment/underemployment.

also to much need degree and passover tech schools (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858743)

also to much need degree and passing over tech / trade schools at the same time. Parts of IT need more of a hands on tech / trades setting and the old degree system is a poor fit also CS IS NOT IT.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858897)

I couldn't have said it better myself.

With record levels of unemployment/underemployment, 50% of college grads unemployed (and probably higher if you count those flipping burgers because they couldn't find anything better), we should be looking to slow down immigration programs until our own can get to work.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (2, Interesting)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859019)

There is a shortage.

I run a small team of four people in a small publishing company. My work is 9-5 to the dot. I don't work weekends or after hours unless the site is down in a catastrophic way and that's incredibly rare for us. I'm required to be a full stack web developer since the whole team is so small. I need to know Linux OS administration as well as engineering level PHP to maintain a number of web properties.

When I was looking for our 4th developer by far the most impressive resume came from a guy in Moscow. When I looked him up I saw he had extensive open source experience working on a major PHP framework. The fact that I couldn't just hire him like anyone from the local market was incredibly frustrating. Eventually I did find a 23 year old economics major from Northwestern that beat out 25 other resumes. This process took about four weeks. You don't need 10 years of experience. You can become a full stack PHP/JavaScript developer in under 2 years.

Being older doesn't disqualify you. Not being able to produce is what disqualifies you. No business is gonna spend months teaching you basic practices. When employees pay for training it's when you can already do something of value to the company and it's usually a weekend seminar or something to that effect.

I'd much rather pay one good developer a higher wage that can do something for me in a day rather than pay an average developer an average wage.

By the way if you want more evidence just look at how many recruiters are calling you. There is always a shortage when you get 5 phone calls a week minimum.

Saying that employers should "pound sand" because they can't find a single person in 200+ resumes is incredibly short sighted. That person might be someone who needs to lead a project that will in-turn become a profit generator for a company and in-turn require new people to be hired. And yet because of a short sighted entitlement on the part of the american worker we instead block foreigners. Yes let's make them pay taxes in another country.

By the way I make 75k and I'm 25. At one point I wanted to go into IT but I didn't see any money there. Development is where it's at. I started by writing little scripts in high school for gaming websites. Went onto start a few projects in college. And now I have 10 years experience despite being only 25.

You can easily make 120-160k in NYC doing what I do. I just happen to work in the suburbs.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859187)

Here we go again. The supposed shortage of IT workers has been repeatedly shown to be false.

No it hasn't. It's actually quite painful in software development. Pretty much everything we use requires software. Cars, refrigerators, assembly lines, medical equipment, farming equipment, power plants ... you name it. And there are just not enough software engineers for the industry.

Or maybe there are some but they don't want to work for a power tool manufacturer in Ohio. That's the problem. CS graduates from US want to work in New York or California for Google or IBM. We were looking for a SW developer in our company (a medical equipment manufacturer in a smaller town) for a year before hiring an H1B. The H1B wasn't cheaper, but it was the only option.

Open up any job search engine and look for 'software' positions in not-so-stellar cities around US and you'll find thousands of offers.

And no, 'training' is not an option. You would have to put at least a full year of training into a person before you had any chance of getting a software developer out of him/her and chances are it would not work anyway.

Re:Blah, blah, blah (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859195)

Yes, employers are being dishonest even with themselves. Office politics most certainly extends into hiring decisions. They want high skills, but they don't want candidates with PhDs. They want someone who is good but not too good. They seem to want an idiot savant who is a genius at technical work but a complete fool with money who will be in a world of hurt if that all important income takes a hit. They say they're afraid the doctors will leave out of boredom. They think a PhD doesn't mean anything good anyway, and sadly, many doctors are arrogant. But if not arrogant, such a candidate might be "academic", too prone to seeing a bigger picture instead of getting work done. If they buckle down, don't ask too many questions, and get work done, then somehow the work often turns out to be unnecessary and useless because some higher up decided to go a different direction, or the project wasn't a good idea to begin with and fails. They might have even been set up. Then they get slanged for failing to anticipate correctly and everyone else has great fun sneering at the "genius", and hopefully persuading management to get rid of that employee. After all, the most competent of one's fellow employees are the greatest threat to one's own job! If instead the genius does anticipate correctly, in spite of being deliberately kept in the dark then this real fear surfaces. So why not head off the "problem" immediately by refusing to hire the candidate? Not like it's hard to make stick some stupid, trite excuse like "not a good fit" or "they will get bored and leave".

But on a totally different other note, most of us really are fools with money. Most Americans are so wasteful, and could indeed get by with far less income. A family of 2 to 4 does not need an expensive McMansion. Employers are right in that sense. If tech people are so smart, why has the price of housing risen so much more in Silicon Valley and other hotbeds of technology? Maybe the longing for an idiot savant isn't so crazily unreasonable after all?

I have an idea (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858291)

I would have voted for visas for 50,000 smart foreign students graduating with STEM degrees from U.S. universities over bringing in 55,000 randomly selected high-school graduates from abroad

Or we could hire Americans. First, it doesn't steal jobs from Americans. Second, it keeps talented individuals in their home countries instead of leaving their country with fewer skilled workers. That's kinda a big thing in 3rd world countries.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858477)

How about we ship your talent off to a third world country then? Or do you deserve to get opportunities that they don't? I'm sure plenty of places could sure use "skilled workers" so why should you keep living in the US just because you won the geography lottery at birth?

"Stealing" jobs my ass - you got out competed. You're born in a shitty country = you have to live in a shitty country, is the reasoning you're peddling.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858637)

First, it doesn't steal jobs from Americans.

"Steals" jobs from Americans? really? You need to have a legal title for something for it to be stolen, which you don't.

You may fall in whatever side of the issue you might want, but using the phrase "stealing jobs from America" is just inflammatory propaganda.

Think about it.

Brain work can be done anywhere in the world (1)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858301)

We might as well let the cream of the crop immigrate here and reap the rewards of high paying local jobs.

By contrast, a lot of manual labor is specific to a locale: gardening, cleaning, garbage collection. There's no reason to have able-bodied Americans collecting welfare because illegal aliens take those first jobs on the rung of the economic ladder because taxes and regulations have made them cheaper to employee under the table than to comply with a hose of regulations and taxes for hiring Americans.

Importing brain labor increases the nation's net economic output. hiring illegal aliens that send significant portions of their pay back to Mexico while Americans sit idle decreases the nation's economic output.

Re:Brain work can be done anywhere in the world (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858451)

LMOL - yeah because illegal aliens don't pay taxes or rent or buy food or clothes......nice one Potsy.

Re:Brain work can be done anywhere in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858565)

In most cases, they don't. And when they do, they file false deductions are as a group are paid billions [frontpagemag.com] of dollars.
In most cases, they buy cheap goods
In most cases they rent, but manage to stuff [aol.com] two or three households into a home.

Re:Brain work can be done anywhere in the world (1)

wisty (1335733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858777)

No, it's a good point (if a little ... mercenary).

Illegal aliens don't pay many taxes, rent expensive apartments, buy expensive food, or buy expensive food; because most of them are poor. High skilled immigrants pay lots of taxes, and blow lots of money on expensive things (like hiring maids, dining out, etc). Murica would rather have badly educated kids who are there to serve highly paid immigrants than well educated kids who make money which they can use to pay low-skilled immigrants.

You *could* educated American kids better, but that's a states issue (not a federal one like immigration). OK, the federal government has tried to fix education (with No Child Left Behind), but ... maybe it would be better if they found something else to wreck.

Re:Brain work can be done anywhere in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858861)

1 worker's taxes > (1 worker's taxes - 1 citizen's welfare benefits)

I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand.

Democrats Want to Defy Birth Trends (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858349)

Let anyone and everyone uneducated in and the Democrats can convince those people that the government is their only savior, as opposed to education, and the Democrats will keep most of those uneducated in the Democrat party, keeping the Democrats in power.

If we restrict immigration, the retiring boomers who vote more conservatively will not keep the Democrats in WDC.

Re:Democrats Want to Defy Birth Trends (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858463)

FYI Romney lost....also, government regulates immigration and hands out H1B Visas, sooo...people educated immigrants might actually be beholding to the government that let them in...

Re:Democrats Want to Defy Birth Trends (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858539)

Everyone(except the courageous souls at VHEMT [vhemt.org] ) wants to defy birth trends:

Across more or less the whole of the first world, birth rates are at or below replacement levels. Even in some of the less fucked 'developing' nations it turns out that 'not breeding like animals until you die' is a fairly popular lifestyle choice among people who have sufficient autonomy and access to medical resources to be able to make it. Shocking, I know.

However, the world isn't exactly overflowing with economic plans for downsizing gracefully. Whether it's an ad-hoc social arrangement(children caring for elderly parents because it's their Filial Duty) or a state administered program(Medicare), most plans for keeping old people from being ground up for soylent green involve having young workers around, ideally in larger numbers than the old people.

Since domestic birth rates make that...problematic... this leads to a certain amount of pressure to keep the working population up by other means.

If we want to go with your (arguably somewhat crass and reductionistic) characterization, it goes like this:

1. Democrats favor immigration because immigrants skew more democratic than wrinkly reactionary old people do.

2. Retiring boomers don't have a whole lot of choice; because their parents fucked like bunnies; but they didn't, so if they want to keep the death panels away, they either need to really squeeze their children, or find a substitute for the ones that they didn't have. They don't have to like it(and many don't); but them's the breaks.

A PhD in STEM = work/living permit in EU... (4, Insightful)

acidfast7 (551610) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858365)

and by-passes the usually necessary requirement of not being able to find a "local" to do the work and the mandatory language requirements. STEM graduates almost always have special rights over here. In Germany (my current location), the Blue Card scheme is fully implemented ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Card_(European_Union) [wikipedia.org]

Most in US don't want to compete for jobs (1, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858381)

Back in 200 when Bush II was elected. most people did not really know or care about immigration. Reagan had solved a big part of the problem of the problem through amnesty, the ones most effected, tech, recreation, and oil, were not a huge part of the national psyche. Bush was elected on a very soft policy towards undocumented workers.

But then those undocumented workers started entering the midwest, the economy tanked to 10 years, 9/11, etc and everyone began to freak.

Some of the problems with firms who need technical labor is legitimate. Multinational firms, for example Oil firms, do have a need to transfer people to the US for temporary or long term assignments. Software developers simply trying to use the H1B visa to gain indentured servants is going to interfere with that. Like wise recreation facilities, like ski resorts, simply looking for seasonal labor needs available H1B visas to grant non-US residents short term assignments. Again, firms looking for indentured servants though the H1B visa program interferes with this.

But in a larger sense this about competition. If one works in meat packing plant, one does not want to be competing against someone who will do a days work, instead of the 90% that has become the norm. If one is looking for technical job, it is much harder to compete with a million world wide candidates than 100,000 US candidates.

So to me these are the question. Are we so afraid of the free market and competition that we are going to continue to impose regulations on businesses that say they are not allowed to hire the best candidate possible.? It is clear that most conservative believe we should. The second is are we going to invest in education and training, hold out kids up to the highest standards, and leave behind this idea that we deserve a job just because we were born in the US, and expect people to get out there and hustle instead of sitting back on the sofa waiting for a job to be presented? This is a hard pill to swallow, but the internet ,cheap air travel, and the widespread teaching of english, means that isolation is no longer a viable policy.

Re:Most in US don't want to compete for jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858613)

The bottom line is that the average H1B worker isn't really all that superior.

Their advantage is that they will work for less and can act as a liaison to the outsourced workers elsewhere.

Besides, at some point, a U.S. company needs to become a Homer as the U.S. consumers are a large part of its income base.

Don't Shit Where you Eat.

Re:Most in US don't want to compete for jobs (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858993)

Here's a big part of the problem: As a country, we are throwing a large amount of resources at education. The government even props up the student loan business and the states are heavily into education - not just K-12 but state run universities.

If we want to support education because it is a Good Thing (tm), shouldn't the government be allowed to recoup the investment - i.e. we don't want people to get 13 or more years of education partially/fully funded by tax payers for them to go work at McDonalds and/or collect welfare? Isn't it in our best interest to encourage companies to hire them at well-paying challenging jobs in order to increase the tax base and buy stuff/invest in the economy? I'd argue that is one of the arguments against open immigration, especially in the STEM sectors.

Call your congressman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858441)

Blow up their phones to stop this crap

Immigration: a society's tool, not an entitlement (4, Insightful)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858459)

There is a misguided perception, here, that immigration is about fairness. It is, in fact, about the benefit a society accrues from accepting the immigrant. You take on another mouth to feed in light of the production you will gain. Wringing hands over the ideal of welcoming all "wretched refuse" is to confuse poetry with reality.

Re:Immigration: a society's tool, not an entitleme (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858513)

So instead we should increase supply and drive down wages in one of the last fields that offers a middle class income?

There are plenty of unemployed here in the USA. We don't need to make that problem worse.

Re:Immigration: a society's tool, not an entitleme (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859273)

There is a misguided perception, here, that immigration is about fairness. It is, in fact, about the benefit a society accrues from accepting the immigrant.

Why? "Because I says so".

The reality is that ideas of fairness have a huge impact on many aspects of the world, including immigration. You might try to get all reductionist and say "the bill of rights only happened because we did psychohistory calculations and determined that its net advantages to society outweighed its net disadvantages and societies with a bill of rights tend to prosper more". But that's ridiculous because no such calculations are accurate, and they all are swayed more the author's biases than by fact, and you can paint a much straighter line from authors' moral consciences to end result than you can from pragmatic calculations.

Politically correct media (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858471)

Can we please stop with all this politically correct nonsense? "Undocumented immigrants?" Why can't we call them what they are, Illegal aliens.

no (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858519)

America does not need immigrants of any skill level. All required skills are available among current citizens. Zero additions are needed.  A  rigorously nationalist use-it-here/make-it-here/invest-it-here meme requires strict implementation & enforcement. Let globalist cosmopolitans and bleeding-hearts choke on their own  bizz-Nazi or lib.com drool. Slap them down ... slap them down hard.

You call them undocumented workers... (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858551)

I call them criminals. They are breaking the law after all. Though I probably have a bias, because in my neighborhood you cant even order at bk en ingles. But thats why even us Texas liberals are for heavier border protection. Also the cartels gunning down our assistant DA. Sorry had to fit that in somewhere. But I STILL think STEM visas like H1B1 need to be expanded even! Do you have any idea how many people with tertiary education are immigrants? Its over 55%, and that's too much to just "grow" in one generation. It needs to be done to an extent but gradually. Besides if we can hurt their economy, boost our own, and stand.a better chance at advancing...why not? Using the mobile app, so goodbye to my paragraph formatting.

Re:You call them undocumented workers... (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858561)

Kauffman assistant DA...not too far from us in SE dallas.

Re:You call them undocumented workers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858607)

I call them criminals. They are breaking the law after all.

Not a criminal law. It's a purely civil infraction.

Every other country in the world (4, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858557)

Wants highly trained, highly skilled people when immigrating. Try to immigrate to Mexico. If you are a fruit picker, you aren't going to be able to. IT person with a great skillset? Your likelihood of being let in greatly improves.

But yes, lets bash America for wanting the same thing every other country does when allowing people to immigrate, some standards.

Bringing in the best is a scam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42858785)

My county in northern VA had this plan about 10 years ago. Expand, expand, expand. The theory was if we build high end homes t attrack high end jobs and people that make a lot of money will move into the county, raise the tax base and everyone will benefit. I can tell you 10 years later it did not work that way. Yes, there were some high end homes but there were also as many townhomes and low end homes built. The roads were not expanded by an equal amount and our taxes have gone way up to support the massive growth. Most of the high end homes tanked in value and lowered the proprty values for everyone in the area.

Bringing in "high need" people into the country is the same exact situation. The plan does not work long term. With the high end come low ends and a support structure to support everyone. It looks great on paper for a few years. When the high ends leave or scale back, the low end and support structure is still there and now there is no one to pay for it or to keep it going. Everyone left behind suffers and the high end person took his/her money and went somewhere else.

Here are your choices. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858797)

1) Import a bunch of smart, engineerish types who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

2) Leave a bunch of smart, engineerish types in their home countries, where they do the work for $5/hr or less, and who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

Like it or not, the first option is probably less damaging to your salary and career, and better for everyone in the USA in the long run.

green cards instead of H visas (2)

peter303 (12292) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858977)

The H series is meant to be temporary. Most the applicants for these intend to stay in the US. The H visa leads to grief for employees and abuse by employers.

other countries consider jobs skills (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859003)

20% of the Canadian immigration point system is for advanced degrees and a waiting job. I hear it is like that for many other countries too.

Like taking candy (1)

Sharmble (2838445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859185)

Some four million people entered the USA last year with no passports and none of them could speak English. It will take 20 years or more of continuous investment before many of them will even consider holding down a job. Most people are in favor of this. We call those 4,000,000 new-arrivals babies. Most immigrants are the same, except they have passports, some English and can be ecconomically productive in days or weeks. Why the big discrepency in treatment?

Just keep Canadian "singers" out (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42859225)

Send Justin Bieber and Celine Dion back. Please.

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