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H-1B Cap Reached Today; Didn't Get In? Too Bad

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the cue-up-the-nativist-indignation dept.

Education 512

First time accepted submitter Dawn Kawamoto writes "Employers stampeding into the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to get their H-1B petitions filed before the cap is reached are getting the door slammed in their face today. The cap was hit in near record time of 5 days, compared to the 10 weeks it took last year to have more than enough petitions to fulfill the combined cap of 85,000 statutory and advanced degree H-1B petitions. While U.S. tech workers scream that they're losing out on jobs as H-1B workers are hired, employers are countering that the talent pool is lacking and they need to increase the cap. Of course, Congress is wrangling in on this one as to whether it's time to raise the bar."

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talent! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374115)

talent pool is lacking = we don't want to pay

Re:talent! (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374147)

Sad but true.

I'm willing to bet that the big H1-B heavy corps (Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, and similar) had people sitting at the door waiting in line, metaphorically speaking. They likely snatched up their maximums in less than an hour after opening.

Good luck if you're a small operator, but at least the good news is the big guys made it easier to work with a lot of excellent-but-smaller companies.

They're not who you think (5, Insightful)

14erCleaner (745600) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374251)

From NPR [npr.org] , a few days ago. Why is Congress supporting this (other than the obvious answer, campaign contributions)?

If you scroll through the government's visa data, you notice something surprising. The biggest employer of foreign tech workers is not Microsoft â" not by a long shot. Nor is it Google, Facebook or any other name-brand tech company. The biggest users of H-1Bs are consulting companies, or as Ron Hira calls them, "offshore-outsourcing firms."

For the past decade, he's been studying how consulting firms use temporary work visas to help American companies cut costs. He says they use the visas to supply cheaper workers here, but also to smooth the transfer of American jobs to information-technology centers overseas. "What these firms have done is exploit the loopholes in the H-1B program to bring in on-site workers to learn the jobs [of] the Americans to then ship it back offshore," he says. "And also to bring in on-site workers who are cheaper on the H-1B and undercut American workers right here."

The biggest user of H-1B last year was Cognizant, a firm based in New Jersey. The company got 9,000 new visas. Following close behind were Infosys, Wipro and Tata â'â' all Indian firms.

consulting companies, (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374449)

And who uses the "consulting companies"? Your local company. They use these "consulting companies" for their IT needs.

And in the meantime they bitch and moan about the lack of local talent.

Listen folks: business people are two faced liars. Anyone who defends them is the same.

Re:consulting companies, (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374543)

And who uses the "consulting companies"? Your local company. They use these "consulting companies" for their IT needs.

And in the meantime they bitch and moan about the lack of local talent.

Listen folks: business people are two faced liars. Anyone who defends them is the same.

Nope, not my "local company". Mostly it's the big guys that ARE NOT on the H1-B Top List: Microsoft, Google, IBM, others...

Re: They're not who you think (1)

hemp (36945) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374711)

Look up your H1-b visa co-workers and see what they make:

http://salaryquest.com/ [salaryquest.com]

Re:They're not who you think (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374819)

M*therf*cker. No wonder the NorthEast market has been dead this last year.

Re:talent! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374371)

(Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, and simila...

When I see those assholes and others cry about the "lack of local talent" and see the out of work - willing and talented folks, I just shake my head and do what I have to. I have a 10 year old computer because I can't afford better. I have a 20 year old car because I can't afford better. I have student loans because I was told that if I "went up the food chain" and leave the low level jobs to overseas people the things would be better for me.

I am sitting in a ton of student debt with no job prospects because I did what I was told was right - more education is better. NO, I don't have a PhD in Lit - almost as bad: MBA - I was hoping to get into tech mgt and be the PHB that actually knew about tech - ya know, the PHB that techies respected because I was there.

Instead I'm told I was stupid for doing so. I was stupid for going back to school and I was a sucker.

I am told that there's something wrong with me. I am told that I wouldn't be unemployed if I had the "skills".

Really?

Well folks, Java, C++,C,SQL, Windows 32/MFC.WPF,C#, Linux, Unix, OS/2 are all worthless skills! Because those are what I have.

Wiling to have a book FedEx'ed from Amazon to cram to learn a new skill that the mgt decided to use after you were hired isn't worth anything.

No, hiring mangers want you to know everything before hand.

You know, I looked at current salaries and they're at about 70K for most higher level developers these days. Back in '99, those same developers were getting over 100K.

Recently some friends of mine who are C++ guys jumped on jobs that paid 60K+ here in Metro Atl. They were making almost 100K at their previous job. But with all these H1Bs and others being imported, pay has been depressed and they got bills to pay - like student loans for that BSCS they paid through the nose for so that they could have job security.

And in the meantime, Bill gates and Mark Fucker - Zuckerberg are begging kids to learn programming.

I'm beginning to understand why people have become revolutionaries and followed some asshole who screwed everyone over after they took power - like Castro.

Please excuse the grammar and spelling errors: I'm in a rage.

Re: talent! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374443)

Dang, that's scary. I left the business world (Accounting / Finance) to attain an MS in Software Engineering. I hope I have better fate after school.

Re:talent! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374453)

Just because you have an "education" and can put a list of "skills" on a resume, that does not mean you're actually worth your salt. If you interview anything like how you type, I'm not at all surprised that you're frustrated.

Ah yes, you are sooo right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374753)

. If you interview anything like how you type, I'm not at all surprised that you're frustrated.

Yeah, because a Slashdot rant is indicative of how one is in real life.

Unbelievable.

Nice, ad hominem, btw. Kudos for the moderation points.

I once worked for some folks years ago. While they were being sued for 20 million dollars, they wondered why their employees kept their mouth shut about their problems. They were sued for tens of millions by their customers and eventually prosecuted by the SEC because anyone who said anything negative were accused of having a "bad attitude".

Something for you to think about.

Re: talent! (1, Redundant)

Alex Okoli (2889427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374483)

(Moderators please delete my duplicate post above) Dang, that's scary. I left the business world (Accounting / Finance) to attain an MS in Software Engineering. I hope I have better fate after school.

Re:talent! (1)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374729)

What projects outside of class did you participate in. You'll find those types of experiences are much more important than a high GPA in stuff you've been spoon fed. The most impressive candidates are ones who do well in school, but are also motivated enough to do things outside of the curriculum.
From a practical view, employers want somebody who can solve new problems, like working on a university solar car project, run an auger tool lab to become the defacto "owner," and go to person for people needing data collection and interpretation. That not only shows the smarts but their ability apply and problem solve new ideas. I was very lucky to take an 8 month internship in San Jose, and because of the cost of living I slept on a friend's cousin's couch. But on the experience side, I helped design and improve a laser system used for hard drives. Because the company bought a crappy system I ran into a number of roadblocks that required some innovative thinking. I then was able to consistently deliver what the customers wanted, to the point where my mentor would just send people wanting experiments done to me and I was effictively the tool owner.. It was an incredible challenge trying to come up with novel ways to satisfy outrageous customer needs, but it created concrete proof that I was focused and adaptible enough to get things done. I chose not to join the company, but I got great letters of recommendation, and could honestly share interesting stories that the recruiting engineer could relate to. It showed my ambition to learn, how I approached problems, and my ability to come up with new ideas to deliver. Those types of interviews extremely revealing, and more interesting for the candidate and interviewer.

Re:talent! (2)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374827)

What projects outside of class did you participate in. You'll find those types of experiences are much more important than a high GPA in stuff you've been spoon fed. The most impressive candidates are ones who do well in school, but are also motivated enough to do things outside of the curriculum.

Fat lot of good this does when the poor guy is already out of school.

Besides, how do you know that he didn't listen to a guy just like you? Why should he listen to you over them?

The cool thing about Slashdot is there are lots of ideas and opinions around. The really shitty part about Slashdot is that there are lots of ideas and opinions around. Who the hell knows, really, what's good and what isn't?

Re:talent! (5, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374269)

Well, it has been a fairly interesting week. Let's see, got the jobs data right here, and it's a doozy: link [reuters.com]

Given those unemployment figures, it's kind of hard to argue that there is a lack of people in those fields seeking gainful employment. Oh, wait, I'm wrong; apparently, a large number of them have recently given up looking for work, as they simply couldn't find any, and thus are dropped from the count in the future (hurrah!).

Personally, I can't wait until we see the past few months' employment figures readjusted, at some future date.

But yeah, if you had to listen to the techs or business people on this one, the techs are probably telling it straight: they're being screwed. But that's alright, it's not like it's going to affect the security / whatever of our nation, as surely people will continue to enter into these great fields despite the now frequent hardships, right? Only no, it appears that a lot of programs seem to be having problems here. It warms the cockles of my heart to know that the US's CyberCommand will, in time, possibly be 100% foreign-born.

Hey Congress, just keep doing what you've been doing. Fantastic job thus far, can't wait to see the results next quarter. Just know that a large, angry, and extremely vocal contingent of unemployed techs will certainly not spend their idle time trying to find ways to undermine you as you've undermined them. Nope, that'll never happen. Plus those are votes you can count on not getting on election day...not that it will matter with the kickbacks you will be earning for passing this crap...on the other hand, an untimely exposure of a scandal does tend to limit one's chances, and does cost a lot less. Price of a bought Senator? $5,000,000. Price of an Android phone? $300. Catching the good Senator making out with someone not his wife, and uploading it to YouTube? Priceless.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374657)

Given those unemployment figures, it's kind of hard to argue that there is a lack of people in those fields seeking gainful employment.

Not that I'm in favor of H-1B visas or anything, but this isn't a good argument. It's possible for the economy as a whole to see high unemployment but for tech to have a small pool of available labor. I don't think this is the case, but you haven't made the point that it isn't.

Re:talent! (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374841)

Babe, techs have been screaming about this for months, years even. You have come to the wrong website if you think you can play this game, and get away with it.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374667)

They aren't stupid and they know this. Have you failed to notice impending 'war on hackers' just around the corner? Your little antics won't be quite as likely to happen when your either too scared to own an 'unlocked PC' (when it becomes illegal with harsh penalties), or you are getting ass raped by Bubba in jail. There is a large number of large black fellows in prisons up and down the country. If they knew about the tidal wave of hapless skinny nerdy types about the hit the prison system, I'm sure they would be practically salivating.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374785)

You can also expect all techy types, as a group, to become increasingly stigmatised. Not just in a playground bullying, low social status kind of way like they are now, but positively hated by cops and authority figures, and demonised by the media. Expect to be harassed at airports for looking too geeky or still carrying a laptop instead of a locked down tablet. If you are an unemployed techy type ... well, let's just say you'd better start picking alternative countries. The trend of ever decreasing tolerance and harsher punishments for using a computer in ways which aren't intended (whether explicitly stated as illegal or not) will get magnified x 1000.

Re:talent! (5, Interesting)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374295)

talent pool is lacking = we don't want to pay

So why not have a minimum salary for H1B employees? Increase with inflation every year of course.

If an H1B is truly necessary because the talent is lacking, the presumably they'd be willing to pay. If it's because they only want to pay a foreigner $35k/yr for job with a market value of $70k/yr, then that's not what the H1B program is supposed to be about. Set the minimum at something like $80k/yr, and you'll be limiting it to folks who are really in high demand and the absolute in their field, otherwise you can hire an American.

I mean, really, what talent is there that should pay less than $80k/yr that you really cannot find an American to hire for?

Re:talent! (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374385)

It's not quite that simple.

An H1b is paid a "reasonable" salary which is princely by their native countries standards.

And the company gets to treat them as slaves and work them long hours because if they quit, they must find another job who can sponsor them for an h1b quickly or return home.

Re:talent! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374601)

Reasonable should be no less than 50% ABOVE the median income of the area they are getting hired to work in. If the companies really can't get workers in that area, then they should be willing to pay more.

You find me a job, ANY JOB, where they lack qualified applicants and I can show you a job where they don't pay enough.

Re:talent! (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374407)

talent pool is lacking = we don't want to pay

So why not have a minimum salary for H1B employees? Increase with inflation every year of course.

Good first step but not enough.
Also, why not make it easy to transfer your H1B visa to a competitor? Otherwise, competitive pay or not, but what you get is an indentured servant who will be deported if fired.

Re:talent! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374479)

80k per year minimum. The big tech corps pay their H-1Bs more than that already. All this bitching about foreign workers stinks of racism more than reality. No doubt their are companies abusing this, but the companies always cited in the complaints (Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook) pay their H-1B (or TN1, E3, etc) workers more than the minimums that any one ever proposes.

And yes, they do pay more than that IN REALITY.

Re:talent! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374497)

The reason employers prefer H1B employees isn't due to salaries - they get paid competitive wages. The reason they prefer H1B employees is because, if you fire someone on an H1B, they have a very short window to find a new job in America before being deported. Which means they are very scared of losing their jobs, which means that if you tell them to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, they will.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374515)

There is already a $60k/year legal minimum for H1. But you are right, by setting the minimum you should be able to separate cheap labor from really needed skilled workers. I think current limit is ridiculously low, and should be $100k/year. In fact just set it to $100k ($150k for companies wanting to obtain more than 500 such visas) and see what happens. I bet you won't even need any cap this way.

Re:talent! (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374715)

talent pool is lacking = we don't want to pay

So why not have a minimum salary for H1B employees? Increase with inflation every year of course.

The H1-Bs being underpaid is their business model. Plus it doesn't hurt that if he's fired he's kicked out of the country--nothing like an employee who can't quit without being deported to keep the complaints from staff down...

Re:talent! (1)

JamesRing (1789222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374723)

I didn't see this mentioned, but the sponsoring company has to make a Labor Condition Application for H-1B applicants. In this application they have to show that the visa candidate is going to be paid a salary at or above the "prevailing wage". Of course there are ways and means to avoid this but at least in principle is supposed to make a H-1B worker no more attractive to an employer than an American.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374759)

The issue of salary is easy to solve. Break the tie between the H1-B visa and the employer thus allowing the visa holder to easily switch to a different job. The market will then decide how much he is worth. Right now, yes, they are cheap. But they are cheap because their visa ties them exclusively to a single employer and that single employer represents the only hope the visa holder will ever get a green card.

Re:talent! (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374347)

In my experience, it is mostly lacking. Sure, people are graduating from college with these shiny IT degrees, but for example I know of all too many IT graduates that can't even do something as basic as subnetting.

Re:talent! (2)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374799)

Back in early 2000 I remember working on a reflow oven on the production line. The CS guy was messing with the system to report MTBA/MTBE data. After the upgrade the reflow profile tester was no longer working. He had no clue why, So I just went into microsoft (98 I think) troubleshooting mode. One of the things I checked out were the IRQ settings, and noticed there was a conflict. Then I noticed he had plugged in his old palm pilot into the machine to charge it.
I pulled the plug on that, and no issues. His response was "Oh wow, they don't teach you that in school"

Re:talent! (1)

farrellj (563) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374529)

True, and they ask for fantasy qualifications...or what they ask advertise for, and what the actual hiring person wants isn't always the same. I went to an interview in another city...took the train up, since the phone interviews with the HR people and such went great...then I got into the interview, and instead of a SysAdmin for Linux, the actual person doing the hiring wanted a programmer, but he wasn't allow to get one he was interviewing SysAdmins hoping to get a programmer!!! What at sh*thead he was! Waste of my time and money (Lunch, etc). HR Lies, Other applications lie and get jobs...and I sit fricking unemployed still. So maybe, I will just get into the Music Business...a lot more stable than the tech sector!!!! :-/

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374577)

Possibly, but that said, I have had to interview nearly twenty "Computer Science Graduates" in the past year, and it is fucking appalling how these kids even got out of school. I mean, seriously. We're not talking about inability to do massive calculus functions or not knowing obscure algorithims.. we're talking people incapable of doing FizzBuzz and unable to program without a GUI. And when I say without a GUI, I mean they literally CANNOT CODE without dragging and dropping buttons on the screen.

So. Yeah. BTW, the first two indian guys on H1-B potentials we interviewed, got it right off.

Re:talent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374825)

Quite whining. IT work is trivial stuff nowadays - kind of working at McDonalds. Grossly overpaid!

Congress is still debating the Barbary Pirates (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374127)

They should get to this issue sometime around the year 2347

There IS a talent shortage. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374137)

> While U.S. tech workers scream that they're losing out on jobs as H-1B workers are hired

No *competent* tech worker is screaming that. Seriously. If you are in tech and unemployed right now, it is nobody's fault but your own; everyone is hiring like a madman right now.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374191)

I used to want to get a job in IT, but all the entry level positions required 5 years or more of experience on top of the certifications, and that was just for jobs where they were having you read a support script.

I'm sure once you're in it's a lot easier, but I don't recall seeing a single opening back then where I could apply, not a single one. Ultimately, I gave up and got work in a different sector where it wasn't quite as bad, but entry level does not mean 5 years of experience, it means at most 1 year.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374249)

At higher levels, they focus on "Purple Squirrels" -- hard to meet combinations that aren't available -- instead of people who can do the job well.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374545)

Same here - 3-5 years in something specific, usually with several other requirements.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374193)

I second this. It is very hard to find good people, local or otherwise. It seems that all the talented tech workers are not looking for work. The people whining that they can't get jobs are useless and lacking in self-awareness.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (4, Insightful)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374265)

Talent has nothing to do with it. I can get dozens of jobs at any moment but not one that pays over 50K because a foreign worker will do the same job for 30K. I made 70K when I was 23 (2003) 75-80K when I was 25- 27 doing the same job with less experience.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374517)

One interesting thing I noticed with H1Bs from Ireland is that their education cost them 0 because that was paid for by their government. That alone seems like an unfair advantage, one that makes Congress seem a tad hypocritical to me.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374745)

Talent has everything to do with it. Even with my limiting H1 visa, I'm making over $100k/year. Many other software developers I know with H1 visas also have similar salaries. I'm getting job offers every month, and most of them would be happy to hire citizens as that is easier for them. But that is for software developer market. Salaries for other jobs are decreasing, but not because of foreign workers or any similar reason. World needs less and less work due to increasing automation, and simple jobs are either disappering completely or getting their salaries reduced. You cannot fight with this trend. Only solutions are 1) unionize 2) accept the fact and live with it 3) try to improve yourself. Obviously these solutions have their own problems as well, so pick your poison.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

sam_paris (919837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374803)

Totally agree with you. I'm on a H1 visa too and earning 110k. How did I get this job? I spent three months working 10 hours days studying to improve my skills. Then I went to about 15 interviews which I used as practice to work on my weak points. After each interview I made notes about where I did well and where I failed and then I focused on those weak points. Then, when the interviews came up for the companies I cared about, I nailed them. Result, two offers to two of the best and most well known companies in the world.

There are plenty of jobs out there for people with the talent and the guts to work hard and prove themselves. You can't sit at home twiddling your thumbs and think that just because you got a Comp Sci degree, that the world owes you a 50k+ tech job.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

sam_paris (919837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374763)

No offense intended, but if you have more than 5 years of experience and you can't get a tech job over 50k, then you're doing something very wrong. I have recruiters bombaring me for a variety of jobs 75k+ and I'm currently on 110k. I have less than 5 years experience.

Maybe it's to do with your location? Move to NY or Cali, practice your interviewing technique, you'll find a job.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374351)

Translation: Waaa no one will work for pittance I'm offering!

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374401)

If the talented tech workers are not looking for work (at your company), perhaps you are not making them an offer they find interesting. Perhaps your company looks like it has a dubious business plan, and they see no reason to hitch their wagons to your ailing horse.

Re:There IS a talent shortage. (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374683)

Beggars can't be choosers. If there is indeed this mythical horde of talented tech workers out there looking for work, surely they would prefer any job to no job. So, where are they all?

More like the cheap pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374149)

The reason for the discrepancy between what workers and employers are saying is a different definition of "Talent"...

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374161)

employers are countering that the low-cost, low-maintenance talent pool is lacking and they need to increase the cap

Anonymous because I'm not a karma whore.

Lets hire more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374195)

We need higher unemployment of skilled workers because they cost too much to hire locally.

I'm obviously bitter on this subject.

Both opinions are true (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374209)

While U.S. tech workers scream that they're losing out on jobs as H-1B workers are hired, employers are countering that the talent pool is lacking and they need to increase the cap.

US tech workers have to compete with the tech elite of the world. It is then quite obvious that most of US workers are not competitive on their skills alone, not even counting salary and benefits and other expectations (like a somewhat limited work week.)

The US employers at the same time are expecting to hire the best and brightest *of the world* - and I cannot fault them for trying. Naturally, those 85,000 are not all that is available on the world labor market; India and China are large places, and their people are not corrupted yet with ideas that everyone owes them a fine living.

Add to the problem the duality of the salary. A salary that barely feeds a US worker is a windfall in the 3rd world. Work in the USA for up to 6 years, come back, open a business on all that money, and you are set for life. This is how Mexicans operate, for example.

So both sides in this dispute are correct, in their own way. The US tech worker is forced to compete with the best of the best of the whole world, and he cannot win that competition unless he is aided by his own brilliance (it does happen!) or unique skills, or requirements of citizenship (for classified work.) In nearly every other case a foreign coder is a better match for the employer.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374273)

We aren't competing entirely with the best. We are competing with often less qualified individuals who are willing to be paid less.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Llian (615902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374415)

Apparently they are qualified enough to do the job. There needs to be enough competition for the jobs, yet discourage obvious abuses. Setting a reasonable minimum wage would go a long way to fix that. But unfortunately, that idea is anathema in the US. Far too greedy on all sides of the line.

Re:Both opinions are true (5, Insightful)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374297)

"In nearly every other case a foreign coder is a better match for the employer."

In nearly every other case a foreign coder is a better match for the cheap ass that wants to give himself a bonus for having higher profit margins because he paid less wages.
There fixed that for you.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374619)

Thank you for expanding my terse term "better." This is exactly what it is. "More profit" == "better." There are no substitutes in the world of business. There is no even measure by which to compare substitutes if they were to become available.

Note also that there is a chain of dependencies, up and down from where you stand. Say, out of pure goodness of your heart you hired a "less competent" person and he damaged an expensive machine. The manufacturer of the machine will not repair it at a discount just because the poor disadvantaged person who broke it deserves a discount. You will get no discount on anything; if you hired the guy and he fscked up, you pay for his errors. Same occurs upward: if the same guy had to take a few days off, unannounced, because he had an urgent drug problem to deal with, your customer will not be kind enough to waive the delivery date on the parts that the druggie failed to manufacture. You pay for that.

Re:Both opinions are true (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374313)

Bullshit, what US employers want are an exploitable workforce that will work for cheap. This shit extends to other industries as well (mining in Canada, for example.) And these assholes that come from overseas are all-too-willing to go along with it too, fucking us all over in the process.

And then there are assholes like YOU who fucking support these cocksuckers in their mission to enslave working people.

Sincerely,
Fuck your mother
Die of cancer
Rot in hell!
(asshole)

Re:Both opinions are true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374639)

Amen to that

Re:Both opinions are true (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374417)

US tech workers have to compete with the tech elite of the world.

With the nice handicap of a higher cost of living.

It is then quite obvious that most of US workers are not competitive on their skills alone, not even counting salary and benefits and other expectations (like a somewhat limited work week.)

Is it? I see Indian companies setting up shop in the US and importing people with the primary goal of exporting knowledge and jobs from the country. It's the same bloodbath that manufacturing has seen engaged in by greedy executives as they export manufacturing jobs to China.

India and China are large places, and their people are not corrupted yet with ideas that everyone owes them a fine living.

Ah yes, because expecting to be paid a living wage in your nation of residence is an insidious ideal.

A salary that barely feeds a US worker is a windfall in the 3rd world.

Precisely why corporations like to offshore jobs. They get to take advantage of a wage gradient that individuals don't.

The US tech worker is forced to compete with the best of the best of the whole world, and he cannot win that competition unless he is aided by his own brilliance (it does happen!) or unique skills, or requirements of citizenship (for classified work.)

He cannot win. So long as India and China can keep the cost of labor down and increase their knowledge pool, much like US manufacturing, US tech jobs will be exported as well and US workers will have no recourse. Except, of course, to accept pay as low as received in India and China but without the lower cost of living. Which is what employers want. To keep income high and impoverish their workers - without realizing that they are shooting themselves in the head by destroying their market.

Perhaps we should end the bullshit that is "free trade" and start some creeping tariffs. Exporting jobs should be met with a nice, stiff tax.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374721)

With the nice handicap of a higher cost of living.

We're talking about H1-B immigrants, not offshore workers. Doesn't the H1-B guy LIVING IN THE USA have the same cost-of-living handicap? How can he survive with such a smaller salary than the US worker?

Re:Both opinions are true (2)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374843)

...Doesn't the H1-B guy LIVING IN THE USA have the same cost-of-living handicap? How can he survive with such a smaller salary than the US worker?

By typically being a single individual not raising a family, saving for retirement in this country, nor paying off educational debts incurred in this country. Capische?

Re:Both opinions are true (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374845)

Doesn't the H1-B guy LIVING IN THE USA have the same cost-of-living handicap? How can he survive with such a smaller salary than the US worker?

He has no peer pressure. He can live in a bad part of town; he can drive a junk car; he does not need to visit bars and strip clubs; he does not need to marry and raise children (with all expenses of that.) All he needs is a few years to park their $behind at, so that he can save as much as possible.

Not every H1B does that, but I know those who do. It's not nice to live like that, as in barracks. However it's OK for a young man who just wants to work for three years, get his money and get out. All the nice houses and expensive wives can be had back at his home country, much cheaper.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374867)

So are US workers incapable of or unwilling to make those same choices?

Re:Both opinions are true (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374427)

From experience, I can say there has been a big change from 2004 to 2012.

In 2004, my company got masters degree candidates for bachelors degree salaries.

In 2008, my company got bachelor degree candidates for bachelors degree salaries.

In 2011, we were getting disengaged bachelor degree candidates. They basically counted on working for us for 6 months and then being rotated elsewhere. This had the expected and predictable effects.

In 2012, they laid 90% of us off and replaced us with infosys people. They unexpectedly lost another 5%. Infosys was unable staff so we had the weird situation of not even training our replacements but recording training sessions. I went to lunch with a few of the survivors last week and it's a complete mess.

Funny thing is- apparently these workers count as still being indian employees of infosys. They are working some fantastic hours, don't have the skill set and are trying hard to acquire it, but they are not getting paid U.S. salaries even they they are located in the U.S. - just good pay by Indian standards. Apparently they'll be rotated back to india and another similar crew will be brought in. I don't know- perhaps it's that 6 month thing overseas like we do with Aramco. I hear they are living 6+ to an apartment.

So we are competing in our own country for jobs with people being paid in the $35000 to $50000 range when those jobs cost $100k locally and require degrees that are a lot more expensive to obtain here than in india.

Re:Both opinions are true (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374815)

So we are competing in our own country for jobs with people being paid in the $35000 to $50000 range when those jobs cost $100k locally and require degrees that are a lot more expensive to obtain here than in india.

Welcome to globalization ... the corporations and governments tell us it's inevitable and that it's good. Now it's a race to the bottom.

The companies who want this aren't incapable of finding talent, they're unwilling to pay the salaries of Americans.

They're inshoring the jobs basically and driving down domestic wages by making you compete with underpaid foreign workers.

Since corporate profits will be at an all time high, so will executive bonuses and shareholder value.

Somehow, that makes it even more awesome for the rest of us.

???

Profit

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374489)

Add to the problem the duality of the salary. A salary that barely feeds a US worker is a windfall in the 3rd world. Work in the USA for up to 6 years, come back, open a business on all that money, and you are set for life. This is how Mexicans operate, for example.

I'd just like to point out that not all H-1B's are paid low wages. All counted I'll be getting ~160k to do software development in the U.S. on an H-1B, assuming all the government paperwork works out (you don't want to know the amount of crap there is to do). I'm pretty sure most Americans would be willing to work for significantly less than that, even in the bay area.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374705)

Add to the problem the duality of the salary. A salary that barely feeds a US worker is a windfall in the 3rd world. Work in the USA for up to 6 years, come back, open a business on all that money, and you are set for life. This is how Mexicans operate, for example.

Why does a "US worker" need so much more than an H1-B immigrant? Do they eat more expensive food?

How is it possible that an immigrant (who makes so much less than their US counterpart) can manage to survive in the USA with such a low salary AND have enough to help his family back home and eventually go back home to start a business? Whereas, as is claimed, if a US worker made that salary, he'd barely survive? It doesn't add up.

Re:Both opinions are true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374735)

These "tech elite" you speak of have already figured out how to get around this self-deprecating American culture filled with barriers to entry and reams of red tape to create beachheads all of their own. This package is complete with offshore accounting and diplomatic immunity hiding behind every move that their respective companies make. They have the benefit packages and all the holidays they can ask for to go with an impressive salary and client portfolio. These companies do not hire Americans unless there is some inherent gain or loophole to be found. The "tech elite" want nothing to do with our jobs these H1-Bs are chiselers- straight up. But if you want to keep believing this outdated information go ahead and pay Tom Sawyer for that bright and shiny white picket fence.

Re:Both opinions are true (1)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374775)

India and China are large places, and their people are not corrupted yet with ideas that everyone owes them a fine living.

Right. How dare those American workers think that they deserve a reasonable share of the wealth they create! They have not yet learned, as the Chinese and Indian workers know, that they are techno-serfs who can expect to receive as little as the CEO finds he can pay.

It's not about the program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374279)

We all know this is just a knoll in the economic winds. The worst of it being that the US can't clean its own house in the simple-headed ways that would make things like this happening an almost non-issue to the majority of practically-minded people. It's just that simple.

To be expected. (0)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374315)

"employers are countering that the talent pool is lacking"

Well what do they expect when the standard US science text book is becoming the Bible.

H!B is About Off-Shoring (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374333)

The 10 largest users of H1B are off-shoring contract-houses. Last year, those 10 off-shoring companies claimed 40,000 of the 85,000 available H1B visas.

The way it works is that they low-bid on some project, bring in their people on H1B get them trained up and then send them back home to work on the same project.

Citation: Who's Hiring H-1B Visa Workers? It's Not Who You Might Think [npr.org]

All the PR about H1B says that we have a skills-shortage here, but if that is true, then H1B is contributing to the skills shortage rather than fixing it. Most of what is wrong with H1B could be fixed if the politicians actions matched their rhetoric - instead of being an unofficial dual-purpose immigration visa that typically expires just months before the immigrant clears all the paperwork for an green-card, make it a fast-track immigrant only visa - everybody on an H1B is guaranteed a green-card within just one year of residency. That way instead of being a brain-drain out of the US, we would be sucking in the (supposedly) higher-qualified foreign candidates to become permanent contributing members of US society.

Re:H!B is About Off-Shoring (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374585)

The real problem is that the H-1B system doesn't really effectively distinguish someone importing a fruit seller to sell fruits and someone importing a genius to do something only that genius can do. As per this story, a genius applying tomorrow will have been blocked by the fruit seller who got an H-1B visa today. So in that sense it really is true that there are too few H-1B's available for geniuses - but that's just because they're getting used up by people who aren't.

A good start on changing that situation would be to impose a minimum salary of, say, the 75'th percentile of pay for American workers with 5 years of experience in the same profession and area. And make it at least 70k. That way it simply doesn't make sense to hire on a H-1B unless you are hiring someone of excellent ability, which is supposedly what the whole thing is about anyway. If companies are willing to pay that amount of money, then their pleas of being unable to find a qualified American for the job start to sound more plausible. Making a green card an easy step makes sense too once you get to that point.

Interesting- no jobs, but no h1b's (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374353)

Jobs report today said no jobs being created.
Yet we are hiring many h1b's.
Meanwhile, many of our 30 year olds are suicidal over a combination of unforgivable debt and no jobs.

Quite a disconnect.

I think it's time to put a tariff on offshored/outsourced jobs- including h1b's.

Re:Interesting- no jobs, but no h1b's (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374475)

Jobs report today said no jobs being created.

If you call 88,000 jobs "no jobs" the sure. By this metric, in other news there were no H1B visas granted this year.

Let eBay settle it (4, Interesting)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374355)

If there's a shortage of H-1B visas (meaning there are times you can't obtain one no matter how much you're willing to pay), they should be put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder so everyone who wants one badly enough can get one. It's irresponsible of the government not to look for ways to reduce our tax burden.

My H1-B solution (1)

cob666 (656740) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374373)

This is only a rough draft but in the right hands has the potential to solve the H1-B 'issues' AND help the unemployment numbers.

The businesses that are snatching up the visas claim that there is not enough local talent to fill the positions while opponents claim that the lower wages paid the visa holders undercuts any chance of locals filling any of those open positions.

First, require that H1-B visa holders are paid based on some industry standard adjusted for the region where visa holder is employed.
Second, require that prior to hiring an H1-B visa worker, the company that holds the visa must hire a local candidate, pay them at the very least minimum wage with medical benefits and then train that person to do the job they lost out to the visa worker within say a 12-18 month period.

These two rules would remove ANY financial benefit to using the H1-B program, has the potential of easing unemployment, gives people needed training and could even help with the move to off-shoring IT work which seems to be the goal of some of the 'consulting' companies that bring on gobs of H1-B workers.

Do you think this is feasible?

Re:My H1-B solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374623)

First, require that H1-B visa holders are paid based on some industry standard adjusted for the region where visa holder is employed.

That's already the law. The minimum legal wage depends on experience of the applicant, location and field. Companies get around it to some extent by playing games with what database of salaries to use, with how qualified they say the applicant is, with where the location is and by paying no more than what they have to. Still, the minimum legal wage to pay an H-1B software developer of high skill in the Bay Area is way above the average salary in America, so these minimum requirements aren't completely toothless.

Fundamentaly flawed (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374377)

The H1-b program is supposed to attract highly skilled workers. Instead it is used for lowering the cost of workers or for outsourcing firms to train some of their foreign workers to, well, improve their outsourcing offerings.
It is rather simple to improve it.
First of all, allow their dependents to work. A good highly skilled professional that won't have a hard time finding a job in the country of his choosing won't elect to go to a country where he has to go through all these hoops and end up a 2nd class citizen with a spouse that is not allowed to work unless they go through the same lengthy (you apply on the April window to get a visa on October) and expensive process.
Secondly, limit the apps per company based on something like white US/H1-b worker ratio they already have. I don't know if this has changed recently, but I remember up to a few years ago some big outsourcing companies were snagging all the positions.
Thirdly, prioritize the applications based on qualifications. Accept first the ones who have a graduate degree from an accredited US university, followed by the ones with a US undergrad degree. The US is far ahead in education in many fields. Try to get foreigners who take advantage of it to stay.

Re:Fundamentaly flawed (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374393)

Ok, I have no idea how that "white" before "US/H1-b" got there.

Re:Fundamentaly flawed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374405)

White power!

We know your extremist view now KKKcuador.

Re:Fundamentaly flawed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374411)

You're starting to hear more speakers in direct-contact mediums (C-SPAN being probably the best example) mention that a large, large chunk of these H1 "squatters" are just proxies for Indian phone-support companies who want their best trainers in the best American call centers. They're just doing it with no other intention of undercutting us wage-wise while stealing our resources. It's appalling to be frank. But at least public officials are making some effort to let people hear just why this vampirism is so daggone maddening.

Re:Fundamentaly flawed (1)

richman555 (675100) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374439)

I know my company has laid off workers in order to offshore their jobs. This round of layoffs was 200+. They will leave a skeleton crew around to 'manage' the projects offshore. It has no basis on skill or demand or even creating a better product. It is purely for cheap labor.

Day Wunt Ur Jubzzz!!! (1)

Baldrson (78598) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374391)

funny luking frenurz wont Ur jubzz!! ur jubbzzz!! deay wunturjubzz!!

(You will notice how I am not only a xenophobic racist in the above exclamation, but I am inarticulate if not down right illiterate. This merely goes to show that people of my race/gender/age (white/male/old) not only must, as an urgent economic necessity, be displaced by importing hundreds of thousands if not millions from abroad, but that we deserve to be displaced.)

Re:Day Wunt Ur Jubzzz!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374469)

Sounds great! You first.

Lets take a family off the streets of Guatemala and give them what you have. You can go live in poverty where "your kind" belong (using your standard).

Re:Day Wunt Ur Jubzzz!!! (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374595)

Attempt at sarcasm fail. The people you were trying to mock are not xenophobic Bush-loving Repubs; most of them are union-supporting anti-corporate liberals. IT workers and slashdot in general are heavily biased towards Dems.

Although liberals are generally pro-immigrant (esp. for undocumented ones), if it's *their* jobs that are on the chopping block, opinion changes fast. Another thing is that H1B smacks of corporate greed trying to displace expensive local workers with cheap indentured servants, well because that's what it is.

USA is shit country (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374429)

why very many smart people in fine country want to move there?

China and India better country than USA. Many Slashdot poster say this and they right. Slashdot always right.

Then why many educated people try go there? I think because in there home country they don't like gay, so the gay workers want to go to USA because they hear it is home of the gays.

They need more H1-Bs everywhere but where they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374491)

When will the fast food companies of America realize that they can recruit a pool of highly skilled workers content to work for lower wages? These workers would revolutionize the fast food industry as they would be the polite, biddable, dependable workers they have always been looking for. All kidding aside if they will be content with the salary of a manager at McDonalds- make them the manager at McDonalds! Things would be so much better than being served by criminals and completely unmotivated individuals that constantly create long lines and traffic problems clogging up the arteries of our cities. I ask you what is the most common type of person you see working these jobs? Quite simply disenfranchised Americans and the elderly pulled out of retirement. The REAL problem is typecasting the American worker like we are all in some sort of social punishment experiment. Made a wrong turn in life? Just one? Now you have to work at any number of service based positions you are FORCED to. As for the people that deserve a reward well they have never had the sin of being American hanging around their necks like an albatross. Yes, these people deserve a chance- a chance to wash my car or clean my house or some landscaping or construction. This is because that is the same chance all of our immigrant lineage deserved when they came to this country originally. This because that is the same chance I would get as an American trying to make a life in just about any foreign country outside of North America. What should actually happen is that if you open your doors to us, we open our doors to you.

Drives me nuts (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374511)

So every company has a semi-random assortment of software and languages already in use.

They don't want to have someone they need to train a little bit, no they want someone with 3 - 5 years minimum on every single bit of tech they have.

Out of a thousand potential employees there's only going to be a few that hit the magic combination of experiences you want, and dozens who will lie about it.

Oh screw that, if we go global and add a few billion people to the mix we can hit 10x the number of "perfect matches" and lower the salary some more. So what if there's good workers right around the corner who could pick up our system nice and quick, if they want jobs they'll have to move to Australia or something.

Re:Drives me nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374663)

Problem is not that at all. Training doesn't work. You cannot train someone to be Picasso, similarly you cannot train someone to code like Linus. Sad truth is world needs less and less work. Everything is automated now. All jobs are disappearing and remaining ones require unreachable levels of talent and knowledge for regular persons. Unfortunately for you, fixing this is almost impossible due to Americans' obsession with the market capitalism.

How about a national job pool? (4, Interesting)

satch89450 (186046) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374533)

One of the issues that always comes up when talking about H-1B is that employers say they can't satisfy their needs with the talent already available. So, how about adding the requirement that any H-1B applications require the company post a "Help Wanted" ad in a national database for three months before the application is approved. Let's see why companies don't like citizen talent. Let's see how citizens can fill those jobs.

Re:How about a national job pool? (1)

Shados (741919) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374687)

The biggest consumers of H-1B visas do just that. Want to work at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, whatever? If you're good enough, you can get a job there pretty much whenever you want. Their ads are all over the place all over the country, and obviously on all the big job advertisement web sites. The salaries are often totally out of wack compared to other jobs with similar education/experience requirements, and so are the benefits. And they're STILL looking for people.

I work for a a smaller (but still somewhat large, 1 billion-ish a year) company in Boston. Entry level positions give 80k, senior positions will go between 130-200k, all that not counting the really generous bonuses and options (that are actually worth using, and are paid out 100% of the time). The codebase is pristine, the technology stack bleeding edge, the desktop machines are extremely high end, food is free, and the projects are awesome.

Still have a lot of trouble filling in our positions. Why? Because we're competing with a -lot- of companies that give the same benefits. There's way more positions to fill than there are qualified people.

Now if the H-1Bs are used to hire random cheap morons, as I'm sure some do, thats a waste. We sure don't use them for that =P

Re:How about a national job pool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374765)

There is already a requirement that a position must be 'posted publicly' for some time before using H1-B. It's trivially simple to obey the 'letter' of this requirement while ignoring the 'spirit'.

For example, I have seen these job openings posted in the lunchrooms of larger companies - which meets the definition of a 'public posting'.

If nobody who sees the notice applies for the job, then the company can (legally) say that they *tried* to find candidates locally, but were unable to do so, thus, with a heavy heart, they are forced to use the H1-B program.

Re:How about a national job pool? (3, Insightful)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374777)

One of the issues that always comes up when talking about H-1B is that employers say they can't satisfy their needs with the talent already available. So, how about adding the requirement that any H-1B applications require the company post a "Help Wanted" ad in a national database for three months before the application is approved. Let's see why companies don't like citizen talent. Let's see how citizens can fill those jobs.

A requirement similar to this already exists. It is quire trivial to work around. All it takes is to write a list of requirements that exactly much the foreign person you want to hire (or retain) and virtually no one else in the world. Then you place the ad wherever it is least likely to be seen. A mid-week newspaper classified will do. For extra insurance, the only contact method should be a PO BOX.

Am I the only one not scared of Indian workers? (5, Insightful)

t0qer (230538) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374569)

Just scrolling through the +5 comments, I see a ton of xenophobia...

Can't find an entry level IT job? Where are you? Arkansas? Here in silicon valley, we're experiencing another surge in hiring. I'm pretty low on the skillset, so whenever I get myself back into IT, I consider the economy to be doing well. Case in point... Company I work for. We've been losing a ton of local talent to google who's been on a hiring binge. When a small shop like ours (120 or so employees) can afford to pay great salaries, but we lose out to name brands like google, we have to turn to H1B.

And for the H1B worker, life isn't all cherries and apple pie. Case in point, this big ass march from immigration voice.
http://imgur.com/YKxR6NG [imgur.com]

See the white guy with pelican case in tow? That's me.

Let's say you're here from India on H1B and you have a family emergency. You have to go home. So many H1B's are scared to go home, because when they try to return more often than not, they're denied re-entry into the country. I haven't met a single H1B that wouldn't LOVE to be a US citizen, but instead we give them a non-citizen status as an H1B that gives them basically no rights as a US citizen.

I think we should just trash H1B altogether, and allow anyone of decent education (BA or BS) come live here, become a citizen, and pay taxes.

As slashdotters, we shouldn't hate on the H1B people. They are not the problem. It's our policy, the very creation of H1B to sidestep proper citizenship that is.

Re:Am I the only one not scared of Indian workers? (2, Insightful)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374733)

I'm not sure if it is "xenophobia" to truthfully say that we have a jobs crisis in this country and are importing foreigners to drive down wages on the few remaining middle-class wage jobs. That's not "Xenophobia," that's mathematics.

What kind of a site is Slashdot? (4, Insightful)

PhamNguyen (2695929) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374587)

Maybe it's time to clarify what kind of a site Slashdot is? It claims to be "News for Nerds" but there are a lot of nerds who have H-1B visas, or live outside the US.

This article's title is just plain nasty. There is room for debate on these issues, and I personally think the numbers of H-1B visas are excessive (or better put, the requirements for getting one are too lenient), but the idea that people applying for H-1B's are to be despised is very offputting to potential users of this site. Unless, of course, Slashdot isn't really for these people in which case you should be more explicit about that.

On the issue of H-1B's themselves, it is necessary to separate out generic issues of free trade, from issues that are specific to trade in human labor. Any valuable commidity will benefit country that imports it. If there were a ban on importing rare earth metals to the US, and suddently this was lifted, it would benefit companies that utilize these metals (and ultimately consumers) and harm producers of rare earth metals. However the net benefit would be positive, this is standard economic theory. Now I imagine that when the ban is lifted, the rare earth producers would say "there is no shortage of rare earth metals, people just aren't willing to pay a fair price. If people paid more, we could mine previously uneconomic deposits, etc.". This would be a mistaken interpretation, again because economic theory says that the welfare of society is maximized under free trade.

Now this theory breaks down when it applies to people, but only because of externalities. That is, people who come to the US on H-1B visas may have a negative influence on the US apart from their impact on the labor force. Some of these are simply because a person in the US temporarily will be less engaged with the community and civil society. Also many Americans prefer that the US retain its cultural and ethinc composition, and so these people may be negatively affected.

So there are many valid arguments against H-1B visas, although most of the economic arguments are wrong. I think the criteria should be stricter so that only the people who add the most value to the economy can get one. This way, the US would get the maximum benefit for the minimum number of people. A masters degree should be a minimum.

Anyway that is my view on H-1B visas but can we please keep personal animosity towards people on H-1B's out of it?

If shortage == true then pay = pay + 1 (5, Insightful)

blue9steel (2758287) | about a year and a half ago | (#43374673)

If the shortage is so terrible why aren't we seeing tons of stories talking about exploding pay rates and people hopping from company to company because of ridiculous job offers? Oh that's right, it's because there is no shortage of talent, just an unwillingness for them to pay the market rate.

Easy Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43374857)

H1B program has some flaws which are easy to fix. One thing that we should make sure H1B program does not do is offshore more jobs.

H1B program is designed to make the employee completely dependent on employer for everything. Switching jobs is difficult too. Thats the reason why salaries can be less for H1B 'in some cases'. A quick fix is to free the employee from the employer. If someone is on H1B, give him/her ability to work with any damn employer with no bureaucratic hassles. This would bring up the wages that can be depressed with H1Bs. I know a ton of H1Bs who couldn't go to their countries for fear of getting stuck in bureaucratic hassles at embassies. One example is someone going to leave for 3 weeks to India, he has to get VISA stamped while coming back to US, goes to consulate and gets stuck in 'background check' for 3-6 months. Most employers would fire him since he can't work for them in US for that time. So, mostly people who are on H1B do not go out of the country till they get a Green Card. I am sure there are a couple of million of them who are like that which would mean atleast 1 million air travels and to top off most of them shopping well to take stuff back home. Look at the impact on the economy this would have.

In the name of stopping abuse, congress is only adding more bureaucratic hassle on top of already existing hassles. Just free them from employers and see what positive impact it can have on job market and economy.

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