Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Study Questions H-1B Policies

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the cutting-costs dept.

United States 361

An anonymous reader writes "One of the arguments for continuing and even expanding the H1-B visa program (pdf) is that it enables highly-skilled immigrants to work in the U.S. and grow the U.S. economy. Counterarguments state that the H1-B visa program does not bring in the 'best and brightest' and is used to drive down wages, particularly in the STEM fields. This Bloomberg article, discussing pending H1-B legislation, quotes some of the salaries of current workers in the U.S. on H1-B visas: $4,800/month and $5,500/month which work out to $57,600/year and $66,000/year; only slightly higher than the average entry-level salaries of newly-graduated engineering or computer science majors."

cancel ×

361 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Of course... (5, Insightful)

wpiman (739077) | about a year ago | (#44379499)

employers want to bring more people in. If we didn't, people in the STEM fields could demand more money. We should have H1B Visas for lawyers and politicians. It would be amazing how quickly the program would be shut down then.

Re:Of course... (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#44379527)

I see your point, but that's not really practical.

Lawyers and the like need years of study for a certain field which the laws will almost certainly not translate to another country or even state.

Compared to science, where the Speed of light is constant, Water has two Hydrogen molecules, etc... no matter where you are in the world.

Re:Of course... (5, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379649)

Lawyers and the like need years of study for a certain field which the laws will almost certainly not translate to another country or even state.

How convenient.

Dean Baker (http://www.cepr.net/) had a good suggestion though. Have foreign schools train for US laws and practice, and let people elsewhere take the exams for the federal or various state bars. Only after passing would they get their visa.

Re:Of course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379659)

Water has two Hydrogen molecules

Where I come from, a water molecule contains two hydrogen atoms (and an oxygen atom).

Re:Of course... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379693)

Can law books not be shipped internationally?

This H1b lawyer does not need to know the laws of his own nation, only the one he wants to practice in.

English Common Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379703)

I see your point, but that's not really practical.

Lawyers and the like need years of study for a certain field which the laws will almost certainly not translate to another country or even state.

Compared to science, where the Speed of light is constant, Water has two Hydrogen molecules, etc... no matter where you are in the world.

It is happening to some extent [nytimes.com]

India's legal system is also based on English Common Law - things like contracts and other legal subjects can be taken care of overseas. And unlike here, lawyers don't have the prestige; they're in cube farms like the rest of us and are paid much less than lawyers over here - even with the glut of JDs.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380117)

OK, no lawyers ... how about MDs and dentists? Humans function on same biology, chemistry and physics ... no matter where you are in the world.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380201)

Have you noticed the number of Asian/Indian doctors?

Re:Of course... (1)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44380169)

Lawyers have a union.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380205)

Ok... We need H1-B programs for Drs, Nurses, Teachers, Factory Workers etc. Not gonna happen.

The problem is that H1-B's target a group of workers that have no real representation by a Union and therefore are easily targeted.

Re:Of course... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44379529)

We don't need or want more lawyers or politicians. We want more scientists and engineers. It probably holds my salary down in the short-term, but it keeps the US competitive and makes my relatively high salary more sustainable in the long term. $60k right out of school is a very comfortable wage.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379545)

Depends on where you live...

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379565)

I disagree. I would be very happy if wages of politicians, lawyers, ... would be lower.

Re:Of course... (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44379665)

Keep telling yourself that, buddy. Lower wages make your life better. The US can't compete with foreign workers skills because what? Americans are untrainable?

Re:Of course... (0)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#44380103)

And yet, most of us are rather wasteful with what money we have. One of the biggest wastes is this insistence on cranking up the A/C to get indoor temperatures into the lower 70s. 80 F not only saves money, it is actually healthier. Acclimatizing to the seasons is better for you. Heating and cooling accounts for about half of our energy expenses. These expenses are made all the worse by the bloating of homes up to McMansion sizes, which we do not need, not with the ever smaller families we have. It's a similar story with cars, but so many people link status with car size and power. Detroit really suckered the public on that one.

Still, I am not in the least sympathetic towards lying executives who wail that there's a shortage of STEM workers, not when they pull in 7, 8, or even 9 figure pay packages.

Re:Of course... (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379667)

We want more scientists and engineers.

Why? There is no shortage of domestic supply. If you disagree, please cite some objective evidence to back your claim.

it keeps the US competitive and makes my relatively high salary more sustainable in the long term

Stockholm syndrome.

Re:Of course... (2, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | about a year ago | (#44380043)

Why? There is no shortage of domestic supply. If you disagree, please cite some objective evidence to back your claim.

The only objective evidence I have is that I have never met someone who is involved with hiring developers who has said how easy it is to find quality talent at market rates. You can be naïve and believe that salaries would rise with increased demand if we ended the H1B program, but the reality is that more work would simply go overseas. I work at a consulting company and if we had to pay our entry level developers $80k/year we would never win a bid against a primarily overseas firm. Almost the entire software development industry would move offshore, with the exception of a very small group of very highly paid developers that stay in the US.

This isn't a field like medicine, law, or garbage collection where proximity to the client is incredibly important, and we don't have strong organizations like the AMA or ABA who can create anti-competitive laws and procedures to keep wages artificially high. Any efforts to manipulate the job market like we do for doctors and lawyers are very unlikely to succeed.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380129)

Why? There is no shortage of domestic supply. If you disagree, please cite some objective evidence to back your claim.

Anecdote that demonstrates that there is at least one case of H1Bs actually being used to hire into roles that americans genuinely can not fill.

I recently got hired to a very large SV tech firm to do a job for which they had not found *anyone* (let alone an american) to fill for a full year. They're still looking for more people to do the same job, and still after a further 6 months can't find any americans suitable.

It's not about wanting more scientists and engineers, it's about wanting specific scientists and engineers.

Re:Of course... (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44379699)

We don't need or want more lawyers or politicians. We want more scientists and engineers. It probably holds my salary down in the short-term, but it keeps the US competitive and makes my relatively high salary more sustainable in the long term. $60k right out of school is a very comfortable wage.

But why would a company pay you $60K right out of school when they can hire an H1B worker with years of experience for about the same wage?

Re:Of course... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44380257)

Because H1Bs are limited, the process is a pain in the butt, and often you have to deal with a language or cultural barrier. They may have "years of experience", but probably not in the US. Often, they find their degree worthless and get a masters or PhD in the US before seeking employment. Some of the best co-workers I've ever had have been H1Bs. Some of the worst, as well. :)

Why do we want more scientists and engineers? (5, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | about a year ago | (#44379945)

This question is becoming increasingly interesting to ask. I see no clear answer. Society is not willing to pay for them, so they are not needed .. or there is sufficient supply. This is not a value judgement; Poets have much to offer, but society does not extract much direct benefit - so the wages are low.

I'd recommend the best and brightest do engineering as last resort, not a primary one. Engineering is a better hobby than a career these days.. in some ways, that is how it's always been.

You're far better off learning how to build a sucessful business, entering law (technical law is very lucurative), or going into medicine - medicine isn't all that difficult if you can get accepted, and protects itself very agressively.

Do what society values for money. Do what you love to be happy. Sometimes those things are the same, frequently they are not. I've been lucky as a EE but I started almost two decades ago, and much of my success has come not from engineering skill, but entreprenurial endeavours.

A profitable, but well managed career can set you up to be financially independent in 8-12 years - then you can go do whatever you like.

Want to increase STEM? Why?

Re:Why do we want more scientists and engineers? (2)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#44380047)

Exactly. The damn politicians whine and complain about "not enough STEM workers" while the salaries go down.

Economics says there are enough STEM workers for the supply desired and we don't need more.

So the politicians should shut the hell up!

Re:Why do we want more scientists and engineers? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44380231)

In my experience, having a technical degree is a huge benefit in any of the fields you listed. I wouldn't suggest medicine (my wife is a doctor - massive debt, terrible hours, decreasing or stagnant pay), but should you go that direction, having an engineering or science degree puts you way ahead of your class. Business loves engineers. Sure, you need to brush up on finance and accounting, but if you got through a technical degree you can do those things in your sleep. Statistics, logical thought, and simply being decent with numbers and analysis give you a leg up in business, especially if your thing is quantitative analysis. Not that I would recommend that right now, either... bit of a glut :)

Increasing STEM has benefits even if people don't ultimately end up being life-long engineers.

To be honest, I've decided that teaching is the way to go. Or it least it has been the past 20 years - it might go sour. My brother is a teacher. The pay sucks initially, but they paid for his masters degrees, the benefits are sweet, and he'll be retired before he's 50. Since he's long been buying an not renting, and his wife the same, they will have their house paid off before then and he's picked up several rental properties and a vacation condo when the recession hit. In short, he and his wife are doing better than me and my wife who are a doctor and an engineer. We'll end up better off at the end, but only after my wife worked her freaking ass off and we won't retire as young, and don't have our summers off. Even when they "retire" and when they are "off" in the summer, they are free to get a job and make even more money. The only thing that can compare is a nurse anesthetist. B.S. in nursing school, a stint in the ICU, and another two years of nurse anesthetist training and you make 6 figures with few of the headaches that a full doctor would deal with, like liability insurance and unpaid overtime or call. Sweet. Deal.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380247)

Keep toking on that pipe my friend.

Your salary will take a nose dive. Its called supply and demand. If there is over supply then wages are going to drop like a rock... which is the case. IT wages have remained stagnated at best.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379603)

Isn't this the flip side of technology causing job losses across the music, publishing, newspaper, and retail industries? Slashdot readers want it both ways.

Slashdot to Music, Publishing, Newspapers, Retail: You've ridden the gravy train, taking unfair advantage of consumers for how many decades? Now learn to adapt and stop looking for government bailouts.

Slashdot on H1B's: WAAAAAAAAAAAHH! Why doesn't Congress do something to stop this??

Always.

Re:Of course... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44379675)

Slashdot isn't one person with one opinion.

Personally, my issue with keeping the number of H-1B visas from getting too big isn't about the effect on us; it's about the long term effect of creating a brain drain in other parts of the world that need talent more than we do in order to better develop.

Re:Of course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379849)

...and while you get props from me for your compassion, I can't help but relate you to the Brangelina Crusader who would rather adopt some Ugandan boy instead of the poor 10 year old who lives in a dumpster across the street... Not trying to be a dick or anything, but it's just that our country is falling apart and you can't tell me it's because we keep sucking dry this every-present cache of geniuses from other countries. If you give me an apple and tell me it's an orange, I'll laugh in your face.

Re:Of course... (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | about a year ago | (#44380063)

I'm from Argentina, a country that has a lot of developers working in the US for top tier companies, I live there as well.

Let me tell you... people stay or leave in my country depending on our own economic situation, future outlook, and willingness to expatriate. If the US lowered the number of visas people here would instead leave for Europe (most likely Spain, Germany or the UK for programmers), or Mexico, or Brazil, and the choice would depend more on cultural preferences than on anything else.

Also, many people working abroad eventually return and share their experience with locals. The mindset of someone willing to leave and never return is quite particular, and it's probably impossible to keep those in.

Re: Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379685)

Because Congress created the H1B program in the first place.

Re:Of course... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379713)

Uh, H1B is the government bailing out these companies. It is an artificial way to lower wages. If they want to let these best and brightest become citizens far less would object. Instead they want an H1B they can underpay and send home if he demands anything like a fair wage.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379937)

Isn't this the flip side of technology causing job losses across the music, publishing, newspaper, and retail industries?

It's not technology that is killing these jobs. It is media/market consolidation that is caused by one company buying out another and layoff the redundant or less profitable staff. The ironic part, is that it was fueled by "job-creating" subsidies (tax-cuts to top industry).

Re:Of course... (1)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44380193)

Wins the thread.

Re:Of course... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44379641)

Or doctors, for that matter, a field that actually does have a bona-fide shortage.

Somebody should tell American medical schools (2)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about a year ago | (#44379741)

Since given all the hoops you have to jump through to get in they apparently believe there is a huge doctor glut. (You know, a 30+ on the MCAT a 3.9+ on your premed coursework and loads of extracurricular activities.)

Re:Somebody should tell American medical schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379803)

When I worked for the DOJ there was a program (may still be) where foreign doctors agreed to do four years of service for the federal gubmint (usually in prisons or military bases) in exchange for streamlined path to citizenship. One of these doctors asked me during an exam "How many times you commit suicide?". I responded "just the once", and things got real hectic for a moment...

Re:Of course... (5, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44379817)

We should have H1B Visas for lawyers and politicians. It would be amazing how quickly the program would be shut down then.

I doubt you could do anything about politicians. The legal profession is heading for trouble. [pjmedia.com] It is getting harder and harder for lawyers for find a good job coming out of law school (with that massive debt), law school enrollments are dropping, law schools are laying off faculty. There are a lot of things feeding into that, including over selling of law degrees, computer and web based legal services, and off-shore legal work. Off shore accounting work is also increasing with the usual implications for accountants.

Law firms send case work overseas to boost efficiency [washingtontimes.com] - September 25, 2005

Guess which jobs are going abroad [cnn.com] - February 25, 2004

If a tax preparer gets you an unexpected refund this year, you may have an accountant in India to thank. That's because accounting firms are joining the outsourcing trend established years ago by cost-conscious American manufacturers. In fact, companies in a number of unexpected industries are now sending work overseas. From scientific lab analysis to medical billing, the service-sector workforce has gone global. CPA firms are just one example. In the 2002 tax year, accounting firms sent some 25,000 tax returns to be completed by accountants in India. This year, that number is expected to quadruple. -- more [cnn.com]

Australia is seeing a similar trend.

Get used to it: sending jobs overseas is the way of the future [smh.com.au]

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379823)

H1b visas do apply to lawyers. Not to politicians, obviously, but it's not like it's only STEM fields that get H1b visas.

Re:Of course... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44380137)

employers want to bring more people in. If we didn't, people in the STEM fields could demand more money.

No, they couldn't. The jobs would simply get outsourced directly.

The reasonable policy is to make immigration itself a lot easier; that is, largely replace H1B with immediate greencards for skilled immigrants. That way, the people we bring in would be in a better negotiating position and would actually be able to contribute more to society right away.

Stating the obvious (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#44379511)

No shit.

Simple solution? (3, Insightful)

ACluk90 (2618091) | about a year ago | (#44379547)

Solution: Issue H1-B visas only if there is a contract with a wage of at least 80kUSD/a. (the value of this limit is just politics...)

Re:Simple solution? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#44379601)

Don't issue H1-B visas at all. If you want the best and the brightest, then give them indefinite leave to remain. And reintroduce the faster immigration system you used to have for PhD graduates: don't spend years ensuring that someone is familiar with the state of the art in their field and educated in the methods of research and then send them to another country. We've just imported this particular idiocy into the UK because our government wants to be tough on immigration, but can't legally crack down on immigration from the EU where most of our unskilled immigrants come from.

Re:Simple solution? (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44379711)

Very much this. The H1-B puts the foreign worker at the mercy of the company doing the hiring. The best and the brightest know they can get a better deal than that, or should be able to. Why become virtual indentured servants in a foreign country if they can do better? We should encourage the best and the brightest to come here, issue temporary visas not tied to any specific company, but if you show a history of near-continuous employment over that visa term, you get fast-tracked to permanent resident status and encouraged to become a citizen.

Re:Simple solution? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380237)

I agree with this one 100%. I came in as a H1-B myself and hated to be a slave for a company until I get a greencard.
I guess it is the lobbyist language put into laws (to work for the same company).
If one is best and brightest they will get a better deal and this will also expose the other not so greatest ones come in!

Re:Simple solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379721)

Indeed your country has. Thankfully Ireland hasn't yet adopted quite such nonsense, and if you can get a job at €60k (around $80 grand) you can generally get a green card. While it doesn't have London's excitement, Dublin is a pretty nice city.

Re:Simple solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379959)

but can't legally crack down on immigration from the EU where most of our unskilled immigrants come from.

Fuck you. You just drain all the workers from all around Eastern Europe that do the jobs you fucking English don't. And for a lower price. That is free market you know. Does it hurt when it bites back? Crack down on immigrants but then take away your giant companies killing of any economy these countries had. Oh, you like _that_ free market... Hypocrite bastard.

Re:Simple solution? (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44379655)

That's actually a much better policy from an economic perspective as well. If you want to let in a fixed number of people (say, 50,000) for the reason that they will fill shortages and benefit the economy, how should you allocate them to different fields? The obvious market-driven answer is: allocate them to the highest bidder, who we can presume must have the greatest need for them. An employer willing to pay $120k for an H1-B obviously feels a greater need for them than an employer only willing to pay $60k.

Basing it on prevailing wages, by contrast, doesn't really make much sense.

Re:Simple solution? (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379725)

Also just let them immigrate. No H1B, no being tied to the employer to stay in the states. Put up X spots, let companies bid and let the people simply immigrate.

Re:Simple solution? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44379681)

It should depend on the field. It should have to be above the prevailing wage in the USA for the profession and experience required.

Re:Simple solution? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379771)

They simply lie.
They hire the H1B as tier 1 helpdesk, pay him as such and have him do software development. Only setting a price floor or requiring bidding would fix this.

Re:Simple solution? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about a year ago | (#44379809)

Wish I had mod points. This is my thoughts. If they are good enough to be pulled from overseas at the expense of local candidates then surely they should be paid more than the average local would at that task. If you really can't find local talent for it then it will be worth the cost.

Major Cities Anyone? (3, Interesting)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | about a year ago | (#44379557)

A discussion on salary isn't complete without also discussing the location of these immigrant workers.

Hint: They're always in major cities. National averages don't mean a damn thing when your local supermarket pays more for a meat department employee than your "average H1-B". Why do people see 50-something salary nowadays and think that is par? This is an engineering profession. Even the least skilled should be doing better than a teacher's or a cop's salary.

50k was good...25-30 years ago.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year ago | (#44379581)

"A discussion on salary isn't complete without also discussing the location of these immigrant workers. "

Of course. However, the article says:

"26-year-old, whoâ(TM)s been paid about $4,800 a month by a Bangalore-based outsourcing company to work for a client in Boston since fall"

Also:

"In Atlanta, 30-year-old Narendra Sripalâ(TM)s Indian employer applied to extend his H-1B [...] who earns about $5,500 a month"

So, there you go.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379707)

Exactly, the point being that $4,800/month doesn't go very far in Boston. That might be a more acceptable wage for someone in Idaho Falls.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44379885)

the point being that $4,800/month doesn't go very far in Boston.

It may not go very far but it gets there very fast.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44379637)

I would think that most teachers don't start at 50k. Where I live, the starting salary [theglobeandmail.com] is $34k, and the OECD average is $37K. Not only that, but it tops out pretty low. Even after 15 years experience, the average OECD teacher only makes $45,000. The rates in the US [educationworld.net] are about the same in the highest paying areas, and quite deplorable in the lowest paying areas. So starting at $50k is actually quite good, especially in a field like engineering, where it's completely possible that you will be earning $100k after you get 10-15 years experience, a wage that teachers could never hope to obtain.50K is actually quite good, unless you live in Manhattan or San Francisco, in which case the price of living is quite high, but for many other areas, you can live quite comfortably on 50K.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (-1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379737)

especially in a field like engineering, where it's completely possible that you will be earning $100k after you get 10-15 years experience, a wage that teachers could never hope to obtain

Around here (Long Island, NY) they obtain it all the time. They also only work 3/4 of a normal work year, short days, have benefits (including defined benefit pensions) and job security that people who don't work for the government can only dream of.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (5, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#44379889)

NYC has one of the highest COL rates in the country. 100K may equate to say 50K in a suburb in Atlanta or 40K in a rural location in West Virginia. It is the they amount of the paycheck, it is the amount paid in relation to the regions COL.

I'm not certain the tone of your comment though it implies that perhaps teachers are over paid for their work. This view I've not understood (if that was the backhanded point). Educators serve an important and vital role in society. While there can be examples of "bad teaching" from a few, most teachers are there because they truly want children to learn. That is a noble effort. Waste, fraud, apathy; they can be found in most walks of life, but for some reason we pull a few bad apples in education and then cry out "see, we pay these loofers to much". We don't pay them enough.

If a child seeks a role model (outside the family) I'd rather it be an educator, not a sports star. In this country we've turned that 180 degrees though valuation of people based on dollars, not sense.

So before you complain about teachers getting to much time off, good benefits, and job security; walk in their shoes, carry their responsibility, live their life. Compare what you do as a teacher to that as a ball player, a banker, a Hedge Fund manager and ponder what is important.

Re:Major Cities Anyone? (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#44379951)

Working in a supermarket these days is either at minimum or slightly above. If you're there for some time you'll be fortunate to break 20k unless you're management.

It is OBVIOUSLY cost reduction (5, Insightful)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about a year ago | (#44379591)

I work at a major bank where they constantly have a choice between a high quality, albeit highly paid, US workers and low cost, low quality H1B workers. They always go H1B. And it becomes a real Indian ghetto at a lot of IT shops. Having multicultural abilities is part of being "best and brightest" yet many of the Indians are only comfortable working with other Indians. So the incumbent Indian employees end up only hiring Indian H1Bs, which is obviously a negative for the whole organization in the long run. But who every cares about the long run anyways.

Re:It is OBVIOUSLY cost reduction (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379751)

If they have the choice you should be reporting them. What you are describing is simply illegal. It is not uncommon though. It is really your civic duty to report this sort of thing.

Re:It is OBVIOUSLY cost reduction (1)

hackula (2596247) | about a year ago | (#44379865)

What is the bar for this? Obviously, at some price you can always hire someone.

Re:It is OBVIOUSLY cost reduction (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379891)

Nope. Price cannot be used legally as a hiring decision for H1Bs.

It has to be due to a shortage of workers, meaning you simply can't get them at any price. You can use refusal of offers at whatever wage as evidence of shortage, but that is it. You cannot hire an H1B simply because he agrees to work for less than the prevailing wage, and it is illegal to pay him less than the prevailing wage.

That being said, all the major contracting companies that use H1Bs do this. They are all breaking federal law and as such should have the DOJ after them.

Nice to see the H-1B questioned in the MSM (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379609)

It's nice to see the H-1B program questioned in at least some of the MSM (e.g. the NYT). It might have an effect on legislation if we had a representative form of government (by which I mean one that represents voters, as opposed to representing money).

The Bloomberg article is crocodile tears though:

While the legislation raises the annual H-1B cap to as much as 180,000 from 65,000, it increases visa costs five-fold for some companies to $10,000. It also bans larger employers with 15 percent or more of their U.S. workforce on such permits from sending H-1B staff to client’s sites.

It nearly triples the quota, but might cost as much as $10k to bring in someone on an H-1B. Good heavens, no! If $10k is too much, then there is no skills shortage and you could hire an American for the job.

Current draft House legislation also lacks the clause barring visa-dependent employers from client sites

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Wouldn't want any draconian restrictions on screwing Americans now, would we.

Re:Nice to see the H-1B questioned in the MSM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379683)

Isn't it about time that we realize that the ruling class in America views the US Citizenry (I am one of that class - Citizen) the same way a wolf views a flock of sheep? Oh we just got an invitation by them to dinner!

Re:Nice to see the H-1B questioned in the MSM (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379799)

Why is there a set price at all?
If you are going to have the program let there be X H1Bs and put them up for auction. Those who really need them will have no probably paying. A price floor might be nice though, set it at 25% of the expected wage though. If they are not willing to pay that, they don't get them.

At a bare minimum we also need a fast track to citizenship for these folks. Clearly they are so valuable our nation cannot function without them.

Re:Nice to see the H-1B questioned in the MSM (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379841)

At a bare minimum we also need a fast track to citizenship for these folks. Clearly they are so valuable our nation cannot function without them.

Are you serious, or have I, in typical Slashdot fashion, missed the sarcasm?

If you are serious, could you actually provide an argument, or even (*gasp*) evidence, to back that statement?

Re:Nice to see the H-1B questioned in the MSM (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379923)

It was functionally both at the same time.

I know that 90% of them are just used to lower the wages in these fields, but the last 10% or 5% or 1% are really great at what they do and should be offered citizenship. Importing the best of the best is what we should be doing.

The H1B program without a fast path to citizenship insures it will be used for that 90% of folks that work for cheap and the employer can deport if they feel like it. Since they will likely not find a job fast enough to be allowed to stay if they are fired. If they risked this person becoming a citizen then they would never hire them. At that point he could demand a fair wage and go to another company if they failed to provide it without fear of deportation.

Too Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379633)

Too Bad you don't have a Union to organize, march, and demonstrate against corporations that have taken over via donations the political talking heads like they did in the early 1900s.

This is business, as we need to keep our competative edge against those other american companies using low cost wages! Think of the children!

H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44379645)

Last time there was a major backlash against H1Bs, it resulted in outsourcing. If the workers couldn't come to the US, then the job would go to the worker.

In the end, H1B or no-H1B, eliminating local competition doesn't mean salaries will blow through the roof.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379765)

No one thinks they will blow through the roof.

Let these folks become citizens, H1B is simply a way to make them indentured servants to the company. If they complain you fire them and odds are they will not find a job quick enough so they get deported.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44380143)

It's not the H1B that's making them indentured servants, it's a different part of immigration law.

Over 90% of the H1B are consumed by India and China but the US only allows 7% to be from a particular country to preserve diversity. So, workers in H1B from India and China tend to be on the wait list for years.

H1B is also an immigrant visa and a path to permanent residency is possible within 9 months of starting a job.

There have been attempts to clear the queues of Indian/Chinese but so far hasn't been done.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44380221)

The wait list would not be so long if so many were not brought in fraudulently. Personally I would also give citizenship to anyone who alerted the DOL to such fraud and had enough evidence for a conviction.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (4, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379775)

Last time there was a major backlash against H1Bs, it resulted in outsourcing.

When was this alleged major backlash? The quota hasn't dropped below 65k/yr in what, at least 20 years?

Second, you're falling for the "if you don't let us have more H-1B's we'll just outsource more" threat. It's bull. No matter how little they pay H-1B's, they're still way more expensive than people working in the 3rd world. Hence, anything that can be outsourced already has been or will be. The H-1B's are for the jobs that they can't outsource.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44380023)

The H1B quota was highest around 2000ish during the .com bubble. It is in the Wikipedia article. It was around 120,000 then.

When the cost savings justify something, people will invest in the technology to make a lot of things possible. You can dismiss it as bull but this is exactly what happened when the H1B quotas were slashed.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (3, Insightful)

rollingcalf (605357) | about a year ago | (#44379781)

Except that the H1B is being used to support and expand outsourcing. The big outsourcing companies send developers with H1B to clients in the US to provide an on-site presence to coordinate with the larger development teams in India or China. Without the H1B program being used like that, either the entire project would be done in the US, or American developers would fill the roles of the on-site technical leads.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44380089)

There is a different class of visa for that - employees of multinational companies going from one country to another. H1B is for filling technical positions that cannot be filled locally. Even if the entire H1B visa was scrapped tomorrow, then your scenario of developers in the US coordinating with their counterparts elsewhere would still work.

The price difference in labor is too great for the companies to simply ignore it. At the same time, the entrepreneurs in the 3rd world countries are building up the infrastructure to make a lot of things possible.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (1)

rollingcalf (605357) | about a year ago | (#44380269)

"There is a different class of visa for that - employees of multinational companies going from one country to another."

That is the L1 visa, used for management. They use that to send the project managers and executives to the US. But the on-site developers have H1B. If they're using the L1 to send the regular developers, that's visa fraud.

Re:H1B or Outsourcing, choose one. (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about a year ago | (#44380145)

I was just hired with a fat salary to be the onsite tech lead. Working for one of the big Indian it shops. They may be getting ready for this eventuality.

Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379783)

Last time there was a major backlash against H1Bs, it resulted in outsourcing. If the workers couldn't come to the US, then the job would go to the worker.

In the end, H1B or no-H1B, eliminating local competition doesn't mean salaries will blow through the roof.

Yep!

Globalization, folks.

Communication is dirt cheap. Meaning, communication with someone across the planet costs no more than having someone across the state.
And because of this, knowledge work can be done just about anywhere - yeah, there are rolling blackouts and maybe unreliable service, but if the work being done isn't dependent on such things, who cares? Example: Data center in a Western country - Development can be done anywhere where there is skill.

Let's face it folks, there are 7 BILLION people on this planet with approximately another 150 MILLION being popped out per YEAR. So, there's a couple of hundred MILLION people that can do your job.

Unless you're are in the 99.9 percentile of intelligence or ability, you can be replaced easily.

tl;dr: Smart people are an abundant commodity on the planet.

Re:Globalization (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379867)

Communication is dirt cheap. Meaning, communication with someone across the planet costs no more than having someone across the state.

Then why are these companies so eager to have lots of H-1B's? Why not just have them stay in their native countries and work via the Internet? Obviously there are lots that do, but there are also the H-1B's that don't. The H-1B's, no matter how much they drive down US salaries, cost much more than people working in their native countries. So why do companies want them?

Re:Globalization (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44380199)

It is always easier to work with someone in the same office.

But, if there aren't any H1B slots left, companies will give their work to another contracting company who then specializes in sending that work overseas. We are a capitalist country and cheap labor will find its way.

It is cheaper to send work overseas but then there is overhead to doing that.

Re:Globalization (1)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44380241)

I can't be replaced.

I'm the only shareholder.

but why do they need H-1B workers? (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about a year ago | (#44379715)

What I would like to know is: why is people from outside willing to take a low-paying job and people from within not willing? Or why does the employer believe that?

If the problem is local people not willing to settle for lower, then I can't really blame the employers for wanting to look for something cheaper (even if it means from the outside). They are, after all, looking for profit.

If the problem is the perception, why does such perception exist? What can potential, local employes do to change that perception?

I guess what I'm trying to ask is: why do they want H-1B workers instead of local? And so far I haven't seen this question answered, at least not outside the speculations of the comment section going "it's all about profit, that's what they care about" which is, well, a given. But why do they think that H-1B workers are a viable strategy for what they are looking for?

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (3, Insightful)

Grand Facade (35180) | about a year ago | (#44379787)

It's about profit
It's about work ethic/culture
It's abut indentured servitude

You can get 80 hours a week out of a HB-1 for a salary
A US citizen is not going to sign on to that ball and chain

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44379821)

I guess what I'm trying to ask is: why do they want H-1B workers instead of local? And so far I haven't seen this question answered, at least not outside the speculations of the comment section going "it's all about profit, that's what they care about" which is, well, a given.

You ask a question, then answer it. Why are you not satisfied with what is, by your own statements, the obvious answer? Why do you think that there have to be other reasons? William of Ockham was one sharp dude.

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about a year ago | (#44380211)

My point was: yeah, they care about profit. Now, are they deciding that to achieve that goal they want H-1B workers because they are cheaper, or because they are perceived to cheaper, or because of what? Yeah, they are profit driven. That does not really explain that they want h-1b workers unless you also consider that they are (or thought to be) cheaper than local population.

What I want then is for real data to be gathered to answer the question. Unless you consider the comments section of slashdot good enough to change/create laws based on its contents? That would seem a little strange, considering the multiple complaints when a politician tries to do the same without fully understanding technology or the internet.

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44379827)

They want H1B because they will take less pay and if they ask for anything can be fired and deported. If you want to hire cheaper workers, then maybe you should say so and I can avoid your products. If you want to hire workers you can deport at will, say so and I will avoid your products.

Why should any worker accept that kind of arrangement? Why should society tolerate such behavior?

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379861)

>why is people from outside willing to take a low-paying job and people from within not willing?

Because people from "outside" are used to having a lower standard of living (relative to americans) and accept it for the most part. Because a low paying american job still pays more that they get back home.

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | about a year ago | (#44380017)

What I would like to know is: why is people from outside willing to take a low-paying job and people from within not willing?

Come from a developing country and work for a few years earning way more than you could locally; save like crazy, shared accomodation, limited social life etc. Build up a say $20000 of savings. Go home, that $20000 is enough to give you a good start in life in your home country with a much lower cost of living.

Now image someone local to the developed country doing the same thing. Working at the same price, or even more for a few years; save like crazy, shared accomodation, limited social life etc. Build up the same $20000 of savings, then what? because of the higher cost of living in the 1st world, that $20000 doesn't go anywhere near as far as someone who intends to live in a developing country.

The same dollar value has different values for people based on expected spending power at the end of the contract.

Note: $20000 is just a rounded off number and I have no idea if thats a reasonable amount to save in the time, the point the same dollar value has different levels of attractiveness based on the living costs of where you expect to be spending the money.

I think there would be far less hostility if rather than temporary work visas they had a fast track immigration policy, then local employees would be competing against people who have the same long term living costs as themselves.

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380147)

It's also because THEY CAN'T STAND LIVING AROUND THEIR OWN RACE...

and they want to get their filthy hands on white women.

Why else are these millions of losers here, in white countries?

Are they 'white supremacists'? Because quite obviously they believe white countries are better than their OWN countries...

Re:but why do they need H-1B workers? (2)

stud9920 (236753) | about a year ago | (#44380207)

Because having something for cheap is good microeconomically, but bad macroeconomically. H1Bs create poor workers, who don't spend money expect for basic, low margin survival stuff. By paying workers more, they can actually spend the money on you, your competitors (including those who compete with you only for the raw purchasing power of the workers), and your B2B customers. It drives business up. By keeping your margins for yourselves (which as a broken window fallacy afficionado you'll probably advocate, but the fallacy goes both ways), you're basically freeloading on the economy that allows your business to prosper.

Interesting quote from article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379729)

>> No one becomes a software engineer for an outsourcing company because they love coding or consulting.

This, my little red dot, is why your code sucks.

There's already a proposed fix for it. (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44379769)

It's been suggested that rather than abolish the H1-B program that in order to sponsor one the company must pay 120% of the 90% percentile wage in the area where the person will work. If the 90% percentile for a cornfield in say Iowa (You hear that IBM?) is $100,000 then they have to pay the person $120,000 exclusive of any living costs and fees associated with the H1-B program. There has also been talk about surcharging H1-B sponsors for inspections by the Feds to ensure that the workers are getting paid correctly and are working with the sponsor. Right now it's an honor system and there's no honor at IBM, Wipro or Infosys.

Furniture movers given H1-B visas (5, Insightful)

LeepII (946831) | about a year ago | (#44379843)

200 "furniture movers" were given H1-b visa's in 2001. Are there really not enough furniture movers in NYC that a company had to import 200 of them? Google "Urban Moving Systems".

So that's how H1B visa fraud is done (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44379873)

I, Cringley Cringley [cringely.com] had a very interesting post on how H1B fraud is accomplished, except in this case, the he got caught.

The gist of the crime has two parts. First Mr. Cvjeticanin’s law firm reportedly represented technology companies seeking IT job candidates and he is accused of having run on the side an advertising agency that placed employment ads for those companies. That could appear to be a conflict of interest, or at least did to the DoJ.

But then there’s the other part, in which most of the ads — mainly in Computerworld — seem never to have been placed at all!

Client companies paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for employment ads in Computerworld that never even ran!

The contention of the DoJ in this indictment appears to be that Mr. Cvjeticanin was defrauding companies seeking to hire IT personnel, yet for all those hundreds of ads — ads that for the most part never ran and therefore could never yield job applications — nobody complained!

The deeper question here is whether they paid for the ads or just for documentation that they had paid for the ads?

This is alleged H-1B visa fraud, remember. In order to hire an H-1B worker in place of a U.S. citizen or green card holder, the hiring company must show that there is no “minimally qualified” citizen or green card holder to take the job. Recruiting such minimally qualified candidates is generally done through advertising: if nobody responds to the ad then there must not be any minimally qualified candidates.

How many other scams like this, are being run to prevent American engineers from being hired?

wrooooooong (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44380021)

I guess they brought in some immigrants to do that math on that one too.
"it enables highly-skilled immigrants to work in the U.S. and grow the U.S. economy"
No, it increases unemployment here in the US, drives down wages, and the works funnel money straight out of our economy and back to their families in their home country. That is complete and utter bullshit every way you look at it.

Is my experience abnormal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380093)

I've come to the US on a H-1B visa to work for a large tech company (everyone has heard of it) as a software engineer. I'm 21, just graduated from university with first class honours, and am earning a base salary of $100,000. Everyone who works for my employer earns a high wage. Is this out of the ordinary for H-1B visa holders?

Surely they are needed in their OWN countries... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44380115)

So isn't it a 'hate' crime to bring them over here?

Why don't they want to live in their OWN countries, I wonder? Not enough WHITE people there?

Are you sick of this shit yet?

I bet that ALL of you on here, including the third world invaders, would MUCH rather live in an ALL WHITE neighbourhood, than a 'diverse' one (meaning a crime-ridden shithole...)

Fuck Quotas (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#44380167)

The problem with H1B is they can send you home. What we need is an immigration policy that lets people come and work without sponsorship. The problem now is employers can essentially deport workers (by not sponsoring them) if they don't work long enough hours for little enough pay. Let everyone live and work without crony government interference.

Demand higher wages! (0)

macson_g (1551397) | about a year ago | (#44380249)

There is this one city in USA, where workers secured themselves high wages, thick safety nets and generous pensions.

Detroit.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?