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How-Not-to-Hire-U.S.-Workers Law Firm Fires Back

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the those-rascally-scamps dept.

Businesses 462

theodp writes "Congress is now calling for a Dept. of Labor investigation into a Pittsburgh law firm after a video showing its attorneys advising employers how to game the immigration system was posted on YouTube. Cohen & Grigsby, the firm in question, issued a statement insisting their statements were commandeered and misused, but would not allow CBS to view the original video in its entirety. Cohen & Grigsby has also been advising employers since 2002 that they have nothing to fear if they keep employees in the dark about the existence of DOL-required H-1B Public Access Files."

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bud (1)

Helen Keller (842669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621033)

Mbud bud budbud bud budabud bud.

their website (4, Insightful)

squarefish (561836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621037)

has the tag line 'progressive law' all over the place. I would suggest replacing the word 'progressive' with 'breakin' the'

haha Stupid Americans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621253)

We are french and we do no shit like that. We keep our immigrants in the toilets where they are good workers.

Re:their website (5, Informative)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621327)

has the tag line 'progressive law' all over the place. I would suggest replacing the word 'progressive' with 'breakin' the'

Call them up and express your displeasure...

Main office:
Pittsburgh, PA
11 Stanwix Street
15th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1319
TEL: 412.297.4900
FAX: 412.209.0672

Re:their website (3, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621415)

The email address of Allan TeDesco, Chief Operating Officier is: atedesco@cohenlaw.com

Re:their website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621369)

From their website under "Culture:"

"Profitability
Unlike many firms, Cohen & Grigsby has always been managed in a fiscally conservative, businesslike manner. This means that the Firm is very profitable and is able to withstand economic downturns, departures of attorneys, and other events which may cause the dissolution of other firms."

I wonder how their "Profitability" will fare under a DOL investigation?

Re:their website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621919)

In the video they are talking about how to comply with the law, not break it.

Everyone does what they describle because the law as written is broken. If you followed the spirit of the law, no employee would be able to get a green card!

Naughty.. (1)

Majestix (41486) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621063)

Bad Law firm, bad bad. Timeout for you.

Moot (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621097)

If the dollar continues to fall as it has over the last few years.

 

Re:Moot (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621225)

Yup, pretty soon Americans will be sneaking across the border into Mexico to find work...

Re:Moot (1)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621279)

We never should have left the goldbrick standard.

Even if the value of gold dropped to zero, you can still throw a brick of it through a window and take what you want. Try doing THAT with a dollar.

Try that with a dollar (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621305)

Remember on the Simpsons when Monty Burns got on the top of some building and showered the citizens below with free dollars?

Too bad they were dollar *ouch* coins.

Re:Moot (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621781)

Taking into consideration the US average Joe debt, a weak currency may be a way for reducing its nightmares, as inflation is the way to shrink his pain (debt), while deflation would degrade badly the economy. Is it time for two digit US dollar inflation?

Chickens. Home. Roost. (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621103)

If you are going to evade the spirit of the law, don't be surprised when the lawmakers take note.

Re:Chickens. Home. Roost. (5, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621425)

Yeah. I'm sure the wrist-slapping will be unparalleled in human history.

Re:Chickens. Home. Roost. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621671)

If you are going to evade the spirit of the law, don't be surprised when the lawmakers take more banknotes.
FIXED

USians feel they're entined to everything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621125)

Tell me USians, how are you more entitled to a job than the rest of the world? Allowing for more inexpensive labour is called capitalism. If you can't compete on price then compete another way. If you can't find a way to compete then not being able to find a job is just natural selection taking its course.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621257)

And if someone from the US illegally enters your country, how exactly is that handled?

I really doubt you have an open border policy.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621539)

Sorry to poke a hole in your rhetoric, but H-1B workers aren't exactly illegal.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621261)

Tell me USians, how are you more entitled to a job than the rest of the world?

I can't tell if you are just being sarcastic or actually the dumbest person alive.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621627)

Neither.

I was not being sarcastic. If I were the dumbest person alive I would be a USian like. I am not a USian obviously. So why don't you bow down to King Bush the Second and offer him yourself slitting your wrists as a sacrifice.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621347)

I'm making good money and a bunch of foreigners want to come in and compete against me by working for a lower salary?

Well come on in! I'm glad that the median salary for my profession will be lowered.

pfff. I accept that we need to allow foreigners to work and or immigrate our country, but we had better make sure that we don't sacrifice a fair salary in order to do so.

H1B visa limits are high enough already. I hope that all geeks who value their salary or wish they made more fight any attempt to raise the H1B visa limit by all means available. Don't let them take our jobs or lower our salaries. This is our country, and yes, that includes anyone who is already here and working legally.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621577)

Capitalism is only a Good Thing (tm) when it benefits me at the cost of everyone else. Jeez, what's so hard to understand about that? Democracy works that way too, since you're apparently out of the loop.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621583)

OK, how the bloody fuck is the parent post flamebait?

USians love the free market, right? If it costs less to MOVE SOMEONE TO THE US than it does to hire a USian worker, which it should be apparent that it DOES, then HOW THE FUCK ARE USIANS MORE ENTITLED TO THEIR JOBS than non-USian workers?

The free market uses the most valuable labour. Now USians are probably too stupid to notice this, but the most skilled labour with the least costs most certainly isn't coming from USians.

If for no other reason than the MASSIVE health care costs the, uh, "oversized" average USian places on the system.

It's not flamebait, it's SIMPLE ECONOMICS. Although I suppose understanding elementary economic theory may just be beyond the average USian, which would be why the parent post got marked flamebait.

If you can get someone to do a job, better, for less money, why the FUCK should you be made to hire the more expensive person?!

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (0, Flamebait)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621655)

The emphasis is on less money, not better. BUt I digress. I agree - companies should and do hire whomever they want.

However, this should only be the case of other nation, specifically the G8, are held to the same standard. Which they are not. German companies are currently looking to the US with envy... they want to dump their expensive German workers for cheap Chinese and Indians. Fairly draconian immagration law there currently makes this practice less than feasible.

In Ireland, we saw a different phenom: the jobs simply picked up and moved to Poland and Russia.

So. Keep up youy Anti American rhetoric... but don't cry in your beer to us when you come to work, notice a stench of curry in the air, and find some coolie sitting at your desk.

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621841)

You had any problems when the said US companies were dumping the products in the third world countries amassing huge profits but trampling over a few million indigenous jobs in the way?

Re:USians feel they're entined to everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621891)

If they want to export jobs overseas or import foreigners so they don't have to pay US workers then the government should force the company out of the country. Go all out and export the entire company. If you're going to base your business out of the US to gain the benefits of doing so, then you should damn well hire American workers. Base your business in the States and then hire foreigners to do the work? Get the fuck out. We don't need your company - you waste tax money and contribute nothing in return. Fucking leeches.

DELETE THE BORDER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621127)

I say good luck and godspeed to this law firm; I hope they beat the DoJ on this one.

Since when did people start thinking that governments "own" or "create" jobs? Finding work is not a zero-sum game with definite winners and losers; it only seems that way once people start pleading to daddy government that the "wrong colored" people "took mah jeb!"

How would you feel if you were on the other side of the fence? There's someone who wants to give you a job, and you want to work for them, but in comes the Men with Guns who say "sorry, we're forcing this company to give this special class of people a priority over you".

http://deletetheborder.org/ [deletetheborder.org]

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621167)

open borders and a welfare state are mutually exclusive.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621299)

and the USA is too busy fueling the warfare state.

http://www.antiwar.com/ [antiwar.com]

p.s. to everyone who's mentioned the weak US dollar: it's called inflation, and war is why the USA has a Federal Reserve with fiat currency.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621515)

open borders and a welfare state are mutually exclusive.


Well... the EU? Each state is basically open to eahc other. Most are welfare states.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621615)

Well, it works fine if you're open to other nations with similar standards.

Kind of like most forms of insurance in the US. If you have insurance and want to switch providers, generally they can't exclude you for pre-existing conditions if the coverages are comparable. On the other hand, if you have no insurance and want to buy life insurance the day after you're diagnosed with cancer that is likely to be terminal in two months, then nobody has to sell it to you. The goal is to foster competition between companies, without defeating the whole purpose of insurance (where you pay in without knowing whether you will actually need it).

If highly-socialized nations had completely open borders with anybody, then anybody in the world with an expensive medical condition would just move there, until the tax base completely erodes.

On the other hand, highly-socialized nations have no issues opening borders with each other for the most part - nobody has a real incentive to immigrate en-masse with expensive conditions, and any immigration is likely to be bilateral.

to each other, yes (2, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621625)

There are economic requirements for entering the EU.

Actually, right now the UK is having a major problem with people sneaking in.

Yeah, open with each other... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621901)

... but how open are they with, hmm, Turkey? (And anti-immigrant sentiment hits Eastern Europeans all the time, too. What was that called, the Polish plumber problem?)

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621301)

While I don't agree with "oh imagine how the immigrants feel" attitude and especially not with the A//E bullshit website the AC posted, I do agree I don't have a problem with this. They are finding someone to do the same job cheaper than we are willing to. We don't have a divine right to jobs just because we are Americans. Let 'em in. If they do the job just as well at half the price then the whole country will be better off.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621499)

Fair enough. Except of course that in this case, the "price" of the immigrant laborer is artificially low, as they were allowed in under the assumption that there were no qualified Americans. In other words, Congress lowered the entry requirements (and hence the cost) for a reason that turns out this company is trying to compromise. It sounds a little like fraud to me.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621323)

Ask yourself why the US has so many high paying jobs compared to Mexico. It is maybe because over many years the actions of the government and the various freedoms protected by the government have made the US more powerful and wealthier than Mexico? No maybe you don't agree with the way the US got it's wealth and power but don't be so deliberately ignorant to deny that the wealth and power is here by design. That design is created and implimented by the US government.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621449)

Government, by definition, cannot create wealth; it can only transfer or destroy wealth.

Trade (i.e. capitalism) creates wealth.

The people of Mexico have been historically generally impoverished precisely because of either the brutal excesses and mismanagement by their domestic government, or by interference from foreign governments and Bretton Woods institutions [wikipedia.org] -- e.g. setting trade quotas very much like Gosplan [wikipedia.org] would. (...which includes restricting the movement of People: The Ultimate Resource [juliansimon.com] .)

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621465)

Ask yourself why the US has so many high paying jobs compared to Mexico. It is maybe because over many years the actions of the government and the various freedoms protected by the government have made the US more powerful and wealthier than Mexico? No maybe you don't agree with the way the US got it's wealth and power but don't be so deliberately ignorant to deny that the wealth and power is here by design. That design is created and implimented by the US government.

Thats hard to say. It's partly culture (protastant work ethic) partly abundance of resources, partly the immigration of exceptional people (einstien, Telsa etc..), the availability of capital, strong property laws, a strong and numerous middle class. The current admin is hedging the immigration of exceptional people in favor of the immigration fo marginal people and they are hurting the middle class. The culture has shifted and the protestant work ethic is not as pervasive. Resources and capital you still have in abundance though.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621365)

I say good luck and godspeed to this law firm; I hope they beat the DoJ on this one.

Do you feel the same way about all laws, or just some?

Do people you feel sorry for get to violate the laws you dis-like?

Do people you don't like deserve to have different treatment than the people you like?

In the US, we have this little thing call the Constitution that guarantees all people equal treatment under the law. The Government is required to enforce all the laws.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621529)

> In the US, we have this little thing call the Constitution > that guarantees all people equal treatment under the law. > The Government is required to enforce all the laws. Are you referring to Amendment XV? Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Having the power to make laws and being required to enforce them are not the same thing. Plus the amendment forbids preferential treatment, which many minority rights and immigration job laws encourage.

Re:DELETE THE BORDER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621725)

In the US, we have this little thing call the Constitution that guarantees all people equal treatment under the law.

Too bad the law of Archimedes [thefreedictionary.com] is the only law this seems to be actually working for. For all other laws, your degree of equality is proportionate to the amount of $$$ you can spend on lawyers and congresspeople.

I think their punishment should be (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621145)

they should be forced to give their jobs to low paid H1B workers.

you make no sense (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621629)

Geez, think about what you're saying. The seminar is about the process of getting green cards for H1b workers. Why would companies get their supposedly "low paid" H1b workers green cards, if those workers could just pack up and leave as soon as the green card comes through? The fact that a company is trying to get a green card for one of their workers tells you that they are competitively paid.

So, why don't they want any applicants in response to the job postings? Because most of these companies are constantly recruiting anyway; they aren't going to get any additional good applicants through newspaper ads. Any response they get to those ads is potentially only going to mess up the green card application for the guy that's already been working at the company for several years.

Lawyers are exempt from H-1B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621815)

too bad. The way to get rid of H-1B is tie its numbers to a similar program for lawyers. Lawyers make a lot of money. High wages are a sign of a labor shortage. Therefore, we should promote massive guest worker visas for lawyers.

Shameful (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621151)

This entire system is broken and should be scrapped. The government simply cannot enforce the restrictions in place. The H-1B is supposed to be a temp visa for positions that can't be filled domestically, but I see very few people using it that way. The sponsoring companies are using it as a means to keep labor costs down, and the visa holders seem to mostly be using it as a stepping stone to citizenship(the ones I know are). You should just accept this and roll the visa into a citizen-track visa, make it easy for visa holders to bring their families, make it easy for them to switch jobs, and then they won't have to worry about getting booted out of the country if they lose their job.

Re:Shameful (4, Informative)

squarefish (561836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621473)

the visa holders seem to mostly be using it as a stepping stone to citizenship
 
I don't think your sentiment is correct. I only know two people working here in the US on H-1B visas: one is from India and he's here for the short term to make money and send it home. He intends on permanently moving back to India, getting married, and settling down to raise a family in the next few years.

The other has been working in the US for over 15 years, has been married to a US citizen for 6 and has a 5 yo son with dual citizenship, and has no intention of becoming a US citizen because it's just too much of a pain in the ass and not worth it to him.
 
They are both honest people earing a living here for different reasons and purposes, but neither of them are doing so with the intent of citizenship or anything that comes close to what this law firm is trying to promote. I think the folks that get scooped in via a firm like this are the ones getting really screwed. The firm is doing this for the benefit of their clients, big companies, and they couldn't give a fuck about the H-1B worker at all.
 
Hopefully the government will actually do something about this. I hope this firm and their practices will help magnify the hypocrasy and stupidity of the current immigration debate.

Re:Shameful (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621609)

Firstly, your sample size of 2 isn't very big. Also, H-1B is supposed to be for jobs that could not be filled with American applicants. Seems to me that they are pretty lenient on this. I'm just a Canadian, so I'm not completely filled in on this, but it seems that they are hiring H-1B's to do the job when they can't find an American to do the job for little enough money.

Re:Shameful (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621597)

Employers are only doing this so that they can get lower cost labor. The easist way to fix it is to require them to pay equal pay to all workers and not pay someone lower just because they do not have a green card. Also, allow the immigrant the right to sue for this fair wage. To allow it to pass, just grandfather clause the existing workers. That would end this abuse over night because there would be no more reason to game the system anymore.

RTFA (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621733)

Employers are only doing this so that they can get lower cost labor.

The lawyer is talking about getting green cards for foreign workers.

The easist way to fix it is to require them to pay equal pay to all workers and not pay someone lower just because they do not have a green card.

The easy way to fix this is to RTFA. These "fake ads" are being posted as part of the green card application process; the companies are trying to get their H1b workers green cards!

So, why don't they want any real applicants? Because high tech companies already know that they aren't going to find qualified workers through newspaper ads. Any application that comes in in response to one of these ads is only going to hold up the green card application and cause lots of extra work.

Re:Shameful (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621739)

That law is already in place. Maybe not enforced very well, but that specific law is here already.

What the H-1B worker gets you is someone that can't switch jobs. They need a sponsoring employer and have about two weeks to leave the country if they lose that sponsoring employer that brought them in. Switching sponsors isn't trivial. So you have a worker that can't quit and unless they want to return to the armpit of a place they came from, they will do what they are told and keep their mouth shut.

This has little to do with wages and everything to do with worker "loyalty."

not true (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621855)

What the H-1B worker gets you is someone that can't switch jobs.

That used to be true but isn't anymore. H1b workers can switch jobs quite easily.

But you're missing something more basic: the lawyer in the video isn't talking about H1b applications, he's talking about green card applications.

This has little to do with wages and everything to do with worker "loyalty."

In principle, the argument that enforced loyalty can lead to depressed wages is correct; the problem with the argument is simply that most legal foreign labor in the US actually has high mobility.

excellent idea (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621679)

If they are on a citizenship track, and unable to be booted out of the country if they report their employer for something or switch to a better job, then they will be able to demand more pay. That will reduce the number of them while increasing the quality.

Slaves are not good for the future of our country.

Re:Shameful (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621695)

Damn right it's shameful.

There used to be a "marked decided control" over the cost of labor. IT spending got huge in the Dot-COM boom and it freaked business execs out. Dot-COM is over but now we're left with the results of some 'clever solutions' laying around that won't go away.

Re:Shameful (1, Troll)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621731)

I've been bitchin' and yellin' about this for years now, usually some asshole tells me something to the effect that I'm delusional, (NOT) I think this bears me out!

The punks in pin-stripes and their parasite friends in Washington should be flogged and burned at the stake for what they've done to the American worker!

Nothing will change, the "news media" will continue to spout propaganda without any fact checking. The idiotic electorate will continue to vote for lying, crooked, self-serving, useless bastards because they seem to be incapable of learning from their past mistakes (Bush).

I wish. (3, Insightful)

TheGeneration (228855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621217)

I wish the courts had the power to force a man to work a minimum wage job when he is found doing such unethical work. The only way this would work would be if the courts were to take all of the mans other income as a fine as well. I want these people to see the life they are damning the rest of the country to.

Way to go Bush not only do you under pay the army. (-1, Flamebait)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621231)

Way to go Bush not only do you under pay the army health care system and support US employers to cut back on health care costs you let stuff like this come in and take away US jobs.

Nothing new here, sadly (4, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621237)

Talk to ANYBODY who has got a green card thru their company (assuming they were reasonably cognisent of the process) and you will discover the same thing - this is standard operating procedure, and not just an abuse by this specific law firm.

The way the system is set up, how can it be any other way... if a company has decided they want to get someone a green card, then of course they do whatever they can to achieve that. If they instead wanted to replace the person with a US worker then they'd be doing an honest job search, and NOT pursing a green card. Duh! The law says you have to advertize the job, so you put an ad for the job in the most obscure paper possible, with the job requirements so custom tailored to the person you are trying to get a green card for that no one else can qualify. I'm sure it works better than ever in recent years now that most people expect to find job openings online rather than in the local paper.

What's lame here is Congress pretending to give a crap (presumably just because this particular story/video has hit the press) and wanting to investigate this particular law firm. One has to wonder are they being investigated for breaking the law, or rather just for making Congress look bad by openly flaunting the law? If Congress really gave a crap they'd fix the broken system rather than go after a law firm doing nothing different than every other law firm hired to assist in this process.

Re:Nothing new here, sadly (1)

hoyhoy (320542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621585)

Isn't the purpose of the government to produce theater in order placate its populace with elaborate theater while maintaining the status quo?

Re:Nothing new here, sadly (2, Funny)

hoyhoy (320542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621605)

You know what what be cool on slashdot? The ability to edit comments you just posted! The last one should have read. Isn't the purpose of government to placate its constituents through elaborate theater in order to maintain the status quo?

Re:Nothing new here, sadly (1)

anon94305 (1119239) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621677)

Totally agree with you, this is a PR stunt by ProgrammersGuild. Read the following: "A handful of groups do oppose more green cards for the highly educated. Kim Berry, president of the 1,500-member Programmers' Guild, argues that giving green cards to the hundreds of thousands of people in the backlog will displace Americans and drag down wage levels. He points out that employment in the tech sector has been largely stagnant since 2000, adding only a net 262,700 jobs since then to bring the total to 3.7 million. Adding in another 315,000 people from the green-card queue would flood the market with labor, he says, with many of the newcomers willing to work for less. "For a young programmer coming from India, a $40,000 salary might be fine," says Berry. "But it's not going to be enough for an American trying to raise a family in San Jose." from http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/conten t/jun2007/db20070620_915353.htm?campaign_id=rss_da ily [businessweek.com] The Programmers' Guild's job is to try to keep as many Americans employed in these obsolete positions even though, these jobs are being outsourced already. Yeah this is definitely a way to keep efficiency high. Which is why Capitalism works. Notice how they say the Law firm does not talk about salary, well to meet PERM requirements, the employee's salary needs to meet 100% of the prevailing wage. http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/wages.cfm [doleta.gov] So go take your propaganda elsewhere ProgrammersGuild.

and what's wrong with that? (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621903)

f a company has decided they want to get someone a green card, then of course they do whatever they can to achieve that. If they instead wanted to replace the person with a US worker then they'd be doing an honest job search, and NOT pursing a green card.

And what's wrong with that? When the green card process is over, the company has a US worker. The only reason for going through the extra expense and delay of the green card process is because they think that the person they are sponsoring for a green card is genuinely better than any of the US workers that have applied for the job in the past.

One has to wonder are they being investigated for breaking the law,

Which law have they broken? Not only do they post the jobs, they look at the resumes that come in; they have to. And if they find a good applicant among those resumes, you can bet they are going to hire them.

No, the reason why they don't want a lot of applications in response to these job ads is because they already know that the applications they are going to get are going to be crap because almost nobody worth their salt applies in response to a newspaper ad.

Who the hell put that on the web? (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621245)

I would sue that employee frontwards and backwards.

Re:Who the hell put that on the web? (1)

PsEvo (1075643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621399)

and you could win! Since none of their minimum wage lawyers are qualified enough! :D Unfortunately, they claim they don't break any laws...

Paris (2, Funny)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621277)

Is this the equivalent of a sex tape for a law firm?

Shakespear was right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621281)

Just kill every second lawyer and most of this problem would be self repairing. Start with these Mudkips.

With apologies to Shakespeare (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621287)

First, let's outsource all the lawyers.

Re:With apologies to Shakespeare (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621363)

You want Juan, Muqtar, and Jamish looking through all of your important business records? You've got to be kidding.

Re:With apologies to Shakespeare (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621869)

Thank God they can't get into my bank account! Er, wait...

What Problem? I don't see one. (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621313)

If Homeland Security has it's way, get ready for just about everything we consume, from produce to fast food, to home prices, everything will go sky-high. The fact is, there are a lot of things that we require for our "standard of living" that we Americans are not willing to do for what employers can pay.

Second issue: Do "illegals" really want to stay in this country? Here in Washington State, that's not the case. Many "illegals" make reasonably good money here for hard work, and send it home, where they will eventually retire, in a place where money is worth more than it is here. Not all "illegals" intend to stay, and very, very, very few take any jobs away from "Americans". When people talk about "immigration problems", most are not talking about High Tech jobs.

Re:What Problem? I don't see one. (2, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621691)

True, we're not talking about high tech jobs.

But we have an economy that is now structured around paying people to stay poor and artifically low prices that distort everything, including wages paid to high tech workers.

Let's imagine a case where all the illegals either (a) walked home or (b) demanded the prevailing wage that a legal worker would get. McDonalds and Wendy's would have to charge more. Their people would get paid more. These people could then afford to pay more for rent and maybe apartment building owners could make some improvements. See? Everybody wins.

Re:What Problem? I don't see one. (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621847)

This has nothing to do with illegal aliens. This is about importing skilled workers instead of hiring citizens. On average, H1B workers make about 25% less than the equivalent citizen. But there's more to it than just pay. They can get a person with a higher degree, which means the pay discrepancy is even worse. Also, H1B workers tend to not "rock the boat" when it comes to labor law violations.

I'm not against immigration. Hell, this country was built on immigrants. I want the foreign workers to come here and STAY. I want them to become citizens.

Illegal immigrants is an entirely different problem. We need them for a lot of jobs. The fix isn't to give 1.8 million people citizenship, especially if they've been breaking our laws for years. That would only encourage more illegal border crossing. The fix is to change the seasonal worker system entirely. Allow more seasonal workers, but clamp down HARD on any that break our laws. The vast majority are hard working people who just want to get ahead in the world. We like them. A small fraction are scum of the earth. We don't want them here.

Please don't sanction this law firm.... (3, Insightful)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621315)

I want these guys around to advise my competition! In fact, I hope every company I might ever
compete with, goes out and hires these guys to help them hire as many "low-bid" workers as they can.

Meanwhile, I'll focus on hiring the best workers possible, regardless of where they are from, and eventually run
these other guys out of business anyway.

Re:Please don't sanction this law firm.... (1)

Kostya (1146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621421)

I'd agree with you except that's a lot (and I do mean a lot) of US workers getting screwed. You can't possibly hire them all.

There was a comment in one of the articles about this where the lawyer said he didn't know how common this was. Considering that three past employers of mine did it (who knows how many I didn't know about), I'd say it is pretty darn common. There is a lot of work that US workers aren't even given a chance to apply for because the company has already decided to fill it with an H1-B. They hire the H1-B because it is cheaper, when the visa runs out, they game the system to get the green card. It's a crock from beginning to end.

Re:Please don't sanction this law firm.... (0)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621535)

Ok, then let's get rid of more government regulation and interference with free markets - which makes it more difficult for
these talented and hard-working American workers to start their own firms - and then sit back and watch the more talented
and hard-working folks eat the lunch of the people who shortsightedly fixate on bottom line labor costs.

I firmly believe this is a self-correcting problem. Companies that make brain-dead, shortsighted, "can't see past the end
of my nose" decisions will be beaten in the end by companies that take a more long-term, holistic view. But we need to keep
the free-market as free as possible in order to facilitate this.

Re:Please don't sanction this law firm.... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621661)

Meanwhile, I'll focus on hiring the best workers possible, regardless of where they are from, and eventually run
these other guys out of business anyway.


What if that 'best worker possible' is a foreigner? You'd still need to do what this law firm did: show that no Joe Blow with a C+ average and VB.net 'experience' is able to do the job.

Re:Please don't sanction this law firm.... (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621857)

The "best qualified" workers are probably the guys looking for green cards - otherwise, why would HR go through all this rigmarole to keep them hired? It's not even like they're paying these immigrant employees less, because if that was the case they could just post ads openly and know that no American would be willing to work for the advertised salary.

IANAL, but it sounds like the law requires them to hire any American applicant who is QUALIFIED, not preferable. So these companies are afraid they're going to have to fire Amir, the extremely talented programmer who designed half their system and knows its vagaries inside and out, and replace him with Jim, the lazy American guy who isn't really that great, but looks good enough on paper that the law considers him "qualified" to take Amir's job.

Boycott Dice.com and their censorship! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621317)

One of the earliest discussions of this video was on dice.com, and several people downloaded it before it got pulled. And they made certain that it was sent to the Programmer's Guild as well as Loub Dobbs, and other media outlets.

However, dice.com has initiated a censorship campaign against certain posters and postings against H1-B visas. It's not clear if this is approved by management, or it's the random act of a few moderators. What is clear is that requests for this to stop, and for clarification of Dice's censorship policy have been deleted as well.

Add to this Dice's postings of standard pro-H1B visa propaganda, and it's very clear that Dice is in full support of the H1-B visa program.

This is odd for a job board which seeks the best talent in the U.S., but I guess it's the H1-B shops which are paying Dice's bills.

So until this censorship and propaganda campaign ends, I am taking by business elsewhere. I urge others who seek new jobs to do the same.

Re:Boycott Dice.com and their censorship! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621861)

Doesn't dice get most of their money from employers? If they do, you will need a pretty complete boycott to have any sort of effect.

The Fall of the American Empire (1, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621349)

America is now a country of middle managers, having outsourced so much of the actual work to other countries. At some point they will realize how little they need you and cut their ties. You'll notice the massive tumble the dollar has taken in the last 6 years. The corporatiosn are bribing your government to legislate yourselves into insignifigance.

This obssesive focus on short term gains that your culture and stock set up encourages will ultimately be severely detrimental to America. Someone should wise up before you out source, down size, and Quarterly report yourselves into a minor historic foot note.

Re:The Fall of the American Empire (1)

rhakka (224319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621635)

Why?

If you actually want a just and fair world, america will NEED to roll back in terms of consumption and power eventually. We certainly can't raise the world to our standard. The other option... eventually... is our slide to some middle level.

But with ANY globalization.. corporate- or citizen-based... eventually we'll be at fairly level playing fields; neither markets nor citizens will allow for a massive differential indefinitely. That playing field must be at a level lower than the "american field" is right now. Heat goes to cold, high pressure goes to low, and money will follow poverty. Any high-energy state will blend with low energy states.

It's just a question of when, and how fast the transition will occur.

Darn, too many immigration stories lately... (3, Funny)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621359)

First fruit picking robots, then this. I suggest companies start developing robots to take over the lawyer's jobs. Then the robot lawyers could start telling employees how to cheat the system into somehow unethically profiting off their robotic workers (pirated software on them, maybe?). Then, seeing how corrupt employees are, replace them with robots, leaving us humans to enjoy life.

Computer Lawyers (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621879)

Our university had a group of engineering management students do a project on the feasibility of making robotic lawyers. First, they had to determine if a computer program to pass the bar exam. They came up with a bunch of prior art. As long as the exam is multiple choice, there were no problems. Next, they figured the robot would need to be really good at arguing. They made a model computer program, and you can make a computer argue really well. Finally, they checked into billing. Writing computer programs to mindlessly send out large invoices is easy. The key technical challenges were solved: passing the bar, arguing, and generating eye-popping bills.

When presenting the results of the project, a professor in the examining committee asked: "Surely lawyers do more than pass exams, argue, and bill clients?" The students thought for a bit, and then one piped up: "Well actually the lawyer's secretaries bill the clients."

The students got an A.

All the H1B slots may be filled (1)

Interested Bystander (1106793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621401)

for the next 2 years from what I understand. But "Comprehensive" immigration reform is due to change that and double the number allowed. This is why large technology companies are supporting it, and why many in our field are against it.

My guess is that many in the Senate seem to be up for sale....campaign contributions and maybe a nice consulting job when we have had enough and bounce them from office.

Tip of the Iceberg (2, Insightful)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621409)

Or... when you see one cockroach... This is what we all suspect goes on behind closed doors, and why many of us have a basic dislike of the corporate "suits." Let these assholes be the first against the wall.

And for those of you bitching about how us Americans don't have any more right to a job than anybody else, suck it. Every country has a responsibility to give first priority to the employment and prosperity of its own TAX PAYING citizens. America is no exception. Any company, from any country, found acting in bad faith with the government and its citizens, should be dealt with very harshly.

Why this discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621413)

I fail to understand why there is so much discussion about US firms wanting to keep H1-B workers and finally put them on a Green Card track. This is a competitive world. It is the survival of the fittest. How smart one is, is the only thing that matters today.

Distasteful is not the same as Illegal (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621417)

I have no reason to doubt that these lawyers keep their clients within the law, however much they might "game the system." That, after all, is why you hire a lawyer.

The job of the lawyer is to know the law inside out so that they can assist their client. The job of the legislator is to draft laws and regulations that have as few loopholes and weaknesses as possible.

If blame is to be assigned, it goes to the lawmakers.

Honestly though I suspect that most companies paying for this kind of advice are probably fooling themselves. Between the falling U.S. dollar, legal costs, and the inefficiencies associated with training and replacing short term or contract employees they likely aren't saving enough money to make it worthwhile.

Just because it looks cheap doesn't mean it really saves you money.

Re:Distasteful is not the same as Illegal (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621547)

The job of the lawyer is to know the law inside out so that they can assist their client. The job of the legislator is to draft laws and regulations that have as few loopholes and weaknesses as possible.

If blame is to be assigned, it goes to the lawmakers.


The law shouldn't be about some cat-and-mouse game to find and close loopholes. It should be about legislating what most citizens would consider right and wrong.

Courts should (and might already) find that willful sidestepping around the intent of a law is equivalent to a violation of the law. The law should be simple - you can't sponsor a green card if Americans are able and willing to do the job. It might give some basic minimums like some basic steps to trying to hire Americans, but in the end if you sponsor green cards when Americans are in fact able and willing to do a job, then you should be punished for breaking the law.

If it really is unclear whether Congress intended to make a practice illegal, that is one thing. However, if you show a practice on TV and 99.99% of the voting public is positive that the practice violates the intent of the law, then it really shouldn't be up for debate whether some loophole around the law exists. If you're 51/49% or maybe even 70/30% that might be one thing, but when EVERYBODY thinks you're sleazy then something probably should be done...

the way it works (2, Interesting)

idlake (850372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621427)

The companies I have worked for have looked for the best educated and qualified applicants. They post on mailing lists, network, and find people through word of mouth. People send in their resumes, some get invited for interviews, and the best get offers. At no point does nationality or salary play a role, either way.

Only once the companies have already decided who they want to hire do silly US regulations, like posting to "Sunday newspapers". Geez, who gets hired based on responding to a Sunday newspaper ad anymore? Day laborers? So, yes, people who are saying that these ads are a sham are absolutely right, they're just wrong about why people are posting these ads.

Don't kid yourself: if you can't get a job as a software engineer now, you won't get one even if no foreign labor gets admitted to the US. The consequence of restricting H1b visas is simply that the jobs themselves move overseas.

get real (4, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621563)

What the lawyer is talking about is a green card application, usually for someone who has already worked many years at a company and lived and paid taxes in the US. There is a formal requirement that the company post a job ad. Of course, companies don't want any applicants for that job ad: they already have someone for that job that they have invested a lot of time and money in. Do you seriously think they are going to send that guy home based on someone who sends in a resume? And companies are likely paying that guy competitively because once they get the green card, he could leave immediately.

I've seen these requirements for formal job postings in non-immigration contexts as well, and they never work. If finding qualified, good applicants were as simple as posting a job ad and collecting resumes, headhunters and hiring bounties would be such a booming business.

EEO, Where Are You? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621669)

It amazes me that we have laws about "Dumping" of Goods into the United States, but the Dumping of "Services" is totally ignored.

If this is not a blatant application of Discrimination based on who a person is, then I do not what it could be. If ever there was a reason for ACLU to exist, this violation of the law is it.

But there is going to be a smile if Grim Irony on me if this story is shown on 60 Minutes.

Re:EEO, Where Are You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621765)

It amazes me that we have laws about "Dumping" of Goods into the United States, but the Dumping of "Services" is totally ignored.

"Dumping" only happens when governments subsidize particular industries (aka "corporate welfare") to artificially reduce product price. (By the way, *all* governments do this; they just selectively enforce them when pressured by other similarly powerful governments or pulling strings in the WTO. e.g. aircraft manufacturing )

For "dumping" to occur with services, you'd be talking about people collecting unemployment checks and still working. (Which could actually be quite circular when you're looking at corporations receiving welfare checks; c.f. any instance of "government bailout".)

Security Clearance (2, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621685)

Last refuge of the American tech worker. (We'll see how long that lasts.)

The rest of the world wonders why America has suddenly taken to blowing up small nations... when many of the only moderately secure jobs in the US are in the defense sector.

Sigh.

everyone getting an unemployment check does this (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621689)

Going through the motions of satisfying some bureaucratic requirement in order to get a result you want? Everyone I know that has ever gotten unemployment checks does the same thing. Performing bogus job searches in order to keep the unemployment checks coming. Most people view it as a 12-18 month paid vacation.

Re:everyone getting an unemployment check does thi (1)

CharlesEGrant (465919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621775)

Everyone I know that has ever gotten unemployment checks does the same thing.


You need to find a more honest crowd of people to hang out with.

Re:everyone getting an unemployment check does thi (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621851)

That is a good point.

With this sort of practice highlighted in the article, there will be a lot more of what you are pointing out going on.....

Huh? What's wrong with this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621697)

I don't understand the public outcry -- the immigration laws are ridiculous, antiquidated, and totally disassociated from reality. Of -course- corporations are going to side-step them whenever possible.

When we're searching for a worker, we search for the best possible applicant -- finding a good applicant is hard enough without mandating citizenship. This isn't a question of 'stealing' US jobs, either: Highly skilled foreign workers are not cheaper than American counterparts, and immigration lawyers aren't cheap!

AFTER we've spent significant time and money finding an applicant, we're required to jump through arcane legal hoops to advertise the job again (eg, newspaper ads, state job boards, etc). We must then review every unqualified applicant's resume, and provide justification for not hiring them -- this is time consuming and expensive, and explains why companies try so hard to discourage more applications at this stage. If you've already performed an exhaustive job search and found a great applicant, why repeat the process? Even worse is when we try to change an employee's immigration status -- eg, get them a green card. I can't believe anyone would seriously suggest that we should abandon our investment in an existing employee just to find a US-citizen.

We're interested in finding the best possible person -- period. An employee will pay taxes, live in the neighborhood, and become an active, involved contributor to our society, regardless of where he/she was born. Why shouldn't we encourage the immigration of highly skilled foreign workers to our country?

Re:Huh? What's wrong with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19621811)

Corporate propaganda. We have a large concentration of the world's best schools and yet you claim the best people are from overseas? No. You and your ilk want to hire whatever talent from the 3rd World, some of it good and some of it mediocre and pay them less than what you would pay for an American.

These corporations are nothing but traitors to America. Sorry, your "everyone deserves a shot" argument won't fly here. America First.

Another solution (1)

CycoChuck (102607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621735)

I would like to request followers for my goal of becoming Supreme Ruler. In my first 30 days as ruler it will load all lawyers and illegal immigrants onto giant catapults and sent them all flying over the boarder ensuring that all jobs here are only for the citizens here. This will also end numerous problems with the RIAA and MPAA. I will also build a giant prison in Antartica where I will sent all capital offenders. There they will mine the ice and send it to Mars for teraforming.

RTFA (4, Interesting)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19621797)

These lawyers are talking about job ads as part of the green card application process. That is, the goal of the process is to get a current or future employee a green card. As soon as the employee gets the green card, they can quit and work somewhere else if they aren't being paid competitively.

So, why don't companies want responses to these ads? Because they already know that they aren't going to get any good responses to a newspaper ad. How do they know that? Because they are already running lots of ads all over the place. Any response they are going to get is just going to hold up the green card application unnecessarily.

These companies are trying to do the right thing--getting their foreign employees green cards. They don't deserve to be dragged through the mud for it.
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