Thursday, May 3, 2007

Lies, lies, and more lies about H-1b

In the past week the media has been flooded with articles containing gross misrepresentations of the H-1b program:

Misconceptions dominate the immigration debate - (Grant Sovern is an immigration attorney and partner in the Madison office of Quarles & Brady, LLP)

The most widely held misconception is that H-1B workers drive down U.S. salaries. However, in order to get an H-1B, employers must show the Department of Labor they are paying H-1B workers either the prevailing wage or the actual wage (the same as other employees at the same company). The prevailing wage is the weighted average wage for a specific position in a specific geographic area.

FACT: The "prevailing wage" for the purposes of H-1b is about the 17th percentile of what average-skilled Americans are being paid in the same job classifications. (See documentation here.)

The problem, one that apparently we all agree on, is that the U.S. is not producing enough homegrown talent in the areas of math, computer science, and engineering.

FACT: The Programmers Guild disagrees. The problem is that employers have become spoiled into demanding 5+ years experience in the precise laundry list of skills they desire, rather than hiring degreed American professionals with a wide range of skills and willingness to learn on the job. Intel and HP are purging top U.S. workers at the same time they lobby for more H-1b.

The H-1B program has other built-in safeguards. Employers who use a lot of H-1Bs first must try to find U.S. workers before they can hire an H-1B.

FACT: As long as these "best and brightest" are either paid at least $60,000 OR have an MS degree, the employer can have 100% of their staff on H-1b and never be required to recruit or consider qualified Americans. (Keep in mind the at MSc degree in India is roughly the equivalent of a BS degree in the U.S.) (Reference: PDF p.14, footnote 34)

Calendar Reform...Again

Recently imposed restrictions on H1B visas, the type foreigners need to hold a job that requires a Bachelor’s degree, have put pressure on Harvard’s international seniors. In order to enter the lottery for such a visa, seniors need documentation from University Hall asserting they hold or will soon hold their degrees.

FACT: No new restrictions have been "recently imposed."

Demand for H1B visas outstrips supply

This year, the US government had to run a computer-generated random selection process or a lottery for H1B visas since applications far exceeded the number of visas available.

FACT: USCIS had the legal right to give preference to the higher-paying positions - which presumably represented the most experienced or specialized workers. But USCIS chose to hold a random lottery.

Everyone will benefit with immigration reform, part #3

The H-1B visa quota for high skilled immigrants is filled early every year. Companies then have to out-source their work, or worse, not be able to start new projects or do research and development. Some of these jobs don’t require college degrees, but they do require bright young people who are educated in high school math and science and can be trained in the high tech jobs.

AGE DISCRIMINATION: Why do companies only require "bright YOUNG people"? Most Congressmen, Judges, and CEOs are over age 40. If people over age 40 can run this country, they should still be qualified to work in the IT field.

U.S. Universities, Research Parks Hit Hard by Government Cap on H-1B Visas

RESTON, Va., May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The current U.S. cap on the number of skilled-worker visas (H-1B) severely handicaps the ability of U.S. universities, science and technology-related companies and research facilities in their ongoing missions to develop new technologies, medicines and other innovative products that put the country on the leading edge of the global economy, according to the Association of University Research Parks (AURP).

FACT: Universities and non-profit research centers are exempt from the H-1b cap, and there are still available slots for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges with a masters degree or higher.

Skilled Masses - Washington Post Editorial

Congress temporarily raised the ceiling to 195,000 for fiscal 2001 through 2003,
only to let it relapse out of neglect.

FACT: The cap did not lapse "out of neglect." The total number of IT jobs in the U.S. declined between 2001 and 2003. Combined with a record number of H-1b flooding in, in November 2003 DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics personnel acknowledged that upwards of 20% of U.S. computer programmers were either unemployed or had been displaced from the profession, and that actual unemployment could have exceeded 30%!


R. Lawson said...

Thanks for setting the facts straight. Unfortunately, the PR machine driving this misinformation campaign on behalf of IT corporations could care less about facts.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the goood work. I hope our politicians can understand the shortsitedness of their decisions. The fact that fewer students in colleges are deciding to go into IT, I'm sure is as a result of watching salaries fall and displaced IT workers finding other lines of work far away from IT. Both creating artificial demand for more foreign labor.

I think it reasonable that US companies will require more, not less, skilled IT workers in the future as companies continue to be reshaped by technology. It would be reasonable to conclude that as this evovles and US companies depend more and more on foreign labor, their technological edge leaves the US and is handed over to developing countries.

What's happened to this once great nation where politicians and companies are willing to step on their own people to save a buck by importing their labor at the expense of future generations. I do grow concerned over the future of this country...

Keep up the good work!

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Cohen...why am I not surprised?

I've worked in many companies where Jewish management pushed to get rid of white programmers, unless they were Russian Jewish programmers.

Want to rescue the field? Get Jewish management out in all tech companies. Don't hire or promote them anymore. Blacklist their lawyers and doctors. Give it back.

Why do they do it?

They have lost trust in their number one political ally in America. Blacks. They have turned against Jews, specially their leaders. So they organized their lawyers and managers in various companies to start ridding of white IT workers. Unless they are Russian Jews. How many haven't noticed this pattern?

They live up to their international reputation. And that is bad. When they had too much influence in Germany, Germans suffered, when they had too much influence in the Soviet Union, they suffered. Today in America, they are in tech management and law firms. And who is suffering. Americans!

I was never a bigot in my entire life. But I was an IT worker, trained to notice patterns, it is impossible for me to come to this obvious conclusion.

Separate them from power, don't let them fool you by pretending to represent the opposition, such as leading the protest against exporting work when they are actually behind it.

I don't hate Jews, but i do admit, they are dangerous in management.

Did you notice that not one lawyer on the panel expressed any emotional concern for any misplaced IT workers? Not one expression of concern about the pain they are causing to other Americans.

No, they got off on their power to manipulate hard working IT labor.

Did Indians IT workers invent computers or the software industry when they were on their own? They did shit on their own. They fucked up Vista and how many other large project with sloppy code. And now we're supposed to give everything over to the rich executives, who never really do anything on their own, they're users most of the time.

There are far too many people in power who are scum.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I'm a jew in the tech field and am hurt just as much by competition from cheap labor as you. It really sucks when your opportunities to do meaningful work in a field are barred b/c of so many poor people willing do it so cheaply. However, there's no jew conspiracy out there for 'Globalization'. I'm 100% positive that there are many more non-jew globalists (since the jews are a minority). Also, it may suck for us, but it really helps the people they hire live decently. Why should I be entitled to some job over some other poor soul trying to get by. I kinda think us americans are spoiled by having the reserve currency and need to come down to the reality of the struggle for survival faced by others in this world.

Besides, if these foreign coders really do crappy work like you say, then that give us an opportunity to innovate and start companies better people and level of service! I am always keeping that in mind, with whatever job I take...cause in this country you have to be entrepreneurial and always on the lookout!