Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger objecting to his support for an H-1b increase

(Hand-delivered to Governor’s office June 6, 2007)

June 5, 2007

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger, (916-445-2841)

Among your key campaign promises was that you would represent the People of California rather than bowing to special interests.

But yesterday in your letter advocating for an increase in H-1b visas you violated that promise. I challenge you to disclose the source of that letter, which is a clear promotion of the special interests of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, foreign consulting firms, and billionaire CEOs.

1) By advocating for retention of "an employment-based application process" you are supporting the current flawed system where employers are able to hold H-1b workers as indentured servants while they sponsor the workers' green card applications. I witnessed NEC Roseville IT department specifically seek out H-1b candidates after two of their DBAs left for better opportunities at Intel Folsom. Do you support freedom or indentured servitude?

2) By advocating that the H-1b quota "must be based on the demands of the market" you are driving California workers and consulting firms out of business: The largest users of H-1b are Indian consulting firms. Last fall Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) boasted, "Our wage per employee is 20-25 percent less than US wages for a similar employee," explaining that the underpayment gave them their competitive advantage over American workers and the American firms who employ them. Do you support more H-1b for Indian consulting firms that displace Americans with $38,000 wages?

3) H-1b allows employers to hire foreigners even when qualified Americans are available. The California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) has sponsored dozens of H-1b workers, even as U.S. Citizens were waiting and reachable on the civil service list. Do you support hiring foreign workers for state jobs when Americans are reachable on lists?

4) CEO Larry Ellison is worth $20 billion dollars. Oracle is lobbying against a $1200 annual fee on H-1b that would be used to fund scholarships of up to $15,000 so that Americans can pursue science and engineering degrees. Do you share Oracle and Compete America’s opposition to scholarships for Americans?

5) You state, "I am concerned that the current bill may make the H-1B program harder to administer." The only material change is that, under the Durbin/Grassley amendment, employers would first have advertise the position, make a good faith effort to hire Americans, and attest that no Americans were being displaced. Do you believe that Americans should be displaced from their careers because employers find it an administrative hassle to run help wanted ads and conduct interviews?

6) You cite “between 2004 and 2014 there will be nearly one million new jobs in math and computer sciences,” but ignore that more than 100,000 Americans graduate with degrees in these fields each year. Please explain why you support industry’s call for an H-1b influx that would fill every job and then some.

7) You claim that there is a shortage of tech workers in California. So can you explain why on the day you sent your letter there were ZERO classified ads for Computer Programmers in the Sacramento Bee.

I look forward to hearing an acknowledgement that you have considered these points, and hope that upon further consideration you will withdraw your letter in support of an H-1b increase.

Mr. Kim Berry
Sacramento, California

UPDATE: When I attempted to deliver the letter the Governor's staff was rude. I explained that I wanted to hand it to the appropriate staff. She said "I need a name." She said that the letter had to be dropped in the mailroom. When I told her I wished to meet with staff she gave me a form to fill out, but would not let me borrow a pen to fill it out. I bummed a pen off a security worker and filled it out. She would not let me attach the letter to the hand-written form.


Anonymous said...

I think we should open and close H1Bs based solely on how many US computer graduates have found a job and how many industry professionals are receiving unemployment. Also I would require that people with H1B need to be employed directly and cannot be sold as consultants to other companies

Anonymous said...

If H1Bs are truly in such demand then employers should have no problem paying them top wages. That's how every professional field works in a free-market system.

In addition, the wages for best and brightest should be in the top 10% in any field.

So I would require that those brought in on H1B visas must be paid at the top 10% of their field.

This would help businesses that are truly desperate for workers and help US workers by ensuring the H1B s where not being used as labor arbitrage to cut costs.

Marco said...

Too bad the bill failed cloture. It had tons of provisions to limit H1B usage. Go Bernie Go!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the figure of $38,000 from ? In fact, as part of the same statement that you quote from Mr Feroze Vandrevala, he had mentioned that the average cost to company for workers is between $60,000 to $70,000. I am pretty sure this is way above the prescribed minimum wages for IT workers.

Anonymous said...

Programmers Guild do have some genuine concerns regarding abuse of H1-B program. However the organization is defaming the program to such an extent which is causing real damage to American Economy. Somebody hired at Microsoft, Google, GE, Intel, Exxonmobil, Shell not being paid prevailing wage or paid less is an absolute lie. Foreign nationals graduating from one of the top US universities and working for top US firms are so much valued at these organizations by their American supervisiros that they do every possible thing to keep them in the united states. I urge programmers guild to keep genuine need of employers in mind for these workers before defaming the whole program.

Anonymous said...

Talented US developers don't even bother with the H-1b issue, honestly.

Those who heavily blame the H-1b program are those who are average or below average developers that are not even as talented as the Indian guys in the lowest tier.

Don't blame the salary, if you will, 'cause most unqualified guys don't deserve the $ the worst Indian guy is getting.

Anonymous said...

The Jewish shame factor at work here.

If you complain then shame on you, you must be a bad programmer. xcuse me I'm laughing.

Indian It workers really great?

Did they invent the computer industry? Or were they too busy doing shit when Americans were inventing the field.

Everyone knows it takes good visual skills to see how many modules will make a large program work well.
It just isn't about logical skills to program well.

Do Indians have good visual skills?
Don't think so. They produce engineers who don't know how to work on cars. Who can't fix something broken in their homes.
A degree doesn't give you natural ability for something,

Indians love money. How many Indian
video games are there? Any? Even one? They ignored the biggest money making software field because they suck at it. That is when their lack of ability to visualize becomes most apparent.

And they also suck in writing code.
How many large projects failed because their coding sucked? Look at Vista, it is a mess isn't it?

Whites have something, whatever it is. They invented cars, planes, computers, even the sciences as they are today when the Indians were sitting on their butts doing nothing.

And today, idiot management, is allowed to move all the fruits of our father's minds to them?

Because of a Cohen mindset, who not unlike Indians, might not know how to fix his car, but would glady move manufactoring jobs to India.

For 3 years back German management
in all tech companies. Find them , promote them, and see how fast this trend vanishes.

Anonymous said...

That's a racist speaking.

I want to laugh with tears when Vista was brought up as an example. If Vista is a failure because of Indian developers, then I can tell you that the majority of the M$ developers are American. LOL.

john said...


Terminator just cares about cash.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the good american programmars have any problem finding a job. My company spent a lot of time and money going through the motions and providing paperwork to hire me. Any smart person would have gone for a local if a similar skilled person was available, but most of the good ones have job, just like I had, they offered me more money and I changed.
I think this forum is full of substandard programmars who would like more money with less competition. Guess what guys, there are better people out there, so catch up or be left behind!

Anonymous said...

I am willing to bet that most of the people who are having a hard time finding a job are over thirty years of age. This is what is what I refer to as the "first cull" period. The first to go are usually individuals who married early and have 4-7 year old children. Companies cut these people loose because they cannot work eighty hours a week due to family obligations. This cull has nothing to do with ability.

The second cull comes around age thirty-five. Those who were lucky enough to make through the first cull start to see subtle "it's time to find another career" hints being dropped by management. Once again, this cull usually has nothing to do with ability. At thirty-five years of age, a worker is moving into his/her peak earnings years and companies want to shed him/her while bringing his/her younger replacement up to speed gracefully.

Forty years of age is when the career ending cull occurs. As few people make it to this point without experiencing a lay-off, it hits those who are culled like a ton of bricks. A laid-off forty-year-old software engineer has a greater chance of being hit a freight train than finding comparable employment, which is why the lion's share of consultants (a.k.a., temporary workers) are over the age of forty.

From forty years of age on, working in software development is a treacherous exercise in futility. One will only find work in areas where one is an absolute master of the technology or problem domain (i.e., being merely good is not good enough). At this point, finding work has very little to do compensation. One is dealing with plain old-fashioned age discrimination.

Anonymous said...

These comments show the typical thinking of programmers. More concerned about who's better than the other. It's all about the ego. I don't care how good you are, how much you think your worth, how you can "shine" with your skills. In the end, it's all about the money. If a company can save money, they will. You can parade your skills all you want, if a company can find someone with 80% of your skills at 35% less your min. asking wage, guess what buddy? Go look for another job. Going back to Windows Vista, Microsoft obviously doesn't care for "high-quality", "I am top 10% in the field" programmers like yourselves, they simple pass bug software to consumers, they have a thing called "automatic updates" that patches the flaws made by cheap labor Indian programmers.......

Patrick said...

I have been into computers, electronics, and software for more than 30 years. I went to school while still employed, graduated with a bachelors degree in information technology, magna cum laude, then while attending grad school in network security, was laid off due to the company's downsizing. I quit school.

I had begun looking for a new job anyway, since I first got my batchelor's degree. But for 4 months, I had a 3 page resume that included my 1st employment with Texas Instruments in the early 70s. Not even ONE response. Then I pared down my resume to 2 pages and left out everything except the work from the 80s and 90s. So then I began getting interviews. But then they saw that I was 56 years old. No job offers. I was sometimes interviewed by foreigners, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indians who could barely speak English.

There are about 100,000 experienced and unemployed IT workers in the US. We cannot get work because of the H-1B and L visa programs. This is legalized immigration of what should be illegal.

The Man From Mars said...

I love this country. You know..I was thinking the Congressmen and other honorable lawmakers in the states would just fall for the rubbish spread by Programmers Guild and Lou Dobbs. And now I hear governors of 13 states have asked for an H1B cap raise. I wonder how many Americans still believe H1Bs are cheap workers. Labor condition application is the first clearance required in an H1B application and it is approved only if the wages are aligned with market figures.

Anonymous said...

I think we should give H1B to consulting firms like Wipro, Infosys and Satyam only after non-consulting firms like MSFT, Google and Oracle fill up their positions.

Consulting firms like TCS, Wipro use H1B as a way to outsource jobs. But that is not true for non-consulting companies. Also, non-consulting companies like Google and Microsoft pay H1B at par with US workers.

We really need to take a hard look at the consulting companies, who have misused the H1B system. We should limit the 65K cap to only 20K for consulting firms.