Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Gutierrez-Flake STRIVE Act would open U.S. tech jobs to unlimited applicants from any country in the world

Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) (202) 225-8203 and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (202) 225-2635 incorporate parts of the SKIL Act into their comprehensive immigration reform STRIVE Act. Among the provisions of their Act would be to exempt from the H-1b cap anyone in any country with a master’s and higher degree in science, technology, engineering and math - obtained at any school anywhere in the world.

We are attempting to determine how many tech workers meet that criteria, but it could exceed one million. Many "masters degrees" from India are MCA degrees, and "most MCA recipients receive an education equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in computer science."

Employers running basic classified ads will be swamped with thousands of applications from immigration agencies, bodyshops, and individuals seeking visa sponsorship. Many will be willing to forgo benefits and 40 hour workweeks for the opportunity to become U.S. citizens.

It's no exaggeration that this one Congressional Act could destroy the careers of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled Americans, and disuade the next generation of Americans from entering tech professions. (See James McMurtry perform "We can't make it here.")

First Congress tore down trade barriers, allowing America's best jobs to transfer overseas. Now they am to flood in foreign workers to fill the remaining good jobs, in a U.S. economy increasingly based on McJobs and Servants.


Anonymous said...

Flake and Gutierrez should butt out of labor market tampering and let the law of supply and demand work.

Why would any American invest the time, effort, and money into obtaining a Masters Degree if they knew that that they would be undermined by their own Congress?

Flake and Gutierrez crazy plan will remove all incentives for Americans to obtain advanced degrees. The result will be fewer Americans with Masters Degree which will in turn make American business even more dependent on foreign labor.

All they need to do is look at the recent CitiGroup announcement of 17,000 job cuts and moving 9,500 jobs to "low cost" countries.

If Citi was experiencing a "skills shortage" then they wouldn't be firing skilled American workers.

Anonymous said...

Tech workers beware.

Last year Sen. John Cornyn tried to push a massive H-1B increase through a lame duck session. It was during Christmas season when most Americans were busy preparing for the holidays and thinking of anything but politics.

Likewise, this year there is talk of a July H-1B increase. In this peak summer month most Americans go on vacation or spend lots of time outdoors - away from their computers, newspapers, and politics.

Congress' strategy appears to be to sneak a massive H-1B increase through while US citizens are not looking.

Anonymous said...

I have written my congressmen numerous times even with very specific examples - including that of a disabled veteran. The only acknowledgment I received indicated that particular congressman believed the stories that there is a shortage of qualified technical workers.

Many foreign nationals seem to feel that they are ENTITLED to receive a visa to work in this country, and some even seek advice on internet forums on the best lies to tell to obtain one.

Given that there are organized lobbying efforts which even encourage participation by individuals who cannot now legally work in this country, my individual contacts seem to have little effect.

I feel that I have been abandoned by my elected representatives in their quest for campaign funds from donors who benefit from the cheap technical labor force. I don't know what more I can do other than mourn the demise of my profession.

Anonymous said...

Over 50% of the graduate degrees (Masters and PhDs) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in this country's universities go to foreign students.

We are seriously jeopardizing our ability to compete in this globalized economy. Congress makes decisions that are best for the country as a whole, and not just based on the views of a handful of protectionists. You will see a H1B cap increase this fall.

Mr. Kim Berry said...

Regarding anonymous comment "Over 50% of the graduate degrees (Masters and PhDs) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in this country's universities go to foreign students."

1) There is already a separate 20,000 cap for these graduates, and that cap has not been reached yet.

2) Over 90% of BS grads are Americans.

3) Few positions distinguish between a BS or MS degree (and very few require PhD). And few of the unfilled positions are for new grads. The unfilled positions typically have a laundry list of 1-5 years on the job experience in several specific technologies.

SOLUTION: The solution is for employers to be less picky about specific skills and to hire the unemployed American tech workers that have degrees and proven track records, but lack on the job experience in the latest buzzwords.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said: "congress does what's best for america"

Yeah, like when they approved 500,000 LCAs for nonimmigrant visas -- including the H-1B and L-1 visas - during the early 2000's recession while at least 500,000 skilled US tech-workers were unemployed.

Yes, Congress facilitated the firing of US citizens and their replacement with foreign workers by increasing the H-1B visa quota during our last recession.

No, Congress was not doing what's best for America, they were doing what's best for their campaign contributors.

DOL non-enforcement of the H-1B visa LCA standards