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H1-B activism or hope things get better?

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Mary King:
We all know the problem we are facing is due to
the bad economy, which is result from
the bubbles, 9/11, the pending war, and the incompetent administration, ...

LOL! Silly liberals. It was the clinton administration which inflicted the current state of the H-1B program on the US IT worker. The conditions which have resulted in the current economy were in existance quite awhile before GW took office, but I know the liberals like to pretend that isn't the case. It is fact, however. As far as incompetence, yes, the clinton administration was a model of incompetence, and worse.
We can not blame Monica for this. I miss Bill.

What do you miss? The lies and deception? The corruption? The lack of morals? The constant scandals? The gutting of the US military? The embarassing sexual trysts? His despicable wife? The impeachment proceedings, special prosecutors, and independant counsels? Yeah, there's a lot to miss about Ol' Billy Boy. :roll:
kalpana Iyer
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 10
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Well, no one forces H1B's to work in the US. If you don't like the terms you can return home. You knew the rules when you accepted the H1B visa so I have absolutely no sympathy for you.

Now you are talking. You knew the rules before bringing H1s in...hell, you made them. By "your" rule, H1 is valid for 3 yrs, extensible bu 3 more years. As long as an H1 is on a pay roll, you CANNOT kick her out. You should have thought about this before letting them in rather than being a cry baby now.
You knew the rules too. I have no sympathy for you either.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by kalpana Iyer:
You knew the rules before bringing H1s in...hell, you made them.

No, *WE* didn't. The industry made the rules and got the government to sign off on them. Labor was not consulted, nor did labor have anything to do with drafting these rules. Nobody ever came to us and said "here you go guys, what do you think of this wonderful plan we have to threaten your jobs and damage your earning potential." Unfortunately we were not consulted. However, now people are becoming aware of the problem and are starting to try to do something about it.
As a side note, I don't think anyone expects or wants your sympathy. The H-1B worker is irrelevant in this whole process, they are just the visible symptom and really aren't to be blamed. This is strictly a dispute between US labor and the IT industry / government.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by jerry Finin:
I said if the citizen only has a skill level 5 and a non citizen has a skill level of 9, then I would hire the non-citizen in a LEGAL way.

A local citizen's credentials, references, and general skill and experience are readily verified. With all the reported fake degrees, credentials, and references reportedly being offered by many H-1B's, in addition to the fact that you don't know when you are conducting a phone interview whether or not you are really speaking with the person you seek to hire, how can you feel that you are making any kind of accurate judgement as to the person's actual skill level?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by kalpana Iyer:
By "your" rule, H1 is valid for 3 yrs, extensible bu 3 more years. As long as an H1 is on a pay roll, you CANNOT kick her out.
Actually you are mistaken. An H1B can be told to leave as soon as the need for them as ended. 3 years is a limit, not a minimum. In any case, the same Congress that made the law to let H1B's in can make a new law to send them all home.


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Abadula Joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 126
Well, no one forces H1B's to work in the US. If you don't like the terms you can return home. You knew the rules when you accepted the H1B visa so I have absolutely no sympathy for you.

No, paul, we don't need any sympathy. Yes, no one forces H1B to work here, no one forces us to leave either (except some of pathetic whiners are trying to). I guess we should offer some sympathy to those whiners too. How about that ?
Sach Baat
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 07, 2002
Posts: 21
Actually you are mistaken. An H1B can be told to leave as soon as the need for them as ended.

Nope, cant be done. A H1-b cannot be fired just because he is on H1.Once he is hired he can stay as long as the company sponsors him.

In any case, the same Congress that made the law to let H1B's in can make a new law to send them all home.

But of course they wont do that.Why will they change something which obviously benefits the country, just to please some unproductive workers.
[ September 02, 2002: Message edited by: Sach Baat ]
jerry Finin
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 31, 2002
Posts: 8

LOL! Silly liberals. It was the clinton administration which inflicted the current state of the H-1B program on the US IT worker. The conditions which have resulted in the current economy were in existance quite awhile before GW took office, but I know the liberals like to pretend that isn't the case. It is fact, however. As far as incompetence, yes, the clinton administration was a model of incompetence, and worse.
What do you miss? The lies and deception? The corruption? The lack of morals? The constant scandals? The gutting of the US military? The embarassing sexual trysts? His despicable wife? The impeachment proceedings, special prosecutors, and independant counsels? Yeah, there's a lot to miss about Ol' Billy Boy.

Well, talking about incompetence, I don't see much difference between bill and george. Actually I don't see Bush (the older and younger ones) has done ANYTHING better than Clinton in economy. If we just accept Bush family's excuses that the economy problem is just the fault of their former presidents, we are too silly.
kalpana Iyer
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 10
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Actually you are mistaken. An H1B can be told to leave as soon as the need for them as ended. 3 years is a limit, not a minimum. In any case, the same Congress that made the law to let H1B's in can make a new law to send them all home.

Sorry, you are mistaken. Here is why:
1. As per the current H1 laws, as long as an H1B worker is working for a US employer, he/she is in status. "There is no minimum" does not mean, INS can deport any H1 worker on it's whim, if the worker is in status.
Check this out: http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/howdoi/h1b.htm
It is a different matter if the company has fired the person. But again, firing a performing worker has it's own rules.
2. Yes, congress can build new laws to reduce the time of H1B, or scrap it altogether. However, no sane person can think that if the H1 category is scrapped, all H1s have to leave the next day. Common sense says that the law will apply to new applicants (and thus there would be no new H1 workers). If you think that is the case (that all h1s have to leave the next day), let's not discuss anymore.
3. When you say, "there is no need now, so go home", this is what I understand:
A US company is recruiting an alien and says, "hey, we want to hire you now. But we are not sure whether the INS will let us keep you for the next year, month or even week. So come at your own risk."
Is this correct? If it is:
Not only this rule inhumane, it is outright stupid. There has to be at least some "known-ness" for the program to work. If the time duration of H1 is reduced to say 1yr+1yr (instead of 3+3), then INS has to respect that. They can't just dictate that all h1s have to go in one week because ecomony has nosedived. Again, they can definitely scrap the program altogether upon seeing the status of the economy, but for people who are already in, they cannot just change the rules. (Of course, H1s cannot do anything if INS does that, but I don't think that's going to happen.)
Best of luck,
kalpana
kalpana Iyer
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 10
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

As a side note, I don't think anyone expects or wants your sympathy. The H-1B worker is irrelevant in this whole process, they are just the visible symptom and really aren't to be blamed. This is strictly a dispute between US labor and the IT industry / government.

That's exactly what I said before. Lot of people are unnecessarily critisizing the H1s for no fault. Hey, it's not because of us that the economy went south! May be you should deport the top finance people of the big and small companies who looted your money.
At least, what we are getting is well known and is all legal.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
You foreign nationals are missing an important point.
When it's going, do you think the US economy can produce more good paying IT jobs than it can supply?
Would you rather come here with rights and priveleges comparable to a US citizen || do you like being de-facto indentured servants?
Do you think smaller packets ( pay checks ) is what you want?
Would you like to trade employers without losing your H1-B status?
Are the body shops taking good care of you or are you being exploited?
If you came here and attended a first class US university and earned an MS in CS you need not respond. This does not pertain to you. You're a horse of a different color.
[ September 02, 2002: Message edited by: Rufus Bugleweed ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
No one is criticizing H1B employees. I understand that you don't want to leave but the law says that H1B's can only come here if there is a demonstrated need for them. That need no longer exists. H1B's are taking jobs from Americans which is not what the program is supposed to do.
kalpana Iyer
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 17, 2002
Posts: 10
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
No one is criticizing H1B employees. I understand that you don't want to leave but the law says that H1B's can only come here if there is a demonstrated need for them. That need no longer exists. H1B's are taking jobs from Americans which is not what the program is supposed to do.

I agree with you on this. It is perfectly valid to scrap the program altogether or may be not renew the visas. My only objection is when you say all H1s must leave immediately. It is not the same world of 100 years ago anymore where you could treat people like slaves. You must also follow the laws...at least the ones that you've made
Jon Ellison
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 10, 2001
Posts: 19
Interesting Thread... Here is some more interesting reading for discussion...
Warning: A very long and involved article that hits on the H1-B subject... "Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage, Testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration." (updated September 2, 2002)
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html


Jon Ellison<br />Java Developer at Large<br /> <br />-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----<br />Version: 3.1<br />GIT d- s: a+ C++ UA P+ L- E-- W+++ N++ o-- K- w+ O- M-- V-- PS--- PE+++ Y<br />PGP t++ 5 X+ R-- tv++ b DI+ D-- G e++ h---- r+++ y++++<br />------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Jon Ellison:
Interesting Thread... Here is some more interesting reading for discussion...
Warning: A very long and involved article that hits on the H1-B subject... "Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage, Testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration." (updated September 2, 2002)
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html

Very interesting article!. Sheds a different light on commomly held (mis?)conceptions about the H1B issue. Does anyone have any links or articles for the opposing side that they can share?
Jon


SCJP<br/>
"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Sach Baat
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 07, 2002
Posts: 21
Originally posted by Jon Ellison:
Interesting Thread... Here is some more interesting reading for discussion...
Warning: A very long and involved article that hits on the H1-B subject... "Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage, Testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration." (updated September 2, 2002)
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html

This is the only article which has been quoted again and again by the anti-H1( anti-immigrant?) camp.
What this article does is take a few cases, blow them out of proportion and then generalize it to the entire H1-B program.
Here is another article about the effect of immigration in Austin
http://www.austin360.com/aas/specialreports/citiesofideas/0609immigration.html
Here is a quote from the article
--------------------------------------------------
William Frey, a demographer with the Milken Institute and a professor at the University of Michigan, has written extensively about how cities with robust immigration are in ascendance while those that cannot attract immigrants are in decline.
"They (immigrants) revitalize the regions they move to and enrich them culturally with their tastes in music, food and entertainment," Frey wrote recently in American Demographics magazine. "The regions that do not attract (immigrants) have often experienced a prolonged economic decline, or they lack the natural or cultural amenities that many migrants seek."
Among these foreign-born arrivals are immigrant entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international economic development cooperative of 30 countries, including the United States, credited highly skilled immigrants for the ability of the United States to sustain growth in the software industry over the past decade.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Here is another article about the effect of immigration in Austin.
All of which is irrelevant. H-1B's are specifically (according to INS) non-immigrants. So yes, immigration is good, but H-1B's are not immigrants.
Sach Baat
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 07, 2002
Posts: 21
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Here is another article about the effect of immigration in Austin.
All of which is irrelevant. H-1B's are specifically (according to INS) non-immigrants. So yes, immigration is good, but H-1B's are not immigrants.

But the H1-B program allows the holders to immigrate. In fact the easiest way to immigrate is to use the H1-B program. I bet most of the skilled workers which the above program talks about would have used the H1-B visa to work in the US.
Here is another article which essentially supports the H1-B program.
http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2805130,00.html
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
The fact is that H1B is not an immigration program. H1B's must leave the country after 6 years unless they are sponsored for a green card. Certainly, those who want to immigrate will look for any way to get here so it is not surprising that so many use the H1B program. I would be willing to increase immigration quotas if we eliminated the H1B program.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
An interesting section of that article which speaks very poorly for our industry:

12.7 What Programmers Should Do
As explained in Sec. 5.9, an experienced programmer CANNOT get a job using a new skill by taking a course in that skill; employers demand actual work experience. So, how can one deal with this Catch-22 situation?
The answer is, sad to say, that you should engage in frequent job-hopping. Note that the timing is very delicate, with the windows of opportunity usually being very narrow, as seen below.
Suppose you are currently using programming language X, but you see that X is beginning to go out of fashion, and a new language (or OS or platform, etc.) Y is just beginning to come on the scene. The term ``just beginning'' is crucial here; it means that Y is so new that there almost no one has work experience in it yet. At that point you should ask your current employer to assign you to a project which uses Y, and let you learn Y on the job. If your employer is not willing to do this, or does not have a project using Y, then find another employer who uses both X and Y, and thus who will be willing to hire you on the basis of your experience with X alone, since very few people have experience with Y yet.
Clearly, if you wait too long to make such a move, so that there are people with work experience in the skill, the move will be nearly impossible. As one analyst, Jay Whitehead humorously told ZD-TV Radio, if your skill shows up as a book in the Dummies series, that skill is no longer marketable.
What if you do not manage to time this process quite correctly? You will then likely be in a very tough situation if you need to find a new programming job, say if you get laid off. The best strategy is to utilize your social network, including former coworkers whom you might know only slightly - anyone who knows the quality of your work. Call them and say, ``You know that I'm a good programmer, someone who really gets the job done. I can learn any skill quickly. Please pass my re'sume' to a hiring manager.''
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Sach Baat:
Here is another article which essentially supports the H1-B program.
http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2805130,00.html

Did you notice the date of the article? One month before 9/11. The tech rebound shows no sign of coming. The author also confuses H1B visas with immigrants.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I would be willing to increase immigration quotas if we eliminated the H1B program.

That's not the problem, Thomas. Employmnet-based Green Card category quotas have not been filled for years (they were oversubscribed for Indians and Chinese, but not for anyone else). The US has no prsssing need to increase EB immigrant numbers. The problem is that the system is broken.
In the average state, it takes between 12 and 24 months for an employer to get an approved Labour Certification for a foreign worker using the 'fast' RIR route. It takes longer for the slower route. That's ridiculous.
Additionally, there are what's known as 'Schedule A' and 'Schedule B' jobs. The latter are jobs that there is a clear abundance of US workers (truck drivers, waitresses, etc.) where no Labour Cert can be granted. Schedule A jobs are ones of clear shortages, and no Labour Cert is required at all. There are a grand total of 2 jobs there - RN and physical therapist. It is ridiculous to believe that those are the only two jobs where there is a shortage. What's even more ridiculous is that this list hasn't been updated in almost ten years.
It is clear that programmers would have been on that list in 1998/99, but not now. The DOL is so entrenched and inefficient that it's bogging down the whole system. Everyone, immigrants and honest employers alike, would prefer to have a working EB immigration system than the H-1 process. Since the DOL isn't going to get fixed, H-1B is all we have.
Nothing against you personally, but I have yet to see a single anti-H1B advocate argue for meaningful reform of the DOL Alien Labour Certification program. Because of this, I question their motives.
There are two side notes that deserve mention in this debate - the fact that 90% of the immigrants to the US are family-based, not employment-based, and require no skills or education, just the right relatives.
The second is that scrapping the H-1B program would simply cause firms to use the L-1A and L-1B programs, which have no prevailing wage determinations or $1000 "training fees", or numerical limitations. Since the L is widely used by multi-nationals, unemployed IT folks will never get it repealed.
Cheers!
Luke
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Sach Baat:
But the H1-B program allows the holders to immigrate.

No, the H-1B visa program does not allow holders to immigrate. The H-1B visa is classified as a non-immigration visa, so by definition it does not allow holder to immigrate. Visa holders are able to get around this because of somthing in immigration law known as dual-intent, which has nothing to do with the H-1B visa. Of course they still must be sponsored.
In fact the easiest way to immigrate is to use the H1-B program.

The fact that many holders seek to use the H-1B visa for other than its intended purpose is not a reason to keep the program in place when it is not serving its intended purpose. While this isn't a reason to keep the program in place, there are many facts that indicate it should be abandoned (as it applies to IT).
Fact: The H-1B visa program is not meant to supplant or provide competition for domestic labor.
Fact: H-1B visa holders are in many cases supplanting domestic labor. H-1B visa holders are being employed when there are perfectly capable domestic workers able to fill the positions.
Fact: H-1B visa holders are supposed to be paid the "prevailing wage". H-1B visa holders are not supposed to be more economically viable than domestic labor.
Fact: The "prevailing wage" is figured industry wide across many skill sets, therefore undercutting the wages which are demanded by domestic labor. H-1B visa holders cost less for a company to hire than domestic labor, all factors of compensation considered (including insurance and other benefits). The illegal application of the H-1B visa by employers is artificially driving down the wage of domestic labor.
Fact: When employers state that a particular H-1B visa employee is the only qualified applicant for a job, and that the position can't be filled domestically, in most cases they are lying. This can be witnessed through the ridiculously unrealistic requirements placed in job ads, which are designed specifically to exclude domestic labor.
Fact: Facts placed on domestic resumes are relatively easily verified. This is not so with the resumes of H-1B's, particularly given (as reported in foreign press) the rampant use of counterfeit credentials, as well as fraud during phone interviews, in addition to body shops mis-representing the skills and experience of their employees.
Fact: There is no shortage of qualified domestic labor to fill IT positions in the US. Age discrimination, misleading job requirements, and the lack of employers to recognize similar skill sets ("You've only used Weblogic? I'm sorry, but you must have Websphere experience for this position.") are tools used to justify the hiring of lower cost H-1B visa holders.
Fact: The H-1B visa was intended to import temporary labor into this country where there was a shortfall in particular highly-valuable skills that were not being met. Obviously the fairly recent decision to apply this visa to the IT sector is no longer required, and was farsical to begin with. When applying it to the IT sector, the party line was that this was supposed to be only until out of work defense sector engineers could be retrained. As employers recognize no value in retraining, this was a lie.
Fact: The H-1B visa is a non-immigration visa. It is not a tool for immigration.
Now if the US were to turn around and provide some sort of fast track to citizenship for highly edecutaed people with desirable skills, I would be all for it. We're like the Borg, assimulation (immigration) makes us strong.
In the meantime, end the program, terminate the visas giving 60-days or so for people to get their affairs in order. People who have already applied for legal residency prior to the termination of their visas should have their visas extended until a decision is rendered on their application. There would probably be enough forewarning to enable individuals whose intent it was to immigrate to make the proper applications before their visa was terminated. For those who had no intentions to seek citizenship, it would be time for them to hit the road.
[ September 04, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Nothing against you personally, but I have yet to see a single anti-H1B advocate argue for meaningful reform of the DOL Alien Labour Certification program. Because of this, I question their motives.
This actually has been mentioned in some way or another on this board at various times. Most opponents here of the H-1B program are proponents of immigration. I have always thought that we should provide some sort of fast-track immigration for highly-educated individuals with desirable skills who seek to immigrate. That would of course require immigration reform in this country, but in the long run we would be better off.
sim sim
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 05, 2002
Posts: 55
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

In the meantime, end the program, terminate the visas giving 60-days or so for people to get their affairs in order. People who have already applied for legal residency prior to the termination of their visas should have their visas extended until a decision is rendered on their application. There would probably be enough forewarning to enable individuals whose intent it was to immigrate to make the proper applications before their visa was terminated. For those who had no intentions to seek citizenship, it would be time for them to hit the road.
[ September 04, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

Putting in other words, Jason, what you are saying is, even though a H1-B candidate is on status, just scrap his visa, and send him out of the country. Is this what you are trying to say ? If so, I am sorry at your state of mind. I can understand that the present situation is making you depressed but please for God sake be sane and think decently. As Kalpana said somewhere in this thread, it is absolutely absurd to say that all H1 should go, even though they have a status.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by sim sim:

Putting in other words, Jason, what you are saying is, even though a H1-B candidate is on status, just scrap his visa, and send him out of the country.

Uhh no, I don't think that's what I said, although I have no idea what you mean by "on status".
it is absolutely absurd to say that all H1 should go, even though they have a status.

Status as what? You probably didn't read more than a couple of lines of what I had written because I very clearly and most definitely did not say that all H-1B visa holders should be sent home.
Let me re-state. As the H-1B program is being misapplied to the IT industry and there is plenty of domestic labor to fill all the jobs, the H-1B program as it applies to the IT industry should be terminated. Now if that program were to be terminated, these long-term "temporary" visas would have to be revoked.
This is the part I think you missed it the first time. If the H-1B visa holder has a pending application for permanent residency with the INS, then they should be allowed to remain in this country until the INS has rendered a decision on thier application. If the H-1B visa holder has no intention on seeking permanent residency, then they should have to leave after a reasonable grace period, with 60 days sounding reasonable to me. Similarly, if the INS denied an application for permanent residency, the visa holder would have to return home within an appropriate period of time.
Maybe 60 days would be too much of a shock for the companies (not that I have much sympathy for them) and they should be given the opportunity to replace their H-1B visa holders over a period of 180 days, with it being mandated that 1/3 of their visa holders would have to be replaced every 60 days, in order for them to bring their new hires up to speed. The H-1B holders will probably have to train their replacements so this kind of a phase out might be necessary.
So to summarize, if the H-1Bs take the necessary steps to become permanent residents, then they should be allowed to stay at least until the INS decides whether or not to grant them permanent residency (hopefully the INS would fast track it). Those who have no intention on becoming stakeholding members of our society should have to leave within an appropriate period of time if the program were terminated.
Also, the situation does not "depress" me. I am employed in the industry and I am pretty certain that I will not be being replaced by an H-1B holder any time soon. Regardless, the injustice of the situation angers me, as it should all Americans, whether or not they are directly affected.
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
As the H-1B program is being misapplied to the IT industry and there is plenty of domestic labor to fill all the jobs

I'm a late participant to this debate, but I think it's unreasonable to make this blanket statement and let it go unchallenged. I'm going to make a few assumptions of my own, admittedly, but: Let's estimate that there are approximately 500,000 H-1Bs in the United States. I don't think there are this many, considering the large number of layoffs and the fact that only 50,000 extensions were processed this fiscal year, but let's use it for purposes of argument. Even if 90% of them could be replaced by a US citizen or PR off the street, that's still a vast pool of 50,000 individuals that could not be easily replaced - the cost of this vast dislocation would harm the US economy (and US workers) far more than H-1B workers ever did.
If the H-1B visa holder has a pending application for permanent residency with the INS, then they should be allowed to remain in this country until the INS has rendered a decision on thier application.

The devil is in the details, Jason. As you are aware, employment-based permanent residency is a three-step process. Do you include everyone who has filed a Labour Certification, or just someone who has filed an immigrant visa petition? If it's the former, you'll see a flood of LCs filed before the deadline which will do the same thing as the 245i renewal did in 2001 - completely gum up the works for everyone else. If it's the latter, you'll see wide variations between states due to their different LC processing speeds - states like NY/NJ will be depopulated of H-1Bs, while others will do comparatively well.
Maybe 60 days would be too much of a shock for the companies (not that I have much sympathy for them) and they should be given the opportunity to replace their H-1B visa holders over a period of 180 days, with it being mandated that 1/3 of their visa holders would have to be replaced every 60 days, in order for them to bring their new hires up to speed. The H-1B holders will probably have to train their replacements so this kind of a phase out might be necessary.

I'm going to raise some scenaria for you. Because I don't think, especially in America, you can legislate this kind of thing. Lawyers will find loopholes faster than you can close them. Let me play devil's advocate for a bit.
First, let's say I get rid of my H-1B employees, a third at a time. Instead of replacing them with US residents, I merely set up an offshore subsidiary and get them to work for me there. It doesn't need to be India; heck, Canada is crying out for high-tech workers and will subsidise me quite nicely. You can't force a company to HIRE someone.
From the company's standpoint, why should I give up a person who has worked for me for a period of time, who is a known entity? The H-1B alien is familiar with the work we do, and I am familiar with his work habits, strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, he or she may be part of an integral team (in our team, we had 2 citizens, two PR, one H-1B, one TN and one L-1B). All are critical. I then have the government force me to replace those individuals with unknowns? Forget it.
The added bonus of this situation is that after 365 days of working for my foreign subsidiary, I can get them back into the US as L-1A "functional managers" and skip the Labour Certification step for the Green Card altogether (and there's no prevailing wage requirement, either). And as I said before, you're never going to get rid of the L program.
The desi body shops have already figured this out. Multi-national corporations can do this easily. The only people who lose out? The small companies of 25-250 people who may have a half-dozen H-1Bs, but can't work around the legal shenanigans that the big boys can do. I've worked for a few of these in the US, and my experience has been that as small businessmen, their main goals are the success of their enterprise. They want the best people. Hiring an H-1B, with the additional costs, is a necessary evil.
Again, the desi bodyshoppers will wriggle around your restrictions before you can even get them put into law.
Regardless, the injustice of the situation angers me, as it should all Americans, whether or not they are directly affected.

Injustice? As a citizen of the 3rd largest supplier of H-1Bs (Canada), I like the US, but I'm not sufficiently desperate to come here that I'll take a below market wage. Most folks from Canada and the United Kingdom (#4) are the same way. I've usually made more than my American peers, since I was better than them at either my work or my negotiation skills at salary time (or both). I resent being characterised as a desperate inhabitant of a third world country willing to work for a starvation wage, stealing US jobs.
Yes, there's injustice in the H-1B program in places. But a blanket expulsion of H-1B IT workers will cause huge dislocation to employers, and will NOT provide the kind of job boon for unemployed US IT workers that one might first expect.
Cheers!
Luke
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I resent being characterised as a desperate inhabitant of a third world country willing to work for a starvation wage, stealing US jobs.

I don't resent be characterised as a desperate inhabitant of the first world wondering how I'm going to pay my mortgage and feed my children.
I don't think you get it. We don't care any more about the foreign nationals or the companies than they do us.
If the employers don't have to follow the laws of this county, are you not advocating a survival of the fitest mentality?
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Rufus Bugleweed ]
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
I don't think you get it. We don't care any more about the foreign nationals or the companies than they do us.

That's true. And the longer unrealistic situations like scrapping the H-1B program linger, the less productive the discussion will be. Right now, neither side gives a darn about the other. Americans consider H-1Bs to be exploited, desperate workers, and many H-1Bs consider unemployed Americans to be lazy 50-year-old COBOL programmers who refuse to adapt. Both stereotypes are wrong, yet no one wants to face the real issue.
The free market has made America the richest nation in the world. It didn't get that way without being smarter, faster and from time to time cheaper and more ruthless than everyone else. That's how capitalism works, and IT workers like ourselves have benefited mightily from it during the bubble years.
What's happenning now is that the rest of the world is listening to what America has been saying about capitalism for years. They're busy coming to America for post-graduate degrees in engineering and CS (the graduate programs are something like 85% foreign from what I've heard) and then saying around on OPT and H-1Bs for seven years.
They're becoming just as educated (if not more), just as hard-working (if not more) and getting as productive. And wether they are in India, Canada, Germany or the United States on an H-1B, they're going to put you and me out of a job sooner or later if we can't compete with them.
I've only had second-hand experience with Indian offshore development. My opinions are that they're great for non-creative coding, with little thought and initiative, and a close eye on the product. The other is that they can do 75% of the work of a comparable US developer at 25% of the cost. And with that kind of a price to performance ratio, we're all in deep trouble.
Offshore development in India was unheard of three or more years ago. Today, it's starting to get commonplace. Throwing all the H-1Bs out of the US isn't going to make the problem go away. Three years ago, companies shifting entire IT functions out of the country was unheard of. Today, your phone support is handled in Bangalore and your basic entry-level development is handled in Hyderabad.
Because US companies don't give a damn about you. All they care about is what effect you'll have on their bottom line. And if you can provide the productivity that makes you more attractive than offshore developers, they'll drop the foreign boys just as quickly as they dropped Americans in the past 18 months.
In that sense, foreign workers are probably a good thing - they keep jobs in America instead of having stuff shipped wholesale overseas. To use a military metaphor, think of H-1Bs as economic soldiers - our American Foreign Legion that has been serving the interests for the past half-dozen years. We've trained them in US business practices, given many of them a US graduate education, and given them a half-dozen years to "infiltrate" all lines of industry and gain a ton of knowledge that they can use.
We're then either going to send them against their will home, or to a third country that's in economic competition with America, with all those skills. Not only do they have the basic skills, they're going to place where costs are between 20-80% lower than in the US. Talk about competetive advantage!
If Congress and the President did this with 2 of the US Army's divisions, there would be talk of impeachment and treason trials. Yet we would do this with economic assets.
Again, my contention is that across the US economy, the dislocation caused by the elimination of the H-1B program would cause more harm to US citizens than some underpaid bodyshop labourers do. After another large batch of offshore outsourcing, the number of IT jobs in the US would actually be FEWER than what is here today, never mind during the bubble.
If the employers don't have to follow the laws of this county, are you not advocating a survival of the fitest mentality?

Lots of employers don't follow the laws of the country, but we don't make the notion of being an employee illegal. A significant (if not the vast) majority of H-1B employers pay market wages and treat their employees reasonably well - as well or better than many other US employers treat their US citizen employees.
The solution isn't elimination of the H-1B program, as the unscrupulous employers won't magically become sweet and nice. There are enough loopholes in the immigration lawyers that competent attorneys can ensure that bodyshoppers stay in business quite nicely. That's why decent attorneys don't worry about the mortgage, and don't bother whining about the H-1B program - they merely adapt to the situation to take advantage of it, much like a virulent drug-resistant germ.
And in case the last two recessions didn't make it obvious to everyone, it *IS* a survival of the fittest world out there. The only difference is that a few dozen million foreign workers have been added to the equation. Eliminating H-1B, L-1 or US immigration isn't going to make them go away.
Cheers!
Luke
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
My opinions are that they're great for non-creative coding, with little thought and initiative, and a close eye on the product.

Nope, I'm certain some are smarter than you.
Offshore development in India was unheard of three or more years ago.

Wrong again.
Didn't there used to be a popular comedy skit on the radio by some Canadians where one of the punch lines was "TAKE OFF."
If it's survival of the fittest then anarchy prevails, looting, murder and mayhem. We're supposed to be a nation of laws.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
H1B's are limited to 6 years in the states so sooner or later they have to leave. So why not make it sooner.
I'm beginning to think that programmers should unionize.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
If it's survival of the fittest then anarchy prevails, looting, murder and mayhem. We're supposed to be a nation of laws.

If you consider capitalism to be anrachy, murder and mayhem, perhaps you, not I, should leave the United States - it's not your kind of country, I guess.
We are a nation of laws. And there is no law, and there never will be, that states that the jobs that are currently filled by H-1B workers will remain should you get rid of the workers. There is nothing that says a company cannot outsource to a foreign firm if that foreign firm is more competetive.
Cheers!
Luke
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
H1B's are limited to 6 years in the states so sooner or later they have to leave. So why not make it sooner.

And this brings us back to the main delusion that anti-H1B folks have: what makes you think that the IT jobs will be around when the H-1Bs leave the country?
Do you expect the same companies that didn't want to hire an American the first time around, to suddenly take you in and pay you tons of money? If they didn't want you the first time, they sure won't want you the second time. They'll be setting up foreign subsidiaries and contracting out while you whine to your Congressman about offshore outsourcing.
Jobs are not a zero-sum equation. The late 20th century have taught us (or should have) that capital and labour are becoming more and more portable. If you suddenly expect the end of foreign labour to suddenly free up a quarter million US jobs, you're sorely mistken.
No rational nation has expelled a huge number of foreigners who, on average, are more educated than the native population. The only country that I can think of that's done it in recent memory was Idi Amin's Uganda, which expelled its Indians in the mid-1970s, thereby crippling its economy for the next 20 years. "Jobs for Ugandans" was the motto. Going back in history, there are dozens of examples of countries prospering when they took in the expelled foreigners from another country. Think how France harmed itself, and England benefited, when Protestants were expelled in the 17th Century. How many talented German Jews left the country in the early 20th Century before the Second World War? Think of the thousands of talented Hungarians (Andy Grove, George Soros, Rep. Tom Lantos) who were lost to Hungary in 1956 but are now America's gain?
Almost every time, the expelling country thought it was better off, as did the populace. 50 years (or less) later, it was clear how mistaken they were. This is no different.
I'm beginning to think that programmers should unionize.

Which unionization example do you wish to emulate - autoworkers, steelworkers, textile workers, truck drivers or miners? What high-paid union jobs are actually in growth industries, or industries that are growing in non-right to work states? Didn't think so.
Cheers!
Luke
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Luke Kolin:

Which unionization example do you wish to emulate - autoworkers, steelworkers, textile workers, truck drivers or miners? What high-paid union jobs are actually in growth industries, or industries that are growing in non-right to work states? Didn't think so.
How about nurses or teachers? They seem to be doing pretty well.
It's becoming fairly apparent that you are nothing more than a troll.
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I doubt very much that an educated nation of 300 million people would fall apart at the loss of H1B's. This is not Uganda. Based on your comments one must wonder how the USA managed to survive before the H1B program.
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
How about nurses or teachers? They seem to be doing pretty well.

Nurses do well not because they're unionised, but because there's a huge shortage of them in the United States. Sort of like how IT workers did so well three years ago.
It's interesting that you mention nursing, by the way. Nursing is one of only two "Schedule A" occupations - foreign workers do not need a labour certification or prevailing wage determination in order to get a Green Card. You'd think, therefore, that this occupation would be significantly depressed by cheaper immigrant labour, yet this isn't the case. Makes you wonder how much foreign labour is really affecting IT.
When it comes to teachers, teachers do well for one big reason: they've got to be where the kids are. You can't ship your teachers offshore, but you can ship your programmers offshore.
The quality of teachers in this country is also so good that a good percentage of teenagers enter university lacking basic reading and mathematics skills. A significant proportion of parents all across the country are moving their kids to charter or private schools to get away from those same teachers you quote. Based on recent developments in favour of vouchers and school choice, I don't see a rosy future for teachers ten years from now.
Teachers are doing well - if you want a cushy job that tolerates and rewards seniority and mediocrity. Why would you use teachers as an example? Do you believe in fulfilling the foreign stereotypes that American IT workers are lazy and want job protections like teachers?
It's becoming fairly apparent that you are nothing more than a troll.

I'm not a troll, Tom. I'm just an IT worker who happens to disagree with you. And if you want to dismiss all your critics as trolls, then go right ahead. However, I'm not going to let a bunch of unemployed IT workers paint a one-sided picture of the current IT market.
No one has addressed the situation of jobs moving out of the US with the foreign workers you want to expel. Too easy to call me a troll.
No one has addressed the possibility of the L-1 program being used by bodyshoppers to replace the H-1B. Too easy to call me a troll.
Tom, I've attempted to do nothing more than point out that the end of the H-1B program alone will not solve the issues you complain about. The economy is a complex system, and with any systems design the change of one component will affect others. The collapse of the Permanent Alien Labour Certification program can be tied directly to the rise of H-1Bs. Eliminating H-1B will change (increase) the usage of L-1s and offshore job movement.
The IT world is not the same as it was in 1995 or 1996. It never will be the same as it was then, and eliminating H-1B isn't going to be a magic bullet. So why not accept that fact and have a meaningful plan for supporting American workers that addresses the issues I've raised, instead of just calling me a troll?
Luke
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
They can't move the highways, railroads, hospitals, schools, rivers, farm fields, or 300 million people off shore.
No one has addressed the situation of jobs moving out of the US with the foreign workers you want to expel.

Matloff addresses this issue. If the jobs are going offshore we don't care. It's not against the law. We don't want 100,000 H1-B over here learning the system. If Indian and Chinese systems are so great why aren't they importing Americans.
Some 50 year old COBOL guys did just what their employer asked them to do for the last 25 years.
Now they want to chuck them for cheap H1-B's.
There no end to the greed, Jack Welsch could never make enough.
Vladan Radovanovic
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 20, 2000
Posts: 216
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

It's becoming fairly apparent that you are nothing more than a troll.
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]

I think it is really sad to see more and more comments like these appearing on this board, and even more so if they are coming from bartenders/sherrifs. I hope you guys would refrain yourself from attacking and show little bit of respect for each other. If a person is a greenhorn on this board it doesn't mean he/she is a greenhorn when it comes to issues discussed here. I happen to see piles and piles of (very helpfull) posts by "some" Luke Kolin on one of the imigration boards (specifically, Grasmick's Canada to U.S. Business Immigration Board). Judging from those, I would say he is quite informed on a number of immigration issues so regardless of the fact if he is agreeing or disagreeing with your posts, try at least not to trash the guy.
Just a friendly suggestion.
Vladan
Anthony Villanueva
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
Ditto here. I think Luke Kolin has been arguing persuasively and I would like to hear more. I understand emotions can get a bit high in any debate but keeping down the flamage would benefit everybody.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
However, I'm not going to let a bunch of unemployed IT workers paint a one-sided picture of the current IT market.

The IEEE claims unemployment for US electrical engineers and computer scientist is at an all-time high and climbing. What sort of one-sided picture are we painting?
The programmers guild, et al, claim the IEEE gets a lot of corporate sponsorship and is reluctant to alienate it.
This guy is just a shoot-from-the-hip uneducated troll.
[ September 06, 2002: Message edited by: Rufus Bugleweed ]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: H1-B activism or hope things get better?