aspose file tools*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Use of High-Tech Visas Questioned in Face of Layoffs (3/21) Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of The Java EE 7 Tutorial Volume 1 or Volume 2 this week in the Java EE forum
or jQuery UI in Action in the JavaScript forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Use of High-Tech Visas Questioned in Face of Layoffs (3/21) " Watch "Use of High-Tech Visas Questioned in Face of Layoffs (3/21) " New topic
Author

Use of High-Tech Visas Questioned in Face of Layoffs (3/21)

Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
"...applications for new visas slowed drastically in February, just as some tech companies announced job cuts and hiring freezes. And even as new foreign workers enter the country, other H-1B holders are losing their jobs. Still other visa holders, who work as temporary contractors through staffing agencies, are sitting idly ``on the bench,'' waiting for new projects."
FROM THE NY TIMES SYNDICATE:
http://199.97.97.16/contWriter/cndlatest_columns/2001/03/21/cndin/4837-0152-pat_nytimes.html


Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
M Prembroke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 56
Wow, it's amazing how brazen some of these companies are now. "... Even in a downturn, if you've got the right kind of background and skills, you're still going to get a job"
The problem is that US Citizens who are junior level- new IT grads, or those with 1-2 years experience- are nearly knocked out of the market now. So companies can keep hiring H1s who might be slightly more experienced and Americans are left out and left behind in the cold in this downturn. Of course, I challenge the very concept of the "shortage" that supposedly existed, at least in most areas, to begin with.
Doesn't anyone else see the destructive consequences of this policy? The way shortages are fixed is by increasing supply by good wages and advancement opportunities. When those who have invested in university degree, let alone technical training programs, are unable to find work to fill the need- because companies have the luxury to hire H1s to freely- there is a reverse-training effect of people not studying those fields as word gets around that there are no/little entry level opportunities.
Right now I know 3 programmers (with CS/EE degrees) who are still looking for work, for as long as 3 months now. One guy unfortunately who was less than smart with his financial planning is on the verge of having to take up temporary office administration work to make ends meet. Really sad.
Eric Barnhill
Rancher

Joined: Feb 25, 2000
Posts: 233

I've fallen back on temp work before. It's not so sad.
M Prembroke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 56
Well, it's sad in the sense that as the downturn gets worse and unemployment increases, US programmers- especially junior level and new grads- will have to "compete" against the hundreds of thousands of H1s who have jobs. Don't you see the correlation?
There are probably 500,000 H1 programmers in the USA right now. Why should a US programmer have to do temp work when there are all these temporary H1s still holding jobs for which said programmer would qualify?
Do you disagree with my basic argument made in the post above?
Originally posted by Eric Barnhill:
I've fallen back on temp work before. It's not so sad.

[This message has been edited by M Prembroke (edited March 22, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by M Prembroke (edited March 22, 2001).]
ARS Kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 22, 2000
Posts: 108
US started the H1B process to attract highly talented people from other countries to fill the tech jobs - which really helped the growth of the country for years. But that doesn't mean that these people visiting here on H1B are slaves.
If there is layoffs, and a downside in the job market, these highly talented people from different countries can't be blamed. If there is a problem in the H1B process you have to blame the congress.
Don't try to bring up anti-H1B spam in javaranch.
Be optimistic, I personally don't want to see anybody who did CS major to work on temp job(s). But at the same time I don't want anybody on H1B getting worried about getting disturbed by the thought that if he/she continues to work in US , then other American's who doesn't have work might be angry to them.
This world is supposed to be an open world. If the law needs change push for it. Smile for life
------------------
ARS Kumar
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform.
[This message has been edited by ARS Kumar (edited March 22, 2001).]


ARS Kumar, Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
http://www.automatedsqa.com/
M Prembroke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 56
With all due respect, the problem is that the H1 program has become far more than its original intention. H1s use to be granted mostly to people with Ph.Ds who were doing original research at universities or corporations. But with a cap of 200,000 the H1 program has been twisted into a program designed to lower labor costs. There never has been real shortage of programmers- not one that is systemic, that couldn't be fixed within a couple of years. The hyper-focus on specific years experience with language XYZ is a red herring companies use to support their claims of shortages. One doesn't have to have a CS degree to learn how to program computers- a few courses at a community college can be enough, for non-lead positions.
Just to be clear, I'm not upset with H1s. It's the companies and Congress. I actually would rather see H1s get fast-track to US citizenship. People who want to become Americans in full should be welcomed, especially if they have educated skills. The difference is that as a citizen one has rights and can become a business owner and can plan the rest of his/her life as an American- take advantage of all the opportunities. Immigrants add so much to the USA, it's one of our finest attributes to be able to absorb people from anywhere in the world without race and religious conflict. But H1s unfortunately are not immigrants, they are "cheap(er) labor."
Being merely "temporary" labor has the negative consequence of hurting advancement opportunities for others who are citizens. It's one thing for foreigners to take jobs that are very low wage and few people want. But when jobs are taken which are a means of improving one's economic standing, that is bad for societal progress. E.g., a $7/hr job versus $40/hr job.
Originally posted by ARS Kumar:
US started the H1B process to attract highly talented people from other countries to fill the tech jobs - which really helped the growth of the country for years. But that doesn't mean that these people visiting here on H1B are slaves.

Don't try to bring up anti-H1B spam in javaranch.
Be optimistic, I personally don't want to see anybody who did CS major to work on temp job(s). But at the same time I don't want anybody on H1B getting worried about getting disturbed by the thought that if he/she continues to work in US , then other American's who doesn't have work might be angry to them.
This world is supposed to be an open world. If the law needs change push for it. Smile for life

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
I do agree with M Pembroke that companies look at H1Bs is as a source of cheaper labor. An H1B will typically initally work for a lower wage than even his slightly less-skilled American counterpart. And also since they are considered temporary, companies may perceive this as a way in which money is saved in long term benefits.
It does make perfect sense for a company's bottom line to try to minimize labor costs. Unfortunately this has a couple of chilling effects on the market. For one thing, it does drive wages down. If a company has a choice between two otherwise equal candidates for a position, but one of the employees will cost the company significantly less, who do you think gets hired? The other negative effect is when the H1B employee realizes what his American counterparts, even the less skilled ones, are making in comparison to his own wages. This creates a sense of dissatisfaction on the part of the H1B.
Personally, I would like to see H1Bs given a fast track to citizenship if that is what they desire. They shouldn't be at the mercy of a company seeking to exploit them (and as a result their American counterparts), and they shouldn't be able to be so easily tossed aside when the economy takes a turn. The way I see it, somebody who has contributed positively to our country for six years, and who also desires citizenship, should defintely not be subjected to massive amounts of red tape and uncertainty in order to become a citizen. Our country was founded on diversity, and has been made stronger through diversity.
I'm really not trying to sound anti-H1B at all, just trying to point out the American tech-worker's perception as to what the program is being used for. The perception of many is that the point of increasing the number of H1Bs allowed is to drive down skyrocketing tech wages. This is definitely not the H1Bs fault who is simply looking for a good situation for himself and his family.
Namit Gaur
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 10, 2000
Posts: 8
jj
David Junta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2000
Posts: 86
I completely agree that the whole H-1 policy is hurting American workers. I know of numerous people on H-1 visas who are being paid WAY below the market rate, and many other U.S. citizens who are skilled programmers unable to find jobs with salaries that match what similar already-employed workers are being paid.
It raises the whole sweat shop question of whether it is unfair to pay workers in Asia pitifully low wages to make Nike shoes if the workers are happy to work for these wages rather than be unemployed. The H-1 programmers here often compare their salaries to those at home and are happy to take the low salaries but, in a sense, they are being used. Who benefits? The corporations. Who loses? The American workers.
If U.S. corporations can't find enough skilled workers, then they should at least have to pay their H-1 workers a fair salary. That would benefit them as well as preventing U.S. citizens from being priced out of the jobs that do exist.
manav k
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2000
Posts: 19
well most of the cheap H1 labor was being employed by pre-ipo small tech companies that have mostly gone out of business. And for those of you who don't know loads of these workers have gone home, someone claimed a figure of about 10,000 from silicon valley alone and that was in early march.
And now most companies are shipping work overseas, the very thing that prompted the idea of h1 visas and even though companies tried to avoid shipping some of their flagship projects overseas they HAVE to now to stay competetive, i hope that satisfies the all of you now.
manav
Michael Pearson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 11, 2001
Posts: 351
And now most companies are shipping work overseas, the very thing that prompted the idea of h1 visas and even though companies tried to avoid shipping some of their flagship projects overseas they HAVE to now to stay competetive, i hope that satisfies the all of you now.

Some people will be upset to hear American firms outsource work to 3rd parties in foreign countries. This should be preferred to the exploitation that happens to some H1-B workers. In the long run the work given to a foreign country will raise the standard of living there and salary differences will become negligible over time.
It's all perspective. German automobile manufacturers have built new production facilities in the U.S. because it allows them to tap into a highly productive work force that is cheaper than the equivalent work force in Germany. We are in a global economy that allows companies to take advantage of resources anywhere in the world. What companies like BMW and Mercedes have done is take the higher road by empowering the local economy that they wish to use to create their product.
Some H1-Bs are taken advantage of by firms that do not pay them fare wages or eliminate their positions without due notice. The H1 program was created to allow persons with a Ph.D. to teach at Universities or work for a short duration of time. It was not intended to be an entry or mid-level job placement program. The actions of American firms that abuse the H1 program are selfish. If I were living in a foreign country I�d rather start my own company to provide programming services to American companies than be taken advantage of through the H1 program. The other solution would be to let program participants have a fast track to immigrate, which would quickly eliminate the exploitation of their wages.
$0.02
Mike
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
What it all boils down to is WHAT are we going to demand from our CongressPeople?
I know "Money Talks" in this country of mine but what speaks louder is VOTES.
Of course (partially) votes are bought w/money BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE.
That's a great benefit of a free society like ours.
Sure anyone can print anything (like on the Internet) but it is up to us to know BETTER and to choose what we read. It is better than having a governing authority choosing for us, isn't it?
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
ersin:
With all due respect:
"I say: equal rights to ALL who lives on the face of the EARTH, No borders, no discrimination if ALL countries go down with their economies, what makes you believe that USA will survive. "
Well, if the USA is NOT one of those countries that would survive then we are in real trouble
Your statement is laudable but unrealistic. There will always be one country: Japan, USA, China and before today, the former Soviet Union; or even one cartel like OPEC that will try to control as much of the world as possible.
Add to that that resources are scarce (in general). This is something that is natural, IMO. So countries that have more will try to protect themselves from the ones that have less and countries that have less MAY try to take from the ones that have more.
Therefore, you need some kind of protection.
If that's going to be the case, wouldn't you want your country to be the one on top (or close by)? I know this does not sound too optimistic...
manav k
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2000
Posts: 19
but what about all the contributions the H1 workers from abroad made to the economy. Companies who have had problems finding sufficient numbers, in cutting edge technologies have had to rely on them so often in the past. And its not that these workers cost nothing to ppl employing them. Yes, some are exploited by the head hunting firms that recruit abroad, but its the worker thats getting exploited, because the company still gets charged (equivalant to the prevelant consulting charges, whatever they may be).
What I am trying to say is that we should not forget their input to the decade long tech fuelled boom we had, and now that things are slowing down (again which i think is temporary) your miseries should not be blamed entirely on these folks.
manav
Annie Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2001
Posts: 50
As far as exploitation, I'm more concerned with the number of hours programmers put in. I don't want to work more than forty hours a week, partly because I have a family. But my peer down the hall has no family and few friends in this country and he often comes in on weekends. He's afraid to lose the job and get sent home if he doesn't put in extra hours.
Is there a way to help the industry evolve to a real standard work week?
Annie
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Use of High-Tech Visas Questioned in Face of Layoffs (3/21)