Skip to comments.As Economy Slumps, Firms Line Up to Hire Skilled Foreign Workers
Posted on 03/19/2009 8:40:52 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
WASHINGTON -- At a time when high-tech corporations like Microsoft, Cisco and IBM are laying off American workers by the thousands, some of those very same companies will begin applying for the right to hire foreign workers on April.
The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers -- the IT arm of the Communications Workers of America -- has expressed outrage that the Homeland Security Department is once expected to issue 65,000 visas, known as H-1Bs, that allow American firms to hire foreign workers each year.
"In this brutal economic climate, American workers should get first dibs at the jobs out there," says WashTech spokeswomon Priyanka Joshi. "No more workers on H-1B visas should be invited into the country until Americans have had the opportunity to fill those jobs."
But companies have traditionally argued that recruiting foreign talent is necessary to remaining competitive in a global economy.
"It's not just a zero-sum game in terms of employment," said longtime immigration attorney Daryl Buffenstein. "When companies start new projects, sometimes they need to bring in someone with a particular skill set, and what people often forget is that many of the people here on H-1B visas become engines of economic growth."
With the number of visas available capped at 65,000 each year, the demand for H-1B visas over the past two years has exceeded supply. Analysts expect this year to be no exception despite a global recession, which tends to reduce migration.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
It's no coincidence that since the Clinton years when these visas were increased dramatically, IT salaries have been quite flat. They should have been terminated after 2000 and the bursting of the 'dot com bubble', but no.
It's more than time to get rid of them now. We need a parallel effort to get our educational system up to snuff.
Under Clinton the quota got up to 195,000 per year and then under Bush around 2003 they reduced it back down to 65,000 per year. Given that the visas are for 6 years, than means at 195,000 per year, at any one time there can be 195,000 x 6 = 1,117,000 jobs NOT going to American workers.
I’ve worked with some of these guys, and I’m not impressed.
Could it have something to do with the fact that American colleges waste their time on nonsense courses, like Critical Wymyn’s studies and Institutionalized Racism, and Indoctrination to Communism 101?
This makes my blood boil.
We have 10 million unemployed and people are complaining about 65,000 visas?
Just to remind people that >50% of high-tech startups are launched by H1 holders (like google etc) and they are employing a lot of people (including US citizens). Similarly, of the US patent applications filed by US companies, >25% are filed by foreign visa holders.
Net benefit to US economy is gigantic.
Yes, I know everybody here is super top performer and could have easily established google, yahoo and filed dozens of patent applications if only they have had been given the opportunity..
This is the mood in the party of Reagan? No country has even become wealthy by embracing protectionism and socialism.
Not necessarily so. I know of two students, one is a Georgia Tech engineering student with one semester left, the other a young (20 year old) graduate student in Business. Both are trying to find a summer internship, and both are finding that many of the programs and jobs available last summer are not out there this summer. Many firms have cancelled their summer internship programs. These two kids are excellent students, have high GPAs and didn’t take fluff courses. The job market is tough, and hiring foreigners will make it tougher.
Not only the colleges, the public school system is producing have fun kids. Reaping what is sown.
"...argued that the recruiting of cheaper foreign talent is necessary..."
Also, many, if not all, of the people these companies seek to hire would be in the U.S. already if it were not for the MILLIONS of uneducated, pregnant and poor standing in line waiting to get in and the MILLIONS more that jump ahead of those by just waltzing in illegally.
“No country has even become wealthy by embracing protectionism and socialism.”
Ever read about the history of silk and how China protected its secret to enjoy over 500 years of properity and power????
In addition, advocating policies that unemploy American workers for lower salaried foreign workers (overseas or H-1B/H-2B) cost the GOP in 2006, 2008 and keep it up 2010.
Good luck with protecting secrets today (e.g. search algorithms), and keep in mind that foreigners invent more stuff than the US today (in terms of intellectual property etc).
If google (or any other large company) needs, say C++ architect, it hires the best talent it can find, regardless of race, gender or nationality. If the person is a foreigner and cannot get visa, then person is just placed in google’s non-US site. This is how most companies operate (both US and foreign companies). At least my company wants to make hiring decisions on its own. If Obama administration tries to interfere and force us to hire somebody we didn’t select ourselves, we just place that person elsewhere.
Government interference in company policies is something I deplore and I can’t understand why anyone in the Party of Reagan would support such. This will only lead to further government regulation, like increased race and gender quotas.
“Could it have something to do with the fact that American colleges waste their time on nonsense courses, like Critical Wymyns studies and Institutionalized Racism, and Indoctrination to Communism 101?
No. It’s about paying lower wages.”
The numbers of H-1B’s has no relation to job growth:
H-1B’s are not necessarily the brightest and the best:
Using H-1B’s is a form of rampant age discrimination, 35+ is considered too old to hire:
We graduate more engineering and it professionals than we have jobs for.
H-1B visas are used to harm American workers:
Efficiency improvements are what get economies out of recessions. Companies can hire talent for less money and make cheaper products in a tight market, or they can gradually lay-off their more expensive, less productive talent. It’s been pointed out that hiring a lot of these foreign nationals can result in more jobs. The US is no longer the center of the universe. If we can’t attract the best people from all over the world to participate in our markets, our country will continue to decline. Same goes for a lot of export laws that are no longer in touch with reality and are hurting our competitiveness.
Foreign immigration from India, and the Middle-East is what has ruined our nation. Once we lose our Judeo-Christian cultural heritage all is lost. Read Buchanan’s “Death of the West” These hi-tech companies executives should be stripped naked, horsewhipped, and dragged down main street.
And that does not include ‘exempt employers’ such as colleges
and some research facilities.
“No. Its about paying lower wages.”
This is for the most part, BS. I suppose misuse is always possible, but major companies pay the same for local and H1 talent. In fact, they pay more to H1 holders (relocation packages, tax support etc).
I deal with these issues everyday. We have probably 1,000 H1 holders in our company. They get paid more than average (probably because they tend to be in more senior/specialized positions - ie top-5 MBA and grad school in the world).
Take away 50% of US high-tech startups and 25% of patent applications filed by US companies and think what would be the result for US economy.
By your logic, Detroit is the right way to run business: High government regulation and interference.
I’m all for eliminating illegal immigration once and for all, but attacking 65,000 legal visitor positions is just lunatic.
Absolutely. The IT growth should be domestically based and not rely on exploiting cheap foreign labor - otherwise it will turn out unsustainable in the long run.
“Foreign immigration from India, and the Middle-East is what has ruined our nation.”
Massive illegal immigration from poor South American countries has changed this country permanently (ie to a welfare nation). GOP has unfortunately supported this for decades.
Indian immigration (which tends to be legal immigration) is hardly a threat as they are not imposing their values (say, suicide bombings or attacking service dogs or people carrying alcohol).
Immigration may be a valid discussion but it has nothing to do with H1 issue. H1 is very small number of people, it is legal (ie certainly not welfare recipients) and many will return to home their countries eventually.
“This is for the most part, BS. I suppose misuse is always possible, but major companies pay the same for local and H1 talent. In fact, they pay more to H1 holders (relocation packages, tax support etc).”
Your company may be the exception that makes the rule.
Most H-1B’s come in through ‘body shops’ that farm them out as consultants. They are treated like indentured workers and used to suppress US salaries in general.
Prior to rubber stamped H-1b visas, the US had no trouble bringing in the brightest and best under the old H visa.
The big difference is that under the old H visa, I have friends tell me they had to go through what was once full green card screening - prove education and experience claimed on the resume, prove that they were not a security risk, prove that they had a job waiting, prove that they were healthy.
“By your logic, Detroit is the right way to run business: High government regulation and interference.”
I don’t appreciate someone mis-representing what I wrote.
It is a red herring to present this an an either or issue.
“Im all for eliminating illegal immigration once and for all, but attacking 65,000 legal visitor positions is just lunatic.”
I it not 65,000 workers see pos #2. Add to that those working for “exempt employers” and ‘overstays’.
Indeed, about the only legitimate use of these visas would be to bring in college professors with specialized knowledge that is in short supply among Americans, to remedy the supply problem. If employers have specific needs that are not addressed by college courses, let them contract with colleges to offer the specific courses that are needed.
How true. Another thing people forget is that those who once worked very hard to come in under the old H visas, wanted to escape the stifling effects of ‘Mother India’.
Poor immigrants from South America do not qualify for H1B visas. More than half the illegals in this country are those who have either overstayed their visas or have not gone home when their H1B expires. They get the H1Bs extended ad infinitum, and bring in their kith and kin and we have a phenomenon known as chain migration. Indians and South Asians for the most part do not integrate on account of their ritualized and pagan polytheistic traditions. Almost uniformly they vote for the D’kats and its no small wonder that HRC was called D-Punjab! by BHO himself
“The big difference is that under the old H visa, I have friends tell me they had to go through what was once full green card screening - prove education and experience claimed on the resume, prove that they were not a security risk, prove that they had a job waiting, prove that they were healthy.”
I’m aware how it was before, but this sounds pretty much how it is now.
I admit that it is possible that there are “body shops” that farm out mediocre H1 holders to do routine stuff.
I’m familiar with how things are done in a few large corporations (both US and foreign). These big corporations would have been toast in the US without H1 program (including Google, MS). The net benefit of having MS and Google in the US is enormous.
“I dont appreciate someone mis-representing what I wrote.
It is a red herring to present this an an either or issue.”
I apologize for that. Still, I think that this is unnecessary government interference.
Maybe the right way to approach H1 is to split it:
- talented foreigners (e.g. with PhD’s, or M.Sc. from top US school)
- “body shop” (e.g. Asian bachelor degrees).
Get rid of the latter and increase the former. Most of the H1 holders I know will eventually return to their home country, and they certainly will not be welfare-recipients.
This program is crucial for US economy.
Somebody mentioned that placing foreigners outside of US is nice and an argument against H1. Fine, but it is a net loss for the US. If more and more people are placed in these non-US sites, it further increases the importance of these sites (ie leads further hiring there). Tax revenue will also go there. In other words, economic growth happens elsewhere. This is why Detroit sucks. Companies are growing elsewhere (e.g in business-friendly Georgia instead of MI). Same is happening between US and other countries. We are driving businesses away.
I doubt the benefits to the US.
“Poor immigrants from South America do not qualify for H1B visas. More than half the illegals in this country are those who have either overstayed their visas or have not gone home when their H1B expires.”
You cannot be serious. We have about 25 million illegals here. I guarantee, 98% of them are not H1 holders or family members for such. They don’t have any visa or have overstayed something like agri-visa.
Agree they tend to miss the simple answer to things.
India: Worries Grow About Obama Outsourcing Policies
If Obama makes it difficult for U.S. companies to send jobs overseas or hire using H-1B visas, India’s huge IT sector could suffer
India March 3, 2009 Companies such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) have hired thousands of foreign workers on H-1B visas. It is unclear how many of them applied foror receivedgreen cards, but the green card backlog in the U.S. in 2006, the last year for which data are available, was more than 1 million.
At the same time, Labor Dept. and U.S. immigration statistics indicate that just a little more than half of the allotted H-1B visas went to the high-tech sector; others included workers in fields as diverse as academia, medicine, and the nonprofit world. Several studies have shown that while there is documented fraud in the H-1B visa system and that H-1B workers often depress the local wages for similar U.S. workers, these highly trained immigrants do fuel a disproportionate portion of U.S. innovation. Wadhwa points out that nearly half of Silicon Valley startupsincluding Googlewere started by immigrants, and nearly a quarter of U.S. global patent applications are from foreigners.
Viewpoint March 2, 2009, 12:01AM EST text size: TT
Why Skilled Immigrants Are Leaving the U.S.
Economic Times of India March 4, 2009, 8:47AM EST text size: TT
Microsoft’s Reply to Sen. Grassley on H-1B Visas
Microsoft tells Senator Charles Grassley how it’s dealing with the economic crisis and how its plans will affect U.S. and foreign workers
Microsoft is not sheltered from the unprecedented crisis battering the global economy. In response to challenges we are confronting in markets around the world, we announced last month that we would cut jobs and reduce our overall employment level for the first time. This was a difficult decision, and it was not one we made lightly.
But the long-term health of the company, like the financial fate of the country as a whole, requires prompt and decisive action to adapt to the changed economic reality. On January 22, Sen. Charles Grassley wrote to us asking for more information, particularly about how our plans would affect US workers and non-US citizens working for Microsoft. Here is the text of our response:
March 3, 2009
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1501
Dear Senator Grassley,
Thank you for your letter of January 22, 2009. Steve Ballmer asked me to respond on the company’s behalf.
Your letter expressed concern about Microsoft’s recently announced lay-offs and asked us to provide you with information about them. I have included that information below, but first I’d like to provide a bit of context.
Apparently you benefit from H1B's. Most don't. Why would a company spend extra money and salary to hire a foreigner? It doesn't make sense. They do it for economic reasons, at least admit that? The position may pay X to an American, but to an H1B it pays X - 10% ? Yes, execs will sell their countrymen out for 10 %.
So how do you feel about the 400 or so millionaire professional athletes playing in the US, who are taking jobs away from Americans and this is for a game, not related to productivity ?
About half the NHL is foreign, about 1/3 of MLB is foreign, and a lot of 10 million dollar players in the NBA are foreign (Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitski come to mind).
My guess is a billion dollars a year is being paid to foreign athletes who play exclusively here.
1980’s China could not write a computer program for a communications phone network. Corporate America and government encourage China to send students to our technical universities. 1990 China has rudimentary tech skills and knowledge of putting together communications phone network. US corporations say no problem, we will send Chinese American engineers and IT techs over and we will upgrade your skills to ATT/Lucent standards. 2000’s Chinese can write software, produce high quality hardware and have managerial competance/tech skills to set up cellphone/communications network. Now they offer to do the same job as American IT workers. It is funny how Reagan conservatives go nuts every time China replaces their obsolete MiG-15 with a modern SU-27 and screams - “The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming, beware of yellow peril with high tech military!!!!!” and then in a split second screams - “No protectionism, we should be allowed to teach yellow peril how to manufacture our latest technologies, write our latest software and want all the low paying Chinese technicians they can spare to come work in our high tech industries so they may go back to China and give it to their military!!!!” Reagan believes in free markets and free trade but he does not believe in national suicide.
“Apparently you benefit from H1B’s. Most don’t. Why would a company spend extra money and salary to hire a foreigner? It doesn’t make sense. They do it for economic reasons, at least admit that? The position may pay X to an American, but to an H1B it pays X - 10% ? Yes, execs will sell their countrymen out for 10 %. “
I’m a hiring manager in one of those large multinationals who use H1 program. We do not pay less for H1s. In fact, we typically pay more. We could not care less about the nationality or race in our hiring policy. We hire the best people available. Often these are foreigners. That is a valid topic for another discussion why local talent is hard to find.
NBA analogy is good one. Yes, you could fill all the positions in every team with US citizens, but it does not make sense.
Anyway, I admit that there may be misuse (as in every program that government is involved).
You are a disgusting sellout, don't think for a minute I don't know your true motivation. An economic Benedict Arnold, comes to mind.
“Why would a company spend extra money and salary to hire a foreigner? It doesn’t make sense. “
Why NBA hires foreigners? They could just hire some local kid from nearby housing complex?
The purpose of any company (well, apart from US automakers in Detroit) is to make profit. Otherwise the company is doomed (again, see Detroit). Companies are responsible for shareholders. Many large companies in the US are actually foreign companies (having large sites in the US). The nationality of workers is irrelevant.
The company wants to hire the best possible talent. Yes, it may cost extra 5-10% to hire a “foreigner” (because of generous relocation packages, tax advisers, visa fees) but companies need to hire the best talent available. Once the hiring decision is done, then the issue is pushed to HR (which tackles possible visa issues if foreigner etc). If visa is denied, the person is placed in a non-US site (not possible for every position, of course). This is how business work (Detroit is different, of course).
As Microsoft letter stated, H1 is essential for MS. This is certainly true for other companies.
Also, as stated before, 50% of high-tech “US” companies are actually established by foreigners. Are they Benedict Arnolds too? What about the 25% of US patent applications, filed by H1 holders (if green card holders included, it is probably 50% for foreigners)?
Do you seriously think it would be better for the US not to have these high-tech start-ups and patents?
If Ass hats would stop hiring foreigners, there would be an economic reason to go thru all the necessary training. Believe me, for the right price, you would be able to find the right home grown asset. At first, there might be a premium on talent, but with time supply of US talent will catch up. THERE IS NO WAY TO JUSTIFY THE H1-B PROGRAM. It is un-American to the core.
Well, I have to respectfully disagree.
Besides, a lot of companies in the US are foreign. If say, a UK company operating in the US hires somebody from Japan, is it un-American? Or un-UK?
The world in which US and US citizens created all the new companies and inventions is long gone. Majority of new stuff is today created by “foreigners”, whether it is new google or breakthrough inventions (say in nanotech).
If US chooses protectionism it only hurt itself. Companies (both US and foreign) will just expand outside of US. I would rather have future Googles to be launched in the US, rather than in Russia or Sweden. They will employ thousands of US citizens too, if they are allowed in the US.
It is un-American to drive these companies out of the US. It is socialism. It has never worked.
Having, say, Yahoo and Google in the US (created partly by those evil foreigners) is much better for the US than having them elsewhere.
“Im aware how it was before, but this sounds pretty much how it is now.”
Actually most H-1B visas are pretty much rubber stamped.
“These big corporations would have been toast in the US without H1 program (including Google, MS). The net benefit of having MS and Google in the US is enormous.”
MS and Google are infamous for using body shops to supply a large part of their staffing (in the process firing Americans). During this recent downturn in employment,MS has been letting US IT personnel go and moving more work off shore.
“Most of the H1 holders I know will eventually return to their home country, and they certainly will not be welfare-recipients.”
This may be true of most H-1B visa holders you know, but it is not necessarily true of all H-1B visa holders.
“This program is crucial for US economy.”
Unfortunately this is not true. TO quote post #24, this is globalist claptrap. We got along fine bringing in only the ‘brightest and the best’ using the old H visa.
IF you want to inform yourself of the other side of the coin, read some of the following articles rather than dismissing them out of hand.
[FYI Dr. Norm Matloff, professor of mathematics, statistics, and computer science; Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagans first term, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, etc.; et. al. have presented information based upon US government statistics in a much better manner than I]
The numbers of H-1Bs has no relation to job growth:
H-1Bs are not necessarily the brightest and the best:
Using H-1Bs is a form of rampant age discrimination, 35+ is considered too old to hire:
We graduate more engineering and it professionals than we have jobs for.
H-1B visas are used to harm American workers:
The relationship of massive importation of guest workers to the economic meltdown:
Thanks for the post. The assertion that in a country of 300 million & with our history has to go to Bangalore or the UK for talent is hard to stomach.
Look, if you can sleep well at night knowing you are in the business of selling out your fellow country for pennies on the dollar, because you just “can’t find” the perfect US born candidate from a country of 300 million, then you have no soul. Please don’t respond.
“The assertion that in a country of 300 million & with our history has to go to Bangalore or the UK for talent is hard to stomach.”
Yup, ain’t globalism just grand. I find it amazing that seeming rational people buy what was referred to above as ‘globalist claptrap’.
Thanks, LOVE the cartoon.
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