The SCE Incident and Its Possible Impact on the H-1B Debate

As some readers may know, Southern California Edison, which supplies power to much of southern California, is reportedly replacing 500 IT workers with H-1Bs.   San Diego congressperson Darrell Issa has issued a statement in which he calls the action “deeply disturbing,” and offers his own legislation as a remedy.

Over the years, there have been a number of such cases, involving major firms such as the Bank of America.  The Programmer Guild’s report, “How to Underpay an H-1B,” should be required reading for all on Capitol Hill.

Many victims of the H-1B program are elated that finally there is an incident that dramatizes their plight, after years of being utterly ignored by their Congress, and indeed by their Presidents (including the current one).   HOWEVER…

This incident actually could hurt those victims’ cause, as I’ve stated so many times, and which is clearly seen in Issa’s “remedy”  — his legislation would EXPAND THE H-1B PROGRAM.

Yes, Issa’s “solution” is to EXPAND the H-1B program!  Isn’t that a huge contradiction?  Not if you accept the implicit premise in Issa’s comments, which is that the “Infosyses” — rent-a-programmer firms, mostly Indian — are the Bad Guys, while the U.S. mainstream firms, the “Intels” are the Good Guys, using the program responsibly.  (Infosys is one of the vendors supplying H-1Bs to SCE.)  Under that (badly incorrect) assumption, it makes perfect sense to enact legislation which is (mildly) punitive to the Infosyses, while rewarding the Intels by expanding the program.

That Good Guys/Bad Guys dichotomy is simply invalid.  The Intels replace U.S. citizen and permanent resident workers by H-1Bs too, just much less visibly, under the cover of layoffs.  And much more important, the Intels hire tons of H-1Bs in lieu of qualified Americans in the first place.

A much-publicized (though unfortunately forgotten) example of this involved Cisco, one of the most prominent Silicon Valley firms.  An American engineer saw a Cisco job ad, with a contact name, and after a little digging he discovered that the contact didn’t work for Cisco.  Instead, she worked for Fragomen, the nation’s top immigration law firm.  Though the ad stated that applicants must be U.S. citizens or green card holders, the purpose of the ad was apparently to screen OUT American applicants, so as to satisfy legal requirements needed for Cisco to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card.  This kind of action was described in a dramatic (but again forgotten) video in which another top immigration law firm was caught saying,

And our goal is clearly, not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker. And you know in a sense that sounds funny, but it’s what we’re trying to do here. We are complying with the law fully, but ah, our objective is to get this person a green card, and get through the labor certification process.

That firm, Cohen and Grigsby of Pittsburgh, represents many MAINSTREAM firms.  We are NOT just talking about the Infosyses; on the contrary, most of the latter firms don’t sponsor their foreign workers for green cards, so we really are talking about the Intels.

Sadly — I could say tragically — many of the critics of H-1B have bought into this “Infosys no! Intel si!” mentality, playing right into the industry lobbyists’ hands.  As a result, we see bills like Issa’s and the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill of the last Congress, both of which would EXPAND the H-1B program (as well the employer-sponsored green card program, just as pernicious) under the guise of clamping down on the Infosyses.  See the EPI report cited in the Computerworld article I’ve linked to above.

Note by the way that SCE’s action is probably perfectly legal, contrary to what two highly pro-immigration (but seriously mistaken) pundits think about the law.



28 thoughts on “The SCE Incident and Its Possible Impact on the H-1B Debate

  1. I’ve been watching, and you are right.
    Everybody wants to blame the bodyshops.

    I dig through the data trying to create maps on a daily basis that will expose this and others, but I am only one person.

    If only 100, 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000 unemployed programmers would step up to the plate and help me expose all the data that is out there, we could actually find a way to Keep America At Work by hiring Americans in America.

    There is so much data out there folks that will help expose the premeditated destruction of American jobs, BUT you have to use the programming and analysis skills that you have rather than waiting for somebody that has no skin in the game to help save your future.

    United we stand.
    Divided We fall


    • You assume that the H-1B continues to put Americans out of work because the people who can change do not know about the problem. Not the case. Check who is giving money to your Congressman and Senators. They are users of cheap H-1B labor. Changing the law would do more harm to them than the votes they lose by not changing it.


      • I don’t think there is anything in my post that implies that Congress isn’t bought off on this issue. And in the past, I’ve certainly called attention to quotes from politicians who, in sudden moments of candor, have explicitly stated that the industry’s money plays a huge role. No one could conclude from my posting that Issa is not the “congressperson from Qualcomm.”

        Nevertheless, I believe you have missed my main point: Many critics of H-1B, including some who are very influential, have bought into the notion that the Intels are using the H-1B program responsibly while the Infosyses abuse it. This gives Congress “permission” to raise the H-1B cap for the Intels, as long as some restrictions are placed on the Infosyses. I’ve warned about this repeatedly over the years, with very little traction.


        • “Many critics of H-1B, including some who are very influential, have bought into the notion that the Intels are using the H-1B program responsibly while the Infosyses abuse it.”

          Perhaps you could cite a few people who make that claim. I haven’t seen it.

          Yes, Intel, and Yale and Sopchoppy Tech abuse the H-1B visa program right along with Tata, Infosys, IBM Global Services, and Convergys. The top 100 users of H-1B visas (those who sponsor the most) are , in my book, the top 100 abusers of H-1B visas. No one consistently uses it “responsibly” to bring in extraordinarily bright, knowledgeable, ethical, creative talent that is not already plentiful, and much of it idle, in the USA.


          • That claim is everywhere. The article in SCE and Issa that sparked my blog post here is full of this theme. The fact that the offshoring firms (alluding to the Indian bodyshops) form a large fraction of all H-1Bs is mentioned several times in the article, and the article also mentions that the bodyshops tend not to sponsor their H-1Bs for green cards, in contrast with the “Intels.” The green card sponsorship issue is irrelevant, but my point is there is again a distinction being made between the Intels and the Infosyses, good vs. bad.

            This theme comes up again and again. See another recent example in

            IEEE-USA brings up this dichotomy in virtually every public statement it makes about H-1B. Just plug “IEEE-USA” into Google and you’ll see lots of examples.

            By the way, Prof. Ron Hira is often quoted on this point. Though he does believe H-1B abuse pervades the entire industry, he tends to focus his remarks on the Indian bodyshops, so that readers (incorrectly) get the impression that those firms are the main abusers.

            There is a Washington Post article in which a spokesperson for the Intels admits that their lobbying policy has been to claim that the main abuse is by the Infosyses.

            As I said, that lobbying tactic has been working: The Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Issa bill, Zoe Lofgren’s bills and so on all have this theme — put some restrictions on the bodyshops while EXPANDING H-1B for the Intels.


  2. The Department of labor series 62 factsheets are “must reads” for everyone interested in the H-1B program issues.

    This is the overview:

    Click to access whdfs62.pdf

    There are many more detailed ones. Few employers meet the “willful violator” or “H-1B dependent” restrictions. These are the only employers required to consider and hire American workers.


  3. I was cleaning out old files on my computer and happened to find this I had saved from May of 2013 which is certainly applicable to the issue.

    Roger (San Francisco) 1 hr ago
    We need H-1B workers to drive our costs down and compete with other companies – especially foreign companies in countries where the cost of living is significantly less. I own a private 800 person software company in San Francisco which does ~600 million a year in sales. Our largest competitor is Adobe Systems which has over 11,000 employees and over 4 billion in sales. The only way that I can stay competitive with them and drive my costs down to their level is through the use of H-1B employees who are willing to work for less money. American software engineers are available but they would be much more expensive to use than H-1B employees. So that leaves two options, either (1) hiring H-1B employees in the USA who will work for significantly less money or (2) opening an office in India and offshoring the work overseas. Solution (1) is better for the US economy and for my company because we can communicate better with a local team and can protect our intellectual property better in the United States. The H-1B program is an alternative to sending jobs overseas.
    Agree (0)Disagree (1)Recommend (0)Offensive


  4. Your argument is untenable. Unemployed US citizens would work for lower wages…..they are NOT given
    the opportunity to do so.


    • Not sure who you are addressing your comment to. If you mean me, then I don’t know how you got the impression that I disagree with you, which I do not. On the contrary, I’ve said the same thing many times.


    • Dear Dr. Matloff,

      The comment by Kelley was addressing Roger from San Francisco not you Dr. Matloff. I deeply respect the great work that you do in exposing the injustice and discrimination that is happening to America’s “best and brightest” minds.



  5. Regarding the Infosys’s, my studies of LCA databases show that there are thousands of Indian consulting companies, hundreds in NJ alone, that post IT jobs on the various job sites. A large percentage of those have offices in India. These companies get you to sign exclusivity contracts, but never present you to a client company. They hold you off the market if you are a citizen.

    The clients of these consulting companies are the top 1000 corporations. Usually these corporations have 10 or so preferred vendors, like IBM, PW, EDS, and a few locals, who then recruit H-1Bs from the thousands of Indian firms in multi-layer sub-contracts. The base client rarely sponsors H-1Bs, so they remain outside the statistics and stay out of the newspapers.

    Below is a study I did in 2010. You can download these LCA databases to Access and scan them. There is no way to correlate the LCA applications to actual H-1B visas because even the State Department does not know how many visas are printed every year. There is no accounting. The hundreds of thousands of LCAs are mostly from the mom and pop Indian consulting firms. The data shows the names of the Indian attorneys who submit the applications.


    H-1B Visa Certified Labor Condition Applications for FY2010.

    Most applications are for 1 TOTAL_WORKERS – 259,373 H1Bs.
    There are 2,074 LCAs for 10 TOTAL_WORKERS – 20,740, etc.

    The discussion below examines 424 LCAs with 100 TOTAL_WORKERS
    on each application.

    CERTIFIED 0 9 0
    CERTIFIED 1 259,373 259,373
    CERTIFIED 2 2,770 5,540
    CERTIFIED 3 1,372 4,116
    CERTIFIED 4 451 1,804
    CERTIFIED 5 2,005 10,025
    CERTIFIED 6 362 2,172
    CERTIFIED 7 532 3,724
    CERTIFIED 8 995 7,960
    CERTIFIED 9 18 162
    CERTIFIED 10 2,074 20,740
    CERTIFIED 11 6 66
    CERTIFIED 12 73 876
    CERTIFIED 13 3 39
    CERTIFIED 14 4 56
    CERTIFIED 15 516 7,740
    CERTIFIED 16 7 112
    CERTIFIED 17 2 34
    CERTIFIED 18 24 432
    CERTIFIED 19 1 19
    CERTIFIED 20 2,059 41,180
    CERTIFIED 22 63 1,386
    CERTIFIED 23 5 115
    CERTIFIED 24 2 48
    CERTIFIED 25 1,024 25,600
    CERTIFIED 26 1 26
    CERTIFIED 27 1 27
    CERTIFIED 28 3 84
    CERTIFIED 29 2 58
    CERTIFIED 30 150 4,500
    CERTIFIED 31 1 31
    CERTIFIED 32 3 96
    CERTIFIED 33 25 825
    CERTIFIED 35 48 1,680
    CERTIFIED 36 1 36
    CERTIFIED 38 1 38
    CERTIFIED 40 79 3,160
    CERTIFIED 43 2 86
    CERTIFIED 45 2 90
    CERTIFIED 50 731 36,550
    CERTIFIED 51 2 102
    CERTIFIED 54 13 702
    CERTIFIED 60 126 7,560
    CERTIFIED 65 1 65
    CERTIFIED 70 12 840
    CERTIFIED 75 16 1,200
    CERTIFIED 80 3 240
    CERTIFIED 90 1 90
    CERTIFIED 99 37 3,663
    CERTIFIED 100 424 42,400
    CERTIFIED 120 6 720
    CERTIFIED 130 1 130
    CERTIFIED 150 2 300
    CERTIFIED 200 3 600

    275,447 499,218

    LCAs requesting 100 H-1Bs

    One LCA was from DETROIT MEDICAL CENTER for 100 H-1Bs.


    JUNIPER NETWORKS, INC. filed one LCA for 100 H-1Bs as
    Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software.

    266 of the LCA X 100 were filed by INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
    of Plano, TX for Sales Engineers, Computer Programmers, and
    Computer Software Engineers, Applications amounting to 26,600 H-1Bs.
    These applications were filed nearly every day of the 2010 FY
    (Oct2009 – Sep2010).

    123 of the LCA X 100 were filed by ORACLE AMERICA, INC. for
    12,300 Computer Software Engineers, Applications.

    SYNOPSYS, INC. filed 16 LCAs for 1,600 H-1Bs as CORPORATE APPLICATIONS


    WIPRO LIMITED filed 10 LCAs for 1,000 H-1Bs as PROGRAMMER ANALYST.

    It is obvious by this study that Information Technology jobs are
    getting the majority of these H-1B lottery tickets.
    The job locations are widely distributed all over the country.


    • You seem to have entirely missed my point, Dana. Really, REALLY missed it.

      Let me see if I understand you correctly. You would be quite happy to see Issa’s bill enacted, which would place restrictions on the Indian bodyshops but would make a huge increase in the H-1B visa quota?


  6. No, Issa is a demon, and his bill is anathema to American STEM workers. I was responding more to vbierschwale’s call for statistical analysis.

    The point I am making is that the top 1000 corporation IT departments are top-heavy with H-1Bs from mom and pop Indian consulting companies who draft H-1Bs in onesies and twosies. I was a consultant for 25 years at dozens of top 100 corporations and this aligns with my personal experience. Only two companies out of .dozens were taken over in-mass by Infosys-like outsourcers.

    Another point I am making is that the big client corporations can’t be identified as contributing to this invasion because they do not directly apply for H-1Bs. That is why the insurance companies, for instance, have hundreds or thousands of H-1Bs working in their IT departments but have directly sponsored very few (or none). The true statistics are under the radar. The devil is in the details. This is also the reason why no one can get their act together to effectively fight this violation of the INA affecting the wages and working conditions of American workers. The arguments are always theoretical, based on pointless legal terminology (“willful violator”, “prevailing wage”, etc.) and media misinterpretation, never realistic. The letter of the law cannot be used to present a viable case in court. Only the “spirit” of the INA laws in general can be used in argument. You have to find spiritualist attorneys, judges, and courts. Unfortunately, most are literalists in the pockets of corporations. H-1B regulations are brilliant and total undermining of the INA.


    • My overriding point is that any mention of the Indian bodyshops gives people like Issa an excuse to expand H-1B while saying he is “reforming” it. Each time the H-1B activists point to Infosys etc., the industry lobbyists celebrate. I really cannot for the life of me understand why you activists don’t see that simple political truth. You are dooming yourselves; I don’t know how to say it any better than that.


      • I don’t understand your objection. I am presenting facts that don’t seem to be recognized nor debated. 95% of H-1Bs are sponsored by consulting companies. This was never the intent of Congress (or so they say [Durbin, Grassley]).

        Also, in this particular blog, I am preaching to the choir. I don’t post this type of information in reader-response comments of major news and opinion articles because I know it will only confuse and splinter lay readers. Too much research is required to corroborate the facts, and ultimately the proof lies in Privacy Act protected files like EEO reports and actual H-1B petitions which are only accessible by subpoena in court action. I stick to simple arguments in the public eye. There are plenty of those.

        I think the best solution is to not re-elect people like Issa. (Grade Cards; Reduce Unnecessary Worker Visas) keeps count of votes for all members of Congress on H-1B issues. It is easy to determine how your Congresspeople actually vote on these issues (aside from what they preach). Mount campaigns to throw them out of office. This worked when Harris “Job Killer” Miller ran for senator from Virginia. It can work again in your district. These negative campaigns are your best chance at informing the public of the devastation of the middle class, and also warn contenders who their bosses really are. The public does not know the real numbers until 5 years after it happens to them or their loved ones.

        Here is an apt quotation from a fellow activist from years ago. This Eureka Moment takes from 2 to 10 years to discover even when you are living it every day. It is politically incorrect to speak about this and you can be fired for mentioning or asking questions at work.

        “4 Stages of NIV (Non-Immigrant Visa) Awareness”

        Stage One: “DUH !!”

        “Hey, I’ve been noticing lots of foreign guys working here. Aren’t there any Americans available? What’s going on here? Maybe I should upgrade my skills and retrain to stay current with technology!”

        Stage Two: “This is wrong”

        “Why are so many H-1Bs being hired? There are Americans out of work but meanwhile, these Indian guys keep getting hired. AND – it seems that Americans are being laid off to make room for them. It must be true that these H-1B guys from India are paid less. Why else would companies hire so many?”

        Stage Three: “Time to do something”

        “I’m going to write a letter to my congressman and complain about this. He doesn’t understand what’s going on, so if I write him, he will understand and fix this.”

        Stage Four: “Get rid of the bastards”

        After writing and emailing and failing for a year or more ……..

        “OK, enough of this crap. Congress is pandering to corporate America for campaign contributions, and corporate America wants cheap labor. It’s a match made in hell. And all the while Americans are loosing jobs by the thousands.
        Congress has been corrupted by corporate America in their goal for cheaper labor and higher profits. This is un American.
        They (congress) don’t need to be educated as they already know what they are doing. And since they are corrupt we must get rid of them.”

        Good luck. Your target is most of both houses of Congress and Senate. Save yourself weeks of research and run them ALL out. Only 3 or 4 out of 635 (including Senate) are on our side, and they are conceived as lunatics. We can afford collateral damage. Be savage. It is all they understand.


        • The (ostensible) intent was Congress for H-1B was to alleviate labor shortages. The usage of H-1B by the consulting firms is entirely consistent with that intent.

          Suppose you are an employer who can’t find enough qualified workers. You may find it convenient (for whatever reason) to get those workers through the consulting firms, rather than hire them directly yourself. Of course, the workers those firms give you will be H-1Bs, so the H-1B program will be remedying your labor shortage — exactly the intent of the H-1B program.

          The phrase “not the intent of the H-1B program” arises quite frequently in statements by the industry lobbyists (and indeed Issa used it in his comments on the SCE case). This is no accident; all phrasing is highly calculated. (Note how often the lobbyists and their allies use the term foreign-born worker rather than foreign worker, to the point at which they’ll awkwardly write “foreign-born” three or four times within the same paragraph.) The reason the lobbyists use the “not the intent of the program” mantra is to inculcate in the listener the notion that Intels are the Good Guys while the Infosyses are the only abusers of the program. The industry had publicly admitted this tactic of separating the Intels from the Infosyses.

          Note that this also means among other things that people in Congress are quite well aware of the fact that a large chunk of the visas go to the consulting firms — because the industry lobbyists are vigorously spreading that information around, with the goal, as I said, of deflecting attention from their own abuse of H-1B. So of course people in Congress know about the consulting firms; that’s exactly why Issa’s bill separates the Intels from the Infosyses, as did the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, the various bills authored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and so on.

          So it’s troubling to see you use the term “not the intent of the program” here, incorrectly as I explained, and basically setting yourself up as a dupe of the industry lobbyists. Sorry for the strong language, but that is the way I see things happening.


  7. Incidentally, Issa has an “A” rating with NumbersUSA. He has never voted on H-1B issues. Only the votes count, not the speeches or bills introduced before markup. Of course, he deserves to go, I’m just saying these politicians are diabolical.

    Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 9:43 am EST

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced S. 153 on Tuesday that would expand the number of H-1B guest worker visas for the tech industry regardless of the fact that there is a surplus of American high-tech workers. Along with Sen. Hatch, the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).


  8. Correction: Issa has B-. I was looking at current Congress, not career history. NumbersUSA has changed their format and I was lost. Issa has only voted in favor of FTAs which bring in small numbers (thousands) of NIVs, not H-1Bs.


  9. The supposed worker shortage is misstated otherwise H-1B workers would be employed at the earliest possible opportunity. Workers self report that they

    1. have other obligations ( including pregnancy or child care) and have no intention of reporting for work at the earliest authorized time:
    2. the employer has no position open at the authorized time an the worker is looking to change employers for the authorized start date without ever working for the original petitioner
    3. the worker has a stale approved petition (even for more than 10 years) never used and now wants to take advantage of a job opportunity
    4. an individual working on OPT has an approved H-1B petition but prefers to continue on OPT and even OPT extension to take advantage of the tax benefits afforded student visa holders
    5. a worker has utilized part of the authorized time, returned home and now wants to return to the US even after many years absence
    6. a worker is on another visa status (generally L-1B) and is “banking” the H-1B for later use

    The number of available petitions is far greater than the annual quota times 6 years. I doubt that anyone can give the number of potential H-1B workers who have had an approved petition and not utilized the entire 6 year work period.

    H-1B needs to be a “use it or lose it” and that they must work for the sponsoring employer for a minimum period of time before moving to a new employer. In addition the authorized work duration must be completed in a reasonable period of time. Other countries are far less liberal in their guest worker policies.

    H-1B workers self report tax avoidance schemes such as payment of per diems or cash “gifts” in lieu of wages and claims for “dependents” including parents living in their home countries, I doubt that there are any statistics of tax fraud and abuse of benefits (such as Medicaid) for which they are ineligible.

    H-1B workers also self report criminal actions including theft(shoplifting in addition to theft from employer), debt avoidance, involvement in prostitution (including with underage partners identified in stings), domestic violence, assault, and drunk driving. These appear to be only an inconvenience in visa stamping unless the act is a felony. While these are a minority of guest workers, the fact their behavior is excused and they are allowed to remain and are not permanently banned from entry is incomprehensible.

    Not only are the US workers competing for jobs at risk but also other residents living in the US are being subjected to criminal activity by these guest workers who have no fear of serious consequences.


    • I’d say you have it backwards. Forcing the foreign worker to stay with the original sponsoring employer for some time is pretty much what is happening now with green card sponsorship. As I’ve said many times, employers love this and thus give hiring priority to foreign workers over similarly qualified Americans.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I long ago observed that having one large group of “indentured servants” has the effect of making all workers indentured servants in one way or another. The worst effect is that many Americans with STEM educations can no longer find jobs. And, of course, there is the wage stagnation. But there is one other effect that I am curious whether other STEM workers have observed. From my experience, it seems like STEM departments are turning more and more into sweat shops. It used to be that most managers seemed to recognize that you can come up with an exact schedule for a very complex task with many unknowns or that, if you did, it had to have a lot of flexibility and buffer in it. Now, the policy seems to be to come up with a highly aggressive schedule and cajole the employee into owning it. When the employee falls behind the schedule they are then forced to voluntarily put in overtime to make up for their failing to meet the schedule on which everyone had “agreed”.


        • This may be true, but I see it a little differently. To me, the biggest problem is that H-1B is causing acceptance of mediocrity as the norm.

          Remember, it’s mathematically impossible to optimize two quantities at once. If you primary goal as an employer is saving money, you are NOT optimizing quality. And, sorry to say, the mediocre hire the mediocre, so we have a vicious cycle.


          • I think the cliché is something like 9’s hire 10’s and 3’s hire 2’s. While this is not specific about the midrange, it is likely that mediocre hire the sub-mediocre.


  10. For yet another, yet still somehow surprisingly, onesidedly-pro-H-1B presentation, listen to Michael Krasny toss softballs to a panel of H-1Bs: . What’s most objectionable about this pretend journalism is that Krasny is asking empirical questions to people who have an obvious conflicts of interest both for H-1B (like, the H-1Bs on his panel–duh!) and against (some of his callers). The first few callers (one of whom recommends Norm ~31:10) were anti-H-1B, but then the call/email screeners seem to have taken control, and it was pretty much all apologetics for the rest of the hour.

    The worst part of this is, I suspect Krasny genuinely *wants* to portray this issue as a fact-free zone, where every opinion is of equal merit. This enables Krasny et al to trot out all the usual bullsh!t: employers must hire native workers first, H-1Bs are paid prevailing wage, H-1Bs are more entrepreneurial, “there is a lack of qualified candidates in the US,” “there is a massive number of openings that cannot be filled,” “we should staple a green card to [foreign students’] degrees,” foreign students subsidize native students … on and on. Hence I am *very* sure that Krasny, and much of his large audience, will come away saying something like, “we hear these allegations from native workers, but these nice H-1Bs say it’s not true. So who knows?”


    • I’ve actually been a guest on the Krasny show three times (once when he wasn’t there, with a substitute host). I had not been aware of the show you mention above, and thus listed to the archived version last night. I then dropped a note to Michael.

      The most interesting aspect to me was the following blatant contradiction. On the one hand, all the H-1B guests on the show strongly emphasized how vulnerable they are to employer actions; if they are let go, they have to find another position fast or risk being deported. In addition, some mentioned the strangleholds employers have over green card sponsorees and even potential sponsorees. All the H-1B guests emphasized this vulnerability, using terms like “fear”, “scary,” “can’t sleep at night” and so on.

      But on the other hand, they claimed that those same employers don’t exploit the H-1Bs by underpaying them! That of course is totally unrealistic, and many employers will take advantage of that vulnerability by giving the foreign workers no raises or smaller raises than they deserve.

      The foreign workers said they can’t be underpaid, because the law requires them to be paid the legal prevailing wage. But that wage is well below true market wage in most cases. By the way, H-1B law says nothing about raises.

      Michael was fair, but unfortunately he fell victim to the mentality that I complain so much about, the attitude that the “Infosyses” abuse the H-1B program but the “Intels” use it responsibly. This is a very false dichotomy, but who can blame Michael? There is so much publicity that makes it sound like the “Intels” are the angels. For instance, just a couple of months ago there was a big story along those lines in the Bay Area news outlets. This false distinction will continue to muddy the waters in the discussion of H-1B, and ultimately lead to enactment of legislation expanding the H-1B program, as I keep predicting.


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