1. John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild and tireless critic of H-1B, has an interesting new book out with prominent journalist Michelle Malkin. This combination — Miano “knows where the bodies are buried” and Malkin is famed for her outspokenness — should bring tons of attention to the H-1B fiasco.
2. DHS is proceeding apace with its plans to implement (I almost wrote “enact,” an ironic error in view of this blatant end-run around Congress) yet another extralegal expansion of Optional Practical Training. OPT gives foreign students 12 months (29 months for STEM) of work authorization after graduation from a U.S. university. Under the proposed rule (again, I almost wrote “legislation”), OPT would be good for as long as SIX YEARS, just like H-1B. In other words, it would be in effect another H-1B program, in addition to the one we have. John Miano has been leading a lawsuit against the previous expansion of OPT.
Many have pointed out that employers of OPT students save money by virtue of not being subject to Social Security taxes. But that is small potatoes–the real issue, as usual, is that OPT expands the pool of YOUNG workers. As I’ve pointed out, for instance, this is the core of how SCE, Disney and so on can legally save lots of money by hiring foreign workers — the latter are younger, thus, much cheaper, than the Americans they replace.
3. (Thanks to Theo for pointing this out.) The Fwd.us “Major Contributor” Hadi Partovi, whose organization claims to be responsible for teaching the first president to ever have written a line of code, says “H-1Bs in CS rarely displace [American tech workers].” He was distinguishing between “IT” and “CS,” and his point was that the firms that really do computer science, e.g. the Intels and the Googles, don’t abuse the H-1B program. As many readers know, I strongly disagree with that claim, and would add that it’s even worse for those firms — instead of having foreign workers displace Americans, they simply hire the foreign workers instead of qualified Americans in the first place. (And again, it’s largely because of the age issue.) By the way, my guess is that the first president to write a line of code was Jimmy Carter, an engineer by training, rather than Obama as Code.org claims.
4. Lest you think that the household-name American tech companies are angelic and that only the Indian outsourcing firms are villains, we now have yet another age discrimination lawsuit by an American against a tech firm, in this case Cisco. Though I don’t have data, I’m told that Cisco is one of the worst offenders regarding H-1B, and some of you may recall it’s being exposed for engaging in a legal but sleazy tactic regarding foreign workers. In light of Item 2 above, I suspect that Ms. Stahl was replaced by a foreign worker.