Earlier this year, Southern California Edison and Disney made headlines by firing some American IT workers and replacing them by holders of the H-1B work visa. The latter workers were supplied by Indian IT services firms, which are basically in the rent-a-programmer business. SCE and Disney forced the Americans to train their foreign replacements.
At the time, a group of outraged senators sent an open letter to the Dept. of Labor, asking DOL to investigate, but I wrote a blog posting to point out that the actions of SCE, Disney, Infosys etc. are perfectly legal. Today, Infosys announced that it had indeed been given a clean bill of health in the DOL investigation.
I suspect that the senators who authored letter to DOL knew that the various employers had acted legally. If they did, then why did the senators ask for the investigation? Seems it was just for publicity.
I know a lot of programmers and engineers had pinned their hopes on the DOL investigation (in spite of my stating that it was pointless). I urge them to push for general H-1B reform, not just regarding the IT services firms, and not just regarding the issue of replacement of Americans by foreign workers. And also not just on the $60,000 wage floor for H-1B-dependent employers. I would also urge them to pay close attention to the currently active lawsuit on the Optional Practical Training part of the F-1 foreign student visa, which is the type of foreign worker that firms like SCE and Disney will turn to if Congress enacts legislation targeting the IT services firms.
As I’ve often said: If critics of H-1B just concentrate on the word replace and the number 60000, they’ll find that Congress limits reform to just those two aspects (and only cosmetically even there), and use it as an excuse the EXPAND the H-1B and green card programs. The result will be a situation even worse than before.