Intels and Infosyses — and Donald Trump

I’m getting e-mail messages from some absolutely furious supporters of Donald Trump — who are now FORMER supporters of Trump. They’re hopping mad, because they think he reversed himself on the H-1B issue in tonight’s GOP primary debate.

But their anger is badly misplaced. They should have been angry LAST AUGUST 18, which is the real occasion on which “tonight’s” reversal occurred. If you don’t like what he said tonight, then where were you when he said the same things seven months ago? If you weren’t reading this blog then, you’re excused, but otherwise you’ve failed once again to grasp the central importance of the Intels-vs.-Infosyses issue, which as many of you know, is my favorite bogeyman.

My August 18 post was titled, “¡Ay, Caramba! It Took Only a Few Days for Trump to Reverse His Stance.” In my August 16 post, “Sanders and Trump on Immigration,” I had praised them both, but especially complimented Trump, for instance pointing out

Trump says in his platform what no other politician, including Sanders, is willing to say: Immigration is great in sensible quantities, but in its present form,  both legal and illegal, it’s hammering the lower and middle classes. Take for example the high black and Latino unemployment rates. The Democrats say the solution is education and the Republicans say the path is lower taxes and regulation, and though both may have points, Trump states the obvious — bringing in large numbers of low-skilled immigrants is going to harm the most vulnerable people in our society, our own low-skilled (including earlier immigrants).

(Note: A reader later pointed out that Sanders had in fact made similar statements.)

However, in what turned out two days later to have been a very prescient remark, I wrote in the August 16 post (emphasis added),

Trump’s proposals for handling illegal immigration are vintage Trump, some sensible, some off-the-wall, but on H-1B, the man gets an A+…Most important to me is that, at least as stated, these provisions would go a long way to stem the visa abuse by not only the “Infosyses” (rent–a-programmer firms) but also the Intels, who are just as culpable.

Well, sure enough, two days later, Trump reversed himself, basically saying what I had feared, that the Intels — read, the employers who hire foreign students at U.S. universities, rather than directly importing from India — deserve the H-1B visas after all. He tweeted,

When foreigners attend our great colleges & want to stay in the U.S., they should not be thrown out of our country…I want talented people to come into this country—to work hard and to become citizens. Silicon Valley needs engineers, etc.

That is basically what he said tonight:

”I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly-skilled people in this country. If we can’t do it, we will get them in. And we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have. So we do need highly-skilled,” Trump said. “One of the biggest problems we have people will go to the best colleges, they’ll go to Harvard, they’ll go to Stanford, to Wharton, as soon as they are finished they get shoved out. They want to stay in this country. They want to stay here desperately. They are not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country.”

Asked if that represented a change from the position expressed on his website, which states that “[t]oo many visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement” to hire American workers first, Trump said it was. “I’m changing it, and I’m softening the position, because we have to have talented people in this country,” Trump said.

That “softening,” as I said, actually occurred last August. His campaign just never bothered to update the website. Really, there is nothing new.

So, Trump drank the “¡Intels si, Infosyses no!” Kool-aid last August, not tonight. As I said back then, “Someone got to him.”

Now here is the key point: I can’t really blame Trump for this, because he has tons of fellow Kool-aid imbibers among critics of H-1B, who in spite of many repetitive posts here (“Oh, there he goes again”) that the Intels/Infosyses dichotomy is not only false but destructive, it just hasn’t sunk in.

Just yesterday, for example, I made yet another post railing against that dichotomy, explaining for the umpteenth time that if legislation (e.g. the current Durbin/Grassley bill) were to be enacted based on that dichotomy, the result will be BUSINESS AS USUAL for the Intels AND the Disneys. And yet, once again, I got pushback, the usual line “But the Infosyses ARE different.” Yes, of course they’re different, but that doesn’t change the fact that bills based on “¡Intels si, Infosyses no!” will NOT result in U.S. citizens and permanent residents being hired instead of foreign workers.

So, if you hate to give up that Kool-aid, you shouldn’t be disappointed with Trump’s remarks tonight. But if you want more jobs for Americans, you’d better hope that someone can explain to President Trump that what he thinks is true about the Intels is quite distorted.









20 thoughts on “Intels and Infosyses — and Donald Trump

  1. “Silicon Valley needs engineers”

    “Silicon Valley” receives dozens, sometimes hundreds, even thousands of applications from US citizens for each job it advertises. The vast majority of qualified applicants don’t even receive a phone call or non-automated follow-up email concerning their application, nor feedback on any areas of study they may need to improve their skillsets. Unemployed and underemployed tech workers, without meaningful employer feedback and engagement, don’t even know where to aim their (re)training efforts.

    There are so many unemployed and underemployed US citizen engineers that the H-1B visa can be safely cancelled in its entirety. If Silicon Valley wants engineers, it needs to start considering US citizens in good faith. Sure, the Citizens might not be 22-years old, with Masters degrees, and 10 years of ‘experience’ in the latest fad technology du jour, but they most certainly are available in droves if firms would simply extend the domestic labour pool the very basic courtesy of good faith consideration.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Trump was caught in the first debate not even knowing what was on his web site about H-1B, which at the time was actually pretty good. As Norm says he has several times over the past months repeated how he is anti-H1B but pro- keeping tech students here after graduation. I guess he means well but this level of detail seems beyond him.


    • Trump has flipped again on the H1B issue – this time not even an hour later!

      It’s like he’s clueless on the details of the issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t write or have anything to do with that press release. This press release is like his policy paper on immigration which was posted back in August – looked like he didn’t write it or even read it. When I read it, it was so detailed that I right away thought that it was written by Sen. Jeff Sessions. In the October debate, Trump showed his ignorance of this policy when he claimed that he ‘didn’t say that Rubio was Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator’ and that he’s ‘fine with foreign workers as long as they come in on work visas or permits’.

      Back in October, right after that debate, Breitbart published an interview they did with Trump where he condemns Disney and other companies for what they did. He should know now what an H1B visa is and the problems and abuse of its loopholes. Both Disney and Silicon Valley use H1Bs. The H1B visa, along with the F1 OPT visa, are part of the immigration pipeline. Foreigners who use these visas usually end up getting a green card years later.

      The H1B visa and the F1 OPT visas are immigration stepping stones!

      Someone should put him on an interview and pin him on the details. I want to see him on TV saying it in his own words. Is he ok with Silicon Valley using H1B but not other companies like Disney? Or reform the program with a ‘solution’ – which as we know, can have just as many loopholes.

      Someone should really educate Trump on all the loopholes that companies exploit, not just on the H1B but also on the F1 OPT and other visas. This includes all the corruption in the system from foreigners (Indians, Chinese, etc) that have burrowed themselves high up in the system such as Subra Suresh – the president of Carnegie Mellon and the ones you (Mr. Matloff) mentioned in the Qualcomm post.

      And someone should talk to Sen. Jeff Sessions and ask him exactly what he and Trump have discussed and agreed on in this issue. I saw Sessions on an interview on Fox, and he keeps repeating the phrase that we need to look at policy from the position of ‘how does this benefit Americans’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was out of Jeff Sessions’ office as a YUGE CYA. Sessions is suddenly a target in Alabama. Loads of old racist issues suddenly popped up when the Trump KKK brouhaha surfaced just as Sessions made a very bone headed move and backed Trump over Cruz (OK, anybody. He should have stayed neutral.)

    Sessions office went ballistic when Trump pulled his Becky Quick moment by stating he never called Rubio Zuckerberg’s personal senator, yet there it was on Trump’s site in his policies. Faithfully written by Jeff Sessions’ team.

    Sorry Dr Matloff, I just can’t fathom how you can continue to defend an obvious charlatan and fraud.


    • I really don’t know what happened on that KKK thing. One CNN analyst, who is NOT a Trump supporter, said, “Look, it was probably just a ‘brain freeze’,” which I would guess is true.

      Everyone I know, including minorities and minority advocates, has said stuff that could be interpreted as “racist.”


  3. One has to wonder where Trump gets his ideas on what an ‘immigrant’ is. His wife is an immigrant, and I would assume there are some immigrants who are tenants in Trump Tower or his other properties who are of high caliber, world class talent and are successful enough to afford his condos. People who are more in line with the O-1 visa.

    Hopefully someone can clarify this with Trump.


  4. In reading this and the other article you posted tonight on Trump, I believe the biggest thing is people need a reason to HOPE and Trump was giving them that by standing up for Americans in America.

    What saddens me is that the morrisons/donnellys of the world apparently have access to our future leaders, yet we the people once again are left caring the burden of dealing with all of the things that now destroy our lives through no fault of our own while these people that send our jobs offshore or import non immigrant guest workers laugh all the way to the bank.

    By things I mean student loans, va home loan guarantees that we no longer qualify for because of their actions leaving us with no work for half a decade or more, broken families, etc.

    While I will not say I am furious, I am determined and I no longer feel that trump is worthy of my vote simply because he will not take the time to understand that the job market is finite and Americans in America are being totally and absolutely destroyed no matter how many times they try and pick themselves up by their boot straps

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If nothing else, the H-1B issue has been brought out in the open. Rubio at one point seemed to indicate he understood the issue fairly well. This exposure will hopefully continue until it’s Trump vs Hillary. At that point we won’t hear about it, because neither can attack the other on this issue. Both have too many skeletons.


    • If you have a link that shows that Rubio understood the issue well at some point, I’d really like to see it. But I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that it revolves around the word “replace.”

      Rubio would by far be the worst of the candidates of either party.

      Liked by 1 person

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