Intels, Infosyses, Trump: Followup

Right after Trump offended some techie supporters with his remark’s in tonight’s debate, his campaign posted Trump’s reassurance.

Megyn Kelly asked about highly-skilled immigration. The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay. I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements. I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.

This of course is consistent with my report here earlier this evening, which pointed out that Trump’s position is to support the Intels but punish the Infosyses. You might say, “Yes, the allusion to the Infosyses is clear, in the reference to Disney. But where are the Intels?”

As I said in my earlier posting, the Intels tend to get their H-1Bs as foreign students at U.S. universities, rather than importing them from India. The phrasing above, “The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad…” reflects that, and is right out of the official line of the IEEE-USA, which has been pushing “Staple a Green Card,” meaning to give automatic green cards to the foreign students. That of course deceptively defines away the H-1B problem, since the students wouldn’t get H-1B visas in the first place.

As I’ve said so often, this “solution” is equally problematic. The main reason H-1Bs form cheap labor today is that young workers are cheaper than older ones. The laid-off Disney workers, for instance, were probably about 50, and their replacements about 25. The new foreign graduates who get the automatic green cards would also be in their 20s, so the older Americans still wouldn’t get the jobs. The employers’ desire to swell the labor market of young workers would still be fulfilled. And even Trump’s phrasing above, “institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first,” becomes vacuous too — because these new green card holders would now be Americans, another favorite IEEE-USA line.

In other words, it’s a shell game. I doubt that Trump or even his staff understand this, which is the saddest part of the story.



22 thoughts on “Intels, Infosyses, Trump: Followup

  1. Will you please then retract your earlier statement that #NeverTrump is the best to trust?

    Yeow!!!! What’s driving your reticence to admit that you made an error in judgement? It reminds me of #NeverTrump praising Obama & Hillary and now never acknowledging those positions.

    If we can’t trust citizens to fess to mistakes in judgement, how will we ever hold our politicians accountable?

    Want an interview with Ted Cruz where he admits that he was wrong? Can do. Can #NeverTrump do the same? (Now that he’s again on the wrong side?)

    And forget Jeff Sessions. He’s just gained massive support to take him out for non-H1B/immigration reasons.


    • Kyle, you are not making any sense. Why should I now retract my statement? I made that statement with full knowledge of what happened on August 18.


  2. That’s a good point about the “Staple a Green Card” recipients becoming American workers. The term “American worker” is confusing. To me, Americans are citizens, either by birth or naturalization. My wife has a green card but is not a citizen, so I don’t consider her an American (and neither does she). One would think that an “American worker” would be a worker that is an American citizen, however green card holders are also considered American workers, which I don’t think many realize.



    • If you are a US citizen your wife could become a US citizen herself after 3 years of residence.
      Many countries that do not allow dual citizenship have special exceptions for persons in her situation.


  3. I was very disappointed with Trump’s answer also. At least the H1-B program it is now getting exposed to the public which is the 1st step towards an honest discussion. It is still possible Trump’s mind can be changed on this subject since he is basically saying the nation belongs to the people not the elites. The elites will not stop until every American is replaced.

    My question is, was Ted Cruiz’s idea of a 180 day moratorium for the H1-B program real or would it take place at the time of the year when the H1-B quota was already filled for the year? Otherwise, since it is a yearly quota would not the moratorium have to be for at least one year?


    • My original thought on the 180 days was that it made no sense at all.

      after uploading the 2016 data I realize now it is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

      as an example, if you go to my new site and click on 2016, you can browse the data that is already in the system even though they haven’t legally started taking applications yet.

      Granted, I do not understand how this data can be in there already unless it is revisions or something as the employment start dates are real recent.

      And if you look at the 2016 statistics page you will see that there are already 66,045 applications for computer and math occupations and they haven’t even started accepting applications for 2016 yet.

      If anybody knows how and why this data is in there, I would appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us.


      • >>> 180 days was that it made no sense at all

        Absolutely. Cruz’s plan would be moot if he puts a moratorium on H-1s on the day of his inauguration since FY 2017 folks would have started their jobs in October 2016 and given that H-1 is and will be (as in the past) oversubscribed all the 85000 applications would have been issued and there is nothing left to be issued in Jan 2017.

        Too, FY 2018 applications wont begin until Apr 1 2017 and the “180 day” period would have expired by then.

        The only category that this might affect is the non profits and schools that bring in H-1s.

        I don’t think they’d have thought this far, but it could also affect the H-1 extensions of folks that have their green cards ‘in process’. And the odds of H-1 extensions being blocked at risk of facing the employers and immigration lawyer cartel’s (not the american workers) ire? I’d leave at that.

        IMO, this is just another way to get a better rating from the american worker at this point in time.

        What I would watch out for is Trump’s immigration stance given that the top guy heading immigration desk at Sessions’ office is now with Trump – The same person heading @ImmigrationGOP twitter handle for Sessions (Can’t remember his name). What ever Trump speaks would *probably* be vetted by this person (recent “softening” tone on H-1 by Trump in the republican debate).


  4. The average American thinks that a masters degree is good enough and on par with a PhD. So it’s hard to explain to the ordinary American that a master’s in STEM doesn’t mean much.
    Ideally, H1B should be abolished and deserving masters students should be hired on EB1 which has a higher bar. The EB2 category is the weirdest because in terms of priority dates, it is nearly as bad as EB3 and it’s unfair because some masters students are as good as those on EB1. There’s really no point having EB2 when you already have EB1 and EB3.


    • Why bother even having the EB visas? H-1B can be safely abolished, and for truly top Masters or PhD grads, the O-1 visa, based on the strength of their research contribution, can be granted.

      Many contemporary Masters degrees have been watered down into the effective equivalent of a rehash of the 4th year of a domestic Bachelors program to give foreign students a recognized “credential”. But there are still many Masters programs and recipients who did fairly significant amounts of original research.

      I think a fairer test would be simply based on money. If a company values a skill or a person so heavily that they’re willing to pay, say, $300k/year for it, then print the recipient up a visa. Otherwise, no visa. A much easier ‘system’ to police than even the O-1 or other academic-qualification based systems.


      • O-1 and H-1B are temporary work visas; the EB series is for permanent residence, i.e. green cards.

        Several proposals have been based on having high wages.


      • It’s funny how the tech PR propose Staple a Green Card as if it’s a panacea when EB1 actually does exist. Of course industry might argue it’s too restrictive because it requires patents etc. which a master’s student may not have. But letting in ALL masters graduates is pretty stupid when loosening up EB1 would work as well.

        I can’t help but wonder whether a lot of tech people go on about SAGC because they can appear to be on the side of immigrants while being fully aware that no sane person would support it( for national security reasons alone, a lot of terrorists are engineers).


        • @alex

          >>> when EB1 actually does exist. Of course industry might argue it’s too restrictive because it requires patents etc

          EB1 is NOT the solution or anything close to it. Rampant misuse by Intels/Infosyses is happening over there as well. Since EB1 today is almost a ‘greencard on arrival’, there is a flavor or EB1 that is being (mis)used – called EB1-C. Everyone is sending/bringing their overseas employees using this EB1-C route.

          Just want to point out out that EB1 is not what everyone think what it is — The Einsteins of the world are brought in via EB1-A which has stricter norms to qualify under. EB1-C is a different, completely watered down version where the ‘intent’ is to bring in VPs or something like that, but since the statute/law allows any ‘manager’ with hire-and-fire ability, each and every company is flooding EB1-C pipeline and Cognizant is leading the pack. Several of these ‘manager’s do not even have an overseas “under grad degree” and the rules do not need it either. Just saying.


  5. Norm, in your post “Where I Don’t Stand” (February 26, 2016), you mentioned:
    “I try not to endorse any politician in this forum. It should be clear to regular readers that admire both Sanders and Trump, but I’ve also criticized both of them. I will say this, though: In my mind, they are the ONLY two candidates in either party in whom I have any confidence that they would “do the right thing.”

    Do you still think Trump might do the right thing, perhaps if he got better information? I guess he does seem to have a populist streak and his campaign is unfunded by moneyed interests. However, it seems like his current position, as stated, would not help ith respect to H-1B. Also, I’m not sure building a wall would do much to protect jobs from illegal immigration.


    • ONCE AGAIN: The central content of my two posts last night about Trump and the debate was that THIS WAS NOTHING NEW. He had said the same thing back on August 18, which I reported on and criticized at the time. So, I have no reason to change my mind about what I said on February.


  6. I heard Trumps position on h-ib for the first time at the recent debate where he said he is changing his mind recently to where now he thinks places like silly valley cant do without h-1b workers. If I knew his position I would not have voted for him because Cruz supports US workers more.


  7. I do think that when Trump says ‘highly skilled’ people, he’s referring to foreign students who are ‘top grads at top U.S. schools’, not an H1B’er who is a professional with several years of experience and has (claims) a degree from a diploma mill in India. We can look at the words he uses in his statements, as you posted in your previous post ( He refers to them as attending & graduating from top U.S. universities.

    And I think that what Trump is referring to when he says he wants these ‘highly skilled’ people (students) to stay, could be one of three things:

    – the ‘Staple a Green Card to a Diploma’ program for foreign STEM college grads with advanced degrees
    – the F1 student visa OPT program which extends the stay if they find a work sponsor
    – the H1B work visa

    I say this since he hasn’t provided any detail on how he wants these ‘highly skilled’ students to stay (goes back to his lack of detail in his policies). I realize that Trump wants these students to have immigrant status and a path to citizenship but I certainly don’t think that he’s for giving citizenship immediately to valedictorian grads from any of the Ivy league schools as soon as they graduate. He may not even be (hopefully) for immediately giving a green card to these grads.

    However, even if Trump shuts down or clamps down on the abuse of the H1B program as he claims, the ‘Staple a Green Card to a Diploma’ and the F1 student visa OPT program will continue to be areas to be abused which may even be used increasingly especially if the H1B program becomes less viable. Foreign workers will just reroute their attention (flood) to applying to U.S. schools, who will then become gatekeepers to foreign workers.

    As you have mentioned in your earlier blog posts, where would his policy solution draw the line at defining a ‘top school’ and ‘top student’. Also, does he consider a Masters as an advanced degree or require a higher standard with a PhD. If a cap is implemented, what would that number be? Off the top of my head (no pun intended), I think 1000 annually might be sensible (500 for spring grads and the other 500 for fall/winter grads).

    Trump talks on & on about American college students graduating with a lot of student loan debt and not finding jobs. I asked myself: how does he square that with letting foreign students (continue to) compete for these jobs? I guess for one, he’ll tighten the standards of what ‘top talent’ is, and two, that he is big on education and making American college grads competitive globally education-wise. I saw his rally speech in Huntsville, Alabama as well as in an interview with Hannity right after the debate where he tells the kids that quality education is important. He keeps saying that we spent the most on education yet our students are ranked #30 on how well educated they are.

    The problem is, if this is so, then foreign students from the other 29 countries would be better educated and ‘higher skilled’ than students who graduated from U.S. schools. Doesn’t line up.

    And aren’t top grads who are foreign students already getting job and sponsorship offers at graduation right now?


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