Outrageous NYT Editorial

Many of you who have read today’s New York Times editorial must be puzzled at my term outrageous in the title of my post here. “Isn’t the Times finally stepping up to the plate and calling out the tech industry on the H-1B sham?”, you might ask me.

Well, no. There are two big problems. Some of you will have already guessed what the first problem is — the Times again gives the mainstream tech industry, the “Intels,” a pass, claiming the abuse is only among the IT services firms (ITSFs), the “Infosyses.” (And yes, I am including the American ITSFs as Infosyses.) That is incorrect, as I’ve shown before.

But what is the second problem with this editorial? It says the abuses of H-1B stem from loopholes in the law, which is true, but says the loophole enabling use of H-1Bs as cheap labor is that U.S. firms can legally replace American workers by H-1Bs supplied by ITSFs. Yes, the law allows such replacement, but that does NOT explain why this supplies cheap labor. The key question is, Why is it legal for the ITSFs to underpay their H-1Bs?

I fear that even the sharpest among you readers will not be able to answer that question. This is unfortunate, as I have harped on it so often:  AGE. The H-1Bs supplied to Disney, SCE etc. are cheaper primarily because they are much younger than the Americans they replaced. And that enables the mainstream firms to hire cheap foreign labor too.

The issue of Disney et al hiring “rented” H-1Bs is secondary. As the Times concedes, the ITSFs are complying with the law, and exploiting loopholes, which must be plugged. WHICH loopholes? WHY are the H-1Bs so much cheaper? The Times does not answer this central question, and apparently doesn’t realize they’ve missed the boat.

Why can’t the nation’s foremost newspaper see this basic flaw in their analysis? One reason is that all that publicity about Disney has obscured the real issues.


57 thoughts on “Outrageous NYT Editorial

  1. One problem with editorial board at the nation’s foremost newspaper is that it considers issues a mile wide and an inch deep.

    A second problem with the editorial board at the nation’s foremost newspaper is that it can’t remember what it wrote last Thursday.

    I measure progress incrementally. Today’s editorial moves public sentiment one step in our direction.


    • I strongly disagree, Stan. The editorial moves things one step closer to a bill that places modest restrictions on the Infosyses while INCREASING the number of foreign workers available to the mainstream. Things will be even worse than now.


  2. It all boils down to the college degree, or supposed college degree.

    If you study America, you quickly realize that about 30% of Americans have a degree.

    We have a working population of 150 million, so about 50 million have a college degree.
    China has a working population of around 500 million as does India.

    If the same 30% applies, which I believe it does, they have 150 million (each) college educated people.

    When the bar for American jobs is set at a college degree and it ignores those of us that learned our skills in the trenches, we quickly have a situation where we have 300 million people with a college degree applying for 50 million jobs.

    This forces those who can do like myself and art and even college educated older americans under the bus where our businesses, government and non profit organizations are all too ready to put the bus in gear and spend the tires.

    Sadly, we haven’t even discussed the dollars and cents aspect.

    I can deal with them lowing the wages as long as we can compete for those jobs.
    But when the people making the selection refuse to look at us because of a lack of degree, or our age or any other type of discrimination, well that forces us into a lifetime of destitution.

    If you believe in the American dream where all men are created equal, this goes against everything that we Americans believe in.


  3. Norm, I think you’re being overly critical here. In policy terms this is a terrific op-ed, explaining there’s a problem and that corporates have hushed up it up with thuggish legal threats. It’s one of the most powerful endorsements you could get. Op-eds like this, and the accompanying stories, validate the issue for heaps of politicians, other journalists and economists.

    You should be proud of the outstanding work you’ve done highlighting and proving this issue over the last 20 years or so.

    You are right about the age issue, but it’s probably better understood as a distortion of the market. The various professions at stake here generally don’t control their own professions, so they’re vulnerable to corporates rigging the labor market.


  4. Well, editorials are supposed to be a short summary. Sunday Times had a much more detailed article (link provided in the editorial) with specific life stories and is the one that should be read and commented on.


  5. Time for an outright ban on H-1/L-1/all work/quasi-work/OPT visas! Section 212(f) clearly gives that authority to the president: ….
    detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate” –

    “detrimental to the interests of US” = workers losing jobs left, right and center + workers denied jobs everywhere.

    having a status quo => more job loss, more indentured labor. (intels/infosyses/stanfords/MITs and everthing between); Chamber making more $$

    on a somewhat related news, “Cutoff Date for China and India EB-1 Expected by End of Fiscal Year” (http://immigrationgirl.com/what-to-expect-in-the-visa-bulletin-for-august-and-september/) ==> The “einstein” greencard queues are getting choked as well !!! (well, it’s the EB-1C which is for international managers). And these folks got a premier pass to ride along the actual Einstein category (EB-1A).

    things are getting very interesting — until now, it was the (mostly) the programmers/analysts, now managers, be prepared to get the pink slips as you are being replaced by high school educated ‘international managers’, who are getting ‘staple-a-green-card’ on arrival !


    • I believe this is because there are some managers who refuse to replace their American Citizen staff who have worked for them for decades.

      Get rid of these managers, and you are able to replace more and more of your workforce.

      This weekend I heard from a fellow that is a systems guy (data center, cabling, back up generators, etc.)

      He works for a well known firm in Dallas.

      They are replacing all of their citizens with non immigrant guest workers.

      Yet we have heard nothing of this in the news.


    • So maybe Trump, Sessions, Sec or Labor can invoke Section 212(f) in his first 30-90 days of office to stop immediately these programs. I asked on another thread if Trump as President can invalidate H1B visas that are going to be approved this ‘season’ in Sept-Oct. Perhaps this is the tool to do it.


        • >> That section of the law is NOT for H-1B

          Hope I am not mistaken or quoting a wrong/outdated section of law, but 212(f) empowers POTUS to refuse entry to *any* class of aliens (via proclamations). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

          suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or *nonimmigrants*


          >> can invoke Section 212(f) in his first 30-90 days of office to stop immediately these programs

          While I’d love to believe that one of the names you posted would invoke it, but they would not venture into that area (as far as H-1/skilled immigration) is concerned.

          *If* Grassley loses and Sessions joins Trump admin, it’s an autobahn for immigration reformers (abusers)!


          • I misunderstood you. I thought you were referring to the section on labor certification.

            I agree that 212(f) could be a catchall opening, but the condition “detrimental to the interests of the nation” is fuzzy.


          • Interesting conjecture that this option exists. Could it be used? There are probably legal and political ramifications that would kick in to make it problematic. Would it be used? Not by Hillary. And even if Trump wanted to, would he be aware of it, or would it be enough of a priority for him to try it in the first 90 days? Nice technical detail, but…


          • Trump has already voiced his support for the Intels. He might use this provision to stop the Infosyses, but they would sue, claiming (with some justification) that they are being discriminated against.


          • >> He might use this provision to stop the Infosyses, but they would sue

            Since non-Infosys-es (and everyone in between) are as culpable, POTUS should put a blanket ban on H, L, F and J for few years. There would be no reason for one group to “feel bad” or “discriminated”. When american worker is “disriminated”, that’s a good enough reason for me to invoke 212 (f).

            Heck, H1/L1 is designed such that they can be discriminated – EEO does *not* apply to them in the current law. Employers need not hire H1s at all – But reality, as we know it completely different. Another codifed “discrimination” aspect in the law is the country cap for employment based green cards.

            Bottom line is american worker (age based) discrimination != national interests, hence a good reason to invoke 212 (f)

            Now, to reality – None of this will ever happen – Neither Trump nor Sessions nor Grassley will ever use it in my opinion.


          • Putting all the effects of the tech industry’s campaign money contributions aside, the powers-that-be genuinely believe that we “need” H-1B in order to maintain American tech superiority over the rest of the world. To them, it really is a national interest issue, justifying imposing hardship on U.S. tech workers, who comprise only a small percentage of the national workforce.

            But of course that premise is false. On the contrary, (a) we do not have a tech labor shortage and (b) the average quality of the foreign tech workers is below that of their American peers. Putting those two facts together, we see that THE FOREIGN WORKER PROGRAMS ARE CAUSING A NET LOSS TO U.S. TECH POWER.

            This should cause sleepless nights among the politicians, in spite of their lust for the tech industry’s money. Yet this simple, powerful argument is ignored even by the anti-H-1B program organizations and activists. In fact, most are only vaguely aware of (a) and totally unaware of (b), let alone the combined implication of (a) and (b).


          • To elaborate on item (b) on “Foreign worker programs are causing a net loss to Us tech power”, there is also an entire eco-system of tech expertise, networking and mind set that is undermined and eroded.

            Sent from my iPhone



  6. > I fear that even the sharpest among you readers will not be able to answer that question. This is unfortunate, as I have harped on it so often: AGE.

    They seem to be aware of the age issue at the California EDD (Employment Development Department). Having been recently laid off, I had to go to one of their orientation meetings and I was a bit surprised that the instructor asked the people there to list the biggest challenges that they faced in their job search and wrote down “AGE” on the whiteboard before anyone had named it explicitly. Several people did then describe how age did seem to be negatively affecting their job search.

    Regarding ITSFs, I did find the following statement in the editorial curious:

    > Similarly, companies are able to skirt the rules for using H-1B workers by outsourcing the actual hiring of those workers to Tata, Infosys and other temporary staffing firms, mostly based in India.

    What rules are companies able to skirt for using H-1B workers by using ITSFs? I was under the impression that small companies used them for efficiency as it saved them from needing a legal department to handle the H-1B paperwork. Also, I would guess that some larger companies might use such firms as it would allow them to remain independent of some questionable cost-saving practices that the ITSFs might engage in. Does anyone know if there are any other rules that ITSFs allow companies to skirt?

    In any event, I agree that companies that don’t use ITSFs can also abuse H-1Bs. If you go to https://labor.shinyapps.io/lca1/ and type CERTIFED, APPLE INC, and CUPERTINO into the first three boxes, you’ll see that Apple submitted LCA (Labor Condition Applications) for 21,984 H-1B workers between October 2014 and December 2015. Only 8,682 of those workers had their PW (prevailing wage) wage level listed. Still, those 8,682 included 3335, 1331, 3556, and 460 for levels I, II, III, and IV, respectively. Hence, more than half of them were levels I and II and just 5.3 percent of them were the highest level. If they truly are the “best and the brightest”, why are most of them being paid less than the median wage, even at Apple?


      • > The ITSFs are subject to even more restrictions than the mainstream firms.

        Why then would the editorial say that “companies are able to skirt the rules for using H-1B workers by outsourcing the actual hiring of those workers to Tata, Infosys”, etc? If they don’t help companies to skirt the rules, someone should call the paper out on that, perhaps asking them to specify which rules they help skirt.


          • Yes, I did just finish the book “Saving Capitalism” by Robert Reich that suggested that “Countervailing Power” is critical to addressing these problems. We cannot just count on the kindness of corporations or of politicians who count on those corporations for campaign contributions and jobs (according to http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2013/07/29/half-of-retiring-senators-become-lobbyists-up-1500-in-40-years/ , half of retiring Senators become lobbyists). We need to have a concrete countervailing power. The most obvious way to promote this would be by organizing.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I typically write a article at Keep America At Work and then if I can find the authors email and/or twitter, I send them a email and post a link to the article on their twitter account.

            Yes, I’m sure it ticks them off, but it lets those who follow them on twitter know that I believe the article is false which questions their credibility.

            But the real way, and the reason I’m always trying to raise a million bucks is to start a newspaper.

            There is something about having their name in print that will make them think.
            Of course you can’t do these things unless you are 100% accurate and have the data to back it up with.

            I found a place the other day to print a broadsheet type newspaper for me, address it using my supplied names and mail it for me for about 50 cents per paper.

            I really can’t afford it yet, but when I get a place I can work out of (by the end of this year), I’m going to try and start printing 1,000 copies once per month.

            I would rather print enough copies to send it to the state government, local tv and radio stations, and newspaper publishers in each city that has at least a population of 100,000 people, but unless we unite and pony up the funds, or help produce it, that will not happen.

            At least not yet.

            And sure, a million bucks is not a lot, but it is a start, and if 1 million displaced american workers were to put up a buck each, it is easily raised.

            but it seems American workers do not believe that they can beat Goliath and believing is THE first step.


      • >> H-1B and related programs are abused by ALL tech firms.

        True and a slight correction – “abused by one and all — firms or otherwise” – One example is with medical doctors community – People are brought over J-1 (“exchange” program) and H-1. For J-1, once the exchange period is over, they are supposed to get back to their ‘home’ countries. Almost all of our kids that go out on exchange programs come back, but those coming from outside (read: most populous nations), stay back here and get on to EB-2 NIW bandwagon. So much that the employers here (universities/private hospitals) cherry pick these folks a and ‘sponsor’ them on a low pay grade with a promise of greencard; So this ailment is pervasive, not just confined to tech firms.

        I guess tech sector comes to everyones mind due to the stats from DOL and other places. elsewhere, its by way of ignoring american doctors/students vs replacements/layoffs.


  7. Re Norm’s response to Stan: by perpetuating the myth and blaming the Infosys types, the article obscures what is actually happening, and makes it easier to justify a bill that appears to solve the problem, but just makes it worse.

    In short, the Times has drunk the koolaid propaganda provided by the H1B lobby. And what’s worse, the paper influences a lot of people. This is bad for American tech workers, and it opens the question on the Times’ ability to evaluate other important issues.


      • Given all we know about the power of corporations to control the dialogue, how can the Times not know this as well? So either they’re ignorant/naive (unlikely), or they don’t want to antagonize the beast, or they’re complicit – journalistic failure or journalistic corruption. No good outcome there.


  8. The NYT article in question has an image of the US workers from the company “at a North Chicago bar”. They appear to be older workers. A quick Internet search shows that the company received millions of dollars in tax breaks. The government should not be granting tax breaks to companies that hire guest workers.


  9. One thing that can help US workers is for workers to post their salary history on their LinkedIn page. About a dozen states have “pay secrecy” laws that prevent retaliation for discussing salary with other workers. The federal law apparently (I am not sure) only applies to “non-supervisory employees”.

    Posting salary info can reveal disparity in pay among workers (men versus women, young versus old, US versus H-1B). It can also foster a sense of solidarity among workers and cause friction between workers and management. An informed employee will be able to bargain with a company over salary.

    The ability of a company to replace a huge number of older more expensive workers with younger less expensive workers (“type 2 savings”) proves that the older workers are being overpaid or that the younger workers are being underpaid.

    Given the choice between hiring a young or old worker at the same salary (no “type 2 savings”), many would probable choose the younger worker. So it would be in the younger worker’s financial interest to seek the same pay as an older worker. The younger worker will still be cheaper if the company offers health insurance.

    As “Econdataus Admin” mentioned, the lower paid H-1Bs are preferred to the higher paid H-1Bs. So the same “type 2 savings” occurs within the H-1B workforce.

    One Google employee created a website where Google workers could post their salary. Only 5% of workers did so. Too bad.

    Lawyers, doctors and dentists have to take a class on how to run and manage a practice. Engineering and computer science students do not have any classes on how to manage their careers and foster solidarity.


  10. While some of these companies do actual IT services like enterprise systems/software and custom development, a majority just do staffing. And the majority are Indian companies. Definitely “H-1B dependent employers”. These IT services & staffing firms (ITSSFs) are growing like weeds. In the past 8-9 years, I have seen a marked increase in these type of companies. Everyday, I get over 25 emails from Indian recruiters and about 3-4 from American recruiters, plus 5-10 calls/voicemails from Indian recruiters. I can barely understand them by their thick accent. I have an email account that I’ve had for over 15 yrs and have kept emails from recruiters, and I can go back and see that 8-9 yrs ago, most of the emails were from recruiters with English, African-American, or Hispanic names. I just checked my emails from recruiters back to 2008 and it’s 80-90% English, African-American, or Hispanic names. Now and for the past 4-5 years, it’s 90-95% Indian names.

    And these ITSSFs exist & do business in layers. For example, an Indian recruiter contacts me about an Architect job in SF, I get thru a basic screen and he passes me on to another company that does a pricing/rate and availability screen. I pass this and get passed to another company (the company that is doing the actual implementation onsite, who hired the second company to find candidates) and do a technical screen. So there were 4 companies involved including the actual end client.

    These ITSSFs are not adding value. Rather, they’re saturating the market and taking business from legitimate American owned businesses. American ITSSFs, including ones owned by former H1Bers (now green card holders) are getting hit hard and it’s a race to the bottom unless you’re in the Big 5.

    There are so many of these ITSSFs, the names (and website domain names) are never-ending.

    AdroIT Software & Consulting Inc.
    Enterprise Solution Inc.
    E-Solutions Inc
    Cats One
    Maven Workforce LLC
    Unicorn Technologies, LLC
    Aditi Staffing
    Simplion Technologies
    IT Trailblazers
    In-Time Infotech, Inc
    Next Level Business Services, Inc.
    HAN IT Staffing Inc.
    Compunnel Software Group Inc
    Buzinax LLC
    SerenityInfotech USA
    ITech Solutions Inc.
    HMG America LLC
    Vichara Technologies
    OnPoint Staffing, Inc.
    Suna Solutions, Inc.
    Advanced Micro Synergy Group, Inc.
    World Networking Services Corp
    emids Talent Acquisition
    TechAspect Solutions Inc.
    Global Infotech Corp
    ERP and ERP Corp
    and the list goes on…

    If not for the H1B, these companies would go out of business.


      • Dr. Matloff,

        I do think this is relevant because these Indian-owned IT services & staffing firms (ITSSFs) that are “H-1B dependent employers” are causing the demise of American IT companies and recruiters (and I’m not a fan of IT recruiters, or recruiters in general), not just American IT workers – I don’t consider IT recruiters as IT workers. The proliferation of these “H-1B dependent employers” Indian-owned ITSSFs has forced American IT companies and recruiters to also get into the H1B game to stay competitive, thereby increasing the demand for H1Bs.

        Will this fact move the needle in the H-1B end game? I don’t see American IT companies and recruiters complaining about this. I only see them getting caught up in the whole ‘globalism’ movement along with all the other companies in corporate America.

        **I meant this as a reply to your comment. Pls delete the other comment


        • That’s a pretty bizarre theory, that the U.S. firms started using H-1Bs to stay competitive with the Infosyses. Actually, it was the U.S. firms who pushed Congress into establishing the H-1B program in the first place, long before the Infosyses came into the picture.


          • I remember working at HP in the early 90s when Indian programmers were brought in. It was an American staffing company providing the Indians. We (programmers) all thought it was crazy because the Indians couldn’t communicate well, and were mediocre programmers. What we didn’t know was how cheap they were.

            It was all new to us. Infosys gradually got in on the H1B staffing game, but certainly was not the prime mover or initial lobbying force. That only came later as they became a major player. American tech companies were best positioned and motivated to initiate and push H1B as a labor cost reduction method.


          • Very few people know that HP was the first big firm to be criticized for abuse of H-1B.

            But again, this was not the main reason the big firms wanted H-1B. They wanted it to be able to hire the foreign students.


          • I meant that the use of H1Bs by some U.S. companies has forced U.S. companies, including IT services & staffing firms to also get into the H1B game to stay competitive. Since these Indian-owned IT services & staffing firms were not around when the H1B was created, then they’re the product of the H1B.

            These Indian-owned IT services & staffing firms are staffed by H1Bs and GC holders (former H1Bs) and supply U.S companies with H1Bs, and the increase of these Indian ITSSFs in the past 8-9 years and the decimation of American ITSSFs is also a product of the H1B.

            So, there are the ‘Intels’ and the ‘InfoSyses’ but there are also the American ITSSFs, who have gone out of business or have been outcompeted by the ‘InfoSyses’. Small to medium American ITSSFs have been decimated. There are far fewer of them now than in the 90s and early to mid 2000s. A couple of ‘survivors’ that come to mind are Insight Global and KForce. These two mostly have American recruiters. 90% or more of the ITSSFs that contact me are Indian-owned or mostly staffed by Indian recruiters. Large American ITSSFs (Big 5 Consutling) like Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft Consulting, HP Services, etc have survived, but have huge H1B staff.

            So basically, there are other players in this H1B game, the American ITSSFs. Small to medium – let’s call them the ‘KForces’ and large Big 5 firms, let’s call them the ‘Accentures’.


          • A couple other examples of large American ITSSFs on the staffing side are Robert Half and Manpower. Anecdotally, I don’t think they’re doing that well. Just judging from the number of job postings on job boards and number of times they contact me (RH does contact me a handful times a year) I think they’re struggling.


          • What you have to keep in mind here is that the “IT” market is very broad. It consists of project managers, business analysts, security specialists, etc., as well as programmers. Also, corporations have learned that they need some American tech people with good specialized tech and communications skills to provide continuity. Infosys et al. Can’t provide this. So the small American ITSSF rent-a-programmer businesses have failed, but the Robert Halfs have adapted and have done well.
            Anecdotally, the Infosys type of ITSSF frequently plays games. They lowball rates, $30/hr for a BA in San Francisco when I know the going rate is better than twice that. Or they have several agencies involved, with BS and lack of coordination from all of them. Or they aren’t forthcoming about the job, or they want to shade resumes to indicate non-existent experience, or they don’t clarify that a rate is 1099 and not w2. To be fair, this is more the ITSSFs run by Indians in the US than Infosys types. But they all end up looking shady. I wouldn’t do anything but w2 with them, and then only if other conditions were met.

            But I think the Robert Halfs are doing just fine.


          • Rob,

            There actually are quite a number of H1Bs with good specialized tech and communications skills and have risen in position. Some examples are Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. There are many more in middle to low level positions in many US companies.

            All Indian ITSSFs play games, a lot because they deal with mostly H1B workers who are servient and ignorant. Even American IT workers are ignorant to the internal goings-on of the IT staffing industry.

            I just checked and Robert Half’s stock price has done quite well over the past 10 yrs, so they have adapted and have done well. What I’d like to know is the percentage of their revenues from H1B positions filled by them. Anecdotally, I don’t see them have many IT job postings in my city or that they contact me about, hence my comment.

            As I mentioned in my other post below, it’s the small American ITSSFs, including independent consultants that have suffered from small to medium Indian ITSSFs entering & saturating the SMB market with their cheap offerings. I was recently talking to a small home & garden renovation company (I’m guessing less than $5mil annual revenues) and the president said that this Indian guy from a small ITSSF cold-called him about IT solutions & software. This market was not served by large ITSSFs which allowed small to medium American ITSSFs to survive as our bread & butter. But now, small to medium Indian ITSSFs have aggresively entered this market.


          • @TechPro,

            >> Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. There are many more in middle to low level positions in many US companies

            These are the examples/poster children of the likes of fwd. Another classic kool aid flavor is (“H-1s create jobs”) – H-1s dont. Permanent residents/naturalized do. (loooong way of interpreting their flavor could be H-1’s after they become GC holders/citizens *could* create jobs)

            I really doubt if they were not here, we would not have found any american to do those jobs.(agreed these CEOs are american now, but they don’t think they were ACM Phd Dissertation award recipients) to atleast qualify for EB2 or EB1 (Them being from a top rated institution in their country does not and should not matter). In fact, google,com tells me that Nadella is from a “low/no-rank school” from his country.

            My point is, bring in Einsteins (really Einsteins/Newtons and no less). For everyone else, put a placard ‘house is full’.


          • Despicable Congress,

            >> These are the examples/poster children of the likes of fwd.
            >> I really doubt if they were not here, we would not have found any american to do those jobs.

            True. I’m just saying that it’s not realistic to say that they’re all incompetent. Nadella probably came here in the early 90s, did solid work, worked his way up the ladder and gained the trust of Ballmer. That said, I absolutely certainly do believe that we can find many Americans who would be as qualified or even better for these positions/jobs. I would be qualified for a lot of jobs at Microsoft – but due to the availability of these low wage H1Bs, L1s & F1 OPTs, age discrimination and nepotism, they’re not contacting me for these jobs. I’d like to get in Ballmer’s mind and find out why he chose Nadella over a native American.

            The fact that people who once were H1Bs have now gained citizenship or GC status and are now in C-level or executive positions in ITSSFs and big tech companies is troubling to me. They are going to be biased towards bringing in more foreign workers (H1Bs, L1, F1 OPT, etc) or offshoring the work. I have mentioned this in previous comments of mine. I see a lot of ITSSFs whose C-level / executive team is all or mostly Indian. Here are two examples:


            With former H1Bs at the top of Google & Microsoft, this might happen soon that Apple, Facebook or Intel. It’s a foreign invasion of our tech industry.

            >> My point is, bring in Einsteins (really Einsteins/Newtons and no less).

            This is certainly a big part of the argument: how to determine who the ‘best & brightest’ are. I strongly oppose ‘staple a green card’ or giving visas/work permits (like OPT) to newly minted Master’s or PhDs. These advanced degrees are not measures (and for that matter, neither are GPA nor IQ) of a person’s talent or ability to accomplish something significant or innovative. Especially with a lot of dubious ‘schools’ and even shady or corrupt practices of accredited schools whose advanced degree programs have been taken over by foreigners or highly influenced by money from foreign entities. A. I know people who have either a Master’s, PhD, high GPA, high IQ who are just average workers or average people. The F1 OPT program should be axed.

            I say send these people back to their home country and let them prove whatever talent they have by actually accomplishing something significant in their field of study or industry. Einstein was already well accomplished in his home country before he came here.

            For a ‘talented’ or ‘best & brightest’ foreigner to be considered for a green card or visa, they should be in these situations:
            1) created/founded/started a company that has already gained traction in the market and US investors are going to invest in it and moving it here would create US jobs. Examples like Stripe, StumbleUpon, etc
            2) created a technology that has significant impact on an industry (encryption, ecommerce, etc) and is a result has created US jobs. Examples like Bitcoin, Bluetooth, etc
            3) A US company is buying their startup company and moving here to the US, thereby creating US jobs
            4) Be hired as an expert (internationally recognized by his/her industry peers around the world for at least 5 yrs after having received advanced degree) to be a critical part of a project that is creating US jobs. The hiring company needs to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that no other American is qualified for the role.
            5) PhD research that results in technology that is bought by US company to create US jobs

            People who fit any of the above situations are probably all getting visas or GCs, so there is no need for ‘staple’.

            Unique intellectuals (not creators or inventors of physical things) like Einstein should be covered by the EB-1 visa.

            Gov’t money that goes to research funding should require that only American students be hired as research assistants on all projects receiving gov’t (read: taxpayers) money.


  11. Sorry, Norm…got to this late but I must disagree with you. You are very focused on the Intel issue, which is not at all helpful for those of us involved in Infosys-type issues. Actually my replacements are Cognizant or TCS… People like me matter, IMHO.

    My concerns..just like the article…I had to fully train my replacement. He had NO skills at all for the job other than that he was fast on a keyboard. I was expected to do my job and meet my goals and also be a “team worker” with him my equal, responsible that both of us get our work done. I had to work 60-80 hour weeks to do my work while almost DICTATING to him sometimes.

    Of course my ability to do my own workload suffered….but I did win; they “fired me” on a pure technicality (because I was complaining and they feared I might sue) and of course I got a no complaint requirement. This was NOT to save money for his salary…it was because they wanted onshore and offshore resources to be able to speak Hindi, given that many of the offshore resources spoke extremely poor English and the telecom connections were terrible. I just “didn’t fit the team culture”. I don’t understand why you seem unable to support the idea that this kind of thing is by itself an injustice…whether the Intels are involved or not.


    • Sad to say, many people are NEVER going to understand my point on the Intels-vs.-Infosyses issue. All I can do is ask you to re-read what I’ve said about it.


    • >> “This was NOT to save money for his salary…it was because they wanted onshore and offshore resources to be able to speak Hindi, given that many of the offshore resources spoke extremely poor English…”

      True. In a good number of cases from my own experience and from what fellow IT workers have told me, Indians who have gained positions as hiring managers or in executive levels, will tend to hire their own (or offshore the job) – for culture or language compatibility or simply just nepotism. I do want to point out that Indians are discriminatory & racist towards each other. This is due to their caste system where even a last name (surname) will signify which caste level one belongs to.

      But to summarize Dr. Matloff’s points and the IT industry landscape in general in the context of the H1B program:

      Infosyses (large Indian ITSSFs, mostly IT services, consulting & solutions work on big projects)
      = bad; guilty of abusing the H1B program in many ways and decimating both American IT workers and small tech companies (ITSSFs)

      Aditi Staffing, Maven Workforce, Mumbatech, Suna Solutions (small to medium Indian ITSSFs, functioning both as consulting/solution providers as well as staffing feeders or candidate sourcing to the large Indian ITSSFs)
      = also bad; saturated the market and have eaten the lunch of American small to medium ITSSFs; very aggressive & shady sales practices; may actually have a larger H1B footprint in the US than the large Indian ITSSFs – any IT job anywhere in the US (I had an Indian small ITSSF based in Iowa contact me) that opens up (a job requisition) will most probably be snapped up by one of these companies; in total, a worse offender than the Infosyses but under the radar

      Intels, Facebook, Google (blue chip Silicon Valley tech companies)
      = also bad; at the forefront of pushing for the H1B with their powerful lobby and pretension of a ‘tech talent shortage’

      Accenture, Cognizant, HP Consulting (large American ITSSFs, mostly IT services, consulting & solutions work on big projects)
      = also bad; same boat as the Intels; employ a lot of H1Bs (in the tens of thousands); guilty of facilitating a lot of H1B transfers

      Robert Half & Manpower (large American ITSSFs, mostly staffing)
      = caught in the middle & forced to play in the H1B game b/c by law they have to consider anyone with H1B visa who applies to job; guilty of facilitating a lot of H1B transfers; they have survived but I’m not sure whether they are thriving or just surviving; would be good to see how much of their revenues over the past 15 years (annual %) is from H1B placements

      Apex Systems, KForce, Insight Global (medium size American ITSSFs, only staffing)
      = victims of H1B program, mainly due to increased competition from the small to medium Indian ITSSFs and their shady staffing/candidate sourcing methods

      Independent American consultants/freelancers (one person or small American ITSSFs)
      = victims of H1B program especially with the rise of small to medium Indian ITSSFs

      American IT workers/employees
      = victims of H1B program

      In close to 20 years of my career in IT, I have done work as both an IT worker/employee of American companies as well as an independent consultant/freelancer. As an IT worker/employee, I was not laid off due to the use of the H1B but my wages were low/lowered and I deal with age discrimination. As a consultant/freelancer, most of the clients I’ve had have been companies with revenues less than $10mil – small American businesses not served by large ITSSFs. I used to do well in this market space. But in the last 10 years or so, small to medium Indian ITSSFs have aggressively entered this market with their low prices and shady practices.


  12. Hi,
    I am trying to write a thesis paper on the subject of H1b and I would really appreciate an answer to this question. If age really is the important factor here, and these companies are choosing cheaper and younger foreign workers over older American ones, why aren’t they just replacing the older American workers with younger American stem workers? My professor suggested that younger American workers who majored in stem had better oppurtunities like finance and banking and were being hired away from programming and engingeering, which explains why the stem workforce is increasingly foriegn. Finally, I have read a number of articles from economics journals that claim that they show statistically that patent rate, wages, and other good things are increased in cities and firms that hire h1b vias? What can I make of these results? Any help you can provide would be great!


    • In my experience, very, very few computer science majors end up in finance and banking. It is common for physics majors to enter that field, though, because there are so few jobs in physics, relative to the number of physicists. And in turn, that shortage of jobs is due to the presence of so many H-1Bs.

      The industry does indeed hire young Americans instead of older Americans. But the young foreign workers are even cheaper than the young Americans, and they are less mobile than the Americans, a huge benefit.

      All or almost all of those papers comparing cities have been written by Giovanni Peri, who is funded in part by the tech industry and its allies. If you wish to know more, plug “Peri” into the search box in this blog. You will find a number of problems with his work, including the inconsistency of his recent work with his earlier work. If you wish to discuss this in detail, please contact me.


    • As Norm says, most of the papers comparing cities have been written by Giovanni Peri. I’ve posted an analysis of one of his recent studies at http://econdataus.com/jole_pss.htm and of a Wall Street Journal article based on one of his studies at http://econdataus.com/wsjstem.htm . As you can see, they both have serious problems. I would propose that most of the economic articles are on the pro-H1B side of the debate because most of the money funding studies is on that side. In any event, you need to be very careful about putting much stock in any study that hasn’t been peer-reviewed and received somewhat favorable comments from professionals on both sides of the debate. Also, you should be very leery of any study that doesn’t provide sources that are specific enough that you can reproduce the results or, at least, verify the source data. I always make a point of providing those sources.

      Speaking of sourced data, I have posted a large amount of sourced data regarding H-1B visas at http://econdataus.com/h1binfo.htm . In most or all cases, the sources are government sources which are generally much more reliable than private studies largely funded by special interests. At the bottom of the page are links to the studies I mentioned above and other related information. If you have any questions or comments, let me know.


  13. The problem with offshoring and non-immigrant visas is not race (directly). The problem is that countries like India and China are not really our friends. They are business competitors. It just happens to be about race because each of those countries have a racial makeup that is quite biased. What it comes down to is security for the US. Using cheap labor is dangerous. We have put too much information into the hands of these other countries. That is the real danger to the United States.
    Look at companies like Brassring. Who owns it… Kenexa. Do you really think you will get a job applying through there as a US citizen?


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