Not the Usual Article — But the Usual Story

I have long sought to explain to those interested in the H-1B issue that the common viewpoint,”Intels good, Infosyses bad” is (a) unwarranted, as the Intels abuse the system just as much as the Infosyses, and (b) dangerous, as it will lead to legislation that does NOT increase job opportunities for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Again, by “Infosyses” I mean firms that “rent” H-1Bs to U.S. firms, while the “Intels” are companies that hire H-1Bs directly, typically as foreign students at U.S. universities.

The “Intels good, Infosyses bad” (IGIB) viewpoint, heavily promoted by the tech industry lobbyists and their allies such as the New York Times but naively adopted by many well-meaning analysts, badly misses the point in one aspect in particular: IGIB dwells on the fact that there have been many cases (only a few of which have been publicized) in which a company fires its Americans and REPLACES them by Infosyses-supplied H-1Bs. The key word is replace; let’s call that disease Infosysitis. The problem is that the Intels inflict an equally serious disease, Intelitis, by hiring H-1Bs INSTEAD OF Americans. Both diseases are of great concern, and even if Infosysitis were eradicated, Intelitis would take its place.

Thus today’s article by Neil Munro of Breitbart is huge, one of the few that tells the real story about Intelitis. Here Caterpillar is an Intel, in the sense that it is directly hiring H-1Bs. And it is not REPLACING Americans, at least not overtly. It appears to be hiring H-1Bs INSTEAD OF Americans.

In addition, the article’s speculation that these H-1Bs are largely, likely exclusively, foreign students is almost certainly accurate, based on my experience. One way to see that is, as researchers and advocates on both sides of the foreign tech worker issue agree, an aspect that sharply distinguishes the Intels from the Infosyses is that the former sponsor their H-1Bs for green cards. As I have explained before, I am NOT saying the Intels are less abusive because of that; on the contrary, they use the lengthy green card process to trap their foreign workers, an abuse of the foreign workers as well as a reason why the employers shun hiring Americans in favor of hiring the foreigners. Instead, my point is that Caterpillar does offer green card sponsorship (see table in the article), hence their “Intels” status. Indeed, Caterpillar’s motivation may well be that H-1Bs solve a “How do you keep them down in Mossville” problem (indirectly a money-saving issue, as it would have to pay Americans much more to stay).

H-1B is a highly complex issue. But if you take anything away from this posting, it is this: Hiring H-1Bs INSTEAD OF Americans is just as harmful as hiring H-1Bs to REPLACE Americans. Beware of any news article, research report or politician’s statement that dwells on the word replace. Don’t be fooled into barking up the wrong tree, as I have shown before with the example of Virgil Birschwale.


12 thoughts on “Not the Usual Article — But the Usual Story

  1. Interesting to see what appears to be an objective article on Breitbart. One interesting point made in the article is that H-1Bs are moving out of the software technical area into a broad range of other professional jobs.As a former SWE now working as a business analyst I can see some of this first hand. BA rates are being pushed down in the SF-Bay area. This appears to be in part due to current and former H-1Bs moving into the BA area and taking lower wages. It also seems to be due to so many more Indians and Indian companies working as employment agencies. They frequently don’t have a relationship with the end-client, but go through a third party like Tata. Because there is a third party involved, this appears to cut the rate to the worker at the end of the food chain. So H-1Bs directly affect jobs available to Americans. But by getting green cards and becoming permanent residents and citizens they perpetuate and expand the impact on job availability by going into jobs beyond tech (obviously because they’re being replaced by H-1Bs). And finally they impact wage levels by flooding the market for labor and being willing to take lower wages and undercut the market. The article’s point that H-1Bs are spreading beyond Silicon Valley and tech, and the quote on Miano’s comment that American professionals had better wake up, were both telling points.


    • What you say about BA and the Indian recruiters jibes with what I’ve heard from others. John Miano is right, but most techies are not going to wake up anytime soon.


      • Folks, one thing I disagree with you on is this.
        It is NOT just tech jobs.

        Each of these maps is broken down by occupational code and by that I mean lawyers, teachers, cooks, mechanics, etc.

        You really need to spend 5 minutes looking at each of these maps to see where it is happening, because it is getting worse

        One thing I will be adding to the maps soon as I can figure it out and have time to work on it is a link to the zip code that shows up when you click on the marker.

        Government agencies are using our tax revenue to outsource and the outsourcers that they are hiring are the infosytis group.

        I want to use the “nearby” function to list all government agencies so that working with the people in that zip code we can narrow down and identify which government agencies are using American Tax Revenue to Displace Americans in America and then I am going to shine a very bright spotlight on the individual in charge of that agency.

        To get an idea what it would look like, enter 94085 or your own zip code in google maps and then click on the nearby and enter government.

        It takes deep pockets to hire large contracting firms and the deepest pockets are the ones using the tax revenue that we paid in to support our country and our people.

        The only way we are going to wake up America is when we make it known that it is happening to all jobs at all levels and that happens by hitting them with what they read and what they listen to and what they watch.

        Because Mr. Matloff is right on the Intelitis as well, we are seeing more and more of the catepillars/disneys/crapweasels growing braver and more arrogant.

        We must expose these buyers of hunting licenses for the hunters or predators that they are which is why I am doing everything I can to expose the most recent years data and why I want to add every years data as the funds become available so that I can hire the resources that are needed.

        I have many, many more things in the works like the maps, etc. bud sadly I am now once more unemployable and unless I can raise about 5,000 asap, I am without a home or a place to work out of which leaves me in a situation where it is hard to focus on the programming so at the current moment unless a miracle surfaces, my work might be dead in the water for now.

        On another note, thank you Neil Munro for mentioning our work.

        We are actively working as fast as we can to give you and folks like you a better source of American MADE data than the myvisas data you are forced to use to make your point.


  2. > Here Caterpillar is an Intel, in the sense that it is directly hiring H-1Bs. And it is not REPLACING Americans, at least not overtly. It appears to be hiring H-1Bs INSTEAD OF Americans.

    Yes, Caterpillar appears to have done what many of the “Intels” do. Over several years, they hired a large number of H-1B workers to work with their native workers. Then one day, they “suddenly discovered” that they had more workers than they needed and did a large layoff of native workers. The article mentions that “[a]t least 30 of the requested H-1B visas are for engineers and other skilled professionals in Mossville, which is suffering the most layoffs”. Entering CERTIFIED, CATERPILLAR, and MOSSVILLE into the first three search boxes at does show that 34 H-1B workers were certified for Mossville in 2016. However, doing the same thing at shows that 88 H-1B workers were certified for Mossville in 2015. Also, checking the PW_WAGE_LEVEL box shows that, of those 88 workers, 28, 58, and 2 were for wage level I, II, and III, respectively. Hence, they were almost all of the lower 2 of 4 skill levels. One interesting question that I’ve never gotten an answer to is why wage levels were dropped from the 2016 data. I have to wonder if this was because it was getting embarrassing for outsiders to see how many of “the best and the brightest” H-1B workers were judged to be in the lower 2 skill levels when it came to determining their wages.


  3. There is often a 2-step process to this scam. First, replace Americans with outsource “Infosys” people on contract. Then cherry-pick the Infosys people and hire them as permanent workers. This way the Board of Directors will see the “outsource” part, and rubber-stamp the intermediate step as “business process reorganization”. It’s a form of national-origin discrimination (against American origin) but it’s camouflaged to look like a business decision based on outsourcing.


    • I’ve been trying to figure out how to write an article on this.

      What I see happening is plausible deniability or whatever that word is.

      In other words, we outsource.
      The outsourced company hires their own staff.
      We have NO control over that.

      What, your medical data was compromised by our actions?
      We have NO control over that.

      Case in Point, the Department of Veterans Affairs who REFUSES to hire this Navy Vet in Software.


      You are subscribed to Oversight Reports for Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG). This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

      Review of Alleged Contractor Information Security Violations in the Alaska VA Healthcare System<
      09/06/2016 08:00 PM EDT
      In December 2014, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline received an allegation that ProCare Home Medical, Inc. (ProCare) was improperly storing and sharing VA sensitive data on contractor personal devices in violation of Federal information security standards. More specifically, the complainant alleged that ProCare was allowing its employees to use personal computers and phones to access the company computer system and download VA sensitive data, including veterans’ personal health information. We substantiated the allegation that ProCare employees, according to its staff, accessed electronic sensitive veteran data with their personal computers from home through an unauthorized cloud-based system without encryption controls. We also noted that ProCare employees or malicious users could potentially use personal devices on an unauthorized wireless network to access sensitive veteran information. In addition, we determined that ProCare was storing sensitive hard copy and electronic veteran information in an unsecured manner at their facility. We further noted that ProCare could not provide evidence that applicable ProCare personnel had completed VA required security awareness training or signed the Contractor Rules of Behavior, prior to receiving access to VA sensitive data. These security deficiencies occurred because VA did not provide effective oversight of ProCare personnel to ensure the appropriate protection of veteran information at the contractor facility. As a result, veteran sensitive information was vulnerable to loss, theft, and misuse, including identity theft or fraud. We found no evidence that veteran sensitive information was compromised. We recommended the VA Northwest Health Network management assign a local Contracting Officer’s Representative and Information Security Officer to provide oversight of Alaska VA Healthcare System contractors. We also recommended the VA Northwest Health Network management, in conjunction with the Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, conduct a site assessment of ProCare information security controls to ensure compliance with VA information security requirements. The Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and the VA Northwest Health Network Acting Director concurred with our findings and recommendations and provided an appropriate corrective action plan. We will follow up on the implementation of the corrective actions.


  4. Some of my experience validates how companies are hiring mentioned in the blog. Just a few observations, out of my work in high tech lo so many years. The larger companies like Intel very rarely hire entry level new college graduates anymore. These positions are being filled with H-1bs who are relative new college hires themselves with not much overall experience otherwise. And to be quite frank, with educational back grounds inferior to graduates of say the larger state schools such as those in the Big Ten or Pac 12.

    On the issue of new hires, I was talking with somebody from Intel who noticed the relative lack of entry level positions. We came to the conclusion that there was really no career path for new college hires with larger high tech companies. So what was happening was that younger American tech workers in whatever field were the ones fueling startups as that was one of the few options they had. (Back in the day, the startups I knew about were first populated with very smart cream-of-the-crop experienced engineers.)

    One other trend I have seen is the fate of successful smaller companies purchased by larger high tech companies. Almost from day one, any new openings are opened overseas, or filled with new H-1bs or H-1bs who are transferred from other other groups within the company. I saw this happen with a purchased French company where after two years, the majority of engineers and support were not in France, but in India or with lower cost engineers in America who were usually H-1bs. One of the reasons preventing a near complete technology transfer was that too many internal technical documents were still in French. But I have also seen this template done with bought out American companies.


  5. […] The other day Computerworld reported that UCSF, the health sciences campus of the UC system, is replacing many of its IT workers with H-1Bs. Now Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the Queen H-1Bee of Congress, tells the magazine she is shocked that UC would do such a dastardly deed. As I said here recently about Caterpillar’s hiring of H-1Bs, […]


  6. Norm, what happens to H1Bs in the future when their pay is higher and they are not so intimidated by the employer. What happens after they become citizens? At some point, are they too high-priced and less helpless? Do they get replaced by newer H1Bs?


    • Yes, that has always been the pattern. The minute they get their green cards, they are less attractive to many employers. That’s why the various lawsuits based on national origin discrimination are way off base.


      • This is why I always kick in the ????’s and ask of them, what will you do for these illegal immigrants and non-immigrant guest workers when they become citizens?

        Will you do to them as you do the Displaced Americans that came before them?

        Will you ignore them?

        If so, why are these illegal immigrants and non-immigrant guest workers supporting you?


        • >>> and non-immigrant guest workers supporting you?

          ‘guest’ workers or workers with immigrant petitions approved or those in backlogs *never* supported or any of it’s various avatars. if a reader on this blog can be made to believe that guest workers support, i’d say has been able to succesfull in selling their kool aid.

          on one end of the trench is the voice of the ‘american worker’, the other end has the voice of ‘indentured worker’. some folks may be offended that i used both ‘workers’ in the same sentence, but that’s the hard-cold fact. the ‘kumars’ of the world are completely made up/ fictional characters by the likes of the non-immigrant/non-immigrant-with-dual-intent/non-immigrant-with-approved-immigrant-petition/fully-assimilated-yet-stuck-in-backlog folks are as much against the likes of, i gather.

          both categories of ‘workers’ are trampled by the attorney-employer-chamber cartel and congress is abetting that, no less.

          As I have said several times in the past here, asking the indentured workforce to ‘go back and help their country prosper’ will not help since those folks would be replaced by a different breed from the same populous country(ies).

          And *only* congress can help fix it by way of

          1) Total ban on guest (or any) workers – Sadly, there is no active proposal/bill is out there that does this (including the likes of Sessions do not have a proposal on total ‘ban’). All they talk of is ‘fixing’ wage levels etc. Not a complete ban.

          2) Fixing the current system (aka reform) – This is becoming a political game between Ds and Rs. One proposes and the other disposes.

          3) Status quo – Cartel wins !!! all while the cartel actively pitches everyone against everyone else. (borjas v perry, cis vs, Ds vs Rs) – Workers lose!


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