Political Reality 101

Usually I receive countless proposals from people to demonstrate why the H-1B work visa, OPT and so on are bad things. In the last couple of weeks, the number of such contacts has become even larger. The arguments are, for instance, that he workers’ quality is low, their cheap labor reduces tax revenues, the OPTs are not subject to payroll tax so they have an advantage over Americans in seeking work, often the H-1B program is used to facilitate offshoring, a number of immigrants convicted of industrial espionage for a foreign nation (typically China) are former H-1Bs, the privacy of our medical records is in jeopardy and so on.  ALL TRUE — but useless politically.

Congress doesn’t listen to reason. They respond to pressure. So all those people making these good arguments as above, they must become ACTIVIST if they want anything to change, Trump or no Trump. Most people I hear from have never even contacted their congressperson and senators, much less engage in serious, unrelenting activism.

Isn’t this obvious?

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28 thoughts on “Political Reality 101

  1. Even though I knew you felt that way, I am so glad to put this in writing.

    United We Stand,
    Divided We Fall.

    Folks, this is NOT just a stem thing.
    It is a war to take every americans job away from them so that they do not have to pay more than a few cents on the dollar for labor.

    There are over 2 billion people in China and India that desperately want your job.
    Our businesses are purchasing Hunting Licenses from the U.S. Government so that they can hunt your job.

    This is their shopping list.
    If you don’t understand what I’m trying to show here, contact me at vbiersch@gmail.com and I will explain it to you.

    If your occupational code is in the green, consider yourself in their cross hairs.

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  2. Lets see….
    Over the past twenty-five years:
    Alienated every friend we ever had that didn’t understand the H-1B program and global labor arbitrage and its effect on them…eventually.
    Alienated our own children…until they were out of school and in the work force for a few years….now they understand.
    Showed up at every town hall Our congressman and senators had and demanded answers…until they literally ran when they saw we were there.
    Spent months at a time on the phone with the same congressman and senators about the the visa program and its damage….until we were hoarse or worse discouraged.
    Gave up any chance of being at a large software company as an engineer because of Our constant and public criticism…and hence a safe comfortable career…oh well…we aren’t in it for our health anyway.
    Recorded a CD with a song “Lap of Luxury” that directly and publicly labeled us as …according to liberals and conservatives every name under the sun except a child of god….that went all the way across the country and got played on CNN….and by people that were getting crushed by the H-1B program.
    We all have played a part in this fight to end this national nightmare of lies and treason.
    It isn’t over and we know that the fight is “always just beginning”….somewhere…with someone realizing what is happening…finally.
    We like you continue to fight and fight hard.

    Thanks for all that you have done over the years.
    We appreciate it more than you will ever know.

    Merry Christmas
    Best Regards,
    Terry and Mickey Morgan
    Complex Numbers
    Seattle, Washington

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      • Hello Mr. Norman,
        You are doing a great job with your blog. Thank you taking the time so you can educate the rest of us on these issues.

        I was looking at the information posted by vbiersch in the above comment and that led me to OFLC : Organization of Foreign Labor Certification. And in there there are detailed numbers : hard numbers of H1-B’s processed, positions granted. It would be worth your while to look at the data there. For a sneak peek, almost 1 million H1-B positions are certified since 2012.

        here are the links:
        http://www.flcdatacenter.com/
        https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm

        OFLC Reports:
        https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/OFLC_Annual_Report_FY2015.pdf

        There is also a disclosure data tab with some really nice data. Quote from OFLC Disclosure data page: “This page allows the public to access the latest quarterly and annual disclosure data in easily accessible formats for the purpose of performing in-depth longitudinal research and analysis.”

        Maybe you could do your magic with the hard data and put it in a nice form for us simple users to visualize. If the numbers in that OFLC website are indeed true, you should be able to produce some very nice reports that might get the attention of the politicians to show them how bad the actual situation is. Maybe you are your friends at the EPI can produce a nice indepth report that can aid Senator Jeff Sessions. I would start with putting that OFLC data table in that annual report showing how much h1-b positions were certified.

        In case you already knew about this source of information, sorry for wasting your time.

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        • All of that can be found on my other site.

          http://h1bhuntinglicenses.com/Reports

          scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the government data.

          Click on the first four reports to view the data, and see it on a map

          Here is another link you might want to look at:

          http://h1bhuntinglicenses.com/Maps

          I hope to add more, just trying to find work to pay bills so I haven’t been able to focus on it in a few months.

          Virgil
          Keep America At Work
          H1B Hunting Licenses
          American Made Software

          Like

          • Nice website there vbiersch. I was looking at the Dept. of Homeland Security Report for 2015 and their numbers. One thing I have come across multiple articles in the CIS is that there is no reliable accurate data to determine the H1-B population. Ex: http://cis.org/estimating-h1b-population-2-11

            Although that article is Feb 2011, I am not sure if that data availability situation has changed now.
            Taking a look at the numbers in the 2015 DHS Report (http://h1bhuntinglicenses.com/documents/H-1B-FY-2015-Petitions.pdf), if you take into consideration all the H1-B’s issued under exempt catergories like non-profit, universities, etc, the total population of H1-B’s is going to be higher than the 650,000 non exempt population estimate we have now.

            Note to Norman: With all due to respect to universities using H1-B’s, I am sure some of them are really good people in their fields contributing to the university eco system, but do you think there is any “wage undercutting” going on in the cap exempt areas like universities, non profit, etc? If abuse is going on in the cap exempt areas, maybe you should add that point (reform cap exempt criteria to reduce abuse) suggestion in your Reforming H-1B article. (https://normsaysno.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/reforming-h-1b-and-related-visas-what-needs-to-be-done/)
            Like you often emphasize, like how the intels are as culpable as infosyses, I have a feeling the cap-exempt universities, non profits might as well be equally culpable and congress should close down that loophole if there is abuse going on in the cap exempt areas.

            Note to vbiersch: More like a question:
            Take a look at these pictures I made from the DHS report : http://imgur.com/a/DJIQe
            The no. of H1-B petitions approved from Oct 2013 – Sept 2015 alone is close to 1 million. If this is for just 3 years, then the total number of H1-B’s are going to be anywhere close to 1.5 million and maybe above that.

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          • People often say to me, “What about the universities?”, as if I defend the universities’ use of H-1B in academia. I certainly do not, and have written critically numerous times.

            There are two major ways in which universities use H-1B to save money. First, the influx of foreign students holds down graduate stipends, and second, the foreign PhDs that are thus produced then hold down post doc salaries. (And they contribute to a labor surplus, without which we would not even have many post docs in the first place.) In both cases, they are paid the same as Americans, but their sheer numbers hold the price down. But almost all of the foreign students come to the U.S. in the hope of eventually immigrating, and most of those go into industry. My point, then, is that if industry didn’t have the incentives to hire them in lieu of Americans, most simply wouldn’t come to the U.S. in the first place, thus solving much of the problem. So, while I certainly would be in favor of subjecting universities to the cap, I regard that as secondary.

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      • In other words, career suicide. Norm you are the only platform that I’ve found that comes at this problem without emotion (looking at you vbiersch) and with an abundance of rational, reasoned thought. Due to your position you can speak out. I think a lot of folks, myself included, want to go beyond calling or writing our congress person but can’t due to the ramifications of how easily being labeled a troublemaker xenophobe is.

        I think we need to come up with concrete steps and ideas that we can involve ourselves in that won’t jeopardize our livelihoods. Steps and ideas beyond becoming an “activist”. I think a lot of people are willing to enthusiastically rally around a voice that does want to speak for us.

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        • You will never understand the emotion until you have found every door closed to you.

          But I do understand.

          I guess I could dig a hole and choose the route that some have been forced to take, but I choose to do what i can with what I have, and sometimes that emotion is all I have.

          But there is more to it.

          These are real live human beings that are having their future destroyed.
          Many of them have families.

          Nobody is telling their stories except me, and as you say, most are scared to speak up.

          And sadly, that silence enables what is happening.

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          • for anonymous programmer, for some reason I couldn’t reply to your question.

            As far as I know, the people that report on visas have only released one official report showing visas issued and it was for 2009.

            I used to have it on my site, but lost it.

            I tried to find it just now, but was unable to.
            I believe Mr. Matloff might have a link to it.
            If not, you should be able to google it.

            One thing I must stress.
            These H-1B numbers are cumulative which is why I put together that spreadsheet.

            In other words, even though the H-1B is for 3 years, it can be extended for 3 years, AND IF they apply for a green card, it can be extended indefinitely.

            The only numbers I have found is the 27 million “Foreign Born” number

            https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf

            Virgil
            vbiersch@gmail.com
            THE Displaced American
            Basically just another unemployable navy veteran fighting to Keep America At Work

            Like

      • Not being a member of a protected class makes it a little more pragmatic for most us.
        The sand in the arena feels a lot hotter than it looks from an ivory tower.
        Come down and have a feel sometime.
        Btw. We have been doing those things you have mentioned for over 25 years and have no plans of stopping now.

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  3. It’s very hard to protest “immigration” without it being twisted to look like you are protesting “immigrants.” That’s the current political landscape. Even complaining about US unemployment means that “you don’t want poor people in other countries to have jobs”….sigh.

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    • you are NOT protesting immigration.

      These are NON-IMMIGRANT Guest workers that we are talking about.

      there were 10,891,745 Nonimmigrant visas issued in 2015.

      there were 531,463 immigrant visas issued in 2015

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      • @vbiersch

        >> there were 10,891,745 Nonimmigrant visas issued in 2015.

        Would you have numbers that splits down these non-immigrant visas into – I have been trying to find those numbers, but been unsuccessful so far:

        1) Dual-Intent (H-1/O-1 etc)
        2) True ‘non-immigrant’ intent (B,F, …Z)

        Secondly, out of these Dual-Intent, how many are unique (and from which country-of-birth/origin).

        Although I strongly feel that Indians take a lions share of the number above any which way we slice/dice it, yet wanted to know how many are actually counting towards a “repeat” visa (ie., Indians that are in a green card back log could get their H-1 visa every 3 years until they die); So would these numbers include or exclude such instances – Again, am aware that the law has 85000 H-1 per year + “X” number that are cap-exempt, so what % of the number above published by DoS actually accounts to the unique H-1s across board.

        The number you point out is the favorite number that the groups that has our back love to use, but want to see how accurate those numbers are in regards to what’s actually claimed as what those numbers constitute.

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      • vbiersch, thanks for making all this information available (here and on your website http://h1bhuntinglicenses.com/).

        I was wondering if you could me understand some of these numbers. E.g, there were 10,891,745 nonimmigrant visas issues in 2015. Were all these work-related visas? Subtracting the B1/B2 visas, still yields more than 9 million, which does not seem credible given that the U.S. created only 2.45 million jobs in 2015.

        Once again, I’m not questioning the validity, I’m just trying to understand what the numbers mean. And thanks for your hard work and your passion on behalf of American workers. (From what I’ve read, the government doesn’t keep really good numbers that would help us to get a handle on this issue.)

        On this web page, it states there were 1,185,686 H1-B positions certified in 2015. Were all those positions filled or does that just represent the number eligibile to be filled? Or does it mean something else?
        https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/H-1B_Selected_Statistics_FY2015_Q4.pdf

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  4. Did you say you want to relax EB1? Do you know how many so called intra company managers are getting greencards in last few years? USA never has shortage of managerial talent. And we allow these companies to allow to bring in supervisors at much below market wages and give them greencards in 6 months. All because as per paper, they worked in their overseas office for one year in managerial position. What is so great about that?

    Let investigation find out how many so called EB1C are given green-cards in last 5 years, and how many of them were paid less than market wages.

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  5. There are many organizations who are interested in the H-1B and other work visas. The problems are:

    1) Active IT/STEM workers are often concerned that active advocacy can have implications for employment, current or future.
    2) There are huge numbers of American IT/STEM workers who are “living in dreamland” – convinced that because they have “unique skills”, they are immune from the H-1B devastation. This has historically proven to be a foolish idea. These people need to clearly understand that NO job is safe.
    3) The STEM/IT ethos is the libertarian “I don’t need no steenking badges” approach. The IT/STEM world has not been interested in joining, convinced of their own abilities.
    4) The persons who have been devastated by the H-1Bs, and who have had to train their own replacements, etc, should be the most interested in actions, but they are the most vulnerable, as they are often without work.
    5) American students do not understand the issue. They have been given the koolaid that foreign students are an advantage. They do not understand that there is a big difference between what is good for the individual (no or low competition) and what is good for the country (low wage workers and plenty of them). Plus a straight appeal to national pride and national interest has been framed, today, as racism, xenophobia, and nativism, all of which are considered horribly regressive attitudes.

    So, the question is, how do we find the parties who are injured or will be injured in the future? How do we convince them that this is THE GOLDEN HOUR – it will NEVER be more important to raise our voices than right now, in the next 3 months?

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    • Best explanation I’ve ever seen.

      I thought in 2002 that as long as I was indispensable, I was safe.
      Never in my life did I believe that the corporate mentality is “If we can throw 100 bodies at the problem for dollar per hour, we can accomplish 100 times what one guy/gal costing us $100 per hours will cost”

      This discounting of our knowledge, wisdom, and experience is their Achilles heel.
      BUT, it is also the developers as they believe that they are irreplaceable just as all of us did until it happened to us and we couldn’t get back in.

      After having studied this since 2007 and experiencing it since 2003, I still believe the only way to combat what is happening is advertisements in the top 26 largest cities newspapers (full page ads showing which specific jobs are targeted in that city using the LCA aka H-1B Hunting License data)

      I am ready to hit the ground running to do that.
      1 million displaced americans putting up twenty dollars could make it a reality.
      So could one Peter Thiel, or even a Mark Cuban

      It is possible yet we don’t do it because we don’t believe it will happen to us, until it is too late and we can’t even afford 20 measly dollars

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  6. All good comments here. Some things people may not know:

    1. DHS does not verify the actual salary of the H1-Bs. Neither does DOL. Although the employers promise to pay a certain amount, this amount is never verified (99% of the time.) Part-time work is also allowed, so as long as the prevailing wage is stated (even hourly) in the initial filing, everything is fine. Basically, it’s just a “promise” to pay the prevailing wage. In rare circumstances, employees might complain if they are underpaid, but since they are essentially “slaves” to their visa holders, they don’t. That’s another reason H1-Bs are cheaper– they may spend a lot of time not actually working.

    2. DHS does not verify that the work offered is “real.” Again, it’s a promise, and as long as the paperwork “looks real,” it’s fine. With hundreds of thousands of workers to check– there is no way to enforce or verify what was stated on the petition. While big companies like Intel offer real work, thousand of smaller companies are offering “work” that goes unchecked, or they are hoping to send their workers to Intel.

    3. Although technically non-immigrants, H1-Bs, Ls and Os stay basically as long as they want, and they are allowed to begin filing permanent immigration paperwork immediately. (Dual intent.) They can just keep filing extensions. Usually the spouse is also a non-immigrant, and they can “trade off” each other’s status as long as necessary. (H1B to H4, L1 to L2, etc.) H-4s (the dependents of H1-Bs) are now allowed to work anywhere they want — they are given a 765 blanket work authorization The problem here is that the immigrant visa backlog is very long… ten years for India, I think.

    4. The big companies are hiring the bulk of all the H1-Bs — even if Cognizant files for the visa, the worker is going to Microsoft, Apple, Chase, etc. The big American companies will have to be forced/shamed into changing their ways.

    5. DHS makes a lot of money from the filing fees for H1-Bs–thousands on each filing. This money funds the rest of USCIS without using tax money so the agency is exempt from furloughs and govt shut-downs. No incentive there to tighten up the H1-B system and discourage filings.

    6. Many systemic issues involved. Tough problems. Shaming the companies (as Trump does) might be the way to go.

    Like

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