60 Minutes on H-1B, Sunday

Some activist critics of H-1B are quite excited that 60 Minutes will run a piece on H-1B this Sunday. But I will not bother to watch, as this preview shows that the 60 Minutes people are doing exactly what I urged them NOT to do: Portray the H-1B visa as basically sound and helpful to the nation, except for the Indian outsourcing firms and their U.S. clients. In other words, they are propagating what I call the Intels Good, Infosyses Bad myth.

A bit of background: 60 Minutes actually did an excellent show on H-1B back in 1993. Interestingly in light of the situation today, their target was HP, one of the Intels. But in 2003, they did a complete about-face, in a segment in which correspondent Leslie Stahl gave a gushing tribute to the IIT universities in India, the graduates of which often are hired by the Intels, an implicit endorsement of the Intels’ use of H-1B. Requests from readers for an opportunity to respond, just in a televised letter to the editor (a 60 Minutes feature at the time) were denied.

Well, last Fall, I was contacted by a 60 Minutes producer who wanted to do a piece on H-1B. He actually volunteered the opinion that the 2003 segment was deliberate propaganda, and he had really done his homework. He had read my work on the topic, and understood quite well my point about the Intels Good, Infosyses Bad myth, which he promised (I believe) to avoid.

But a couple of months later, he and another producer, presumably his boss, called me again. They were coming to the Bay Area to interview workers at UCSF who are slated to be replaced by H-1Bs and offshore workers. They wanted to film me, and we set up a time. But the next day they canceled our appointment, and of course now what we see is that they are going to propagate the Intels Good, Infosyses Bad myth after all.

Some people ask me, “Isn’t it worthwhile to at least clamp down on the Infosyses, even if the Intels aren’t touched or are even rewarded?” They believe I am unreasonably waiting for a perfect reform proposal. But I am not. I have just one simple criterion:  Would a given reform proposal increase the number of jobs open to American tech people?

If a proposed solution is not predicated on the fact that the Intels a widely culpable too — say a solution that punishes the Infosyses but expands the number of visas for the Intels, by increasing the H-1B cap and/or a Staple a Green Card system — then there is no forward progress at all. Disney, for instance, would either switch from HCL to IBM or would hire the young Staple people.

There are people who hate the Infosyses so much that they are blinded to this. Yes, absolutely, the Infosyses are no angels. But getting them out of the way would only shift the problem, NOT solve it.

 

 

 

 

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50 thoughts on “60 Minutes on H-1B, Sunday

  1. Question: Do the Intels like or hate the Infosyses? I think the Intels like the Infosyses. The company hiring the H-1B must, by law, provide the same level of benefits that it does to its non-H1-B workers. If UCSF where to hire H-1Bs directly then it would have to provide sick days, health insurance, vacation time, retirement, etc. By outsourcing the work to HCL, UCSF saves money because the Infosyses do not have good benefits. It is OK for UCSF to fire its workers and replace them with HCL workers; however, UCSF can not, by law, fire its workers and replace them with direct hire H-1B workers. So the Intels do like the Infosyses.

    Perhaps CBS/60 Minutes use an Infosys to outsource/offshore work and do not want to offend them. Also, the Intels, Infosyses, and the India IT lobby may have persuaded 60 Minutes to drop the issue.

    “But I will not bother to watch”. I will watch anyway;)

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  2. > If a proposed solution is not predicated on the fact that the Intels a widely culpable too — say a solution that punishes the Infosyses but expands the number of visas for the Intels, by increasing the H-1B cap and/or a Staple a Green Card system — then there is no forward progress at all.

    Yes, I’ve never understood the argument for “increasing the H-1B cap and/or a Staple a Green Card system” in connection with ending abuse of the H-1B system. I could understand the argument that the typical H-1B worker at Infosys is more likely to represent an abuse of the system than the typical H-1B worker at Google. The former may be more likely to put downward pressure on wages and to be doing a job for which many Americans are available. What would make sense would be to work to eliminate the most obvious sources of unfair competition by ending the immobility of H-1B workers, raising H-1B wages to what would be expected for truly unique talent, and requiring that employers still make payments to Social Security for OPT workers. Then we could see how much demand there was for these workers and decide what other changes, if any, are required.

    I didn’t really hear any of the Infosyses mentioned by name in the preview but it did look as though they focused on employees who had to train their replacements who presumably came from one of the Infosyses. On that count, I think that they should point out that this “training your replacement” model is only the most obvious system. Like many companies, my previous one opened a large programming center in India and much of our knowledge was transferred to those employees over time via “knowledge transfers” (yes, we used that euphemism too). For several years before being laid off, I remember thinking of the movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and imagine that there was a pod-person equivalent of myself being grown in the Indian programming center.

    One thing that I think might help that I have not heard mentioned is to require tech companies to publish the makeup of their workforces, divided up by job type. From my own experience, I suspect that the percentage of foreign tech workers at Silicon Valley companies is much higher than is suspected. At my last two interviews, for example, I was interviewed by 10 people, 9 of whom were from India (the other one was from China). This is, of course, somewhat anecdotal but it does match my other observations enough that I was not particularly surprised. Both companies were mid-sized companies that have an international presence but whose names are likely not known to people not in the industry. I suspect that these companies have a higher percentage of foreign workers than some of the better known companies. I have interviewed at one of those better known companies and just two of five interviewers were from India and at least one of the other three seemed to be an obvious native worker.

    Having the actual workforce percentages would give a better idea of possible problems. When 9 of 10 interviewers are of one group, you start running into a potential of there being some sort of bias taking place (just as you do if 9 or 10 of every CEO is a white male). Also, it would give workers a better idea of whether they want to pursue a job in another location. I get a number of unsolicited recruitment offers from other states. I’m not looking to move but, if I were desperate, having the workforce percentages in other locations would give me an idea of whether I wanted to move to a certain location. Having the numbers would give me an idea of whether a certain location (say Austin) is experiencing the same high and increasing levels of foreign workers as Silicon Valley and judge the chance that I would simply get laid off there in a short time.

    It is also possible that I encountered some ageism at my last interview where one of the questioners asked if I had worked at something before I went into programming. My resume just had my last 20 years of experience and the implication seemed to be that I looked to be past my mid-40s. In any case, it’s worth repeating what is said in the 60 Minutes preview that most foreign workers say that they are recruited with the explanation that they are being hired to fill jobs that cannot be filled by Americans. Hence, most native programmers see them as being exploited by the same flawed H-1B system.

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    • Sounds like you too buy into the Intels Good, Infosyses Bad argument. I don’t have time to reply to your lengthy post, but in short I will say that you are completely (and surprisingly) ignoring the age issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • > I don’t have time to reply to your lengthy post, but in short I will say that you are completely (and surprisingly) ignoring the age issue.

        I think that you missed in the last paragraph where I said “[i]t is also possible that I encountered some ageism at my last interview where one of the questioners asked if I had worked at something before I went into programming”. In fact, that prompted me to update my LinkedIn profile to show my entire work history and date of my degree. Ageism is very difficult to prove and I don’t wish to go through a 4-hour interview, just to be rejected due to my age. If the employer is going to engage in ageism, I’d prefer that they do it up front and save me the time.

        > Sounds like you too buy into the Intels Good, Infosyses Bad argument.

        All that I said was that “I could understand the argument that the typical H-1B worker at Infosys is more likely to represent an abuse of the system than the typical H-1B worker at Google”. Perhaps I could have been more clear that I’m simply saying “on average”. I did say that it would make sense to “work to eliminate the most obvious sources of unfair competition by ending the immobility of H-1B workers, raising H-1B wages to what would be expected for truly unique talent, and requiring that employers still make payments to Social Security for OPT workers.” I may not have made this clear but I agree that the law should not distinguish between the Intels and the Infosyses. Any rules limiting unfair competition should apply equally to ALL companies, not just so-called H-1B-dependent companies.

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        • There were two things that caught my eye.

          First, you said that the problems would be solved if the H-1Bs were given freedom to move freely about the market. This would NOT solve the problem of ageism; they would still be young.

          Second, concerning the comparison of Google and Infosys, you seem to be saying that the quality of the typical Google H-1B is higher than the typical Infosys H-1B. That is definitely true, but it does NOT mean that Google is any less guilty of abuse than Infosys. If Google would interview a foreign worker similar to you but not interview you — as is likely the case — then Google is just as culpable.

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          • > First, you said that the problems would be solved if the H-1Bs were given freedom to move freely about the market. This would NOT solve the problem of ageism; they would still be young.

            I didn’t mean to suggest that giving H-1Bs the freedom to move freely would solve ageism and/or the replacement of native workers by foreign workers. In fact, I’m not sure exactly what would solve those problems. It would seem that the place to start would be to address the more obvious examples of unfair competition. In fact, it did help me to go back and look at your original post. I agree that the main criterion of any reform should be “Would a given reform proposal increase the number of jobs open to American tech people?” (at least for those who have proven themselves qualified via a degree and/or years of work in the profession). It seems to be that one of the causes of ageism is the current glut of workers. Older workers can be tossed to the curb because younger workers are plentiful.

            I also agree that the solution should not be “predicated on the fact that the Intels a[re] widely culpable too”. In fact, it occurs to me that many of the myths of there being a huge shortage of STEM workers are being pushed most by the large tech companies such as Facebook’s FWDus (which is pushing the Forbes story in your “Fake News about Whiz Kids” post at https://twitter.com/FWD_us) or Microsoft (with the 1 million unfilled jobs claim at http://econdataus.com/claim400k.htm ).

            Still, I think it would be useful if companies were required to release numbers for the composition of their workforce by factors like age, gender, country of origin, and citizen status. That would give some hard numbers to figure out the true composition of the tech workforce and how it is changing.

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        • The underlying flaw in your inferences is that by looking at staff composition …
          The actual answer to the question is not eval of staff demographic composition but STEM unemployment. There is no legitimate reason for H1B if citizen STEM is available.

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    • You could try to calculate “workforce percentages”, including by age, by looking up people who are/have working/worked at a certain company via LinkedIn.

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      • > You could try to calculate “workforce percentages”, including by age, by looking up people who are/have working/worked at a certain company via LinkedIn.

        Good idea, especially if it could be automated. For overall stats, I have looked at Census data and posted the results at http://econdataus.com/stemcomp14.htm (by citizenship status), http://econdataus.com/h1bage.htm (by age), and http://econdataus.com/svbirthplace.htm (by birthplace). Some of the numbers do seem surprisingly high such as that about half of the software developers in Silicon Valley are non-citizens. Also, I wonder if some of the numbers may actually be higher since some groups may be motivated to underreport. In any event, having reporting by company might provide motivation for some companies to at least have enough diversity to avoid the appearance of bias. At the very least, it would give us a better view of what is really going on.

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      • It occurs to me that we would also do well to get good stats on what happens to tech workers (or other workers) when they are laid off. If most of them find other jobs in the industry, then one could argue that any harm is temporary and is a part of the creative destruction of capitalism. From my experience, however, I believe that a large majority are being booted from the industry, at least in the case of older workers. Careers and lives are being destroyed and yet we make no attempt on getting hard stats on the size of the problem.

        One way to get stats would be to make some attempt on following up on workers who are laid off. As long as they are on unemployment, they show up in the stats. As soon as their benefits run out, however, the government pretty much loses track of them. When my benefits ran out, I would have been more than willing to provide one or more updates to the government when and if I found another job in the tech industry, in another industry, or if I just gave up and retired. But we make no attempt to collect this data. At the very least, it might be instructive to keep track of how many workers were disappearing from the stats via having their unemployment benefits run out.

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        • That data would be buried in IRS tax returns, “profession”. And not at all likely they’d let the public at that info, since they’re “systems” are antique. May also be in census data, but I can’t specifically remember if they collect profession.

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    • Tech circumvents H1B dependent status via having the law use % of total workforce at a company. So Apple’s total workforce includes retail staff, for instance. Others circumvent it via using H1B contractors, so they aren’t technically employees.
      Age discrimination in tech varies by state/region. 30 is peak age in Silicon Valley, 35 to 40 or 45 elsewhere.
      The federal databases for H1B you can download and use are at: https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm in the tab, Disclosure Data.
      I haven’t found any on OPT.

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  3. A little article I wrote recently describing the pendulum swing in labor hiring practices

    We were the Road Warriors.

    We were called in when your existing staff couldn’t fix the problem.

    We were called in to take over for your existing staff when they were developing new systems and needed help maintaining the old systems.

    We demanded a premium wage and we were able to get it because we had the skills to deliver.

    We were willing to live out of the extended stay motels and willing to take on the project of the highest bidder at a moments notice.

    It was a good life in the 80’s, 90’s, and up until about 2000.

    So the corporations shifted their focus to hiring an immobile, compliant workforce who would not make waves for fear of being deported.

    Thus was the H-1B era born.

    For the most part, they were paid substantially less even though many had the same skills that we Road Warriors had.

    But many were willing to pay for a proxy expert or dubbing artist to help them get work because they didn’t have these skills.

    And their willingness to use caste to exclude Americans in America from working alongside of them became their downfall.

    For them it was a good life in the 00’s, 10’s and up into the 20’s.

    Thus we have seen the pendulum swing from the Road Warriors to the H-1B’s.

    And now we are seeing it swing once again to the green card holders who will be similar to the Road Warriors which will force the corporations once again to seek a new form of cheap, compliant labor who will be shackled to their jobs.

    When will we learn from our history and better yet, when will our government learn that it is up to them to balance the needs of capital and the rights of labor?

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  4. I agree with Norm. You can’t trust the media, Les lie Stahl”s last piece was pathetic. Washington DC (Congress/Presidents) care more for the corporations lining their pockets than the livelihoods of American citizens.

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  5. It doesn’t really surprise me that 60 Minutes would try to spin the H-1B issue as good for the US. People outside of the tech industry can’t be expected to understand the particulars of the industry, but they understand their costs of living. Perhaps the only solution is for US tech workers to compete directly with people from other countries by accepting lower wages and/or working more hours. I don’t think this is the healthiest solution, but it may be necessary.

    Another possibility is to break up the large tech companies in order to permit more competition. There are people who want to work, and are able to do so, but are unable to get jobs, and are also unable to get funding to create businesses that would provide competition.

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      • Have you seen this paper? Essentially, it says that although H-!B visas caused US computer scientists’ wages to be lower than they would have been without them, they were an overall net gain for the US IT economy. Because of papers like this, 60 Minutes can spin H-1B visas as good for the US to people who are concerned about increases in their cost of living.

        http://www.nber.org/papers/w23153?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntw

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        • I have seen it but not read it in detail. At some point I will, but not now. It looks both sloppy and biased on first glance.

          Now here is a thought experiment for you: Think of a profession in which there is a wide range of age, say accounting. Now think of a program to bring in lots of foreign accountants under age 35, and from now on, almost all accountants are forced out of the field before they reach 35. But the same amount of accounting work has to be done as before. So all of a sudden, the number of accounting jobs goes up, say by 50%. So, that program lowered wages in the field, but increased the number of jobs in the field. Wonderful program!

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    • “Perhaps the only solution is for US tech workers to compete directly with people from other countries by accepting lower wages and/or working more hours.” – I am a “Rocket Scientist” having an Aeronautical Engineering degree from a top University, as well as a Masters from an Ivy League school. I have 20+ years of experience working with ERP software, which requires someone with considerable knowledge to implement and maintain… and I make less today than when I started 20 years ago… and that’s just on an hourly basis and does not include inflation nor cost of living increases. So I am living proof of someone accepting lower wages to compete.

      Besides competing with foreign nationals, nearly every call and email I receive from a recruiter is from a foreign national. Just this past week, a foreign national recruiter asked me to work 1,000 miles from my home as a Project Manager of a very large project at a rate, which did not include pay for travel expenses, that was less than what I made 20 years ago when I only had 6 months experience.

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    • > but they understand their costs of living

      If as Prof. Matloff queried, “that H-1B is bringing us cheaper products,” I also disagree.

      While the 60 Minutes story was running, my wife attempted to place an online order through the retailer Belk. After spending about, coincidentally, 60 minutes researching items for purchase and filling her cart, she proceeded to checkout. Every time she attempted to enter a credit card number, the client-side equivalent of a Luhn check would fail (I determined this after her third attempt). I offhandedly said to my wife, “this site was probably built by H-1Bs.” Lo and behold, h1bdata.info shows Belk has (as of Q32016) 101 H-1Bs, overwhelmingly in their IT department.

      Blowing the order processing step in e-commerce is huge. Blowing client-side validation is just inexcusable. How much did Belk’s margins go down due to this outage (which is unlikely a unique event) because some executive thought it would save money to “fundamentally transform” their IT department? Is it, as Prof. Matloff often says, just the cost of doing business?

      It’s ironic that it occurred on the same evening as the 60 Minutes story. Maybe Belk’s H-1B IT staff was too busy watching CBS rather than responding to outage notifications…

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      • Many companies don’t survive it, like Nortel Networks. When the CEO was making $55M a year, they’d no skin in the game. Others have no competition coming up on them.

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      • Don’t get me wrong. I generally agree with Prof. Matloff’s opinions about the H-1B visa. However, I am trying to look at this issue pragmatically.

        I could be wrong, but it seems to me that most people don’t know (and don’t care) about who is doing the work if they aren’t paying more for it than they think they should. Furthermore, most people don’t realize many of the particulars of the tech industry. So they are less likely to go out of their way to support members of Congress to introduce bills that do more than just reduce the amount of abuse and fraud that the “Infosyses” engage in.

        On the other hand, if one of the “Intels” was to do something involving H-1B workers that impacted a wide cross-section of US society, something on the order of Wells Fargo’s cross-selling practices, that might raise awareness of the situation enough that enough members of Congress would vote for bills that reduce the amount of abuse and fraud that the “Intels” engage in as well.

        My impression is that at present, the situation doesn’t exist for a member of Congress to be able to call out the practices of a tech CEO to bring about sufficient reform to the H-1B visa program. (Perhaps the problems Uber is having could escalate into that type of situation.) So what can be done in the meantime? I am not trying to suggest that pay cuts are fair to everyone, but what if that is the only alternative to unemployment?

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        • I have been a guest on my radio talk shows, and always the overwhelming majority of callers support me. So the problem is not getting them to empathize. Instead, the problem is that the American techies are just not willing to become activist. Compounding the problem, many of those who do become activist don’t take the trouble to fully inform themselves; these are the people who naively and tragically were thrilled by the 60 Mins show.

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          • > Instead, the problem is that the American techies are just not willing to become activist.

            What do you think are the best ways in which American techies can become activist? I know some people who put a great deal of effort into this issue to seem to achieve little response, much less success. It would help to know what you and some other experts in the field think is the best way to engage in activism on this issue.

            > Compounding the problem, many of those who do become activist don’t take the trouble to fully inform themselves; these are the people who naively and tragically were thrilled by the 60 Mins show.

            I’ve been following this issue for quite a while and still find that I have trouble keeping track of all of the moving parts. I suspect that many others have the same problem. Do you know of some sources that summarize the current issues? If so, can you provide a link to them?

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          • I have an overview, http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b10min.html but frankly, don’t want to spend time expanding it. I have to be realistic. I’ve been talking about the age issue, the Intels vs. Infosyses issue and so on for years, and even many people on my side of the issue don’t get it. If you ask them how companies like Disney/HCL are able to legally underpay their H-1B workers, many people on my side will say it’s because of the loophole referred to by Morrison. They are WRONG.

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          • It is true that many US techies are unwilling to become activists. Companies are the driver of outsourcing/offshoring and many do not want to get “blackballed” and never hired in their profession again.

            I read a couple of articles on immigration by an CNN reporter that were pro-immigration but did not tell the opposite side of the story… from a displaced US worker… so I contacted her through email and twitter and she replied that she wants to tell that side, but has been unable to get anyone that will speak on record.

            I have become more of an activist – reading everything I can, Matloff, Hira, Salzman, Miano – but when “the rubber hits the road”, since I am currently unemployed I too am unwilling to speak-out publicly due to potential employers hearing or reading something I have posted that might sound controversial or inflammatory. I write my congressman and have gone to his local office to complain, I will argue with pro-guest worker supporters on Quora, but often delete my posts on other social media.

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  6. Hi Norm!
    I love your writing and really enjoy reading your blog, but you made a change a few days ago that causes your RSS feed to update every time a comment is added to an existing post.
    My home page runneth over.
    Please make it stop.
    My only other option is to delete your feed and visit your site manually.

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  7. Just saw the 60 minutes piece, they clearly plastered logos for Facebook, Google, Apple and surprisingly even themselves (CBS). I don’t see how the piece portrays H1B as good for the country at all, or how it propels the myth of Infosys Bad/Intel Good. I feel maybe you prejudged the piece before it came out, maybe you should just watch it and let us know what you think then.

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    • No, just as bad as I expected. It had all the usual Intels Good, Infosyses Bad phrasing, exactly following the standard:

      1, “Many companies use the visa responsibly.”
      2. “The statute says employers must give hiring preference to Americans, but there is a loophole.” (Totally misleading; the statute Morrison is referring to applies only to the INFOSYSES.”)
      3. ALL of the examples — Disney, UCSF, Northeast Utilities, “a major U.S.” bank” — involve the Infosyses.

      Granted, they mention Google, Facebook etc., but in context these firms are portrayed as the ones using the program responsibly.

      And of course, Morrison is portrayed as a Good Guy who did not intend the program to be used for cheap labor, when in fact he is a lobbyist parlaying his congressional experience into big bucks for himself — and DID intend the program to be used for cheap labor. Just look at the corrupt “prevailing wage” provision at the core of the statute.

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      • You can see a transcript of the 60 Minutes piece at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/are-u-s-jobs-vulnerable-to-workers-with-h-1b-visas/ . I think that there were a few good lines in it. One was when Rajesh said “If I lose a job I can go back to India. But where can they go?”. Also, I found it interesting how Mukesh Aghi ended up essentially agreeing with Bill Whitaker that the main driver is that “[e]very company is out there to make money with the cheapest possible way itself.” Finally, I liked Robert Harrison’s closing comment that “It’s gonna be a matter of time before everybody else feels the same burden, the same pinch, the same hurt that we’re feeling right here at UCSF. It’s a matter of time.”

        However, I agree that they didn’t seem to lay any of the blame on the big tech companies. Also, they seemed to accept Bruce Morrison’s suggestion that none of the problems are due to the original H-1B legislation. On both of these topics, I think that the 1993 60 Minutes piece titled “North of the Border” (that can be accessed at the above link) is better. It mentions the body shops but goes on to explain that the big companies use them to hire cheap labor in a way that they can have deniability and take a “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to any abuse of the system. Leslie Stahl’s actually tracks down and attempts the interview Lewis Platt, the then CEO of Hewlett Packard. The piece then goes on to explain the prevailing wage and how neither that nor any other information on the H-1B application (LCA) is verified beyond “dotting the i’s” and such. In other words, the original law had no real protections. What was depressing was seeing how there has been no progress on this matter in 24 years. In fact, the news reporting is arguably softer now and we have scores of bogus studies on how there is a huge shortage of STEM workers and that each H-1B worker actually creates jobs for native workers.

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      • – prevailing wage definition
        – H1B dependency based on percentage of all staffing at a company
        – no layoff within 90 days – circumvented with juuuust long enough to train your replacement and contractor
        – “temporary”, running for years and years
        Mainly sieve legislation.

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      • Hi Norman,
        Regarding the Statute, are you referring to the $60,000 wage level?
        If so, how does this statute only applies to the Infosyses and maybe I am missing something, is there a clause like if you have more than 85% of your workforce on H1-b then this statute applies?

        As always, your work is greatly appreciated. Its going to be interesting to watch what Trump does for this years H1-b lottery. Maybe they will collect all the applications and then award it in the order of highest salary first.

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  8. The H-1B visa, along with all the other H visa, need to be completely abolished. They are nothing but a way to bring in cheap labor from overseas. You can’t fix a fundamentally rotten program. It needs to go.

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    • Truing it to purpose:
      “temporary” – 1 year no extensions
      “best and brightest” – 1.5x going LOCAL rate for profession
      “retaining best and brightest” – green card application within first 6 months of H1B visa, 1.5X the entire time they’re on the payroll.

      Because if genuine “best and brightest”, and not indentured at cheap, then they should be paying them as such. Else it’s a bilk scheme.

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  9. It looks like Trump told Indian Govt that there is no change to H1-B visa policies for this year. Trump is busy fighting his quixotic battles on wire-tapping and travel ban, so he isn’t bothered about minor issues like H1-B though he exploited this issue on the campaign trail.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/us-has-told-us-no-major-change-in-h1b-regime-govt-4578184/

    Since Trump has major business interests in India, it will be foolish to think that he will do anything about this issue. We need to continue to put pressure on the congress and senate to accomplish anything. So much for “buy American, hire American”

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  10. Story about Trump advisor using H1-Bs

    https://qz.com/853075/goldman-sachs-and-other-wall-street-banks-moved-thousands-of-jobs-out-of-the-us-will-trump-go-after-them-too/

    “Trump’s ties to Goldman Sachs, meanwhile (former Goldman partner Steven Mnuchin is Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, and another former Goldman banker is a key advisor), helped push the bank’s stock to highs not seen since before the financial crisis after his election. In fact, many of the US’s biggest banks who embraced moving jobs to low-cost areas have had huge stock rallies ahead of Trump’s swearing-in.”

    Stock market probably knows something that we don’t, which may be that Trump will do NOTHING to hurt businesses benefiting from H1-B/offshoring. All those campaign promises were just posturing.

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  11. I keep looking for innovation coming from these H1Bs, that we absolutely can’t live without, and see nothing being produced by them. As an old techie, having worked with foreign programmers, I found most of them to be unremarkable. If they are contributing in anyway to innovation, they are doing a good job of hiding it. Maybe they came up with the idea for the new red iphone.

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    • Oh I’ve witnessed a whole lot of innovation
      – “hang my coat on the back of my chair so my manager thinks I’m in.”
      – intentional bug creation, so once assigned the bug, 2 days web surfing.
      – six weeks off, to vacation back home, off the books by their H1B manager.
      – located in Far East, on US/US wage-level payroll, courtesy of H1B manager.
      – extortion “approve my transfer to Far East, including relocation costs, or I’ll tell” on the above 2
      – etc.
      It’s just not tech innovation.
      All? No. I’ve met a few lightning sharp. Very few.

      Like

  12. H-1B is not a problem only for IT. ANY position requiring at least a bachelors degree is vulnerable. Even then 3 year foreign bachelors degree or education plus experience qualifies.

    We need more people to recognize that they and their children and grandchildren are vulnerable no matter what career path they take. The only “safe” career is the military.

    Like

    • Some basics observations on your concept of military, “safe” career.
      In order to circumvent having a draft (heck no, rich people aren’t going to send their kids, nor support public discussion – should we go to war), federally “contracted” mercenaries, such as BlackWater. Extra nice touch, public footing the bill for these mercinaries with tax money paid to cover the draft dodging.
      Federal law also: illegal immigrant gets a pass for signing up in the military.
      Military troops: mainly poor, with few to no employment options. Military lowered the bar (crime, drugs, etc.) to staff Iraq/Afghanistan.
      Officers are more often college educated, and levels are culled every few years, official status “retired” – sounds better when “retired” comes with medical, pension, etc. for the non-combat.
      Some go are there long haul, I don’t think that’s the norm for majority, “troop” level.

      Like

  13. simple solution, Just BAN H1B visa for 2 yrs.. companies will have to hire US workers and if they move their product or services overseas pay 35% extra tax.

    Like

    • If the majority of production and/or the majority of market is offshore, they should be booted of their “US company” status.
      The crux of the issue is, they operate as “American” business for all the perks and benefits of being so (patents, trade agreements, etc. etc. etc.) but “foreign” on tax day. All privilege, no responsibilities.

      Like

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