Did H-1B Cost Hillary Florida?

A reader called my attention to Softletter.com’s post on the H-1B work visa, with this intriguing passage (emphasis added):

At Disney and SoCal, the laid off workers trained their foreign replacements under threat of losing their severance pay, making a mockery of the claim that the H-1B program was filling technology holes at either company. Rather, the clear goal in both cases was to replace highly skilled American workers with more cheaply paid foreigners. From a PR standpoint, both initiatives were disasters, with the Trump campaign focusing attention on the plight of the laid of workers in certain venues, while the Clinton and Sanders forces were largely silent on the issue. Sources we have within the RNC have told us H-1B was a significant contributor to Trump’s narrow victory in Florida.

I’m rather skeptical of this. In spite of all the publicity given to the Disney case and Disney victims such as Leo Perrero courageously choosing to speak out, most voters simply do not keep abreast of daily news.

But I will say that if voters really knew the true story of H-1B — especially the fact that virtually every employer abuses the program — and if they knew about Hillary’s “Let them eat cake” view of H-1B, tons more voters would have turned against her. Her near-100% support from the tech industry would have been just as toxic to her as her enriching herself by giving speeches to Wall Street whose transcripts she refused to make public.

In a Vox interview during the election campaign, Hillary (a) exhibited a real understanding of the H-1B problem but (b) said H-1B is good for nation even though American techies are harmed. Point (b) is especially galling in light of (a). She says

I think it’s because everybody with six degrees of separation either knows or thinks they know someone who knows somebody who lost a job to an undocumented worker or to a worker brought over on a visa to do their job. There’s just a lot of churn that suggests this is a real problem.

but speaks of

…the immigrants who fill jobs we need, particularly high-value jobs…

Of course, this is just the deliberately fallacious “Intels Good, Infosyses Bad” yet again, and, upon close inspection, the same as what Trump has said consistently since August 2015. But Trump brought up the issue himself and railed against H-1B, whereas, to my knowledge, Hillary never once mentioned the issue; she only addressed it in that interview because she was asked about it. And even then, in essence she dismissed people like Perrero, as one reader put it, as collateral damage.

Perrero, of course, is a rare exception. Two more are a victim of Cisco and one of Texas Instruments. But again, very rare. Would you speak out in their situations, and risk blacklisting by employers? One man who challenged Sun Microsystems (later acquired by Oracle) soon found himself working in retail sales (non-tech-related).

I recently was invited to speak at the San Francisco branch of the EEOC. While there, I asked them about this huge obstacle; what should victims do? One of the more senior EEOC people replied:

Filing an EEOC case requires a strong backbone and a strong stomach. Anyone considering it should first check their backbone and then check their stomach.

In other words, even the EEOC concedes that the system is stacked against the victims. Hillary’s Intels Good, Infosyses Bad comments vividly reinforce that point.

Ironically, and once again illustrating the high complexity of political campaigns, an anti-Hillary ad  during the campaign pointed out that Hillary has been quite cozy with the Infosyses for years. Barack Obama ran a similar ad in the 2008 primary election, but withdrew it and apologized, not wanting to appear anti-Indian. The ad last year also seems to have been quietly dropped, likely for the same reason.

If only voters knew…

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19 thoughts on “Did H-1B Cost Hillary Florida?

  1. >And even then, in essence she dismissed people like Perrero, as one reader put it, as collateral damage.

    Deplorables, all of them.

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  2. Disney would tend to be the kind of place with a broader “grapevine” than most tech shops. I also noticed a lot more (and higher-profile) mentions of Disney layoffs than most other companies doing the replacements. I think that most news outlets felt that the “average listener” would identify with Disney, much more so than with a pure tech outfit (whose company name they might never hear again).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. EEOC informs the firing employer within hours of a complaint against them. Clearly exists a symbiotic relationship. Surely cash is the fuel, but not anything reported or traceable. Judiciary likewise even though they should recuse if conflict of interest exists. How on earth could they become so wealthy otherwise. Bottom line, don’t sue!

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    • In the case of the SF EEOC, if there is bias it is ideological, not a matter of cash. It’s a pretty leftist group. I am cautiously optimistic they will take some action, but then I’m an optimist by nature. 🙂

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  4. The bottom line – there were two candidates.

    One said that everything is fine, not much change is required.

    The other said that things are bad and major changes are necessary. At the very least, he had put the issues on the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It certainly is the case that jobs visas, like the H-1B, are starting to play a part. I did not know until recently that the shocking loss of Eric Cantor (at the time Majority Leader in the House) was partially or largely due to H-1B. Dave Brat, who defeated him, made a huge thing of Cantor’s support of fwd.us, and repeatedly showed Cantor with Zuckerberg. When Brat won, it was a political earthquake. This can happen again. Who will step up and make this issue central? It’s available.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for the coments on my article. Just FYI, Softletter has conducted a staffing survey on H-1B usage by software companies and we’ll be sharing some of that info in subsequent articles on http://www.softletter.com.

    I do stand by the assertion that this issue helped the Trump campaign in FL. Prof. Matloff’s assertion below…

    “I’m rather skeptical of this. In spite of all the publicity given to the Disney case and Disney victims such as Leo Perrero courageously choosing to speak out, most voters simply do not keep abreast of daily news.”

    …is true nationally, but I can assure you that within the state itself the issue received far more coverage. And nothing turns your typical left-wing, high-tech globalist employee into a snarling, xenophobic, America-firster than the threat of losing your job to an H-1B transplant.

    Rick Chapman
    Managing Editor and Publisher, Softletter
    Author: Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver. A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds,” “In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters”
    “SaaS Entrepreneur: The Definitive Guide to Succeeding in Your Cloud Application Business”

    P.S. BTW, I’m working of the third edition of ISOS and the Disney fiasco will be make an appearance in its august pages.

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  7. It not only takes backbone. The US STEM worker is on their own. There is no institutional help for them. Advocates for disenfranchised US STEM workers are not advocates at all. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, doing NOTHING! Meanwhile the disenfranchised US STEM worker never has the financial resources to fight the corporate attorneys that file useless motions and churn the plaintiff’s case. Corporate attorneys always gets paid. Workers’ attorneys only get paid if they win. So the bottom line it is a very heavy lift for the US STEM worker.

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    • @twins.fan

      So true.
      This first happened to me in 2003.
      From 2003 to 2007 I didn’t have a clue what happened.
      In 2007 I formed Keep America At Work and began to hear from others.
      Over the next ten years I became very informed as to what what happening and I spent all my time fighting it.

      My reward.
      Total poverty.

      Family, friends, and even enemies will turn their nose up at you and say “get a job”.
      None seem capable of comprehending that unemployment is not less than 5% and that when you are labelled as “overqualified”, nobody will touch you.

      Being a vet, the DOL and the VA will offer you retraining in the form of a VRAP program, and if you graduate, they will offer you “employment assistance” which consists of sending you to the local workforce commission so that they can show you how to write a resume which does not solve the age discrimination or overqualified problem at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The immigration issue in general cost Hillary votes in Florida. I left the state last year, pushed out by rising rents and low wages. I voted for Trump.

    The Disney H1B story made a huge impression on the Florida electorate. Not only did people not vote for Hillary because she was pro unlimited immigration, but the current ESPN(a Disney company) subscriber loss is also tied to it. I don’t know anything about sports, but I know a lot of guys who don’t want to support a company that doesn’t support American workers.

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  9. I have filed such lawsuit, but you do not have a leg to stand on (standing).

    EEOC final answer:

    “American is not a national origin group as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended.”

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  10. A politicians position on H1B has become a check mark item for me; I will not vote for any candidate who supports guest worker visas.

    I view this as fraud perpetrated against the America workers and I feel some politicians should be prosecuted for their support. Everybody in Congress is aware of the loopholes but they were being paid to keep the status quo.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida auto-pay “glitch” wipes out some customers’ bank balances:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-florida-blue-overdrafts-20170501-story.html

    I’m shocked, but it looks like their IT department consists mostly of H-1Bs:

    http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Sponsor/Blue-Cross-And/73925.htm

    This is one reason why this Floridian didn’t vote for Hillary: even the government and quasi-government agencies can’t get off the H-1B dope.

    In addition to BC/BS, our state property insurer of “last resort,” Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (considered a joke by Florida residents because of their outrageous rates), employs another 100+ H-1Bs in their IT department.

    Like

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