One More Negative Data Point on the Quality of the H-1Bs?

Seldom does a serious, number-filled blog cause me to laugh out loud, but this occurred today when I read today’s “gotcha” post in RealityCheck, Alan Tonelson’s outstanding blog site on economics and foreign policy.

Alan deftly juxtaposes two diametrically opposing views — by the same person:

“Trump’s crackdown on H-1B visas could prevent the next US unicorn born of Indian immigrants”

–Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, February 5, 2017

Share of Indian engineering graduates capable of writing “the correct logic for a program, a minimum requirement for any programming job”: 4.77%

–Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, April 20, 2017

Outrageous and funny, yes, and yet another reason to stay informed via RealityCheck. By the way, some years ago, McKinsey released a report finding weakness among the Chinese graduates as well.

But let’s take a closer look at these issues. Much of what I will say here will pertain to the Indians and Chinese, as they form the two largest H-1B groups, but I will first speak more generally:

As some of you will recall, my EPI study showed that the quality of foreign students (of all nationalities) in CS at U.S. schools is somewhat below that of their American peers. Measures included patenting, work in R&D, selectivity of U.S. institution attended and ACM dissertation awards. I also cited similar research by others.

Now looking at the Indian case,  first note that technically Bhattacharya could be right on both counts. Presumably the weaker Indian graduates don’t ever come to the U.S. or even work for the major Indian firms, and even if the overall quality were weak, there still could be some unicorn formers among them.

On the other hand, a little-known fact is that the Indian IT firms actually take mediocrity as their business model. That minimizes labor costs, and their view is that by partitioning a software project into small, well-defined components, the level of complexity of the work has been reduced to the point at which one does not need programming geniuses to get the job done. (See my article in IEEE IT Pro for references and counterarguments.)

Even at the Indian Institutes of Technologies, India’s “MITs,” with their extremely high admissions standards, the curricula are pedestrian and many professors are not strong (the pay is way too low to attract high-quality people). In addition, things appear not to be nearly as intense at the Indian schools. A survey done a few years ago by a researcher at Stanford asked CS students at Stanford, Cambridge and IIT how they spent their time. The IIT students had far more leisure time than did their California and UK counterparts, who were going through extremely demanding workloads. Mind you, I do think that there is far too much intensity at the U.S. and UK schools in CS, so I am not faulting IIT at all. But it does affect the quality of the new graduates, even though the IIT grads, all top intellects, do eventually catch up.

I would also be quick to point out, as I have often done over the years, that the average level of programming skill among (U.S.) graduates of U.S. schools is not so strong either, even with that intensity. The ones who really love CS are fantastically good, but they are probably only about 15% of the U.S. grads, depending on the school.

Now, what would India and China say to the above? India might point to the success of Indian immigrants in the U.S. at the executive level. The CEOs of both Google and Microsoft are from India, they would point out. Unfortunately, business acumen is not my field, so I really have no comment there, except to say good for Mr. Pichai and Mr. Nadella, whom I presume are indeed tops in business management.

What about the Chinese? They might point to the success of Chinese universities in the ACM Programming Contest and the Top 500 list of most powerful supercomputers. Sorry, but I don’t consider either of these to be of any relevance to the issues here, or for that matter, of any practical significance.

The programming contest is exactly the kind of thing a developing nation like China needs to gain exposure on the national stage — attention-getting, and an acheivable goal if money and resources are devoted to it — but basically meaningless. As I wrote a few years ago for Bloomberg,

The Jiaoda [China’s Shanghai Jiaotong University] contestants are essentially student-athletes, spending all their time training for the event, according to a Jiaoda public information officer, Xu Jun. And the skills needed for the competition are indeed trainable. Although the problems posed each year are unique, their solutions usually fall into a handful of mathematical patterns.

This gives a huge benefit to those who can devote themselves to full-time, year-round practice. By contrast, most top U.S. computer-science students have better things to do with their time, including founding startups that might become billion-dollar companies.

China’s performance in that contest has no bearing on its ability to come up with the next killer app.

For the supercomputer list, my analogy has been to building the world’s tallest skyscraper. Given enough money and will power, one can always put up a new one taller than the last one. Again, for countries that feel the need to prove themselves on the world stage, such as China, supercomputers might be good investments, but otherwise they are simply the result of throwing a lot of money at some very narrow applications.

And finally, what about those killer apps? Skeptics argue that India and China have yet to produce any, and frankly I agree. China might point, for instance, to WeChat, which does messaging, point-of-sale payment and the like. The Economist ran a long article praising the remarkably widespread usage the app enjoys in China, and I myself am a WeChat user. But there is nothing innovative about it.

So who was right, the Ananya Bhattacharya of February 5 or the Ananya Bhattacharya of April 20? Neither Pichai nor Nadella is an entrepreneur, much less a unicorn former, so they don’t fall into the February 5 category. Perhaps readers can supply some better examples. On the other hand, I assure you that the H-1Bs, though generally not “the best and the brightest,” deserve more than what is implied in the April 20 remark.


90 thoughts on “One More Negative Data Point on the Quality of the H-1Bs?

  1. Over the past 24 years, I’ve closely interacted with approximately 3,000 H1Bs.

    I found two who were very good, and I was interested in hiring them at $130,000/yr in 2000. No could do, they chained to a small​ Indian body shop paying them in the low $30K in the Bay Area.

    Other than that, ~10% were adequate, with the rest being abysmal.

    It’s getting worse with time.


  2. When I see an Indian H-1B is on the project I expect the worst and I always get it, and this is the biggest gripe I have about the whole H-1B issue, the nearly 100% uselessness of most of the workers. They don’t just bring in cheaper workers, they bring in fake workers. It boggles the mind to try to square that circle, WHY would anyone do that, year after year, in such great numbers? And yet to a first approximation, that’s just what they do.

    My opinion of Chinese H-1Bs is much, much higher, fwiw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I wrote almost 20 years ago in “Seven Lean Years”, the purpose of H1-B’s is to fill out the workforce with warm bodies to get grunt-work done and make it look like the handful of consultants at the top, actually have a staff of decent size. How else can they justify charging $175 an hour for programming, if the ones paying the bill knew that only 3 guys in that shop could actually code it right the first time? The term I coined is “deadly cluster” — a seasoned veteran to lend gravitas, a young hot-shot to show that all the hot new technologies are being used, and 10 to 15 warm bodies to justify the expensive contract.


  3. To be fair, Ananya Bhattacharya is a reporter trying to generate stories. Some of her other work is quite interesting. But she should try to be more critical of industry press releases.

    On the main point, I think there are two different cases. In engineering companies, I don’t think there’s much of an issue.

    In outsourcers, the problem is the business model. Indian developers are discouraged from questioning or challenging, since that’s meant to be the job of account managers, who are often Western non-programmers. As a result, work is often poor, and the Indians usually know this. It’s one of the reasons many outsourcers consider that Westerners lack skills in IT.


  4. Here are my two worst foreign programmer stories:

    An Indian programmer I worked with was so bad I had to asked him about his educational background. He told me he got his CS in India by reading a C book cover to cover. It was easy to believe him.

    A bank I worked for was taken over by HSBC and the department was given over to a Chinese manager from Hong Kong. I left within the first month but kept in touch with the guys. The project was split between programmers in NY and HK and written off the spec produced by the management. During the course of development about one year, the NY team was berated for being severely behind. During integration week it was discovered that the HK team had written the code to spec but never tested or debugged any of it. NO, I AM NOT KIDDING. They were able to “keep up” with the schedule by lying. No American programmer, not even a bad one, would be this incompetent.


    • I have seen the checking in of untested code into branches that would be used for final production builds a good number of times and still cannot fathom the thinking behind it. It is not a case of writing incomplete test cases, or even bad ones, but never actually doing any testing.


      • @Erelis

        I’ll raise you… My former H-1B lead complained that myself and another American developer were “writing too many unit tests.” At the next sprint planning meeting, she insisted our estimates not include time required for unit testing because “that’s what the test team is for.”

        She also never got much feature work done because she was constantly fighting fires and fixing bugs in code she had previously written. When fixing a bug, if an existing unit test started to fail, and she couldn’t fix it in a few minutes, she would just comment out the test and add a TODO above it. I’m assuming she didn’t use an @Ignore (JUnit) annotation on the test because skipped tests were very visible in our build tool, but a small decrease in total test count would probably go unnoticed.

        One weekend, I decided to login from home and fix some of these commented out tests (unpaid, mind you). I fixed four or five tests and submitted a PR for review. When I arrived at our daily scrum meeting on Monday, I not only got lectured by my lead but by the release manager, as well, that I was not allowed to work on *anything*, including non-production code that never makes it to the customer, without my lead’s approval, even if I do it on my own time.

        This is what the H-1B culture is bringing to American software development.


        • “What does it say about the quality of your engineering if you have to have excessive testing”?
          – Steve Jobs


        • My dad spend 20 years programming at a major medical center, after a 20-year military career. He tested each unit he wrote — for typical input values, “edge” values, and extreme values. He never turned in a defective code unit. That was the “good old days”, when reliability and consistency were valued. Now it’s a flashy interface, “fun”, and rapid turnaround time. I call it “design from the outside-in” instead of the prior generation’s “design from the inside-out”.

          The worst part of this trend is the mindless obsession with putting this new cr*ppy code into everyday things like cars and trucks and robots, and then removing the human drivers. This does not end well.


    • Hmmm, “done”, sounds familiar. My longest ever day at work, 40 hours (started early morning on a holiday, through the night, flew to west coast, worked the rest of that day too), because Chinese coworker called, “Done! Come in to integrate.”, when “done” merely meant he finished writing his code – no compilation/no test/no debug.


  5. “Share of Indian engineering graduates capable of writing “the correct logic for a program, a minimum requirement for any programming job”: 4.77%”

    Careful! This might be a ruse to calm US workers fears that they are are being displaced by Indian workers. The 4.77% was mentioned in the NYT link from the previous post, “Fortune Op-Ed”, as shown below.

    But Infosys is also making its move to hire American driven by other forces. Its home base of India has become a less appealing place to do the grunt work of programming as wages rise there and skilled labor has become more difficult to find. A study of 36,000 engineering students at 500 Indian colleges released last month found that only 5 percent could write software code correctly.

    Infosys wants American workers to think there is a shortage of Indian programmers! Sound familiar? So now Infosys has to hire American workers. Yeah, right.

    “less appealing place (India) to do the grunt work of programming as wages rise”. So Americans can now do grunt work! “As wages rise”, yeah, right. The average entry salary in India is under $6200 per year, $10788 mid-career, and $16,800 experienced.


    • If there is a hidden agenda here, it is to promote Intels Good, Infosyses Bad.

      We — those of us who follow these things — have heard this “grunt work” thing before. For example, when Gen. Matt Clark ran in the Democratic primaries in 2004 (he was Bill and Hillary’s choice), he dismissed offshoring as something to be welcomed. He said (this is close to verbatim) “Let the Indians do the mind-numbing programming.”

      I have always believed that this was a window into the way the Democratic Party, if not all politicians, view IT work — totally boring stuff that they themselves would never consider doing, and would be gravely disappointed if their children were to choose that profession. Among other things, I believe this was a factor in the neglect to do a good job in IT in the rollout of Obamacare.


      • Classic line there, Norm, I’d forgotten that one. If programming is “mind-numbing”, then the price of a CS degree should be pretty cheap, huh?


      • I have some experience with bidding on military computer systems. It’s been a while but I think my observations still hold.

        There is nobody on the govt side as experienced in tech as the people on the selling side. It takes the govt a long time to come up with the requirement which will already be severely outdated by the time it is put out to bid. Convincing the govt that you are substituting better technology is impossible because they have nobody on the govt side who can competently evaluate the substitutions. The selling cycle is also very long and adds to the “grandfathering” of old technologies into their systems.

        During the entire process there is a mismatch of skills that lead to natural conflicts between govt and industry. This is the reason why Obama’s insurance website didn’t work and anybody on the selling side in govt contracting could have predicted it. We all know someone who could have done that job well for 500K.


        • 3 college kids wrote a better interface for free, about 3 weeks after the disastrous rollout.

          BTW IBM had originally offered to write the whole project for free, but the Obamists turned them down.


        • Many problems with acquisition,
          – current users of antique systems add insane requirements like retaining dysfunction of original system “because that’s what we’re used to”.
          – completely unqualified civilians writing requirement specs. Veteran is not qualifications for writing engineering specs.
          – completely unqualified defense contractor staff in engineering positions. Veteran is not qualifications for engineering.
          – ***incredibly tiny group of incredibly young inexperienced military deciding on award of huge complex systems***
          – requirement creep. Creep, being the late arriving Add this or I’ll withhold award fee, which invokes the rule “cheap, fast, good” into cheap/fast.


  6. China’s supercomputer was built without using Intel chips. China used homegrown chips. I think this is a big deal.

    The US government banned the export of some Intel chips to China for use in supercomputers.


    • A big deal in what sense? It’s nice that they have developed such a capability, but it says nothing about innovation.

      China did have a nice, rather innovative Distributed Shared Memory system, JiaJia, many years ago. Unfortunately, they never pursued this any further.


    • How short-sighted. It would have been much more effective to encourage the Chinese to import Intel chips — provided the Intel chips had a back-door for NSA spying. OTOH, who says they don’t already have such a back door??


      • No because doing so would lend cred to an American company, Intel. What China wants is to put Intels out of biz and replace them with their own companies.

        Much easier to get industrial spies inside Intel and steal their tech secrets via the H1B Industrial Spy program and just loot all the secrets back to China.


    • Except that Chinese industrial spies inside US companies stole all US chip technology, and got trained in how to design them.

      As one Chinese QA Manager once told me when I said his tester on my project was incompetent: “OUR GOAL IS TO EXTRACT YOUR KNOWLEDGE…. er, I mean, what I really want here is to understand the process”.

      Everything China has it got from USA, including chip tech.

      As one Chinese general said “We can’t believe what we are getting away with”.


  7. As a programmer with over 30 years in the Industry, I wholeheartedly agree with Kylelyles. In the last 15 years that I’ve been dealing with this on a day to day basis, I’d say I’ve worked with about 550-650 H1B’s, and only about 4 that had real skills and/or potential. The quality of work is shoddy and usually years out of date. Testing/debugging is non-existent, and the blame game when something goes wrong is like watching a comedy act.

    The usual ratio I work with is 3-4 offshore and 1-2 onshore (H1B) programmer s to one US citizen programmer. One would think that a minimum 6 person programming team could accomplish amazing things (I would have given much for that many programmers on a team in the early 90’s)

    I’ve interviewed “senior” H1B programmers (6+ years of experience) targeting questions to the strengths listed on the 1 slide Powerpoint you get from Infosys and TCS, as a “resume”, and at least 85% of the candidates knew little or nothing about their listed strengths, and failed the technical based only on stated skills. Freshers are basically the equivalent of a US high school sophomore. I’ve also had phone interviews where it had been video conferencing I would be 100% instead of 98% certain that the phone interview and the person who showed up for the job were two different people, based on the knowledge in the interview that disappeared at the job.

    Senior H1B programmers (10+ years) are another problem entirely. As a rule they stopped learning anything new about 6 years into their career and can’t say the words “I don’t know.”

    And any C Suite Level who thinks that their source code isn’t already long gone is naive at best and disingenuous at worst. And just for fun, my favorite lawsuit of 2016 was TCS vs Epic Systems. 940 Million award to Epic Systems for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, unfair enrichment, and a few other charges.


  8. The H1b visa holders I have worked with have been okay/average. But here is the point that irks me: mass media and popular culture typically portrays foreign Asian engineers and education as superior to any American educated engineer (and regardless of ethnic background or family history). An experienced
    engineering manager who dealt with new hires from both Indian and US schools said that the Indian graduates were 1-2 years behind US graduates with same degree.

    I have dealt with contractors in both India and the United States. The model/process was a senior level engineer type would come in and do the initial sales and support talks. Once the contract was set, we thought we would be dealing with the senior person, but what happened was that the company then hired somebody at very low rates as we found out later. And they were uniformly bad. One product had to be cancelled because management refused to see the problems until it was too late. But we never had this problem with contractors out of Serbia and Israel. Maybe this was more a case of honest business practices, but still these engineers were supposedly educated and trained.


    • US media H1B hype is just caused by NASSCOM paid PR.

      Foreign use of PR in US should be illegal, but isn’t.


  9. From my 25 years of experience, I came up with the “Third Rule”:

    – One Third are brilliant
    – One Third are mediocre at best
    – One Third are idiots, frauds and crooks

    A couple observations:

    1. Originally, after seeing so many DBA teams that were 90% Indians, I thought Oracle had a big database university in India. While I did meet some talented, experienced Indian DBAs, I found out the majority had learned on the job usually through connections with an Indian manager.
    2. Meeting the specs – If the specs state an uppercase “ABC”, an H-1B will deliver a lowercase “abc”. And there can be a glaring “D” that needs to be addressed but they will not take action until ordered by management.
    3. My buddy’s firm contracted out part of a project to a Indian firm. The code was so buggy and poor quality they scrapped it and re-wrote it themselves.
    4. An alt-media investment show I listen to was talking about the cost of running their business. They stated, “…and then you have to find a good quality stateside website provider. Because when you first hire the Indian or Chinese firms, your website will crash after a month.”
    5. Rarely do I find a love for the IT world in the H-1B personality. Usually they are in the job for the money and nothing else.

    My two worst case stories:

    1. Quality – Keep in touch with my past job, a large telecom outfit. After trying for a year, their idiot H-1B DBA still hasn’t figured out how to upgrade an Oracle database. In my first 6 years with that firm, qualified citizen and H-1B DBA performed over a hundred Oracle upgrades with little or no issues. The saddest part of the story is the idiot citizen manager. He won’t fire her for fear of taking the blame for keeping her on the job for the last 4 years.

    2. Ethics – At a Texas based airlines, one of our H-1B analyst disappeared quite suddenly. We were shocked to find out that he was wanted by the Dallas PD after he tried to hire a hitman to kill his immigration officer.

    Norm, I could list dozens more but I don’t think you want a 100 page rant.


    • “5. Rarely do I find a love for the IT world in the H-1B personality. Usually they are in the job for the money and nothing else.”
      I rarely find anyone in the profession is in it for the money. H-1Bs specifically, majority in it for a green card.


  10. Norm,

    To borrow from your skyscraper example, how many architects do you need to build one? Not many. However, you do need lots of contractors and a huge amount of manual workers.

    My personal experience suggests that highly skilled American IT professionals may be losing job opportunities not only to H1-bs but, perhaps even more so, to low-skilled American IT workers who are also willing to get their hands dirty with the most urgent needs of IT companies: technical support and quick bug fixing.

    Someone in the previous thread said that there is no such thing as over-qualification. But you can’t address something like this in a purely semantic way. If recruiters think that some people are over-qualified, then by definition, the problem of over-qualification in the job market does exist.

    Now, if you are a highly skilled IT professional who can’t find a job in the industry, due to which you would be willing to work in a much less pleasurable position than you thought you would when you were in college, do *not* lie in your CV but be aware that you also don’t need to tell the whole truth. Just an idea.


    • The semantics of “overqualified” change when the issue is foreign workers. People tend to forget the fact that most of immigration policy is aimed at protecting those already here (natives and earlier immigrants). Ostensibly that is what our immigration policy does with regard to H-1B, meaning in this case a philosophy of not allowing the importation of cheap labor to undermine American workers’ wages and job opportunities. Declaring an American applicant “overqualified” and then bringing in a cheaper foreign worker for the job is completely counter to the express purpose of our immigration policy.


      • It has often been stated that the immigration policy of countries like Canada and Australia is more sensible and far-sighted than the American one. As I understand it, one of the letters in the soup, the O I believe, is dedicated to persons of extraordinary ability. If the H1-b is for the “best and the brightest”, there seems to be a redundancy there. Does the immigration legal corpus really use that expression for H1-bs anywhere?

        One other thing I have never really understood is why companies all over the world are so weary of over-qualified candidates, although I can think of a couple of valid business reasons.

        In any case, the hard fact is that the big IT employers do not want to have their scaffolding full of architects and outstanding engineers, foreign or native. I doubt that *any* change in immigration policy will force them to do that.


        • What is “far-sighted” about the Canadian policy is that immigration can be tightened without the gridlock we have in Congress. For example, after seeing so man elderly people immigrate and then go on welfare, the Canadian government put a stop to it. It’s been known for well over 25 years in the U.S., and yet it still flourishing.

          Phrasing similar to “the best and the brightest” was in the statute for the old H-1 visa. That was supposedly decoupled in 1990, with separate visas for ordinary workers (H-1B) and those of outstanding talent (O-1). But lobbyists and Congress being what they are, we still hear claims that the H-1Bs are geniuses.


    • We do not need to lie Mikel.
      We simply need to find a company like yours that says that they can’t find qualified candidates, tell them that we are qualified, and watch as they find ways to eliminate us without considering our qualifications.

      Oh yes, and standing up for Americans in America.
      That will get you blackballed real fast, won’t it?


    • Ask a skyscraper architect to build a skyscraper using “agile” methodologies without plans, without blueprints, and change the beams every day on a whim, even after the floors have been built.

      See how many architects don’t laugh you out of the room.


      • Yes, but my point was that if you proposed that the cranes and welding machines were manned by licensed architects to make sure that the beams were all correctly placed, you would also be laughed out of the real state developers meeting.

        I did not express any opinion on the average skills of the existing H1-bs, be it positive or negative.


  11. There is not even ONE single major US tech company ever created by Indian “entrepreneurs”. Not one. And very few Chinese ones, NVIDIA being the sole obvious example.

    One would think with combined 3 BILLION people and supposed geniuses at that, that there should be at least ONE major Indian company. But the opposite is the case. India and China have never created even one new major industry for the world to enjoy. They can’t be all that smart now can they? And 3 billion is almost 1/2 the earth’s population.

    India and China are basically just money/prestige-seeking entities who want to be “the best” but are unable to do so by work, effort, or production, and so see “hype” and PR for prestige. Not a good sign for the world or for for the future of the global economy.

    And one Chinese real estate investor once said fully 1/2 of the buildings in Shanghai are now sitting empty.

    All flash, all show, very little substance.

    And to think the jewel of the world – America – is being systematically dismantled just to assuage the egos of these people.


    • Huang, one of the founders of NVIDIA, is foreign-born but grew up in the U.S. He is culturally American (and of course legally so).

      Actually, Huang has a great life story. He went to a very non-Ivy League college, married his undergrad lab partner, and was headed for a nondescript, solid middle class existence, but he eventually went on to co-found a truly innovative Silicon Valley firm. I am an admirer of both him and the firm.

      As you point out, both China and India have populations in the billions, so there must be brilliant, highly creative people among them. Sadly, society, the educational system and so on suppress such talents.

      The empty highrises in China are indeed plentiful, but that is largely due to corruption, not lack of talent.


    • Comments like these are shallow and ridiculously myopic.

      Outside of your narrow h1B centric prism, China and India have existed for thousands of years, have a culture that dates back to ancient times and had large empires and biggest trade routes on this planet. And yes, they did have technology; natively built.

      Except the British totally destroyed them. The destruction was so large that the desperation of poor masses is still extremely real there.

      Most of the so called *middle class* of India is one generation removed from abject poverty. I think you have to excuse them for not being innovative and creative when their natural instinct is to build a safety net for their family that involves taking *minimal chances* and going the ways of establishment.

      I think the world was just fine when India and China were at its epicenter. And who knows? With global warming and *extractive nature of science* wrecking havoc on the planet, maybe the Indian/Chinese way will save the world.

      Don’t be cocky. And don’t veer off the discussion to outright jingoism.


      • Since I don’t know Glob, I can’t say whether he is a jingoist or not. However, he has made some valid points, in my opinion.

        As to the effect of the British, I don’t think even the bitterest Chinese concerning the Opium Wars would blame China’s rote memory educational system on the Brits. The system had been like that for many centuries before the British came to China.


        • Glob’s points:

          – The jewel of this world is dismantled to satisfy Indian and Chinese egos.
          – Indian and Chinese have made zero contribution to the silicon valley.
          – The world will be a scary place with India and China leading the way.

          Your other readers are full of rants (real or imagined, who knows) of the so called *Indian H1B folks* that are borderline objectionably racist in nature. You seem to encourage this by continuing to say somehow Indian and Chinese culture is to blame.

          Are you still a professor at an American campus? Do you teach this stuff to the kids in your classrooms consisting of a sizable student international student body? Do you go and tell your international students they are not welcome in the US, are inferior to their US counterparts, and their cultures are inferior?

          I almost regret providing any real discussion points for the H1B problem, because frankly, your view and your average readers reek *Trump* to me.


          • I think you are overreacting. While I may or may not share Glob’s view of the U.S. as the “jewel of the world,” many people, especially immigrants. Among Chinese immigrants, it used to be commonly said that even the moon and the stars are larger in the U.S. I have to admit that I winced a bit when I read his comment, but again I do so when I hear it from immigrants.

            You’ve never met me, and apparently have read only a small slice of my writings, imposing your own interpretation of them. I am hereby assigning your homework, due before your next post: Please read my bio.


          • As a reader of Norm’s blog I don’t require your validation RH67. I’m American and don’t apologize in the least for looking out for my fellow citizens first.

            I think Norm is doing a very valuable public service for his countrymen and women.

            There is simply no moral requirement for a nation to take in immigrants. the immigrants may be great people — many are, truly – but it is simply not a moral imperative to let people in. Most Americans don’t care about superpower status (a common misconception among immigrants I’ve had political discussions with) and I’m really not interested in which country is the ‘greatest on earth’. I would prefer the United States be great for Americans of all races and social classes — and have ample proof that for the last 40 – 50 years my elite countrymen have not felt the same. The H-1B and OPT are straight up proof of that.

            Of course a nation can allow immigration to the great benefit of everyone — wonderful. And if the level becomes harmful to existing citizens the amount should be curtailed.

            The United States was not the British Empire and Americans do not have any obligation to India at all, which is a democracy and can solve its own issues. If India cannot solve its own issues that is not my problem. I don’t owe you anything. It really is very basic. My country doesn’t exist for your benefit.

            Like most H-1Bs — Indian or not — you run out of logical arguments and attempt character attacks. This is typical (and rather boring) and most likely works because your entire social circle is made of other immigrants. Hint: saying people ‘reek Trump’ only really works in certain settings – and that wasn’t enough to deny him the presidency.

            I wrote in Sanders but my H-1B co-workers are quite sure I’m a Trump man because I defend Americans and American culture.

            Does that make me…..drum roll… ‘Deplorable’ in your eyes? In my own land?

            What arrogance on your part. Seriously.

            Sometimes I think some of the H-1Bs posts here and around the web are alt-right puppets because they are just so insanely tone deaf that no guest worker in another country could be so entitled in reality and the posts are designed to make guest workers look bad. Seriously.

            But hey — then I have a conversation with people at work.

            So if you’re alt-right go away. If you’re real — your posts are not having the effect you think they are.


          • Professor Matloff,

            Actually, a couple of friends graduated from your classes and spoke very highly of you. I am well aware of your reputation and pointed to your blog by someone who you have taught.

            Since you are a founder of the department of statistics and since you have done enormous statistical studies on this subject, you should perhaps screen what comments are being posted on your blog posts. While there are rants (how Indian H1Bs completely sabotage a project) and anecdotes (how there are only 2 competent Indian programmers among 800 or so), the malign Indian IT giants (fondly called WITCHS these days) account for a revenue of $50 billion per year now, and *things mostly work*. Of course your statistical analysis cannot miss the portion of projects that actually get done (maybe suboptimally, but AT A CHEAPER RATE AS INTENDED) and also how profitable the US companies are (possibly due to large savings from IT, again H1B AND OUTSOURCING AS THEY INTENDED).

            Please stop misplacing the blame and confusing the issue. The problem is that if Americans outsourced the secrets of their technology, Indians and Chinese are more than capable of picking them up and doing work at a much cheaper rate. I called out your posters because they all come up with their *anecdotes* and extremely biased data about how Indian H1Bs are no good. In my experience, they provide FAR TOO MUCH for the buck and older Americans simply cannot compete.

            I am totally with you that the narrative on h1B has to change, and it must be brought out that it is an ordinary workers visa. I also believe American corporations are too stupid and shortsighted creating a massive foreign dependency on a critical function in the economy (knowledge). These are totally AMERICAN POLICY ISSUES and must be taken on and dealt with on the Capital Hill. Indians are not writing American laws. Remember: American laws are written ultimately for the AMERICAN HEGEMONY on the entire world (a policy formed sometime during/after WWII). In a way, by taking away India’s H1B *masses* is still depriving India a lot of talent (no matter how much they muck up those projects).

            Do be careful in targeting the people working on those visas. They are doing what they can for their families and making economically rational choices. When your readers post how India and China did not provide anything to humanity (what a ridiculous comment! I don’t even know where to begin), that the 3 billion people are no good, that anytime there is an Indian H1B means disaster, and that all Indians and Chinese carry around massive egos to be assuaged – I think you should evaluate your position if you find anything really useful in those comments.

            As profound and smart and skilled and accomplished you are, you are merely ONE human being. You are full of your faults and are subject to the same biases and prejudices everyone is (including me). While I appreciate you giving me homework to do, I think even a professor of your calibre can do a little homework and really evaluate what effect your message is having on the masses.


          • RH67, thanks for your comments, many of which I agree with to some extent.

            I do in fact censor some reader comments on my blog, meaning that I simply click Trash to delete them; they then never appear on the blog. I believe there is a way for me to delete just part of a post and allow the rest to appear, but I don’t think that would be fair. So it is all or nothing, and if a post has a worthwhile contribution to make, I will usually allow it, though as I said, I do indeed disallow some posts.

            Obviously I cannot use statistical backing as a criterion for allowing a post. We’d have almost no posts then, and even the statistical ones can be misleading, as we all know. So, we have a lot of anecdotal posts by readers, and they must be taken as such. I have come to know some of the readers personally, through offline communication, and I can tell you they are not racist in any sense. I trust what they are telling us they have observed. From what these people tell me, combined with the Indian firms’ public statements that they do not set a high bar in hiring programmers, I am sure that many of these anecdotes are quite accurate.

            Some years ago the then-editor of Computerworld told me she was receiving a lot of anti-Indian mail from readers. I asked her to explain, and it turned out that all she meant was that readers mentioned that the H-1Bs they see are Indian. Well, they do tend to be Indian! I myself would not mention nationality, but the fact that those readers do so does not mean we should dismiss what they say.

            As you know from your homework, I am a lifelong minority activist, and actually am hypersensitive to the race issue. If I hear something that sounds like an unhealthy racial attitude (I try not to use the word “racist,” as I don’t know what it actually means), I immediately become suspicious and pay attention. Unfortunately, I hear such things constantly, including from my academic colleagues (and yes, especially from the foreign-born ones). Though you may not believe me, this very much informs my decisions as to whether to allow a post or not.

            One thing you don’t understand is that some of these writers are really hurting. They HAVE been greatly harmed by the H-1B program. I think they deserve a hearing. They sure won’t get one from Congress.

            I think you deserve a hearing too, even though your use of the word “Trump” as an adjective tells me that you have just as much tendency to oversimplify things as the people you’re objecting to.


          • SXBXWX:

            Your post personifies everything about my assertion that Professor Matloff’s message is having an unintended effect.

            I get it. You are angry. And I want you to express your anger on Capital Hill and make the H1B visa the single most important issue in the elections. But harboring your anger against the very colleagues with whom you work is not going to do any good to you; personally as well as professionally.

            America is not Britain, but American elites made a decision that they wanted to rule the world in the post colonial era. America has its bases EVERYWHERE. In order to maintain its hold on the globe, America passed the immigration act in 1965 to start allowing people from all over the world. This goes way back.

            America admits about 1 MILLION LEGAL IMMIGRANTS each year. Did you know this? This is 1 million green cards each year (and does not count all the nonimmigrant H1Bs, H4s, L1s, L2s and OPTs that are doled out). The employment portion is a mere 14% of that (140000 each year). If you truly want to protect America of *your vision*, why harp only on the H1B crowd? Oppose all immigration. By the way, personally I think admitting 1 million legal immigrants each year is insane, but I am not harping a disingenuous tune of how every single Indian H1B is mucking up each IT project that was ever taken up by an American corporation.

            I get it that America doesn’t own India anything, and the American Congress has the power to shut down all immigration IN A DAY. It will require about 218 votes in the house, 60 votes in the Senate, and the president’s signature. Basically 279 people should enact a law. Why aren’t you on the Capital Hill my friend? 279 should be an achievable number.

            This world is made in America’s image. That’s the fact. India did not create the H1B program to take advantage of Americans. Indians want to immigrate to America obviously because conditions are far superior here. Most H1Bs are also honest workers and generally have good work ethics. I am totally against the hatred being spewed and the malignant attacks on the very immigrants America is inviting today. My position is clear: I think the immigration levels are insane, yes, H1Bs in the current form are harmful to the Americans. AT THE SAME TIME, they get the job done. Sometimes even better than the *natives*. Perhaps you would like me to share my anecdotes?

            There is a way to deal with this and that’s at the policy level. I am sure Professor Matloff knows that helping change/enact policies is better than inciting masses. My disappointment with him stemmed from him replying to and entertaining useless posts and I have every right to voice it.


          • “Helping change/enact policies is better than inciting masses”? Unfortunately, politicians only pay attention when people resort to extremes.

            Liked by 1 person

          • RH67 (in response to 11:40 comment)

            Contra the reason for the post I don’t have an issue with H-1B quality (about normal) but there’s the crux: where I work most software jobs don’t require the rare genius but rather slightly smart, conscientious workers. They can easily be sourced from the existing American population – which I might add out west is pretty diverse.

            I’m pretty open at work with my views about hiring.

            If I was working in India (or China, or elsewhere) and a native software engineer mentions the desire to high more local graduates to train the next generation of their country’s software engineers I would understand completely and agree.

            That has not been my experience working in my own country. When I mention the fact that the tech shortage doesn’t exist and there are lots of smart young people at state universities across the land that my company doesn’t bother to recruit, I have been verbally attacked by some H-1Bs (and OPTs). Since I consider this issue important I don’t back down nor apologize no matter how uncomfortable it makes you or anyone else feel.

            And yes – you do have a massive ego if you are going around insulting the local population of a country you came to. If an American did the same overseas people here would call him/her an ass — and deservedly so (Ugly American). As a society we can motor on quite fine without you.

            American politicians started this issue and I’ve never doubted that – but don’t pretend many (not all, of course) H-1Bs and OPTs do not have clear bias. I see it clearly.

            Liked by 1 person

      • RH67 (response to 4:13 comment)

        You’re simply not arguing in good faith and I might add using weasel words to discredit those who disagree with you. I don’t find that tactic honest regardless of who you married.

        1) At no point in time did I say I was angry with all H-1Bs, OPTs, or my co-workers. Because I’m of course not.

        2) I didn’t even say H-1Bs or OPTs were incompetent. In fact when speaking to family or friends I usually say I’ve never seen that in person. They’re just normal.

        3) I’m quite vocal about wanting American graduates hired. If you’re suggesting that is ‘angry’ — well then we are finally getting somewhere with you, not me.

        4) The blog post was about H-1Bs. I’m not being unfair at all in not bringing up illegal immigration or family unification or anything else. Other industries (such as construction) have had wage stagnation due to high immigration, there are other people and blogs that track such phenomena. Red herring.

        5) Trump is politics — you are being disingenuous with talk about taking this up with our representatives when it was obviously a factor (as a subset of immigration as a whole) in the election of the president you so dislike. The representatives weren’t listening. Trump could have been avoided.

        6) Of course Americans started the H-1B. Note my comment about my elite countrymen:
        “I would prefer the United States be great for Americans of all races and social classes — and have ample proof that for the last 40 – 50 years my elite countrymen have not felt the same. The H-1B and OPT are straight up proof of that.”

        7) The world is simply not made in America’s image — that is drivel — and again the country does not have an obligation to take in people. If there is capacity sure, if not, no. So there we do agree.

        8) If you are not an H-1B you are actually hurting, not helping, their cause. Seriously.


        • Just for the record: RH67’s e-mail address, which shows up when I view the blog, indicates that he has an Anglo name, thus not likely an H-1B himself.


  12. Several discussion points:

    – Extremely cheap mass education in India: Costs are rising in India, but education is still relatively cheap. Even the maids in metropolitan cities can push it by taking loans (and eventually even repaying them) at about $2000 per year that it costs to get an *engineering degree* (this is expensive for them, but they are very motivated to see that their kids get the engineering degree). This makes an Indian graduate easy to take jobs at lower wages, since they are just not servicing the student loans Americans do.

    – Tremendous population: You multiply the number of motivated people seeking those degrees, the availability of the education at relatively affordable rates…it’s mind boggling. In raw numbers, India might easily be churning out 20X or more engineering graduates as the US. Population growth in India is slowing rapidly, but currently, the *peak population effects* are in full force.

    – Once the superiority of numbers is established, quality matters less and less. This is very much like the WWII, where the German engineers were enamored with creating the superior and perfect designs that rarely made it to the production and on the field (but later sent us to the moon), whereas the allies just out mass-produced them. Hermann Goring in a famous fiery speech drove this point in a 1943 meeting with his officers (it was too late for them by that time). Asimov has written a sci-fi story to this effect (I forget what it’s called now). Essentially: As long as you can get *something* done, sheer force of numbers will matter over the *same superior thing*. That’s why the stats such as only 4.77% being able to write code don’t matter. That 4.77% might as well be greater than the entire engineering output of the US universities.

    – Total lack of opportunities: India is corrupt – oh yes, it is. Unfortunately, the democracy is plagued by extreme corruption. In a twisted way, the US is literally subsidizing the price of maintaining a democracy in India by sharing a huge chunk of its economy with India. Without the money going from the US back in India, it will literally be an unlivable hell for the majority and its democracy might collapse. Post independence, Indian politicians have done literally NOTHING to improve the infrastructure – case in point: About 99% of people in its premier metro city (Mumbai) still use the outdated and antiquated 2-line rail system installed by the British Raj. This is the pitiful state of India. Had India taken large scale projects to transform the country, Indian population has no need to see emigration worldwide.

    – Lax America: Make no mistake. Indians want to emigrate. Despite the draconian green card wait, conditions in America are still *comparatively lax* compared to the world. You can keep renewing your H1B indefinitely – this law was actually enacted in 2000 and thus, is fairly recent. The *long OPT* is even newer. H4-EAD is the newest addition (2015). Indians will stay put in America until they get a green card avoiding international travel altogether (several of my friends haven’t been to India for almost a decade now) on the H1B. The prize is of course birthright citizenship. By nature and tradition, Indians always look forward 1 generation, and knowing their kids are US citizens is a huge prize to them to stay put in the US no matter the conditions.

    – US is generally cheap, H1B is cushy: Of course, H1B is about labor arbitrage. But you are not paying pennies on the dollar. It’s more like 2 quarters and a dime or two on the dollar. H1Bs are hired at about 50-80% of the citizen pay, and that can go a long way for Indians. The US is generally cheap – food, energy and housing (compared to the rest of the world) is still affordable at those wages. I have Indian friends in their 40s, who stayed put at client sites, log in to debug production issues literally any time, and can travel any time at their employer’s whim. And they probably still earn in 5 figures. And all of them lament without fail *if only I had a green card*.

    These are open secrets. I will remain anonymous, and I hope they get shared. I don’t have a long term solution except that the Indian politicians should mend their corrupt ways and start improving the freaking country for a change, and stop feeding on the US and the rest of the world. I absolutely do not blame Indians for wanting to emigrate, because they are generally smart, hard working, family oriented and can be a good influence overall on the community.


    • The cost advantage is not merely the direct salary. If an H1-B is told to work 80 hours a week or get sent home, they do it. If a U.S. citizen is told to work 80 hours a week (no overtime), there might be a lawsuit or a work stoppage. Or they just quit and go to a different company. So not only is the salary lower for an H1-B, but the number of hours worked each week is higher, typically.

      I don’t blame individuals or families for wanting to come to the U.S. I do blame the corporations and consultants and spinmeisters who want to encourage migration en masse in order to change the demographics, the culture, and the economic structure of America.

      I’d like to see the ruckus if somebody wrote an “immigration lawyer replacement app” or began hiring H1-B’s en masse to replace CEO’s, politicians, and lawyers. Suddenly their tune would change, wouldn’t it?


      • >> I’d like to see the ruckus if somebody wrote an “immigration lawyer replacement app” or began hiring H1-B’s en masse to replace CEO’s

        Very recently, I read a line from one of the lawyers fighting for American worker, when paraphrased, “would take an army of lawyers to read through regulations, understand them and then [undo] those”. And this was regarding previous administrations “overstepping” the congress, going “full monty” to give greencards “faster” to India borns , spousal work permits to India borns and expanded OPT to India born F-1s.

        And replacements are already happening – Nadella, Pitchai et al., from (tech) corporate world, Khanna et al., in political world and dime-a-dozen immigration lawyers. But all of them are well trained/groomed to prey on their own and not work in best interest of American worker (H-1 etc).. While the good ones (pick your favorite) turn other way when its “show time” (H2 visa sneaking into CR, EB-5 extension in the recent past)


      • And yet Silicon Valley itself was built by Americans working 80-90 hours a week for 2 decades. The idea that Americans don’t want to work long hours is ludicrous. I can’t count the number of US companies I’ve worked in where all the Asian H1B workers go home at 6PM and the work never gets done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The last tech company I worked for tasked me with what they couldn’t/didn’t get done. Yes, they went home at 6pm, and I spent nights and weekends on clean up of some really ridiculous bugs and integration.


    • In USA we use open discussion and your attempts to silence critics will not work.

      It has been well established in many places that the list of companies damaged or destroyed by cheap, uncreative imported workers is a mile long. Boeing, Sun, PeopleSoft, Lehman, CountryWide, and Fannie Mae being just a few of them.

      “Indian IT giants (fondly called WITCHS these days) account for a revenue of $50 billion per year now, and *things mostly work*”.

      Well, as Apple – the most valuable company in the world now, approaching $1 trillion in valuation shows, “mostly working” is not nearly good enough. Imported workers’ penchant for “cheaper, but crappy” is not what American excellence is all about.

      And revenue is not indicator of performance. Bank robbers bring in lot of “revenue” too but are they good for society? Hardly. It has already been well established that WITCHes are bad for the US economy, as evidenced by Trump’s win and the VAST majority of Americans not wanting any more non-performing and racist immigrants who wage war on Americans once in the US.

      Tata for example, in just one case was fined $940 million for trade secret theft from a US company:

      HCL was banned by FAA for unacceptable work which cost Boeing tens of millions and a lawsuit from ANA.

      And HCL is also now being sued by MillerCoors for $100 million for another failed project:

      Call these “anecdotes” if you like but they are legion and they are costing companies tens of millions of dollars. “Cheaper” also means lower quality. What good is cheaper if the “services” and projects provided don’t work? It’s not cheaper to fail a project – it’s more expensive due to lawsuits and failed projects that don’t work.

      2 of the great Americans who helped build the American economy – Henry Ford and Steve Jobs were both in favor of paying people more, not less:

      “I have to pay my people enough to enable them to buy my product”
      – Henry Ford

      “That would be shortsighted. Take care of your top line first – your products and your people and the bottom line will take care of itself”
      – Steve Jobs on why Apple didn’t outsource

      Paying workers as little as possible creates a 3rd world economy – throwing most people into poverty. The American economy was built on middle class consumers – by paying people MORE, not less.

      I will also remind you that the Apple Maps fiasco was caused by outsourcing the Maps team and project to India.

      “Of course your statistical analysis cannot miss the portion of projects that actually get done (maybe suboptimally, but AT A CHEAPER RATE AS INTENDED) and also how profitable the US companies are (possibly due to large savings from IT, again H1B AND OUTSOURCING AS THEY INTENDED)”

      As mentioned, Boeing took a massive hit to profits from the delayed 787 project thanks to HCL outsourcing failure. MillerCoors lost $100 million and is now suing.

      And why would any company want any project done “sub-optimally”? Bad performance hurts profits, again, as Apple’s wild success due to being the best proves.

      “Best kept secret on the N American continent: quality and service PAYS!”
      — Management consultant Tome Peters.

      Mediocrity is the enemy of success and thus the enemy of profits.

      Does anyone really want an economy where one massive crisis after another has to be cleaned up due to non-performance, rather than just doing things correctly to begin with? American taxpayers had to foot the bill in the trillions of dollars to clean up the 2008 Wall St. mess caused by outsourcing and WITCH failures.

      “Please stop misplacing the blame and confusing the issue. The problem is that if Americans outsourced the secrets of their technology, Indians and Chinese are more than capable of picking them up and doing work at a much cheaper rate”.

      Obviously you’re not – as the many project failures which continue today prove. And giving away trade secrets and allowing industrial thieves in to steal industrial secrets is never good for any nation or company, as Epic Systems found out the hard way. China’s passenger jet industry is now about to put Boeing out of business thanks to industrial theft. That is never good for a nation. Ask Boeing’s board if going out of business is “good for profits”.

      “I called out your posters because they all come up with their *anecdotes* and extremely biased data about how Indian H1Bs are no good. In my experience, they provide FAR TOO MUCH for the buck and older Americans simply cannot compete”

      How is it “extremely biased”? Direct proof of project failure by outsourcers is proof that many outsourcing companies and their foreign workers are non-performers. $100 million for a failed SAP project wasn’t good for MillerCoors in any manner, nor was HCL’s software fail good for Boeing in any manner.

      The reality is India and China are getting a lot more out of the outsourcing deal than America is: billions in revenue as you mentioned, while America gets failed projects that its critical businesses depend on. Many US companies disappearing can be traced to failed outsourcing. Each company that fails is large amounts of profits disappearing as well as many jobs lost – jobs Americans depend on to survive.

      Of course you want comments censored – India Incs need to hide their failures and what they are really doing in order to keep the propaganda going to continue the plunder of US industry. Well, we Americans will NOT be silenced.

      And discriminating against older workers due to age is ILLEGAL under US law. You are advocating violating US law. Why do “non-immigrants” think they can come to the US and not only violate US law, but actually advocate everyone else do the same? Who do you think you are?

      “I am totally with you that the narrative on h1B has to change, and it must be brought out that it is an ordinary workers visa”.

      And yet that is not its intent. Under H-1B law it is for foreign workers with specialized skills only. No specialized skills, no entry. Until the law is changed, it must remain that way. America now has a mass surplus of “ordinary workers” (90 million or so unemployed). We don’t need and can’t absorb any more “ordinary workers”. If you are not the very best, America doesn’t need you.

      “I also believe American corporations are too stupid and shortsighted creating a massive foreign dependency on a critical function in the economy (knowledge). These are totally AMERICAN POLICY ISSUES and must be taken on and dealt with on the Capital Hill. Indians are not writing American laws”.

      NOT TRUE! You ARE writing American laws – or at least determining which laws get passed and which don’t:

      No need to worry about H1B visa issue for now: Sushma Swaraj

      “Currently there are four bills in the US Congress about curbs on H1B visas. We are engaged (in a dialogue) with the US at very high level regarding this… We are making all efforts (through diplomatic channels) to ensure these bills are not passed,” Sushma said in the Rajya Sabha.

      Not to mention USIN-PAC and lobbying.

      “Remember: American laws are written ultimately for the AMERICAN HEGEMONY on the entire world (a policy formed sometime during/after WWII). In a way, by taking away India’s H1B *masses* is still depriving India a lot of talent (no matter how much they muck up those projects)”.

      Nonsense. Many American laws are written by FOREIGN LOBBYISTS. Or Corporate Lobbyists from US companies run by FOREIGN CEOs. Citibank was just one example. Microsoft, Adobe, and Google are 3 more.

      And if you are “mucking up” projects then you’re not really all that “talented” are you?

      “Do be careful in targeting the people working on those visas. They are doing what they can for their families and making economically rational choices. When your readers post how India and China did not provide anything to humanity (what a ridiculous comment! I don’t even know where to begin), that the 3 billion people are no good, that anytime there is an Indian H1B means disaster, and that all Indians and Chinese carry around massive egos to be assuaged – I think you should evaluate your position if you find anything really useful in those comments”.

      These facts have already been well documented in many places, and are truth. Wanting to change the argument doesn’t change the facts. And USA doesn’t tolerate NON-PERFORMERS, no matter how much other nations want to use the US economy “for their families”. Corporations are not charities to be sucked dry by the needy even to the point of non-existence. They exist to make a profit. And if workers don’t provide the best to help make a profit, they are not needed in USA. Your statements more than prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that H1B and other visa programs are being used by other nations as International Socialism.

      “As profound and smart and skilled and accomplished you are, you are merely ONE human being. You are full of your faults and are subject to the same biases and prejudices everyone is (including me). While I appreciate you giving me homework to do, I think even a professor of your calibre can do a little homework and really evaluate what effect your message is having on the masses”.

      The vast MAJORITY of Americans want all foreign guest workers GONE from America. That is a fact. That is why Trump was elected. We Americans will NOT be silenced. Never, ever. We will continue to expose what opportunistic nations such as India are doing to the US and we will never stop doing that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glob,

        You have used a lot of words and have put forth a long post.

        There is no “India Inc” that is using the US corporations for furthering their own pockets. I don’t know how to put it to you.

        Finally, if the MAJORITY of Americans want the guest workers gone, I have already pointed out what needs to be done. Make it the number 1 issue and vote on it. Your candidate did eek out a victory, so it remains to be seen if he delivers. I don’t want to make any more comments about what effects a drastic move can have. Clearly, there is no discussion to be had here.

        Your angrily written post is full of contradictions. You say that the US doesn’t tolerate non-performers, yet give a litany of failed projects from India Inc. Which is it?

        I haven’t even defended the H1Bs and the failed projects. I have ONLY TAKEN ISSUE to your INANE comments attacking the PEOPLE OF INDIA AND CHINA who you are painting as some sort of dishonest thieves stealing your lunch with a broad brush.

        I regret that Dr. Matloff’s platform is being used by extremists. This will be my final post. I do hope you find peace and tranquility, and don’t get drowned out in emotions that are just not good for your soul.

        P.S. Disclosure: I am a person of the WHITE race married to a former failed project lead H1B from India Inc. I do not share your views, and I believe you do not have a MAJORITY when you say you want to see them ALL GONE. I thought I would put forth rational ideas of really bringing best and the brightest and putting numbers control. I didn’t think I was on Bribert.


        • I think Glob said we should have H-1Bs only if there is a worker shortage. He is taking this from a certain interpretation of the statute that many people hold. He didn’t say he wants them all gone.

          Sadly, there are tons of things that the majority of Americans want. According to polls, clamping down on H-1B is one such issue. The problem with this and other such issues is that a HUGE, HIGHLY COORDINATED effort is needed, both to get the politicians’ attention and to counter the powerful, entrenched vested interests, which the vast majority of Americans have no expertise in. In the particular case of H-1B, the problem is even more difficult, because of the very real fear of blacklisting.

          Thank you for being upfront on your personal motivation here. By the way, many Indian-Americans (including some readers of this blog) voted for Trump, as you probably know.


          • Norm I read often but am not sure how often this happens — ‘platform for extremists’ is crazy talk!

            Please keep posting. I like you a lot better than Brietbart, which I only occasionally read. (Rather hilarious — I’m more the nakedcapitalism lefty reader).

            I might add he took issue with my comment and I wasn’t slamming Indian or Chinese or anyone’s culture or history. Every society has good and bad points (though not to the same degree).

            An obvious technique on his part to shut down discussion.

            I think we all know you don’t have to agree with a comment to allow it to be published.

            Regardless, thanks again.


          • Thanks for your support.

            Of course, the easiest way to put someone down if they dare to question the hegenomy of the ruling powers is to albel them extremist.

            I was hoping to have a dialog with RH67, concerning his use of the word “Trump” as an adjective. I was disappointed when he decided not to post anymore.


    • It’s rather strange to _knowingly_ sign up for
      – Indian and Chinese policy of exporting excess population,
      – selling oneself as indentured cheap wage for majority average or lower skill level
      – causing a labor glut of H-1Bs filling the green card queue, along with family
      and then calling the green card queue “Draconian” when one ends up exactly in the position they signed up for.


    • One of the toxic effects of programs like H1-B is that Indian-style corruption has become routine in Washington. Much of the reason why the H1-B program exists and continues to exist is that American politicians are being paid off.
      The most astounding thing about this is that, because it is considered normal in India, they publish a press release in the Indian media when an American politician has accepted the bribe!

      This is a bi-partisan problem. Haley Barbour, the former head of the RNC, was a registered foreign agent for India, and then later ran for Governor of Mississippi. The Indian government gave him over $1 million in “campaign contributions”, which was laundered through various Indian post-docs, etc.
      Hillary Clinton, of course, had accepted many millions of dollars in bribes, most of which was laundered through the Clinton Foundation.

      Programs like H1-B have increased the level of corruption in this country, as Indian methods of doing business have spread.


  13. Cartel: “Mission accomplished” pitting Americans vs Indians, We are the good ones out there. As we have been saying all the while, give us more H-1s !


    • So true. After reading through these comments yesterday and today I was stuck by how within a few years I had personally gone from ‘immigration, the more the better’, to ‘batten down the hatches’.

      Outside of California I worked for a start up with a core of very smart foreign (south/east /southwest Asian) PhDs — doing machine learning so they were actual computer scientists and not just software engineers — and a group of American interns and recent graduates as the software engineer implementers. It really was a great combination and did benefit everyone! (The contracts were DoD contracts btw.)

      When I came to Silicon Valley I was stuck by how few Americans I saw as software engineers. And I mean American period, not some sort of code word for white. I’m from the middle of the country — but here it’s the Bay Area so give me some ‘tiger cubs’ or something. There are plenty of schools within a days drive.

      Norm stresses age — which helps me, btw — but year after year I don’t see much effort to hire American kids (well, twenty-something graduates) and that really bugs me. That is the future. And I don’t work at some body shop — I have a pretty nice gig doing interesting things. That got me looking around to find this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t understand why Norm stresses age. 30 years old is just about the time 3 year H-1B + 3 year extension expires. Cheap/indentured/malleable expires.


        • Once again: If the worker is being sponsored for a green card, he is stuck, immobile. This is enormously beneficial to employers, and it also enables paying the worker less than he is worth.


  14. >> US media H1B hype is just caused by NASSCOM paid PR

    Me thinks Zuckerberg, Schmidt, Bill Gates et al., (I specifically exclude Nadella, Pitchai from this list for a reason) can buy couple of NASSCOMs and put them in their coffee (or whatever it is that they smoke/drink) and call it “done”, if they *really* want to.

    >> then US law REQUIRES that Americans be hired first

    If *thats* the law, why aren’t lawsuits in troves coming along ? And those that are filed (Disney/OPT/H4 EAD) not voted in our favor?

    >> No specialized skills, no entry

    funnily enough, if my memory serves right, previous administration had a notice-and-comment kind of memo on defining what ‘specialized skills’ mean for L-1 visa. Apparently, *all* have specialized skills.. Here’s the icing – There absolutely zero,nada,nilch data available on L-1 *anywhere* as we are all so hung up on H-1.

    >> And discriminating against older workers due to age is ILLEGAL under US law

    ….so is discrimination against one’s country of origin, race, color, creed, yada, yada.. and yet Americans are discriminated against in America. The same law seems to have made it “legal” to circumvent itself.. oxymoronic law it seems!


    • Those who claim that the law says no foreign worker can be hired if qualified Americans are available may well be right. I used to think that that part of the statute was written in the context of green cards, but upon rereading it I was not sure at all.

      Why hasn’t anyone sued on that basis? It’s an excellent question, because there are various other bases that should apply as well. For instance, the GATS treaty, to which the U.S. is a signatory, clearly states that the provisions for H-1B-dependent employers actually applies to ALL employers. I’ve pointed that out many times, but no one heeds it. Could be that there is case law applying to these things that I am unaware of.


      • Norm, I have read and re-read the entirety of Title 8, and specifically subsection 5 many times. It clearly says it’s illegal for any foreign worker to be hired if Americans are unemployed. In fact it’s illegal for them to even *enter* the US, let alone work.

        “(a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:”

        Note it says “visas or admission” – which would imply both visas and green cards. Also note that mere admission to the country is illegal, not just employment or working. Entry itself is illegal unless the exceptions listed are met. This is the exact *opposite* of the current legal fiction of open borders and “America is a land of immigrants”.

        Under (5)(A)(i):

        “(i) In general

        Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that—”….

        Note that ALL foreign labor is inadmissible, skilled or unskilled, as a general rule UNLESS the below exceptions are met:

        “(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and”……

        With 90 million able, willing, qualified Americans out of work, (I) alone makes every foreign worker now working in the US inadmissible, and thus an illegal alien. Which means ALL H-1Bs are also working illegally.

        “(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed”…….

        So even if (I) above is false, (II) also disqualifies every foreign guest worker, skilled or not, H-1B or not, since there are an estimated 6-10 million of them working, but 90 million Americans not working. Note that (II) says the mere act of “adversely affecting” wages and working conditions of existing American workers renders foreign workers inadmissible. It doesn’t say anything about only skilled foreign workers being able to work if Americans are unemployed, it says ALL foreign workers. There is no exception even for “skilled” foreign workers. Even if they ARE more skilled than American workers.

        In the case of China, many Chinese guest workers also violate section (D) since they are members of the Chinese Communist Party – which is a “totalitarian party”. It’s illegal for ANY member of the CCP to even enter the US under Title 8! Yet many of them are and are here on H1Bs or L-1s. Zero enforcement. Which also means the recent visit by China’s Xi to meet Trump was also illegal. Perhaps this is the reason Nixon had to go to China in the 70s instead of Deng coming to the US.

        Yet today laws are just ignored – all in favor of “International Business” and “International Cooperation”.


        • I have assumed that the defense is that the prevailing wage and “working conditions” requirements of H-1B are deemed to satisfy the requirement that “the Secretary has determined.” Again, it may well be that case law supports that interpretation.

          I would guess that only a small percentage, say 2%, of the Chinese H-1Bs are members of the Communist Party.


        • Glob,

          Even if I had the time to do it, I suspect that I wouldn’t read US Code 1182 so I cannot comment on how well it is enforced (which would require me to read additional miles of legislation and court rulings, I guess).

          But 90 million Americans willing to work and unable to do so sounds like a ~50% unemployment rate. Perhaps you are exaggerating a bit?

          I would also appreciate it if you could elaborate on the idea expressed above that the sub-prime crisis was caused by H1-b employees. Some countries in Europe have not recovered and are still suffering considerable hardship. They might be interested in the possibility of suing them.

          Thanks, Mikel


      • It is simply a matter that the US is no longer a land of rule of law – unless it benefits those running the establishment or their handlers (corporations, lawyers, foreign entities).

        Thousands of Americans could have sued on the basis of Section 1182, Sub. 5, and won, if the cases would be heard by jury, and as I have often told many to do such, but of course, the courts will throw them out, as Sara Blackwell discovered, even though I warned her the court wouldn’t hear the case.

        Trump promised to “Drain the Swamp” and “End H-1B as a cheap labor program”, but it has only taken a few months for him to be co-opted by the banking/corporate/lobbyist establishment. Meet the new boss…..

        Americans could also sue under GATT as you described, or RICO as Blackwell tried, but if the courts are corrupt and ignore the law, there is zero recourse. Sun’s Santiglia thought he had an airtight case, only to be shocked it was thrown out too. Many Americans gave up suing in the early 2000s after it became apparent the courts are corrupt.

        I once went to the FBI and ICE offices in San Jose, after being thrown out of work @ Adobe along with 498 other US citizens, by an inadmissible alien “engineering manager” from India.

        I even printed the law out, photocopied, enlarged 300%, underlined so they could read it. When I demanded enforcement by both offices, I was merely told “They can hire whoever they want”, and dismissed.

        Which is clearly NOT what the law says. “Law enforcement” exists for the profit of the state. If there’s nothing in it for the state, no enforcement will take place.

        Once again, proof USA is no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of Corporations, and banks, and their men, destroying the American people, as Jefferson warned us in advance would happen, almost 2.5 centuries ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I never thought the RICO argument worked.

          Guy Santiglia had a very biased administrative law judge (who refused to let me testify, by the way), but again he probably was on weak legal ground.


      • >> Those who claim that the law says no foreign worker can be hired if qualified Americans are available may well be right

        They “may” be right, but the lawyers that drafted the law are “absolutely” right when they drafted it, down to the last comma. Again, the pain is so real, clear and present, which to most of us sounds and looks to be a slam dunk……

        Again, this is like one of those anti-discrimination (age/race/-yawn-) laws which we all think we know very well — Reams of law against discrimination but nothing to prevent this discrimination of American worker against Indians.

        >> Why hasn’t anyone sued on that basis..

        Thanks for reinforcing my point. I have a simple theory – it’s because “no one can”… The cartel has made it bullet proof. Disney, OPT, H4 lawsuits are exhibits A,B and C.

        But hey, hope springs eternal. We still have plenty of time until mid terms …. and then there’s one.


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