Following up on my post yesterday, I can now report that Rep. Khanna continues to tweet furiously on the H-1B issue and on my views of it. Here is yet another exchange between him and Alan Tonelson:
Replying to @AlanTonelson @mercnews
> He [Matloff] fears it [the median-wage provision] would be stripped away in negotiation but I don’t believe that to be the case. The best part of bill is raising the wage!…He acknowledges that the [Durbin-Grassley H-1B reform] bill would create a median wage! That’s a big step forward. That’s the best part of the bill
Well, this is major progress! A couple of days ago he accused me of not knowing the bill well, and now (after Alan pointed him to my blog post on D-G) he admits that I know the bill after all. This should have been clear during the VOA debate between him and me, when I stated that yes, I had read the bill in full, that I knew the people who drafted the bill etc.
But even more interestingly, he now states, correctly, that he and I agree. His comment above, “That’s the best part of the bill,” is quite consistent with my blog post, in which I stated:
I have endorsed Grassley’s previous bills — but only because I found one particular feature useful: The bills would redefine the official prevailing wage to be the median in the given occupation and region, overall, not broken down according to experience levels.
As he notes, what I also said was,
Unfortunately, the new bill suffers from exactly the same problems, and indeed makes things worse, in my opinion. Granted, the old prevailing wage redefinition provision is still there, BUT that provision was the first one to be emasculated in negotiations in the old Grassley bills. I’m sure it would not survive in the current one either.
I’ve been writing about the H-1B issue for nearly 25 years (!). I’ve seen a lot of bills come and go. The median-wage provision was the first to be deleted (actually, greatly weakened), and yes, it would happen again for the same reasons (the age issue).
I don’t doubt that Rep. Khanna means well (in his calmer moments). Thus I don’t blame him for cosponsoring a House version of the D-G bill. But he is unaware of this legislative history, e.g. the statement made back in 1996 by Senate Immigration Subcommittee Chair Alan Simpson,
I was working with the business community…to address their concerns, [but] each time we resolved one, they became more creative, more novel.
He also is unaware of — or refuses to believe — that the industry firms that hire foreign students from U.S. university campuses (the “Intels,” firms that D-G rewards) are just as culpable as the outsourcing firms (the “Infosyses,” that D-G punishes). It was the Intels who shot down that median-wage provision in one of the earlier versions of D-G, and unless and until Khanna understands that, he will continue to write shrill tweets defending the bill.
He can start understanding that point by taking me up on my offer to give him the name of the Google HR person who stated that Google prefers to hire international students over Americans because the foreigners essentially cannot leave Google for another employer. Recall that this exchange during the debate about my comments about Google,
Khanna reacted quite sharply to this, his voice rising. “This is a very serious charge! You have no proof! Who at Google said this? What are their names?” I replied that I had stated this publicly before without objection from Google, and then said, “I’ll give you the name of the HR person, who by the way is now at Facebook. You should call Google.” But of course he did not take me up on the offer.
Khanna asked for this name! My offer to supply it to him still stands, as I said yesterday.
And if he is reluctant to go that route, he can check the sources I cited during the debate that show that this kind of abuse of the foreign students is widespread, such as
- the NRC report commissioned by Congress
- statements by Immigration Voice (including congressional testimony), an organization of foreign workers, stating that exploitation of the workers waiting for green cards is rampant (note: the Infosyses only rarely sponsor their foreign workers for green cards; GC sponsorship is an Intels practice)
- the Web site of attorney David Swaim, who designed the immigration operation of Texas Instruments and is now in private practice; Swaim openly urges employers to hire foreign students in lieu of Americans, because of the immobility described above
Again, I do give Khanna credit for meaning well. But if he is indeed well-meaning, he will check with the above sources to get to the bottom of this issue.
Indeed, what he really ought to do if he is truly interested in doing the right thing on H-1B would be to meet with me. Within the last year, I have met with a senior partner of Fragomen, the nation’s largest immigration firm; the federal Dept. of Labor; and the federal EEOC — all at THEIR invitation, not initiated by me. If they believe I have something to say on this issue, maybe Khanna should recognize that, for better or worse, I am the one who “knows where the bodies are buried” on this issue.
The ball is in Mr. Khanna’s court.