Backlash Stirs in U.S. Against Foreign Worker Visas
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The House of Representatives never acted on the measure. With immigration reform considered dead this year in Congress, President Barack Obama last week declared he will use executive actions to address some changes. It is not known whether the H-1B program will be on the agenda.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is among the high-profile executives pushing for more H-1Bs. The argument has long been that there aren't enough qualified American workers to fill certain jobs, especially in science, engineering and technology. Advocates also assert that some visa holders will stay and become entrepreneurs.
Critics say there is no across-the-board shortage of American tech workers, and that if there were, wages would be rising rapidly. Instead, wage gains for software developers have been modest, while wages have fallen for programmers.
The liberal Economic Policy Institute reported last year that only half of U.S. college graduates in science, engineering and technology found jobs in those fields and that at least one third of IT jobs were going to foreign guest workers.
The top users of H-1B visas aren't even tech companies like Google and Facebook. Eight of the 10 biggest H1-B users last year were outsourcing firms that hire out thousands of mostly lower- and mid-level tech workers to corporate clients, according to an analysis of federal data by Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology. The top 10 firms accounted for about a third of the H-1Bs allotted last year.
The debate over whether foreign workers are taking jobs isn't new, but for years it centered on low-wage sectors like agriculture and construction. The high-skilled visas have thrust a new sector of American workers into the fray: the middle class.
Last month, three tech advocacy groups launched a labor boycott against Infosys, IBM and the global staffing and consulting company ManpowerGroup, citing a "pattern of excluding U.S. workers from job openings on U.S soil."
They say Manpower, for example, last year posted U.S. job openings in India but not in the United States.
"We have a shortage in the industry all right -- a shortage of fair and ethical recruiting and hiring," said Donna Conroy, director of Bright Future Jobs, a group of tech professionals fighting to end what it calls "discriminatory hiring that is blocking us ... from competing for jobs we are qualified to do."
"U.S. workers should have the freedom to compete first for job openings," Conroy said. (continued...)
© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
Posted: 2014-07-30 @ 8:11am PT
What a bunch of fact-less whining about nothing. Do you know what the national unemployment rate for programmers is in the United States? Less than 1%. And HELLO wages ARE going up at an average rate of 6.5% per year because THERE IS A SHORTAGE! That's double inflation rate if you're a programmer or DBA or the like. I barely touch my linkedin account and yet still receive a good 5 - 10 recruiters a week emailing me / calling me. My last job switch came with a 30% pay increase. If I left my current company now, I'd receive another 30% pay increase - I never got a chance to finish college. I only have 8 years experience and am already making over a 6 figure salary with 6 weeks vacation and free health care. There are a 100 other new jobs a week in my medium sized city that would do the same or better and NO I don't live in CA.
Sure, go ahead, import more foreign workers. No one cares or will even notice. The worst that will happen is a lot of companies will get fair/poor programmers who can't speak English and don't really understand the business they are working in. They will always be junior / middle programmers getting bottom of the barrel jobs that the skilled people pass up. And when the layoffs come, who goes first? This literally just happened at my company. Laid off 100s of people in one day and guess what nationality 50% of them were? Guess what nationality 6 months later are still looking for jobs? Do you really want these bottom of the barrel jobs where you aren't expected to really communicate, have mediocre skill sets, mediocre pay and will be the first to get laid off at a company that is doing OK limping along with a work force that has no skill or direction?
And since when does a college degree in CS mean much of anything in the field? Let me see... not since about 1999. College does very little to prepare you and unless you are dead-set on working for one of the huge mega corps being just a small cog in the giant wheel and can be let go at any time (IBM, Oracle, MS etc.), a college degree means very little compared to your experience. Unless you want to program in fortran, cobalt, python or other mostly un-used languages, most colleges won't teach you how to do anything useful. I get that maybe we import more H1B workers than we used to. Maybe the golden age of fortune and glory being an English speaking software engineer will soon come to end. But the article speaks as if it's already happening and takes a few examples of people barely making anything in the industry and always getting laid off (I skimmed, but say a $40k salary quote in there somewhere - wtf?). The people in these examples must be really terrible at what they do. Terrible journalism. Factless ranting. Why am I even responding. I should get back to work... got lots of software to write.
Posted: 2014-07-25 @ 10:55am PT
12 years at Microsoft developing Windows. Have all the latest skills.
I work for an Indian now that sells to US firms and sends all the money and jobs back to India.
Sad when today the only job I could find is a VP role training Indians and sending all our technical know-how to Mohali.
Bill Gates is a Traitor:
Posted: 2014-07-22 @ 7:37pm PT
End the Indian unqualified H1-B visa scam ruining U.S. Corporations technological edge now! Write your Congress reps to kill this fraudulent racket destroying American middle class jobs for short term reckless exec greed!
Posted: 2014-07-17 @ 12:03pm PT
Towards the end of my IT career at Motorola, the majority of the people that I was working with were employees of companies like Tata and Infosys and were presumably on H-1B visas
Posted: 2014-07-14 @ 4:17pm PT
The H1B Visa Program is destroying the American middle class.
Posted: 2014-07-14 @ 11:38am PT
"A company spokeswoman said Infosys has about 17,000 employees in the U.S., about 25 percent U.S. hires."
NASSCOM produced a report a couple years ago touting that 1/3 of their onshore staff is not on visa. What they did not speak to was breakdown by 1) job role nor 2) remaining percentage of the 1/3 that were on GC vs. citizen.
Anecdotally, from personal observation and a great many accounts from others, I'd be surprised if InfoSys or NASSCOM in general has 10% of their core technical staff who were born in the US.