House Kills Bill to Create More STEM Visas

Washington DCThe House of Representatives has defeated a bill that would have allowed as many as 55,000 foreign nationals with STEM degrees — those in science, technology, engineering or math — to receive green cards.

The brainchild of Texas Republican Lamar Smith, The “STEM Jobs Act” would have changed lottery-based permanent-residency visas into STEM visas.

The proposed legislation actually won a majority of votes (257-158), but because Republicans brought it to the floor under a suspension of the rules, it required a two-thirds majority to pass.

The granting of visas to foreign STEM graduates tends to have bipartisan support, and both parties have some form of language backing the idea in their official platforms. At the same time, leaders from 165 universities had signed a letter in support.

Let the Debate Begin

The contentiousness behind the issue of STEM visas is an offshoot of the long-simmering debate over H-1Bs. The thinking goes something like this: The U.S. needs to be globally competitive in the sciences, but can’t inspire enough students to study in those fields. In fact, he United States ranks 27th among developed countries in the proportion of bachelor’s degrees awarded in science or engineering, according to a 2010 National Academies report.

Meanwhile, thousands of foreign students come here to get degrees degrees in the sciences. They’re allowed to stay for up to 29 months after they graduate. Then they have to leave, unless they score an H-1B, which a company can request if it claims it can’t find an American to do the job. Proponents argue we should let them stay, become American residents, and make the country more competitive. Critics say companies use H-1Bs as a way to pay lower wages.

The Push for More STEM Workers

The President and industry groups have long called on colleges to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year and 100,000 new teachers with majors in STEM, but the pipeline hasn’t been filled the pipeline just yet. There are about 250,000 American STEM undergrads right now, but most won’t go on to get advanced degrees.

So, does the U.S. need to offer residency to 55,000 foreign STEM workers in order to remain competitive? As you consider that, bear in mind that in 2009, about 33 percent of the total 450,000 STEM graduate here had temporary visas. That’s about 150,000, alongside 300,000 Americans.

Visa Requirements

How would those 55,000 people get their green cards under the proposal?

  • First, receive a doctorate or master’s degree from a U.S. university while physically present in the U.S.
  • Be backed by an employer, who would petition for the candidate through a labor certification process similar to what’s used for employment-based green cards. They’d have to show that there are not American workers qualified and available for the job.
  • Agree to work for the petitioning employer or in a STEM field for at least five years.

First preference would have gone to doctoral students. Any unused visas would be made available to master’s  degree students. Also,the bill proposed limiting eligible schools to doctorate-granting universities with a high level of research activity. That’s so diploma mills wouldn’t try to get in on the action.

The arguments between those who say America needs foreign STEM workers now, and those who want Americans to get the best STEM jobs, is sure to continue. At the moment, though, momentum is on the side of those pushing for competitiveness.

Where do you stand? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Updated Sept. 24 to report bill’s defeat.

159 Responses to “House Kills Bill to Create More STEM Visas”

  1. Fred Bosick


    Pay citizens a greater salary in these fields and the jobs will be filled. We already have a higher than normal unemployment rate. We don’t need yet another exception to immigration quotas.

  2. Funny as hell. Mn I wonder if we can demand out sourcing of every congress person and pretty much all of washington. I wonder if that is possible. Already lowered my standards to that of doing something I did before I graduated. Well something is better than nothing I guess.

    • Yes, let’s outsource our government and management. After being unemployed for over two years the best job I can get in comp sci is a ‘Business Analyst” position. In my 40 year career, this is the lowest level job I’ve ever had. The US can’t employ us experienced people. What do they need foreign labor for? Cheap is the only thing I can figure out.

      • Now doug that would be to logical. Outsource management. I to golf a degree in comp acid and engineering and the only job I can ge t is a low level help desk position where I know the guy is gonna try and get me to answer questions about more complex stuff that he doesn’t want to pay for. Thank god I got an out from this horrible field and country.

  3. Horrible, just horrible. The same greedy capitalists that have outsourced all our tech jobs and manufacturing, now want to import cheap educated labor.

    I have degrees in engineering and comp sci. I was unemployed for two years. Most employers ‘throw away’ older (50+) engineers and programmers.

    A masters degree or PhD? Except for teaching, there’s little value in these advanced degrees. A BS and ten years of real world experience is easily equivalent to advanced degrees.

    It looks like they’re raising the bar – no longer is a BS enough – you need to become a debt slave to student loans for a decent technical job.

    Seems the US has learned nothing from the recession or the real loss of jobs.

    • I’m also a 50+ worker, and I’ve worked in some facet of the computer industry for much of the past 40 years. I have been unemployed or underemployed for most of the last 10 years, while imported workers take the jobs that I’m qualified to do because they have “Desire”, “Enthusiasm”, and quite often a lower rate of pay. The H1-B process began to fill jobs that American workers could NOT do. Now it’s competition for American jobs by older American workers against the imported labor.

      My degree is in Engineering. My field is computers, thanks to several years in the Air Force. Now I just need a job. If a qualified American worker is in competition for a job against a qualified imported worker, according to the original intent, the American worker should be hired. It just doesn’t happen that way. Bring the US jobs back to US workers.

    • Rationalized

      How much governing commies have helped you? They have been controlling the congress since 2007 and had a president for 4 years. Don’t blame capitalistic model. You’re just seeing one aspect. Let me show you another bitter truth. One thing that we both agree that companies are in to make money (capitalistic model). If they don’t make money, either they will close the business or move to a place where operating cost is low. In either case, we are the looser because we not only loose the company, its economy but jobs too. Liberals will tell you to tax companies, I would say entice companies so that they remain the country, employing hundreds of thousands of jobs, generating revenue. The other option companies are employing is by hiring cheap labor i.e. Indian software pros. Whether you like it or not, that is the global trend.

      Our education system is so expensive that only very bright students get into high tech areas. Some who get scholarships continue their education. By the time a student gets out of college, he/she has raked up credit cards & other debts. Even though, these students get decent jobs, they still are paycheck to paycheck because they never learned the art of fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, parents don’t have time to teach their kids these important skills. Rest of their life goes struggling. I have many more things to say but let me close it now.

  4. James Green1

    Are you kidding me, not only should that fail the congressman and all congressman and senators should be thrown out of office. I am personally not voting for senators Dick Durbin or Mark Kirk or congressman Jessie Jackson Jr, and President Obama because they support this ridiculousness ideal. These people need to be putting the American People first. Unemployed Americans with STEM BS or MS degrees should be giving training dollars to pursue advance degrees and fill these positions companies say they can’t find Americans for, but to be honest that is what it is about it’s about cheap labor not STEM degrees.

  5. Glen Smith

    Given when it was brought to the floor, it is obvious that this was an attempt by congress to play to all the players in this situation. They knew it wouldn’t pass (generally, bills don’t hit the floor unless they will pass unless someone wants to make a “statement” but doesn’t want to have to deal with the reality that only some were pleased). By doing it now, congress could vote for a bill they didn’t want to pass.

  6. Developer

    The H-1b outsourcing visa makes the US much less competitive. Sure, outsourcing companies clean up, but innovation is way down since the H-1b era began. End the H-1b and the best and brightest will once again take up the sciences. If the H-1b continues the economy will collapse in time. Sad but true.

    • webknight18

      How is H1B outsourcing? H1B visa is for those who want to work in the US, so they count as immigrants. I am tired of hearing people blaming H1Bs and other immigrants for the poor performance of American kids. The best and brightest here are watching Jersey shore, and pursuing arts degrees. The prob is the parents and the attitude Americans have towards science. Maybe it’s time to look into that before pointing fingers at others.

  7. Minervesta

    The system is hijacked really by the L1 visas. Getting a H1 visa isnt easy and they are less prone to exploitation and depressing lower wages as they can find another job if the current one isnt up tro it. L1 is a different beast. The employee is tied to the company and there are no limits to these visas. I think they should increase the H1s and eliminate L1s

  8. America needs to fund training for qualified U.S. students in these fields. Corporate IT departments are being run by foreign nationals. We are in a recession. U.S. college education costs a fortune, students can’t pay their bills and are saddled with debt. We need an apprenticeship or training model for skilled professions such as IT and Engineering, and other trades, similar to what is done in Germany and other countries. Americans need to be trained in skilled professions, not liberal arts.

    • Having worked in the IT/Engineering field for forty years, I have experienced what these jobs have morphed into: Some real narrow slot, heads down, in a cube farm. Many engineers do nothing but look up parts in catalogs.

      If you have any kind of drive, or extoversion consider self employment, a trade, or sales and marketing. In the corps the sales/marketing people are the one’s who get the recognition, bonuses, trips, etc.

      IMO there’s no $ or fun in STEM. The way they treat you now – that career is dead.

    • webknight18

      The cost of education has gone up exponentially, mostly because of administrative costs. How come no one finds the time to discuss how to bring the costs down, but find the time to complain about immigrants?

      • Proud Paulbot

        Actually, it’s gone up exponentially for the same reason that housing costs went through the roof during the housing bubble: EZ financing, with no credit check and no questions asked. Anyone with a pulse and admission into a college–or even a hack “career school”–can take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans…even if they’re attending Billy Bob’s Career Institute to get a “certificate” in “paralegal studies.”

        Get the government OUT of education and OUT of the student loan market and restore bankruptcy protections for student loans. This will make student loans much more difficult to get, which means few students will qualify for them, which means that universities and “career schools” will be forced to lower their tuition to what the market can afford to bear so that they do not go out of business.

  9. MrBrownstone

    Folks, I am a former H1B, now proud US Citizen. I will tell you a story that many of you may not understand. It seems most people here want to defend your jobs in your home country. That is understandable since you can’t fly to India, Brazil or China and show up there to get a job.

    Now that said, let me tell you there is one trait demonstrated by foreign nationals that it is not easily found here in American employees. Employers love that:foreign workers come here hungry for the opportunity and they are eager to put long hours and motivation to get ahead. You can call this working the same salary (the salary is not lower contrary to public belief) for longer hours exploitation. Also foreign workers are typically more satisfied with benefits and less likely to complain and become frustrated. Those maybe nuances, but in high tech, those are key for a business.

    • Stingerski

      Yes, who would want to fly to India to work for $2 hr. and live 10 people to one apartment? Good luck with that and even finding a job over there to begin with (as though India needs more people)!

      I am in the over age 50 group with over 25 years of IT experience. My list of technical skills, programming languages, development tools, etc. is longer than my right leg. Yet, when employers see me coming in the door to interview for a job, they also just as quickly (in many cases) show me the exit. This usually comes about from some stupid “memory” test they throw at you that you can only pass if you have a full library of references books in tow. And God forbid you should ask to bring your laptop so you can research the answers on-line! What? You don’t have all this stuff memorized? NEXT APPLICANT, PLEASE!

      No, they don’t value research skills, even though that’s what any normal worker bee does all day. Unless you have a photo graphic memory with perfect recall you can’t remember all these technical fine points. And anybody who says they can is a liar. Think not? You have 10 seconds to answer this question: Show me how a switch (case) statement works in PHP vs. Python? (See the answer at bottom of post.)

      So, do I have trouble being employed because I ask for too much money? No. I always stay competitive on wages. I’m always glad to cut it right down the middle of the range, or even slightly less. You wanna be a pig, just remember that pigs get slaughtered.

      Is it because I refuse to work longer hours? No. At my age I don’t worry about having young children or a demanding wife to come home to. I haven’t been a soccer dad for over 10 years.

      Is it because I can’t learn new technologies quickly? Not at all. My latest venture is with Python, and I will have a good grasp of it in a few weeks. (This is all self taught, of course, as no company is willing to train people, if you have most of what they are looking for, like they used to do. You may have 8 or 9 out of the 10 ridiculous skills sets they are looking for, but all that gets you these days is: NEXT APPLICANT!)

      Is it because they think I won’t fit in with the company “culture?” BINGO! They want young dudes who carry an iPhone 5.5, that know how to make the best paper airplanes and can shoot a mean game of basketball. This is what they call “culture.” They can also pay these guys rock bottom wages because they know they are “hungry” to advance up the ladder. (And later on, these guys end up exactly where I am as they age, sans their mean game of basketball.)

      And if the young dude happens to be a foreigner on an H1-B visa, so much the better. They have an indentured servant at that point because they know he can’t leave the company in under two years, or else his application for permanent status starts all over with the next company.

      And THAT is the truth about this whole issue. Companies want the best talent at the lowest price. And who can blame them? But the problem is, if we all end up working as Greeters at WalMart, there won’t be anybody to buy their technology products. Even Henry Ford realized that. Even he realized that if he paid his workers a better wage they just might turn around and be able to buy one of his Model T’s.

      But since the bean counters took over management in the 1990s they have forgotten that lesson. We now have M.B.A.s running things who probably never even wrote a line of C code, let alone debugged anything. We’ve got people way up there in their ivory towers running things who don’t know squat about technology — except they know they need an iPhone 5 to look cool. And if they need to keep bringing in the slave labor to make it so, then it will be so. Engineering departments always take a back seat to the finance guys. This is also why products get pushed out the door before they are fully tested. These M.B.A.s view the whole world as their beta testers.

      Sorry for getting a bit long winded here. I will just sum this up by saying that, as long as there is a single, well qualified American worker to take a job, he or she should go to the head of the line ahead of ALL other H1-B or foreign applicants. Every other country looks out for its citizens first, except the United States. And I hope we all will remember this come Nov. 6th. And if you are confused as to whom to vote for just use this shorthand rule: Vote for the guy who is not in there. Turn over the power brokers every 2 to 4 years and just watch how all this H1-B and other nonsense ends.

      True story: many years ago I worked at CompuServe (on contract) when it was still king of the hill. I was at their Arlington Center in Ohio. And their palatial offices used to amaze me. Not because I was jealous of these money guys who inhabited such offices (while us worker bees who made the company hum along where crammed into closet sized cubicals). I was amazed because those offices almost always sat empty! Day after day, week after week, you had to wonder “Who are these guys?” Were they off on some golf junket in Europe drumming up more biz? Or perhaps they needed a palatial office to impress not only their own egos, but the egos of people who would come by and listen to their schtick. I never did find out.

      Python answer: there is no switch statement in Python. You have to use the old If-elif-elif-else construct. And no, “elif” is not a typo. Most other languages use “else if” but not Python. You didn’t know that? NEXT APPLICANT, PLEASE!

    • I’ll tell you a story you will understand. My parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents and myself have built this country. You on the other hand, come from a mostly 3rd world nation that has refused to modernize itself. You waltz right in here and acquire all the benefits and infrastructure of our country. We worked for this, you just appeared.

        • @webknight: “Maybe you should read American history before making stupid comments. This is a country of immigrants and was built by everyone, not just your family.”

          Obviously, you lack the common sense to understand I’m speaking about 100,000,000’s of of Americans that built this country, and installed and laws and infrastructure. The country HAS BEEN BUILT. The U6 unemployment is almost 20%. Young people graduating from colleges can’t get jobs, and/or their pay has been seriously undermined. We don’t need anymore foreign workers. Not now anyway.

  10. MrBrownstone

    Folks, another point I would like to bring:
    The foreigners don’t expect people to teach them or on the job training program by employers. Foreigner engineers are crazy dudes, they take those calculus books, algorithm and bang on them until they learn. They are no more experienced or more capable than an American engineer. However, they have the drive, motivation and ambition to do whatever it takes to get the work done – and employers know it.

    • Proud Paulbot

      I don’t care how many books you “bang on” or how many tutorials you sit through. There is no substitute for on-the-job training and experience.

      I’ve got a Math/CIS degree, which included, among other courses, three semesters of calculus and two of numerical analysis. That didn’t do me any good when I went into the job market. I would have had to attain 100% fluency in at least 12 different programming languages just to be considered for an “entry-level” job.

      Please don’t lecture me about drive and motivation. I had to leave home when I was 18 years old; not my choice. I became homeless and pulled myself off the streets, without ever receiving a dime of welfare (I’m an anarchist who is rabidly against welfare).

      I would have taken a minimum-wage tech job if I could have gotten one, provided that hard work and dedication (money motivation) above all else would have meant I could move up in the company. But no such jobs existed. So I threw away those math books and became a dog walker.

      My fancy degree, money motivation and die-hard work ethic means absolutely nothing in this job market. Granted, unlike many posters here, I don’t blame H-1B’s exclusively, or even predominantly. The American economy has been destroyed. If only it were as simple as halting H-1B visas. The program could be ended tomorrow and the economy would still be in ruins.

      The difference between me and the other posters is that I realize this. I guess the others don’t want to face the truth–the economy has been destroyed, and there is no hope–because they fear they would go mad if they did. I simply cannot live in a fantasy world.

    • I am a foreign national, Immigrant BASTARD (as few of the Americans have called us in previous posts). As an intelligent and sensitive human being, I fully understand the sentiments of American citizens on foreign nationals, H1B, STEM visa and Green Cards.
      I understand that Americans feel that we keep on stealing their jobs; Honestly, I would feel the same way if I was not aware of the STORY at the other end. Reading all these posts, I feel many here feel that it’s easy for a foreign national to survive and make money.
      I would like to highlight a few facts about foreign nationals working in US and who got their Advanced STEM degrees.

      1) Universities work on dual principle: Bringing foreign money and foreign talent.

      When a foreign national comes here with student loans (which btw has a higher ROI and has stricter terms),
      • they have to get their loans approved, by the time they are out of college they are neck deep in loans,
      • they have prove to a Visa officer that their intention is right to go to USA,
      • they have to sit for GRE, TOEFL/IELTS, face university interviews,
      • pay extreme amounts in applications,
      • The tuition is exorbitantly high compared to what an American pays for the same program,
      • they have to leave their culture and homeland behind to pursue a life in a new environment miles away from their families and friends,
      • they often do not see their families for more than once in two years,
      • Every time they go home and come back US authorities look at them with suspicion, their paperwork/ health status is checked rigorously,
      • They can never take semesters off, or go part time, just because they have to be on F1 visa status. They cannot have extensive vacations for work or pleasure when they feel like it.

      They go through this Rigmarole, ALL BECAUSE they are PASSIONATE and DEDICATED to their field of interest and want to learn and gain expertise in field of work and I repeat CONTRIBUTE to the system and economy of US.

      They choose US because:
      • The knowledge and expertise of American professors and universities here is world class, Foreign nationals do not mind spending massive amount of money on US universities, because US is the best.
      • US is a country of Immigrants, Immigrants MADE this country and have Immigrants run this country. Immigrants, be it from Europe, Africa or Asia they all have a Hand in the PROSPERITY of this nation. Foreign nationals have great respect for USA. In this world of Globalization, America is considered to be at the pinnacle of success in Research and Innovation.

      A foreign national when he comes out in the Job market:
      1) He again has to follow the visa rules, if he doesn’t get a job in 60 days after his graduation, he has to leave the country.
      2) He is not allowed to take up federal jobs,
      3) Companies are not interested in foreign nationals because they will have to support their H1B, Green cards etc. From personal Experience Companies are always more interested in US citizens.
      4) Companies expect a foreign national to perform above and beyond an American citizen for the same role.
      5) Foreign national cannot take breaks in their career to pursue a diploma or certificate or just take a break from work.

      Few more things
      1) Foreign nationals pay the same or more Federal and State TAXES without any representation in terms of voting, government and policy making.
      2) They do not have the liberties of unemployment funds, Medicaid, other federal benefits that every American citizen gets whether they are skilled, non-skilled, technical, non-technical, school dropouts etc.

      Foreign national does not bribe either universities or Companies to hire them. The AMERICAN universities and companies HIRE Foreign “Bastards” because they SEEK Talent and Of Course Cost Effective talent.
      STILL a foreign national loves his job and work and this country because if USA and the people of USA gave him a chance to prove his caliber, gave him knowledge and contribute to Innovation. I love this country for giving me so much, I do not have any complaints, but as an individual when I am tagged as Bastard, Job stealing monster, non-deserving average talent, underpaid trash, I FEEL THAT MY HARD WORK, TALENT and TIME is worth nothing.

      It deeply saddens me that people fail to see that WE foreign nationals work and slog equal number of hours to contribute TO This Country’s economy, for the growth and prosperity of US.
      If a foreign national is working or studying here, whatever contribution he makes, whatever Innovation he brings is AMERICA’s INNOVATION. It will contribute to US economy.

      • I can’t understand why you don’t go back to your country of orgin and get a job there? If living conditions aren’t that great, why don’t you work to make them better? Leaving your country certainly isn’t going to make it any stronger.

        In your exceeding long discourse, you have missed the main point: There are tons of qualified American citizens with STEM degrees, and lots of experience ( I am one of them ), that cannot find employment, or have been laid off and all they can get is a job with 1/2 the pay.

        The real unemployment rate ( the U6 rate ) is almost 20%. Even young people, recent grads can’t find jobs.

        We don’t need foreign workers, we need to employ the people we have. Maybe in 10 years we will need foreign workers, but not now.

  11. I know bunch of foreign national bastards! persuing MS and Phd’s for free while lot of US Citizens persue their MS by paying full fees..Govt needs to take care this issues first before thinking this kind of stupid ideas..

    • An Employer

      `The fact is foreign student pay higher fees as compared to local students (sometimes 2 or 3 times higher tuition fees). For many colleges, getting foreign money is key to survival.

      And, finally using the word is inappropriate regardless of your feelings towards others.

  12. MommaHanna

    Until the US unemployment rate drops to below 4% absolutely NO Visas of any kind should be allowed. Period. I see way too many skilled IT workers without a steady job because companies want get a VISA for cheaper. There are so many entry level IT workers (US Citizens) who can’t find work right now it is ridiculous! If the government was sincere about wanting to do something about the unemployment rate, maybe they should give tax credits to companies who hire entry level STEM citizens.

  13. Thank goodness, for House Republicans! I agree with the sentiment that until we have much lower unemployment numbers, and perhaps indefinitely, the H-1B and similar visas should stop, completely. I don’t buy the proponents argument. I work in the software industry, and it is overrun by foreigners now, and only getting worse everyday. I was a minority in an American owned company with a 5/1 ratio of Indians to Americans, doing work for the U.S. government, until I got laid off so they could hire more Indians. I don’t understand how this makes sense from any angle, especially security. And the reason for my layoff was by no means me being out-of-date with technology. Most of them were coming to me for help. What we need is better, and more cost-effective college/university programs, with lower tuitions and incentives for our young men and women to get into those fields.

    Also, what’s up with the $650 fee for a company to sponsor an H-1B? Is that all an American’s job is worth? It should be more like $6,500 or better yet, $65,000 per H-1B. After all, we are talking about many years of job stealing from Americans. $650 is just a slap in the face to us. It shows you put absolutely no value in your own children’s future. Shame on you for that!

    • Darin Poage

      “Thank goodness for house republicans”. That must be the dumbest quote I’ve ever heard! First of all, it was a house republican who brought this bill up, and it’s the “house republicans” that are making life worse for every American by blocking progressive legislation that could foster growth in this stumbling economy. I can tell you that this would of been of boom for US businesses and ultimately would’ve kept more jobs in this country. THIS LEGISLATION SHOULD BE PASSED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!

      • It might be a ‘boom’ for businesses but not for American workers. I say send all the H1B visa people home whenever unemployment reaches a certain %. Companies need to think “old school” and accept people that don’t have every desired skill in the book and train them on the job.

    • Marjorie L

      Jeff –

      Most companies would prefer to hire citizens and avoid the time and money of an H1B visa – which costs upwards of $5000, by the way. Your $650 figure is one small piece of the fees that go into acquiring/transferring an H1B.

      If we were to eliminate work visas, there would be a huge gap in our technology/science/medical workforces, and you and your family would be directly impacted.

      I hire technical people for major US employers, and quite frankly, if you’re good technically and in terms of communication/interpersonal skills, you should have multiple opportunities at all times, making it a moot point that immigrant visas impact your ability to work.

      We can’t get enough of our young people into match and science programs. Furthermore, how many workers laid off in manufacturing – auto, etc. – have taken advantage of retraining opportunities to pick up tech skills and GOOD TECH JOBS? I don’t see them submitting resumes for open jobs?

      I agree with other posts in that many of the immigrant workers who come here study hard and work hard, save and take care of their families. There are many Americans who should be following their example.

      • Everyone keeps talking about what the young people are doing, and I do agree that our education system needs a serious overhaul in how math and sciences are perceived and taught. However, that still doesn’t address the problem of the older worker. I have been in the computer industry for forty years.I was raised with an “old-fashioned” work ethic. I have excellent technical skills and I’m a quick learner, and I do very well on phone screens and long-distance interviews. But as soon as I have a face-to-face interview, suddenly I’m not right for the position and another (coincidentally younger and often imported) candidate is chosen. It’s happened repeatedly to me and to friends and co-workers in the same age group. Older American workers are being passed over for younger imported workers, and bringig in more imported workers would only worsen the issue.

    • “Thank goodness for House Republicans” Dumbest statement of the day. If you had bothered to read the article, it clearly states that a Texas Republican introduced the bill AND it actually did pass, but not under the rules upon which they brought it to the floor. It has HEAVY Republican support.

  14. An Employer

    How can American get tech jobs when high number of them decides to major in arts and drama? As an employer, our first preference is to hire locals and not get involved in visa dependent workforce. However, if we are unable to get local, foreign talent is the only choice.

    Also, we are paying 100K salaries to folks on H1B. So the argument that if we paid more, locals will purse STEM degree is a bogus argument as far as I am concerned.

    • Yes you are paying 100K salaries to H1Bs
      I am getting more than that i am like 29 yrs of age

      So why you are saying that we work low sal
      and plus if you dont have contrainst of moving to anywhere in usa to get a job why are you not getting a job Government agencies strictly hire citizen

      Why are you not getting a job?

    • jcpopescu

      Do you have any credible figures as to how many College and University Students are graduating with Arts and Drama ?

      This sounds like the typical rhetoric of an industry incapable, unwilling, and unable to train and retain it’s workforce. Having been a company myself and in a few companies I can speak from both sides of the issue.

      You’re NOT going to get a custom tailored employee replete with every last qualification to the outrageous SKILL and TOOL confusion and child’s Christmas list to Santa thereof. I’m not talking about having to teach someone how to navigate Windows or the basics of what is the result of a solid undergraduate , or beyond, education from a reputable and known College or University.

      I sincerely and highly doubt you’re paying 100K salaries to H-1B’s. Possibly to a third party staffing or recruitment agency.

      Let’s own some reality: An H-1B visa balls, chains, padlocks, and virtually shackles a given employee to the sponsoring company. Attractive ? Absolutely .

      Unless you are earnestly , honestly, and proactively training new hires and looking to your company to correct whatever pitfalls YOU have in finding tech talent don’t expect anyone in the US or foreign governments to provide you with a captive workforce.

      More to the point: If you like foreign workers so much then might I suggest moving the whole business, lock, stock, kit and kaboodle, to India, China, Mexico, or some other nation.

  15. Fred Nance

    We need to do away with H1B’s and STEM. I’m glad the STEM bill failed.

    Even IT recruiting is outsource. I have emails and phone calls in response to my resume being on dice and other job sites.

    It’s hit or miss. I’ve even interview with 2 staffing firms in the past 3 months.

    Funny thing was they were in the same building and on the same floor. It’s looks like a call center and that’s the way these recruiting firms are.

    I agree with other postes on this issue. We are a nation of immigrants. My ancestors were slaves, they were bought, sold, raped, etc. I don’t hate hispanics or people from other countries.

    I just wish that those countries would make improvements like the USA has.

  16. I would argue more along the lines that visas facilitate having employees that are not inclined to leave the job abruptly rather than cheaper employees. I run a small business and to me H1bs are damn expensive. Everything from visa fees to green card fees to having to give them extended vacations so they can head back home half way around the world is a bit of a pain. As to the existence of these unemployed skilled IT workers, I am skeptical. Are they in a cave somewhere hiding? I’ve been trying to find someone to hire for a .NET job for 6 months now and all I get are idiots that have just started doing IT or can code in some language that’s been deprecated for the last 20 years. Sorry for the rant but if you could point me to some resumes’ of these skilled IT professionals I’d be delighted. My company is in WA state . I also realized you mentioned entry level IT but, at least for, having an entry level person vs an experienced one is the difference between my company dying or thriving.

    • if you’re willing to hire someone experienced (15yrs+) that only took a course in .NET, you won’t have a problem. It’s not rocket science and after a month or so, that person will be productive. I’ll send you some resumes at no cost. Someone that’s been doing sw in Ada can quickly learn to do sw in C or C++ or C# or VB.

      • Unfortunately that’s the problem I’ve had so far. Many people who state that have been out of work and claim they’ll be productive in a month or two if I give them a chance. I tend to wonder why they haven’t taken their own initiative to get up to speed before they make it to the interview. All in all it’s a tough spot to be in. It’s kind of like having to forget interviewing candidates and taking their word for it that they’ll be up to speed. I agree with you though that coding itself isn’t hard, clean code is however a completely different story.

      • SeattleReject, you wonder “I tend to wonder why they haven’t taken their own initiative to get up to speed before they make it to the interview”. There are literally 100’s of systems that one would have to be “up to speed” in to be truly qualified for any job pitched by a recruiter. But this is obviously impossible. Instead, people, and you’re no different, try to market what experience they have. Many of these systems aren’t difficult for people in IT, but it doesn’t make sense for the unemployed to learn systems on the long shot that they would ever be used, especially when some of these systems cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Like Photoshop, which costs about $500. I”m supposed to buy PhotoShop, and every upgrade, even though I have no income, and SQL Server, and Oracle, and Ruby Rails, and HTML, etc, etc, etc? Give me a break! The point is, hiring managers need to trust my proven APTITUDE with these technologies generally – after all, they’re all designed to be “intuitive” by highly paid software developers. And stop acting as if you have to hire the best programmer in the world every time you make a hiring decision. We need to start hiring the OLDEST person who applies for the job and pay them whatever. I’m competing with much younger people and I accept this lowers the pay scale, don’t discount me on the assumption I’m “demanding” a higher salary because I’m older, because that assumption is incorrect.

    • Proud Paulbot

      Just because someone just started doing IT doesn’t mean they’re an “idiot.” It means they’re new, and everyone was new at one point.

      The reason why you’re having so much difficulty finding mid- senior-level employees is that employers no longer train entry-level candidates. Thus, as mid- and senior-level employees retire, switch industries or even just drop dead, there’s no one coming up the line to replace them. Imagine a Christmas tree farm that kept cutting down trees every year, but never planting new crops. They could get away with this for a few years (it takes time for trees to grow, so all farms have several years in stock), but eventually they’ll run out of mature trees.

      Maybe I would never have been the greatest programmer in the whole wide world, but I think I would have been an adequate one if I’d been given an opportunity. But those opportunities don’t exist, so I’m a dog walker, so I wouldn’t waste your time with my resume. I was always careful to never apply for jobs unless I matched every single qualification listed in the ad.

      All that said, perhaps the solution to your particular problem is to find employees who you feel are bright enough and experienced enough in other languages that they could realistically be brought up to speed in your technologies, then bring them in as 1099 contractors on a trial basis, with the possibility of full-time employment if they work out.

      —-I tend to wonder why they haven’t taken their own initiative to get up to speed before they make it to the interview.——

      A couple of possibilities:

      1) They were too busy trying to make money, via temp jobs and gigs, to pay their basic bills.

      2) There are so many possible languages and technologies out there that it’s impossible to get up to speed on every one of them, especially since sitting through tutorials at home is not the same thing as being immersed in the technologies in a job situation. Further, every employer has a different set of requirements, and it’s impossible to get up to speed on every single combination of technologies that could possibly be required for every single job (in math terms, a combinatorics nightmare).

      I ran into both of these problems. I decided that enough was enough, and I had to pursue a more realistic career path.

      • Ok, a fair analysis PROUD PAULBOT. You aren’t necessarily an idiot if you’ve just started out in IT. I agree with that. I think I missed putting the disclaimer that some applicants come in touting years of experience and as soon as you get to technology specific questions you immediately realize that they’ve just started out in I.T. I personally have no issues hiring employees or interns that just started out in I.T if that’s the job I have on offer at the time.

        I guess my only option right now is to hire an entry level I.T applicant and hope my company doesn’t fall off the face of the earth before he gets up to speed. As much as I’d love to hire a contractor, good ones are hard to come by, in WA state at least. They are constantly in demand. And I absolutely don’t train contractors on the job. That’s a job for their contracting company.

        I am also not a fan of outsourcing or even work from home situations. Call me old school, but a team should work together, have lunch together and live in the same region.

        And to Steve’s points above. I’d buy the argument of tools being expensive for the unemployed, except that it’s the year 2012. It’s not 1999 anymore. The new big thing is open source. Every product from Microsoft, Oracle and many other big companies comes in a free express edition (SQL Server, Visual Studio, You-Name-It). And everything else is already free (Android, Eclipse, Ruby on Rails, PHP etc). There is almost no technology you’ll see in an IT job ad that you can’t get for free unless it’s some barely used esoteric technology.

        Here is all I ask from a candidate I am interviewing:

        Step 1: See an ad for a job posting with technologies and skills requested
        e.g Requires knowledge of SQL Server, C#.NET, HTML, Javascript

        Step 2: Take a few hours each day for 5 days before interview to read up and try out each technology that you have no knowledge

        Step 3: Go to interview and get job (Hooray!!!!)

        By the way, if a job requests a list of skills and you have almost none of the skills requested then chances are it’s not the job for you. It’s like hiring a bus driver to be an airline pilot. It’s not going to happen! So Step 2 shouldn’t be that difficult.

        That’s all I ask and it seems almost impossible to get. All employers ask a certain number of years of experience for certain positions, but they’re not going to turn you away if you know what you’re talking about in an interview but haven’t got all the years of experience requested.
        But everyone seems to have an excuse. Oh I have no time! or Oh I have to be with family! or some other thing. But they’re all on facebook and twitter 12 hours a day tweeting what they just had for breakfast.

        It’s called sacrifice. Sometimes you have to do it.

      • Proud Paulbot

        —-I think I missed putting the disclaimer that some applicants come in touting years of experience and as soon as you get to technology specific questions you immediately realize that they’ve just started out in I.T. ——-

        OK, now that’s someone who lied about their qualifications. That’s not okay, whether you’re a newbie or have 20 years of experience. I wouldn’t hire that applicant, either. There’s a difference between puffery and outright lying.

        As I mentioned, I never applied for jobs where I didn’t meet every single one of the qualifications listed, or at least came very close (and by that I mean the job required a “BA in Business” and I figured one in math would suffice). I didn’t see the point in wasting my time and the employer’s. I also feared that if I did that, the employer would be so enraged at me for wasting their time that they wouldn’t even consider me for a janitorial position later on.

        ——-There is almost no technology you’ll see in an IT job ad that you can’t get for free unless it’s some barely used esoteric technology.———

        I used to see Adobe Creative Suite quite a bit, and that’s not free. I know one can download a 30-day trial version, but I didn’t envision myself going from zero to expert in that suite of programs in 30 days (especially since I’m no artist; I can draw stick figures, and that’s it).

        WRT your advice regarding taking a few hours each day to read up on all the technologies listed in the ad, just as I don’t envision myself being able to master Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, etc., in 30 days, I don’t envision someone who has *never* worked with a group of programming languages—especially if they’ve never worked in IT–to become experts in all of those languages in five days, even if they spend all five days, 24/7, doing nothing but reading and going through tutorials.

        I could envision it possibly working for someone who does have experience in similar technologies, and in that case, it is sound advice and I won’t argue with it.

        —–All employers ask a certain number of years of experience for certain positions, but they’re not going to turn you away if you know what you’re talking about in an interview but haven’t got all the years of experience requested.——–

        I believe that, but let’s be realistic: as I mentioned above, in most cases, if you don’t have at least x years of experience, you probably aren’t anywhere near as well-versed in the skills listed as someone who does. That’s why the employer asks for x years of experience; they aren’t just pulling the number out of thin air. They know, from experience, that it takes x years of experience to gain fluency in whatever skills they need.

        By going through tutorials, I was able to put together a WordPress site for my dog-walking business. It is fine for my business; it doesn’t look like a six-year-old built it. But I had to use a template that someone else designed, I don’t have any custom graphics (other than a logo that I paid someone else to design), and I don’t have all of the flashing, dancing things and fancy light shows that someone with 2-5 years of experience, graphics expertise and hundreds of sites under their belt would have put together. It’s a simple, basic, customer-friendly site, but simple and basic don’t cut it in the web design world.

        As an entry-level candidate, I would have needed an entry-level job situation that provided training and the opportunity for me to learn. It’s because those types of jobs don’t exist–ANYWHERE–that businesses like yours cannot find mid- to senior-level employees. People like me cannot find entry-level work, so we leave the industry; our careers die before they even begin. Then, as mid- and senior-level employees retire, change careers or drop dead, there is no one coming up the line to replace them.

        I’m not saying that you, personally, have a responsibility to address this problem. I understand what you are saying WRT you not being set up to train newbies; it sounds like you’re running a small, lean shop, not a huge corporation with many layers of employees. It’s not like you, personally and unilaterally, could solve it, anyway. I’m just explaining why you’re running into the problems you are. It’s only going to get worse as time goes on.

        ———I guess my only option right now is to hire an entry level I.T applicant and hope my company doesn’t fall off the face of the earth before he gets up to speed.———–

        If I were you, I wouldn’t hire someone like me; you aren’t set up to do that. I’d look for someone who has at least some work experience in technologies similar to what you are using.

        ——–I absolutely don’t train contractors on the job. That’s a job for their contracting company.————-

        I was talking about bringing in potential full-time employees on a contract basis *to start* so that you could “try before you buy,” and not have to worry about paying benefits or unemployment to someone who clearly isn’t cut out for the job.

        Regarding telecommuting and outsourcing: my husband works from home as a freelance writer, and in addition to walking dogs, I do white-collar [non-IT] contract work from home. That works for our clients and their situations, but it doesn’t work for all companies and all situations. Neither of us asked for a telecommuting position; we applied for telecommuting gigs with clients who were seeking to hire those types of employees. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to walk into an interview for an on-site position and ask if you can telecommute.

        Believe it or not, it’s very difficult to find reliable staff in the petsitting industry. Even though the work itself is simple, petsitters work outdoors, on their feet, in all manner of weather (including 10 degrees and snowing, torrential rains, and triple-digit heat), with animals that range from very sweet to absolute terrorists, and our busiest times are on holidays. A lot of people take petsitting jobs, then are stunned at how physically demanding the work really is. They cannot physically handle walking dogs all day, and they quit.

        I brought this up to point out that I’m not ignorant of the employer’s POV. The suggestions I’m giving you regarding trying to find people with at least some experience, and possibly trying before you buy, are things that I would attempt if I were in your situation.

  17. jcpopescu

    I have been in technology for almost thirty five years.

    Have “skilled guest workers” affected my ability to secure a decent job for myself ? Absolutely.

    I’m finding myself with about as much career potential as a death row inmate. I’ve heard the ridiculous of “you’re overqualified” , lack this or that particular SKILL that is often no more than a deliberate confusion of SKILL and TOOL and the “jobs” I get offered ?

    Most recently: Installing commercial shelving for about twelve dollars per hour. I’m not a building contractor ! A “three month consulting” job requiring a substantial relocation or commute hit. Why indulge what’s essentially financial suicide ?

    And the “tech startups” in San Francisco ? Cheerleading and “Team Building” that would make the late Reverend Sung Yung Moon (leader of the Moonie Cult) envious. No I’m not interested in the ridiculous game of who can volunteer the most uncompensated overtime bringing something as absurd as “social networking for dogs on smartphones” to fruition.

    I go into a place and I know, for fact, if it’s mostly Chinese or Indians with “H-1B” practically tatooed on their forehead I don’t stand a chance of ANY kind of a job.

    • This isn’t just IT. The US is failing, and our ‘junk’ govenment can’t make any decision – no matter how trivial. I’m afraid it’s going to end badly.

      From the Sun Times: Low wage work force grows:

      ” Low-wage workers in Chicago are better educated, older and rely more on that income these days to meet basic needs than 10 years ago.

      And there are substantially more of them.

      That’s according to a new report released by Chicago-based Women Employed and Action Now Institute that shows nearly one in six low-wage workers here last year held a college degree.

      The report, authored by Marc Doussard, assistant professor in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, defines low-wage workers as those making $12 an hour or less.

      The report revealed the share of payroll employees ages 18 to 64 working in low-wage jobs rose from 23.8 percent in 2011 to 31.2 percent last year. That’s a more than a 30 percent rise in the proportion of such workers.”

      • Proud Paulbot

        What Doug is saying is correct. This problem is NOT CONFINED TO TECH. And I’d like to add–as I said previously–H1B’s and immigration are not the root of the problem. They aren’t even the predominant cause.

        Our economy is fundamentally broken. Most new jobs being created pay $12.00/hour or less. The media (and employers) whine and screech about the alleged “shortage” of “tech” workers and “skilled labor,” but the jobs just aren’t there. That’s why, despite my Math/CIS degree, I WALK DOGS (and do white-collar, non-tech contract work) for a living.

        There was a liberal on a message board I used to frequent. As an anarchist, I rarely agreed with him…except for one thing he kept saying: “Americans are not going to put up with being reduced to serfs.”

        Regardless of which idiot wins the election in November, this country isn’t going to get any better. It will keep getting progressively worse, and as Doug said, it will ultimately end badly. Really badly. The liberal poster is right; Americans en masse will put up with this for only so long.

        • I used to think I was a conserative, but now I think I’m anarchist. I realize the American Dream has become the American Nightmare. They call it the American Dream because it’s best experienced while you are asleep.

          Two good blogs: and (lower right to todays blog). Once you start reading these guy’s you will learn about how we are debt-slaves, neo-feudalism, and inverted totalatarism.

          Four years ago (after being ‘thrown away’ by the business world – too old) I realized that the status-quo that once was is going to end. If people think “it’s” going to back to the way it was, they are sadly mistaken. Added to that terrorism has now given our government and employers an excuse to spy on everyone, and greatly restrict our freedoms.

          Those poor foreign workers: They are coming to a place at the end of the dream.

      • Proud Paulbot

        I frankly don’t even understand why anyone wants to come here anymore, unless they’re from some war-torn 3rd world nation.

        And before anyone asks the perennial question, “If yuuuuu don’t like it here, why don’t yuuuuuu just leavvvvvvve?” moving costs money. Relocating internationally costs money. Plus, the world economy is being rocked by what’s happening here in the States, so I don’t feel that I would be escaping any problems by leaving the U.S. I’d just be moving to a country with a different set of problems that, ironically, are tied to America’s decimated economy.

        I instead remain here, but live outside mainstream society as much as I realistically can. I’d love to just move to the middle of nowhere and go off-grid; that’s my ultimate goal, and I think off-grid living is a more realistic approach than immigrating elsewhere. There are plenty of very remote areas here in the U.S. where one can live and not see another person for weeks on end.

    • Juggernaut

      Well I am in international student from India pursuing a Masters degree. We international students pay double the fees an American pays, work on research projects funded by the govt. making America more competitive and then are shown the door at the end of our course. Maybe the US govt. should make rules that bar Universities from admitting International students. That would solve the problem once and for all.I know a number of Indian and European companies that hire only American citizens for jobs here. If you think doing away with h1b’s will solve the unemployment problem then I am afraid you are wrong. Most of the people unemployed in the US are anyway in the construction sector. You conveniently forgot to mention that 25% of the startups in the silicon valley had an immigrant founder providing jobs to thousands of Americans. Those Americans don’t seem to be complaining.

      • Underfire

        I will politely disagree. The founders of most technology company’s that are doing the big hiring and selling we’re founded by American born citizens. They started in poor areas and worked out of garages until they were able to make a go of it.

        The downfall started when outsourcing to cheaper countries and the government requiring businesses to hire a quota of diverse nationalities. This began an uprise in outsourcing jobs overseas and education being more available to those from foreign countries as well. Yes, since China and India can and will afford to send them to America we will take the money in leu of granting our own citizens the opportunity or ability to forge ahead within the competitive industries.

        And Americans are at the mercy of our entitled government who hands down these ridiculous standards that are killing our nation!

  18. The Heretic

    “The thinking goes something like this: The U.S. needs to be globally competitive in the sciences, but can’t inspire enough students to study in those fields. In fact, he United States ranks 27th among developed countries in the proportion of bachelor’s degrees awarded in science or engineering, according to a 2010 National Academies report.

    Meanwhile, thousands of foreign students come here to get degrees in the sciences. They’re allowed to stay for up to 29 months after they graduate. Then they have to leave, unless they score an H-1B, which a company can request if it claims it can’t find an American to do the job. Proponents argue we should let them stay, become American residents, and make the country more competitive. Critics say companies use H-1Bs as a way to pay lower wages.”

    Can’t inspire enough students to study in the STEM fields? There is something to look at here. Foreign exchange students pay higher tuitions. Consequently, there is an economic incentive for universities to give a preference to foreign students during the selection process. Just walk around a university campus. The evidence is all around you.

    The university finance system is flawed. It favors foreign exchange students. The problem is not that the STEM disciplines do not “INSPIRE” enough students. A big part of the problem is that interested students are excluded and thus limited during the selection process. They are being displaced by foreign exchange students competing for a limited resource. It is a resource allocation problem pure and simple. A university has limited slots available and the slots are allocated to the highest bidder: foreign exchange students.

    The second economic problem here is how industry takes advantage of the limited mobility foreign exchange students have after graduation. They are at a distinct disadvantage when negotiating with prospective employers. Employers want and workers need. The equation is already lopsided to begin with, but in addition foreign exchange students must quickly convert their status and that translates to lower wages for everyone in the field.

    The solution is not to further limit the foreign exchange graduates mobility to the employer’s advantage causing further wage suppression, but to fix the financing mechanism giving American born students preference during the selection process.

    • MommaHanna

      I think you identified a key issue here. There are so MANY American students denied admission to the STEM programs due to the limited amount of space. If only the same dedication and money invested in educating foreign students in STEM programs was given to the American citizen.

      • jcpopescu

        In the realm of public Colleges and Universities:

        It’s all about money. Specifically the difference in tuition paid by residents using the State College or University systems of their home state versus out of state tuition paid by foreign students.

        As such institutions become more cash strapped guess what direction admissions are going ?

    • Proud Paulbot

      I have stopped and thought about that. It was the single biggest mistake of my life. I’ll never forgive myself for getting it.

      I ran the degree through a shredder. I don’t regret doing so. I’m not proud of having attained this degree; I’m ashamed of it.

      • MommaHanna

        Paul I am so sorry. It simply SUCKS! I am an IT recruiter and I get contacted by the people looking for employment sponsors and by some recruiting shops that offshore work. I simply tell them that we DO NOT work with anyone who offshores jobs and we do not sponsor employment. I want Americans to get jobs! If some of these companies would wake up and realize rather than spending those dollars on sponsorship fees, they could pay a US recruiter to find a US employee. It would tremendously help our economy!

      • Paul, I sympathize with your story, but it’s hard for me to believe that with a Math/CIS degree, you weren’t able to find any entry-level job. I’m not sure what area you live in, that could be a contributing factor (I live in a large city), but I don’t think it’s that hard to find a tech job.

        I graduated with a Math/Econ degree, had almost no programming skills, and my first job out of school was a low level job creating HTML emails. In my spare time I learned about databases and moved over into a DB coordinator role within the same company. Eventually I was able to land a job as a Data Analyst and now work as an Information Systems analyst at a great company. I get messages all the time from recruiters about new opportunities as well. Also, my girlfriend works as a recruiter for expansion-stage companies and she is always looking for candidates to fill tech jobs.

        I’m not trying to sit here and brag that I’m able to find work. I also don’t disagree that the economy is in a tough spot, but with Math being such a high demand degree, especially with some programming knowledge, I can’t accept that it’s so hard to get a job that you resorted to dog walking.

        I hope that you haven’t given up in your search and eventually land a role you enjoy. Best of luck

      • Proud Paulbot

        Don’t be sorry. I’m the one who was stupid enough to get this degree. I was stupid enough to listen to all the morons who bleated about how tech jobs were the “jobs of the future.” I fell for the propaganda about the “shortage” of STEM workers.

        That’s the very last time I’ll ever listen to anyone else ever again.

    • JC, You are really out of touch with the true economic situation here as you do have a job. I assure you that if you were to lose your job, you would be in this same boat, looking for work while the companies hire `special’ cheap workers. Sadly until/unless most Americans are out of work they will continue on blindly ignoring the economic situation. No way to make them understand until then at all, so no reason to try Paul. As you said, a waste. Live and learn.

    • Proud Paulbot

      I live near one of the five largest cities in America. I’m not in Boomfahook.

      I looked at literally thousands of job postings. I wasn’t qualified for any of them. Even so-called “entry-level” jobs that paid $8.00/hour (or nothing at all) required a portfolio, 2-5 years of work experience, and 100% fluency in at least a half-dozen different programming languages (usually closer to a dozen). I, too, used to get tons of calls and emails from recruiters (before I changed my phone number and took my resume off the Internet)…for jobs I wasn’t even close to being qualified for. The recruiters called me only because my resume hit on one or two keywords, i.e., “Java.” But then I didn’t have the years of experience, the portfolio, or all of the other languages the jobs they were peddling required.

      My math skills mean absolutely nothing to employers. Math isn’t “in demand” by anyone.

      I graduated in May of last year. I’ve long since given up on tech…because I had to, in order to survive. I needed to make money, not chase rainbows. That’s why I turned to walking dogs, as well as doing other non-tech-related contract work. Unfortunately, because I wasted so much time applying for jobs, and because of the student loans I cannot pay, my credit is ruined, so there’s no point in me even applying for jobs at this juncture. I cannot pass a credit check.

      I’ve accepted that I will never have a job again. I don’t look for jobs anymore. I look for WORK.

      I love animals and enjoy working with them. What makes me hate myself was putting in all that work and going into all that debt for absolutely nothing. I could have been a petsitter with no degree at all, or with a much easier, much cheaper business degree.

      • I got a degree on Comp Sci about 25 years ago. I’ve been unemployed most of the last 4 years, but in the mid-late 90’s I got several jobs, some lasting more than a year, as an Access database technician through temp agencies. People who need IT techs sometimes go through temp agencies. Start with the A’s in the yellow pages because that’s who a hiring manager will call, since everyone’s lazy. I got jobs this way at 2 major telecom firms. The job at 1 became permanent (the only time I went from temp to perm), that is until they went bankrupt and the CEO went to jail. I’ve been unemployed now over a year, my last job lasting 6 weeks, the “liaison” at the consulting firm playing “middle manager” fired me for lack of work while accusing me of horrible things. I inherited over 30K about 2 years ago from an aunt who died, which is of course all gone: rent and food. At this point I’m so damaged even a job won’t help me, and I’ve been having suicidal fantasites for years.

      • Proud Paulbot

        I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not angry–enraged, actually–that I worked so hard, and went into insurmountable debt, for a degree that was not worth the paper it was printed on. After all, I DID shred the [expletive] thing.

        I, too, fell into an unspeakable darkness when the magnitude of what I’d done hit me. I, too, seriously considered suicide.

        But looking back, I want to smack myself for EVER considering self-harm because of…what? Sallie Mae? The job market, the economy, and rude employers? Wretched people like the trolls posting to this thread, claiming that people who can’t find jobs are “losers” (and they can’t even SPELL “loser” correctly)? The government? My god, what was I thinking? I was going to kill myself because of a government and system I’ve always despised, and people who I wouldn’t give a drop of sweat to if I found them wandering in the desert?

        Not just no…but HELL NO.

        I may be a dog walker, but I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor. I’ve given up on living within the system, on being part of mainstream society. Instead, I’m on the fringes…but that’s okay. Better to live on the fringes than in the midst of a society gone mad.

        I’m not going to give you a song and dance about how “everything always gets better” and speak of puppies, rainbows and smiles, but I will say that once I stopped trying to be part of the system and mainstream society and started living outside of it, I felt a lot better.

        And I like dogs WAY more than people. Give me a dog any day.

      • Proud, you’ve accepted your reality, and I admire that. If you can create a lifestyle that’s sustainable, you’re on the right track. If you really like math, maybe you can do some tutoring, or get qualified to teach math. Having youth on your side is a big advantage. My first job, after getting a BS, was in a hospital as an orderly, pushing people in wheelchairs (or gurneys) from the x-ray dept back to their rooms (and I got that job through someone I knew at the hospital, my father, who ran one of the departments). Even back then one needed connections to get even a dumb job! Consider working in a fast food restaurant, a lot of young people get started that way, even if it’s only for the money. Or admin asst, many of whom need computer tech skills. I actually got a few jobs as a typist, starting out, but I don’t know what demand is for that now.

      • Proud Paulbot

        Steve — I don’t have youth on my side. I was 40 when I obtained my degree. However, I work out like a fiend, so I pass for 30. (I could have obtained a fake ID shaving 10 years off my age, and nobody would have questioned it. I would have done this if I thought age was the only issue, but it’s not; more on that below.)

        I performed secretarial work in the past, including transcription work. I cannot do transcription anymore because I blew out my right wrist from typing 150+-page documents as fast as I could, for too many years. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because there isn’t a plethora of transcription work out there. I tried applying for secretarial jobs–hundreds of them–and had no luck even though I met all of the qualifications for the jobs I was applying for.

        This is why I am convinced that immigration and H-1B’s aren’t the sole or even predominant cause of unemployment in the tech sector. When I was applying for secretarial jobs, I was not competing against H-1B’s. I was, however, competing against hundreds, and in some cases thousands of other applicants for ONE open position.

        With the possible exception of nursing and primary care physicians, there are simply no jobs in ANY field right now. In particular, there is no such thing as an entry-level job anymore…not in tech, not in marketing, not even in secretarial work. Heck, I’ve seen ads for janitors and dishwashers demanding 3-5 years of experience.

        I don’t think it’s as simple as blaming immigration, or age, or any other single factor. Most of the core problems are internal: corrupt, out-of-control government, American employers seeing employees as disposable and not worth investing in, an education system that is too focused on theory and doesn’t impart enough hard skills, etc.

        I wouldn’t say I’ve “accepted” my reality. Acceptance implies that you smile and say, “That’s okay.” I’ll never do that. But I’ll also never again consider killing myself because of the government, Sallie Mae, the job market, etc. I have resigned myself to living forever on the fringes of society. This isn’t what I wanted, but I’ve chosen to live as long as I can, and eke out the best life I can eke out under the circumstances…which, in the end, could end up being superior to the lives of people who naively think they’ll get somewhere by staying in the mainstream and playing by the rules (in a game that is rigged in favor of the government).

        • 20 years ago I would have not said what I’m about to say. And if I heard someone say it, I’d think they were a nut case or a ‘commie’.

          The game is rigged. Not just the US, but globally. I don’t exactly know how it happend but here’s a short list of the rigged games:

          Jobs. Between MBA’s, layers, and crafty corporations they have figured out how to intimidate, and dominate the work force. By splitting jobs into little pieces, the work is more easily outsourced, and no employee is valuable – rather you are easily replacable. Wage jobs are just horrible.

          Debt. We are debt-slaves. A person graduating from HS is supposed to go $50k – 100k in debt just to get a crappy wage job (that I’ve described above)? You get married and have two student loans, and you can acquire more debt to by cars. You can acquire more debt to buy a home. There is no end to debt.

          Banks. The Federal Reserve has rigged this system. They loan the banks money at ZERO %interest. The banks then charge people 14% – 18% interest for credit card debt. Right now the Fed is buy billions of worthless mortgages from the banks. Why doesn’t the Fed give us mortgage holders zero percent loans, and we can then pay off our bank mortages that are somewhere around 5% ??

          Stock Market. Program trading. Investment banks have complex AI algorithms that decide when certain trends have been met, they electronically buy/sell investments. Billions of stocks traded, sometimes held for as little as 10 seconds. The Federal Reserve is also proping up the stock market.

          Corporations: TBTF – Too big to fail corporations, banks. Individuals are now TSTS Too small to suceed.

          I honestly don’t see why anyone would want to come to the US (unless their county is in a civil war). I think the current social/political situation is going to harm a lot of young people – perhaps and entire generation lost.

  19. Greg Clapton

    The H-1B Visa program is a BIG business scab labor program. FACT: there are thousands of qualified AMERICAN applicants who cost more than the low-cost H-!B VISA scab labor. There should NOT be one H-1B Visa laborer allowed to work in this country if an American can do the job. We are out here, but BIG business doesn’t want to pay a living wage for us. Thank GOD STEM Visa defeated!

  20. This bill is such utter BS. There is a GLUT of PhDs in the sciences!!! Look up phd glut article in the Economist , google PhD glut. Americans are not entering STEM fields because the opportunities and pay are NOT THERE. Most smart kids know this.

  21. tbpatriot

    the system is flawed when foreign students get accepted to a university while American students get turned away.
    the only way to fix this it to reverse the requirements.
    the universities should be filling out the documents to permit a foreign student to attend class.
    in this document, the university should explain why they could not find an American student for that position.

  22. When I worked at The Hartford Insurance Company, before they outsourced my job, I was 1 of 2 token American Males, we also had 1 token American Female. Everyone else in the department of over 50 people was from India. When I was interviewed for the job, an Indian manager told me I was too old but I guess someone over-ruled him as I was hired anyway. 18 months later The Hartford outsourced the entire department laying off everyone except the token American female and 3 Indian managers and refusing to transfer most of us to other departments. Note also that many of the Indians laid off were American Citizens or in the process of becoming American Citizens while the people that stayed were H1B’s. It is very obvious that in IT, even IT jobs that are fairly simple and don’t need an advanced degree, Americans are actively discriminated against in favor of HiB’s

  23. The truth about foreign workers in the US is, they lie on their resume and show 10 years of experience where as they may have none at all or even 1 or 2 years in QA or BA.

    The consulting companies, especially foreign ones, create false resumes, telephonic interviews are done by instructors, they provide back up support to their consultants in the project.

    A US citizen, at an entry level may know more than them, but is not likely to get a job in competition with these fake resumes and interviews.

    • HooliganApe

      Do you think these companies are fool not to catch these fakers? I am a contractor working for big company in bay area. I went through 2 technical telephonic interview followed by 3 in person coding interview. Even after that they do your background check (for contractors too). Stop saying nonsense stuff!

      • I have a friend that works at Verizon. For one of the openings they were specifically told to hire someone offshore. During the phone interview he could hear the interviewee googling the answers to the questions asked. There is a view in the corporate hierarchy that only people from outside the US are capable of doing “really good work”. That’s BS. Prior to all the offshore hiring US companies were doing well. Or they’d have gone bankrupt.

  24. The Heretic made some good points about resource allocation, but pause to consider how this entire process from beginning to end discourages and depresses the morale of American students.

    I talk to young people all the time who have given up, feeling it’s all stacked against the American student. The process discourages the American who eventually drops out, which increases the demand for more foreigners to fill the ranks.

    If you stopped the preferential treatment to foreigners and allowed the American students to actually believe they have a future in their own country you will see this whole thing turn around. I guarantee you that. I doubt it will happen because training Americans with a future is not the goal. There is a bull to be taken by the horns here; that’s the beginning challenge for us.

    • My wife is a community college educator. Unfortunately much of the preference given to foreign students is driven by the fact that they pay higher tuition, so more foreign students helps the budget. A lot of administrators really hate giving these preferences, but don’t see much choice when they keep getting their budgets cut.

      • In my experience it is the h1-b who are lazy and incompetent. Beginner mistakes galore, require constant instruction, no initiative to find and fix problems. It is usually the few Americans tokens working on any given project who carry it through because the h1bs and offshores who cant code their way out of a paper bag.

      • Your rude, uncaring, ignorant, judgemental comments reinforce how out of touch many of the foreign workers are. Why would someone want to hire you with an attitude like that?

        This is another problem: foreign workers aren’t integrated into US society. There’s a lot of subtl things they don’t understand, and they miss a lot of details.

      • To DOUG_B

        Except American Indians, everybody else is used to be the foreign workers.

        “This is another problem: foreign workers aren’t integrated into US society. There’s a lot of subtl things they don’t understand, and they miss a lot of details.”

        Sounds interesting. Would you mind explain them in detail? What are the problems? Are you saying that there is only one way to live in US?

        • tninja: “I prefer telling the truth instead of “being polite”.”

          Oh I see, you know the truth, therefore you have ultimate confidence that you are free to insult fellow IT people.

          tninja: “Good attitute won’t directly bring the company profit,”

          Obviously you know the truth, profit is the only goal.

          tninja: “Here again, you know the but knowledges and skills will. That is how hiring works.”

          A poorly constructed sentence, with incorrect plural or posessive usage. You can’t properly speak the Engrish language. That’s competitive?

        • MommaHanna

          I am a decendant of immigrants just as most everyone else throwing in a comment. The difference today is the lack of respect shown to those who came before you. Our ancestors, learned English. How to read it, write it and they made sure their kids learned it as well. However, now immigrants want everything in their native tongue.

          On another note, I have read some of the posting about education and career opportunities for our youth. I think our generation of parents have screwed our own future by indulging our children rather than making them EARN everything. WIth that said, yes, visas need to be stopped, but we need to stop indulging our kids. I work in HR in the IT world, I will say we tolerate a bunch of whiners. National heritage aside we all want more for less.

      • I’m sorry but where are your facts and statistics that say that h1b are somehow better at their jobs? They certainly are not hired over Americans because of their skills I can tell you that. The excuse that Americans qualify cannot be found is merely a smokescreen intention is to hire h1s all along . It has a lot more to do with perceived cost savings and management trends / finance logic.

    • For those who have more than 30 yrs of tech experiences: the reason you cannot find a job is that you were supposed to change your career goals ten years ago. Tech jobs are for younger people, since they can work longer hours and learn new thing faster, and get paid less. And 30 yrs of experience is no better than 10 yrs, since your experiences for the first 20 yrs are of no use now.

      • Maybe those with 30 years’ experience were too busy working hard for their employer to begin to think of other things.
        I know I put off getting an advanced degree because my employer said why do you want to get an advanced degree, you are already doing the work.
        Translated, I don’t want to pay you for an advanced degree.

      • I’m sorry, the facts I learned 25 years ago about fiber optics are still valid. Most fiber optic cables are still 125um in diameter, and for single mode are mostly 8-10 um core. The index of refraction is still around 1.5 and the speed of light has not changed, despite legislative efforts.

        I have seen companies that have outsourced database updates offshore who have been less than well served by the low priced labor they bought. I was at a telecom company 2 years ago that actually bought the Telecordia database tool (at high price) then paid some Indian contractors to populate it. The first try didn’t work, so they tried a second time. That didn’t work, so they tried a third time. Then they called it ‘Mission Accomplished”… with triplicated data in the database. I’m sure the exec that handled that project got a bonus and raise.

        I’m now at a company that recognizes that I do have 20+ years expertise in my field and that’s worth paying more than entry level wages. And I have to work to prove it, but that’s what I’m supposed to do at this level.

  25. Indian companies don’t hire American engineers whether they are born in America or natives of India who are now American citizens. American universities treat Americans like dirt whether they are American born or naturalized. I would prefer these universities are shut down. They should not be funded by our tax payer monies to educate foriegners. And they don’t do a good job of training anyways.

    • Juggernaut

      wrong !! I am an International student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and one of the Indian companies TCS was at the career fair to hire only American Citizens. Indian companies like Mahindra, infosys hires only Americans for its US operations.

      • You are incorrect. I work for an Infosys affiliated company in the United States. I just heard my ex-manager say that they must try to fill positions with visa-holders. The hiring preferences is for visa candidates!

  26. Let’s start auditing the companies who claim they cannot find qualified U.S. workers, then hire an H1B holder. Make them REALLY prove that there is no qualified citizen. Bet half the H1Bs would get sent home. STOP THE GUEST WORKER VISA programs. ALL of them.

  27. Here are a few points to consider:

    1.) It is very difficult to get accepted to a major university, if you do get accepted, there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll get into crowded engineering programs.
    2.) If you have good enough grades and are lucky enough to get accepted to a major university, the cost of tuition is astronomical!
    3.) US universities are the most sought after in the world, no longer is there local competition to get into a university, its worldwide competition.
    4.) Local citizens fund their State Universities, yet have a difficult time placing their children in said universities. As a fall back you can possibly send your children to a private college for 50k plus a year.

    Open Positions:
    1.) There are 3 million+ unfilled positions in the US economy, it’s a magnate for foreign workers to apply. US candidates may meet minimum requirements, but with so many foreign workers applying for jobs with advanced degrees, the typical domestic bachelor tech grad is slotted lower in the resume stack.
    2.) It could be said foreign nationals will work at reduced pay, they perhaps have not amassed as much student loan debt and potentially afford to work at lower wages. (I don’t have scientific data to back this up.)
    3.) However, as one data point we had a few open technical positions where I work in the Seattle area, of the 20 people that applied, 2 were residents of the United States, all others were foreign nationals.

    Apprenticeship Programs:
    1.) Instead of ramming bills through the legislature that open up the number of foreign nationals that can work in the United States, let’s create programs that incentivize apprenticeship programs. These are very successful in Germany, Holland and other EU countries. Let’s build our work force from within please!

  28. .

    1. First, lets import everything we used to manufacture, use, and export.

    2. Next, lets import technology experts to design the stuff. These young folk will come from countries smart enough to pay their young to go to college in the US—where there’s plenty of room because of all the US kids who skip college to work at Walmart (or get their BA in film history, and THEN work at Walmart).

    3. Finally, lets import people to buy the imported goods designed by the imported talent—because we won’t make enough to afford them.

    Seriously though: if US companies find it harder to drain talent from other countries, maybe they’ll get more involved and start fixing the educational vacuum the US government seems helpless to deal with. Instead of H1B visas, etc., lets have companies endow chairs, create scholarships, and expand internship programs.

    Other countries do this at a governmental level, with national investment programs that make Pell grants look like chump change. In the US—with our chronic short-term view of everything—too many think that “investing in our young” smacks of socialism. It would be great if we collectively realized that getting as many people into college as possible is not a matter of satisfying some “entitlement,” but a matter of making the US a smarter, stronger country.

    In cold economic terms, we must create a system where more Americans who would have ended up buying goods and paying taxes on a Walmart income are instead buying goods and paying taxes on a scientist’s or engineer’s income. Also, these would be people who, when they send money home, it’s not to Germany or India, but to Arizona or Vermont.

    If we, as a nation, just can’t get this done collectively as a people (i.e., via the government), then we should strive to do it at the private level (through company programs like the ones above). The best thing the government could do to help that avenue would be to severely limit company access to foreign technology workers. It’s time for us to grow our own.


    • You are absolutely right – and, we could’ve abolished the welfare system as we know it, if we DIDNT export labor, our call centers, our customer service rep jobs, and Entire manufacturing sectors to 3rd world nations.

      The U.S. irony is, with Imports – What makes our country think these countries will return the favor?

  29. H1B workers do not get jobs for free …they go through the normal interview process which every one goes, they simply just pass the interview specifically related to IT, not sure about the other sectors. I have seen 7 out of 10 resumes which we receive are immigrant resumes specifically in IT not sure if there are less Americans in IT sector or they just do not apply for these jobs.
    If you feel that immigrants are taking away our jobs,i feel it is not a true statement because there are plenty of jobs out there specifically in IT and if any person have a true zeal, real stuff and commitment they can still get these jobs. Stop blaming the government for your failure/ or lack of commitment or unable to face the competition from immigrants.

    • To qualify for an IT position a person needs an IT related degree right? Why aren’t more people US citizens going to college to get technical degrees? 1. It’s too expensive, 2. It’s too hard to get into a college program.

      Worldwide IT graduates outnumber IT graduates in the US. Why do we pay taxes to fund local Universities and yet relatively small percentages of the students that attend are local to the Universities we fund? It just doesn’t make sense, are we relying on the rest of the world to educate our workforce?

      It’s crazy that 70% or more of the high tech job applicants are on work visas. If there’s such a shortage of H1B high-tech workers, why are so many applying for job openings?

      I think the European’s have a good idea with apprenticeship programs, used to be popular here, but got too “expensive” US companies are more into short term work forces, European companies look to the longer term.

    • I am one of those I.T. guys. My position was eliminated and I was replaced by an H1B who was cheaper and younger. I was rated well by my peers and customers. My salary was higher than his. Having seen how inexperienced some of these folks are, I am not sure he will actually cost the company less.

      I will support globalization when the rules include everyone following reasonable labor and environmental laws. Until then, I am not willing to see this country loose its middle class by shipping jobs to countries who compete by allowing unlimited abuse of workers and unlimited contamination of the environment.

      • Obviously if you own a company and if you have an option to get a piece of work done by spending less amount you would do the same .. hire an H1B. Everyone is selfish my friend in this corporate business to keep there business in profits.
        And as you said there is nothing called cheaper as in you described it might be 10 to 30 $ less than what you were getting paid… decide if you need a job which was highly paid at one time or you need a job with high income which is no more a reality, also corporate might have realized that you were getting paid more for nothing and then took the decision of replacing you…..i have seen few people getting paid very well for doing nothing this includes citizens and immigrants.

    • Opposition to h1bs and corporate “STEM shortage” propaganda has nothing to do with ” blaming the govt for your failure” . Just as management ruthlessly advances their own interests via political action, so must we, labor advance our own interest in the same manner. It it doesn’t take a PhD in economics to understand that more supply equals lower prices (wages)

    • I’ve seen this over and over at various companies for the past 15 years. American workers are replaced by H1B workers. The H1B will work for less and are indentured servants for five years until they receive their green card. Naturally at this point the foreigner wants an increase in salary, but quickly finds no one wants to pay it and often returns back to their home country to start their own business of recruiting more foreign nationals to work in America. It’s a vicious cycle that only benefits the corporations, low wages = greater profits.
      The system of H1B was originally designed to bring in the “Albert Einsteins” of the world. Typically limited to less than 100, after all there are not 350,000 top scientists in the world. But the spin by the corporations is we need the 350,000 H1B’s and more. As the saying goes “Follow the money trail”.

    • I have a Degree in Computer Science, from way back in the days when “Computers were the Future” I’ve been there since the Birth of Information Technology and the internet with more than 20+years Corporate financial IT, I get called all day-everyday. Yet, I’m still unemployed.
      Why? I’m suddenly “over-qualified”

      The problem is:
      Corporations have spent the last 14 years hiring mediocre employees instead of “top talent” because Talent costs “more!”

      I also majored in English, so I re-write my resume for every job spec I apply to and get interviews – but NOT the job!!!

      Just this month, I re-tweaked my resume, got called for a phone screen, got called for a face-to-face interview, got called back for the “final” round – And still didn’t get the job!?

      And this is why I’ve “always” been a consultant, because a permanent job (like this) would actually give me some (false sense) of security, or some real permanence!

      I wish the good old days would come back were I could leave a consultant assignment on Friday, and start my next consulting assignment on Monday….

      Maybe if I changed my name to Paranthini with an Indian Accent I’d have a much better chance.

      • Kathy Johnson


        Your posting resonates so well — several degrees, over qualified, and the wrong last name.

        Try this one: Use the last name of Sharma or Patel on your resume…then you will be contacted for an interview.

  30. Importing workers instead of educating our populace is a losing proposition even for the 1% who are gaining in the short term. The issue is that quarterly earnings are the primary focus of our long term planning. Thus, we have disaster after disaster.

    • MommaHanna

      Voting 3rd party is like voting Democratic. 3rd party candidates cna’t make the changes because they simply don’t have the backing. Besides, if you listen to Howard Stern’s recent interviews on how people are going to vote, you will realize that an IQ is not required, neither is an ID, you simply must “look” the part of who you claim to be and be able to fog a mirror.

  31. Until all the highly qualified unemployed technology workers I personally know have jobs I don’t want to see
    one more H1B or other “guest visa” issued.

    This whole H1B racket is another way to destroy middle class jobs by exporting them. Since companies are sitting on record profits and cash, I see no evidence that allowing these visas is creating any US jobs.

    As I understand the rules, companies are only supposed to get H1B’s issued if they can show that no US worker exists to take the job. I challenge these companies to show me one job that can’t be filled by an unemployed American. They just want to pay an Indian national $35/hour as a project manager rather than the $50/hour equivalent an American would get.

    • Steve says: “I challenge these companies to show me one job that can’t be filled by an unemployed American.”

      A couple of weeks ago there was a video – here on Dice – that showed how to get H1B’s. There are legal consulting firms that specialize in this.

    • “…show me one job that can’t be filled by an unemployed American…”

      I’ll show you thousands of them with Degrees in Engineering, Physics, Architecture, etc., etc., but (businesses) won’t like their color (Scarcastic).
      Minorities are graduating with “advanced” degrees and settling for jobs in Civil Service, because public sector won’t hire them (oh, I forgot, we’re all equal now). Businesses refuse to pay them U.S. salaries.

      Before they let that kind of economic freedom take place, we will continue to abuse 3rd world labor.

      It’s so unfortunate that we’re even considering a bill like this, when we (Americans) should be lobbying for a “No American Left Behind Act” –
      Forcing businesses to hire any unemployed American BEFORE a foreigner.

      [it’ll never happen. Corporate greed will always win… always]

      • James Green1

        Paula you are absolutly right. Popular and Minority media constantly talk about how the under education can’t find jobs, Minorities with advance STEM degrees can’t find employment in our field either. Currently I’m working as part-time teacher at a junor college with my Advance STEM degree and many of my colleagues have advance STEM degree(s) also and are working what amount to minimum wage as our skills set continues to degrade. Now I do disagree with you about forcing business to hire unemployeed Americans’ I think the cost and fees of hiring an H1 or L1 visa holding should be high enough to pay for Dislocated Americans with Masters degrees or higher to attrend a college for 4 years and train for another career.

  32. The “bottom line” to me is that these corporations (MNCs) —


    They are working on what I call the “Gekko-Scrooge Theory” where greed is good and decrease the surplus population at the same time! Throw in a ponzi scheme and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism as well!

    They’re going to replace everyone with robots soon anyway and outsourcing will be ancient history! Until then, it’s corporate slavery with drones, terminators, and SkyNet on the way!

  33. I hold two degrees and have done masters level work in EE. I have more than 25 years experience in development (web, embedded), industrial control systems, QA, technical management. I’ve been looking for a job in the Central Florida area for 3 years.

    I can’t help but think that there are likely several thousand jobs in the area being sucked up by foreigners. I know of one company just down the road where the employees were given an option: Train your (foreign) replacements and get a severance package, or decline, and you’re out on your butt today. Hundreds of people lost their jobs to foreigners on that one.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see the abuse of the H1-B system. When four of the top 10 companies using H1-B visas are FOREIGN companies (Indian), the abuse should be inherently clear. When H1-B hires by universities don’t even count against the cap, the reason college students can’t find jobs becomes clearer. When Microsoft and Oracle lay off thousands of Americans, and within a year, hire thousands of H1-B workers, it’s obvious. And finally, when corporations attend lectures by law firms on how to AVOID hiring Americans, it’s pretty clear the entire system is shot through with corruption. at the 1:46 mark. Even ICE admits rampant fraud in the application process.

    The H1-B system isn’t just about getting critically needed specialized brainpower for America. It’s more about importing outsourcing.

    • HooliganApe

      “I hold two degrees and have done masters level work in EE. I have more than 25 years experience in development (web, embedded), industrial control systems, QA, technical management. I’ve been looking for a job in the Central Florida area for 3 years.”

      Nobody would buy this crap.

      • Unless you live in Florida, you do not understand the job market down here. I live in south FL and also have an BSEE degree along with more than 10 years experience in computer and network technology field. I have been looking for a job in south FL in the technical field for more than 4 years without any success. We have a lot of competition down here from many Latin American workers (again with the H1B) bringing down the rates and contrary to popular belief, it’s not that cheap to live here.

  34. I have a degree in electrical engineering and more than 10 years experience in the computer field. I took some time off to take care of my small children and I have been trying to get back into the technical/computer field for more than 4 years now with no success. The government and hiring companies need to employ and access the current pool of American talent that is currently available before they continue to give our jobs away as they did in the late 1990’s with the H-1B. Back in the 1990’s I saw for myself how American programmers were being let go as they were replaced with foreign less experienced programmers. This is the price we pay for corporate and government greed.

  35. In summary: A balanced life is the answer.

    I’m over 60, and I may be the oldest person here. I too, got an MS in CompSci, in 1971. During that time I worked for NASA and DoD and other defense contractors. Later in my career I founded a software company that was sucessful ( pulled in $2 – $3 million a year) for more than a decade. Now I’ve been thrown away by US business, like a candy bar wrapper.

    I’m a conserative, I believe in work, and results. IMO the current situation in the US is very short term thinking. Or perhaps no thinking at all.

    Everyone is going to age. With age, if you are paying attention, comes good judgement and wisdom. Additionally, if we are going to have an economy, would you rather have 50+ people working, paying taxes, or have them on government disability, or welfare?

    Do you want to have people that have ‘self actualization’, or on the gubment dole?

    So what are you negative coders going to do once you’re 40? Commit suicide? Change careers with the same pay (if so – why don’t you change careers now?). Oh I know – you’re never going to become old – just like Peter Pan.

    Well I’ve got news for you people – there are children and a family life and other interests. Coding is not the answer. A balanced life is the answer.

    There is a value to experience. Only a fool thinks he knows it all – the MBA’s have wrote that book. Many of the nasty comments about us ‘older’ programmers have no acknowlegment of other skills that are only learned through experience.

    I am amazed with the amount of completely undocument, redundant code, and all I get for an answer is: “It’s self documenting”. With that kind of communication – I’d hate to be their wives.

    In summary: There is a mental illness sweeping US management. Let’s hope it clears, before it destroys us.

  36. It was probably inevitable – as my current management has themselves benefitted from this program they are shamelessly arranging inflated salaries for their compatriots. It’s really nice to get bumped up three salary levels in order to meet the companies requirements for sponsoring H1B visas when barely you are the least skilled documentation specialist in the organization and none of the US natives has gotten a raise in 4 years. Somehow, someone was able to certify that there was no English-speaking documentation specialist in my big city who was available to do the work. This program is not properly audited and there is insufficient review. Even if I was able to get the HR dept to listen to me they would not stop this because it would jepoardise all their other ‘legitimate’ H1b workers. Gaming the system indeed.

  37. I propose that companies be required to report off-shoring jobs as a special classification in filing to the labor department. Then, an equal number of H1B visas need to be dropped off the program. That would allow somewhat more equitable treatment of US workers: slash and burn would become slash OR burn. Better than nothing.

  38. What ever happened to patriotism and love of country?

    I’m an American born, American raise, American educated software engineer. If we let all these smart foreign students stay here and compete with us, it will very likely lower my income opportunities at any job.

    HOWEVER, we are so lucky that these smart, brilliant, hard-working people want to come here and help build our economy. I am totally willing to take the hit to help America advance as a whole.

    We really need these smart people to come here and become American. Rising waters lift all boats. The stupidest thing we do is educate these brilliant foreigners, and then force them to go home and build their own economies when they would rather be here building ours….

  39. MommaHanna

    Another reason why companies hire H1B folks is because they are guaranteed the same employee for at least 2 years (or however long the H1B is for). Whereas if you under employ an IT person, chances are they will jump ship at the first opportunity. I am not saying this practice is a good one; it is just one that is happening. Back in the 90’s, IT folks would hop from company to company to pick up new skills, make more money or have better benefits. There was no commitment to the company, only a self centered commitment to self. There needs to be a balance between the two. The decade of ME has left a lot of people out in the cold by themselves.

    Now this is not why we have so many people unemployed or under-employed, but it is one of the reasons for some. All factors need to be considered in order to come up with a solution to the problem. As I see it, we have

    1) lack of educational opportunities for our youth. If we must educate the world fine! But only a small percentage of STEM slots should go to foreign nationals. I would like to see a breakdown by percentage of foreign nationals that are in STEM programs as compare to US students. Does anyone know where to find these figures? I can only find them for the overall school which is very misleading. (Just like the unemployment numbers are a complete sham!) I know the schools are looking at the budgets and see the money they could make from foreign tuition but how can we help others, if we can’t take care of our own.

    2) Companies are simply greedy with the bottom line. They cut expenses by off shoring jobs. They cut their turnover rate and costs by importing the offshore worker via H1B and STEM visas. Companies need to be realistic in hiring. They need to actually care about the employees and invest in them. They can’t find one person with everything on their wish list. Most IT people are sharp enough to pick up new skills quickly. Take the time and invest in your employees. Where have all the training budgets gone???????

    3) We also have the greed of the employee. The benefits companies put in place in the 90’s are insane! Most organizations can’t keep up and many that did offer them have gone bankrupt. But not before making the founder rich. What does the founder care, they are financially set, and he no longer has the headache of a bunch of pre-madonnas.

    I am sure there is more and I know not everyone fits into one of these classifications. We need a real summit of the minds, we need to be honest and we need to stop pointing the finger and calling each other names. I don’t know about you but no one told me life was fair. But I know if we put our heads together maybe we can come up with a solution.

  40. Give incentives to schools and students to entice them into the required fields including the one extended to foreigners such as 5 year employment by a sponsor. Include free upon completion tuition and establish area science academies for these students. Go to the schools with great demos and inspire the kids as to the importance and prestige of these degrees.

    You are putting foreigners in high positions and someday we will all work for them. I hope they with be as generous as us, but know they will just pass laws to allow more of them to enter the country – (probably deport us). WAKE UP? THIS IS ALL CORPORATE GREED! INVEST IN MAKING AMERICANS STEM CARD RECIPIENTS AND ALLOW FOREIGNERS TO GET ON LINE AFTER THEM.

  41. The view from England. You guys have got it bad thats for sure with a cap of ~60k visas a year

    However you should try being over here. Even though we have one fifth your population, the government has done a deal with europe/india there is now NO limit on indian programmers coming here. I do not expect to find work in IT again even though I have a degree from a highly respected university, numerous SAP qualifications and twenty years experience. The way governments treat there citizens is deplorable

  42. Kathy Johnson

    Numbers USA is a great lobbying effort in promoting the defeat of this STEM Jobs Act. It’s such a let down to see corporate offices in Manhattan with nothing but Asians and third world people. Is it now unlawful to hire a qualified white person??!!

    Reverse discrimination and down with America is the new script.

  43. William Coulter

    I was laid off by Teradata Corp. They have laid off many American engineers and replaced them with people from India, China and Pakistan. Many American companies are doing the same thing. I have been looking for a job for awhile. I have a masters degree in computer science. While looking for a job I have found many other Americans with STEM degrees who tell me the same thing that they where replaced by people from other countries here on visas. Every visa the US government gives to someone with a STEM degree is another American who is being replaced by them. The companies are lying to the government about there not being Americans with STEM degrees. All they have to do is look in the unemployment lines and they will find tens of thousands of Americans with STEM degrees. The reason companies are doing this is simple MONEY. They don’t have to pay medical or 401K and other benifits. Many of the workers with visas are contract workers.

  44. IwasOutsourcedToo

    Not enough American kids seeking STEM degrees?

    Might it have something to do with their parents having been downsized or outsourced over the last 25 years?

    “Sure, Johnny, you can go to college. Don’t even think about engineering. What would be the point? You’ll never get a job…”

    • Proud Paulbot

      I sorely wish I hadn’t gotten a STEM degree. I would have been better off either (1) not attending college at all or (2) getting a nice, simple business degree, preferably from a school where I could have taken all or the majority of my classes online. #2 would not only have been cheaper outright, but it would have allowed me to work at any job I wanted, instead of being chained to classes that were held ONLY on weekdays and thus severely limited my job prospects (and caused me to borrow living expenses).

      Now I’m stuck with non-dischargeable debt that I know I will never be able to pay off. I took on this debt because I thought I would be able to get a job out of university. The saddest part is, if I could have landed a $35k/year job–not even the greatest job in the world, just $35k–I could have made my loan payments. I would have struggled, but I could have paid them.

      My only hope is for the bankruptcy laws to be turned back to 2005, when private loans were dischargeable. I think this ultimately will happen, because it needs to, or the economy will not move forward. I am far from being the only individual who took out loans for a degree that ended up not being worth the paper it is printed on. I was 40 when I graduated. At least I had a partial lifetime lived without this debt. Kids in their early to mid twenties never even got a chance to begin their lives before being drowned in this kind of debt. This isn’t just affecting the borrowers individually. Wait until you try to sell your house, and you cannot, because the pool of potential buyers is so tiny.

      Over the next few years, we’re going to see college applications across all disciplines plummet. Unless you’re going to be a doctor, a nurse or maybe a veterinarian, a college degree simply isn’t worth the cost anymore. If I had a kid, I would do everything I possibly could to discourage them from attending college. They’re better off just getting any kind of job they can.

    • Proud Paulbot

      I am confident that, in a normal economy, I would have been able to find a $35k/year job with my education, skill set and background. Maybe I wouldn’t have found a tech job, but I would have found something more substantial than walking dogs…and that would have been okay with me.

      Even though I’m not the World’s Greatest Programmer Evah, I can read and write on a college level; I can compose business correspondence and even write marketing copy. I can perform basic and advanced math. I have no problem at all using common office software–Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.–on an advanced level. I’ve been online since 1995 and have no difficulty using the Internet for research, sending email, and even doing simple web editing. As I mentioned, I built a WordPress site for my petsitting business. It’s simple, but it looks professional–not like a 10-year-old did it–it’s user-friendly, and it’s not full of typos, grammar errors and dead links. I have a basic grasp of SEO and learn more about it every day; it’s an ever-changing discipline, so nobody is really an “expert.”

      I have years of professional work experience. I know how to dress and groom myself properly for an office environment. I have no visible tattoos, no piercings except in my ears, and my hair is a normal color, no purple streaks or anything weird. I don’t look decrepit; I eat healthfully and work out like a fiend. I can pass a criminal background check and a drug test. Thanks to my undergrad degree, though, I cannot pass a credit check.

      I know how to behave in a professional environment; I know not to mouth off to the boss or cause trouble with my co-workers. I generally keep to myself, preferring to quietly concentrate on my work; I have the attitude that I go to work to make money, not friends. I arrive on time, I rarely call in sick, I do everything that is expected of me without complaint, and I always ask for more work if my stack is empty. Further, I let the boss know that I’m interested in learning more and doing more.

      Despite all of this, I’m unemployable. Even the credit check wouldn’t have mattered so much in a normal economy. Used to be, credit checks were run only if you were applying for a job involving finance, accounting or insurance; the majority of jobs required only a clean criminal background and possibly a drug screen.

      A good work ethic used to matter in this country. Used to be, if you were willing to apply yourself and work hard, you could get ahead. Not anymore. Someone below asked what happened to patriotism. THAT’S what happened. At this point, I’m out for MYSELF and my personal survival. If I can help others along the way, that’s great, but I cannot put “the country” or any individual before myself and my family. That’s the way it has to be, if for no other reason than it’s impossible to save anyone else from drowning if you, yourself, are being pulled under.

    • I have returned to see if anyone has commented on my post to allow you to actually do something about the problem, instead of just complaining about it, but I am disappointed to see no comments and no evidence of that. It seems you all just want to complain. If that is the case, we as Americans have it coming to us, and my efforts to do something about the problem are hopeless. One man can not make change happen, and your congressmen do not come to this blog to read your posts.

      Again, here is all I can do to help:

      Dept of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. – 800-255-7688,
      To file an H-1B complaint, call 800-669-4000, which will just end up telling you to call this number, once you figure all the complicated voice messages and redirects… I have done all this for you. Just call:

      U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 866-347-2423

      Dept of Labor, Immigration and Nationality Act, H-1B complaints, 800-669-4000

      And here is ow you can contact your senators and congressmen:

      Hope you can stand with me on this and take some action.

      • Kathy Johnson

        Hi Jeff,

        Thank you for all the research, and for “jumping through hoops” by being put on hold, and by having to call a series of numbers until you finally got to office where a real person answers the phone.

        I will be sure to spend hours writing and calling these agencies as North Jersey and metropolitan New York needs a clean sweep by ICE et al.

    • I have graduate degrees in EE and BA and am currently making the same amount as what I made in 1997. There is NO shortage of engineers. There is a shortage of engineers willing to work for 50K per year. Another few years of this and I am gonna go join the Rasta’s down in Jamacia and say to hell with what they have done to the STEM market in this country.