H-1B Reform Might Bring Unintended Consequences

The immigration reform bill under debate in the Senate would impose higher costs to obtain H-1B visas and raise the required wages of visa-holders – moves that could have an effect opposite of what the bill’s Gang of Eight authors intended. Employers and analysts say that rather than protect U.S. workers, the measure could lead to more work being sent offshore.

Sample U.S. VisaIn a webinar last week, Gartner analyst Frances Karamouzis said the changes would force offshore outsourcers to ramp up hiring of U.S. workers – or might increase the 70 percent of work they do overseas to as much as 80 or 90 percent. They also could force the U.S. to address its need for tech workers by aggressively promoting STEM education, she said.

See our Special Report on H-1Bs

Participants in the webinar, presented by HfS Research on Wednesday, referred to the 844-page proposed Senate bill as “the worst-case scenario” and urged the House to make revisions. Over the weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the Senate measure is 95 percent done, but at last count at least 150 amendments had been proposed.

Brian Sommer, CEO of consultancy TechVentive and a blogger at ZDNet – who didn’t participate in the webinar — called the legislation “a huge molten mass of goo that has yet to solidify,” and urged tech folks to contact their lawmakers to make their voices heard.

Looming Worries

In a survey of companies’ responses to the legislation, HfS found that neither buyers, providers nor advisers on outsourcing strategy are too concerned at this point. However, Tim Norton, Director of Vendor Management at United Parcel Service, said during the webinar, “We expect this to keep coming back. Even if this doesn’t pass, it will keep coming back in some other form.”

In addition to Norton, the webinar’s participants were Phil Fersht, founder and CEO of HfS Research; Steve Semerdijian, Partner at law firm Loeb & Loeb; Ed Caso, Managing Director and Senior Analyst of Wells Fargo Securities’ IT/BPO Services Equity Research Team; Stephanie Moore, President of IT staffing firm Ameritas Technologies; Jeff Lande, President of Lande Group, a government relations and strategic advisory firm; and Joe Hogan, Vice President for Global Advisory Services for India-based outsourcing company HCL Technologies.

The Senate bill raises the cap on the number of H-1Bs to as many as 180,000 a year, and would automatically give green cards to master’s- and Ph.D.-level STEM graduates of U.S. schools. Sommer believes the visa cap and green card issues must be dealt with simultaneously to be effective.

The bill reduces the number of H-1B and L-1 visa-holders companies can employ to no more than 50 percent of their workforce by 2016. Companies with 15 percent or fewer H-1Bs would escape the strictest hiring requirements, which could give domestic outsourcing firms an out.

Also proposed: requirements to advertise jobs and make efforts to ensure that U.S. workers are not displaced by H-1Bs. Both would come with reporting provisions that the webinar participants called “an administrative nightmare.” In addition, the bill would prohibit H-1B-dependent employers — those who employ a disproportionate number of guest workers — from embedding contract workers inside a client’s operations, though they could still work from the outsourcer’s site.

Different Tech, Different Impacts

Lande noted a wide divide between the Senate and House on many aspects of the bill, and said he doesn’t expect either the displacement requirements or the embedding issue to survive. “Vendors and clients will make clear what that constitutes for U.S. companies,” he said. “There’s a strong likelihood those will not make it into the final package.”

Respondents to the HfS survey listed application development and maintenance as the outsourcing area most likely to be affected by the legislation.

Sommer said different aspects of IT would be affected differently. The cloud and automation, more than outsourcing, have been reducing the staff required to manage data centers, for instance – a trend he expects to continue. As for contract programming: “If it was sustainable before with the limits in place, it will continue to be sustainable going forward.”

Among the findings of the HfS survey:

  • More than 50 percent of buyers, providers and advisors are fairly unaware of the proposed legislation’s potential impact.
  • Half of offshore providers are ill-prepared to cope and poorly informed.
  • A quarter of the offshore providers are very concerned.
  • Most parties are unsure of eventual strategies to cope with the reform bill, but indications point to more positions being moved offshore.
  • Offshore providers are clearly looking for more domestic presence regardless of whether the legislation passes.

In particular, the rule limiting H-1Bs to 50 percent of a U.S. company’s headcount would force both foreign and U.S. companies to ramp up domestic hiring from an already tight labor market, and thus put upward pressure on tech salaries, Caso noted.

Work also could be shifted to global providers such as IBM or Accenture, or U.S.-based IT staffing providers, such as those that operate in less-expensive cities. The Indian media also has suggested its outsourcing companies might make U.S. acquisitions to dilute their percentage of H-1Bs.

Ameritas Technologies’ Moore argued that firms will find hiring locals and training them – even for six, 12 or 24 weeks – will be less expensive than hiring H-1Bs at $90,000 a year. However, others on the panel countered that needed technology talent simply is not available, and training programs take time. In the meantime, they said, companies might have to rely on a variety of approaches to meet their labor demands.

The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the bill by July 4, with the House expected to take it up after their August recess.

126 Responses to “H-1B Reform Might Bring Unintended Consequences”

    • I find it almost comical that these companies claim it has nothing to do with hiring cheaper labor, then have a temper tantrum when that possibility is taken off the table.

      They are basically saying

      “If we have to pay the same as a citizen then whats the point!” Gee I thought the point was you could not find any citizens to do the work?

      “We always try to hire citizens, pinky promise” and yet they balk at the fact that they might have to fill out a paper trail to prove that (it’s not exactly an onerous process from my reading of the sections that apply)

      They feel bad that they can only hire 50% foreigners in there work force, LOL, yeah ok see the two points above.

      This has done nothing but prove what everyone has known all along, plenty of people that can do the work here, but they are not cheap “manageable” wage slaves like their foreign counterparts.

    • RussDaren

      First we need to change the acronym from STEM to something which better reflects the current landscape. Math is a given, Technology is too broad. Biotech is huge as is Pharma.

      Second, I have literally been told to my face that the job I am interviewing for is not really available to me. This is just going through the motions to satisfy the government before the H1b hire can get the job.
      I was not civil in my response.

      If this passes I will pay close attention to what my Senators and Representatives voted.
      I will vote for their opponent next election if I see a “yes” vote.

    • Jimbo, you could not have asked a better question.
      Everybody has really good points here.

      Be sure to check out KKVISNJIK response regarding Recruiters also coming from other countries.
      I am suggesting that these are not US Citizens and a majority of these cold calling recruiters are overseas (predominately India). That my friends should be your first concern.

      How do you expect — as a born raised US National — going to get a job in the US when the majority of recruiters are foreigners themselves AND these recruiters are multiplier at exponential rate.

      I am pretty damn sure they don’t share the desire for equality in the same way that their US counterparts would expect of them. They have no loyalty to anybody or anything other then to the company for which they work.

      Bring those recruiting jobs back to the US and US citizen and a shift will once again lean toward the best interests of both the employee and the employer. I’m betting jobs will once again get filled by US Citizens.

      • Mike A.

        Right on. I have been getting emails and calls from these Indian controled agencies that have mushroomed in last couple of years (especially since last year). In most cases, they do not respond to my email response when I ask about rate or the job so I know they do this to keep paper trail that they reached non-Indians. In other cases, they put someone on the phone that can barely speak English and push you to frustration. If you happen to talk to one them, you will see they are clueless about the position and the company they are trying to recruit you for. They speak poor English or have zero knowledge of recruiting. They are just told to send emails and get resumes. The problem is with companies that do business with them. Then again their friends are in those companies and quite of bit of unethical stuff going on there as well. Third world corruption is prevailing IT industry in the US. After twenty years of working in IT with a Master degree in Computer science, I hate to leave this profession knowing I am quite capable doing the IT work.

    • Cicuta

      !00% correct, meantime the USA is becoming less competitive and technology capabilities will continue to diminish. Looking 20-30 years ahead in time, the USA will depend 100% from other countries and less capable of even fabricate her own armament in case of war. Technology will be in Asian countries and specially China and Russia. By 2016 China’s economy will be number one and the USA 2nd or 3rd. We won’t even be capable of producing our own food. By that time, I will be dead so I can care a less

    • I laugh when I hear how American young people are not going into math and engineering because it’s “too hard.” B******t.. American students are avoiding these fields b/c the kids are smart. They see what has happened with their parents’ careers as highly qualified, hard-working U.S. citizens get turned down for jobs so corporations can higher low-paid people and control them by holding their visas. The fields of computer science and engineering are becoming less and less attractive to Americans for very rational reasons. Of course, this will have a devastating long-term impact on our ability to innovate, research, and compete economically and militarily. But what do corporations care, as long as they have their profit this quarter?

      • I would have to agree with this comment. Would you recommend that your son or daughter major in CS? I’ve taught CS at the college level for 17 years. I believe CS enrollments have gone down because parents are concerned with this IT off-shoring trend.

      • Agreed. My Math/CIS degree was the single biggest mistake of my life. All it did was plunge me into unspeakable debt that I will likely never be able to pay back.

        Someone had the nerve to tell me that the reason why I couldn’t get a job is because I must not have been willing to “start at the bottom.” I’ve walked dogs, done clerical work for $5.00/hour on oDesk, and written fake shill reviews on Fiverr.

        How much further down should I be willing to go? And BTW, I’ve applied for janitorial, retail and restaurant work; unfortunately, those employers don’t want people with bachelor’s degrees who are enrolled in MBA programs working for them.

        • Agreed. Although I’m lucky enough to have been working in the IT field for 13 years, I’ve seen too many non-Indian colleagues being replaced with cheaper offshore and visa workers. I would highly recommend any new college students to study healthcare instead. Can’t offshore that field, although they could possibly bring in visa healthcare workers.

          To TR, I’m really sorry to hear about your experience, really wish there was something we could do to help you. I’ve seen to many in the same situation.

          • Thanks for the kind thoughts. Unfortunately, there’s nothing anyone can do to help me, because nobody can give me what I need: a job.

            I just want to run my marathon this fall. I want that accomplishment. My completed races can never be taken away from me. Unlike my degree, which I long ago fed through a shredder, I will never regret my races. Only 0.62% of Americans have run a half marathon. Only 0.5% have run a full. I’ve done something almost no one else ever attempts…including the employers who spit on me and call me filthy names.

  1. John Love

    First of all, there is no shortage of STEM workers in the US. If you will take the time to look at just about any job ad, they all want experience. No employer posts an ad offering any experience. In order for American STEM personel to be available, someone has to be willing to give them either an entry level opportunity or an opportunity to use current skills as a springboard to additional skills. People coming out of college may know some Dot Net, java, Oracle, SQL server etc., but none come with every esoteric piece of software on the market. Such individuals do not exist in India, China or for that matter any place else. The key to more American STEM personnel is more jobs for Americans, not more H-1B visas.

    • Anonymous

      This is quite right. Companies have to start investing in American youth. No one in INDIA or CHINA is born with 4-5 years of experience. They start as fresher, works for 3-4 years before they are considered for VISA. MNCs have to give that chance to American youth as well. Otherwise the whole new generation will move away from Technology jobs. Lot of people talk about H1B, Salary etc. But real problem is that most of the companies using H1B in large numbers are not really doing anything at all to invest in the youth here. Whether it is in terms of proving them opportunity or training or education. High time we make changes to make sure that next generation and american youth who are in college are not put in an unfair disadvantage

    • Harry Partin

      We need to cancel these H1b visas. These are the free cash give away from the companies like TATA Consulting Services, Wipro and etc. Too keep the american tech job in America we need cut the number of h1b visas and start recruiting the american. If we cut at least 50% of the H1b visas our national unemployment economy could decrease dramatically. Most importantly the workers who come in h1b visas from india doesn’t have a required qualifications or experiences based on the number of people we interviewed by my company. Most of them have their bogus experiences written in their resumes also we need to have a proper system to verify their experiences.

      • Agreed. I will write an email to the white house and raise my concern. Please do so as well.
        Corporate America does not care about Americans but profit. Some CEO earns billions so they do not care about workers like us. Government needs to take action. Just an thought….
        Maybe we should outsource all the local city government wokers or DVM workers as well. I wonder what will happened?

        • A) There is definitely a shortage of tech skills within American citizens and B) They have lesser flexibility to accept an opportunity as oppose to H1-B candidates. The client in most cases are not willing to pay expenses and expect consultants to work from their site, so in such situations even if you come across american talent, they are hesitant and have constraints to accept those opportunities.

          • A – Utter nonsense, I have to step in on a regular basis in my company when the H1B bonanza is still open and ask why all US candidates are being bypassed. Typically I get called on the carpet by the higher ups for even asking the question. Its’ quite despicable.

            B- That’s only partially true, you are just saying it’s easier to manipulate H1B holders and the companies like that.

    • As this article outlines, without even trying it’s not about anything other than money and control

      If you own the employee, and he’s cheaper, then it’s a business decision only (which is amoral at best) but it has nothing to do with availability

      I took an online class from standford just for fun, the noobs were clueless, and yet generally thought to be more “up to date” in the skill set department because they spent 8 weeks taking a noSQL class, the few seasoned vets in the class ran circles around them.

      It’s all BS, cheap wage slaves, controllable wage slaves, that’s all this is about, a bit more profit and F… Americans.

  2. Martin Tall

    Are Project Managers STEM? I dont’ think so, yet Cisco, Netapp, Symantec, HP, Google, Yahoo, Intel, and every other major Silicon Valley employer have hundreds (in aggregate) of PM’s on their rolls. It’s not about STEM or skills, it’s about indentured servitude. These people make 20-30% less than native workers. Oh, and have you researched lately? Every major STEM college and university in the US has presented to Congress information showing there is no shortage of trained and/or graduating STEM workers in the US.

    • They just continue to lie and therefore make it the defacto “truth”

      Their objections in this article about the bill (which is still bad for US tech workers) do not revolve around “We can’t find anyone” they revolve around costs, and being limited as to how many foreign born citizens they can employ. They show their hand, then tell you that you are not seeing what you are seeing.

  3. R. Lawson

    This is primarily fear mongering by corporate interests, and a common tactic any time workers seek to protect their own interests.

    Certainly some projects will move offshore, but more importantly protections against bottom of the barrel wages and displacement will create more American jobs. Those of us who actually deliver software services understand that many offshore attempts failed and this scare tactic doesn’t sway us.

    Companies have no vested interest in creating jobs in the US. Workers do, so take stock in what we say not what they say when it comes to creating jobs. There is no general skilled labor shortage. Half of STEM students pursue non-STEM careers because there is a shortage of economic incentives to pursue this profession. Flooding our labor market with indentured temporary foreign workers will only make STEM less attractive and discourage future generations on potential STEM students/professionals.

    • agree. It is corporate greed. All IT managers , CFO , and CEO are all agree to do so. They are interested in US jobs nor high unemployment rate. Most of the offshore attempts I experiences are failed or they only did mimimum task such as support. They cannot do much on the design, implementation of the software. Maybe offshore has some technical skills but they lack of quality work. I was told many times by the management that we can hire 3-4 people offshore for 1 person in us so it is ok for management.
      I hope these CFO, CEO one day will experience layoff and got replaced by offshore so that maybe they will feel a bit what the reality is.

      • While I agree with you in principle unless you are dealing with lone contractors there are lots of hidden costs.

        Most of these companies force you to pay for PM’s when you don’t need them etc. and management fees etc. etc.

        So yes it’s cheaper but not as much as you would think, the real savings is in taxes, you don’t have to pay SS and or any other benefits.

        The 30%-40% cheaper rates for H1B visa holders, and the ability to lock them into your company makes that much more agreeable from a business perspective.

        If the government gave tax breaks to hire US citizens to offset the savings of H1B holders you would never hear another word about a lack of resources here.

        • Matt A.

          Offshore resource needs are inflated and there is a lot of corruption as well. Yes for every one engineer in the US, they may be able to hire three ones in India (The ratio is actually changing with wages going up in India and opposite happening in the US) but their productivity is much lower due to issues related to corruption (Inflating needs and kickback on hiring of each body), poor communication skills, and poor infrastructure.
          Another big problem facing non-Indian applicant in IT is hiring discrimination. H1-Bs hiring other H1-B candidates. Promotions not based on merits but based on ethnicity. This is getting ridicules that this country has gone through so much to get equal opportunities laws but now all that accomplishments have been thrown out and replaced by a third world culture based on cast system.

          • Indian Assault

            I strongly disagree. How is my productivity level connected to corruption? There are a greedy and unethical( especially from Andhra or North India) , but your comment does not apply to whole India. You just dont offer or give away H1B. There is 12+4 years of school + college education and hands on experience working with clients worldwide and only then we are considered for visas. Yes , agreed there are a number of people who cannot speak English or communicate well, but not for people from Companies like Tata, Infosys or Wipro, HCL etc. I confidently say this because, I had proper education, qualification and experience. And for your information, the caste system was started by British. And what do you think the missionaries do in India??

      • yurakm

        In my experience, it is not black and white.

        A big international company where I worked used to have its own development and support center in India. They sold most of the operation, because were unhappy with a quality. However, select people in support were pretty good. They continued to work for the company through their new employer, who moved them to Singapore – that is a very expensive city, more expensive than a half of US or a Western Europe. I worked with them a lot. They are very competent people, and nice also. We became friends.

        The company did not bring the offshore work back to US or EU, however. They farmed it to a Russian offshore operator.

        It turned to be that programmer in Moscow are as good as London or New York ones. They also are closer than Indians culturally, so the development was less bogged down by mutual misunderstandings.

        Later many tasks were farmed out to Ukraine, followed by Poland. Poland was kind of optimal: skills and cost similar to Russian, but a member of EU. Visas are not required when traveling between Poland and London, Zürich, or similar. Some of people working in the Polish development center were from other EU countries, like Germany or Italy. Over years of working together, we became friends as well.

        However, my friend told me recently that a new management of the company moved most of work from Poland back to India. He trained the new Indian hires for about a month, though it takes about 6 months for a pretty good C++ programmer to learn the codes. They were kids, fresh from a college, who actually do not know programming (yet?). They definitely do not understand a non-trivial C++ metaprogramming, that is absolutely required to develop and even to maintain the specific codes. They do not know the business domain either.

    • Fear mongering? Oh please! Your conspiracy theories and victim mentality are typical, but distressing. Everyone is looking out for their own interests, including employees, employers, and all other actors. There is NOTHING wrong with that.

      We do not live in a communist society. Business does not exist solely for the benefit of employees or the economic system at large. Companies hire people as a necessary expense to facilitate the conduct of business and generation of revenue. The relevant word there is expense. An employer wants to minimize expenses and maximize income. This is selfish, and again, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s called capitalism.

      Similarly, we as workers want to get the best compensation and other things of perceived value (experience, continued development, benefits, etc.) that we can. This is also selfish, and again, there is nothing wrong with that.

      However, a hiring transaction only occurs when the employer and employee can discover terms acceptable to both. One net affect of the past 5 years of economic adjustment is that many American have had to adjust to lower incomes (some professions more than others). Some people make that adjustment easier than others, and some have not yet accepted that reality still. This balance is largely influenced by supply and demand levels, and that is where the foreign worker issue comes in.

      I suggest that instead of whining about how the companies are conspiring against us poor worker / victims, you understand the motivations of the players and realize that a company does not care what you think or want, neither on the positive side or negative. It cares about optimizing it’s operations, both short term and long term. If you convince a hiring manager that you can help with that, these foreigner issues wind up where they should be, as a second tier issue behind you understanding and selling the value you offer. And if you don’t offer value, shame on you for complaining about it.

      • Stimpy

        All fine sentiments if this were a level playing field where talents and contributions were fairly evaluated. The problem is that this whole system has created incentives to bring in foreigners and exclude Americans. You can say that it is dog eat dog but why are we importing more dogs?
        It is plain that it only benefits the employer and the big money interests.

  4. Nomura says, this means that employees on H-1B visas will be restricted from working at the customer sites, although they can work from global delivery centres. Since all Indian IT companies are classified as H-1B-dependent employers, this provision would restrict them from placing their staff on H-1B visas (work visas) at customer sites. H-1B dependent employers are those companies, which have at least 15% of their US staff on H-1B visas.

  5. SouthRoad

    Does it matter if the job moves offshore? If the choice is to be replaced by an H1-B worker here or have my job outsourced, should I care? Either way I get fired.

    I also agree with R. Lawson. I am not afraid of more outsourcing. From what I see, most outsourcing projects are not working out that well, and to do more work offshore with fewer H1-B’s plugged in on our will lead to even lower quality work over there. Let them do it.

    The easy fix is to raise the cost of H1-B workers. If they are better than anyone who can be found here then paying more would be appropriate–but I bet if most companies had to pay MORE for their H1-B’s they would drop them quickly and admit there is nothing special about them. With hundreds of thousands of H1-B’s, then mathematically they MUST be average.

    Either way, an IT collapse is coming. Baby boomers are retiring, and programmers will soon start jumping ship. As demand goes up, programmers switch jobs. If two programmers of exactly equal skills swap jobs, it creates more work on both sides because of the brain drain associated with the swap, which causes even more work and more hiring and even more demand. This could spin out of control rapidly.

    There is also another factor. We keep doubling the code base every few years but keeping the programming pool about the same size. How long can this go on? Today maybe there is one programmer for every million lines of code. Soon it will be one programmer for every 2 million lines of code. See the where we are headed as an industry ? Get the picture ?

    I have seen so many projects already where the system is running on life support because all the original people are gone. Nobody knows how these systems work and the existing staff can barely keep the system running. Come on, unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, we all see this happening and we all know that what I am saying is true.

    If they raise the visa limit and encourage companies to replace a few more “old-timers” with H1-B’s, the brain drain problem will only get worse not better, and if they DON’T raise the visa limit then supply and demand will cause skilled workers to jump ship on their own and increase the brain drain anyway. Either way, the future is on a trajectory of brain drain acceleration. In a way, we are on a trajectory like the Mortgage industry was a few years ago. The cheap labor bubble is about to pop and their is nothing the IT industry can do about it.

    This brain drain coupled with dilution (more lines of code per person) can’t go on forever.

    There is nothing congress can do to stop the inevitable collapse. The new Immigration bill is just another congressional attempt at a corporate “bail-out” that can’t work. As with Wall Street, the damage has ALREADY been done! Whichever way they try to fix it, it looks like some corporate systems are going to go down.

  6. Ebay McGee

    My company has laid off many longtime US workers (tech jobs) in favor of offshoring the work. As it turns out the few people who are left… still do much of the work (as management does not trust offshore developers or feel they have the required skill sets). The indian outsourcing companies we deal with basically take a ‘rag tag’ team of developers and throw things together in a very unorganized manner.

  7. John O

    Alleluia Amen! I can’t believe our government asks citizens with families and community ties to compete with foreign nationals that are completely unencumbered. I tire of competing with individuals who have no community ties, no family ties, no mortgage to pay , no health insurance to pay and an education largely paid for by their country of origin. Companies always say they want to hire citizens, but, want to do so at the wage depressed by the presence of several hundred thousand h1b’s.

  8. Steve C

    I am unfortunately one of the ones who have been detrimentally affected by the H1-B visa program. In my industry, insurance, this has been going on for at least 10-12 years. I have been a consultant for 16 years and have been in IT for over 30 years. Prior to the H1-B invasion it was fairly easy to find work. Since then I have been able to find work only about 50% of the time and at rates that are 30-40% under what I was making in 2002. Some companies will not even hire American consultants especially foreign “consulting” firms doing business in the U.S..
    If this goes through, another 600K people will probably lose their jobs within the next 6 years. And people wonder why it’s hard to get anybody to go into the STEM professions anymore.

    • Matt A.

      The IT jobs are going offshore and most of whatever is left are being filled by H1B. Worse than that, the ones here growing their numbers and keep others out.

  9. The bit about the “administrative nightmare” is a farce. The law would require all the jobs for H1Bs to be posted to a website, so that local workers can apply for them. That’s not that onerous. It’s one website. It’s a little cutting-and-pasting. And probably a confirmation email to print out and file away.

    It’s only going to be a “nightmare” if a few hundred local out-of-work programmers flood the inbox with resumes. From what I’ve been reading from these corporations, there aren’t any people applying for these jobs, so, why are they complaining?

    • Bingo!

      Right now they can just say that no one applied and oh well there must be shortages.

      Once that charade is dealt with they are going to find themselves on the end of a law suit eventually and they know it.

      The rest of the article shows their true colors as well. Their primary concerns are not finding qualified people but how much it will cost them, followed by how burdensome it will be to only be able to hire 50% of their staff as foreigners.

  10. Sudhir Kumar

    Yes intended consequence to Indian body shops like TCS, CTS, WIPRO, Infosys to name a few. This should have passed a decade ago. They can exploit people on H1B. They have to pay decent wages and sponsor them for green card. Good for people on H1B and also for US engineers.

  11. I think it’s funny how most of these stories have one tone, and the comments have another more combative tone. I would say that the writers should consider the workers’ perspective sometimes. You often read things from the corporate flacks, and even the corproate bosses, and sometimes some immigration lawyer, but you don’t often hear from the workers who are affected. I mean both US, Indian, and Indian and other immigrants with green cards or citizenship. A temporary foreign worker on an H1B is the most exploitable worker of all. You know the situation is bad when more and more immigrants and green card holders are upset about “guest workers.”

    What we really need is equality. Foreign and immigrant workers need the same rights, and that means green cards. Anything less is a problem. And while the flacks can claim there’s a huge STEM worker shortage, the low pay in some STEM jobs proves there isn’t a shortage in general. Perhaps there are specific shortages. The provision in the law to force H1B jobs to be posted to a central database will quickly reveal whether shortages are real or not. If the are not real, then the H1B should be scaled back.

    Moreover, if there is a shortage, then the cap shouldn’t be raised before the current workers get green cards, to lock in their presence in the US. If the current “guests” are sent away, then the shortage increases. It’s more important to retain anyone already employed, and that means giving them rights to be Americans.

    • You can read in this article that proponents of higher H1B visa issuance are only concerned with cost and exploitation, they admit it without intending too.

      As far as immigration policy it should be constructed to benefit the US, not corporations interests, so I disagree that we should have an even playing field.

      If there is a shortage then there should be a premium attached to hiring outside the country, that way they can still hire the “best” candidate with an edge given to US citizens.

      If there really are these huge shortages (and I call BS on that) then it’s an even playing field anyway and they compete for these wunderkinds.

      Anyway no one in the congress all the way to the executive branch gives a sh’t about tech workers, they answer to people that pay for their elections and hand out kickbacks so I won’t hold my breath waiting for them do the right thing.

    • John P

      “Foreign and immigrant workers need the same rights” – FALSE. If from two almost equal candidates US citizen is not hired that eventually means one more unemployed person on the US soul. Does this cost our country nothing? Should we import all the unemployment of the world?

  12. sarkar

    Hi All,
    Offshore is a big jargon created by IT managers 10 years back. To save their cost. They sent any job to Offshore location for cost cutting and save the company balance sheet. It has mixed story for an obvious reason. Because all job not for offshore. As I working closely with offshore team, I found good development work is not made for offshore. It require trembdous communication channel, theortically is not difficult but practically impossible. Offshore development center bring lot of solution to support their validity but to be honest none of them successful in long run. Either the client overly dependent on them or the expectation not met based on their BRD. Now come down to enahncement work. It has mid range success. If it is simple type of change, it can be achieved but if it required too much interaction with client, it bound to failed like previous case. The next major area is back office support and operaiton. It has good amount of success compare to previous case.
    So please do not worry about offshore if you are really high end technical person with good amount of It knowledge, If you not upgrade your skill, it would be staying in onsite location more time and it has good prospect. If you on support try to move up in management. That is the only are would be deported to off site location more and more.

    • I disagree with you. It does not matter if you have skillsets or not, the domestic workforce cannot compete with the amount of offshore rate nor H1 guys. For some reasons, when it comes to interviews, offshores fokds and H1 guys seems to be able to ace the ‘writtien test’ and whatever they test entry level programmer. I was told they went to $500 prep school.
      So how it is not an issue?

  13. KKVisnjik

    Several thoughts… First, outsourcing is fine if you outsource for the good reason. Good reason might be to get a qualified profile that you can’t find here in US. If you outsource junior level positions or the positions that you can find good candidates locally then this kind of outsourcing will definitely hurt you in the long run. There are so many good graduates from good US schools that can do that kind of jobs – just give them a chance. Secondly, and more important is that the standard way of recruiting IT candidates needs a big reform. These days you are not only outsourcing IT jobs you are outsourcing the recruiters (who might get even bigger piece of cake than the consultants). Those “recruiters” are doing nothing more but running the job boards and collecting resumes. They do nothing what a good recruiting company should do. And the US companies are paying them 30-70% on top of the wages of IT consultant. That is incredibly stupid. And it is going for years and the number of those “recruiting” companies are getting exponentially bigger and bigger. Why a giants in the area DICE, Monster even Yahoo, Google don’t re-invent this process and keep the money for them? They would charge some fee but they will eliminate numbers of those “pimps”, “leeches”, etc. who typically rip-off the consultants. I hope to see a new Google IT Servicing business soon…

  14. Vitali

    Wipro, Tata, Infosys, ets. create billions dollars industry without paying US Tax.

    They offshore projects, profits, technological idias outside USA.

    Hope, finally goverment recognize this parasites and fire back.

  15. Carl C

    It seems the old “Mythical Man-Month” lessons of long ago (the 70’s & 80’s) is thrown out the window by today’s crop of greedy CEO’s & middle-managers. I sometimes hear “I can hire three Indians for what you make” and I just reply “but I get my code out there and done faster than they could” but it falls on deaf ears as companies just look to their labor bottom line and not to quality or results.

    • It’s the old saying…If it takes 9 months for a woman to have a baby, can 9 women have a baby in one month. In my company (a banking giant), the need to go Global is the driving force to move jobs out of the US. “We need a presence in the countries/localities we serve”. Even on site, one would think you were living in Mumbai.

  16. I’ve been in SAP 20 yrs, and each year I walk into Companies and half the work force is Indian, when there is an Indian CIO or similar, then they do not hire Americans, in fact some have been quoted as they will not hire Americans, and if an Indian is in any hiring position of a team, they prefer to hire their own, and today it is harder each year for Americans to compete, so Americans are forced out of the industry. Most recruitment Agencies are Indian owned, and have forced American recruitment agencies out of the market, and that is because the Goverment grants foreign owned businesses such as Indian ones a minority status, which means a company has to give 40% of their total work to a minority status Company, just like a woman owned company, and almost all the money earned by foreign workers get sent abroad, not spent in the USA, therefore it is not circulated back into our economy as consumer spending, the whole thing is a mess and the Goverment is hurting the whole economy. Just imagine if this outsourcing trend of industry had happened before the second world war, then America would not have been able to build 11 aircraft carriers per year compared to Japan’s being able to build 3 carriers per year. That’s what oursourcing does for a country, it makes it weaker in every aspect, and the IT industry is no exception, Americans are being forced out of IT and having to reinvent their careers to be able to get decent paying jobs.

    • Hi Paul,
      You have summed everything I wanted to say and more. I just posted below your post – please read. I could write a book about my life as a contractor in post yr 2000. I am angry enough that I might just do it. I am on Dice.com because I am searching for a contract work again, have been doing this for the last few months. It is brutal out there – U.S. or elsewhere. Oddly enough, I have not seen to many H1B workers from China,, but wait – they might be preparing to descend on us as well. There is a lot of bitterness and sadness in my coments, but I can not just bring myself to write nice and cheery replies.

    • This is another dirty little secret

      As the entry level types move up the chain they tend to move culturally towards their own, it’s a not so subtle form of racism that locks out non-whatever’s

    • Same apply for mainframe technology.

      For example, as soon India base Wipro sign long time service contract with National Grid,
      they fire all technical people and management, then bring H1B visa holders on board.
      Same apply for Capital One in Virginia, BCBS of Georgia, ets.

      This trend was so broad that US government step in …

      • Matt A.

        So true in Silicon Valley as well. Visit Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Netapp, Oracle and many other networking and infrastructural companies and all you see are Indians. Indians hire Indians as the saying go here. All Director of VPs in Engineering have become Indians. They prefer Indians to any other race to firm up their consolidation on power. So much injustice for capable, educated and ethical people.
        The only thing that keeps US power is its technological superiority and that is now in danger as the citizens of this country are discriminated on hiring. When I hear the hiring manager is an Indian, I get an immediate chill and think of another missed hiring opportunity. That is so painful for someone with a master degree and twenty years of hardwork with proven accomplishments. Worse than bringing H1B and off shoring of jobs is the hiring discrimination and ethnicity driven promotions that have gone out of control.


      Oh yea, these agencies proudly brag about being minority owned. The worst thing about having to deal with them is you can hardly understand them. Deport them all.

  17. I have been working as an IT professional for more than 30 years. I am now a contractor, bit every year since about year 2002, can not work a full year. I am lucky to find work 6 months out of a year. Soon, I wil also have to switch my profession, or take a huge pay in cut and find a permanent work in my home state (Florida) which has depressed wages anyway. I do not see a way out of my predicament. Indian workers are everywhere. Their work is shoddy at best. They are hired mostly as developers, because nobody can understand them, so many years ago I have decided to forget writing code in favor of more functional and project management. And still, I see favoritism towards the Indians. To make matters worse, now they have formed IT recruitment companies and now Indian hire Indians. Americans are shunned again and on much larger scale. I am so tired of this nonsense and totally helpless. Whom do I need to fight now – which system? I might consider writing to the congress,but really don’t have much faith. More than 30 years experience down the drain, not to mention all the education, etc. I travel all over the world in search of job,away from my family, but lately see the influx of Indian workers even overseas (Germany, Switzerland, Framce, Middle East). Can’t beat them. Their rates are 50% lower than mine, and they will always get employed or contracted before I do. Sad.One example – Fannie Mae in Herndon (Virginia) – near D.C. If you walk into their headquarters – all you can see is Indian workers – all of full time employees for sure and then on top of that contractors. I thought that I was in a third world country – 5 story building and only myself and maybe a handful (perhaps 5) non Indian contractors working there. I am writing this just so that people are aware of what’s permitted in the U.S. On the other hand – in France – there are regulations where they will hire U.S. IT workers only after they have exhausted searching for French workers. This is the kind of law we need in the U.S.

    • Dear Sir, I too are in the same position as you are. Most of my work are indian in IT and 98% of my mgmt and coworkers are indians. I am the minority. I get less pay then them.
      The only few are not are CFO SOMTIMES. My pay sucks and I am about to transition out of IT soon. Also with aging, I can no longer compete the low salary with long hours anymore.
      No one cares and I know I am not the only IT person complains about it. I have been in IT since 1980s as well. If it comes to my skills, I think employers do not have any doubt but if it comes to others, IT org now a day will not promote me but indians. It is a fact. They also promot H1 visa for their immigration purpose so that if they have mgmt title, it helps to speed up the process.
      Nothing against indian but the disgard it is offshore, H1B or citizen, the competition is too huge.
      If anyone ask me that they are going computer sciences major , I will totally discourage them at this time. It is not getting better but worse.

    • Hi DC,
      Thank you for your reply. From your and other’s story, I can see that this is so widespread. I an in IT since early 70’s, way before anyone knew what a computer is.In those days, banks kept records of deposit and withdrawals by handwritten entries. I wrote the first automated checking system program in Florida. Have worked with all kinds of systems and software imaginable. I also have a degree in Computer Science and am going to experience age bias soon, luckily I look much younger for my age and nobody asks your birthday when you are a contractor. Same like you (I am sure), I have tons of expenses to cover and when travel, must maintain two households while on an assignment. The Indians on the other hands, bring their wives and many children to the U.S. I could not even rent an apartment within a walking distance from Fannie Mae, because all of the apartment complexes (many,many of them) were occupied by Indian families. I will slowly switch to non-IT project Management, but it will pay much less I think. Is there any way out for us? I still have to work at least 10 years. I am sending all the good wishes your way. Stay well!

    • Disgusted

      Hey Ed – Spot on comments. I have similar background (sometimes referred to as one of the “gray hairs”). Computer science major way back in the 70’s, started working fulltime in IT in 1980, have worked as software engineer, software developer, now software architect; last 2 years as an independent consultant. Modesty be darned – I have more knowledge, skills and experience than most people on the planet, certainly more than just about any foreign contractor you could name (like many others of my generation, each one of my gray hairs represents some IT crisis/monster slain or some difficult software assignment). I hardly ever interview for jobs anymore, as my independent consulting keeps me afloat and probably will until I choose to retire (which is not THAT far off, thank goodness). But an ad caught my eye last year that LOOKED like a great opportunity, so I took the bait and applied for it. It was for a stock market investment company that I will not name for fear of being tracked down somehow and sued (I don’t put ANYthing past “American” corporations anymore). Suffice it to say that it was one of the 2 or 3 biggest investment companies like ETrade (no, it WAS NOT ETrade, it was one of their competitors). You see commercials for the company in question on TV several times a day every day. Their company headquarters just happens to be in the city that I live in, so I go in for the interview and chat first with an American project manager – that goes fine. The second person I meet with is the CIO. Guess what – he’s an Indian national. Otay, I think, I’ll keep an open mind (even though I’ve HATED outsourcing/offshoring with a passion ever since it started happening, even back in the 90’s although it has greatly accelerated since then). Maybe he’s a nice guy blah blah blah. Well, he was personable (and did speak fine English, at least) so the interview generally was a good one. So as I’m leaving the conference room where I met with him, I think “Hmmm… maybe I have a shot at this job!” (a senior developer/architect position for a significant salary). But then comes the reality check. As I’m being escorted by the CIO back to the elevators, we take a different route than the one taken when I arrived. We walk through an area that is typical – big open floor space with rows and rows of cubicles (with the CIO actually pointing out that this is where the developers are). And I take a good look around as I’m walking and guess what – nothing but Indian and Chinese nationals EVERYWHERE. I actually didn’t see a SINGLE exception. Conversations over here in some Indian dialect, conversations over there in Chinese. I immediately realize that I don’t have a snowball’s chance in heck of the position and that it was just a big freakin’ waste of time for me to even apply. As I walked out of the building I have never been so peeved. I too find it both amusing and extremely depressing that you see EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE like this with whoever the author is discussing H1Bs and outsourcing/offshoring with some clinical (and most disgustingly, sometimes even POSITIVE) viewpoint, and then you go and look at the comments and 99% of them are just like yours and mine. Freakin’ insane. If one had to come up with the absolute BEST way to destroy the United States of America, it would be what has been going on with offshoring, first in the manufacturing sector beginning in the 1980’s, then low-level tech jobs (customer service and tech support), and proceeding all the way up the line to software development jobs. It’s truly pathetic. Where’s the outrage in Congress about it? Why aren’t they holding hearings with hundreds of people like us testifying about how bad offshoring tech jobs, ANY tech jobs, is for this country – instead of spending their time trying to repeal Obamacare for the 40th freakin’ time and outlaw abortion and gay marriage? Of course I can answer my own question, because Congress is bought and paid for by the Corporatocracy. I have come to the conclusion that there truly is nothing we can do about it, and am just trying to get by until I hit 67 (and hoping that due to crap like this our entire country doesn’t crumble into some post-apocalyptic nightmare in which my social security won’t be there). Hate to be so pessimistic, but there it is.

      • Ed, Disgusted – you guys are right on with your comments. America is going down the tubes and Congress is legislating non-issues rather than fixing the problems with the economy and the lack of jobs. I am sick of competing with H1B holders and I think companies should be forced to pay them competitive salaries since no Americans are qualified. I’m betting that qualified Americans will suddenly appear. I am just waiting for retirement out of the stupidity that is IT these days and hoping that I will have enough money to actually retire. I would love to move to a different career but nothing pays like IT.

      • Dear Disgusted,
        I can’t believe how similar our experiences have been. Your comments provide validation that I am not “crazy”. Now, it has been solid 6 months and I am still searching for work. With all that experience, education, dedication and willingness to go to any length to find work. The reason is that in order to support my family I can not really accept Indian hourly rates, and that’s why I am in my own private hell. Still keep searching. I do love what I am doing (IT)and it is the only thing I know. I refuse to be re-trained into another profession – it is too late for me. So I will keep struggling. Now I am seeking project management work in IT or other areas and maybe I’ll get something. I am an independent consultant just like you. My savings are running out very quickly. The assault on American It workers has been very subtle at first in 1990’s, but now it is blatant and unrestricted. It has been unleashed and nobody will be able to control this evil. I wish you all the luck and lots of strength to survive.
        Best wishes to all my IT colleagues!!

    • RK Sharma

      Sir as an Indian I can tell you , whatever you are saying is 100% right, actually American government has to control Indian outsourcing companies like TCS, Wipro etc before everything gets over in America. Yes I want to correct you one one thing which you don’t understand, IT is controlled by only South Indians (People from 4 states in India, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Naidu, Karnatka, Kerala in same order) and South Indians don’t hire anybody except people from there state, Long story short India is huge country with almost 1.4 billion people with lot of racism,casteism and discrimination plus regionalism, forget about American they won’t ever hire North Indians (Includes states like Delhi, Punjab etc) so don’t say Indians since other Indians still are ready to work with other communities or nationalities but South Indians won’t. I feel sorry since i have seen even PhD Americans struggling for food with my own eyes and crying. Also recruiting companies owned by Indians and they hire slaves (these recruiters sit in India with magic jack and they eat $15-20 every hour from H1b pay, nowhere else in world this happens), this is another technical way of doing racism and discrimination against Americans and how can you compete with person whose resume is fake, will sleep in office, can dance to tune of managers and can go to any extent for job, You Americans are responsible for all this , it is corporate greed, I understand about a genius from MIT who idly should be welcomed on H1B but what about 80% who are just working on excel, even there degrees are fake, those things (like Excel work) can be done by American kids with only 3-4 months of vocational training, why to spend even on degrees.

        • Rk Sharma

          Stick to facts, there are no North Indians in IT, only South Indians primarily from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Naidu with fake degrees, fake resumes, Americans even don’t know that you guys have call center running to support your resources, Andhra person will hire Andhra guy, you are bringing regionalism and caste-ism in USA also, if US politicians don’t ban outplacement services starting from Cognizant, TCS, wipro, America will suffer and there won’t be anything left in America. Coming to your comment on North Indians please go and check fraud done by DMK, Raja, Jaylalitha all South Indian politicians, You are trying to use same old trick insult other person, the time is over now, US politicians will pass comprehensive Immigration reform bill and I am pretty hopeful then Americans will start getting jobs in IT, CEO’s should see to it that South Indians don’t take interview of other South Indians, finally Gujarati run small stores and business, so is the case with North Indians, we never snatched jobs from American middle class, this deed is done by South Indians only, So don’t lie and pray with me that US politician pass Comprehensive immigration reform to ban outplacement services and visa abuse, good times will start for all and South Indian monopoly will get over. Life will be fair for all soon !

  18. being a lifer in technology (40+ years) I see the H1 issue as one of the main reasons we have economic problems in the US. Please LOWER the number of visas allowed in the US for tech workers and come up with better training programs for unemployed workers and get more college students the proper IT training . So many of the sleazy companies that provide workers from India are famous for making up jobs on resumes and changing resumes substituting skills to match the jobs. If a job is listed in India do not count it whatsoever as most are made up or school projects. Just ask them to prove the work and 90% of the time the truth will come out that they really do not have the requested skills. It is quite a joke to those who really understand this industry. All of this H1 and/or outsourcing has nothing to do with companies trying to be competitive but is stemming from greed. I admire the organizations that do not use H1 workers or outsource. Organizations are sold a bill of poop about outsourcing and using H1 workers. The nightmares encountered are well known (just ask a CIO, CTO, VP, Director, or line managers). Many thankfully realize the mistake and bring the work back “home”. IT development results offshore or with H1 workers is NOT the same as doing it domestically with US citizens and anybody who tell you different probably works for an offshore or H1 based company or has a vested interest in the same. In reality, a skilled US worker can do the work or 2-4 foreigners so where is the “real” savings?

    • For some reasons, it is quantity not quality.
      I do not know why now america is only concern about quantity. With 3-4 folks offshore will be better off with 1 person here in us.
      Cost is the factor. If any companies care about quality, it will not go offshore or H1 what ever people.
      As others said, once the IT is head by Indians, you are not goint to get in to the door.
      So we are all been discriminated. Just like we brought slaves in, now we have to take care of all the issues. The sad thing is we arepaying for it for these the greedy CFO.
      I have not known any companies change their minds and bring the IT back to US.
      The only trend I see is all the jobs are continues going to india. So if you want any vote from me, I will say us jobs should belone to us folks. NO OFFSHORES, NO H1 %*^$ via temp workers.
      If they want to earn money, earn it at your own country. Unless they will pay 80% of the pay to US government then it is ok…..

  19. Jayne Cullen

    I work for a major telecom in NJ.

    Every morning, taxis disgorge tens of young foreign workers at the corporate campus, fresh of the boat, and living together in local apartments. Beat-up Toyotas, with out-of-state tags and packed like clown cars, pull into the lot. One cannot walk down the hall or get into an elevator without having to endure conversations not in English.

    Then the workday begins. Conference calls with “offshoring partners” in India, Brazil, the Philippines. The remaining American engineers feel happy to have a conversation or to receive a document written in coherent English.

    Meanwhile…. the surrounding counties are full of unemployed and unemployed engineers with pedigrees from schools like Stanford and Cornell. They’ve been laid off, to make room for the H1-Bs and jobs offshore.

    The “lucky ones” might have landed a gig as a consultant at the telecom – for far less benefits, and zero security. The less lucky are working at Costco, Lowes, and Sears. They will never even get another job interview at the telecom. Why? Several reasons.

    The American engineers have committed the Cardinal Sins of being north of forty, and expecting a decent wage. Can’t have any of that. And many of the hiring managers would never consider them anyway, as they are receiving kickbacks from firms pushing their H1-B candidates. Some even have relatives (and spouses) that *own* the H1-B body shop. When employee have flagged the obvious conflict of interest – nothing happens. Besides, the displaced Americans would never want to work 14 hour days, be up all night, etc.

    Those are the kind of hours required for hammering out some sort of “product” when the code is written and tested by inexperienced kids who really can’t communicate. Quality is way, way, downhill. Technical documentation is a sad joke.

    And…. there’s no end in sight. Despite the abject failure of all of this, more outsourcing and offshoring is ongoing in 2013. Because…. somewhere, a (traitorous, American) VP is getting a big fat bonus this Quarter. He’s “saving the company money”.

    Go, Team USA.

  20. Plinko

    Wishing I could tell my horror stories but am too concerned it would out my company of employment.

    Here’s one that should be vague enough. The person took over 70 hours to do something that I estimated at 4 hours. Why? They were paid less so given the work first and I wasn’t requested to do anything until the fiasco was over. The boss is a bit too daft to notice that either they were incompetent as mid-level programmers or downright lying about their effort in an attempt to raise their rate. Is there a difference in asking for 10 an hr and taking 4 hours to do the work or asking for 40 an hour and only taking one hour to do the work.

    To someone who can’t help but think of the cheapest code possible, they always jump to the cheapest person possible. Another thing I noticed is that our Indian programmers always ask for help for what I consider basic things involved in debugging. The majority of my time spent on their projects is explaining their own code to them, I often think they copy/paste way too much.

    When something breaks they only give me job security because I come clean up their mess but I swear it feels like I’m teaching a class, when I mention terminology and the ways I would debug things they are notorious for clamming up or saying ‘what is this’ as if they’ve never heard of protocols or RFCs. Once they thought I was a super genius because I found the index file to edit in a template they bought and installed claiming we did the programming, my uber genius move to get that moniker? searching the files purchase for an ending body tag. That’s what I deal with and why I want to have another job so bad. It’s difficult enough that we can barely understand each others accents on a cellphone, at least they could perform better when they snatch my work right out from underneath me. That’s the insulting part is knowing that people who aren’t better than me are consuming the work and our quality is going down daily. I’d certainly like to see where these talented people are because they didn’t make it to the company I’m at. Yes, I’m jumping ship but I didn’t try screaming at the captain a few hundred times as the ship is sinking that cheaper is cheaper for a reason.

    Programming is competitive and quality is something you don’t want clients to know is slacking but I’m unable to ever tell a client I’m fixing something because my co-worker is a cheaply paid person who has no passion for anything but copy/pasting code and wouldn’t understand deeper topics like optimization if it slapped them with a white glove and demanded satisfaction.

    How can it be resolved other than to walk away and bite your tongue while at work when you see it. They aren’t going to automagically care especially when they are paid like general laborers. For the record, I refuse to apply with any companies that abuse H1-B and have resigned to never even have a conversation about working there. I would rather go back to Taco Bell that I worked at when I was under 18 than start this horrible experience all over again and with more effect.

  21. Washington: Amidst Congressional debate on the comprehensive immigration reform, a top US Senator has accused big Indian IT companies – TCS, Infosys and Wipro – of abusing the H-1B visa system. “There are some specific abuses of H-1B,” Senator Richard Durbin, said during a Congressional hearing on immigration reform by the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, during which the lawmakers discussed threadbare the H-1B visa issues.
    In fact, Senator Durbin went on to brand the top Indian IT companies as outsourcing firms. “These outsourcing firms like Infosys, Wipro, Tata and others — Americans would be shocked to know that the H-1B visas are not going to Microsoft; they’re going to these firms, largely in India, who are finding workers, engineers, who will work at low wages in the US for three years and pay a fee to Infosys or these companies,” Durbin alleged.
    “I think that is an abuse of what we’re trying to achieve here. Most people would think, well, Microsoft needs these folks, and they’d be shocked to know that most of the H-1B visas are not going to companies like yours; they’re going to these outsourcing companies,” Durbin alleged. He said this during the hearing in which two Indian Americans testified before the committee and supported the allegations of the Senator against Indian IT firms.

  22. I need to make a one more comment for the record. I had an interview about 10 years ago in Washington D.C. sponsored by an Indian outsourcing company. The job was to be with a very prominent and well known IT CEO for the government of D.C. and I was going to be his assistant and ‘right hand’. The government CEO and IT company’s director were good friends. My job was to be a gate keeper and award government IT contracts to the Indians coming through the door sent over by the Indian outsourcing company. The pay was to be 170,000++++++++ – per year(not disclosing exact amt.) Not too bad for a full time employment 10 years ago. Being that I am white (non Indian) the whole operation was going to look very legitimate, and of course as soon as I heard the job description I declined it, besides I was really looking for a contract work not permanent. So this has been going on for a very long time and on many levels. So now whom do I complain to? (figurative speech). Nobody cares or wants to know, except for a handful of us contributing to this topic here on Dice.

  23. Your title is misleading it says “H-1B Reform Might Bring Unintended Consequences”

    Your title should say. “Carefully disguised consequences planned by the writers and financial backers of the H-1B reform discovered”

  24. My immediate suspicion is that there must be something the H1B proponents dislike when I hear “unintended consequences”. It occurs to me the reporter should take a somewhat more balanced view of the bill instead of the industry line. The actual content is obscured by a judgmental tone referring to “pile of goo” and “onerous requirements”. I suppose if you only speak with Si valley outsourcers and H1B importers you get this. She might try Norm Matloff he has long been a skeptic of industry management assertions of worker shortages and need to flood our most coveted job market with cheaper imported talent.

    The decision between H1B increases and outsourcing is a false choice. There is also the possibility to grow domestic employment. In my long experience in tech I find mostly it’s better to hire one good domestic worker at 1.2x cost that does the job of 2-3 cheaper workers at 2-3x cost, without the communication and integration issues of outsourcing or H1B

  25. Vitali

    After a tough time in the US, Indian IT companies may bear the brunt of a crackdown by the Australian government on visas. It may be contemplating to increase its local hiring, reports Kritika Saxena of CNBC-TV18.

    With elections happening in Australia, some people say that this could be just rhetoric.

    Also read: US Immigration Bill talks threaten Indian IT biz

    But, the Federal Government is coming down heavily on the overuse of 457 visas. These visas are similar to H1B visas in the US. They are looking for long-term foreign workers to stay for 5-10 year projects in the country.

    This is similar to what US has been doing i.e. to increase local hiring and prevent jobs from going to foreign workers. So, they are cracking down quite heavily in on the overuse those visas. Some companies have apparently misused too.

    Industry body NASSCOM says that this could be a part-time review considering the fact that they do keep reviewing policies on an ongoing basis.

    NASSCOM said that it hadn’t heard of any major stringent changes as yet on the Australian policy.

    Companies like TCS , HCL Tech and Infosys have a strong presence in Australia. It gives them leverage to larger markets too. So, if at all this does happen, and a larger number of local hires are from Australia, this will have a mid-term impact on increasing costs.

  26. Glad to see that Susan and Dice.com are still shills for the corporate world. Fear-mongering nonsense. Borders on yellow journalism. We don’t need an H1B program. There’s enough talent, and potential talent, in the U.S. Corporations are just too cheap to make the investments. That’s the only complaint about the current bill – cost to corporations. Corporations – Go to the colleges and universities, hire a bunch of graduating U.S. citizens, and TRAIN them to work at your company. You might actually pick up one or two LOYAL employees.

    • yurakm

      “Corporations – Go to the colleges and universities, hire a bunch of graduating U.S. citizens, and TRAIN them to work at your company. You might actually pick up one or two LOYAL employees.”

      Loyalty is either two-way, or next to none.

      Who cares now about a loyalty?

      Permanent jobs are not even semi-permanent anymore. Neither hiring managers nor employees can be reasonably sure that they will hold the same position the next week, forget the next quarter. Anybody can be laid off. All of us saw more than a few people who were promoted, and then laid off a month later. Or colleagues who were laid off the next day after successfully completing a project, because somebody must go to meet a quota, and firing somebody who is in a mid of project would cause more disruption.

      So, very few managers in very few companies have a luxury to think long-term while hiring. They hire to do a work at hand, ASAP. Even more, that the trained employees also can jump a ship any day. The only exception are companies who use very specific technologies that need non-transferable skills.

  27. Mark M.

    Great, let’s get it done. Oh no! the price of H1B’s are going up? Gee, sounds terrible.

    Oh no! Jobs will flee the country? Who wrote this, a shill for Infosys or Tata?

    Let them try. Offshoring is one big fat career ending failure for at least 75% of everyone that tries it. Only a shill for offshore labor would try to characterize a tightening of the American labor market as “good” for offshoring. Offshoring sucks. Try it and lose your ass. Go ahead. We dare you, and our prices will be much higher when you come back, hat in hand.

    You don’t get better dev by paying for more butts in seats, which is what offshoring’s model is all about. It’s called Brook’s Law, it’s over 40 years old, and whether or not an MBA has actually run a software project or not has no effect upon it’s constant and repeated validation in the real world.

  28. Bill Towers

    GREED!! That’s what it is!. Companies like IBM, HP, Accenture etc. are hiring all these people and bringing them to this country for G R E E D ! Low pay, and charge the US goverment or private firms more money so that they can PAD their earnings and their STOCKS go up and up and up and up
    Look at IBM, Accenture stocks they keep going up. Because they bring all these H1B workers to this country and bill them the same $$ for local citizens.
    In the meantime NOOOO JOBS for us!! The people they bring in here have no experience at all.
    But they are no dummies. After a while they pick it up. High Tech! Baloney!! These guys are not high tech workers! They probably could not even spell it !!!

  29. Rationalized

    The root cause of American job situation is not H1B. In fact, H1B is to fill in that shortage. Having said that this is what I would do:

    1) Give incentives to people for retraining themselves in new technologies. Goverment run programs are too long for some people to keep their motivation. Crash courses and then projects/internships would make aspirants in demand. We have couple of million unemployed decent open minded people.

    2) Give incentives to companies that hires such retrained people. Incentives could be like tax-breaks.

    3) Involve corporations & companies in these retraining programs. Again, give incentives to these companies for their contributions. We need to foresighted. These investments will go longway in getting our unemployed people back in the labor market, generating not only taxes but stimulating the economy. Compaies will be happy to hire such people because they know that not only they are looking at well trained person but also tax benefits. Companies just care about their profits so as long as they are, they would go with the plan.

    4) Retraining partners should be part of an association which evaluates their work & outcomes. If they are meeting those standards then they should be dropped.

    5) Make mandatory for all college graduates in tech area to work as interns for a specified period. Folks we are competing with top class engineers from IIT and top notch engineering colleges of India, similarly Chinese ones. If we want to compete with them, we have to work on our quality of education. Most of our CIS graduates have no clue. They just want a white collar job. They can talk BS for hours, but at the end it is all crap. When it comes to deliverables, these outsourcing companies deliver. I have been in IT area for over 25 years and as much as I hate offshoring/outsourcing, they deliver it and they do pretty good quality wise.

    Hope someone takes this issue very seriously.

    • RussDaren

      Can you BE more of an outsourcing/insourcing shill?
      There are plenty of re-training programs. I actually got my start in IT thanks to the H1b visa fund and my former union. The fees paid by H1b visa sponsors are supposed to fund retraining Americans into the fields where there is a lack of candidates.
      Problem is, I would never have known about this if my union had not told me. I wouldn’t have been able to get the assistance without significant legwork on my unions part, and I would never have gotten anywhere in IT without a lot of very hard work on my part.
      It is an uphill battle for anyone less determined than I, less intelligent than I or with less resources than I. I am not saying I am a genius or the hardest working man in IT.
      But it is crazy to me that I have to work my self to death to be competitive with people from India and other asian countries. The reality I have seen is that they do a WORSE job than their domestic counterparts.
      I actually forbid everyone on the network I admin from contacting overseas support. The break more than they fix.

      • MadSat

        My nephew is owner and CEO of a small corporation that creates software, including some you are using right this minute, and not knowing it. And several times his company has taken on fixing offshored software messes for various clients, as they were trying to be, well, nice to the customer really. He says it’s too much work and too little reward, he’s now refusing that kind of contract. Apparently, the Indian programmers simply do exactly what they are told, and never question any contradictory input. They put the modules together and that’s what you get, without any of the usual “fix the design flaws” thinking that goes on in the USA. And we all know a great many design flaws won’t show up until you actually start coding. Continual improvement is not part of their game plan, it’s “crank out this block and work for someone else next week”.

  30. OldDad

    We will need new H1-B’s when every unemployed US programmer is fully employed in an IT position, and when each and every graduate of each graduating class from all US colleges, universities, and tech schools is immediately employed. Until then, each individual H1-B should be evaluated in an open congressional hearing. That would at least give Congress something useful to do. Cost of using American programmers? As long as the CEO of the hiring company can afford him/herself a $100,000 salary, we can assume that the company is in fine financial shape.

    • MadSat

      You want to find an engineering PhD in most major US cities, hail a cab. This situation has become stupid, and the graphs DICE and others are putting up simply cannot be reflecting the true situation. FFS, there are jobs on DICE today that amount to manager of a server farm, listed for 40-50K. That’s not even reasonable. Either they are Congress bait or they are trying to beat US wages for educated professionals down to India levels. Unfortunatly, we don’t have the extreme level of government support people get in India, it’s a pitiful situation when the wages for such a position are advertised at levels that essentially say “you should not have a family or own a house and will never drive a new car”.

  31. Mark M.

    Offshoring doesn’t work because more programmers for less money is not the problem that needs to be solved in software development, and that is the predominant model of offshore vendors: Sell you more seat warmers of very poor quality at a very low cost. (When compared to a seat warmer in America, H1B or otherwise.)

    So go ahead, raise the costs of H1B’s that will bring them in line with people that they undercut and will help drive up the rates for the truly talented people that actually determine a software project’s success. You’ll take more offshore you say? Right, because that worked so well the last 5 times you’ve tried it. The question to ask a person that expresses such a fear is why they weren’t paying attention every time someone else tried that and failed miserably.

  32. Disgusted

    Dear Dice – I’d really like to know why the comment I tried to post earlier today was moderated. It said nothing that was not in many other existing posts. Can you please explain why?

  33. Michael

    No matter how many times this shortage BS gets refuted, companies and industry shills trot out how much they need all these foreign workers pouring into the USA. It all boils down to cost, everyone knows it, even congress and the companies involved in this scam. Shortages have nothing to do with it as those of us in the industry are perfectly well aware. Indians and Chinese come and go as they please in the US market while the US citizen is basically stuck here with what our so called American companies decide to leave them. I’m completely disgusted with the whole situation and like many others I would jump out if I could. Maybe it is really time for the US engineer to unionize?

    • yurakm

      Actually, a relatively few Chinese are moving to US. They used to, but the pattern changed about 10 years ago. Though China still is a relatively poor country, it is not so desperate poor as it used to be. Chinese engineers and programmers currently have a lot of decent to good opportunities at home.

      According to an official immigration statistics, only about 10% of H1B visa holders are Chinese, while about 50% are Indians.

  34. I am really wondering why nobody is bothered abt H1B’s dependant H4 visa!!!!! They don’t even have rights to look for jobs in USA. Most of the h1b ‘s spouses are well educated and experienced persons. Still they r not allowed to look for work. Since this country needs so many highly skilled workers, they r issuing total 85K H1bs each year . Just try to think abt these h1b workers family as well. They r not getting paid well, n after coming here they need to set up the house for family again , moreover their spouses are not allowed to work!!! It’s too hard to sit at home doing nothing! Other visas like L1s dependant L2 can have EAD, then y can’t h4. Some states here doesn’t allow h4 vis holder to get a drivers license n state ID.. And remember, the H1b status says most of the visa is issued to male, so these sufferers are WOMEN.. It’s just a thought from a h4 visa holder who has a masters degree in computer application n have 3+ years of experience in IT industry, but sitting idle for the past 3 yrs bcoz of H4 visa

    • MadSat

      You are not thinking clearly, you’ve been listening to propaganda, or else you are a paid troll. HIB visas are being paid FAR in advance of the normal pay in their home country. They go back and live like kings. When the housing craze was on in the US, similar things were happening with the construction workers coming up from Mexico, they worked here in essentially barracks for six months, then the unattached ones went home and rented a villa and lived like Gods for six months. At least, that’s the story they were giving a gang boss I knew, and why would they lie to him?

  35. BambiB

    What difference whether they outsource jobs or import outsourcing through H-1B?

    Except, when work is outsourced overseas, the companies have a lot less control over the workers, the process, the product, documentation and future longevity of the project.

    Companies who take that risk should have to take the risk overseas (where it can really bite them in the butt). We shouldn’t make it easy for them to “outsource” by bringing workers HERE, while qualified Americans remain unemployed.

  36. Hi,

    I saw a guy with an H1B crying why his wife who hold an H4 can’t work. It was his choice to request a visa and it should be happy to have a job. Million of American get 0$ a year and please don’t tell me that American can’t do the work. It is all about greed and I can’t wait to see CIO,VP and CEO positions filled by H1B. I can’t wait to see the Senator positions filled with H1B and soon the White House too. It is very nasty to see those that we elected screwing American people. Do we need a Congress in 2013? No, we don’t.

  37. MadSat

    It’s really easy to fix the H1B program, just get rid of it. Instead, make a US/Canada/Mexico open hiring for tech employees, a full North American open hiring area, but no foreign hires OUTSIDE THAT REGION. Add to that a one cent toll on every phone connection made outside North America, INCLUDING all calls switched via VOIP, on all lines, privately leased or otherwise, and this business of beggaring the citizens of the USA will come to a sudden stop. Fifteen years ago there was plenty of work in US call centers, and the companies made profits and it was fine. Now they claim they can’t make a profit unless the person calling is essentially a beggar living on government handouts in India. GET REAL. If the service is worth providing, it’s worth the cost, if it is not worth the cost of provision, THEN DROP THE SERVICE AND QUIT PRETENDING!

  38. I agree to limit/stop the H1B visa. Give a chance to our fresh graduation to get IT job. Based on my experience, when we transfer job to India , we need to train them, most of them just fresh graduations without any experience. After they got experiences than apply the job in US to get H1B visa.

    The CEOs never think about this until their jobs transfer to India/China

  39. James Beatty

    I say we just let time play out. So far from what I’ve seen they have dug a hole they will not get out of anytime soon. This problem traces back in time throughout this countries history. You all know it. Hell this countries very existence can be traced to the greatest historical gemocide and lets not forget the greatest land swindling of all time. Greed will always lose out. It will only happen a little longer and boom a switch will go off. Heck I as am american indian still see the over tones of rampant racism in this countries whhite popultion because I’m not supposed to speak as eloquently and without the ghetto slang I see daily inthis horse crap town of loserville. I got lured down here by a dishonest company and I’ve had to live in a homeless shelter for close to two years. Why? Because the indian I came down here to interview with lied to my face and the company is less than reputable in my book. I know it will get better as I have faith in a higher power.

    • Plinko

      That’s true. The U.S. (and other countries) profited from depressed wages for foreigners or slave labor. Traditionally immigrants would accept lower wages to be in the country. It starts out with grand ideas about fixing things and making your company valuable. Then once you go public you have one job, to make profit for your investors. Whether that means using cheap products in the office or cheap labor, the story is the same, do it cheaper until the quality is so sub par you lost your foothold because another business comes onto the scene that will bring back the quality.

      The cycle repeats. When it doesn’t repeat is in monopolies. Companies that are large enough to buy out their competitors then maintain that stranglehold using those funds they saved to slurp up potential competition – it comes out in tech news everyday. Look at each of the companies that use H1-B and ask yourself if they are considered the monopoly of their market and you always see that trend. Not sure why you think that things would change if they haven’t for hundreds of years and the tools and rules are all in place to not only continue to do it but do it more effectively.

      I think, as Americans being some of the largest consumers, we have to address change ourselves. Seek out American made products and realize they will cost more money because the workers in America expect a living wage then enough to buy extras. Stay out of the “made in china” shops and stop buying cheap things just because you are trying to save money and be a mini-corporation because if you value your paycheck you know that everything you buy funds someone else’s paycheck down the line. If you want to cheat the service food workers by not tipping and cheat the manufacturing segment by getting cheap imports from dollar stores, then expect that just because you are educated you deserve more wage and have more demands for goods than other Americans you would be incorrect.

      Poor people spend too, they just spend out of their means on credit cards and loans or try to buy cheap goods and do the worst thing yet, send our money to other countries to grow and man have they grown. Other countries didn’t hurt us, in truth, we did it to ourselves trying to gain more and more assets at the lowest costs. While it’s taboo that they did it to our technology sector they didn’t break any windows to do it, they were invited into the door by corporations that have one goal – create more profit. If you work with those companies, buy their products, use their services, everyday you condone their behavior and keep them profitable to continue.

      • James Beatty

        PLINKO as a commentator listed below you are so correct. It was only a matter of time before it caught up. Now this isn’t really the worst of it. I’ve been trying to get back so I can get the F out of this loser field. It was only a matter of time before it caught up and the worst is still to come. That’s the sad part about this all. I lost more than I ever thought possible and I even knew it was coming before it ever came. My father warned me about this defacto greed problem as he was an engineer back during the 70’s and 80’s and he witnessed the destruction of his field shortly after he realized that this country is nothing more than a bunch of greedy people trying to do nothing more than get more wealth at the expense of the less fortunate. I have patentable ideas. Do you think I will use them to enrich some corporation HELL NO. I will use them to enrich myself and the ones I love and care about. This is just a joke applying to jobs in this country. I thought it was hard before just dealing with the racists in this country now I got to deal with this also. Lucky for me I can withstand a whole lot of ignorance and can deal with just about anything that is thrown at me.

  40. H1B and similar visas, like L visas, are a curse for American workers, specially in IT and a bonanaza for corporations. The congress has sold out Americans to the corporate greed and vote bank politics. Anyone who says there is not enough talent available within the country, is speaking to vested interests only. I can tell from my own personal experience, there are enough well qualified and experienced Americans to fill all positions currently occupied by H1B holders and some. And of course, I am not even going to the part of fraud, nepotism, corruption brought about by these hiring/outsourcing companies. On one of the projects, our company found 4 bogus resumes of these H1B workers and terminated their contracts and next day remaining 4 didn’t show up themesleves for fear of being caught, that was 100% bogus H1B guys on one single project in the company out of hundreds of other projects in one single company. Just imagine how many others are there like these crooks all across the country.

  41. Suresh


    I am have been in IT for 19 years, I have seen,studied the contribution that US had made directly or indirectly towards Technology, it’s amazing. Unfortunately, the greed factor has grown beyond the control line the congress is trying to draw and its probably 20-30 years late.

    However, there are few things, which I would like to see in the near future

    1) Encourage American kids to catchup on Technology
    2) Don’t enforce but encourage by providing a 5% Tax Break for all business Domestic or Foreign to have a Minimum of 10% American Citizens who are Freshers and who have done a Technical Degree, irrespective of acing or not acing the written qualifiers

    A) The very greed that corrupted the system will find a market to train the fresh grads and make them suitable for the Jobs.
    B) Encourage the Training happens at the HQ of those companies , so
    Freshers understand the future challenges of a Global Ecosystem and get serious on Gearing up.

    Until US takes care of the fresh blood, coming into the system, all legislations will leak and the Smart Greedy Business Tzars will find an alternate way of hoarding wealth for their individual benefit.

    Wish you guys think seriously about it, it will not take more than 5-7 years to correct the Damages.

    — Proud Indian having an Amazing Respect for the People of US.

    • Rk Sharma

      Very good suggestion, Nice to see that Indian can also care about US citizens, Americans are really in bad shape, they are being discriminated in there own country.Indian outsourcing companies are not doing ethical things in their operations, everything is a lie.

  42. Mom of two

    This bill is a disaster. Start calling and emailing your congressman/congresswoman NOW! The corporate lawyers have all sharpened their pencils and found the loopholes – the only thing that will stand from the bill’s intent is the HUGE increase in H1b headcount.

  43. I find it laughable that companies keep saying they can’t find the skilled labor they need here. What they’re not saying is it’s cheaper and they can dump H1B labor at a moments notice without paying unemployment or severance.
    People keep telling the unemployed they are not looking hard enough for a job then I would say companies are not looking hard enough for local labor. We have some of the best schools in the world.
    If companies say they can’t find skilled labor then why haven’t they contacted the universities and tech schools to tell them what they need? This is just BS and another way for companies to blame someone else for their immoral behavior.

  44. After so many days, I can see there are so many of us feel the same , experiencing the same but it seems this is not going to get any better but worse.
    When 60 minutes report how HP and oracle will start the offshore setup, I knew back then this is coming to us. I do not think in my lifetime I will see the lesson learned but the next generation of workers. Unless there is a miracle, I do not see company will change the policy of globalization by only use us workers or at least give the job to good talent graduate from US college. So be prepare to see US pay for it and lose the world power which is the intelligence of our us people.
    Life is not fair but I believe we are paying for few that are profit from it. I hope that this message will conclude my deepest regret of the situation and knowing that this is not just my own opinios of
    offshore setup and all these H1visa workers who taking our jobs. God bless America.

  45. A poll by ComputerWorld a few years ago revealed that 47% of IT managers would not encourage their children to pursue IT careers. In a June issue of ComputerWorld, there was an article about IT workers over 50 not being able to find jobs – overqualified, etc. In the same issue, an IT leader on management said “outsource, you can get a double PHD for practically nothing”. Sometimes I wonder if those hypocrites even read what they publish.

  46. It’s weird to see so much complaining! I am Indian and moved to the US. I am no genius but I’m really good – yes I started coding when I was 8.

    Over the last 1.5 years, I have passed several interviews and faced the final dreaded question – would you require sponsorship? Once I said Yes, I receive “We are sorry, we don’t sponsor H-1B at this time”. Fair Enough.

    Now I have to read all this crap from all you guys. I accepted a contracting job for 6 months – my manager who is white and 55 years old tells me – he just oversaw the layoffs of a lot of Indian and Chinese developers.

    NOW he only wants to bring the right people in – I’m Indian and I am one of them. He needed 5 – he found 2; me and another white american he used to work with. My first couple of days – we became friends and he showed me the resumes of all the candidates he was interviewing. There were no American resumes – I’m guessing you will claim you have been squeezed out but if I can pass an interview with my boss who is a “real American” looking only for the right people – you lot have just been holding on to your “OLD School” values too much. Pay that recruiter 10% of your fee and take up the contracting gig – it still pays a lot — 80K

  47. John Doe

    funny how I’ve not been able to find steady work but for some reason this nice fellow above can find it in this country. intersting how that works. been looking for a couple of years to. always get the over qualified or like just recently oh they pulled the contract back in house and are going to off shore back to thier indian branch. I guess people are funny that way huh?