Fate of H-1B Reform Uncertain in the House

Despite the Senate’s passage last week of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the debate over guest workers – specifically H-1Bs – is far from over. In large part, that’s because the House of Representatives has different ideas about immigration in general. “The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We’re going to do our own bill,” said House Speaker John Boehner. He’s announced a July 10 meeting to determine how the House will proceed.

House of RepresentativesSome Republican House members have said they don’t plan to even read the Senate bill. Meanwhile, some of their aides suggest that GOP congressmen won’t risk ticking off conservative opponents to the legislation.

See our Special Report on H-1Bs

A Different Approach

The Senate bill takes a sweeping approach to immigration reform. During its debate, the tech industry lobbied hard for changes, including an increased yearly cap on H-1Bs, a special class of visas for entrepreneurs and changes to the requirements companies must meet in order to sponsor an H-1B worker. But from a higher-altitude view, the Senate measure tackles a range of issues — including border security and a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants here illegally – which are incendiary enough to sink any prospects for passage in the House.

Both the Senate bill and one proposed in the House raise the number of H-1B visas and green cards, though their numbers differ.

The House has preferred piecemeal legislation, rather than what some have dubbed the massive, overarching Obamacare approach. And while the Senate was determined to get a bill passed by July 4 – proponents often stressed momentum in the process — the House has no timeline and any action could take months.

House leaders haven’t decided whether they’ll craft a series of bills or combine them into a package to present at conference committee. The House and Senate also could hash out an agreement through a series of deals back and forth, according to Bruce Morrison, a lobbyist and former Democratic congressman from Connecticut.

A More Conservative View

“The House is far more conservative in how it views immigration, in terms of bringing in international workers who might be competing directly with U.S. workers,” says Nicole Smith, a research professor and senior economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “There’s one perspective that we might really need these foreign workers, they’re adding productivity, they’re adding to our output. There’s another perspective that says that while that’s true, we have to be really cautious that it’s not a backdoor to really low wages compared to what Americans make and that we’re doing our best to hire American workers.”

Morrison says an important distinction in the Senate bill is a move away from skilled foreign workers coming to the U.S. on H-1Bs, which are designed to be temporary, and towards the more permanent path to citizenship offered by a green card. “All the nitpicking over what’s going to happen with H-1Bs is really less important than what’s going to happen with access to green cards,” he believes.

H-1Bs are good for three years, then can be renewed for a second three years. After that, workers may be eligible to apply for a green card. However, because of a cap on the number of green cards that are issued each year, they may wait decades for their petition to be acted on.

The Senate bill would automatically give green cards to STEM graduates from U.S. universities at the master’s or doctorate level – a proposal that some U.S. tech groups vociferously oppose.

But the industry likes such approaches. Kevin Richards, Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for industry coalition TechAmerica, called them “fundamental to our support of the overall bill.” He pointed to a number of countries, including England, Australia and France that have overhauled their immigration laws to attract such workers. “It’s really a competition [for them] now,” he says.

Shoring Up Existing Laws

Despite the Capitol Hill posturing, there are hints of possible areas of agreement. Last fall, the House passed a bill to grant up to 55,000 visas to STEM graduates with advanced degrees. It died in the Senate because of its elimination of the diversity lottery, which offers an extra chance of approval for visa applicants from underrepresented countries.

But there also are areas of divide. For instance, the Senate bill would require companies to advertise tech positions in a national database, and time restrictions during which no U.S. worker could be displaced by an H-1B. Companies have called these reporting requirements “an administrative nightmare.”

Current law requires that companies demonstrate that they have made a good-faith effort to search for a U.S. worker before they can apply for an H-1B. The House position puts more emphasis on making sure those provisions are met, Smith says. “In the House version, they’re far more cautious about extending any work opportunities to foreign-born workers unless it’s absolutely necessary,” she explains.

Smith also notes a provision in the House bill would create an incentive for visa-holders not to overstay. It calls for employers to hold 10 percent of the worker’s wages in escrow, which will be paid once he or she exits the country as the visa expires.

Though much work remains to hash out legislation in the House and reach a compromise with the Senate, Richards remains upbeat about the prospects that something actually will pass this time. “I often say don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good,” he says. “Overall, we’re very optimistic.”

87 Responses to “Fate of H-1B Reform Uncertain in the House”

  1. Let’s face it, H1-B is the biggest scam ever to snuffing out the American wage! What’s worse is it is totally paid for by the American corporation and supported by the American government. The American government funded by the corporations, killing off the American worker. I find this really amazing, all in the name of profits, and nothing more.

    • Anyone that thinks it’s not about finding cheaper replacements for US tech workers has never been inside the belly of the beast.

      Temp company’s want wage slaves, Google etc. want an experienced PHD’s at an entry level price, and all of them want the ability to lock in those employees.

      • Carolyn

        Yep! IT is predominantly “guest workers” these days, with citizens holding advanced degrees and years of experience pounding the pavement in vain. And if a job offer is extended, the pay rate is lower than it was 15 years ago.

    • These are not minimum wage jobs and thus no one should be crying foul. The supposed jobs ‘taken’ away by H1-B workers are six figure+ jobs and in those cases, a position is worth what the client is willing to pay for it. It is not valued at what somebody with recently re-hashed skills may expect to be paid. Also, most of these jobs can be ‘outsourced’ – so H1s are a great way of keeping the money within the US and supporting our economy.

      I myself came to this country 14 years back with skills that most Americans do not possess and I do take offence to the fact that someone with half my qualifications (albeit a better accent) would claim that he/she knows my job better.

      I thought it was lt about free markets. Maybe a free labor market?

      • But labor markets as we all know are not “free”. Labor markets are free to the extent that it benefits the capital market.

        It’s quite amazing, because you are perhaps the first person I’ve met that’s got an exclusive lock on a skill. Quite bold of you to assume you are the only one here that has it. True perhaps.

      • Sure, entrepreneurs produce jobs – and if they are immigrants, great. But the majority of these H1Bs are doing engineering work at a lower wage. I know because I worked with them at none other than United Technologies Pratt Whitney.
        The company would push whatever they could on them to lower their labor costs.
        There’s nothing anybody could do that someone else can’t – unless you’re an artist or Warren Buffett.

  2. SouthRoad

    I keep hearing about this “administrative nightmare” to have a database of jobs posted for Americans to apply to first before Visas are issued. Why doesn’t Dice step up to the plate and offer to run the “US Only Website”. You can use your own brand as “Dice USA” and all jobs that are “in need” of Visas get posted there.

    If we are to clean up our industry, then I think Dice has a responsibility here too. In a small way I can see the point of “Administrative Nightmare”. Keeping track of which positions just began their time restrictions and which have expired could be hard for HR to keep track of. Dice, I think this is your opportunity to shine.

    If the time restriction is 3 months, each job posted could have a “2 months 3 days remaining” on the listing. As soon as the job expires it will be clear for all to see. I see no nightmare and that, and a great opportunity for Dice.

    Dice, please step up to the plate!

  3. For those of us who work in the Seattle or Silicon Valley markets (I work in both), the market is SWAMPED with H1B visa workers, When I started out 25 years ago time in between contracts was 3 weeks. Last few contracts, with 25 years experience, wait time averages 7 months to get a 4 month contract. That’s 7 months looking, and 4 months working.

    If there is a critical shortage of talent, you’d never know.

    Most of the large consulting companies are now Indian owned. On screens on several occasions by Indian recruiters I have been asked literally “How little are you willing to work for?” as the first question.

    The H1B program has nothing at all to do with getting needed talent. It has everything to do with driving wages down, but it’s net effect is to increase unemployment and to prevent college students from considering a field where no lucrative jobs exist.

    • bluemountain184

      Working 4 months and then have a 7 months downtime.
      When I am going through the downtime, I am collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits.
      Since I have been out of work since July 2012, I am now on the federal UI benefit extension.
      While social safety net like UI is good, and I don’t mind paying taxes when I can, when I visit Silicon Valley corporations for a hardware position, the campus is full of people from Asia (many of them are fairly young looking).
      You see very few white, black, and Hispanic people there.
      It seems to me, social safety net like UI benefits is ending up subsidizing corporations to hire foreign students (I have seen this at San Jose State University job fair.) or bring people via H1-B visa while displacing U.S. citizens.
      It is depressing to wake up everyday not having a regular job.

      • Joe Blocks

        Right, another way the greedhead corps push costs on to the US taxpayer – lay off an American, screw up his/her life, pay unemployment benefits, house foreclosure possible so local tax base suffers. What do H1Bs add? They share apartments, have old clunkers and send money home.

    • I’ve had the same experience. My managers (both Indians and Caucasians) have told me the reason for using offshore and visa workers was cheaper cost, nothing to do with shortage of skilled workers. They even told me to hand hold these “skilled” workers. If they can’t get something done, then I’m supposed to pickup their slacks.

    • One of the other restrictions they had was to require a minimum percentage of native workers, they screamed about this as well.

      It has nothing to do with hiring foreigners we just can’t find any Americans, well ok we can but they want to much, ok they might work for similar wages but we can’t overwork them under threat of deportation …

      You are right, it’s a total scam, they can easily find experienced workers, they just want to maximize profits and have the cash to buy off politicians. Probably not as easily as at home, but hey they are getting there!

    • Miguel Sanchez

      Well Americans wants a jobs like doing a little bit of effort and very well paid so that part I don’t get it. Big companies wants hard workers not lazy people

      • Miguel,

        The largest part of what we do is collaborate in workgroups made up of members from all of the IT disciplines; Test, Development, BA’s SA’s PM’s and business clients.

        Communication must be clear and crisp. Poor communication puts the project at risk and causes the team as a whole to work harder.

        Big companies also want projects delivered on time without surprises or misunderstandings from missed requirements. If you’d like to see an example of a project gone wrong, look at the Boeing Dreamliner.

    • bluemountain184

      Generally, Republicans do the bidding of the rich since that’s who funds them.
      However, many of their districts are so white and conservative, they see the world from preserving the white majority (white power) as their biggest concern at this point.
      Hence, they will ignore the wishes of their paymaster for the moment.
      The problem is, Democratic Party has been so corrupted by tech industry money (i.e., my Representative Zoe Lofgren) that they don’t seem to care about working middle class professionals too much anymore.
      U.S. citizens are getting driven out of the tech jobs in Silicon Valley as we speak, and this hardware engineering is collecting UI benefits from the government right now (i.e., Member of the Rmoney 47%).

  4. I’m amazed at how much contract rates dropped for highly experienced technology professionals and how many supposed H-1B workers are now working as technology recruiters inside umbrella corporation in order to continue living inside the United States of America. If these supposed H-1B technology workers were invited by American corporations into our burgeoning technocracy then why are they posing as recruiters now. I’ll tell you why because they’re unskilled and cannot find another corporation willing to continue to sponsor their H-1B status so they’ve formed technology recruiting cooperatives where they only hire their own race and special subculture. Capitalism at it’s best! Someone call Michael Moore and ask him if he’d like to do another documentary on how the high technology sector has been robbed by all the crony capitalists, lobbyists, and corporate lackies posing as leaders up in Washington. VOTE NO MORE H-1B’s!

  5. American

    I share the same sentiment. H1-B program has killed our Kids dream for having a well paying job and has killed the American Dream, all together.

    Eventhough, if there was a site to publish the jobs where foreign talent was sought after unable to find the american talent, it would be too hard to prove. Most of the companies are owned by foreign nationals getting H1-B its their best interest to get somebody on H1-B, because, its bonded/indentured agreement ie white collar slavery. The companies and owners are getting rich , while immigrant workers get sequeezed. ( Not its not socialism, its plain slavery)
    While umemployment for local senior talented people and new college kids is sky high.
    On paper, people say uemployment for IT sector is 4 %, that is far from the truth.

    Umemployment for our young college grads is about 30%. Earlier, companies used to offer training to college grads from all disciplines to get their foot on ladder for a good paying career. That dream has been sold out and has vanished.

    More importantly, all the engineering work is being done outside of America, how someone is going to get ahead and get better by doing less of it..

    Mr. President, I voted for your twice, because I believe in second chances. But you have disappointed both times tackiling this issue ie securing future for Americans.

    There is still time to keep your promises.. its still not too late.

    Pls impose a levy 400% on IT support and services purchase from outside, as we are competing aginst 2 billion labor pool.

    This will improve quality of life, rekindle inflation which Fed has been unable to do at a controlled level,
    bring down unemployment to 5% ( I guarantee it) within a year, and create tremendous opportunity for young talent to live their American Dream ( we owe them that opportunity)

    This levy should be universally applied as it should not give unfair advantage to any company.

    America, has always believed in experimentation, Mr. president, pls give this experiment a try – Just for one year and see the results. If it does not work, you can always change the course.

    Our jobs, livelihood and self respect has been dissipating. Pls help to re-kindle the AMERICAN DREAM.

    God bless you, give you wisdom to act and god bless the USA.

  6. bluemountain184

    While I am a fan of social safety net like Unemployment Insurance benefit, it seems like it is ending up subsidizing Silicon Valley tech industry to not hire U.S. citizen, and keep hiring foreign students or being H1-B candidates from overseas.
    I have had an interview at Intel HQ’s SC12 (Santa Clara 12) building recently.
    I don’t mean to be racist, but I saw hardly any white, black, or Hispanic people inside the building.
    No wonder Intel turned me down for a job, again.

  7. bluemountain184

    Several years ago when I used to attend San Jose State University (a Silicon Valley working class public university), I remember seeing a long line in front of every technology company.
    I was usually the only “white” person in line trying to get a job, and I hardly got any jobs from any of the companies.
    Yet, when I go to companies like Intel, I see full of people from Asia inside.
    I guess U.S. citizens are not welcomed to be engineers these days by the Top 1% Silicon Valley elites.

  8. I applied for mutiple jobs directly and through recruiters but no sucess. I was wondering that all recruiters, hiring companies, hiring managers and workers inside the companies are Indian. They are all in all. They have took over the IT marekt and they are boss.

  9. The H-1B Program is Fraught with Fraud and Abuse

    A federal government study concluded that 20% of the H-1B applications are fraudulent in some respect. An entire cottage industry of firms that obtain H-1B workers and then “loan” them to another employer has cropped up. One such firm has been convicted of repeated violations of the program, was fined and excluded for a year.

    When U.S. corporations aren’t “insourcing”, they’re “outsourcing”

    Four years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, representatives of many of the nation’s most powerful corporations attended the 2009 Strategic Outsourcing Conference to talk about how to send more American jobs overseas. Conference organizers polled the more than 70 senior executives who attended the conference about the behavior of their companies in response to the recession. The majority said their companies increased outsourcing.

  10. Two years ago, I was paid $90-$100/hr for senior level work… when I could get it. Most of the time, the companies were happy to have a non-H1B who would actually get the work done instead of over-coding and fiddling.

    Today, for more complex projects with better skills needed, I am being offered $40-$50/hr (rates I made with 1/8th the skills in the 1990s) and told that there are so many H1Bs who would be happy to have the work at $20/hr.

    So please, all y’all stop lying about “shortages” of skilled workers. That’s hogwash.

    And as for “giving” green cards… how about we “give” college to Americans! Instead of colleges loading up their classrooms with imports, how about we set some limits — based on citizenship (not ethnicity) — so only 30% of any annual class can be made up of imports. Then, there won’t be any need for STEM green cards — we will have all we need, home-grown.

  11. Todd,

    The house Republican vote may not be as good for the country as we think. In general Republicans have favored higher caps, or no caps at all. The hold up might be that the senate limits are too low, not too high.

  12. Hi MR Americans,
    Let me ask all you guys one quick question.
    You guys are always crying H1 B Program is a American Job Killer.
    Do you know how many Americans benefited because of Immigrants,
    Don’t just post what ever you know.

    We are paying lot of taxes, we do not have any benefits.
    We are buying homes which are creating all the jobs.
    Think about Big picture all of you, do not just talk what ever you know.

    • Calaveras

      This is the “ripple effect” argument. We are supposed to be okay with H1b visa encroachment on the US job market because “a rising tide lifts all boats. While there are surely examples of tech companies which have thrived because of their use of hardworking immigrants, they do not then invest that extra revenue in hiring Americans. More likely they disburse it to shareholders/VC or they grant bonuses to top execs.
      Also, in my dealing with insourced and outsourced IT, I never get to work with the intelligent hardworking people who exemplify the “no similarly qualified candidate was able to be found domestically”. Instead I only ever deal with UNDERqualified button pushers who are all too quick to assign blame elsewhere.
      The talented Indian and Pakistani IT professionals I have dealt with never used the H1b process. They immigrated here through the regular channels, worked for a large company like Microsoft or Oracle, then went out on their own.

    • Stimpy

      I am going to see if I can send a link to this blog to my congressmen and senators. I won’t hold my breath hoping for any change. Luckily I am close enough to retirement not to be in desperate straits but I don’t see how the youth of America can have any optimism.

    • TEST,

      You’re not doing anything an American worker wouldn’t do. The only taxes that might not benefit you are the payroll taxes. But the India workforce here in the U.S. is still fairly young. When many of you approach your 50s, India will likely pressure the U.S. into providing some sort of payment from Social Security (that’s when all of these politicians will regret the H1-b program). It might not be to the individuals who paid those taxes, but that’s something you need to bring up with your government.

    • SouthRoad


      If what you say is true, then approximately half the Americans posting here would be in favor of the benefits of the H1-B program since we all benefit indirectly. Um, let me count. Nope, I can’t find any Americans here who support the program. Why is that? I guess we must all be wrong. Thank God we have guest workers like you to come to our country and tell us why we are wrong!

      Would you like my job? I’ve already spent a lifetime paying taxes for schools and roads that I think you will enjoy, and thanks to you, when I get evicted from my home my landlord can rent to you instead so I guess you are right, you are helping the economy indirectly. America, stop complaining. When you get evicted your landlord will re-rent to an H1-B holder and will benefit indirectly. This is good, isn’t it?

  13. @BY TEST
    As a long time contractor with vast and up to date range of skills you could drop me by parachute into 75% of jobs on Dice and I would be able to do a great job. I too am experiencing the double-standard that violates economics 101 or 20 year old rates.

    In answer to you question (and I would put money on the fact you are here on an H1-B), I know of NO ONE in the USA who has benefited from immigrants who got here while there was an equally or better able US resident already here. Unfortunately, due to the scam the visa programs have become, that covers 90+% of immigrants in hi tech coming these days.

    • Santhosh

      If you have vast up and up to date range of skills, it would be a surprise if you are not getting a job. When you interview with companies, most of the time the hiring manager is a Caucasian(we see very few Asian, Hispanic,Black managers). So, there cannot be case of discrimination. Regarding the rates for consulting work, they have fallen for everyone. During the bubble bursts, companies were looking to save money and people were willing to work for less, and companies continued this trend even after the situations bettered. Of course, availability of resources is another reason too – and yes a good number of resources available are H1Bs, and foreign students. If a person is willing to work for less, that person must be desperate either because of financial stress or because he/she knows what they are worth i.e they have zero or no experience. If someone is hiring such people they will end up paying the price. I was hired few times to clean up the mess of an Indian contractor. The hiring company is to blamed for that. Usually, the company pays the same amount to anyone, but it is the middle man who pockets the change by placing a less qualified person. On this line, I have to point out that big consulting firms(US owned) many times send in ‘experienced consultants’ who are actually fresh graduates or someone with a little experience. In short, it is not the H1B system but the hiring process that is wrong. Having big primary vendors is a waste as companies can recruit directly through ads on dice. And you would be dead wrong if you think reducing or eliminating H1B is going to solve the problem. It will be exacerbated as companies will completely off-shore the work. With H1Bs US gets tax revenue(H1Bs pay SS tax even though they are not eligible for SS) and the money is also spent on the US shores adding to the economy in a little way. If the work is off-shored even that little benefit is eliminated.
      I short, yes H1B needs reform so it cannot be abused. But it is not a scam and it does benefit US even if it is in a small way.

      • As a contractor, just about all the jobs I go to lately have Indian mangers. These are the people corporations have put in place so that when they do those things that are illegal the corporation can always point at them and say we didn’t know he was discrimination… That is why I am waiting for the flood of lawsuits to start.

  14. RegularGuy

    Congress will go on increasing the H1-B program because there is no provision for the visa holders to take seats in Congress. The mopes on Capitol Hill are perfectly willing to give away jobs, just as long as those jobs are SOMEONE ELSE’S, not theirs.

    Until we the people can figure out how to get some Congressional skin in the game, we’re at their mercy.

  15. There is no shortage of available tech workers in this country. There are still plenty of unemployed and under-employed skilled Americans looking for jobs. And how about all of our current college graduates who are bright and intelligent and read and write ENGLISH. Instead of wasting money on visas for cheap (and not necessarily properly trained) workers, hire and teach American workers.

  16. Jif Eater

    Thank god I got out of the tech industry. Tech is rife with H1-B crime and fraud. This is not Indians’ fault. This is about US corruption and greedy executives like Mark Zuckerberg breaking US laws. They are angry about paying Americans $100k and would rather pay foreign workers $40-50k for relatively senior programming work. So they engage in public relations denigrating the American pros who created and still lead the IT business.

    Remember you can report Visa violations to the Dept of Labor. If you are qualified, they cannot hire a less-qualified H1B for a position you applied for. That is because their HR must make an “Affirmation” in writing that no US national could be found. Those Affirmations are often fraudulen. There is work to be done brushing that nice and clean.


    I am here on H1-B as well, working for a huge, famous tech company in Seattle. I came here for a graduate degree in CS, got a 4.0/4.0 GPA throughout, cleared 8 rounds of back-breaking interviews out-performing and out-thinking so many others, including some of you “local” boys. Are some H-1Bs fraudulent? Sure they are and I am totally against breaking any sort of law, anywhere in the world. You should however refrain from painting everyone with the same brush, it smacks of ignorance and resentment, not the qualities you would expect in a decent individual.

    I for one am here because I am smarter than you are, you should learn to accept it. Others who are here fraudulently should be deported, end of story. (I do not care even if they are from my home country)

    • Bob Anderson

      Yea – sounds like Amazon. I graduated in the top of my class, summa cum laude. I am one of the “local boys” you supposedly outdid mentally. I have news for you, they chose you because they want a good and obedient slave, not because you run circles around Americans mentally.

      They are acclimating workers to lower pay, longer hours, and shared work spaces. I saw first-hand at Microsoft how they crammed a bunch of Indians into former break lounges, like a mini sweat shop.

      Amazon and Microsoft routinely screen out local applicants to make way for the slave shop they are creating. The fact that you don’t understand that tells me you are not the mental giant you claim to be.


        First of all, I never claimed to be an intellectual giant, but honestly, having graduated from the U of I, I think I AM top tier, anywhere in the world. There is a lot of racism involved here from the likes of you and many others. I have colleagues from France, Germany, Israel, Ireland, hell even a lot of Canadians who are guest workers in this country. Why not speak out against them as well? Are some skin tones “too dark to be worthy” in your eyes?

        P.S. I was interviewed by American engineers. They thought I was good enough and that’s the end of it. I do not think anybody every told them to “hire cheap”.

        • Bob Anderson

          Racism? Don’t play the racist card. You come here and take someon’s job, house, career, and cry about racism? I don’t even see how that is possible.

          I posted a video of immigration lawyers showing American executives how they can legally not hire American workers. That is what it is all about. Unfortunately dice will not show it and keeps taking it down. Apparently they are supporting the “skills gap” line which the video shows is a proven fraud for the reasons above. It is just a fact – so please get over yourself.

        • Actually, you did claim to be an “intellectual giant” in your first post, where you declared that you have your job because you are “smarter” than everyone within eyeshot. Perhaps it’s the Catholic upbringing I’ve never been able to totally shake, despite not having practiced the religion for years (vanity is one of the 7 Deadly Sins), but that comment smacked of arrogance and a God Complex.

          Racism exists on all sides; it’s not confined to whites. There are many brown-skinned people who hate whites, blacks, etc. Then, different nationalities of brown-skinned people hate each other. Call a Puerto Rican a “Mexican” and watch what happens. The different nationalities of Asians tend to hate each other, too. Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, whites from different parts of the U.S. likewise hate each other. Because I don’t have health insurance, literally half this country feels that my life has no value, and that if I get sick, I “deserve to die.” It doesn’t matter that I’m white, that I look like them. They just seem me as a parasite who deserves to die. They put you on a level that’s much higher than the one they put me on, because you make money and I don’t.

          It’s all about the Benjamins.

          I’m an outsider around here, too, because I do not feel that the H-1B program is what wrecked the economy, and I do not feel that getting rid of it will magically fix the economy. I wish it were that simple, but it’s not. Our economy is fundamentally broken, and it isn’t just the tech job market that has been destroyed.

          Perhaps I’m not that smart. Perhaps I would have never been the World’s Greatest Programmer Evah. But five to seven years ago, I could have used my Math/CIS degree to get SOME sort of job, even if it wasn’t a tech job. At the very least, I could have utilized my background in legal assistant work to get an excellent paralegal position, or I could have utilized my writing skills to get a technical writer position. I could have aimed higher than doing things like walking dogs and writing fake shill reviews on Fiverr. Maybe I’m not a mental giant, but I can read, write and compute on a level that’s much higher than the typical dog walker or Fiverr shill.

          Heck, I’ve got a 3.96 GPA going in my MBA program, and I breeze through maths classes that my fellow students tear their hair out over and end up barely passing (like Managerial Accounting and Quantitative Analysis). I cannot be *that* stupid, not as stupid as I was made to feel as an undergrad, and not as stupid as potential employers have said I am. (Ironically, actual employers–the people who’ve actually seen the quality of my work–don’t think I’m stupid. It’s the people who haven’t seen it who call me things like that. Because they can deem someone stupid just by looking at them.)

          It’s not your fault that the economy was destroyed, but it’s not mine, either. I also maintain that it’s not my fault that I cannot get a job. Up until the economy crashed, I never had difficulty finding work. Even when I was 17 years old, had only a high school diploma, and couldn’t even type, I was able to obtain work. I worked 7 days a week, 60+ hours a week. Now, I can’t even find 10 hours a week of work.

          What changed? Other than me having more education and skills now–which should be positives–it wasn’t me. It was the economy.

          I guess H-1B’s are taking the brunt of it because it’s a lot easier to blame them than to face reality and admit that the problems are far more widespread, serious and intractable (yeah, a big word for ghetto trailer trash like me).

          • AUTOMATON

            If you think I have a god complex then you could not be more wrong. I was merely making a point, which is:- Most people in this discussion do not have a good understanding of what is wrong and their simplistic minds will go ahead and blame the first “Indian H1-B” guy they can get a hold of. Like I said before, why not blame the Irish/Australian/German…etc H1-B holders as well? If they think we are parasites and do menial work, then how do they account for someone like me? If they put their hatred as a justification for your views then they are mindless fools.

            Moving on, I do not, for one second assume that you are any less than I am. It seems that you have worked hard and trust me, I have worked my ass off too and that too in a school that is considered to be one of the hardest in the world for Math/CS. Being labelled a code monkey is down right offensive and I will surely react to such insults.

            Also, if any ass-clown that thinks tech giants do not hire local talent, I invite them to come down to the Greater Seattle area and see for themselves. My team is fairly large and there are only two non-Americans in it, including me.

          • —–why not blame the Irish/Australian/German…etc H1-B holders as well?——-

            “Indians” get blamed because most of the H-1B holders in the tech industry hail from the Middle East. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation. I do agree that racism exists. Unfortunately, as I pointed out in my post, it’s all over the place.

            I don’t think you do “menial” work. Examples of menial work include Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and the type of jobs I do: walking dogs and writing fake shill reviews on Fiverr.

            It’s a lot easier to blame H-1B’s than it is to admit that our economy is fundamentally broken. Even if the H-1B visa program were abolished tomorrow, and *everyone* who had one was immediately deported, our economy would still be broken. You are not the one who stood in the way of me getting gainful work.

            The real people to blame for the economic Depression are not H-1B’s, impoverished Latino tomato pickers, or any other group of immigrants. They are Americans, most of them white: the government and the Banksters.

            Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want to come to this country. This is a horrible place to live. It still looks nice RIGHT NOW, but give it another five years, as more people like me plunge from the middle class into abject poverty. The U.S. will be indistinguishable from Mexico. Heck, I’ve considered moving to Mexico, because I could live well there on $400.00/month. Mexico is looking pretty good right now.

        • Bob Anderson

          Your comment smacks of arrogance, and what I am trying to tell you is that you will not be spared either. You use words like hatred and racism to emotionally charge the issue. After your stint at Amazon, you should become a politician. You will do well. It is all about irrelevent, emotionally charged topics.

          Some of my best friends were Indian at the companies I worked at. They would never address me like you do, because they know my skills and mutually we have nothing but admiration for each other’s lives and work. What is happening is not because of you, it is because of a cutthroat, vicious attempt to create a wage-slave environment. These managers do not care about you, or your life, or your future. They will cut your throat and throw you to the side like any one else who becomes too expensive, too inconvenient, or too noncompliant to put money over people. The real test is when you rise in the ranks and do not put money over people. The sooner you see this for what it is, the better off you will be. Do not underestimate the level of greed and avarice that you are dealing with.

          Do yourself a favor and learn skills on the side to take more and more ownership, because when you are thrown out, you will want a skillset in place to keep you self-sufficient as the Chinese model comes into full view in America.

          • AUTOMATON

            First of all, I do not need you to tell me what you do. Like I said, I am not being arrogant, I am trying to make a point. If you cannot understand what I am talking about, it is really not my problem. Stay where you belong, which is stuffed with unnecessary ignorance and hate.


        Couple of more points:-

        If what you say is true then why do they recruit STEM graduates from the very top research universities and pay them like crazy? They are not running a charity by the name of “make the Indian/Chinese happy”. If they did that, they would go under for good and I do not think the top management is that stupid.

        You say the corporations are to blame for this because they “screen out” local talent and then go head and insult Indians for it. At least be clear as to who you really hate first. Take a deep breath and introspect, it is not really that hard you know 😉

        Besides, a good programmer is about 20 times more productive than a bad one. Tech giants have been in the game long enough to know this.

  18. The H1B holders never exist the country; They know that the first step is to get the visa and the second move is to have babies on the USA’s soil. Their babies become their insurance for staying definitely in the USA. The Indian H1B holders have created a scheme in thousand of American companies. They leak the job openings to their Indian recruiters, service companies and Indian buddies. They hire and promote each others inside companies. I must say they discriminate against the people who welcomed them on the USA’s soil. It is a very strange culture and their dealings are always behind close doors. Conversely, I may sound like a bigot, but the points that I highlighted are facts. These visa’s saga has been the path for cheap-labor and exploitation by American corporations. By the way, the Senators’ votes showed that these politicians belong to the Chamber Of Commerce and not to the Congress(House of the people). Everybody should read the report distributed by the ” GAO – H-1B Visa Program – January 2011 – Reforms are needed to minimize the risks and costs of current program”. This report shows that most of the H1B visas finished in the hands of IBM consulting, Accenture, Infosys, Tata and others. It makes sense because these consulting companies can raise cash easily for the politicians.

  19. Having worked in the government sector (DOD), I take this as a matter of national security. The day we don’t have any skilled labor to manage our military and infrustructure, we are doomed. Soon people native to this country will lose specialization and we will become a nation of service providers (“want fries with that!”). The fact that we have military components manufactured overseas makes my head spin. Some military uniforms were made in China! People this is serious and better be addressed soon!

  20. Robin Hood

    I work at IBM on a goverment contract in Sacramento. If you look at this company 90 percent come from India. Why? Because they work cheaper! But IBM bills the US goverment the same amount of money for them as locals. So what does IBM do? They prop up their working hours so they can bill more money from the US goverment even tho the Indians are not working. They put in 60 hours a week when they only work 25. What a SHAM!!!! ! Bottom line is IBM gets more money to report on their quarterly revenue so their stocks go up! So their stockholders are happy. Whoooptttttiiiiidoooo!

  21. Growing up in the Silicon Valley area there was a good mixture of races. Lately, I went to training in Sunnyvale and was shocked at what I saw. I saw mainly Asians everywhere. Occasionally, I would see a white guy, but was usually an older holdout from days gone by. At this rate there will be a “Diversity not wanted” sign when entering Silicon Valley.

  22. despicable me

    Few things…
    1. The core focus of American students historically has not been on STEM, the amount of drop outs before college is high. Especially greater in Hispanics and African American. Many university have less non Caucasian, Black or Hispanics in their STEM classes – Wonder why?
    2. American follow their passion – meaning they choose their academics to suit their interests – so more end up not oriented properly in the STEM stream – A Bach in Arts grad is now a programmer, why couldn’t s/he choosen BS to start with ?
    3. Guest workers have an intent to stretch (if not over stretch) at work – Would an American be willing to work a minute more than they are paid for. Top it with vacations and family time they take off. – Call it slavery, but that is how people all over the work hard to give their best
    4. IT work unlike earlier is now better documented and structured many of the earlier implementation had no documentation building huge dependencies on people who worked on it. Corporations are descoping that risk by building processes that make them switch an employee or a contractor or even an IT service provider with relative ease – Hence the shorter notice periods
    4. IT space is highly commoditized and if one demands higher wages quantified by quality –

    There is something fundamentally wrong with the education system the way youth are oriented and way corporates back fill with Guest visa. Fix the root problems…rationalize the education system. Tactically rationalizing the current wage scenario, scrutinizing the low rung H1b applicants and mom and pop H1b companies(not referring to big IT service companies) which sponsor them.

    • Calaveras

      that is a load.
      You are basically saying Americans are lazy.
      Most IT jobs past the entry level are salary, not hourly. So the argument “Would an American be willing to work a minute more than they are paid for” is moot. I am paid for the responsibility, not the time I am here.
      There are plenty of CIS graduate, I know quite a few who ‘followed their passion” into information science.

  23. Keith S.

    H1Bs for doctors and scientists are Ok with me, but IT is one of the only big growing fields in the country and it is being gobbled up by people from outside the US that have been hired for bargain basement prices.

    If this is not stopped soon you can forget about the American dream being obtainable for many US citizens. The politicians keep forgetting who can vote them in and out when they get desperate and angry enough. If voting does not work and things get worse, rope neckties may be in the future of every last one of them. They had better start thinking about that.

  24. The visas may only be for 3 years but that is 3 years that a US worker could be doing that job. I know that our government labs get these visas for foreign grad students to do our most sensitive research when there are US grad students who are unemployed who would gladly do the work. It has always come down to companies thinking that foreigners are cheaper. With this economy many folks are taking jobs for less than their previous jobs and any unemployed person will tell you that a temp/internlower paid job beats unemployment any day.

    Tech companies should be able to show that they have hired FOUR US workers for every ONE visa they are granted or pay a considerable bond to make the visa worker nearly as expensive as hiring a US worker. With the salaries about equal, it will come down to which is easier to hire – with the hassle of getting a visa worker through gov red tape, the US worker will win hands down!

  25. topcat13

    Beside s corporate influence and money numbers of voters count in directing legislation such as H1-B visa reform.

    I suggest you visit the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform fairus.org website and review their position on the H1B Visa reform issue.

    If you agree with their stance contact your local FAIR chapter and give them your support.

  26. Carolyn

    My niece — a native-born American — graduated from college one year early in 2008, Phi Beta Kappa, with a triple major — Chinese, Japanese and computer science — and, until about a year ago, had been working in a chain retail store at just above minimum wage. She is now in a PhD program in computer science, hoping that the advanced credentials will finally get her a job in her field. Just thinking about her situation — and that of others in her generation — makes me want to cry.

    And there is the grievous situation of my generation — older “Baby Boomers” who were laid off in our 50s and 60s, stripped of the benefits we were promised in our old age, and are now facing a very bleak, impoverished future. I hold an advanced degree myself and have worked in IT-related industries for almost 40 years, but since being laid off by a software firm in 2007, I have been able to find only hourly “temp” work with no benefits at rates that were acceptable in the ’90s. Many of my friends have either given up trying to find replacement jobs and are depleting their retirement savings or taken menial jobs in other industries just to avoid living on the street. This situation gets almost no mention anywhere.

    What exactly are we trying to do here? I fear we have already won the race to the bottom.

  27. I am very pleased to hear that John Boehner has said, “The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We’re going to do our own bill” I hope to see some of that reform take shape in extremely reduced H1-B visas for both individuals and corporations with some caveats added like, only Americans should be hired in any company or corporate entity that wishes to do do business here within out boarders. Also a reciprocal program 1 to 1 must be established with any host country that has immigrants wishing to work within our boarders or have an internship. I would also like to add that if any other agency within The United States Of America has conflicts with these laws, or by way of their actions impede these laws, that such action must cease upon common knowledge of these laws.

  28. H-1 Scam Exposed

    Just go to youtube and type:
    PERM Fake Job Ads defraud Americans to secure green cards.

    It is a group of immigration lawyers teaching company executives how to NOT hire
    a U.S. worker legally. Dice will not let me post the link.

  29. I agree with Tina and Carolyn. We are only hurting this country more. Tech companies need to not be so greedy. But it is our elected officials who allow this. They don’t have to worry, they are not in high-tech.

    We hire these people from out of the country and then wonder why our secrets and security suffer.
    We all need to voice this concern and get this changed.

    American workers are still suffering from job loss. Bring lower wage workers into the country is shameful by our elected official. They think an Egypt won’t happen here. Just give it time.

  30. Hi Fellows,
    Let me ask you a straight question?
    The Consulting companies we Indians work are your fellow citizens greediness and your laziness.
    If we work hard to achieve some thing you say we are doing slavery.
    I did my masters in USA, when i came to this country i spent 35k for my schooling which i got from my country.
    Your schools are getting benefit because of that.
    Your companies are selling software worldwide based up on our hard work, If you guys had worked hard why will they hire H1 B employ and take lot of risk with his immigration.
    I saw one guy saying our kids grow and do some thing bad to thing country, thats not at all true.

    Please compete with a person and win, If there are no H1 B, your fellow Americans will move jobs to low cost destinations.

    In that case you will suffer very badly, think about it..

    • Test,

      Straight answer then. You got hired for much less than a local would have been paid. Hate to say it, but you are part of this great rip off. By that I mean you are getting ripped off. You should be getting paid much more for your work.

      I can’t stand the H1B program. I have Indian friends that I see being taken advantage of. It’s also messing up my career. Here’s what I’d like. Pay H1B workers exactly the same wage as the local labor pool.

    • SouthRoad


      After you get your green card or citizenship you will be replaced by an H1-B. I already went out to lunch with two Indians who spent years getting their Citizenship here only to be forced to train their replacement and then complain to me as to why our government allows this abuse. There was something ironic about the conversation. You will have your turn too.

      Just wait until you finally get your Green Card and can finally move about freely and set your own price. Sounds like you will be more than qualified to train your replacement–and don’t think it won’t happen to you.

      The sooner they stream-line the Green Card process, the sooner you’ll have an opportunity to train your replacement. There are a lot of Indians here who make up a large part of the IT workforce and lots are going to be getting Green Cards over the next few years. Who do you think will be the ones being replaced by H1-B’s? Do you think you will be exempt? If corporations don’t care about us do you think they will care about you ?

      If you’ll be getting your Green Card soon I’d be worried about the massive wave of H1-B’s that will be approved by Congress. I hope you are prepared to work hard so you can compete with the person you are training to replace you, and once your are done training him, go ahead and tell your boss why he should keep you instead of your cheaper replacement. Welcome to the other side.

      …and remember this, once you are on a LEVEL playing field with other native born Americans who are also competing with the influx of visa holders, you will be at a bigger disadvantage. H1-B’s will have the advantage because of their willingness to become indentured servants, native born Americans will have second priority because of our fluency of the language and American culture, and Green Card holders who haven’t mastered the language or culture will be at the biggest disadvantage. The increase in Visa numbers that works for you today could become your biggest disadvantage tomorrow. You are not exempt.

      • JIF EATER

        You hit on something quite important. If H1B visas are explosively increased, today’s H1B will be crying sad, holding hands with US citizens, naturalized and US born alike. ALL parties -lose- if our wages go down to Indian and Chinese levels. We should ALL be together on this. H1B is great in limited cases, when Americans cannot be found to do the job. And they should be paid 110% of US level. Then everybody is happy. Otherwise the wages will go to fruit-picking level and programmers will rather work as security guards or bus drivers (paid more).

        • Gringo

          I’ve been watching for the lowest rung on the ladder to see when it will all stabilize. As an example, China outsources to Indonesia. Once you find the bottom of the ladder and there is no cheaper route for workers, then it all reaches division by zero. As the lowest rung on the ladder grows economically (since they have all the work like China and India did) they then expose someone else to work cheaply… or do they… once they adapt into the consumer lifestyle that demands extraneous goods, they become the same worker the original plans were trying to avoid, one who expects a living wage with money for expansion. I guess we will know we hit rock bottom when they start giving our computers away to North Korea and training them in return for a handful of food?

  31. Aussie

    Foreign IT workers are flooding into Australia too under the equivalent 457 visa program. The A$ has recently been higher than the $US and so the number of short term economic migrants is high. It gives the bosses a manner of cutting workers wages as per what happens in 2nd / 3rd world countries – so perhaps welcome to the REAL world …

  32. Bob Berry

    The current political climate will make passage of any changes to increase the number of visa’s is probably a dead hourse because the issue is a poison pill to legislators.
    Many companies will post a job offer and then “adjust” the requirements for th eposition so they can say to the governmetn that they can’t find anyone qualified domestically.
    By the next election, the climate could be so toxic that the only way you can fill postions will be to offer a “grace” period up to 6 months for an applicant to “learn” anything they are difficient in.
    Just saying.

  33. Gus Angle

    My career has come to an abrupt halt. It was becoming more and more erratic, with longer and longer breaks between contracts, but this is the first time in my life I am a bit nervous and scared about the future – including not even having a home or means of support. About the only option left has become trying to start a business as my savings depletes.

    I see very few domestic workers at the companies I had worked at. This is nothing more than labor arbitrage where inexpensive labor moves to higher paying countries to undermine higher paying jobs globally.

    • I’m in the same situation, Gus. My life is disintegrating. I don’t know if I’ll have a place to live in the next six months. And I don’t believe in welfare. I will not go on the dole, no matter what.

      I, too, am trying to start a business–my 4th or 5th attempt–as my house of cards collapses. What I wish for very much is a mentor, a coach to help me, not by handing me money or “networking” me into a job I don’t deserve, but by giving me advice regarding what I need to do to be successful. Reasonable advice: not advice to go on welfare so I can work unpaid internships, or to “just move” across the country when I don’t even have the money to move across the street. Advice on how I can use my *existing* education and resources to be successful.

      I think if I’d been able to locate a mentor two years ago, after I received my bachelor’s, I’d be in a better situation right now. I would not have so many failures behind me.

  34. Americans are not lazy or dumb as all the IT languages are created by them and H1B’s are just using them to write programs. American graduates should learn to fake resume with 5 years of experience as OPT students from India do to get jobs. Also there is a need to introduce software languages to students from elementary level as they do in India to develop interest in kids.

  35. In Silicon Valley, large companies have bought apartment complexes and house the HB1 there. It is a win-win. They get property that will increase in value and a place to house (and control) their cheap labor. The HB1ers think that have hit the jackpot to live in such a paradise.

    How do we stop the greed?

  36. Take a company like Oracle – quite recently a project staffed at a major hardware storage manufacturer – had 400 L1 and 200 H1Bs – these guys where picked up off the street in india flow across for two years for the duration of the project – there was only one white guy on the project for two years and they could not work with him because he could not speak hindi !!!

  37. Tom Psillas

    I did not realize how bad the H1B visa holders were replacing American IT workers, until the last year.
    I thought IT was slow, only in CT, but now i am finding out it is a national problem.
    In the last 4 years, i experienced the same thing; work 6 months, out 4 months. Now I have been out for 1 year, after working only 3 months in IT in 2013. so, in essence, i have worked only 3 months in the last 2 years; mainly due to H1B visa holders taking the job for way less than what i can survive on.
    This is illegal, yet all too common. Our state regulators are doing nothing. Even the media is refusing to take on my story.
    Travelers Insurance in Hartford, CT, Connecticare, Community Health, United Health Care, all have discriminated against me and hire H1B instead.
    Even lawyers do not want to take on these cases.
    As the terrorists over in the Middle East have proven, time and time again, only severe violence will change anything in the country, it seems.

    • I feel you. As a fellow human being, my motto is to do no harm to others. For the record, I hold an H1B and I am from India, one of the top contributors of foreign IT workforce in the USA. I will tell you what the problem is. It is India outsourcing companies that bring in under qualified people and make them wo rk for half the prevailin(g wage. I as a rational human bring am against this ponzi scheme. However, I request you to please not put us all in the same basket. I have a CS degree(and I topped my class) from a top university in the US and work for a top tech firm. I got my job because I was good, not because I was cheap.

  38. A_Warning_From_History

    Remember this, history shows us what happened when, in Germany during the 1920’s, there was mass unemployment, and reparations from WWI against the working class. The Weimar Republic did absolutely nothing for the working class, they turned there back on them.

    So, what was the result, obviously Adolf Hitler rose to power and severe violence and war broke out, and that is what is needed now in order to change the status quo. Only radical action will change anything.

  39. Hi – Most of comments are emotionally charged…
    Please take the perspective of changed economics
    As – wind blows to depressed place, water flows to
    downward – Work goes to economic effective place

    We in USA need think of making extraordinary like
    Germans did for their manufacturing

    As new connected economy evolved, American Dream
    Needs to redefined….

    Economy to steive – all skills need to be developed and ready
    to be deployed anywhere in the globe

    Chinese manufacturing is order of the day, but there is great
    opportunity to American specialization – we need to look what
    can be and we adjust to new found reality

  40. The Cake is a Lie

    The H1B visa program is predominately just another avenue that big corporations are using to cut costs. They do not want to pay a qualified U.S. citizen a fair market wage. So what do they do instead? Let’s claim that we do not have enough skilled workers and increase the pool of applicants to drive down salaries. I do not blame the H1B workers. If I was a young Indian IT professional I would do the exact same thing. “Hey, do you want to come to the U.S. and make 2-5 times what you would earn in India for at least a few years?” Of course many would answer yes. The problem is that by doing so they are creating an artificial surplus of workers, bringing down salaries for all tech workers, and increasing the difficulty for a U.S. citizen to find a job. I do know of a few companies that will hire much less qualified H1-B workers because they are cheaper. This is not to say that all H1-B are under qualified. Many are very good. But the fact is that this is really just another way for corporate execs to lower everyone else’s salaries and benefits while exponentially increasing their own compensation. An H1-B visa worker is not entitled to any benefits and really cannot complain about their job conditions or how they are treated without fear of losing their sponsorship and being sent back to India. Obedient, cheap labor without any recourse to address any injustices that they experience in the workforce. Sounds like a big corporation’s dream. Of course they want more.
    I would like to see the number of H1-B visas issued specifically for CEO and corporate executive jobs. These people are the biggest drain on a company salary-wise and many are far less intelligent than the people whose work they stand on the shoulders of and take credit for.
    I really feel sorry for any young U.S. citizens who are trying to enter the IT workforce now. Sorry John, we’re going to hire Anto Markenprateshmasemed instead because we don’t have to pay him as much, no health care, and we can pretty much get him to do anything we tell him to.
    Also, I have to bring this up. Not because it is racist but because it is a fact. Many, if not most H1-B workers have such a thick accent that they are completely unintelligible. I cannot tell you how many times I have been on a conference call and things cannot be resolved quickly because of communication issues. It is extremely frustrating when you are troubleshooting complex issues and you have no idea what is being said. Sometimes I cannot even tell if they are speaking English or not. If you work for a U.S. company, the ability to speak in a manner in which you can be understood should be a requirement.
    I do not intend to offend or crush any H1-B workers’ dreams. I wish them the best in their endeavors. However, most are being used as corporate disposable pawns to increase the bottom line of a few already rich individuals while hurting customer service, causing hardships to U.S. tech workers, and decreasing productivity.