Should Companies Push for H-1B Reform?

h1-b-visa

As attempts at H-1B reform make their way through the legislative process, opponents recently shot down a proposal that would (in part) raise salaries for visa workers stateside. Whether H-1B can be reformed is still up for debate, but the real opportunity for reform may lie with existing workers and the companies they represent.

If you’re not familiar with H-1B, here’s a quick primer: the program is a way for U.S.-based companies to hire people from other parts of the world on a work visa. Those companies must pay foreign visa holders the same wage a domestic worker would earn. The H-1B program is based on a lottery system (which has a hard cap), so there’s always a chance that sponsoring someone will go nowhere.

But the process isn’t always so linear. Darin Herle is a Canadian with an H-1B visa working in the United States; previously he held a TN-1 visa, which was introduced with NAFTA as a way for Canadians to get preferential treatment for work in the U.S.

When he left school, Herle went to work for a startup in Silicon Valley. “Once I was comfortably working there, I started talking to the company’s lawyers about an H1-B,” he said. “There were a number of other foreign nationals working there and we were generally on the same track (TN-1 or L1, moving to H1 and then the Green Card process).”

Intel bought his company out the next year for $550 million. “My H-1B application was prepped and ready for submission before the cap was hit,” he added. “During the acquisition, the Intel legal team came in to help handle a number of H-1B, TN, L1 and Labor certifications that were happening in the company.”

Despite all that legal complexity, Herle describes the visa process as fairly straightforward from his end: “I provided a resume, degrees and supporting documentation. It was approved shortly thereafter and I started down the lengthy green card process.”

H1-B and Your Company

Richard Green, partner at Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, chairs the firm’s immigration practices group. He tells Dice that employers may be scared off by the cost of an H-1B (“thousands of dollars” per application) and that “an employer will also need to retain counsel to prepare and file the petition.”

The H-1B program can have an effect on workplace morale if not responsibly used. Green notes that, when companies replace entire units of domestic workers with H-1B visa holders, “the presence of H-1 workers can breed resentment in the workplace.” However, he added, “If a company hires one or two [H-1B] workers it would be difficult to see how a workforce would be negatively affected.”

According to attorney Jason Finkelman, most companies utilize the H-1B program “to hire employees who can meet their hyper-specialized needs.” He says this is especially critical in STEM, where “employers are currently in need of more high-skilled professionals than the U.S. educational system can produce.”

Finkelman believes that finding an H-1B sponsorship isn’t impossible. “The biggest challenge in seeking opportunities is overcoming the issues that employers might have with the cost, visa documentation, and limited supply of H-1B visas that employers don’t want to deal with,” he said.

learning-to-code

Education May Prove Key to Reform

Some of the reasoning behind H-1B makes sense for employers. In their thinking, if they just can’t find a good candidate domestically, looking abroad becomes enticing. If supply and demand of the existing U.S.-based workforce encourages people to ask for more money than the job market will competitively pay, looking outside the U.S. can be considered due diligence.

But do employers have a duty to skill employees up, rather than scour the globe for talent? Several avenues for continuing education exist: not only traditional colleges and universities, but also a growing number of bootcamps and other highly specialized programs.

For example, Treehouse has a dedicated program for businesses looking to ‘upskill’ employees; it also offers ‘techdegrees’ for longer-form course work. Coursera lets employers create specialized programs for their workforce, which can be tailored to their specific needs.

Education doesn’t have to be so drawn out, either. Employers can send their tech staff away to bootcamps from entities such as Big Nerd Ranch for a crash course in a new language. Even learn-as-you-go programs such as Ray Wenderlich are an opportunity that some employers may be overlooking.

While there are a lot of considerations with any of these options (time away from a desk and cost are paramount), they potentially stand as viable alternatives to the ‘we can’t find skilled workers’ argument. Some may argue that an employee could ‘upskill’ on an employer’s dime and transition out of the company, but that may prove an acceptable risk if it means more skilled workers on the payroll. (Whether or not they receive training, the tech industry does experience a relatively high degree of turnover, according to some studies.)

H1-B Needs Reform From the Inside

There are right ways to handle hiring someone via H-1B. But there are wrong ways, too.

Southern California Edison’s (SCE) upheaval of its IT department in early 2015 stands as the perfect example of how not to handle the H-1B visa process. In that instance, the company replaced roughly 500 of its staff with H-1B workers from India. Speaking to Computer World, SCE employees said the visa program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” adding, “not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing.”

Those kinds of incendiary tales give H-1B a bad name, and lead to calls for reform. While many argue reform is necessary, lawmakers can’t seem to find common ground on which to argue for or against it.

Much of the proposed reform tends to be a bit limited, anyway. A recent proposal that died in Congressional committee would have raised the required minimum income of H-1B workers to $100,000 from $60,000 and eliminated a requirement that applicants hold a Master’s degree. It didn’t specify the income structure; it’s possible that a company could pay an H-1B worker $70,000 in salary while deferring the remaining $30,000 as an easily attainable bonus. Critics argued that the proposal would have still put older domestic workers, who tend to draw high salaries, at risk of having their jobs eliminated.

When the spirit of H-1B is compromised, domestic employees often pay the price. That’s why critics of the current system are demanding that companies adhere to a stricter set of self-governed rules to make sure their existing workforce is protected and contributing to the greater needs of a company.

In many instances, it’s impossible for outsiders to know how many (if any) employees were offered continuing education as part of a shift to a different team or department before the company hired an H-1B worker; but it’s hard to think every employee would have shot the option down. Whatever the future holds, companies involved in the H-1B program may have to end up showing more of their work (so to speak) to prove they tried to actively hire domestically before looking abroad.

Comments

54 Responses to “Should Companies Push for H-1B Reform?”

November 01, 2016 at 10:01 am, Rick Haggadorn said:

H1b and L1 visas are drastically hurting hurting American IT workers.

When you say that companies don’t have employees or cannot hire Americans with the right skills, that’s all bs and lip service.

Immigration attorneys have the process for bringing in more and more foreign workers down to an art! They have lobbies in Washington DC that work with businesses to keep the wages down, increase the annual cap and more.

You never hear about this on the news, with no consistency.

It’s a way to screw American IT pros and immigration attorneys and American companies are getting away with scott free!! Nothing is being done to stop this!! NOTHING!!

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November 01, 2016 at 12:35 pm, Steve said:

Unfortunately, nothing can be done. No matter what system of government regulation-rules gets put in place, someone always finds a loophole that allows them to game the system. It is ludicrous to think that domestic universities producing STEM graduates are producing STEM-graduates with an education inferior to the imported workers. Given that the US Citizen STEM-worker, former worker etc. has a good education in a tech field, he can’t even get a job mopping floors at convenience stores because they are ‘overqualified’. But, they are not overqualified to need to eat, pay for their respective utilities, and horrendous student loans. While I always was against handouts on principle i.e. welfare, SNAP Program, etc., such programs seem to be the only thing that keeps domestic STEM workers alive, and it is absolutely shameful.

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November 01, 2016 at 6:08 pm, Allen said:

Aren’t Indian consulting firms like Tata and Infosys along with consulting firms like Delloitte taking all the H1-B visas?

The business model of consulting companies is pretty simple. Charge a large fee, pay your employees minimal and keep the difference.

Has absolutely nothing to do with skills.

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November 02, 2016 at 9:20 am, DLo said:

Come on now, let’s not sugar coat it….this whole program is geared towards a given company’s bottom line – “Import” and take advantage of cheaper workers, at both the foreign and domestic worker’s expense ultimately. Period. Case in point – How did we ever survive and function prior to H1B? Well we did…and for most in the U.S. IT sector who are currently in the job market, it has only gotten worse. While this may be old news for some, I encourage you to check out – and see what type of things are taking place in the background (not my video or a promotion to sell anything).

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November 02, 2016 at 9:53 am, DLo said:

Just FYI – Dice decided to conveniently edit my comment without notice or contacting me. Obviously their right, but it does make me wonder, what else are they ‘editing out’? I see no comment terms or rules posted the would if indicated I posted anything unacceptable.

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November 02, 2016 at 10:43 am, rishi said:

Maybe R&D based companies like intel and Microsoft have a shortage of skilled people , but for most other companies – its for cheap labor. The trust is that its not the American Big companies that misuse the H1 B but the Indian Big companies like TCS , Infosys , wipro etc . There are a huge number of small body shops who also import H1Bs and make a profit on them . The huge influx of people does depress the exist wages and they seem to fall down every year. There is no true shortage , but greedy companies

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November 03, 2016 at 6:27 am, Mickey White said:

End all H1B visas.

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November 03, 2016 at 6:32 am, MiltR said:

Donald Trump is going to fix all of this.

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November 03, 2016 at 7:21 am, Jo said:

leave the work for the Americans – PERIOD!

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November 03, 2016 at 7:22 am, Ed Holdgate said:

After 32 years in embedded software development, it is obvious to me that H1B programs have destroyed the professionalism of the discipline. Worse, many great American engineers, especially older ones, have been regulated down to contractor work. The use of H1B and contractors has turned engineering teams into a revolving door hodgepodge. Such corporate “cost savers” as H1B and contractors (1) has created a burden on us perms since we are constantly bringing revolving door new arrivals up to speed, (2) has lengthened development time and jeopardized the products since the multiple design pieces end up incongruent, and (3) has destroyed teamwork at the personal level and the corporate level (meaning loyalty is gone for all.) Only us older staffers even know what the young are missing out on; the young think the staff churn and design chaos and development sluggishness and chilled relationships are all “normal.”

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November 03, 2016 at 7:31 am, Ernst Goldman said:

Vote Trump, and IT workers might have some glimmmer of hope. Otherwise it will be very hard race to the bottom with corporations having easy time buying off Hillary and Congress to open H1B floddgates.

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November 03, 2016 at 7:41 am, anonymous said:

agree with this comment, and about the greediness

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November 03, 2016 at 8:04 am, L said:

My company did the same thing as Southern California Edison. They took half of IT and replaced them with H1-B workers. The thing is the workers are crap. Most of them cannot speak English or write a proper email. They are trained to simply open a ticket with the vendor when a problem actually arises. Most of the tickets they open could be solved with a simple Google search. I think the program should be canceled and they should all be shipped back to where they came from.

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November 03, 2016 at 8:55 am, Mike said:

This is why I’m voting for Trump. To end this ridiculous program that is crushing us. More people need to know about this scam.

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November 03, 2016 at 9:16 am, HK said:

Mainly Indians are using the H1B visa as a doorway to enter the US and bring with them their entire tribes. They come as IT people and keep jumping from one job to another before they can be discovered that they are nothing but fake. In the meantime they choke every penny they earn and use the money to buy Gas Stations and Motels as well as Duncan Donuts and Seven Eleven stores. I witnessed these scenarios first hand. In the IT world they take credit for other workers achievements. They attend some IT courses for a specific topic for a couple of weeks through their sponsors before faking all their documents and enter the US job market. I know that personally. I used to work for ATT, IBM and even an Indian school that sponsored these guys. They all cheat to get into this country.

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November 03, 2016 at 9:21 am, Matt Carden said:

The reform needed in H1B is its elimination. It is NOT that tech companies can’t find qualified employees, they can’t find qualified employees with 10 or more years experience that they can hire for the same as what you would pay a kid out of college. There is still high unemployment in the tech world, test business still say there is a shortage. The wages we see today? Are the sane wages or less than we saw in the 1990’s when adjusted for inflation. But due to Moore’s Law business can still predict hardware density and capability – and with the various corollaries to Moores’s Law take advantage of lowering costs of hardware to perform the same function at higher density

Were H1Bs once needed in the US, sure they were- back in the days when most Americans thought internet was the brand of a hairspray from the The Big Hair days of the ’80s. Now we have companies bringing in H1Bs with US workers unemployed – or becoming unemployed because of incoming H1B.

We are days out from an election. One candidate is saying they want to stop free trade agreement and bring work and companies back to the USA. We have another who is for an open border market (at least when speaking
To Goldman Sachs) – is it any wonder who the “tech giants” want to win?

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November 03, 2016 at 9:32 am, RH said:

I’m in the St. Louis area. Every major company in this area is a sea of foreign workers. Mostly from India. Many have received green cards. Once on the job, anytime there’s an opening, they refer one of their buddies or a family member. C’mon!! Enough is enough!!

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November 03, 2016 at 9:49 am, john doe said:

so Many bitter people especially you hypocrite Americans. its not even your place in the first place. secondly you’re all too layz and have it on the platter of gold. see racist people talking about thats why they want to vote trump. idiots . close one door another one would open . how many of you have such skill?

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November 03, 2016 at 10:26 am, VR said:

I am also an experienced, older IT worker competing against H1b or other visas that would allow foreign IT workers to work here in the US. From an employers perspective, IT is a bit unique domain. Younger workers are preferred to older workers in many of the entry and mid-level positions. There is the belief that after certain age, the learning abilities of humans keep going down. IT domain requires constant and quick learning abilities to keep up with the changing technologies. So, naturally, the more experienced or older IT worker in the US are replaced by younger IT foreign worker. Employers would rather train or allow training time to a younger worker than an experienced worker in many cases not to mention, the temporary visa status and the ability to sponsor those foreign workers gives them an extra leverage.

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November 03, 2016 at 10:36 am, BambiB said:

The idea that there is a “hard cap” for H-1Bs is a myth. The “cap” has been 65,000 for more than 12 years, but the FACT is that on average more than a QUARTER MILLION H-1B visas were issued each year over that period. And while they are issued primarily to address a “shortage” in the STEM fields, the truth is that American college graduates with STEM degrees cannot find jobs in part because they are displaced by H-1B imports.
In addition, the H-1B visa is supposed to be “temporary” – good for three years (which on its own is rather long for a “temporary” job). In practice, it is almost automatically renewed for an addition three years. After that, many applicant apply for citizenship. This is not supposed to happen. The H-1B visa is not supposed to be a citizen-track visa, but the reality is that the visa holders are allowed to apply and remain in the US, and continue to work, while awaiting a decision – which may take up to two years. If they receive citizenship, they’re here forever.
H-1B visas are not supposed to compete with domestic workers. One of the provisions is that they are issued ONLY for jobs FOR WHICH NO AMERICAN WORKER IS QUALIFIED AND AVAILABLE. The reality is quite different. There are consulting services who teach seminars on how NOT to hire an American. In some cases, entire groups of people, at Siemans, California Edison, Walt Disney World, Microsoft and Oracle, were directed to train their own replacement H-1B workers and then laid off. In aggregate, these were tens of thousands of US workers who lost their jobs to abuse of the H-1B program.

To recap: on AVERAGE, the number of visas issues is 400% of the “cap”, the “temporary” visa is effectively good for EIGHT YEARS, and the non-citizenship program often is abused as a back-door to gain citizenship. H-1Bs are not supposed to compete with domestic workers – but in fact widely do and may, at present, displace as many as TWO MILLION American workers (250,000 per year times Eight Years = 2 million.)

In conclusion, the H-1B program is so shot through with corruption that it is no longer about finding those few skilled people world-wide who can do jobs for which no American is qualified and available. It has become a program for importing outsourcing – cutting the throats of American workers.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:00 am, The Other Side said:

As a foreigner who went to school with many Americans in the US for engineering (not IT), almost all the American born students got hired right away. They could work for any number of firms including those with government contracts – even the CIA, etc. I had to work harder and above the level of most others to even be noticed. Many companies told me that even though I cleared their interviews they could not hire me. Most of the foreigners who go to school in the US need to be above the average American student just to be considered for the same position. I’m sure the current CEO’s of Tesla, Microsoft, Google, Adobe are all sore looser H1b immigrants who can never match the grand old American engineer. Look at the Eastman Kodak company the pioneer in photography – they never hired many foreigners, how did it help them? They still went down.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:23 am, SM said:

Here is the truth … sentiment aside talking business.
1) Have you been a hiring manager actively looking for tech candidates to hire and contacted American recruiting agencies?
2) Have you been in the interview panel interviewing tech candidates for your hiring manager?
3) Have you contacted American recruiting agencies to get resumes of tech candidates?

If your answer is no to all three questions, then you don’t know the ground reality and you are taking from imagination point of view what sound good to others.
This is the fact and you can contact any hiring manager or any American recruiting agency to verify. Facts
1) Reality is if you contact any American agency with you tech job descriptions …. Wait and see what happens. You will get more than 75% of resumes coming from H1B candidates have experience meeting or exceeding what your job description asked for, and probably 25% will somehow meet the experience you are looking for from American resumes. Sounds hard, believe me this is the fact. Remember – you never told the agency to send more H1B workers, those American agencies run by Americans found those resumes via natural and unbiased search. But result is what you don’t want, but that is the reality.

2) You have prepared say 10 tech questions to ask the candidates. You have say 2 candidates – one H1B and one US citizen. Ask them the same questions – see what level and depth of answer you get. Remember going around in forums and complaining is one thing, but when you have a business to run or project to complete, you choose the one who will be up and running from day one without supervision and handholding and make your project successful and keep your business going. You have no other choice other than to think realistic.

3) If you have noticed as a manager or supervisor in IT environment, that your H1B holding candidates DO NOT make less than US citizen candidates. Some cases more. So what you read and say that H1B candidates are getting hired because of cheap labor – that shows that you never ran a team.

Cases where US citizen got replaced by H1B candidates – did you check the fact – who took those decisions? All American are taking those decisions. Reality is – when you have a business to run, project to finish as your ass is on hot bed, you need solid experienced help – no matter where you get it from. You are think about your interest and your family to keep your job.

We need to have draw interest from American kids to get higher educations and start busing more analytical abilities to participate in extremely competitive global talent pool based environment. As Bill Gates said – tech environment is like Olympics – you compete and make your position. Business are going and growing at light speed so as the technology, so you too have too keep the same pace. You cannot go back to 1950’s or 1960’s environment.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:28 am, WM said:

A very large of H1B visas are granted to the IT professional. This hurts other STEM disciplines to keep international graduating from US schools or bring talents from abroad. There must be a quota for IT workers to limit them.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:31 am, Michael said:

Not only CAN we reverse the H1B, indeed also H4, we MUST. This has NO PLACE in a pro United States economy. NONE WHATSOEVER.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:55 am, Paul said:

Two things. The article claims the H-1B “has to be paid the same as an American”. That’s flatly false. The legislation reads that the candidate needs to be paid the “prevailing wage” for that occupation with no real definition of how that should be measured. So a position for a systems administrator, which can pay anywhere in a huge range based on skillset and experience, means the H-1B-using company can pay anywhere in that range. H-1Bs typically make 70% of what an American would make.

This brings me to my second point – the article’s claim that companies are seeking H-1Bs to find rare skills or education they can’t find in the USA. This again is nonsense. The USA has 15,000,000 STEM grads but only 5,000,000 STEM jobs. We already have 3 times the number needed. What employers want is CHEAP labor, not special skills.

The H-1B was poorly-fashioned to favor industry at US workers and taxpayer’s expense and should be, at a minimum, massively revised, or scrapped entirely. One approach to revision would be a mandatory minimum wage of 100K annually – if these people are oh so special that shouldn’t be a problem. Another approach would be to give instant green cards to those who come in via H-1B. Which means they could start work for the sponsoring company and immediately look around for better offers. Think many companies would both with H-1Bs if they weren’t beholden to them for their 6-year tenure and possible green card application? Me neither.

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November 03, 2016 at 11:56 am, Mike Trapoli said:

I’ve seen recent US citizen graduates lose jobs to less skilled H1B visa candidates. This is ridiculous. Americans are losing the incentive to attend college. Getting a job is harder and when they find one, they have to settle for a lower salary.

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November 03, 2016 at 12:14 pm, Guy said:

I was a part of small brilliant development team which has done a great job in some famous investment bank. When one scandal by another burst out in there all my team was let go. All US Citizens. And who stayed? H1B people.
Now I got into a Job Market. Having a dozen interview a month. In each interview I usually take about 85-95% score and I speak well. No progress. Then I find out that those positions have not been filled since two years ago.
Some of the hiring managers ask me for in person interview. Take a look what happens with our all investment institutions. I come to the office for interview. While I’m walking through the office I see the whole floors filled out with the guys from the same country – India. As though I live there not in America. I meet 5-6 people from India and I’m sure at the very beginning I have no chance to get hired here. Why you congress and government who did so much regulation for business allow to build the whole teams consisted of the same nation. Discrimination.
Another story – recruiters with hiring managers. Hiring managers are not business men. They are employee as any other people working for the company. But they behave as though they are business owners. . That’s not improve the economy but hurt it because they think only about their pockets.
When the congress think of Citizen Oath, when the government will really need that US Citizens fulfill their Oath they should recall how they have cared for those Citizens when they vote for H1B.

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November 03, 2016 at 12:29 pm, CR said:

H1B. Just another way for business to meet that all important bottom line while putting Americans, especially older but more experienced American workers out of work. The HR line about not being able to find qualified candidates should be translated as “Can’t find qualified candidates willing to work for low wages so we can pay our CEOs top dollar.”

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November 03, 2016 at 12:56 pm, Renshi said:

It’s interesting how the H1B visa scam might impact politics over the long run. Silicon Valley is usually a Democratic stronghold and for the short to medium term it will stay that way. But i know people who intend to vote for Trump specifically because they have lost jobs, replaced by cheaper H1B workers. What Finkelman the immigration lawyer says about finding workers with very specialized skills is bs – it’s been clear for a long time that corporations mostly bring in people with basic, general skills so they can pay rock bottom. Over the long haul, this can produce the kind of blow up the system anger you see in this election.

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November 03, 2016 at 1:13 pm, Richard T. said:

From my experience in the software contracting world, there are two things an H-1B worker will rarely do:
– …tell you that they do not have the skill, expertise, training or experience to do something you have asked. Sounds good on the surface? Well I do admire their tenacity and zeal. But you usually do not end up with a quality result, but with something that get’s rewritten later. And that lead’s to the second item…
– …tell you that something is a bad idea. I think it is part of the culture to not challenge and be confrontational like we are in the West. But the inexperience or lack of ‘know-better’ , and also being the under pressure to get the work done from a) their sponsoring contracting company and b) the thousands waiting back in India to take their place, is a huge factor. Often you end up with unsupportable grandiose customization’s. Sometimes it better to tell the business NO and help them change their operations in order to not ‘pave the cow path’.

I am humbled by the gratefulness of the many H-1B workers I have worked with. Grateful to be here and a chance to live the ‘American Dream’ of opportunity and endure the 10+ years it takes to convert to citizenship.

I am sad about the conditions they work under until they become citizens. They live at the client work site, working nights and weekends, but as contractors they are told they can only bill for 40 hours a week. After attaining citizenship I have heard them point at McDonald’s and joke, “Hey we would work there!” because they now have the freedom to choose.

I would love to see some kind of reform but we have to start with the bankers and share-holders who demand their stock price be protected at whatever the cost.

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November 03, 2016 at 1:40 pm, John Doe's American Buddy said:

Thank you for proving our point:

November 03, 2016 at 9:49 am, john doe said:

so Many bitter people especially you hypocrite Americans. its not even your place in the first place. secondly you’re all too layz and have it on the platter of gold. see racist people talking about thats why they want to vote trump. idiots . close one door another one would open . how many of you have such skill?

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November 03, 2016 at 1:42 pm, Jerry Normandin said:

Yes and if you are an American IT prophesional you can make a difference. If you are asked to train H1B or offshore replacements put it off.. don’t do it. If told train or be terminated, quit. Contact you unemoyment office, open a claim..state that you were under duress, forced to train an h1b/offshore replacement. You will be granted a claim. Next..start searching for an opportunity that requires a security clearance.

I did it and if you are capable of getting a clearance you can too.

If we all abandon our employers when asked to train H1b/ offshore replacements then possibly outsourcing will fail.

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November 03, 2016 at 2:00 pm, Mr Wonderful said:

Each H1B I’ve personally worked were less skilled and produced lesser quality work than Americans. I now avoid working at places with too many H1Bs. Besides, it shows me the employer does not value its employees and that you could be next. RUN!

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November 03, 2016 at 2:23 pm, william p. said:

There is NO excuse to have more than 100 or so foreign H1B workers in the entire country.

ANY American-born-and-raised worker is 1000x more creative, communicative, efficient, and just plain able to out-work someone from a country that obtained toilets and PC’s in the same decade.

H1B and out-sourcing have been a strong force at DESTROYING the US ECONOMY. Why pay a US worker anything, when you can bring in a foreign worker who was cleaning sewers 8 weeks ago, got trained by TATA or TCS or COLLABERA (etc) then pushed into a manager’s hands at Lowe’s/WellsFargo/Discover (etc) as a “technical expert”.

THIS is EXACTLY what has been done 99.9% of the time for the last 20 years. It is why software fails frequently now -foreign programmers. Computers speak 1 language: ENGLISH. US Companies and their BA’s speak 1 language: ENGLISH. So why the h3ll would you think someone who is a foreigner could do the job better? Easy! They CAN’T, but they sure are CHEAPER~!

And the part about H1B workers making less? COMPLETE LIE. The rates that contractors get are negotiated behind the scenes between companies and the consulting agencies (which are called “preferred vendors” by the companies, go figure). The rate is the SAME. If an H1B worker is getting paid less, it’s probably because the company that brought him over here is taking out funds to cover their expenses of training and flying him over here.

H1B visas are a disgusting practice and need to be terminated.

The USA was built not by H1B visas but people choosing to STAY and LIVE permanently in the US. If a foreigner came over here, he QUIT his country, lived here and brought his family here. He did NOT send the money back overseas.

Not so much anymore, thank you NAFTA, Congress, and rich CEO’s everywhere.

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November 03, 2016 at 2:37 pm, John R. said:

Well after reading all the comments, it seems that:

– H1B visas have destroyed the IT sector

– H1B visa holders are more like a cancer than a cure

– H1B visa holders simply don’t do a better job, but you get what you pay for, so CEO’s covet this cheap labor

– we need to vote for any candidate who will reverse 20 years of global intrusions into American values and industries

I cannot stand the T, but if he does one thing – kick out all H1B/foreign workers- that will be the BEST thing to happen to the USA in 100 years. Sure it will be rough at first, but it won’t take long for us to recover and re-build. Like Chemo on cancer, it’s rough at first but you need to kill the cancer to heal and become stronger. 3rd world countries (India and China) are the BANE to productivity, intelligence, and survival of our economy (and perhaps, maybe, our species as well lol)

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November 03, 2016 at 2:43 pm, Jack said:

Trump promised to fix this … and then he waffled. Wonder where he stands on this now –whether he’s wandered over into the management camp of scr_w the US employee.

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November 03, 2016 at 5:45 pm, EMN said:

This is a response for SM…

Did you know that “American Recruiters” will not forward resumes of professionals who are not currently employed? It’s true. No matter how stellar your resume or current skill set. As soon as you divulge you are not working in software (even if you have a “floater” job to pay bills), they literally can not get off the phone fast enough… It’s funny really, because poaching only raises the stakes for the employer. A better choice could be an available, grateful candidate, but they are not allowed to interview with the client….

In Houston, oil and gas is King. Many companies outsource software to contract work, to keep costs low. Layoffs are very common here, especially for contract workers. So imagine your contract being cancelled due to budget constraints, and the gatekeepers (“recruiters”) impede any further progress. Do you realize all these people do is type in keywords to search for resumes on Monster, Dice, etc….? There is no science to it.

The Indian cartel recruiting companies bring in their own friends and family first (or endentured servants) on visas, and will only search out an American when their fraudulent candidate is exposed. True story: this is how I got my last contract position. I was the American with the honest skill set who easily passed the client’s test, when the Indians lied on their resumes. The Indian recruiter even told me they bring in friends and family first! This is in direct violation of how the silly statute is written.

Oh, and the client, GE, forces their workgroups to outsource through a specific Indian contractor: ITC Infotech. So if you need work done, but GE won’t hire, your only choice is to go through this contract work quagmire. This is the new normal.

I truly hope you are never in this position, where everything you have worked so hard for…. disappears. It can happen to anyone, anytime. Even you.

Sincerely, an American, magna cum laude, double STEM, ex-NASA, ex-oil/gas software engineer. There are so many of us out there who once had strong careers in a field we loved. Loyalty is a two way street. If companies persist in the notion that employees are interchangeable widgets that can be plugged in to the wall and worked to the bone, they will suffer for it.

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November 03, 2016 at 6:18 pm, JD said:

Why come to America and start a new life. People should stay in their home country and try to make a better place to live instead of coming to America with a student visa, then work visa, green card, then arranged marriage to bring a girl to come to America by green card and then bring the mother and father from both sides followed by relatives. We were born and raise here. This is our birth place. Also the colleges should revised their programs so people are better prepare for the workplace. A college degree does not necessarily meets the demands of the job market. As a result foreigners come for a Master or PH to get better jobs in less time. They have the skills that companies are looking like programming languages.

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November 03, 2016 at 8:34 pm, J. said:

The H1-B Trojan Horse has been in effect since 1998. A little research on Linkedin reveals few of these people with expired H1-B visas ever go home. The terms are supposed to be for a 3 year period, with a possible extension of another 3 years (for a total of 6 years). I have been on contracts where one bragged about being in the U.S. 13 years. Based on posted work history on Linkedin and the annual allowable quota, I estimate there over one million of these people with expired visas taking American jobs in country. Just today, a company contracted one that said he had been on 7-8 jobs in the U.S.. Either he isn’t competent, or he is way over his allowed stay. We need to have Government that controls the length of stay and then deports their posteriors. Better yet, rescind the H1-B program and send them all back. H1-B is a program that many of our Congressmen are tapping for benefits. You know, the under the table benefits enjoyed by all of the homesteading corrupt people.

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November 03, 2016 at 8:55 pm, Paul said:

SM said:

“Here is the truth … sentiment aside talking business.
1) Have you been a hiring manager actively looking for tech candidates to hire and contacted American recruiting agencies?
2) Have you been in the interview panel interviewing tech candidates for your hiring manager?
3) Have you contacted American recruiting agencies to get resumes of tech candidates?

If your answer is no to all three questions, then you don’t know the ground reality and you are taking from imagination point of view what sound good to others.
This is the fact and you can contact any hiring manager or any American recruiting agency to verify. Facts
1) Reality is if you contact any American agency with you tech job descriptions …. Wait and see what happens. You will get more than 75% of resumes coming from H1B candidates have experience meeting or exceeding what your job description asked for, and probably 25% will somehow meet the experience you are looking for from American resumes. Sounds hard, believe me this is the fact. Remember – you never told the agency to send more H1B workers, those American agencies run by Americans found those resumes via natural and unbiased search. But result is what you don’t want, but that is the reality.

2) You have prepared say 10 tech questions to ask the candidates. You have say 2 candidates – one H1B and one US citizen. Ask them the same questions – see what level and depth of answer you get. Remember going around in forums and complaining is one thing, but when you have a business to run or project to complete, you choose the one who will be up and running from day one without supervision and handholding and make your project successful and keep your business going. You have no other choice other than to think realistic.”

You are way off base. How realistic do you think it is that people from a country where English isn’t the first language, where colleges are terrible and a bachelors degree is three years, not four, are in any position to outshine US college graduate native English speakers? The US invented the technologies in IT and have been doing it for decades. Perhaps the top .1% of Indians can compete with the US’s top 10%, if that. The Indian top 10% can probably compete with the average US IT worker. And that’s it. Anything below India’s top 10% isn’t worth looking at.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/silicon-valley-h1b-visas-hurt-tech-workers

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November 04, 2016 at 12:28 am, HK said:

American workers are not lazy. I personally witnessed 20 Indians won’t be able to do the work of one American worker. And to top it off, they are being paid way more than their American counterpart.
Corrupt system headed by Indian consulting companies are taking advantage of every opportunity available to milk the system. Indians in this country are spreading like termites, eating away everything in their path. It is time to find a leader who would stop this BS. It is time to ship them back and stop this H1B visa for good. American talent exceeds everyone else in the world that is why in foreign countries American books are used. Indians are nothing but robots. Just like assembly line workers, programmed to do one task only .

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November 04, 2016 at 4:29 am, D Seattle said:

fwd.us a Gates, Zuckerberg & friends lobby group wants to expand H1b visa’s from 65k to 195k, per year…I didn’t see any mention of that…

I’ve worked for TCS, Wipro, Persistent and Infosys…they’re crammed into tight spaces in a sweatshop environment by the msft, boeing, world bank, etc…corporate money pinchers, too.

I was at unenjoyment for a mandatory 3 hour the other day and they had no idea about H1b visa’s or what was being done to protect US Citizen’s aka tax payers from them…

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November 05, 2016 at 8:54 pm, Jane Virginia said:

Interesting comments,.

Basically 2 things

1) Americans are good at English or generally talking (and no other language)
2) Americans are good at convincing people.

But when it comes to cognitive skills Asians are way ahead.

Try recruiting for a position,

For software you will get 1 resume out of 10 who is an American,
For Sales or HR you will get 10 resumes out of 10 who are Americans.

Remember hat your parents came here as immigrants may be not on H1 but just to get a job and live.

Truth is there are a lot of jobs and only half the number of qualified ppl to fill them.

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November 07, 2016 at 10:25 am, John R. said:

Jane, what are you smoking?

I’m American and yes, I’m good at English. But I also speak 4 other languages LIKE A NATIVE. Any Indian’s English is worse than a 3rd grader’s level, period. If Americans are good at convincing people, it’s because they are speaking ENGLISH and you are more able to convince someone if you speak a language as it is supposed to be spoken – i.e. the listener actually understands you and is able to be convinced.

That 1 in 10 American IT resume you have, you *know* the education is solid (unlike India). You *know* they can communicate naturally at any level (unlike Indians). You *know* that you can verify anything on that resume. And *I* know that this single resume is worth more than those other 10 from India.

Indians will say *ANYTHING* both on their resume and in person, to get the role. If they are asked a question that they don’t know, they will fumble through it and exaggerate their poor English skills and befuddle the interviewer whenever they can. And, it usually works.

Because in this day and age, where PC rules and HR dominates, and we’re supposed to be “all-inclusive” and “diversity-happy”… Americans will just cave in and hire on the hope that this replaceable cog will be able to do the job. If they can’t, there are literally 1,000 more they can try. UNLIKE the American, who is far less replaceable.

And the one thing that contributes to American responses to openings…. we normally have HOMES and are not foreign renters. It is far more difficult for the American to reply to your job posting, since your company is too cheap to offer any kind of real relocation benefit. Indeed, you go the cheap route and just sift through your mountain of inflated resumes from India every time.

Any American IT worker can do the work of 100 Indians, in 1/10th the time. And probably 1/10th the cost when you factor in that if an Indian does it, it will take 10x as long and probably will not be correct and require another (new hire) Indian to fix it.

You also demonstrate the TRUTH that companies are interested only in QUANTITY and not QUALITY. That’s why you have 100x more Indian resumes. (duh)

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November 07, 2016 at 10:53 am, Kam said:

Wow, I’m appalled, this is one of the most passive-aggressively racist threads I’ve ever read. All I can read is a bunch of sour mediocre IT “professionals” blaming someone else for their own faults. As usual, Americans love to blame others for their own problems, it’s never their fault, it’s the immigrants’ fault, it’s the H1Bs fault, it’s Obama’s fault. That sense of entitlement is the worst defect of Americans, they think they’re better than everyone, they deserve more than everyone, they do the job better than everyone. This is actually why offshoring is so popular in the USA, American companies hire people overseas to make profit, a guy in India or South America gets paid 5 or 7 times less than his peer in the US, and if things go sour, they can always have someone else to point their fingers to. You have no one else to blame but you, if you can’t find a job, take a long hard look at your resume, prepare yourself better, study, maybe your skills are outdated, maybe your skills are not in the market. And to all of those claiming that “Trump is going to fix this” good luck with that! Trump outsources every single thing he puts his name into, even his real estate stuff is outsourced, Donald Trump is just a brand, a brand he sells to other people, he’s really good at ripping off the naive, hell, he made money out of it!! and if the first defect of americans is self-entitlement, the second is ingenuousness

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November 07, 2016 at 11:02 am, MAGA said:

It about supply and demand.

I’d like a new lamborghini for $10k but there are none. So there must be a shortage of lamborghinis? No just a shortage of lamborghinis at $10k.

There’s a shortage of STEM workers in USA because I cannot find any @ $20 per hour.

Nope just a shortage STEM workers at third world wages.

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November 07, 2016 at 11:02 am, JB said:

The people trying to defend this current mess with H1Bs/Indians are pretty laughable, in my experience these people haven’t actually worked in IT or in a company that has hired so many of these people. They stand from afar and tout their liberal globalist ideals and call everyone racists who aren’t happy with the system. Everyone that has worked in IT affected with this problem says the same things, and they are true.

Mexico is not the problem, I really hate that the Trump campaign and others focused so much on Mexico. For the most part these people have not hurt American jobs. India on the other hand is severely damaging the American middle class.

It has even led to people being treated differently in the workplace – for example the Indian developer needs everything completely spelled out for them, very specific requirements. They aren’t expected to coordinate with others or clarify complicated issues. Whereas the American developers that are remaining are expected to handle much more, decipher tough scenarios, respond to managers with detailed emails, conference calls with outside partners, etc. I guess this is what people want. Give these people no quarter. Don’t help them, don’t explain, push stuff off on them. Don’t take their orders from their emails where they try to forward a responsibility to someone else, usually prefaced by the word “Kindly”. You know what, ‘Kindly” get back into your ’04 Toyota Corolla and find yourself another company to snow.

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November 07, 2016 at 11:18 am, JB said:

Is that the best you got? Calling people ‘racist’ and ‘entitled’ for this very real, significant problem facing ALL American IT workers. That is an extremely tired, overplayed argument that most Americans are starting to be fed up with, even those who live by MSNBC and CNN. Do you work in IT at all? Probably not I’m guessing. Do you even work? Or are you just another person who has nothing better to do but to complain about something and call others racist. Good job.

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November 09, 2016 at 10:50 am, John R. said:

“Kam” (short for Kamaramaputtabayyartearabum probably) said “(Americans) do the job better than everyone.”

Couldn’t agree more. I find it funny the arrogance and mentality of someone from a country who got both toilets and PC’s in the same decade, roughly about 15 years ago too. Perhaps they will socially join this century and drop their CASTE social system, stop coveting gold jewelry like 13-yr-olds, and FIX the most polluted, foul country on Earth.

That all said, GO TRUMP!!!! I hope one of the first things he does is flush every H1B visa holder out of this country. 99.9% of them do NOT meet the standards that this law requires for entry into the USA. Get over it.

By the way, Trump used the laws as written by your liberal, democratic, USA-destroying friends, when he out-sourced everything. NOT because these 3rd-rate countries do anything better, only cheaper, and the laws encouraged this. MAYBE, just maybe, Trump and the Republican House/Congress will finally remove these anti-American laws that give our jobs and money to non-deserving 3rd world countries.

Why do I have to go to work to support YOUR country???

If your country/people are so great/smart/educated/valuable, how come you could not evolve/grow/develop YOURSELVES??? The USA did… but no, the only way you got running water/toilets/electricity/TCA was by stealing $$$ from the US.

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November 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm, Stop Guest said:

Although your background is impressive, we regret to inform you that we have decided to pursue other candidates for the position at this time.
‘.or.
Though you have many of the skills we believe are important to be successful in this position, we are considering other candidates whose skills and experience more closely match our business need. Your resume will remain active in our database.
.and.
We received many qualified applicants and have decided to move ahead with another candidate who we feel is more closely aligned with our needs for this particular position.

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January 12, 2017 at 6:47 am, Phillip Do said:

Management who layoff American workers and hire H1 Visa are Bad American.

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January 20, 2017 at 9:21 am, Manohar Pareekar said:

H1 B program is meant for specialized workers. But most of the tech companies bringing 1+,2+,3+ year experienced guys in Java, .NET, PHP etc from India and telling that these are specialty skills are they are finding it difficult to recruit the US Citizen. Most of the H1B workers are underpaid and companies are looting them by offering an air ticket and status in the Indian society

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February 09, 2017 at 10:20 am, dumbmerican said:

I’ve worked for TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Persistent and HCL. One thing they all have in common is a large pool of cheap labor standing by in India waiting for their US based worker’s to flip them work. FWD.US knows this and that is why they are lobbying so hard to keep the flood gate open and add another 120,000 H1b’s…the hiring manager’s and their cohort’s all have 6 year visas…wouldn’t that be nice.

I have not seen this reported anywhere. Why not?

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February 11, 2017 at 2:07 am, Raman said:

I have personally had to train engineering teams in Hyderabad in software that I myself wrote. I knew it much better than they did. I even had to teach them the technologies involved. Yet the company I was working with moved my project to Hyderabad India simply because they were getting $35/hr rate with the Hyderabad worker being paid only $6/hr. As for your stupid tech interviews, especially if you’re a clueless hiring manager, you should know that even Google has admitted that those who pass tech questions in interviews don’t determine the capability of the worker in a real project and have toned down their tech questions to be more realistic. For real work done on the job, you more often need seasoned old timers, but we charge $100/hr which you think is out of your budget but later on realize it takes four Hyderabad engineers twice the time (due to international timing) to produce the same effect — so what have you saved ? As for tech interviews you hold as the determinant of skill level. It’s well known that in India our degrees are often faked, resumes hyped, but what we do very well is practice a lot of quiz questions, that fool you stupid hiring managers. Our education system in India is actually quite a mess. It is based on memorization (which unfortunately is also what your stupid tech quizzes are based on). I have also been to university in India and in the US from where I get my degree. The level of education here in the US, with all the computer facilities was way way better. If as a hiring manager you’re sending your H1B employees to do the interviews, you’re doubly clueless. You have no clue how Indians think. We’re way more devious than you imagine. We intentionally fail the non Indian, with impossible interview questions. We only pass the individual we’re not technically threatened by. Yes, I myself am an old H1B from India, now a US citizen. But I will always advise young kids to stay away from engineering in particular. In the US, this field is all but destroyed by the corporations and clueless managers who suck up to the corporations.

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