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The Almighty Buck

235,000 Software Engineers Can't Be Wrong, Right? 980

jgeelan writes "The Boston Globe has carried a report on how 235,000 engineers and computer scientistsl are calling on Congress to study the impact of the country's H1-B visa program, the recession, and the outsourcing of jobs overseas on the unemployment rate of engineers and other information technology professionals. It's an issue that's bubbling on discussion sites all over America too, though in one case developers (Java developers in this instance) seem completely unable to agree on whether H1-B is really a contributing factor or not."
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235,000 Software Engineers Can't Be Wrong, Right?

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  • Feed your own?

    Or deny another the opportunity to better their life by a huge order of magnitude?
    • Perhaps its an order of magnitude better, but by American standards, they are treated like endentured servants. Just because they come from poorer areas, is it okay to treat them worse than regular Americans. I would say the choice is, feed our own, or take advantage of and mistreat (by American standards) foreigners.

      If your having a hard time deciding, let me say that you could simply lease slaves from the Sudan, certainly, it would improve their lifestyle, but is being a slaveholder ever ethical? (that's an anology, not a great one, but applicable).
      • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:44PM (#3954335)
        Then stop wearing clothes manufactured in poorer countries, and stop free trade and globalization in general.

        All of slashdot was for globalization and outsourcing until it hits home that YOU can be the next disposable profession to hit the trash can. Welcome to macro-ecomomic reality. You aren't economically viable anymore.

        If you destroy this program, H-1 do you see more US companies willing to pay twice as much for the same amount of work, or do you see the company move their IT departments to another country all together? As long as their is competent, skilled, cheap labor outside of the country, why should people hire you? Sympathy?
    • The way I see it, these foreign engineers are indirectly hurting their home countries so the next generation will be stuck in the same crappy situation. Why not stay there, and use their talents to make their own country better, even if that only means technologically?

      No matter how the H1-B visa situation pans out, America wins. Counties like India really shouldn't let their talent be stolen, but their loss...oh well.
    • Do you think that anyone else in the rest of the world is losing sleep over this subject? Do you think that other overseas businesses are thinking about helping Americans like Americans think about helping immigrant families?

      I am going to have to say no.

      Philanthropy is great. Being greedy at the expense of citizens in your own country is a shame.

      The immigrant visa situation is not to find accceptable overseas applicants. IT IS GREED.
      I would be all for these kinds of visas if again and again they found applicants with wonderful skills and PAID THEM LIKE THEIR AMERICAN COUNTERPARTS. This however is not the case in most situations. I would be the first to say welcome to overseas workers if they are getting what they deserve. However, it is not to give them what they deserve. It is to get high-end, educated work ON THE CHEAP.

      This is exploitation, pure and simple.
    • ...I will give them a H1B visa, and use them as a source of cheap labor - right up to the point that things get tough and those fortunate enough to be born here aren't good enough to compete with them, at which point I will send them back home at the first available opportunity.
    • Feed your own?

      Or deny another the opportunity to better their life by a huge order of magnitude?
      Feed your own and give the immigrant, who works harder, has more qualifications, and supports extended relatives at home.... a shitty job at 711. It's The American Way.
    • If it was just a question of free economics, then I would side with the market. Unfortunately we are dealing with a false market where the congress passed special visas for special professions with the specific goal of holding down wages.

      Free movement of labor helps all people, but when you have specific government policies moving specific groups back and forth, you create a tool of oppression that improverishes the whole. Unfortunately, the governmental pendulum of idiocy that controls policy will swing in the other direction and specifically target the pawns in the game (foreign IT workers) and make a bad situation worse.
      • You're absolutely right. H1B's are manipulating the market to depress salaries. The truly free market solution would be to give these foreign workers green cards and let them compete for jobs on equal terms with US citizens. It's not about immigrant bashing. In fact many H1B opponents support green cards as an alternative.
  • That's shameful (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by sllort ( 442574 )
    So now that the economy sucks, and we have terrorism to cover our tracks, we're going to make a huge petition to throw a bunch of foreigners out of the country?

    Mask it any way you want, but racism sucks.
    • Re:That's shameful (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hawkbug ( 94280 ) <[moc.elbmif] [ta] [xsp]> on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:23PM (#3954130) Homepage
      I don't think it's racism - I just think we need to reverse the trend of bringing in more and more people to do jobs that aren't there. Nobody is saying that we need to "throw anybody out", just limit the number of visas coming in. Remember when companies like Microsoft were bitching that there weren't enough tech workers in the U.S., so they had the number of visas increased?? Well, we don't need to keep that high number anymore. I didn't take that as a racist post at all.
    • Re:That's shameful (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gosand ( 234100 )
      Mask it any way you want, but racism sucks.

      Sorry, but that would be nationalism, not racism.

    • The article mentions tighter limits on the number of H1-B visas granted to foreign nationals. Current H1-B holders won't be "thrown out" at all.
    • by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:34PM (#3954231) Journal
      Yes, why argue the facts when you can "jump" to conclusions. Did you buy one of those mats that guy in Office Space invented and just use it prior to making this post? Because I think you did.
    • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:39PM (#3954286) Homepage

      So, who's being the racist here?

      You paint these displaced american workers as the racists, but that's not accurate (in most cases). I do think that there's racism here, but it's on the part of large corporations who exploit foreign labor because they can get away with paying ridiculously low wages.

      When I was a subcontractor for IBM, I worked on the same floor as IBM India. IBM sponsored provided H1B sponsorship so that the IBM India developers could work in the US. I was shocked to learn that while I was being billed out at $100/hour, my equally-trained, equally-capable counterparts were being billed out at $20/hour. Keep in mind that we were all taking home a *fraction* of what we were billed out for (I was getting around $25/hour, I shudder to think of what IBM India contractors were making). Sure, you could quit, but then you've lost your H1B visa and are deported. In essence, it was endentured servitude.

      It all comes down to supply & demand. US Corporations are increasing the supply of IT professionals in order to drive down the wage they can commmand. However, they are doing this through questionable (if not downright unethical) means. You end up with one group of exploited developers, and another group of displaced developers.
  • another go-round (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kwantus ( 34951 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:19PM (#3954092)
    Clearly time to trot out Dr Matloff again

    there is no `tech boom', never was (not since 70s at least); it's a ploy to generate cheap labour, the H1-1 campaigns part of that
    • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @08:02AM (#3957189)
      Matloff implicitly assumes that there is some fixed number of US jobs and that the US has some say in the matter who gets them. But those programming jobs don't belong to the US. The foreign programmers are not going to take up knitting if they can't work in the US. They will either work for the same company in a different country, or they will end up competing against the US company, having much lower salaries and overhead.
  • hold on a second (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:20PM (#3954105) Homepage
    235,000 software engineers got together and slashdot didn't cover it? Who dropped the fucking ball here?!

    IEEE-USA? Well bully for them! Did all 235,000 members send in their support or did a majority vote on this or did the publicity arm send this out on behalf of those people who are members?
  • by Milo Fungus ( 232863 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:21PM (#3954106)
    Didn't Richard Stallman say that something like this would happen to the programming market as a result of free software taking over the world? What role has GNU/Linux played in this change?
    • Good call. I Googled [] for it and found what you are talking about. Stallman's point was essentially that the glut of cheap foreign labor "has allowed American commercial software makers to make huge margins for years." He goes on and points out that, since "Free Software offers significantly less potential for profit...[Free Software's] adoption will mean the reclaiming of many of these jobs." That seems like a pretty interesting take on it. The whole article can be found here [].

      Mod parent up!
      • Good call? Good troll!

        You insert a link to google, but just to the mainpage and not to the search terms you used.
        You insert a link to, but that link 404s on me.

        No matter how I personally think about RMS, trolling away is not the way to go. I dare you to post the real link to his article!

  • by shaldannon ( 752 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:21PM (#3954110) Homepage
    Why don't we just make sure the competent folks get/keep their jobs instead of worrying about someone's country of origin? Heaven knows there are enough incompentent American programmers who are still employed....
    • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:39PM (#3954288) Homepage
      Most of whom are probably reading (or posting to) Slashdot right now... :)
    • Assuming the innovators dilemma is applicable on a trans-national scale we are all screwed and maybe the resulting shift of employment will actually sort the mess out. We have large corporations who can't expand their market. They can't expand their market because they lobby for things harming poor countries. If instead they improved things in poor countries the people would be able to afford toys and they could expand their markets.

      (wake me up when the dow is below 5000)
  • by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:23PM (#3954128)
    I've perused the listings at monster and dice and most seem to be head hunters looking for somebody that is proficient in everything from ADA to VB or somebody with 3+ years of professional .NET experience or 10 years of Java. Could the problem be that the people doing the hiring don't even know what they want so they let positions go unfilled?
    • I've perused the listings at monster and dice and most seem to be head hunters looking for somebody that is proficient in everything from ADA to VB or somebody with 3+ years of professional .NET experience or 10 years of Java.

      I know quite a few people with ten years of Java and several more with three years of dotNet, only thing is that I doubt that people who were on the core development team of either have a problem finding a job in any market.

    • Could the problem be that the people doing the hiring don't even know what they want so they let positions go unfilled?

      In a word... Yes!
    • hehe.
      A long time ago, I went to a powerbuilder interview. The guy wanted somneone with 10 years experience. Powerbuilder had been out for 3 years.

      I told him that, but he just said "I have a stack of resume's with people who have 10 years experience"
      I said "You have people with 10 years of experience with a product thats been out 3 years?"

      I just shooked my head and left.
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @06:59PM (#3954842) Homepage Journal
      A couple of quick points about headhunters and HR:
      • Most jobs that are advertised are vapour positions: They don't exist, but are pretend positions to keep HR people employed (HR is one of those roles that almost certainly should be "outsourced" at most firms, as a sidenote).
      • Even if you're overwhelmingly qualified, your resume will be piled under thousands of applicants who are grossly underqualified and just email their resume to any and every job posting, hoping that random odds will get them a job. I've been involved in resume selection here in Ontario, and because our government continues to bring in >1% of the population in new immigrants annually (an insane number by any measure, especially during times of economic uncertainty, but that's just my personal opinion. Of course being a "whitey" I have no rights to voice my opinion about the dilution of my Canadian equity, or the fact that certain nations have been relegated to baby machines) about 99% of the resumes were new arrivals who, without fail, relocate to Toronto. That's just a fact of interest.
      • The resume selection process says way more about the people reviewing the resumes than it does about you, the resume submitter. This is a very important point for those who feel rejected or slighted: When confronted with thousands of resumes, people will toss aside resumes for the most ridiculous of reasons (I heard about one woman who rejected a resume because the person said "Have a great day". To her that was being presumptuous). I've seen organizations where the visible minority owner strangely hires only his own race. I've seen organizations where inferior management looks for the bottom of the barrel (i.e. Those who're looking forward to that movie "XXX") to avoid any threat to their own job. I've seen firms where political infighting leads to the selection of people with very specific biases (some hiring people will toss aside a resume if you mention Linux: To them they equate you to that bearded stinky guy who won't shut up. Other places toss resumes if it mentions an MCSE because they happen to have a bonehead with an MCSE. I've seen people toss resumes where the application graduated from particular schools, all because they have a coworker who is a moron and is from that school).
  • I just read an article in last months Scientific American decrying the falling rate that unversities are turning out scientists and engineers. The falloff over the next ten years will leave a tremendous shortfall in the US as compared to Europe or Asia. It looks like the IEEE-USA is trying to leverage it's membership for economic and/or political gain.
  • Finaly this issue is being talked about. I have been out of work for over a year because I cannot find a single job. In part this problem has been caused by H1B's taking the jobs that I am going for, no this is not speculation, I have witnessed it several times. Maybe in time I will have better luck, but first this problem needs to be taken care of.
    • If you go to or you will hundreds of jobs even today that specifically exclude H1B visa holders!

      H1 visa holders are easy targets, but the fact is, the Dept. of Labor verifies that a H1 worker is not replacing the job of an US citizen before approving the visa.

    • I feel really sorry for you. A few skilled workers being imported into the country can NOT be doing you out of a job. No doubt you also blame career women who should be at home looking after children instead of taking a job you should have had.

      If you have the skills you will be employed. If you have spent a year looking for work you either lack the skills for the job or the inter-personal skills that almost all jobs require. Based on your post I would surmise the latter.

      The power to turn your life around is in your hands. Don't blame others - it won't help.

    • Except, as much as you may not like it, internatonal trade (labor, in this case) increases the quality of living on a macroeconomic scale for people of both countries. Countries offer cheap labor and in exchange they receive money; this money is then spent (differing marginal propensities to consume and whatnot).

      Like it or not, it's basic macroeconomics- free trade benefits the economies of both countries involved. The people it hurts are those who cannot remain economically competitive.

    • It is because the people that are interviewing you believe that the foreigners who get the job are so much better than you that they are worth the expense of hiring a H1B visa holder (it can be an expensive process).

      American's need to remember that immigration is part of this country - in many ways - immigration is this country. The only people that suffer are those that can't compete - welcome to capitalism.

    • by spellcheckur ( 253528 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:49PM (#3954385)
      Unfortunately, what you fail to give in your post is any reason why you are more qualified than an applicant with an H1-B visa. Certainly, there is some weight to the argument that "we" should not be importing more of the workforce when there is adequate supply here, however the "problem" as you phrase it, seems to be workers willing and available to work at a reasonable rate.

      I am and engineer. I hire and manage engineers. When I'm reviewing candidates, some of factors by which I differentiate between them are (in no particular order):

      • skills
      • education
      • experience
      • expected pay
      • evidence of dedication
      • etc.
      Simply saying "I'm an American, I should have priority" doesn't work, and, unfortunately for you, the "import" and "export" of engineering jobs means that the willingess of foreing workers to work at a particular rate very much impacts your situation.

      I'm not saying "the economy sucks, live with it." Certainly, the government has some duty to look out for it's own, but in the post dot-pocalypse world, I still routinely come across engineers expecting their 1990s-era inflated salaries who cannot differentiate themselves from foreign nationals, willing to work for much less, other than by saying "I'm an American. I should be first."

      As an aside, the most vocal opponents of illegial immigrant labor in the produce industry are the American produce workers. Unfortunately, if we were to simlply toss out all the illegal workers, produce costs would rise so much that the american laborers would be unable to afford to put food on the table.

    • by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <> on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:54PM (#3954417)
      Good troll.

      Just about when the arse started falling out of the dotcom thing, I saw inteviews with people saying "No fair, I studied two years to get a job in IT now there aren't any". To you (if this is for real) and to them, I would like to a present a quick "buck you, fuddy" and say that I would, indeed, like fries with that.

    • by thales ( 32660 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @07:30PM (#3955051) Homepage Journal
      OK, A few questions,
      Do You drive an American made car?
      Are you wearing American made clothing?
      Do You look for the "Made in USA" Label before making a purchase?
      Are You willing to pay more money for a product if it's made in America?
      Are You willing to settle for a lower quality product if it means buying American?

      If you answered "No" to any of these questions, then you are just as "guilty" of costing "Real Americans" their job as any company that hires an H1B, and the people that you "put out of work" don't have any reason to give a damn that you are now unemployed.

  • Last week's paper version of EETimes had an article about the fact that 60% of EE/CompE/CS undergrads in the US today either flunk out or quit, which is a large reason that many companies are "outsourcing" to engineers coming from different countries these days. This is obviously a Catch-22 type situation, because within a university, the engineering college gets less of the yearly budget/alumni funds due to less engineering graduates, which possibly could have the effect of causing prospective college students to not want to attend that engineering college.
  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:25PM (#3954153) Homepage
    Sheesh! Any economist will tell you that frictional unemployment is 6%! What that means is if you have 100 workers and 100 jobs, at any given moment 6 of them will be unemployed (going to school, bumming around Europe, dropping a kid, "finding themselves", or just jerking off). Anything less than 6% indicates a shortage of workers!
    • Any economist will tell you that frictional unemployment is 6%

      And fourty years ago, the figure was 4%. The fact that people have had more economic opportunity during the last 10 year boom to loaf between jobs automatically raises this rate. In general, it is a bogus statistic. Better rates to track this type of number is either average # of weeks on unemployment (don't forget to adjust upward for those whose unemployment has run out) or % of people working below skill level. You can get more data on the first than the second (available via US Dept. of Labor).

      However you want to slice it, there is a programmer glut right now. As a (not currently) hiring manager, I see the number of resumes that come in for each job and I have the less than enviable task to select which of these people will be re-employed and which will not. To me, cutting the number of H1-B visas (not, as suggested in some posts, kicking out people), seems to be prudent at this time.

    • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:51PM (#3954393)
      Sheesh! Any economist will tell you that frictional unemployment is 6%! What that means is if you have 100 workers and 100 jobs, at any given moment 6 of them will be unemployed (going to school, bumming around Europe, dropping a kid, "finding themselves", or just jerking off). Anything less than 6% indicates a shortage of workers!
      Any economist will also tell you that people going to school or bumming around Europe are not considered "unemployed." Only people actively looking for work are considered unemployed. See this definition of unemployment rate []. A 4-6% unemployment rate is healthy, but around 2% is reachable.
      • Any economist will also tell you that people going to school or bumming around Europe are not considered "unemployed."

        No shit, dumbass. If they were the unemployment rate in this country would be about 55% Not 6. Notice the person you are replying to said 'workers' not 'people'

        Before the 90s boom, most economists were beginning to give up on the idea of a 4% unemployment rate as realistic. The only time the unemployment rate was anywhere near 2% was during WWII!

        In the interim, the rate was between 5 and 7, IIRC
  • Most of the people I know who count themselves as "unemployeed engineers" are people who wanted to make a quick buck on the tech-boom and got their MCSE or something of that ilk. With the exception of one "Real Engineer" I know all who have been laid off found jobs VERY quickly. Contrary to popular belief there is a good bit of hiring going on, lots of companies are getting bargins on the good ones that were laid off and leaving the bad apples behind.
  • by teetam ( 584150 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:27PM (#3954164) Homepage
    A couple of years ago, when the economy was strong, a bunch of companies (including MicroSoft) lobbied and increased the H1B limit to 200,000 per year (from 65,000). This led to a huge influx of H1 workers over the last few years.

    Since last year, after the economic bust, most companies have stopped hiring H1 candidates. This is no secret. Go to any of the technical job sites and look at the job descriptions. Most of them are for citizens and permanent residents only.

    Whatever the pains and problems citizens face today, H1B workers have it many times worse. Many of my former co-workers had to sell off their properties at ludicrously low prices and go back, since they go out of visa status as soon as they lost their jobs.

    In bad times like these, we all feel the need to blame some group other than ourselves. CEOs, middle-easterners and H1B workers are the latest targets.

    I think American citizens should get actively involved in reforming many areas of immigration, including H1B visas. But, please, let us not turn this issue into an opportunity for hate-mongering and racism. Thank you.

    • I don't blame H-1B workers at all. I blame large corporations (and smaller outsourcing firms who serve them) for exploiting these workers to standards less than what a US citizen, with a family, would deserve.

      Still, people might be turning it into a racial hatred. I don't see that happening, yet, but I do see people who are on the pro-H-1B side already claiming that everyone who opposes H-1B is doing so out of racial hatred. Those people are sick.

      Middle-easterners are not to blame for certain other troubles, either. But CEOs ... I dare say that probably half of them have done something bad at their companies, worthy of criminal sanctions (even jail time). The problem is catching them and proving it. Right now we have to wait for them to make a big mistake so it's obvious to everyone. We'll never catch all of the bad ones, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try for a significant number of the worst to put the scare in the rest, and to establish better procedures (like truly independent auditing of public companies) to ensure things can be caught before they are big, exposed, and fixed.

    • CEOs, middle-easterners and H1B workers are the latest targets.
      CEO = Chief Executive Officer.

      Is it really so bad to blame the person who's actually responsible?

    • by hagbard5235 ( 152810 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @12:25AM (#3956252)
      H1 workers are absolutely not the problem. The problem is the terms of the H1 visa program and other programs ( like green cards ). Currently ( as I understand it ) H1 visa holders are not fully capable of participating in the US labor markets. An H1 visa holders visa is tied to their employer, the net result of which is that their employer has an additional hold over them that they don't have over other employees. A green card seeker is likewise tied to their employer.

      It is because of these factors that an employer can bring in an H1 visa holder and pay them less than the cost of domestic labor. This is wrong, but it's not the H1 visa holders, and in fact, it's frequently not the fault of the employer ( if everyone else is underpaying H1 visa holders, you can't compete if you don't as well ). This is the fault of the legislators.

      If the H1 visa program were modified to tie the H1 visa to the WORKER, and allow them to stay for the full period of their visa independent of their employer. The green card program should be altered to allow for job and employer mobility during the application process without penalty.

      With these reforms the H1 visa holder would be competing on equal footing with domestic labor, and thus would not tolerate substandard pay and working conditions in the long term. The only negative effects the H1 visa holders would then have on the pay of domestic employees would be any dillution they produced by increasing the size of the qualified labor pool. Under normal conditions, I believe these effects would be small.

  • not 235000 engineers (Score:5, Informative)

    by h4x0r-3l337 ( 219532 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:27PM (#3954170)
    It's the IEEE that asks this of Congress, not its 235000 individual members.
  • by pyrrho ( 167252 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:28PM (#3954177) Journal
    ... is not the competition, you have to just deal with that. The problem is for the HB1 workers... it's practically indentured servitude. It's difficult to leave the company you are supposed to work for. The company gains a level of control over the persons personal life that is anathema to the basic freedoms modern workers should expect.
    • This is SO untrue. When you have an H1B you can easily hop jobs - all the new company needs to get is labor certification (that guarantees that there were no other suitable US national candidates).

      I should know, I've done it three times already. The very fact that my first employers could not find a suitable candidate from US nationals means that I am desirable for other companies (I have a very rare skill set) - and that they too will find labor certification reasonably easy to get.

  • Unconvinced (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:34PM (#3954236)
    their inability to find work even when they hold advanced degrees and are skilled in Java or C++, the programming languages most in demand.

    What about those foreigners who hold advanced degrees and are skilled in Java or C++ and can't get work because their own countries are poor and lack industry and they arn't allowed to work in the US? They have just as much right to work as anyone else and they and the companies who hire them shouldn't be punished by protectionist policies. This is the same mentality that lead to exorbiant tariffs on BC lumber (causing massive unemployment and immense damage to BC's economy). Protectionism just doesn't work and all the US will do is harm an already hurting tech industry.
  • Yeah, blame it all on the forigners. If the bottom has fallen out of telecoms, kick a few hard working immigrants out of thier jobs. Thats much more convenient then retraining yourself, or taking a job thats below your (at this point very inflated) expectations. The fact is that people is software have been riding the gravy train for the last few years... and if you've got skills that are in demand, you're still on that train. It just that the skills you need are now broader than just C++/Java. You need domain knowledge, knowledge of good software engineering practice, etc, and you need to be able to prove you know what you're doing. At the hieght of dot com, anyone with a pulse who had read a 21 days book was being hired. The bar is much higher now.

    The other thing to remeber is that proportionally just as many H1Bs have lost thier jobs, and they're in worse positions than the locals... In a lot of cases after they are let go, they have 10 days to leave the country.


  • by sien ( 35268 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:35PM (#3954249) Homepage
    First, I'm on an H1B, so this of course has my bias.

    Allowing a reasonable number of well trained foreigners into the US is a very smart idea. Just think about how much it costs the US government to educate a single citizen. People are a cost on society until they are at least 18. Via H1B programs you can get people that another country has paid for to come and contribute.

    Foreigners have made considerable contributions to technology in the US. The Manhattan project team had large numbers of refugees in it. Important parts of the team that put man on the moon came from the German rocket program. Andy Grove and a number of other high tech pioneers came from outside the US. Bringing in foreigners is smart.

    It probably does make some impact on salaries in the short term, but the benefit is that by getting bright people into the US it helps keep the US as the world's leading developer of technology. So I'd argue that the overall effect is positive on salaries. There are, of course, abuses, as there is in any scheme, but overall the program is a good idea.

    It is interesting to note that a number of European countries, Germany especially, have picked up on the idea that H1B like visas are a good idea. I'm totally annoyed that my home country is notoriously difficult for educated people to emigrate to. Personally, it's one of the US's great strengths and more countries should behave in this way.

    Finally, the US government even makes a profit on H1B processing. To get an H1B processed costs $1125. I've heard that the average processing time is in the order of fractions of an hour.

    • by ronfar ( 52216 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:53PM (#3954405) Journal
      Foreigners have made considerable contributions to technology in the US. The Manhattan project team had large numbers of refugees in it. Important parts of the team that put man on the moon came from the German rocket program. Andy Grove and a number of other high tech pioneers came from outside the US. Bringing in foreigners is smart.
      This is true, I'm completely in favor of allowing in new immigrants. However, H1Bs are not immigrants. H1Bs are sojourners, as you will find out when your H1B period ends.

      The correct way to handle H1B visas is to make them into real greencards and eliminate them as sojourner visas. Hey, I don't want my cousin-in-law to be forced to go back to Thailand when her H1B visa ends.

      Your other quote just points out another problem with the H1B process:

      Finally, the US government even makes a profit on H1B processing. To get an H1B processed costs $1125. I've heard that the average processing time is in the order of fractions of an hour.
      This will actually distort the process, since government officials tend not to want to eliminate revenue whatever the source. (However, I wouldn't object to it as much if H1Bs were brought in as real immigrants and not sojourners.)

      One last thing, your quote:

      There are, of course, abuses, as there is in any scheme, but overall the program is a good idea.
      We shouldn't just accept abuses, we should take care of them however we can. One way would be to fast track H1Bs to real greencards. In this way, we would eliminate certain deficiencies in the program that allow for abuses.
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @06:05PM (#3954497) Homepage
        The correct way to handle H1B visas is to make them into real greencards and eliminate them as sojourner visas. Hey, I don't want my cousin-in-law to be forced to go back to Thailand when her H1B visa ends.
        And then, as a naturalized U.S. citizen myself, I would argue that the thing to do with green cards is to eliminate them completely, along with the second-class citizenship they represent. Why should a skilled worker from another country come to this one to build software, pay taxes on that income, and then be denied the right to vote on how those taxes are spent -- a right that any U.S.-born yokel on unemployment is given at age 18?
  • by vkg ( 158234 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:38PM (#3954285) Homepage
    You either bring Adit over here on an H1B, or send the software to India to be written by his company in Bangalore.

    Either way, it's supply and demand, chumpolas - the service economy runs on Mexicans and other south american immigrants, mostly illegal.

    Why would software be any different?

    It's a global market, folks - if you want to keep your jobs and their 80K salaries, you've got to be better at something than your international competition, just like a steel manufacturer or anybody else who competes in the global economy.
  • I find this interesting because, in the business world anyway, it seems that team skills are more important that actual programming ability. Ok, if you need an admin on some VAX box I can see how experience is necessary, but for development?

    The general assumption of this (H1B == less jobs for citizens) is that one programmer is just as good as another.

    And that isn't the case. Compotence and teamwork always a good employee make. I don't know a dev group that thinks otherwise. And it isn't like there is an equal opportunity thing here (where it is necessary to consider foreigners).

    OTOH finding the "cheapest programmer, period" to fill a developer slot might also explain the crappy code out there. If it is I think I'm gonna start a contracting firm that trains monkeys to pound on keyboards and to dress in business casual.

    Manager: "We need this product to ship by the end of the third quarter!"
    Monkey: "Ahhh! Ahhh! AHHHH!"
    Manager: "Hmmm, good point. [Turns to phone] HR! Get me 100 more monkeys! Stat!"
  • there are good reasons why people are not hiring: maybe the ECONOMY IS DOWN?

    i mean -- let's think about this for a bit. the economy wasn't nearly recovered (companies have no money) and now the scandals from worldcom / enron (means all the execs are right now tighter than amish when comes to spending for capital equip and human resources) -- and you wonder why people are not hiring?

    unless i missed something -- the unemployment rates does not track the difference between unemployed citizens and non-citizens -- i know plenty of former H1B people who are out of a job right now. moreover -- non-citizens who are out of a job for a long time leaves the country -- so i would not trust the statistics *anyway*.

    lastly... I know this will draw flames from hell -- but have anyone considered that maybe H1B holders actually got better grades in school? There are so many people who think that college is just a place to have fun, drink beer, blah blah, and 2.5 is an acceptable GPA. well -- for most forigner students, unless you get 3.0 / 3.5, your scholarship gets cut and you can't pay for your schooling cuz you have no work permit. so it is quite often that forign students gets better grades than domestic students because they have no choice. if you were an employer, say both are "qualified" but one has a 1/2 point GPA advantage in core curriculum, who are you goint to choose?

    this is a classic "i want to blame all my problems on other people" syndrom. quite discusting stuff. even more so that IEEE is supporting this sh*t.
  • by teetam ( 584150 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:41PM (#3954300) Homepage
    As I peruse the replies to this post, I see a lot of misrepresentations and uninformed generalizations. Below, I try to address some of these:

    1. H1B workers are paid lower salaries than citizens - This is mostly true. However, hiring a H1 candidate results in additional costs like INS fees and immigration lawyer fees. Adding all these up, there is not too much of a saving by hiring a H1 candidate. It is illegal to pay an H1 candidate a lower pay than a similarly qualified citizen. Even if this were true, who is this more unfair towards - the H1 worker or the citizen? Think about it.
    2. Given a choice between a H1 worker and a citizen, companies prefer the former - Today's software engineering cycles are very short, lasting only a few months. Given that H1 approval by itself takes months (including paperwork and INS wait time), no logical person will prefer a H1 candidate to a local worker. It is only when a locally qualified person is hard to find, that companies are willing to wait and get a H1 worker.

    In short, legally and logically, it would be a very rare case where a local worker would lose his job to a H1 worker. H1 workers are hired only if the companies involved are not able to find qualified local candidates.

    The job shortages in today's market is due to the prevailing bad economic climate. Let us not try to find scapegoats.

  • From the article:

    McManes said IEEE-USA wants companies to rely on foreign nationals only when they cannot find qualified US citizens to fill jobs.

    But wait! Isn't that already the law for H1B right now? My own H1B application went to great lengths to explain to the Dept of Labor that I was going to fulfill a jobposition that my company could not find an American worker for. Hence, I'm not grabbing anyone else's job.

    The article already states that the number of H1B visas is down to something like 60k already, because companies can fill all job positions with US workers.

    If this results in difficulties for extending my legitimite H1B next year, I'll be pissed. Let me prepare my cancellation of my IEEE membership...

  • Scapegoating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:43PM (#3954321)
    So, the difficulty in finding a job in IT is because of 20,000 H1B visas. Well, I'm glad we sorted that one out.

    The reality is, two years ago, you couldn't get enough US workers at even remotely sensible salaries, so H1Bs became a way to make US businesses viable in a global market. Now the recession's hit and companies can find US employees, the number of H1Bs are down 75% (160k-40k from the article). Those figures alone indicate that while there are some abuses (there will be in any system), by and large, H1Bs have worked as intended - to provide extra labour when labour is short.

    The main problem with the IT industry is that a million and one idiots joined the industry on the promise of massive salaries. They didn't care about what they were doing, put relatively little effort in to getting more than the basic skills and just came for the money.

    Once the economy tanked and layoffs started, some of them remained, filling the positions the "good" engineers should be taking. End result, a lot of "good" engineers can't find work because a lot of "bad" ones are still in the remaining jobs. This is settling out over time, but it's still an issue.

    The same happens in whatever the boom industry is right before a recession. Look what happened to accountants and stock brokers at the end of the 80s. In time, it rights itself as the gold diggers leave in search of the next boom and the "good" people filter back in to the roles.

    So, perhaps rather than go for the ultranationalistic, easy knee-jerk of "damn them immigrants!", which, granted, most societies tend to do during hard times, maybe looking closer to home makes more sense.

    We still have MicroSkills and Laptop Training Solutions advertising all over the radio here (CA) about how IT is a growth industry and if you just do a six month course, you're entitled to a $60k job at the end of it. I'd imagine they're dumping vastly more than 20,000 extra workers in to an industry that they shouldn't be in.

    And going back to the whole industries people shouldn't be in... It's been said by almost every expert on the economy that the recession was the best thing that could have happened as it's driving out those who shouldn't be in it. Yes, it's painful while those of us who should be in it wait for them to go and can't find work ourselves. Ultimately, though, the lean period's strengthening the industry, not harming it.

    And, yes, I have been through it. Ten months out of work with a near dream resume behind me. Yet even after that, I still stand by the fact that the problems we're facing are a good thing. We were a bloated industry that needed to be forced to justify its existence. Blaming those sneaky foreigners really doesn't help things.

    One final thought: Which would you prefer, "Half my office are foreigners on H1Bs rather than Americans" or "My office shut down and moved to India because we couldn't compete without a few H1Bs"?

  • I am a H1B worker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:44PM (#3954337) Homepage Journal
    I came to the US, and founded a company which currently provides jobs for 10 Americans, I am also in the top tax bracket, and am thus helping to pay for the public services you all use every day.

    My point is that it isn't as simple as saying "If we kick out all the foreigners we will all have jobs again". That is a racist attitude. I am fortunate to come from a country with a similar - if not better standard of living to the US, however those that are advocating "kicking out" H1B workers should remember that they were invited here, and in many cases they will be forced to return to countries with extremely poor standards of living.

    I am really saddened by the response to this story here, I honestly thought that the geek community was above this kind of bigotry.

  • and let me tell you I am certainly not cheaper than others. I worked at a startup and, of course, this one went belly up. It took me less than 1 week(!) at the beginning of this year(!!), when times were the worst, to find a new job. I work at one of the largest Software Companies in the country and believe me, nobody gave a shit how much my salary is, they were just interested in my qualification. And the market is tough. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am pretty much known in my field (crypto & security), wrote papers and a book, worked for 10+ years in the industry and have a MS/CS from Germany. Without trying to sound arrogant, could it be that I was just more qualified than other candidates!? Does it occur to the people voting for this bill that there might be good education in other countries, too? Does it occur to them that me being here benefits the US? Just my $.02 ...
  • One of the problems with the H1B program is that the participants are essentially indentured servants--they do not enjoy the same job mobility freedoms of full citizens. This makes it easy to exploit them, whether for lower wages, increased hours, mowing the boss' lawn, etc. An insidious side effect of this is to hold back compensation for all tech workers.

    So, I propose that H1B visa holders should have the right to change jobs at will, without losing their visa or resetting the clock on a permanent resident application. Maybe cap the number of at-will transfers at 3, but GIVE THEM SOME MOBILITY. If an employer is at risk of losing their H1B personnel, they will be forced to compensate them at the same level they do citizens. Then, any competition between citizens and H1B holders for jobs is on merit, rather than the structural ability to screw the H1B holder.
  • I have to disagree with those of you who believe that the US Government's H1B Visa policy creates an artificial lack of jobs for American citizens. On the contrary, if you take a broader look at the tech labor pool, the only artificial situation is an overabundance of jobs (or inflation of wages) for US citizens due to the *restrictions* imposed by the Visa process.

    We can't be good little libertarians one day and protectionists the next. In India and China there is a huge and rapidly growing pool of at least marginally qualified technical workers. It is simply inevitable that Americans such as us will come into competition with those people for the limited pool of technical positions globally. It's a simple macroeconmic principle that as the pool of labor grows, the prevalent wage drops. A scale back of the H1B program will only temporarily maintain the *existing* imbalance that favors us in America.

    As painful as it is (of course I have a job so maybe I have no place to talk about pain) we as tech workers have to face the facts that 1) We work in a global industry 2) Our salaries are artificially inflated for us by national borders. The diffusion of workers to the U.S. is just a matter of time, and until we just admit this and liberalize employment of overseas labor, the whole industry in the US will be hurt by paying out excessive wages.

    Rather than trying to lock out our tech brothers and sisters in India and China, we should be focusing on making sure that we are the best available labor pool for the job, regardless of national origin.

    You may now flame me into obliviion.
  • Remember this about immigration: If you deport all H1B workers from the US, and (of course) force to take back all US citizens working abroad, you'll end up with a positive influx into the US, and more unemployment.

    There's always the other side of the story...

  • by John Murdoch ( 102085 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @05:53PM (#3954414) Homepage Journal

    First, the math:
    If somebody wrote an article asserting that 235,000 members of the National Council of Teachers of English had sent a letter to Congress I'd have just let it pass. You can depend upon English teachers to never split an infinitive, but numbers sometimes escape them. Engineers, on the other hand, have no excuse: this was not 235,000 EE's, it was the US trade association to which they belong.

    Second, the subject is moot
    Despite the fact that Congress authorized up to 160,000 H-1B visas per year, the Globe article points out that only 40,000 were used last year, and only half of those were for IT jobs. Look at the job sites: again, and again, and again you will see "We will|do|can not sponsor H-1B applicants." Petitioning Congress to limit the number of H-1B visas when they're not being used is kind of beside the point.

    Third, they're whining
    C'mon--unemployment of 5.7%? That's hardly a catastrophe--and the numbers are deeply suspect. First, not every EE is a programmer (or works in IT). Second, not every programmer is an EE--and in point of fact a lot of EEs have little business attempting to program. Much like Computer Science curricula, EE programs focused on IT tend to focus on skills that aren't in demand--and ignore skills that are important to a lot of commercial programming. Databases don't fall within the purview of a EE program--but database programming is a big part of the IT job market. If a company brings in somebody from the Indian subcontinent on an H-1B visa to write stored procedures on Oracle, does an EE lose a job? Post hoc ergo propter hoc (logical fallacy of false cause).

    Fourth, what solution do they propose?
    Bleating to Congress is a lovely thing for the association's executives to do, in order to demonstrate to their members that the execs deserve to be paid. But what exactly do they propose? That we track down all of these people on H-1B visas and ship them home? With their husbands or wives, with their children? Even if those children, born in the U.S.A., are U.S. citizens?

    A Word from the English Teachers:
    Stand up, clear your throat, and recite with me:

    The New Colossus
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    a mighty woman with a torch
    whose flame is imprisoned lightning,
    and her name Mother of Exiles.

    From her beacon-hand glows
    world-wide welcome;
    her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor
    that twin cities frame.
    "Keep ancient lands your storied pomp!"
    cries she with silent lips.

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)
  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Thursday July 25, 2002 @06:09PM (#3954536) Journal
    There's too many myths about H1-B. Being a former H1-B (and prior to that, L1) worker, I've seen it for myself. I've now moved back home instead of doing the green card thing because (a) the INS dehumanization process is too humiliating, and living in the United States is just not worth going through that bullshit, and (b) the Isle of Man is just much nicer than Houston :-) and (c) the quality of life is much better for workers here - 4 weeks vacation when you're hired and a 37 hour work week instead of ungodly hours and 2 weeks vacation if you're lucky.


    • H1-B workers are paid less than U.S. workers. This is in fact illegal. I was actually paid more than my co-workers. Also the company had to go through the expense of the H1 process, which is bureaucratic, officious and generally a pain in the arse.
    • H1-B workers are hired in preference to U.S. workers. I never did see any evidence of this. U.S. workers who got let go (I was in the U.S. during the boom years) were let go because they didn't make the grade - simple as that.
    • H1-B workers are now being hired in preference to U.S. workers. According to other posters, most job ads now are specifying U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. H1-B workers are locked out of these jobs.

    It seems that the article is more sour grapes than anything else. Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike the United States, but I feel it's a better place to go on vacation than to actually live. Especially with the post-9/11 restrictions on the freedoms that actually made the country attractive in the first place.

  • We're idiots! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zulux ( 112259 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @06:21PM (#3954605) Homepage Journal
    Great... let's kick out the intligent, hard-workiking, law-abiding H1B workers, and yet do NOTHING about the stupid, lazy and criminal types that we give 'asylum' or 'student visas' to.

    Note: it wasen't H1B visa holders hijacking planes on the 11th, and I haven't seen a H1B holder at the food-bank or getting a welfare check.

    What we need to allow, it the open selling of US citizenship rights by US citizens to anybody who wants it. Out H1B friends could buy the citizenship from a willing seller for cash - there whould be a bunch of crack-whores lined up to sell their citizenship for a few bucks.

    We'd get rid of a pest, and gain a good citizen.

  • by dghcasp ( 459766 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @06:28PM (#3954650)
    I'm Canadian and I came to the US two years ago under the free-trade program.

    I decided I liked it here so I decided to start the road to naturalization. First step was to trade the TN visa (1 year renewable forever) for an H1-B visa (6 year) since TN is not supposed to be used for people who want to immegrate.

    And suddenly now I'm the evil one, bent on destroying the american economy or something. Man, I should have stayed on the TN...

    BTW, it's not the H1-B that "locks" people into their company like a slave; it's the Labour Certification that you need for a green card. If you change jobs and your new job isn't exactly the same as your old one, you have to restart the LC process from scratch. Here in California, it looks like it will take 3-4 years to get my LC complete. That's in addition to the 3 years it takes to get the green card once you have the LC...

    Just in case anyone isn't aware of the individual implications of being a visa worker in the US,

    You pay FICA, Social Security & all the other taxes, but are not allowed to collect unemployment or medicare or welfare.

    If you lose your job, you have 60 days (15 officially) to get your stuff together and get out of the country unless you find a new job. Kind of hard in today's anti-immegrant climate.

    In many ways, illegal immegrants have more rights than legal ones do.

    Finally, it's funny how you never see anyone railing about all the immegrants from central and south america who work on the farms to help bring you cheap groceries...

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @09:10PM (#3955529)
    I think that the H1-B visa program has a bad effect on the future of the US as a world technology leader.

    While one can argue with that the effect of having qualified H1-B employees in the US is good for the economic strength of the nation, I feel that this is likely to be a short term effect. Other nations that currently export their best talent to the US are working hard to develop programs to keep this talent at home.

    In the meantime the lack of economic incentive for homegrown US technical talent due to salaries being depressed by the availability of a large labor pool (supply/demand) is causing the best/brightest to pursue other opportuniites. This has an effect both on the current labor pool, and the future ability to develop homegrown technical talent because of the decay of the educational infrastructure that results when students are not interested in a field.

    As talent exporting countries develop ways to provide opportunities at home, the H1-B pool will dry up, and the American educational system will NOT have the means to to provide the needed talent, while universities abroad that have been supplying the US with talent will now be fueling thier native economies, and the US will not have the trained talent to keep up.

    Policy makers are doing the country a great disservice by bowing to business demands that are notoriously governed by quarterly profit statements, rather than considering the longer term need to educate its citizens to compete with the rest of the world.

  • by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:01PM (#3955710)

    My fiance' moved to the US from Sweden about five months ago. With a Masters' degree from one of Europe's most prestigious CompSci/Engineering universities, a Sun java certification, and several years' proven experience with some of Europe's largest IT consulting firms doing SQL programming, PHP/ASP scripting, Java & Linux development - We had one hell of a time finding an employer in the US to sponsor her.

    Nearly all of the firms with listings in our area flatly stated that they would not sponsor. Most of them print this in their ads. The reasons are simple:

    1. $1,000 sponsorship fee, paid to US Government
    2. $1,000 15-day H1B premium processing fee, payable by employee. If you don't chose this option, paperwork takes 3-5 months.
    3. $130 filing fee.
    4. An absolute blizzard of paperwork. We were unable to find an immigration attorney in our city that even understood the process. (South Bend, Indiana) - We ended up retaining a high-caliber immigration specialist from Houston TX. Their fee? $1,750.

    It's safe to say that none but the Fortune 1000 are willing to tackle the expense or have the expertise in handling the daunting forms.

    We finally found a local company willing to sponsor her, a local health care facility. They were very excited to get her, offered to hire her on the spot and reimbursed half her expenses. Why? *drumroll* - The position went unfilled for nearly five months as they were unable to find a qualified person locally.

    She is most certainly not being taken advantage of, having been offered a salary very much in line with her duties and educational background.

    Say what you will about the H1-B, but we can certainly tell you - It's alot harder to get sponsored than you think.

  • by small_dick ( 127697 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:16PM (#3955749)
    Three Reasons for H1B:

    1) The hottest theme in technology is "replaceable engineers". That is, you lose someone, you can pick up where they left off in a couple days. To do this, you need a big pool of applicants.

    2) Hold down American wage earners. Don't read me the text of the bill--it's bullshit. H1B holds salary and demand down for all technology workers in America, that's just a fact.

    3) Brain Drain. Rather than have these people work in their own country, and possibly come up with a novel or inventive idea before the USA, god forbid start a company making something cool, bring them over here and "own" their work.

    Don't tell me about improvements to the economy. I would gladly let a lot of people into America--on one condition: You can't cherry pick. You get cops, doctors, pilots, politicians, bankers, hookers, engineers. THAT would be incredible for the economy, and be fair across the board.

    The most annoying thing about H1B is the proof it provides as to exactly how corrupt America is.

    My brother was one of the last workers at a big-name Aeospace facility that was being shut down. This company was a huge proponent of H1B--"We can't get enough engineers! Look at all the jobs we have unfilled on the website!".

    They had over 500 positions open for a year and a half while they lobbied for H1B, and they never interviewed or hired a single person; in fact they were laying off. It's all a scam.

    Thanks for asking.
  • by FredGray ( 305594 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:32PM (#3955796) Homepage
    I'm not a software engineer (although my undergraduate degree was in computer science); I'm a graduate student in nuclear physics. I work in a collaboration [] with about 50 active members. More than half of the younger people (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) in the collaboration are non-US citizens. Of this group, about half are graduate students on student visas, and half are postdoctoral fellows on J-1 and H-1B visas. They are from lots of places, from western Europe to China and Russia. The J-1 visa is for a maximum of two years, which often isn't enough time to come up to speed and make a significant contribution. Without my foreign colleagues, we simply would not be able to do our experiment--there aren't nearly enough US citizens who are talented at their level. I know that the situation is similar for other nuclear and particle physics experiments.

    Also, I look forward to working in Europe at some point in the next few years. If we make it difficult for their nationals to work here, then it will become more difficult for Americans to work abroad.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:17PM (#3955977)
    This thread reminds me of this joke...

    Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE
    IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was
    perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG).
    He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE
    IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA). After cooking his
    breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down
    with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could
    spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the
    radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) and
    continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end
    of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to
    relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured
    himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on
    his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good
    paying job in.....AMERICA.....

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:41AM (#3956469)
    Exactly who pushed congress for the H1-B visa expansion? Technology company OWNERS and MANAGERS!

    By the late 90's many HR people in corporate America were complaining that tech employees were very expensive. CEOs realized that the only way to decrease the cost of technology employees was to increase the supply. Many of these companies told congress that there was a technology worker shortage in this country. Congress believed that if they didn't allow the workers to come here, the companies would go offshore.

    So what did congress do? Congress extended the H1-B visa program. A classic case of the tail wagging the dog.


I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.