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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:58 PM
Original message
Indian firms snag most H1-B visas
Source: Times of India

9 Mar 2008, 0001 hrs IST

WASHINGTON: The periodic flap over the H1-B visas issue is set to blow up again in an election season, after latest figures show Indian companies accounted for nearly 80% of the visa petitions approved in 2007 for the top ten participants in the programme. Infosys and Wipro top the list of visa beneficiaries in 2007, with 4,559 and 2,567 approved visa petitions, respectively, according to data from the US Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Overall, six of the top 10 visa recipients in 2007 are based in India; two others among the top 10, Cognizant Technology Solutions and UST Global, are headquartered in the US but have most of their operations in India.

Microsoft and Intel, which also have significant India operations, are the only two traditional US tech companies among the top 10. Microsoft received 959 visa petition approvals, while Intel got 369. The numbers have once again stoked fears among protectionists in the US that Indian companies are working the system to bring in guest workers to displace Americans and eventually take away the jobs.

The H1-B programme was originally meant to help American companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel attract skilled hi-tech workers from abroad to meet domestic skills shortage. But critics say what is happening now is that Indian companies are sending their workers to US companies and rotating them back home after a year or two, taking both skills and jobs back with them.


Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indian_firms_snag_mo...



Snip~ "Microsoft's Bill Gates, who's been the industry spokesman on the matter, is scheduled to testify before Congress next week on how to keep America competitive."

"Charles Grassley and Richard Durbin, two Senators who have long been critics of the H1-B programme, are said to be considering measures to prevent foreign companies from manipulating the skilled guest worker programme, including penalizing and banning firms if they file multiple petitions for the same individuals."

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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Pisses me off
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 09:24 PM by ChromeFoundry
But hamstrung by shortage of skill sets in the US, where fewer Americans are taking to math, science, and engineering each year, feisty American companies are pressing for an increase in H1-B quota from its current 65,000 annual cap to 115,000, failing which they are all too willing to migrate jobs abroad with their Indian partners. Microsoft's Bill Gates, who's been the industry spokesman on the matter, is scheduled to testify before Congress next week on how to keep America competitive.


The shortage is not because Americans are lazy. The problem is the high costs associated with any college degree. This upcoming Fall-semester we will see an even more abrupt fall in college enrollment due to the status of our failing economy. Federal subsidized loans and lenders will be reducing their offerings exclusively to those that meeting their new standards of loan eligibility. A degree will become nothing more than a dream for the majority in the very near future.
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AngryOldDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Did you see NBC news late last week?
The college loan program is imploding.

I keep saying...without a solid middle class, the center will not hold.

And a college degree, I fear, will mean absolutely nothing. It is sad, maddening, and scary.
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. agreed
A college degree won't mean anything if there is no jobs to be filled.
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NM Independent Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. So, who can tell me who is responsible...
...for the legislation that made this all possible?

Despicable. Just sucks all around.
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. here you go...
In 1998, Congress lifted it from 65,000 to 115,000. The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, signed by President Clinton in late 2000, raised the cap to 195,000, then lowered it in fiscal 2003 to 65,000. Employers are pushing for a cap increase, with some of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), testifying for it before congressional committees.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Gates....
That POS is already getting antsy.

Gates to appear again before Congress on eve of H-1B visa rush

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=...
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. There is a salary cap of $65K for a programmer
In my experience it wasn't that there were no Americans available with the requisite skills- it was simply cheaper to hire someone whose salary was capped and couldn't get a raise. And if that made Americans in the technical industry unemployed, so what. As long as corporations saved some money, thats what matters.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Isn't it 60K?
For the last decade Congress has frozen the "H-1b Dependent" salary cap at $60,000. Congress has arbitrarily set $60,000 as the "fair wage" for U.S. software professionals, presuming that as long as H-1b workers are paid that amount, they do not pose a threat to U.S. workers. Thus employers may have up to 100% percent of their workforce comprised of H-1b workers, with no requirement to recruit U.S. workers - as long as they pay them a $60,000 salary.

Furthermore, as explained on the DOL website, if the H-1b workers have a masters degree, there is no minimum wage requirement: A company comprised of 100% H-1b workers with masters degrees earning $25,000 per year is not deemed "H-1b dependent."

But according to the BLS, a division of DOL, $60,000 is about the 25th percentile of U.S. wages, leaving 75% of U.S. tech workers exposed to wage erosion by Congress' H-1b program:

"Median annual earnings of computer applications software engineers who worked full time in May 2004 were about $74,980. The middle 50 percent earned between $59,130 and $92,130 . . . According to Robert Half International, starting salaries for software engineers in software development ranged from $63,250 to $92,750 in 2005."

Congress: Please remove this arbitrary wall on tech wages. Please stop flooding the market with foreign workers, and the natural economic law of supply and demand will draw sufficient U.S. workers back into the profession. Please amend H-1b legislation so that the minimal protections of "H-1b dependent" employers apply to all users of H-1b workers, consistent with the Pascrell Bill.

http://www.programmersguild.org/listmessages/2006Dec_eN...
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. if you're looking at documentation thats probably right
I just know that its low for a programmer. But during the slump of 2001-2002 that was a lot better than no job, and I sat next to a man from India on a H-1b visa. I am not a programmer- but I knew a lot of out-of-work programmers locally who needed that job and had those particular skills in C programming.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I Worked at a Company
That would advertise for open jobs (that were currently held by H1B's) and we'd get hundreds and hundreds of resumes......they'd ALL get thrown away so that they could retain the H1B and pay less. I've heard this happens more often than one thinks.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Its a scam.
The Indian man knew it. He was very polite and kept a low profile. His skills were excellent and he kept the job for 3 years. In the middle of it he took a month off, went home and got married, and came back with a wife who was also a computer programmer. (I remember when he was looking at pictures of potential wives- she had to have at least a college degree in computer programming, be between 5'5" and 5'7" and pretty, younger than him.) He got the right wife and she got the H1B too. Two American jobs gone. I don't blame them personally, they were nice smart people with good skills- but they put two Americans out of their jobs.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. There are too many ways to cheat the system.
The same thing happened to me....worked with a woman that was here on an H1B visa. (Very kind decent person) Unlike your situation, she didn't know what she was doing. I had to babysit her with her work all of the time, most of the time doing it myself so that it was done right. She ended up going back to India and getting married, too. You'll never guess....to another programmer who she brought back with her.

Count that as 4 Americans out of jobs, just between both of our stories.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. yes, either that
or they go to india and come back with a wife who will be attending college HERE, majoring in - computer science, of course. i see couples like this (joined at the hip) on the train to work every day. tons of 'em here in sacramento.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. And college is free here, I would assume. n/t
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. At a previous job...
The director had me write up requirements that were so specific that no person could possibly be able to fill the requirements. This had to be done annually, for each H1B employed at the company.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. I'm not surprised in the least. n/t
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AngryOldDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Sure it does.
Companies look at their fucking bottom lines and nothing else matters.
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gemdem Donating Member (975 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. Pay less, therein lies the joke
Are they really paying less, and where are the saved costs?

The rates that are being paid to Wipro and Infosys many times are actually much more than the H1B programmer actually receives. Why? Because you have on person on-shore who is supported by one or more off-shore. The H1B worker appears to be super productive, but is in fact farming out work and taking credit for what is done. Also Wipro and Infosys take make a huge profit on each onshore worker -- even after you factor the shadow staffing, travel and boarding costs.

The rates charged by Infosys and Wipro exceed the hourly rates paid to American workers -- even after you factor in benefits. So where is the savings? It's an accounting game. American companies don't have to fund health insurance, pension, or other benefits. They don't have to document or risk litigation when it comes time to terminate an employee.

Rather than grow their own employees, take on college new hires (it's been years since I've seen one -- not because there's any shortage, there's a lack of interest by the company), American companies will turn over their intellectual capital -- data, code, trade secrets, etc. -- to third parties. All this to burnish their bottom lines for the short term, while putting their long term viability at risk. It's not just restricted to IT or call centers, it's spreading into all parts of companies -- if most of what you do on the job requires a computer or a phone, that job is at risk of being offshored.
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