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Disaster in the Shadows - H-1B Terrorist program

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Phred42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:55 PM
Original message
Disaster in the Shadows - H-1B Terrorist program
It's simple, The H1-B program is Economic Terrorism, by Corporations with the help of the Government, against Americans
The word is that Obama will continue H1-B terrorism

Disaster in the Shadows
http://www.economyincrisis.org/articles/show/2359

Lurking under the radar of most middle-class Americans is a disastrous employer-designed program implemented to allow American businesses access to imported, highly skilled labor at below-market wages. Known as the H-1B visa, employers take advantage of this government program to overlook American workers in pursuit of an inexpensive staff.

Milton Friedman referred to the H-1B visa program as a government subsidy since the program benefits American employers by enabling them to get workers for lower wages than they would pay their American counterparts.

Companies justify their use of H-1B visas by falsely alleging there are shortages of skilled American workers. However, American universities currently graduate four to six times the number of students needed to fill openings in technology fields. Yet employers still hide behind the guise that these workers don't exist.


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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Is that you Lou?
don't you think that the misuse of the term terrorist applied to people working here under h-1b visa's is just a wee bit over the top xenophobic nonsense?
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MaraJade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I agree. . .
this is a form of corporate terrorism, especially in these lean economic times. We need to be providing
jobs for Americans first.

I'd like to see a law stating that any company requesting H-1B employees must prove (by showing the number of
employment applications they've accepted) that no American Citizen has applied for or is interested in doing
the work. That'd put a stop to it. Companies should be forced to advertise these jobs nationally before being
allowed H-1B workers.

There are millions of unemployed people in this country who would be thrilled to be offered those jobs. There
is definitely no shortage of willing workers here. The H-1Bs are not necessary at all.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Actually there are training programs that help the companies
learn how to "properly represent" the fact that there are no workers here who will do these jobs.

As in "lie through your teeth" about the situation. Neither Hillary or Obama were very concerned about this Hb1 visa situation. They know they will have jobs for as long as we have government.

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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. That's one screwed up title
though I agree somewhat with the gist of the article. I had to try to get an H-1B for a friend of a friend once, a very skilled cook in India, but eventually we gave up as the cost was in the thousands and the only guarantee was that it would take a long time, if it went through at all.

In most cases I think US businesses could find or train talent here.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. As we sink further into the second great depression, these programs will be
harder to justify.
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. they have been doing this since the 80's and congress citters allow it and listen to their whines
Companies justify their use of H-1B visas by falsely alleging there are shortages of skilled American workers.

congress critters don't listen to the workers
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. My Democratic Congressman regularly refers to the "shortage of high tech workers"
He has brought it up in every speech that I've attended. Clearly, he's getting big contributions from firms that want to outsource. It's very disheartening, and a complete contradiction to his otherwise progressive rhetoric.
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blue97keet Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. FOIA request on H-1B by St. Paul Pioneer Press
With Obama's promise for greater transparency on Freedom of Information Act requests perhaps the following can be revisted. In 2004 the St. Paul Pioneer Press filed a FOIA request on H-1B that was sidelined by the Bush administration. Article is below.

http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Archive/GovByAILA.txt
http://www.twincities.com/ci_8803914?nclick_check=1

Worker visa program shrouded in questions

The program is widely used, but details are sparse
By Jennifer Bjorhus
jbjorhus@pioneerpress.com
Article Last Updated: 04/04/2008 12:21:40 AM CDT

U.S. employers are rushing to file their applications to the federal
government for foreign specialty workers to fill tens of thousands of U.S.
jobs ranging from programmers to marketers.

During a five-day lottery period now under way, employers will fill 65,000
jobs by obtaining H-1B visas, the documents allowing employers to bring in
foreign workers for three to six years.

As sure as the rush to apply come proposals on Capitol Hill to lift the
current annual 65,000 cap — a move both Minnesota Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy
Klobuchar support. (There's an additional 20,000 visas set aside for foreign
workers with advanced American degrees.)

Industry has long argued that the temporary work visas are necessary to stay
competitive by attracting the world's best and brightest workers. Many
employers, most recently Bill Gates, argue there's a critical shortage of
skilled U.S. workers.

"From Minnesota, I've heard so many stories of companies unable to get the
H-1B visas, so instead they contract with someone (outside the country),"
Klobuchar said. "It's not like we are talking about an unlimited number of
visas."

Critics charge there's no shortage but too many over-specific job
descriptions and overly picky employers. The guest worker program cheats
U.S. workers by importing younger workers who are often less well paid, they
charge. Laid-off U.S. tech workers have testified on Capitol Hill of being
forced to train their H-1B replacements.

What's missing from the decade-old debate is solid information about how
the program actually functions. Exactly which white-collar jobs go
begging for lack of qualified U.S. workers? What are specific workers
being paid? How are specific employers in various parts of the country
using the program? Are there patterns to their particular hiring?

Nearly all of Minnesota's top employers use the visa program, according to
the U.S. Labor Department. The department tracks only very preliminary
applications from employers that may or may not be approved and that don't
have information specific to a real live worker.

But exactly how many visas do employers such as Target Corp., 3M Co. and the
University of Minnesota get each year and for which specific jobs? What
salaries do they actually pay those workers? Did Medtronic get the H-1B visa
it recently sought for the "human resources generalist?" Did Best Buy get
one for that art director?

Companies won't discuss specifics. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
will not release detailed information it keeps on the thousands of
worker-specific visas it approves each year to be issued by the State
Department.

"It's a huge hole," said Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at
the Rochester Institute of Technology and co-author of "Outsourcing
America." "Why would you expand a program without knowing what its impacts
are? It's very bizarre to me."

Hira has company. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on
Tuesday mailed 25 letters to the country's top H-1B employers asking for
detailed information on how they use the program.

The Pioneer Press in 2004 filed a Freedom of Information Act request to
immigration services for basic information on each H-1B and related L-1 visa
it approved for employers since 2000. L-1 visas, which have no cap, are
increasingly used by employers to bring their own foreign employees to the
U.S. to work.

The newspaper's request remains unfilled. In January, immigration officials
mailed a disk that doesn't contain records of any H-1B visas, and with tens
of thousands of blank fields where job codes should be, and more than
400,000 blank fields where the worker's education level should be recorded.

The Pioneer Press filed an appeal with immigration services, which recently
informed the newspaper that the appeal is No. 2,771 in a backlog of 2,845
appeals. Chris Rhatigan, an immigration services spokeswoman, said her
agency considers the newspaper's request filled, noting the "appeal is still
pending a final decision."

One reason for the delay has been the agency's notorious backlog of FOIA
requests. At the end of the 2006 fiscal year, it had nearly 90,000 such
requests for all types of information jammed up, according to the FOIA
annual report from the Department of Homeland Security, where immigration
services is housed. An internal investigation in 2006 recommended a major
overhaul of the agency's broken FOIA system.

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom
of the Press, in Arlington, Va., said the situation doesn't surprise her.
The FOIA offices at federal agencies lack staff, she said. "Congress has
never given them the money to do what they need to do," Dalglish said.

As for immigration services, it does publish a yearly report,
"Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers," showing aggregate totals
at the national level — such as that 50 percent of the H-1B visas in fiscal
year 2005 were for people from India, half were issued to people in their
20s, 5 percent of the workers held doctorate degrees and about half the jobs
were computer-related.

The report doesn't provide employer-specific or job-specific information.
The agency is also two years behind on its reports.

The Pioneer Press could find only one organization that has received
detailed information about the guest worker program. The Government
Accountability Office (GAO), the congressional watchdog, obtained detailed
H-1B visa approval data around 2002. The group's 2003 report concluded that
Homeland Security has incomplete information on H-1B worker entries and
can't provide key information needed to oversee the H-1B program and its
effects on the U.S. workforce.

It also said that in four of the five occupations the GAO studied, H-1B
workers approved in 2002 were younger and that more had advanced degrees
than their U.S. counterparts. Younger H-1B tech workers listed higher
salaries than U.S. counterparts, while older H-1B workers had salaries
either similar to or lower than U.S. counterparts.

The GAO report is limited. It, too, contains no information specific to
employers or jobs. It doesn't help a reader understand how the program is
used in his or her hometown.

Jennifer Bjorhus can be reached at 651-228-2146.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. [Flame Suit On] There is a shortage of SKILLED technical workers.
I never realized it until I got promoted into a position where my input is used for hiring decisions.

My last employer used H-1B visa applicants mostly from India however the number of H-1B is capped. At one point we had 3 open programmer positions that we were trying to fill. We were willing to offer 15% of median salary for this area. One was filled by local applicant, the other by an H-1B, the last was never filled. Eventually we stopped advertising.

My current employer can't use H-1B because it is secure clearance work. The starting salary for someone who can obtain a security clearance is generally higher. We are offering 25% higher than median for our area. If someone already has a SECRET even an interim we are willing to offer 40% over the median as starting salary.

We have got hundred or so applicants - none that are qualified. We took the "best" of the unqualified and setup interviews.

I had a MBA graduate with no programming experience (no even personal/hobby/open source programming) apply.

:WTF can I do with that! Honestly? The position is very well paying, good healthcare, nice benefits and has been open 9 months. 9 FUCKING MONTHS in a recession.

Now remember my employer can NEVER use H-1Bs however reducing or removing H-1B will increase competition meaning we will get even less qualified applicants.

Now maybe it isn't the same in every field but for software developers H-1B are needed.

We need a national "tech school" system with focus on hard sciences.
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