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Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:05 AM

Trump administration proposes changes to popular H-1B program

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/tech/dhs-h1b-merit-proposal/index.html

New York (CNN Business)The Trump administration wants to reform a popular American work visa program.

The Department of Homeland Security released a proposal Friday that would increase the number of H-1B visa recipients who have master's degrees or higher level degrees and would move the registration process online. The government has been working to crack down on the H-1B program a result of President Donald Trump's direction that agencies implement a "Buy American, Hire American" strategy.

The H-1B visa is a work visa that's valid for three years and can be renewed for another three years. Many companies use H-1B visas to help fill their workforces. But tech is the sector most commonly associated with H-1Bs. Tech firms big and small say they need the H-1B program to hire trained talent that they can't find at home.

65,000 H-1B visas are granted annually, with another 20,000 reserved just for people who hold advanced degrees from US higher education institutions. Demand for the visa often exceeds the supply, triggering a lottery system. The proposed rule would change the selection process so that all registrations including those from people who are eligible for the advanced degree exemption are applied to the regular cap of 65,000 first. After that, US Citizenship and Immigration Services would select from the remaining to fill the degree cap.

The agency says this new process could increase the number of H-1B holders who have advanced degrees by up to 16% ensuring that "more of the best and brightest workers from around the world come to America" under the program, USCIS spokesman Michael Bars in a statement to CNN Business.


How do you like them apples? I know some DUers were hoping Trump would get rid of H-1Bs. Don't worry, he disappoints everyone.

America First, right?

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:12 AM

1. "A popular American work visa program".

Popular for who????

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:16 AM

2. American Corporations

who are enjoying record high profits and stock prices, and tax cuts, while laying off employees.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:23 AM

3. They say demand 'often' exceeds supply ... but is that the 65K AND the 20K that are full?

Or is it just the 65K that gets used up, and the addt'l 20K doesn't always get used up?

20K seems like a lot of people if we're talking non-citizens w/advanced degrees from US institutions who want to work in the US (many of them come here, get a degree, and go home, or elsewhere ... hence this particular 20K carve-out ... to try to keep them here), but maybe it's not.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:27 AM

4. Both are full every year

So Trump is making America great again by increasing the 20K by 16% to 23,200 or so.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:32 AM

5. I'd actually be fine with making it the 85K 'best paid' people from around the world ...

This would incentivize companies, if they want to bring people here, to pay them very well, which in turn means more tax money to the coffers, and more money out of the corporate tills, and into the economy.

Should be a limit on how much of that money they're allowed to expatriate, however.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 10:42 AM

6. Indeed, these people pay into Medicare and Social Security

and won't draw the benefits upon retirement if they leave our country.

It sounds like the opposition to the program is for the lower paid entry level positions where some feel that US citizens are missing out on these jobs. The truth has more to do with contracting IT services and what sort of people are willing to live the migrant lifestyle of moving every few months or being separated from family for extended periods of time.

People are usually fine with highly educated doctors or scientists coming here from other countries but not young 20 somethings with IT or CS degrees.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 11:06 AM

7. It would be fine to have this program if the companies had to pay those

who are part of the program the "going rate" for the position being filled, which would guarantee that there is no American worker that could fill the position. This program has been used to bypass Americans who qualify for the position and fill the job with cheaper labor. It has also been used to avoid having to train existing workers for changes in technology needed for positions.

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Response to AJT (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 11:25 AM

8. They're often paid more

Contractors usually get paid more than an equivalent employee for the exact same work.

Are H-1B visa workers really paid less than Americans?
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-h-1b-visa-workers-really-paid-less-than-americans-2017-04-24


http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/16/salaries-have-risen-for-high-skilled-foreign-workers-in-u-s-on-h-1b-visas/

But it comes with a work-life balance that most US citizens are not willing to put up with.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 11:34 AM

9. I worked as a systems programmer and the programmers on the H-1B visas were paid about 1/3 less

than even entry level positions, basically eliminating entry level positions that required more training.

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Response to AJT (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 11:42 AM

10. I worked as a token US citizen with hundreds of H-1Bs

and these companies want to hire US citizens but no one will even apply for these jobs. They would ask us for referrals and to keep an eye out for any resumes from US citizens to bump them to the top of the list. There are entry level positions out there if people want it badly enough.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 01:35 PM

11. I am glad to hear it. I'm glad that there is an effort to hire American workers.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 01:51 PM

12. The problem is in the graduate admissions programs.

They take applications from all over the world, and non-citizens often have governments paying their way -- so there is an incentive, when filling a class, to take plenty of them.

So when US employers turn to our grad schools, of course they get lots of applications from foreign students. And then they ask why they aren't getting enough from US students. The answer is they weren't accepted into the grad school in the first place.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 02:22 PM

13. College and graduate school is very expensive in the US

and there are powerful forces trying to discourage Americans from pursuing higher education. There are tons of articles advising young people to avoid it, usually written by some asshole who has a successful career because of grad school and the networking that comes with it.

If something could be done about the cost, it would help a lot of aspiring students. The tuition fees are out of control. My state school sucks pretty bad so I went out of state.

As for government paying for it, I had many classmates who had the US government help with their tuition through military service or federal employment.

Some companies offer tuition assistance for continuing education. I've taken advantage of that for certifications, which is a more accessible and better value route to improve one's career in some tech fields.

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