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Until a few years ago, April 1 had only one significance - it was April Fools Day, a day of playing pranks and jokes on every one.  The most amazing prank of all time is when MIT students got a Police Cruiser Car with flashing lights on top of their University's Big Dome, and no one could figure out how they did it. I guess that is why MIT is so full of brilliant minds.

Anyway, for those of us with less brilliant minds, April 1 has always just been a fun day when we pull little pranks on our family and friends.

Until a few years ago, when April 1 became the official first day for accepting applications for the highly coveted H1B Visa Petitions by the USCIS.  The petitions are reviewed and the approved ones may start working in the United States from October 1, for a maximum period of three years.  There are a limited number of petitions that may be approved each year, presently the"quota limit" is about 85,000 of which 20,000 is reserved for candidates with advanced (beyond Bachelors) degrees issued by an American University.

A related topic is Offshore working, frequently confused with outsourcing.  All offshore work is not outsourced, and all outsourced work is not off-shored.  More about this in the Diary.

Your attention is drawn to my comment on September 4, 2007, see full details at the link below:

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/...

BEGIN QUOTE
Sep 4, 2007 3:38 PM  Guest Alan L. Krishnan says:

Interesting comments.  How many of the writers drive American cars?  How many of the clothes they wear are made in the United States?  How many wear shoes made in the USA?

Over the years we decimated US manufacturing and had no qualms about buying imported consumer goods.  We have no reservations buying imported oil - why do we not lobby to use American oil?  Why fund the middle east to fund terror attacks on our people?

Globalization and outsourcing are inevitable - market forces constantly drive to reduce costs and move to lowest cost economies.  That is the reason why so many American products are sold worldwide - our quality and prices are the best.  What is good for the goose is good for the gander - just as we celebrate our exports, we have to tolerate our imports.  However, we need to control imports to maintain reasonable balance of payments. So let us reduce consumption and imports!  Let us car pool, use public transportation when ever possible, take a train or plane when we travel (even though it costs us more than driving alone), so we reduce consumption, even when it costs us more.

Our kids do not want to do science and engineering, so we are forced to "import" talent.  The H1B program was developed for getting the best brains to our country,  but sadly it is so messed up that it is not working.  We need to improve this program so it serves the true purpose and then outsourcing overseas will reduce.   When you can not take a horse to water, you take water to the horse.  So, when changes in the H1B program prevented bringing in additional workers to our shores, the jobs went overseas and the companies discovered that they get the same work done at a lower cost!

This will level off, it will take a few years but things will fall in place.  Until then, let us reduce consumption, increase reuse and recycling.  That is our only hope - reduce, reuse and recycle.
END OF QUOTE

I am familiar with immigration laws of India, Australia, Rwanda, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Dubai, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Mexico.  Of all these countries, the United States is the most welcoming, and most receptive to foreign nationals.  The United States has many categories for immigrants, with varying objectives.  Some are welcomed to keep families together, others because of the exceptional merit and achievement they have, and yet others are welcomed as temporary highly skilled workers.  The immigration programs are well developed and like most things American, built around good faith and trust. "You are innocent until proven guilty" is the foundation of our Judicial system and the immigration policies generally give the visitor full benefit of doubt.

What ails our immigration system?  The backlog is huge in every category - families wait 10-20 years to be united.  A permanent resident marrying some one from his/her native land may have to wait 10 years to be united with the spouse - in an environment where half the marriages break up in the first 5 years, this is a tall order, to expect the couple to stay married 10 years living thousands of miles apart before they can even decide whether to stay married or break up.... When it comes to the employment categories, the prevailing H1B program expects that employers will identify candidates and submit petitions for their employment in the United States, 6+ months in advance!  Petitions have to be submitted on April 1 to stand a chance of being awarded the prized petition approval - the last couple of years about 50% of the petitions received were accepted in the random drawing process. Imagine, candidates to meet the technological talent shortage in the United States is settled by random drawing of applications!

Most employers are not able to plan so many months ahead. More importantly, once the prized H1B petition is approved and a candidate is allocated the "H1B Number", the beneficiary is NOT required to work for the sponsor who invested all the money and time in recruiting the candidate and filing the petition.  Because, the beneficiary can change employers at will, with the new employer just filing another petition with no constraints of any limits on visa numbers, or any need to plan 6+ months in advance!  Employers do not learn, they are as naive as the partner engaged in an adulterous relationship thinking that the same thing will not happen to them!  So beneficiaries merrily switch jobs to primarily increase their earnings, but also in search of better work, better location, and sometimes, potential sponsorship for the prized Green Card.

So, the smart employers quickly initiate the processing of the permanent resident status visa, the Green Card (GC) as it is popularly referred to. This is the first inconsistency in the combined program - the H1B visa program is a temporary worker initiative. The GC is a permanent worker initiative.  How does one explain a temporary worker need in 6-12 months becoming a permanent worker necessity?  You don't, because the USCIS does not ask.  Once the GC processing is initiated, the beneficiary with any sense stays in the position until approval is obtained, and then the candidate invariably quits with in the fist year after the prized card is physically received.

So, in the majority of the cases, the petitioning employer never enjoys the benefits of the GC sponsorship, once approval is obtained.  It is invariably a tool to hang on to the foreign worker until the approval is obtained - so the more it is delayed, the more the petitioner benefits.

Thus, the existing system penalizes sponsors and petitioners of both the H1B and GC programs. In the process, the USCIS staff spend months on end processing these petitions, raising queries based on the understanding and interpretation of the processing official. The beneficiaries are not happy, because there is a lot of uncertainty. The only community always happy with this process is the Attorney group, as they stay busy no matter what, and every change of employer results in new work for the law firm. Some employers do their H1B processing, many international law firms undertake the work, and many beneficiaries do their share of work in putting all this together.

What will solve the problems? Radical changes in the program as it exists today. Like free trade, we need to open the doors for temporary workers and simplify the process. The emphasis today is to ensure that foreign workers are paid at least the prevailing wages in each jurisdiction.  That is seldom the issue, as the problem is not wages, but the availability of trained workers.  Another major problem is the uncertainty of the workforce - when one hires American workers, if one leaves, we hire a replacement in four weeks or less.  When one hires a foreign worker, the planning is done 3-8 months in advance and replacements always take time, sometimes they can never be replaced.  When any employer terminates a foreign worker, the only obligation is to provide one way airfare for the employee to return to his/her native land. That puts a lot of pressure on the employee because overnight he/she might be required to abandon home, furniture, car, and life as one knew it, to get on a plane and head back home in disgrace because he/she is not longer employed. Talk about life turning upside down!

Here are some basic suggestions:

  1. Foreign workers may be brought into the United States for a specific

  length of time.  This may be 1, 2 or 3 years.  Fees will depend on
  length of time for which approval is sought.  Say $2,500 for the
  first year, and $ 1,000 for each additional year, standard
  processing. One year extensions could be $1,500 each time. Premium
  processing will remain at an additional $1,000.

  1. During the life of this approved period, the employer is not allowed

  to terminate employment, and the beneficiary is not allowed to move
  to another employer. So in effect this is contractual employment where
  both parties agree to the duration of employment.This allows both to
  plan for the agreed duration of the employment.  

  1. Let there be no limit on the number of petitions accepted. When there

  is no quota limit and deadline, the number of petitions automatically
  reduce. With the contractual employment requirement, employers will be
  careful to plan their petitions, and employees will be more stable as
  they are not allowed to change employers during the period of the
  contract. Their employment is also not likely to be terminated
  suddenly without appropriate compensation.

  1. Beneficiary may change employers at end of contract. Wherever the

  beneficiary works, the local department of labor could determine and
  establish annual compensation on the basis of prevailing wages. If
  the beneficiary relocates, the new area DOL will make this
  determination.

In the case of Permanent Resident Green Card Petitions, the employer petitioner should clearly establish the need for hiring the foreign worker.  This intent is to be declared at the time of initial petition, and once approved by the USCIS, the beneficiary may enter the United States based on national priority limits. Until the processing is completed and the GC is issued, and for a minimum period of one year the petitioner and beneficiary will be required to maintain the same relationship.  During the processing period of the GC, the beneficiary will be employed by the Petitioner. The beneficiary with GC in process will have a temporary visa not subject to the H1B Quota limits, but subject to all the other rules in force for temporary workers.  This process should have a flat fee of $8,000 of which $5,000 is paid at the time of initial application and the balance of $3,000 is paid at the time of approval when the GC is handed over.

What will all this do?
It will bring predictability into the process and both employer petitioners and beneficiary employees will have predictable lifestyles.      

This will also put to rest most of the alleged abuses and fears of petitioners and beneficiaries.

The next step:
Collect feedback, comments and suggestions from our readers. Evaluate everything received and prepare report that may be published and circulated.                          

Originally posted to alankrishnan on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:04 PM PDT.

Poll

The prevailing H1B and Green Card Programs are:

8%3 votes
73%25 votes
2%1 votes
14%5 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think you raise some great points (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, sdgeek, sandbox, Norbrook, alankrishnan

    But one thing bothers me:

    During the life of this approved period, the employer is not allowed to terminate employment, and the beneficiary is not allowed to move to another employer. So in effect this is contractual employment where both parties agree to the duration of employment.This allows both to plan for the agreed duration of the employment.

    At a minimum, there would need to be some mechanism for each party to exit the agreement for incompetence or abuse.  Otherwise this could create real problems.

    -6.88, -8.10... Is that the Delta quadrant?

    by wide eyed lib on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:18:50 PM PDT

    •  You are completely correct, (5+ / 0-)

      and I had this disclaimer to post in mind, but just forgot.

      Yes, non performance will be grounds for termination of the contract, and this has to be carefully provided for.  This will also require employers to establish objective evaluation criteria and that will make every one think many times before they bring in a foreign worker, and only the most qualified will be brought in.  That is the intent.

      There should also be criteria that only foreign workers with Bachelor's Degree + 5 years experience, or Master's Degree + 3 years experience or PhD+ 1 year experience will be considered for all these programs, PLUS of course every one with a US Master's Degree.

      In today's world, the most effective immigrants are those who obtain US Degrees, or come here with at least 5 years of experience. We do not require any entry level folks, we have plenty of our own, and we can train those who have lost jobs in their areas of work.

  •  Good point. Lack of quotas is probably not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, alankrishnan

    realistic. But if quotas are increased e.g. 3-fold it should be enough at this point. Maybe even less due to economy. You probably need to have a mechanism for early contract termination (maybe with penalties, not sure) b/c all kind of stuff can happen. The wage issue is quite real, especially in tech. Companies trick DOL guidelines by adjusting job descriptions so the prevailing wage they get will be low. This needs to be handled for any reforms to be viable.

    •  You are correct.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, FG

      and the only way to address this is to only allow foreign workers at the higher skills level.  Only exception will be foreign workers with US University Degrees, fresh out of US school, as they are our best resource because they have gone through a tested and proven system.  The best immigrants (Engineering and Technology in particular) came to the United States between 1965 and 1995. Most of them came as Graduate students, and worked their way up.  Today, most of them head large corporations, departments, or manage companies they established.

  •  Just for claification (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philly Quaker, Toon, alankrishnan

    You support the restriction of labor when it comes to H1b,Green visas , these people mostly compete with middle and upper class income for jobs.

    Do you also support or oppose such restrictions on immigration (legal or not) from the southern border.
    Those people compete with lower income Americans for jobs.

    I support -balanced budgets, progressive taxation, the expansion of the death penalty, and a ban on third trimester abortions.

    by thejayhawker on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:33:55 PM PDT

    •  You raise a very important point.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, thejayhawker

      I support all immigration, provided we have a labor shortage. Historically, the greed and desire to provide service at the lowest price has encouraged employers to hire foreign workers - be it textile workers, fruit pickers, restaurant workers... and many more areas that are not necessarily skilled but the native American worker is either not willing to undertake the work, or undertake the work at a price that a foreign worker will accept.

      If the American worker will not accept the work, but is not depending on state support, so be it.  That is our prerogative to decide what we will work on.

      However, if the American worker is willing to accept the work and the problem is that the foreign worker will work for less, I oppose immigration permitting this.

      It is not much different from using imported oil because US oil is more expensive!  No one talks about the billions and trillions we have historically spent to keep middle east oil prices low, through all the military spending in that area. I believe in the early 90s when Saddam Husein invaded Kuwait, there were many reports on the irrationality of military bases etc. in the middle east, primary purpose being to keep oil prices low.  I recollect some one writing that if oil prices went above $44 a barrel, it would be economical and profitable to use US oil. Today, we are the third or fourth largest producer of oil, after Saudi Arabia and one or two other countries.

      So, to help the consumer we use lower cost labor to pick our fruits, and then we spend millions supporting our citizens who could have done the work, for higher wages, but then they would live in dignity and happiness as they did their hard work and earned their living.

      The infatuation with imports and free trade should be revisited.  It is better to improve domestic production, than to just surrender and give in to imports because the price is less. When lower price is coupled with better quality, we have a problem, which we need to address - not just give up and embrace imports.

      •  Note I have been House-ing you (0+ / 0-)

        using the Socratic Method. I havent gave any of my own opinions, merely asking you questions to detect if there is any consistency in your train of thought.

        Since you apparently also support restriction of labor, in theory, for all types of works, why only write diaries for H1B Visas, why not write a diary about the pushing down of wages via illegal immigration.

        Or perhaps did you work for IBM, and only care about downward wage pressure when it applies to a field you work for?

        I support -balanced budgets, progressive taxation, the expansion of the death penalty, and a ban on third trimester abortions.

        by thejayhawker on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:53:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be your party. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Toon

          and only care about downward wage pressure when it applies to a field you work for?

          You know, the party that got us into this fucking mess.

        •  I believe you have a strange approach (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, Toon, wide eyed lib
          1. I am not being tested here
          1. My opinions do not matter as I am just an ordinary

            person and not a point of influence

          1. I write about topics that interest me, and about

            which I have some understanding

          1. Please do not put words in my mouth
          1. I do not support restriction of labor
          1. I prefer that Americans are first in line for jobs
          1. When there is a shortage, foreign labor helps
          1. Foreign labor should not be to reduce wages
          1. I have no knowledge of illegal immigration and so

            can not opine on the subject - I just oppose all
            illegal immigration as by very nature it is
            breaking the law and no one should condone that.

          1. I never worked for IBM and I am not a Technology Worker.  
          1. No, my field of work is not subject to any downward wage pressure, thank the Lord.
      •  Which do we need more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Toon

        white collar workers or blue-collar labor workers?

        Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

        by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:00:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Er (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, alankrishnan

    The most amazing prank of all time is when MIT students got a VW Beetle Car on top of their University's Big Dome, and no one could figure out how they did it. I guess that is why MIT is so full of brilliant minds.

    It wasn't a Beetle. It was some police cruiser make - Crown Vic or something.

    I was doing homework late at night when I got a call that it's up, so I remember well...

  •  Excellent diary, A few notes from the trenches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alankrishnan

    Overall, I think you identified many of the things that ail our immigration system. That said, there are also a few misleading things in here. I have gone through this process in the 1990s, so I can speak from the inside. Today, I'm a US citizen.

    And I think while you identified the problem very well, you may be overlooking the real solution.

    Point 1 and 2 actually are already how the H-1B program works (except for the amount of fees). H-1B is limited to three years at a time, and can be extended for a total of six years.

    H-1Bs are NOT allowed to change employers. Changing employers requires a complete new H-1B petition, including all the fees, all the paperwork, everything. The only difference to the original H-1B petition is that the quota doesn't apply - and you proposed in item 3 to abolish the quota.

    Also, the Green Card rules you propose (must prove the need to hire them, must remain working for the employer after the GC is approved) are already in place.

    And finally, the H-1B originally indeed had the rule that you must have temporary intent. That was explicitly removed from the law.

    A bit of history here. The H-1 was introduced in the 1950s as a general-purpose guest worker program for temporary workers. It was later split into the H-1A, H-1B and H-1C that we have today.

    Meanwhile, permanent employees were expected to apply for a Green Card instead of an H-1.

    That worked very well until the 1980s. It worked, because the Green Card applications were processed in 90 days.

    The H-1, meanwhile, was used as intended, only a few thousand were issued per year, and most of them for people who came to the US only for a few weeks or months.

    Then the Reagan budget cuts happened, along with a number of other factors. INS was overloaded, and processing times for Green Cards skyrocketed to several years. Today, the quota is an added obstacle, and it can take a decade to get a Green Card for a scientist. My own took 8 years.

    That changed everything.

    Employers didn't want to wait several years to hire somebody when they need the position filled now. To illustrate that: imagine if Bill Gates wanted to hire somebody to write MS-DOS for the IBM PC in 1980 - and INS told him "sorry, you can't hire him until 1990!". Business doesn't work that way.

    So employers discovered the H-1 as a workaround. This was somewhat risky because applying for a GC while on H-1 could be considered illegal (just as you propose).

    Eventually, the situation got so dire that in the 1990s, Congress tried to fix the problem. But they didn't fix the root cause - GC applications taking too long. Instead, they explicitly allowed H-1B workers to apply for Green Cards without fear of repercussions.

    And Congress started making it more and more difficult to get an H-1B. The end result actually is that employers are now finding yet other ways around the problem.

    Bottom line: the real solution, and the only one that will work, is to fix the Green Card process so that Green Card applications can be processed in 90 days or less.

    And I have to give you great credit for recognizing the Green Card problem!

    Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

    by sdgeek on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:36:27 PM PDT

    •  You raise good points, thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      Agreed the H1B Program is good for 3 years at a time, with a limit of 6 years (unless there is GC Petition filed by same employer pending for more than a year- which is a given - which permits indefinite extensions until GC is approved or denied). However employers may terminate at will, which puts the beneficiary in uncertain limbo, which makes this a very volatile workforce for ever in search of stability and the GC.

      H-1Bs are NOT allowed to change employers on the existing approval - BUT they can change employers in one week by filing a fresh petition under Premium Processing. This is as good as it can get, because the beneficiary can start work in 2 weeks, which is the norm.

      The GC problem is not so much just the processing, it is also the annual national limit.  Some countries have so many pending applications that it takes years to get approval.  The United States is a popular destination!

      •  The GC petition can be filed by any employer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sdgeek

        not just the employer who sponsored the H1B visa. The H1B worker can move as soon as the new petition is filed with the USCIS and there is no need to use premium processing (see AC21).

        Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

        by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:05:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some more comments (0+ / 0-)

        However employers may terminate at will, which puts the beneficiary in uncertain limbo, which makes this a very volatile workforce for ever in search of stability and the GC.

        Correct. Please note that this is not a feature of H-1B, but rather of the lengthy wait for the GC. If GC and H-1B worked as they were originally intended (both could be granted in 90 days or less), it wouldn't be an issue because H-1Bs who get laid off simply would return to their home country.

        H-1Bs are NOT allowed to change employers on the existing approval - BUT they can change employers in one week by filing a fresh petition under Premium Processing. This is as good as it can get, because the beneficiary can start work in 2 weeks, which is the norm.

        It doesn't even require Premium Processing; they can start working as soon as the transfer application is FILED. But please note that the paperwork still is exactly the same as for the first H-1B application (about an inch worth of papers), and just as expensive (around $2000, plus another $2000 in lawyer fees, plus around $500 for family members). The only time Premium Processing (another $1000) is required is if you need to travel out of the USA quickly.

        This "can change jobs when filing rather than when approved" rule is actually due to an inept attempt to fix the problem of H-1B workers depending too much on the employers. Congress didn't realize that the GC actually was the problem.

        The GC problem is not so much just the processing, it is also the annual national limit.  Some countries have so many pending applications that it takes years to get approval.  The United States is a popular destination!

        Today, that's true. When I got mine, the quota was wide open for everybody; it was all red-tape delay. My Labor Certification alone took four years. A year for the petition. Two or three years for adjustment of status.

        INS worked on reducing the backlog, and paradoxically that's what caused the quota numbers to be exceeded now.

        Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

        by sdgeek on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:20:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Looky at Alan, talking about something other... (3+ / 0-)

    ...than the TerryMc campaign. Kudos. Go Alan go!

    39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

    by Larry Bailey on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:53:30 AM PDT

  •  I see it all day long, the program is about (6+ / 0-)

    downward wage pressure. At the firm I work for  laid-off 36 US citizen software engineers in February. They did this after the contracting was complete with Wipro to bring in 36 India software engineers on H1B visas. These visas are sponsored by Wipro's US entity. The project went through a delay as a learning curve was needed for the new people to get up to speed. But that was OK because they were saving about $5K a month per software engineer. The winners here are my firm and Wipro. Wipro has a 100% mark-up on the wages they pay the worker.  BTW, another group of 36 was done last November and 18 more are planned for April. This is one small division of a huge company. The number of people brought on through this program to displace current US employees is in the hundreds last year. All of them "consultants" paid by the US entity of an Indian firm or a US firm with a strong India presence (much less common).

    These skills are plentiful in the United States. The H1B visas program is not used by business to bring in talent that is not available in the US. It is used to lower wages in target skill sets. All the rest is smoke and mirrors.

    No H1B visa should be issued until the US Based company proves that they went through the entire hiring search for a US based worker and could not find one, at any cost, before a Visa is considered. The cost of the investigation should be paid as a fee by the applicant company. No "consulting" company that keeps people in a stable should be allowed to have H1B visa talent that they then rent out. I am speaking of: Accenture, McKinsey, Wipro, USTR, Tata....etc. Until getting a worker from overseas is the most expensive worker in America, we will see abuse of any program to bring them in. It is about saving money, not getting talent. That has to change.
     

    •  What % of the employees was that 36? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsGrin

      What are the wages that the H1B workers are receiving as compared to those paid to the US citizens?

      Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

      by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:07:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the wages the workers recieved is not known, the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsGrin

        rate we paid to the "consulting" firm suppling them is about half the fully burdened cost of the US citizens. The work quality has proven to be less with the contract employees, but the savings overrides that.

        •  What were the citizens being paid? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsGrin

          Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

          by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:39:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am sure this is outsourcing.... and not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsGrin

          staff augmentation.

          What happens is that the Global Company (including IBM) offers a blended rate of $30 to $40 per hour, with 10% to 15% of the workforce on site in the United States. The remaining 85% to 90% of the workforce will eventually be overseas.  The minimum fully burdened cost of a FTE will be about $60 to $ 90 and so outsourcing at $30 to $45 per hour will be a great deal to the employer.  The belief is that eventually the American (and Global) consumer gets products at lower costs, and this is a natural phenomenon. This whole approach exploded after 9/11 when H1B visa numbers dropped from 195,000 to 65,000 and technology companies were forced to go overseas to continue their pace of development and growth, and then they discovered what a great deal it was to get the same workforce at a third of the cost (if one set up their own offices overseas) they incurred under the H1B program!

      •  less than 1% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsGrin
    •  There is a 'search for US candidates' (0+ / 0-)

      process now. Companies go through the motions.

      Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

      by Toon on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:59:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Outsourcing or Abusing? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsGrin

      I do not know the circumstances of your firm. However, traditionally no employer lays off US workers and hires contractors who are foreign workers. What typically happens is that the entire department is outsourced to a contractor, who retains some employees (old wine in new bottle) and replaces the others with contracting company employees.

      The next thing that happens, particularly if the work can be executed from a remote location, is that when knowledge transfer is completed, the new workers go back to their offices which may be in any part of the world, and deliver from there without US costs. IBM and Accenture do this all the time, in India they are larger employers than any of the well known Indian IT and Consulting companies.  

      When outsourcing companies take over, the savings are seldom immediate, and almost never to the magnitude of $60,000 a month. Foreign IT workers on H1B need to be paid between $60,000 and $120,000 depending on several circumstances, and US workers of the same caliber will be about the same annual cost.  The cost savings are realized when after knowledge transfer the foreign workers return to their native country and bill at $35 per hour, or less.

      Since your firm has been doing this for about a year, what is the total headcount of the group, as compared to the headcount before?  Is there an offshore component to these teams?  If it is 100% on site workers, there is no reason for any company to outsource the operations, unless it is not their core competence and they want to focus on the strengths of the company (like how many companies outsource their HR, Accounting, Testing, Network Administration, Software Development etc.)

      If the implementation is as abusive as it appears in your comment, I believe it is in violation of existing rules - foreign workers can not be hired to displace US workers.  Foreign workers can be hired only when US workers are not available for the position. If the goal is to lower wages, it is abuse of the program and truth will prevail one day.

      I agree that consulting companies using foreign workers is a major part of the problem, and abuse.  It would be great if enactment changes the terms of these visa programs.  

      Another part of the problem is Corporate America which makes a big distinction between employees and contractors/consultants in Head Count analysis and reporting on Wall Street.  Because of their desire to keep headcount low and show higher productivity, frequently contractors are employed, sometimes for years on end.

      Change is needed, and let us hope that we see some effective changes in the law.

      Until then, if you care for our country, buy and use American when ever you can. I do.

  •  $5000 fee is a joke. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi9, MsGrin, Toon

    The fee should be $50,000 (or more) per year per H1B visa. That is the ONLY way to ensure that visas are being used to fill positions that cannot be filled by  US workers, rather than as a means to drive down wages.

    You want to know why American students don't want to go into the sciences? Because it leads to unemployment. Why work so hard to learn the skills just to be out of work most of the time? I know it is true in the Computer Sciences (in which I have an advanced degree, by the way) and it is also the case in the "hard" sciences, according to my cousin, a PhD in chemistry.

    Until the H1B system is vastly changed, a young person is wise to avoid choosing science as a career.

    Now that you've gone Galt, I get your stuff.

    by pucklady on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:23:27 AM PDT

    •  the $5K is the wage saving per month, per worker (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, MsGrin, Toon

      The fee to the company should be huge. Getting a guest worker needs to be the most expensive option, period. Do it with fees and penalties...whatever.

    •  Expectations need to be realistic (0+ / 0-)

      The H1B Program is not bad, the abuse is what needs to be stopped.  There really is not so much wage disparity.  If one takes the total cost and uncertainty of the relationship, costs quite often tend to be higher.  Trust me, I have over 15 years experience with the program in the United States, and also in other countries where it is never a cost issue but always a skills issue.

      My two children in high school decided they will drop science and pursue education in the liberal arts. Our daughter graduates this May, with Bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education, to teach Math in a middle school.  Our son, stayed with his passion for Government and Political Science.  I know other students brilliant in science (straight A's, high SAT scores) who are moving out of Science. Kids these days are not so much driven by employment potential, as their own passion.

      Sadly, this is a global phenomena.  When I went to college, our class size was about 40 students.  Today, the same Botany and Zoology classes struggle to get 10 students!  This is a global decline in interest in Science and Math, and the best continue to aspire to come to the United States.  

      The strategy should be to attract students to our Universities, only for Science and Math programs, with incentives for them to graduate and work in the United States.  We need to identify areas where there is a worker shortage and do something about it. We are a nation of immigrants, and therefore have the most immigrant friendly policies. We just need to be more selective now, to keep the competitive edge.

      •  How selective? Bar the uneducated perhaps? (0+ / 0-)

        Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

        by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:46:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see it from the inside of a Fortune 50 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsGrin

        Every single instance of a H1B at my firm is from a consulting firm based in India giving a cost cutting proposal to R&D. They propose to take over a project by putting their people in our US building and taking over a project at half the cost of the present workforce. We lay-off the present workforce and bring them in a couple weeks later. The only permanent employee left is the manager.

    •  Are you willing to apply that 50K to all visas? (0+ / 0-)

      Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

      by JayGR on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:07:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alan, Alan, Alan, etc. the following says (0+ / 0-)

    everything about your diary...

    Globalization and outsourcing are inevitable - market forces constantly drive to reduce costs and move to lowest cost economies.  That is the reason why so many American products are sold worldwide - our quality and prices are the best.

    Inevitable? LMAO. Neither is inevitable.

    Your whole diary reflects confusion, bias, conflicts, etc.

    Hi! My name is Chip Reid and I'm a perfect asshole.

    by 0hio on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:21:38 AM PDT

    •  It is all about quality and necessity.... (0+ / 0-)

      I do not influence the world, I only express my opinion.  Bias? of course I am biased.  That is why I buy American when ever I can.

      There are many angles to globalization, and so there will always be confusion and conflicts that people try to resolve.

      Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. When there's love and inspiration I don't think you can go wrong.>> Ella Fitzgerald

      by alankrishnan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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