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Durbin’s S.887, preventing companies from manipulating immigration laws to displace the US workforce, will, in effect, become America’s Jobs bill.  A new public spotlight, illuminated in the upcoming discussions on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), will reveal how corporate visa programs have been sucking IT jobs away from American shores and excluding US citizens and green card holders from many of the remaining positions.

While the media portrays CIR as an amnesty bill, including Durbin’s provisions will make CIR the most significant legislation putting Americans back to work by reforming H-1b & L-1 visa programs.

Don’t ask for whom this bill tolls; it tolls for us.

An article in CIO magazine reveals why, from now on, I are renaming S.887, America's Jobs Bill:

H-1B Reform Bill Could Complicate Offshore Outsourcing
A provision of the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009, intended to prevent companies from replacing American workers with H-1B visa holders, will make it more difficult for outsourcing vendors to place H-1B professionals at customer sites if the legislation is passed.

The bill contains an important provision, designed to prevent the displacement of American workers, that could put a serious wrinkle in the typical offshore outsourcing arrangement.

It's no surprise that IT service providers and the trade groups that represent them in Washington are working hard to have this particular provision eliminated from the legislation, as it would hamper their ability to meet their clients' needs. Outsourcing customers have come to demand that their offshore IT service providers will place some percentage of their staff at the customer's site, either to help during the early transition period or to remain for a longer time to manage workflow between the U.S. customer and the offshore delivery center. One way offshore providers meet that demand is by placing their own employees in the U.S. on H-1B visas.

Furthermore, the bill's effort to prevent American workers from being replaced by H-1B visa holders complicates American companies' outsourcing decisions, says Elizabeth Espin Stern, partner and head of the global migration practice at law firm Baker & McKenzie. Since many outsourcing deals are accompanied by layoffs at home—whether or not downsizing was part of the original outsourcing plan—outsourcing customers could be wary of providing proof to the Labor Department that they have not and will not lay off U.S. workers.

Here, I'm quoted in the article, so forgive me for tooting my own horn:

Many rank-and-file IT professionals laud the legislation. "The Durbin bill will put a stop to the outsourcing of American jobs and the discrimination against American IT professionals," says Donna Conroy, a former IT professional and director of Bright Future Jobs, a grassroots lobbying group for American IT workers. "This bill was written for us."

Each provision is important to Conroy and her group's constituents—an end to "H-1B only" job ads and caps on the total percentage of H-1B professionals on staff in a company. She adds, "But the stealth provision—preventing body shops from farming out their visa workers—will, in effect, end the despicable practice of forcing us to train our foreign replacements."

Bright Future Jobs, representing American IT professionals, is the only organization that can get this type of coverage.  But we need more coverage that exposed the lie that tech companies will outsource more jobs if the Durbin bill passes.

Donate now and help us keep America working.

Originally posted to Donna Conroy on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 09:06 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Be back in 5 minutes! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional
  •  Thanks! (12+ / 0-)

    I'm in IT and the outsourcing of jobs is decimating the middle class.  Keep up the fight!

  •  Hope this will cover IT tech writers (7+ / 0-)

    I'm getting really tired of seeing all the IT tech writer job postings for India.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success."

    by QuestionAuthority on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 09:38:57 AM PDT

  •  Good Work! (9+ / 0-)

    I'm an American manufacturer fighting the globalists to keep US production jobs.  I should get an award but instead am being beaten to a pulp while my government stands by watching.  What hope is there?

    I propose a new focus for long term economic recovery:

    The Good Work Initiative.

    Where do I volunteer to make something happen?

    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

    by xaxado on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 09:42:03 AM PDT

  •  I recommended and tipped (6+ / 0-)

    and I hope that you're project is working with the IEEE. American Electrical Engineers are hurting from these practices too.It is just amazing to me that anyone is still defending globalization. It has so clearly and utterly failed that they must be deep in denial.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

    •  Tell IEEE that they can't dilute EEO. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, IT Professional

      they are weak on forecing corps to seek local talent.

    •  Failed? (6+ / 0-)

      Depends on perspective.  It's made a small number of people enormously wealthy.  IN that regard, it's a complete, unbridled success.  

      But, to the rest of us, yes, it's a failure.  

      But, what goes around comes around.   As each domino in the socio-economic chain falls to globalization, all that means is that the ones left standing are one spot closer to being the next to fall.

      It's similar to healthcare.  There are many people who just don't give a damn because they are covered, so everyone else can go to hell.  But, once they find out for themselves that they are not insulated from the system -- or protected by it -- and are fucked over by it themselves, then they'll demand change.  Likewise, once the top 10% of wage earners begin to see their livelihoods evaporate due to globalization just like all the people "below" them saw happen, then, maybe we'll see change.  Or maybe it'll only catch on when the top 5% begin suffering.   Of course, by then, it may be too late:  the top 1-2% will already own everything of value and will have consolidated all the wealth and power for themselves, and radical revolution will be the only "cure."  

  •  Why does protection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    of our jobs have to be included in the immigration bill?

    Why can't we have a separate bill for protecting our jobs?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

  •  Hello Lou Dobbs (0+ / 0-)

    Let me give you some facts. There are more than 4 million workers in IT in the US. The congress only allows 65,000 H1B visas each year. Last year, there were more than 120,000 applications within 18 hours. So  the USCIS used a lottery to pick 65,000.

    This year, after 4 months, there have only been about 45,000 applications. So, first of all, the number of applicants has sharply declined. Second, we are  talking about 2% of the work force here.

    So my question to you Lou Dobbs fans is this: Why are you obsessing about H1Bs? What is your real motivation?

    •  Why are you against EEO? (5+ / 0-)

      American companies bypass EEO recruting and hiring guidelines using corp visa programs. It's legal to discriminate against Americans & green card holders and displace Americans with visa staff.

      If you support this; that's where you are at. But Durbin's Jobs bill will put an end to the outsourcing of American jobs.

      •  I will bet you dollars to donuts right now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freespeech, Nightprowlkitty

        that when CIR finally comes up, you and the rest of your crowd will be ALL OVER Dobbs, Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh, right next to the wingnuts and minutemen, trashing the hell out of the bill. Just like last time.

        And given what we've seen so far on the newest CIR proposals, from every indictaion there will be MANY more h1b's, more skilled worker greencards, automatic greencards for foriegn STEM students graduating from US universities, a shift of H1b to a full-blow immigration visa with the end of the declaration of non-intent to immigrate, and many other provissions intended to make immigration of high skilled and highly educated immigrants MUCH easier.

        From Schumer's 7 point plan that has a significant emphasis on actively recruiting more highly skilled workers while discouraging low-skilled, low-wage The Council on Foriegn Relations recent recomendations on immigration reform (that appear to be the blueprint for Obama's reform) that calls on a major shift in employement immigration to exclusively favor what it calls "the best and the brightest", it looks like this round of CIR will be heavily influenced by an intentional shift away from family based, low-skill, hemispheric immigration, to a more skill-based global model.

        or to put it more bluntly ....they've given in to the xenophobes and racists who have dominated the opposition to real reform, and will now attempt to close the southern border by making it nearly immpossible for low-skilled workers from this hemisphere to enter leagally...The flip-side being that more high skilled immigrants from places like India and China will be actively recruited.

        So be careful what you wish just might get it

        When y'all teamed up with FAIR and the other restrictionist groups to fight CIR last time ...or joined forces with them again this time in astroturf groups "supporting US workers".... bet ya didn't think they'd sell you down the river to accomplish their goal of stemming the "brown invation" from the south...we'll they have.... Now Obama, Schumer, and Emanuel, have given in ...they'll stop "the brown menace" from coming in, and set up a system they claim "works to make America more competative amd prosperous" .

        .. guess all those op-eds and appearences on Lou's show last time around kinda backfired on you anti-H1B types after all ... now they've just sidestepped you.

        You picked the wrong dog in this fight. Y'all could have worked WITH reformers to make the system work for everyone...but you chose instead to side with Lou Dobbs and the the chickens have come home to roost.


        •  Duke, this is silly talk. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IT Professional

          You are either on the side of EEO and supporting US citizens & green card holders to compete for job openings in their own country; or you aren't.  You, of course, also have the option to remain neutral.

          Here's Durbin's exact words,"Our bill will put a stop to the outsourcing of American jobs and discrimination against American workers."

          •  yeah, it's just silly talk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            do you actually believe that Durbins bill will EVER pass as a stand alone, or be part of a Schumer CIR bill? Have you not been listening to Schumer? Have you not read the think tank reports that are defining this current round? Have you not heard the apeasement from Obama and Emanuel to both the wingnuts and corporatists?

            Too many voices that should have been on the reform side, speaking for all workers in the last rounds of negociations, sided with the restrictionists and xenophobes. Other voices, like those of the corporatists, gained too much power in the reform movement due to that void.

            Now the ground has shifted. All the talk now is about how to use immigration as a way to make the US economically competitive...about manipulating the workforce to "make it suitable for the 21st century"

            This round will not be like the past ... especially on the skilled-worker front. Schumer. Obama, Emanuel, the Chamber, and the corporations all want increased skilled workers. And the xenophobes will yeild on that ... (saying that "at least the skilled workers speak English and add to the tax base") where does that leave you. Out in the cold.

            You have neither the numbers nor political clout of the growing Latino/Immigrant coalition who will rightly fight to keep the door open for the compromises will be made.

            and the Durbin proposal won't be one of them....sadly that's just a fact of life.

            The stage for all this was set when the xenophobes were able to set the initial terms of the debate back in 2005. And all those who sided with Dobbs and FAIR, and all the rest back then, have no one to blame but themselves for the shifting sands on which they now stand.  

            I'm not saying that this is the way it SHOUL BE, but rather, just the way it IS

            •  Duke, H-2b is becoming like H-1b (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IT Professional

              H-2b, for blue-collar jobs, has had EEO provisions stripped from it.  The companies only have to "attest", check a box, that they sought local talent.

              the corps wanted it to be as close to the H-1b as possible so they could bypass local talent.

        •  Personally I Welcome This (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IT Professional

          more skilled worker greencards, automatic greencards for foriegn STEM students graduating from US universities

          I have no problem competing with someone on an equal footing.

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 12:35:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Competition, by definition means equal footing. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IT Professional

            Posting H-1b Only ads is NOT competition. It's exclusion.  
            When companies legally ignore local talent,and then the CEO has the gall to call American grads "unemployable", that's despicable.  

            This corporate culture will change soon.

            •  You Misunderstand (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IT Professional

              Posting H-1b Only ads is NOT competition

              I know what's been going on with the H1B program. I am a software engineer and experienced the effects of the H1B program and offshoring up close and personal in 2001 and I have been researching the program as well as illegal immigration and immigration in general since that time  -- fact is I was living in the back of my truck when in 2001 when I both drove to Dianne Feinstein's office in Santa Monica and sent multiple letters to Lou Dobbs about th H1B/L1 visa program.

              Guess who responded with something more than a boilerplate letter -- here's a hint -- it wasn't Dianne Feinstein.

              My point was, and is, if the person that I am competing with is not a guest-worker (read indentured servant) I am more than happy to compete with them for employment.

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 01:07:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, you have an interesting story. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IT Professional

                Feinstein is on the committee and can side with Durbin to get this legislation on the floor.

                Are you a member of BFJ?  sign up and we can talk if you want to contact her again.


                •  I Don't Trust Dianne Feinstein (0+ / 0-)

                  As far as I could throw her. Fact is, I don't trust the entire Senate Judiciary Committee.

                  Dianne Feinstein has never seen a guest-worker program she didn't love.

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 01:28:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Don't trust. Exercise your rights as a citizen. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    IT Professional

                    the gov is not your overling.  Feinstein is your servant. NOT going to her is good for the opposition.

                    Durbin is on the Senate Judiciary committee.  the bill must be voted by the committee to go to the floor.  

                    But if you have a way to get the bill out of this committee and on to the floor WITHOUT getting votes from this committee, I'll listen.

                    Corporate visa programs are about recruiting and hiring - not immigration.

                    by Donna Conroy on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 01:52:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I heard that it's 65,000 NEW visas each year. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EthrDemon, kurt, Norbrook, IT Professional

      That doesn't count those already here and working.

      Why is it that every time anyone brings up how very screwed over the American worker has been there is someone who comes over to scream about either "Protectionism!" or "Nationalism!," with a very strong indication they think we are racists, when all we care about is making a decent wage at jobs we trained for and worked in for years before they were sent off-shore.

      And we can't follow those jobs overseas. Capital is mobile, but labor is not, and other countries don't take kindly to foreigners coming in and taking jobs from their citizens. Here, anything goes! Well, for the owners, but not for labor.

      I trained my replacements in India too, and I don't even work in IT.

      I guess you must work in a "safe" field that will never be affected by globalization. The rest of us aren't so lucky.

      But you'll see one day. You may still not care, but you will finally see.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 10:34:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good Post - this is about competing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, Norbrook, IT Professional

        Don't let ANYONE say this is protection; we want to compete for job openings in our own country.

        All foreign citizens,even H-1bs, believe strongly that every citizen of every country should have the right to compete for job openings in their own country.

        That's what EEO is all about.  Forcing companies to consider local talent, regardless of they skin color, gender or nationality.

        Companies must be barred from only considering citizens from abroad for US job openings.

    •  Corporations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norbrook, IT Professional

      are evil step sisters to Lou Dobbs, not BFJ. It's about corporate recruiting policies not about immigration. Don't get pulled into your fears, that's what big business is banking on. Literally.

      What was demonstrated a few months ago on the Bright Future Jobs website was that thousands of American jobs were not even being offered to Americans, set asides. If you surfed to the job sites from say San Francisco, the jobs didn't appear. If you surfed from Mombai or anonymously voila, the job offers were listed.

      Through the hard work of volunteers, it was discovered that you and I couldn't even "see" those jobs on the internet if your computer appeared to reside in the US.

      "Rage, rage against the lying of the right."

      by lascaux on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 10:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also regarding those 45,000 outsourced jobs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional

      Cash for Clunkers reportedly saved 42,000 jobs.

      Even if it is one job, if it were yours or someone you know or care about wouldn't that matter? Wouldn't that be enough? One salary, ten or 100 can make enormous difference to the individual or that family. And the impact to the community becomes exponential quickly. THAT calculation is reflected in the mortgage crisis.

      45,000 jobs is a lot right now.

      "Rage, rage against the lying of the right."

      by lascaux on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 12:00:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  H-1B Visa Program's Harms Are Cumulative (5+ / 0-)

    Work visa program apologists frequently cite the lowest possible values for annual visa admissions under the program, omitting the additional 20,000 visa slots per year that are reserved for those with master's or Ph.D. degrees - and omitting the substantial number of admissions for employers such as colleges and universities that are not subject to the annual cap, which add at least another 20,000 annually.

    The number of visa admissions (an immigrant actually crossing the border into the U.S.) for the period from FY1975 to FY2005 is 4,443,162 for the H-1B Visa program - and its predecessor, the H-1 Visa. See "The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit"

    Kamal Nath, then India's Commerce Minister correctly identified the H-1B Visa as the "outsourcing visa" in a 15 April 2007 New York Times article

    Nobel economist, Dr. Milton Friedman correctly characterized the H-1B Visa program as a "government subsidy" in a 2002 article "H-1B Is Just Another Gov't. Subsidy"

    Political corruption played a large part in the growth of the H1-B Visa program, aided by "the best and the brightest" Microsoft lobbyist, Jack A. Abramoff. See a legal filing in the case USA v Abramoff here: A summary version is at "The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit."

    After you are done reading, I think you will agree that this corrupt program should be terminated ASAP.

  •  I'd really like to know what CIR stands for. (0+ / 0-)
  •  offshoring >< outsourcing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    Offshoring means that jobs that were once in America are now outside of America.

    Outsourcing means that jobs that were once done by salaried fulltime employees with benefits are now done by part-time ccontractors or temps without (or with minimal) benefits.

    Offshoring is at least partially inevitable in a global market.  Outsourcing is about cheap labor.  These two things can happen at the same time but they don't have to.  The larger problem is not offshoring, it's outsourcing.

    Why are they shooting abortion doctors, when they could be shooting bankers?

    by Subversive on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 11:10:37 AM PDT

  •  Other good news - Dept of Labor sues ATT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Donna Conroy, IT Professional

    "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

    by Unbozo on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 11:32:22 AM PDT

    •  YES! great news. the 2 issues are related (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unbozo, IT Professional

      Companies will displace talented staff with younger visa staff.  Again, this is legal.  Durbin's American Jobs bill will stop this.  BTw, The Dept of Justice hates the "H-1b Only" want ads.

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