End H-1B Visa Program’s Abuse

Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2015

Information technology workers at Southern California Edison have found themselves in the unhappy position of training their own replacements, thanks to a plan by the utility to outsource their jobs to two India-based staffing companies.

Adding insult to injury, some of the new workers are in the United States under what are known as H-1B visas–a category of visa that was designed to help American businesses fill specialized positions, not to displace American workers. {snip}

H-1B visas were introduced in 1990, and over the years the annual cap on them has ranged up to 195,000; it now stands at 65,000 (plus 20,000 for people with master’s degrees). President Obama, some members of Congress and the tech industry want the cap raised. {snip}

But that’s not how the system has been working. Reports from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the New England Public Policy Center for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the Economic Policy Institute have spotlighted fraud and abuse problems with the H1-B program. A 2011 General Accounting Office report concluded that the departments of Labor and Homeland Security asserted insufficient oversight of the visa workers’ qualifications and wages, in part because of problems with the immigration laws themselves, including a lack of enforcement provisions. {snip}

Critics of the program contend that many companies use the visas to displace American workers and drive down salaries, both of which are expressly prohibited by law. Six of the top 10 companies receiving H-1B visas for workers in 2013 are based in India. The top two are Unisys and Tata Consultancy Services, the firms Southern California Edison hired to outsource the work of their 500 IT employees, 400 of whom are being laid off and 100 of whom are leaving voluntarily. About 70% of the work will shift overseas; about 20% of the jobs that remain in the U.S. are held by foreigners with H-1B visas, Edison said.

In concept, the H-1B program is a good idea. It provides a short-term mechanism for companies to bring in workers from overseas when there’s a shortage of job candidates with specific expertise. In practice, though, the system is a broken. Congress needs to fix it.

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  • WR_the_realist

    Of course the same Los Angeles Times thinks is fine for Mexicans and Guatemalans to immigrate illegally.

    • evilsandmich

      Well, it wasn’t people they knew who were losing their jobs and having their wages diluted, this is completely different. Better late than never to the party though I suppose.

      • Charles Martel

        I guess they never heard of affirmative action.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          Oh, they heard of it, and were benefitting from it, but it’s come full circle. Just as Mexicans laughed when Americans lost their jobs after NAFTA, the Chinese got the last laugh when they pulled the rug out from under the Mexicans. There’s always a cheaper slave state.

    • Anna Tree

      They complain only because it is now THEIR job (or their wives etc i.e. the upper class) that is under fire.
      They didn’t care when it was the poorer whites’ jobs that were targeted.

      • WR_the_realist

        Those liberals don’t even care about poor blacks who lost their jobs. In the mind of the left:

        Illegal immigrants > blacks > whites.

  • The problem is that the fix is worse than the problem. The “fix” is based on the propaganda falsehood of “bodyshops bad mainstream firms good.” The “solution” is to disallow H-1Bs for bodyshops but vastly increase them for mainstream firms.

    • evilsandmich

      Like Microsoft, Intel, Apple? Seattle and San Jose would look like Bangladore if those jerks had their way.

      • Hammerheart

        It’d also run like Bangladore too.

    • Michael Emmons

      the bodyshops use L-1 ‘intra-company’ transfer visas mostly.

      I know because when we were being replaced I located the TATA shared folder on the company server. Among the “knowledge Transfer” documents was visa information about all the replacements. Most were L-1 visa holders.

      L-1 visas do NOT have a salary requirement NOR do they have a quantity limit.

      We learned our replacements were getting paid $3K/month, but $2k was for expenses and $1K was salary. How can compete in their own country against a $12/year salary? My medical insurance alone was $950/month.

      Unfortunately, the US congress does not care. I gave those documents (including the infamous “Knowledge Transfer” documents to our US Rep John Mica(R-FL) and Senators(2 dems at the time). None of them cared at all. In fact, 6 weeks after we contacted Mica’s office I saw new campaign contributions to Mica from the company replacing their American tech workers. to hell with the US congress.

  • IBWHITE

    Great! Spread the pain. Let everyone get a heaping helping of die-vers-atay!

    • Charles Martel

      Die verse city

  • Chip Carver

    A relative of someone at the Times must have been displaced, because that rag has been nothing but rah-rah central for this type of displacement in IT for 20 years.

    • Anglokraut

      Ha, that is exactly what I am thinking: “someone important was finally affected by the rules made for the plebs.”

    • JohnEngelman

      Outsourcing may seem like a good idea until it happens to you. Then those arguments you used to tell others do not seem so convincing any more.

  • JohnEngelman

    No matter how you figure it, H-1B visas harm the careers of IT workers who are American citizens.

    They also harm the economies of the countries the H-1B workers come from. They should stay home and work for local companies.

    • Charles Martel

      Also they are not loyal to nation or company.

      • JohnEngelman

        Neither are the people who own and run American corporations.

  • Larry Klein

    The way to “fix” the h1b program is to end it.

  • IstvanIN

    We need no immigrants of any kind. Period. If a company in California needs employees let them recruit from Georgia and Maine. There is NO such thing as not a single American who can not fill a specific job.

    • evilsandmich

      As Derb said (paraphrasing): “Jobs in America are done by Americans; Jobs not done by Americans, are not done in America:

    • DonReynolds

      That is particularly true of IT workers in the age of the internet. There is no practical reason why the IT clods must all live in the same warehouse in the northwest US. They can do that work anywhere in the world…..remotely. No H1-B needed to get use of the talent.

    • IBWHITE

      I would make an exception for any White South African.

  • LHathaway

    Some of these IT workers do get paid outrageously exorbitant salaries. Perhaps the people/government should push for a salary cap/maximum wage. Then we would need no foreign workers at all.

    • Anglokraut

      And some of those IT workers have to fend off cyber-attacks on their network, or the power grid goes down. That’s what my boyfriend gets to do as a network engineer: build the network and the tiger traps to catch the hackers. He earns every dollar he makes–and should he choose to spend some of that on me, well, I’m okay with that, too.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        Yes, the high end ones earn every penny.

    • evilsandmich

      Yeah because Larry Ellison’s yacht collection isn’t quite big enough. Maybe if IT workers were paid more the odious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wouldn’t have quite so much coin to throw around.

    • Tully

      Lets start with people like you. I’m sure you’re overpaid like most Americans and need a 50% nice salary cut.

    • Charles Martel

      The people paid the outrageous salaries are those that fix the mistakes of indiaware.

    • DonReynolds

      I saw it starting in 1973. We already had a flood of foreign IT workers in those days, attracted by the prospect of being a over-paid “computer programmer” for a mainframe. The fall of the Shah and the introduction of microcomputers slammed the industry pretty hard. The only people making money (outside of the giants) anymore are the communications/networking specialists and the colleges that teach the stuff. I am glad I found other things to do decades ago. We all knew that programming was a dead end job and soon software would kill off what was left.

  • stedman holder

    Who knew?

  • BloodofAlbion75

    There is only one way to “fix” the many problems created by the existence of the H-1B visa program: Abolish the entire program altogether!

    American jobs for American workers!

  • Serious_Texan

    WOW! The LA Times has probably lost quite a few (formerly-employed white) subscribers; the editors have discovered that H-1B visa holders from India don’t sign up for home delivery.

  • badbox27

    In a sane country, this program never would have existed in the first place.

    • evilsandmich

      I dunno, seems like every nation has a visa program that can be gamed; but it’s only in the U.S. where we send a manual on how to cheat to the people playing the game.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        Yes, gaming the American system
        any way possible is “understood”.

  • evilsandmich

    We need “H1-J” visas to import more journalists and then we can really put an end to this madness.

  • DonReynolds

    The only thing about H1-B that bothers the LA Times is the fact that almost none of them are Mexican nationals……nearly all are from India, Pakistan, or the Middle East. Laughable for the Mex to start getting territorial about the other invaders.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    I became aware recently, in Massachusetts (cultural Marxism ground zero) that Indians (dot, not feather) on H-1B are being used in low level HR jobs.

    Mission creep. Or just plain white genocide.

    • evilsandmich

      The only whites I ever heard of using H1-B were a handful of Irishmen. Between EU wages and/or a decent standard of living it doesn’t seem that many are attracted outside of marginal talents from India (and sometimes parts of Southeast Asia). (And yes, even though H1-B is generally associated with IT I’ve heard of it being used for all manner of office jobs and even sometimes medical jobs).

      • AndrewInterrupted

        I do field service in high technology. The woman I talked to who mentioned the Indian woman in HR, she said a high school kid could have produced a higher performance. It is clear there is no demand for such interlopers. Their sole purpose is white displacement.

  • John Ambrose

    “H-1B visas were introduced in 1990”

    And who was prezzy of the United States back in 1990? Hmm, let me think… Why I know- it was a “conservative” Republican by the name of George HW Bush. And what’s more, how we ever managed to become the world’s technological leader without Hindu scab laborers is something I’ll never know!!

  • SimplyFred

    There are two United States Senators working to end the H 1 B Visa. Jeff Sessions (Alabama) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa). These men need our support.

  • Now why on earth would anyone want me to have a “nice” job in the micrcoelectronics industry again? I sure don’t wan’t one anymore.

  • Sha of Communism

    I often think it’s perhaps because we are not breeding the right type of White people. Too many White parents want every single one of their kids growing up to be a white-collared, middle-class, private school educated elite who works at a bank, clinic, or law office, lives in a waterfront house with two Porsches in the garage.

    Then who’s going to make fast food, housekeep hotel rooms, and write computer programs?

    As the result, businesses respond by hiring people from Third World countries. Some say let’s make laws to stop businesses from hiring non-citizens, but that won’t work. That will only encourage businesses to outsource their entire office or factory to Third World countries.

    If White parents can accept to have more kids and some of them work at blue-collar positions, all of this H1-B nonsense will be a non-issue. Is it cruel if we have to witness a bunch of Whites working under the condition for today’s immigrant Indian and Chinese workers? Yes. But it’s like a family, some give so the entire family does not have to. If Whites become a tiny minority in the future because everyone must have a middle-class job, and the massive majority of non-Whites decides to get rid of all Whites, Zimbabwe-style, then I guess it’s so much crueller to witness.

  • LHathaway

    Still outrageously over-paid. They should allow employees to ‘negotiate down’ in order to avoid losing their jobs. And by employee, I don’t just mean extremely overpaid tech workers. Too full of themselves (they need us to be so we work so hard) perhaps. Too proud. Can’t handle the truth. Instead we lose job after job. Heck, company headquarters have to be moved every decade or so (well-payed employees with similarly situated spouse and children) will often decide not to make the move, saving the company benefit payments. Let’s just deal with the truth and be fair all around.

  • Mark

    Even top domestic grads aren’t getting the “time of day” from US tech firm. There is zero need for H-1B.