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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default Don't shut foreign tech workers out

http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/04/tech...ion=2009030411

(breakingviews.com) -- The recession's damage to Silicon Valley goes beyond falling stock prices and depressed profits.

The downturn has renewed attempts to restrict visas for skilled immigrants. If anything, the U.S. should consider slackening its rules instead.

Granting more visas for high-tech immigrant workers, known as H-1Bs, was a hot topic before the economy went into reverse. Now they're perfect political toast.

The U.S. stimulus bill included an amendment forbidding any institution receiving TARP money from hiring H-1B workers. Senator Chuck Grassley, one of the amendment's authors, sent a letter to Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) telling the company to fire foreign workers before American citizens.

Now Grassley and Senator Dick Durbin want to add further restrictions to the H-1B visa program. Their legislation aims to limit the number of workers that outsource companies, such as India's Infosys (INFY), bring to the U.S. If passed, the provision would make it harder for all companies to hire foreign workers.

The legislation would be particularly toxic for Silicon Valley. H-1B visas may be temporary and forbid holders from working in self-employment, but the benefits to the U.S. are still high.

A 1% rise in the share of immigrant college graduates in the population increases the total number of new patents by 6%, according to a study by Jennifer Hunt of McGill University and Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle of Princeton University.

The benefits are long-lasting too. Many visa holders eventually settle permanently in the U.S., make money and pay lots of taxes.

Indeed, foreign workers found 52% of all technology startups, according to Duke University professor Vivek Wadha. Some of them, or their offspring, have even created giants.

Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) co-founder Sergey Brin is a native of Russia. Andy Grove, a Hungarian-American, was Intel's (INTC, Fortune 500) third employee. And Ebay (EBAY, Fortune 500) was started by French-born Iranian-American Pierre Omidyar.

If the U.S. wants more Silicon Valley powerhouses, loosening the H-1B rules would be a good place to start. True, only 65,000 visas are issued each year. And hard times reduce immigration, so the damage might not be immediately felt.

But placing artificial constraints on the flow of highly educated and skilled workers is short-sighted. When the global economy recovers, the U.S. should want the best minds available to capitalize on it. To top of page
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:28 PM
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This is in a perverse way, excellent news. More oversight of the H-1B Visa Program means less fraud, less applicants and ultimately less retrogression for a Green Card. If the government made a more concerted effort to remove all the fraudsters from the system, the rest of us would be current within 6-months.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:57 PM
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Default I'm all for

Restricting outsourcing companies from bringing in more and more foreign workers.

The reasons are
1. I've seen first hand their predatory instincts. They usually takeover entire divisions in companies using the "revolving door" policy.
2. They hardly sponsor any employee for permanent residency. Having worked briefly for one such company, I've known how candidates with lesser qualifications have been sponsored based on how much ass-kissing has been performed on the approving manager (Yes this makes it personal)
3. Think of yourself when you eventually get the Green card. You will really be no different than the natives in the eyes of the HR of these companies. They will not hire you, simply because they need to pay you more.

There does seem to be some merit in what in the anti-H1Bs say (although they paint everybody with a broad brush). The core selling point (a pinch of socialism here) of these companies is cost and very little of anything else.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfire76 View Post
Restricting outsourcing companies from bringing in more and more foreign workers.

The reasons are
1. I've seen first hand their predatory instincts. They usually takeover entire divisions in companies using the "revolving door" policy.
2. They hardly sponsor any employee for permanent residency. Having worked briefly for one such company, I've known how candidates with lesser qualifications have been sponsored based on how much ass-kissing has been performed on the approving manager (Yes this makes it personal)
3. Think of yourself when you eventually get the Green card. You will really be no different than the natives in the eyes of the HR of these companies. They will not hire you, simply because they need to pay you more.

There does seem to be some merit in what in the anti-H1Bs say (although they paint everybody with a broad brush). The core selling point (a pinch of socialism here) of these companies is cost and very little of anything else.

:-) I agree with you. One such company is GCE in Reston,Va
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 07:20 PM
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Default Enforce Law, Do more oversight

But don't let protectionists serve their agenda.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfire76 View Post
Restricting outsourcing companies from bringing in more and more foreign workers.

The reasons are
1. I've seen first hand their predatory instincts. They usually takeover entire divisions in companies using the "revolving door" policy.
2. They hardly sponsor any employee for permanent residency. Having worked briefly for one such company, I've known how candidates with lesser qualifications have been sponsored based on how much ass-kissing has been performed on the approving manager (Yes this makes it personal)
3. Think of yourself when you eventually get the Green card. You will really be no different than the natives in the eyes of the HR of these companies. They will not hire you, simply because they need to pay you more.

There does seem to be some merit in what in the anti-H1Bs say (although they paint everybody with a broad brush). The core selling point (a pinch of socialism here) of these companies is cost and very little of anything else.
Why would tech companies hire H1Bs and outsource projects if they find science/eng graduates in US? If these politicians really care about people, they should make provisions to create more of these graduates. Probably offer free education/scholarship programs etc., There is no point asking companies to hire US citizens who doesn't fit into the profile afterall the companies are in the business to make money and not show charity.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fide_champ View Post
Why would tech companies hire H1Bs and outsource projects if they find science/eng graduates in US? If these politicians really care about people, they should make provisions to create more of these graduates. Probably offer free education/scholarship programs etc., There is no point asking companies to hire US citizens who doesn't fit into the profile afterall the companies are in the business to make money and not show charity.
Is a double edged sword actually. Yes, on one side you don't have too many "fresh" graduates from the US universities in Computer Sciences or Engineering. That is because most American kids have seen their seniors become managers on a "fast track" program and want to BS their way to money. It works well for management, but not for roles where you need to deliver tangible results.

On the other hand to state that there is no science and engg. talent in the first generation immigrant is ridiculous. These guys came to the US based on their skillset. But that is what these companies are doing, getting in fresh graduates from a foreign country, whom they can pay the H1B minimum with little to no benefits.

Reduce the supply and you will find that the companies are automatically able to "discover" talent locally.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 09:40 PM
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Default

I agree to this...Have seen it with so many of my friends at different Desi Companies...You work for 16 hrs a day and paid peanuts...and they keep switching you from L1 to H1 just to meet the legality of your stay and never process GC... You end up just being a headcount in the 50K or so large workforce....

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfire76 View Post
Restricting outsourcing companies from bringing in more and more foreign workers.

The reasons are
1. I've seen first hand their predatory instincts. They usually takeover entire divisions in companies using the "revolving door" policy.
2. They hardly sponsor any employee for permanent residency. Having worked briefly for one such company, I've known how candidates with lesser qualifications have been sponsored based on how much ass-kissing has been performed on the approving manager (Yes this makes it personal)
3. Think of yourself when you eventually get the Green card. You will really be no different than the natives in the eyes of the HR of these companies. They will not hire you, simply because they need to pay you more.

There does seem to be some merit in what in the anti-H1Bs say (although they paint everybody with a broad brush). The core selling point (a pinch of socialism here) of these companies is cost and very little of anything else.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 12:43 AM
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Importing more foreign workers is going to be hard to sell. Instead, here is probably the only plan Mr Obama could pursue to jump up start the economy:

1) For every child born from American citizens or greencard holders, give significant tax break to couple ($8,000 year/child). That will have the benefit of increasing birth rate among the already US aging population and motivating American women to stay at home raising children properly.

2) When women leave the workforce motivated by step 1 above, plenty of jobs will remain. Open the gates of immigration to the highly qualified;bring our friendly Indian and other foreigners to work and deliver the freshness that we need in the US.

The direct benefit from those two simple steps above:

- Strong increase in demand for house, cars and several services.
- Increase in birth rate needed in developed countries.
- Increase in tax revenues needed to support seniors.
- Decrease in delinquent children in America;less shootings and psycopathic individuals on streets.

Last edited by Tito_ortiz; 03-05-2009 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:55 AM
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Post my 2 cents

Hi Angel fire and whiteStallion,

you guys are mentioning that H1B is used to attract low cost labor. Heres my story, I came to US on 2001(BE in Power electronics) through a Desi employer. 3 years i worked as a slave for lower salary. Then i moved to another small business firm. They increased my salary by 20% without asking within 6 months. They were looking for a power supply design engineer for 8 years and did not find any. After working for 3 years i moved to my present firm with a good raise. This firm was looking for a engineer for last 3 years but did not find any.
If you have a US citizen, power electroncis engg, good grasping, hardworking and sincere, welcome to my present firm. They are desperate in hiring even in this recession time. My former firm is also looking for a good engineer.
Please accept the fact that immigrants comming to start a career in this country and don't have many friends and relatives spend more time in learning and are hard working whereas the local guys have tons of things to take care and they have an extra ordinary ability to talk without sense.
If i ever start a business in US i would employ immigrants rather than citizen because they work for what they are paid for.

Thanks
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 04:45 AM
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Default I can

Quote:
Originally Posted by jthomas View Post
Hi Angel fire and whiteStallion,

you guys are mentioning that H1B is used to attract low cost labor. Heres my story, I came to US on 2001(BE in Power electronics) through a Desi employer. 3 years i worked as a slave for lower salary. Then i moved to another small business firm. They increased my salary by 20% without asking within 6 months. They were looking for a power supply design engineer for 8 years and did not find any. After working for 3 years i moved to my present firm with a good raise. This firm was looking for a engineer for last 3 years but did not find any.
If you have a US citizen, power electroncis engg, good grasping, hardworking and sincere, welcome to my present firm. They are desperate in hiring even in this recession time. My former firm is also looking for a good engineer.
Please accept the fact that immigrants comming to start a career in this country and don't have many friends and relatives spend more time in learning and are hard working whereas the local guys have tons of things to take care and they have an extra ordinary ability to talk without sense.
If i ever start a business in US i would employ immigrants rather than citizen because they work for what they are paid for.

Thanks
Give you three grads I personally know one from CMU, 2 from U Pitt who have worked for the last 8 years in Westinghouse and NASA doing something similar. Given their grades and learnability / IQ I would think they will pick up anything related to Electrical or Electronics engineering. But the catch is that they were being paid more than 120k in their jobs and due to conditions beyond their control, the company budget was slashed and they were let go. Will they get paid the same salary...don't know. They sure have been looking for one. It all depends on the person, so let us not paint everybody with a broad brush, just like the antis do.

The thing by the way we are discussing here is Indian outsourcers like Wipro, Infosys etc.
They don't really hire very specialized people, heck half of their recruits don't even have a CS background. Their selling point I will still maintain is price.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 10:23 AM
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Whether or not you think this has benefits for existing H1Bs, the fact remains that this kind of legislation reflects a growing trend of hatred and racism directed at immigrants, and that is never good news.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfire76 View Post
Is a double edged sword actually. Yes, on one side you don't have too many "fresh" graduates from the US universities in Computer Sciences or Engineering. That is because most American kids have seen their seniors become managers on a "fast track" program and want to BS their way to money. It works well for management, but not for roles where you need to deliver tangible results.

On the other hand to state that there is no science and engg. talent in the first generation immigrant is ridiculous. These guys came to the US based on their skillset. But that is what these companies are doing, getting in fresh graduates from a foreign country, whom they can pay the H1B minimum with little to no benefits.

Reduce the supply and you will find that the companies are automatically able to "discover" talent locally.
Hiring H1B and outsourcing is not cheaper anymore. Most companies view india/china as their strategic location. There are many companies who do business in Asia since it's one of the fastest growing region in the world. For example telecom industry, look at the number cell phones users in india these days and there is still lot of potential for further growth. iPhones are immensely popular in india. Whereas in US/Europe, it's pretty stagnant these days. It's just not the cost alone which drives the business. There are many other factors which are being overlooked.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:32 PM
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Folks,


Check this out, a proposal from Reid Hoffman regarding H1Bs
  • Remove the cap on H-1B visas and impose a 10 percent payroll tax beyond the benchmark salary for each visa.
This idea sounds good to me, but some of the comments on removing backalogs on the existing immigration applications are met with crude, rude response, in silicon valley!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
iPhones are immensely popular in india.
The number of iPhones sold in India were equal to the iphones just sold in SF area.

India/China is still a place for mass market potential. Innovation, product development, infrastructure development and manufacturing are the foundation on which a nation can be build, not focussing on services and cheap labour.
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