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The disconnect has never been more pronounced between the supply and demand of H-1B visas, the visa program that allows guest workers in the United States. The technology industry has been at the forefront of the H-1B visa debate, lobbying for the government to allow more foreign workers into the U.S. each year. The number of H-1B visa applications for 2009 probably reached the legislated cap of 65,000 on the first day of this year's week-long filing period, which ended April 7, as did applications for advanced degree exemptions, which are capped at 20,000.
I'd support an increase to the visa cap so long that those positions must be paid fair market value. When you bring over international staff at 25% of the comparable American salary, you are undercutting the American worker. More so, you are not getting the world's "best and brighest" for those low-ball rates either.
We have tons of people in the united states looking for work and cannot find it. I myself, with a degree in computer science/networking have a hard time finding a job for what i went to school for. So we have these companies wanting to bring people in from other countries to work when we cant even give work to our own residents?
"...H-1b workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker." from Dept of Labor Strategic Plan 2006-2011
No Americans Need Apply! H-1B visa-hiring program legally takes opportunities away from Americans and Green Card holders due to concerted efforts of big business. Restoring equal opportunity to the American workforce is the real issue.
Surprised to learn that companies can run want ads discriminating against American citizens and green card holders? Bright Future Jobs, a people's PAC, is working hard to raise awareness of the "Durbin-Grassley H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007." But, we're up against powerful lobbying groups -- companies are working hard to EXPAND the H-1B hiring program, spreading the myth of labor shortages, when in reality there is a GLUT of unemployed science, tech, engineering and math grads.
Go to www.h1btrap.com or www.brightfuturejobs.com for the real deal on this issue. Join our campaign to restore equal opportunity, tell your stories, and contribute liberally to stop the abuse.
It's funny that you meantion Google as the big innovator, but few people know that Google success is due to the fact that it stole the idea of "adwords" from IdeaLab (later known as Overture).
Idealab was created by Bill Gross, a U.S. businessman.
I have interviewed H-1b workers coming from Google. These guys could not answer basic Unix questions, though they were applying for a Unix Software Engineering position.
Google uses job-shops, the same companies that are using up all the h-1b applications each year, for IT jobs.
Google throws away 99% of the resumes that it gets. I have been in my industry for 15 years, as web-software developer (now a manager), using the same tools that Google uses.
I have applied to Google several times, not once did they respond to my application. The problem with Google is with their resume and hiring system.
At the same times that I applied, I have known several people who did get an interview at Google, because they knew someone on the inside at Google.
If you aren't an easy to fire worker (i.e. job-shop contractor), or if you don't know someone on the inside at Google, your chances of being hired (no matter how skilled you are) at Google are practically zero.
It's easier to get hired at Google through a h-1b job-shop, than to be hired as a skill U.S. worker walk-in, unless you have personal ties to someone at the company.
There is another side of this story. I've worked with H1-B VISA employees for years and find them (for the most part) to be well-educated, competent and pleasant. However, because of the rules governing their VISA status they are easily forced to work 80+ hour work weeks, and are usually denied the same rights and benefits that are offered to U.S. workers (i.e. EEOC protections and other labor law standards are ignored). I have heard my guest worker friends complain bitterly about threats being made of - "You'll work however long it takes or it's back to India for you!" And, since they are easily strong-armed into indentured servitude (usually for 5 years, until they can obtain a green card), it makes it extremely difficult for Americans who know their rights in the workplace to compete. Plus, the whole way the H1-B VISAs are obtained by the workers is frought with graft, from what I've been told. And, it doesn't take much arm twisting to get H1-B VISA workers to step around and avoid various laws - i.e. Sarbanes-Oxley securities law, etc. It's a system that's definitey in need of a revamp.
That's not been my experience, working on a team of mostly H1Bs. They didn't work as hard as I did, rarely worked overtime, and never seemed to be put under the same time pressures I was. I also had to listen to them putting down Americans, while American workers were explicitly told we couldn't say anything derogatory about their "country of origin". The only thing immigrants seem to do better or harder than Americans is kissing the boss' behind.