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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

INITIAL H-1B NUMBERS LOW

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Holy smokes, our free market works!

USCIS is reporting that as of the close of business last Monday, April 5th, the agency had received a grand total of 9,525 H-1B applications for the new H-1B cap beginning next October. 6,791 were for the main cap of 65,000 and 2,734 were for the bonus cap of 20,000 for graduates of US graduate degree programs.

If the antis who argue against the H-1B were correct that employers use the visa to hire cheap foreign workers, we would see heavy usage of the visa. After all, in past years when unemployment was low, the entire caps were reached on the first day numbers were available. Surely, if their theory was true, employers looking to cut costs would be firing US workers and filing H-1Bs in droves? But it was never true that H-1Bs are cheaper. Between prevailing wage requirements and extremely expensive government fees (and don't forget the fees we lawyers charge), H-1B workers are usually significantly more expensive. Employers file for these workers when cheaper American workers are not available.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Antis were always taking the example of Iceland as a country that is prosperous and does not allow immigration. They have been proven wrong. If you dont let people into the country to work, jobs go elsewhere and your citizens start to leave...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100407/lf_afp/icelandeconomysocialimmigration_20100407153600

    Perhaps that is the vision for America that FAIR and CIS badly want...and perhaps Charles Grassley too!
  2. Sam's Avatar
    I work for a fortune 500 company , They decided not to sponser any new h1s just because h1b workers are way too expensive. Company lawyers charge almost 10k for filing 1 h1b...
  3. Adi's Avatar
    Lets not forget the tough and bizarre policies of USCIS, which have pretty much killed IT job shops (one of the main drivers for huge filings).
  4. Grace's Avatar
    The numbers are low, but not that low - those are the numbers from the Vermont Service Center only; you're not including the numbers filed with the California Service Center, which hasn't reported their count yet.
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    "The numbers are low, but not that low - those are the numbers from the Vermont Service Center only; you're not including the numbers filed with the California Service Center, which hasn't reported their count yet."

    It is a good predictor of how many jobs moved abroad...it is evident that some TARP receiving corporations are only hiring abroad....

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-31/bofa-hires-staff-leans-on-merrill-lynch-to-expand-outside-u-s-.html

    "said Gary Townsend, president of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, a Chevy Chase, Maryland-based investment firm that owns Bank of America warrants. "Bank of America is less likely to invest and hire in the U.S. given our government's current policies.""

  6. Adi's Avatar
    "Bank of America is less likely to invest and hire in the U.S. given our government's current policies"

    ya sure current govt is wanting to put a leash on these banks, who have brought this country to its knees. No wonder they are looking to ruin other countries now. I don't buy that they are moving jobs abroad due to visa restrictions. If they really want, they can easily hire people based on third party model.

    We are better off with these banks ruining other countries than US.
  7. Pete Williams's Avatar
    Holy Smokes, government enforcing regulations and crackdowns on bodyshopping works!

    I am now working due to an H-1b not getting renewed and the IT job becoming available. That's one more mortgage not going into default.

    Thank you Neufold memo!
  8. George Chell's Avatar
    "I am now working due to an H-1b not getting renewed and the IT job becoming available. That's one more mortgage not going into default."

    Make hay while the sun shines and save a lot of money and do a good job! Your job may be on its way to India whether Adi agrees with it or not!
  9. George Chell's Avatar
    "Employers file for these workers when cheaper American workers are not available."

    ...or if they cannot find quality cheaper workers abroad!
  10. Adi's Avatar
    "Make hay while the sun shines and save a lot of money and do a good job! Your job may be on its way to India whether Adi agrees with it or not!"

    I totally agree that jobs will move abroad. I see that in my circle happening on regular basis. But it is not due to immigration problem. It is for cost savings. The only reason job outsourcing is slow, is due to lack of sufficient talent in other countries. As and when companies in India hire more people and get them trained, their parent companies here layoff in big numbers. All of this still has nothing to do with visa restrictions. Recent Obama changes with tax regulations might help a little bit.

  11. George Chell's Avatar
    "But it is not due to immigration problem. It is for cost savings."

    One such cost is the cost of H1-B. And jobs are not only moving to India and China, they are also moving to high cost Singapore, moderate cost Australia and Microsoft moved jobs to Canada.
  12. Adi's Avatar
    "I am now working due to an H-1b not getting renewed and the IT job becoming available. That's one more mortgage not going into default."

    I do not buy that you got job due to lack of renewal. I have never seen employers prefer h1b employees over US citizens unless skills of US citizens are outdated but still want $150/hr.

    Anyhow how many mortgages are you going to save? 20000. Oooppss that a big dent in millions of foreclosures coming our way. Don't forget the house of that h1b employee will go into foreclosure, along with car, credit card debt etc when he leaves this country and puts the burden of bankruptcy on taxpayers. Its best to give them green cards and let them stay here rather than uprooting their lives due to hate of anti-immigrants.
  13. My 2 cents's Avatar
    If they make EB current I am ready to buy a home & a vehicle right away. Why don't they conduct a study/survey/polls on the purchasing power of the legals & how they can lead the economic turn around.
  14. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    My 2 cents, but you would not pull the money out of the thin air for those purchases, would you? This money is probably sitting in a savings or investment account somewhere in the US, and thus is already working for the US economy. The act of spending it (in economic sense - moving from one pocket into another) does not truly add much to the economy. That's one. Two, even if such research were to be done, the amount of money legals would spend by will dwarfed by the amount of money illegals would keep in the US if they were to obtain some kind of status. And that, my friend, is a true boon to the economy, as they are currently not kept in the US.
  15. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "I am now working due to an H-1b not getting renewed and the IT job becoming available. That's one more mortgage not going into default."

    Let me also add to Adi's excellent comment that it is not clear clear that the job will stay in the US if the H1 is not extended. The job belongs to the person who is the most qualified to do it, and it will follow that person where he or she moves. My (very big) company hires A LOT of very qualified consultants that are based in India. Some of them don't even have offices in the US. Why bother?
  16. Jim's Avatar
    "This money is probably sitting in a savings or investment account somewhere in the US, and thus is already working for the US economy."

    So, what's the cash for clunkers, $8,000 tax-credit incentive to buy a house for? And what's the big deal with monitoring consumer confidence and how the retail sector/consumer spending is doing?

    Might as well close all auto-dealers, auto-manufacturers, house builders, all retailers and other side businesses and jobs that benefits from them and everyone should be working on banking and investment houses.

  17. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Jim, economically speaking, you are incorrect. When the government prints money (like in the case of those incentives), the goverment literally prints ("borrows") money. This money was not sitting in a government account in the US, it's totally new money, kind of out of thin air. This is kind of the whole point of post-depression macroeconomic thought - the governement needs to print money, and it will be multiplied in the economy.
  18. Sid's Avatar
    LNLW,

    Please do yourself a huge favor and demand a full refund of the tuition for your economics courses from your B-school. Point them to your last few blog posts as proof that they didn't teach you anything.
  19. George Chell's Avatar
    "Let me also add to Adi's excellent comment that it is not clear clear that the job will stay in the US if the H1 is not extended. The job belongs to the person who is the most qualified to do it, and it will follow that person where he or she moves. My (very big) company hires A LOT of very qualified consultants that are based in India. Some of them don't even have offices in the US. Why bother?"

    Exactly my point!

  20. Adi's Avatar
    "the amount of money legals would spend by will dwarfed by the amount of money illegals would keep in the US if they were to obtain some kind of status. And that, my friend, is a true boon to the economy, as they are currently not kept in the US."

    Just because you get a green card, illegals will not stop sending money to your parents back home. Just because they are huge in numbers does not mean they are economically better than legals. They are more prone to take advantage of entitlements (and further put these programs in red) as compared to higher paid legals. They are more prone to have kids which are not well educated and rest of the repurcussions for society. Recent study shows a family making 50k or less do not pay any federal income tax but infact make money from federal govt (via credits/deductions etc). Most illegals will fall in this category and put further pressure on treasury. With passage of recent healthcare reform, illegals will get access to the same benefits. Guess what! $1trillion deficit will baloon further in red (which by the way was fudged accounting anyway). For any perceived economic benefits, they are already here, and spending as much money as necessary. Giving them a green card will not increase their spending power or change buying habits.

    The only reason illegals should be given green card is because that is humane way of dealing with human beings. If illegals made any economic sense then unlimited immigration would be solution for any recession (which it is not).
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