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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

NFAP REPORT SHOWS HIRING H-1BS ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASES IN EMPLOYMENT OF AMERICANS

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The protectionistas will no doubt come up with a million arguments why this is not true, but facts are facts. For every H-1B position requested, US companies hire five US workers. Protectionistas argue with anecdotes because they don't have the facts.



NFAP also released a second study showing that major US tech companies average 470 job openings each and defense employers average 1200 per employee openings.

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  1. Sid's Avatar
    I'm predicting several posts from Roy on this starting 8-9 AM (EST) today.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    There is one main issue here: Does H1B keep jobs in the US and does the decline in H1Bs or skilled immigration lead to increased outsourcing and outflow of Foreign Direct Investment resulting in loss of jobs? I believe one of the research organizations I am familiar with may address this issue this year and publish the results early next year.
  3. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    This was Roy-bait, wasn't it?
  4. Sid's Avatar
    Transcript of Bill Gates' testimony.

    http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/exec/billg/speeches/2007/03-07Senate.mspx

    The news articles do him a great disservice by focusing on only the immigration aspects of his testimony. There are some very insightful observations about education.
  5. Sid's Avatar
    Sorry. That was an old testimony. Please disregard it.
  6. James's Avatar
    http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2008/Full/12mar/gates_testimony_12mar08.pdf
  7. Sid's Avatar
    Thanks for the link James. It would be nice to get a transcript of the verbal exchanges. I'm sure that there were some exchanges regarding the abuse of H-1B visas by body-shops and outsourcing companies. It'll probably take a few days for that to be released.

    It's great that he talked about not subjecting dependents from the GC quota and removal of the per country quota.
  8. R. Lawson's Avatar
    Interesting how the top sponsors of the visas aren't in the NFAP study because they aren't in the S&P 500. Sounds highly scientific.

    As to Gates, well his shortage shouting falls on its face in light of all the academic studies released in the last year.

    In a free market, there cannot be a shortage. The market will naturally address shortages - as wages rise people will flock to that occupation. Curretnly, IT wages are on par with inflation - meaning neutral. Either something is causing wages not to rise, or there really isn't a shortage. Which is it?

    Ironic how you free market people ignore so many rules of the free market.

    Also less than 1% of people who apply at Microsoft are accepted. I don't think you can reject 99 out of 100 people who apply and still claim a shortage of applicants.
  9. R. Lawson's Avatar
    For the record, it is almost 4pm my time ;-) I hope you weren't waiting for my response ;-)

    There will be plenty of "Roy Bait" over the next few weeks, I think. As competing articles come out of the media.
  10. James's Avatar
    Oh Roy ... how I missed you ... I almost peed when I saw your post
  11. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "Either something is causing wages not to rise, or there really isn't a shortage. Which is it?"

    Outsourcing and Foreign Direct Investment moving jobs abroad. Actually Norman Matloff says wages are falling...and I believe that corporations will hire who they want to hire and will move jobs abroad if they dont like the US candidates and cannot bring in foreigners.


  12. George Chell's Avatar
    "In a free market, there cannot be a shortage. The market will naturally address shortages - as wages rise people will flock to that occupation."

    More likely scenario. Shortages result in wages rising above productivity. Fed will raise the interest rates and by the time people flock to the market to take advantage of high wages (because of lags due to college education which takes four years), unemployment in the sector will be high, and the country may topple into a recession because of higher interest rates.
  13. Sid's Avatar
    Roy,

    I don't think Microsoft is claiming a shortage of applicants - only a shortage of applicants who are good enough to work there.

    The percentage of people who are graduating in hordes with degrees in CS/IT and are actually employable is pretty low. That applies to millions of IT graduates in India and China and also the millions of Americans who ditched whatever they were doing and flocked to IT during the 90's before the bust. You've been in the industry long enough to know that.

    I think you've admitted several times on this blog that you don't have a problem with companies like Microsoft and Cisco hiring more H-1Bs, only with outsourcing companies. I think you should take a leadership role within PG and convince them to restrict the debate to the role of H-1B in outsourcing. People are making statements like Google is hiring H-1Bs because they want cheap labor. To anyone who lives in the valley, that sort of statement is laughable. I think you have the common sense to understand that Durbin-Grassley in it's present form has no chance of becoming a law although there's a strong possibility of the H-1B quota going up for US degree holders this year or after the elections. Drill some sense into your PG friends so that they fight for the important issues like abuse by body shops.
  14. R. Lawson's Avatar
    "I think you should take a leadership role within PG and convince them to restrict the debate to the role of H-1B in outsourcing. "

    I am no longer a board member of the PG.

    "I think you've admitted several times on this blog that you don't have a problem with companies like Microsoft and Cisco hiring more H-1Bs, only with outsourcing companies. "

    I am OK at reasonable levels. I think that Microsoft is pushing the definition of "reasonable" though. The same goes for Intel and a few universities. Most of the non-IT consulting companies seem to be at reasonable levels.

    Most companies that sponsor H-1b visas only sponsor a handful. The majority just one. I believe that if the offshoring firms and IT body shops didn't play a role in this program, and the fraud/abuse issues were addressed, 99% of the objections would be resolved.

    Pass Durbin/Grassley and I may become an active supporter of the program - even if the cap is raised. I'm not sure if Durbin/Grassley addresses one key problem, which is portability without resulting in the applicant going to the back of the GC line.
  15. R. Lawson's Avatar
    "I think you have the common sense to understand that Durbin-Grassley in it's present form has no chance of becoming a law "

    There is growing resentment of the offshoring firms - even by people who traditionally support the H-1b. I would say that most people in Congress would vote for some of the Durbin/Grassley provisions. And it has a good chance of becoming law.

    I doubt you will see a raise in the cap without some form of Durbin/Grassley being attached to the bill. And don't count on it being neutered down very much.
  16. George Chell's Avatar
    "There is growing resentment of the offshoring firms - even by people who traditionally support the H-1b. I would say that most people in Congress would vote for some of the Durbin/Grassley provisions. And it has a good chance of becoming law."

    In a global economy, it would not matter much if the corporations decide to expand operations abroad anyway. In the 1980s and early 1990s Japan tried to keep foreigners out. Eventually jobs moved out and we all know what happened to Japan.

  17. USC's Avatar
    "I think you've admitted several times on this blog that you don't have a problem with companies like Microsoft and Cisco hiring more H-1Bs"

    Here is a real live example of what happens when you artificially, through quotas, restrict people from coming into the United States.

    Over the weekend I purchased a MacBook Pro and decided to dual boot Leopard with Windows Vista Ultimate. I picked up the upgrade disk at Staples. I got stuck at the installation screen because no prior Windows OS was installed on the notebook and unlike previous versions Vista won't accept a CD to validate your prior license. I ended up having to call MSFT tech support to get a different product key.

    In chatting with the techie I learnt that the ENTIRE Vista support team for the United States is located in Bangalore, India and that there are no longer ANY Vista support personnel in the US.

    So, Grassley's railings against EB/H1b immigration have resulted in the total off-shoring of Vista support to India. MSFT's Vista tech support number is 866-234-6020 for those that want to call and verify.

    BTW, I was successfully able to install Vista on the MacBook.
  18. R. Lawson's Avatar
    "So, Grassley's railings against EB/H1b immigration have resulted in the total off-shoring of Vista support to India. MSFT's Vista tech support number is 866-234-6020 for those that want to call and verify."

    Very interesting leap of logic. Do you think they might be putting call centers offshore because those are low skilled jobs and the people work for pennies on the dollar? They had plenty of call center workers here. They fired most and moved them offshore. Had nothing to do with the H-1b (those workers don't qualify for call center jobs - they don't require a degree). It had everything to do with cost of labor.

    Let's at least inject some intellectual honesty into the debate.
  19. USC's Avatar
    "Do you think they might be putting call centers"

    Call center? LOL! AFAIK, a call center employee is someone who helps you with your checkbook order or your MasterCard bill.

    Vista is MSFT's most complex OS yet. Someone who provides tech support for it is hardly working in a call center.
  20. George Chell's Avatar
    "Let's at least inject some intellectual honesty into the debate."

    Mr. Lawson:

    I have been introducing honesty into the debate. But, seems like you dont want to debate me. That is ok. Neither does intellectually dishonest people like Norman Matloff and George Borjas. At least you bring honesty to the debate unlike these two individuals. The fact is: there are two issues here. The first issue is at what price would consumers whether here at home or abroad are willing to purchase services. Dishonest Americans of which there are many always say that they are willing to pay a higher price for product and services if the industry employs Americans. Why are they dishonest? Let us look at an industry which mostly employs Americans and pays them high wages..the airline industry and the employees being pilots who make about two times as much as the profitable Singapore Airline pilots. What do Americans do when airline prices go up? They stop purchasing tickets and start driving or stop going on vacations. As a result the industry suffers heavy losses. True, the exeuctives make a lot of money, but that is because only US citizens can becomes executives in the airline industry..as a result they make a lot more than executives in other industries despite poor performance. The executive salaries are also responsible for losses. So, let us not blame just the industry and its shareholders who want to make profits by paying lower wages. Let us also blame the consumer who does not want to pay higher prices or are so leveraged and nose deep in debt that they cannot afford to pay higher prices. So, as I have said the demand and supply of labor does not determine wages. Any economist who is not as intellectually dishonest as George Borjas will tell you that firms maximize profits and they have to charge a price to maximize profits. If they cannot charge a price because a consumer is not willing to pay, they either have to suffer a loss as the airline industry or relocate to areas where the wages are cheaper. This phenomenon is going to accelerate again due to high energy prices as well as a possible recession.

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