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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

"WHY WOULD ANYONE WHO IS A REASONABLE, RATIONAL THINKER WANT TO REDUCE RESOURCES AND PROTECT INEFFICIENCIES?"

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

So sayeth Sebastian Teunissen, an international business professor at University
of California, Berkeley who was speaking to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter at a meeting organized by Sun Microsystems to discuss the talent visa crisis in Silicon Valley.

The article does a good job as well of pointing out another troubling trend - serious competition from abroad for these workers. It used to be the case that the US was far ahead of every other country as far as being the destination for immigration. Worker shortages in many countries are forcing those countries to open up and welcome these talent workers. And now living standards are catching up in many other countries and the need to immigrate to achieve a better life is not as urgent.

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  1. Another voice's Avatar
    Aging populations throughout the developed world will be in need of workers. Immigration and globalization has shown that Labor is a mobile resource and we are falling a sleep at the wheel on this, does the baby boomer generation ring a bell to anyone?
  2. USC's Avatar
    Sorry this is off-topic for this blog. However, pros should know that Congresswoman Lofgren has scheduled a hearing on the STRIVE act (which is musch better version of CIT than what we saw in the Senate). Details are per the link below:

    http://judiciary.house.gov/oversight.aspx?ID=370

  3. 's Avatar
    I'm coming around to the POV that the best interests of the Asian countries are served by further restricting US immigration. As a result, more production will move overseas, raise living standards overseas and eventually weaken the US to the point that it is forced to retreat from Asia.

    The insidious way to achieve this appears to be to encourage immigration gridlock in the US. Certainly, funding the anti- movement should be high on the Asians priority list.
  4. Anonymous's Avatar
    Why would any reasonable and rational thinker want to harm job opportunities for American software engineers by exploiting indentured worker programs?

    By exposing American software engineers to markets where workers are paid nickels on the dollar and labor laws are non existant, you discourage people from pursuing the occupation.

    Why would you want to do that?

    The original question posed was incredibly biased and suggests that anyone opposing indentured visas must be unreasonable and irrational, so I simply turned it around. My spin is still biased and full of fallacies - but at least I admit it.
  5. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    "By exposing American software engineers to markets where workers are paid nickels on the dollar "

    BS. By "protecting" American engineers, you are supporting killing the industry in the US and moving all of the jobs overseas. There will be no American engineers, if you don't quit "protecting" them
  6. Limbo's Avatar
    "Why would any reasonable and rational thinker want to harm job opportunities for American software engineers by exploiting indentured worker programs?"

    Dude, trying to have an intelligent debate with you is like trying to have an intelligent debate with a tape recorder. Can we please get past the simplistic slogans and talking points?

    I worked on one of these "indentured" visas and my experience was great. They treated me fairly. I was a computer science graduate student at the time and was able to bring in some relevant expertise to help the company out. It was a win-win situation for all involved.

    To me, it is obvious that you are a Lou Dobbs style protectionist who is not interested in an informed debate. Rather you are completely closed minded in your approach to the subject. How am I wrong here?
  7. Calouste's Avatar
    >> By exposing American software engineers to markets where workers are paid nickels on the dollar and labor laws are non existant, you discourage people from pursuing the occupation.

    If American software engineers actually concentrated on being better than these imports instead of just sitting on their behinds and expecting things to be handed to them on a silver plate, they would be getting somewhere.

    I got hired by a world-leading American company for a 6 figure salary, with relocation costs adding up to an additional 6 figures. Yet my degree isn't even in software engineering. If an American software engineer isn't a more attractive proposition to a company, being about $ 100K CHEAPER than me, it is clearly THEIR problem. Maybe they should just work on keeping their skills up instead of moaning?
  8. frank's Avatar
    Discussing the STRIVE act right now is a very stupid idea. Didn't these people learn that anything that has to do with illegals is bound to fail due to the existing anti-immigrant sentiments and backlash. Any bill that promises too many things to too many people cannot make it in the current climate.
  9. Anonymous's Avatar
    I'd like to see that $100k pay stub. I spoke with Infosys employees who earned their "Indian Salary" of $7k a year plus their "American Salary" which was double that - for a total of $21k a year.

    That was an IIT grad with 2 years experience.

    I'm up for competition against anyone earning the kind of money you claim to make. My complaint isn't with YOUR situation. My complaint is with OTHER situations - that the Indian BPOs like Infosys and Tata are notorious for.

    So don't give me the "My situation is X so you are wrong" BS. The bottom line is that these indentured servant visas are used to offshore work. The TOP sponsors are offshoring firms.

    My complaint isn't with the legitimate use of the system - a $100k salary would not qualify as abuse of the system. You know I'm not speaking of your situation when I speak of abuse, so stop pulling that red herring.

    And to the guys who took issue with my argument - it was in jest! Read the whole fricken paragraph! Idiots read one line and make stupid comments.
  10. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    "I'd like to see that $100k pay stub. I spoke with Infosys employees who earned their "Indian Salary" of $7k a year plus their "American Salary" which was double that - for a total of $21k a year."

    I think this is really a lot of nonsense. First, Infosys is a huge company with a lot of employees. If this were happening, it would be a serious violation of the prevailing wage laws and I have no doubt that there would be numerous complaints filed with the Labor Department and a high profile investigation. The penalty for such a violation would be a one year debarment from applying for H-1Bs which would probably cost Infosys hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.

    Second, H-1B holders are portable and once in the US any of their employees can immediately jump ship to another employer willing to file H-1B paperwork. The Programmers Guild and other groups pushed for this change in the law a few weeks back to empower H-1B workers and prevent exploitation. And that has worked. H-1B employees are jumping ship all the time and employers who play games find themselves losing their workers. Given the labor market for IT workers these days, I'm not buying the exploitation argument.
  11. Anonymous's Avatar
    "I think this is really a lot of nonsense. First, Infosys is a huge company with a lot of employees. If this were happening, it would be a serious violation of the prevailing wage laws and I have no doubt that there would be numerous complaints filed with the Labor Department and a high profile investigation."

    It is happening. I witnessed first hand. An Infosys on site at Publix SHOWED ME his pay stub. There were line items for American and Indian pay - total annual worked out to $21k.

    Also, "prevailing wage" is weakly defined and the current definition allows people to be paid very low salaries. 75% of all H-1b applications have prevailing wages in the lower 25 percentile. And that is legal use of the program.

    If the program were for best and brightest - why not require that they be paid the top 25 percentile? Then my argument would be mute. Make it about best and brightest - take away the cheap factor - then I'll shut up. My biggest complaint with the program is how it drives down wages in the IT industry. Solve that problem, and almost all opposition goes away.

    As of now, it in most situations it is a cheap labor program.
  12. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Roy, your agrument is mute anyway. This country does not need just best and brightest (otherwise, it would have given a green card to all PhD graduates), but it needs people who will make average salary pay taxes into government coffers (Federal, SS, Medicare). Quantity translates into quality, not the other way around.
  13. USC's Avatar
    "I spoke with Infosys employees who earned their "Indian Salary" of $7k"

    AFAIK, Infosys IT employees in India make considerably more than that especially if they are IIT graduates.

    "Tata are notorious for."

    The Tata's are "notorious" for their philanthropy, refusal to pay bribes, enlightened business practises, employee welfare and exceptional customer service.

    It was precisely for this reason a few months ago the British management and the concerned British Trade Unions of Corus (formerly British Steel) favored the Tata Steel bid of 6.2 Billion Pound Sterling over CSNs rival bid, which initially was much higher.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/e8191bda-b0d9-11db-8a62-0000779e2340.html

    As regards, TCS (the IT arm of the Tata's that you refer to) they were voted to the best employer to work for by IT professionals ahead of even the likes of IBM. Take a look at the story below:

    http://www.indiainfoline.com/news/innernews.asp?storyId=43817&lmn=1



  14. Anonymous's Avatar
    Look pal, what you say doesn't change what I saw. It doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of H-1b holders earn in the lower 25 percentile when compared with their peers in the same occupation.

    Everything you say is mumbo jumbo until you start addressing facts. Facts are that most people are paid less. Deal with that.
  15. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Roy, using a single example is not going to prove your point. H1Bs are paid the same or higjer than Americans when adjusted for their age and experience, please look up your facts before spreading blatant lies. Your statement is plain wrong.
  16. Anonymous's Avatar
    "Roy, using a single example is not going to prove your point. H1Bs are paid the same or higjer than Americans when adjusted for their age and experience, please look up your facts before spreading blatant lies. Your statement is plain wrong."

    I have done extensive research on this. Look at independent findings by InformationWeek and Senator Durbin. I am only stating what our government has reported.

    To your point that they are young - you're right. That's a problem! How can a "fresher" be the best and brightest? Unless they bring a graduate degree, they should be in the back of the line. Medical doctors first, RNs second, junior Java developers - dead last. Sort by pay. It's not rocket science if you want the best and brightest.
  17. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Roy, I believe you have done a great deal of "research" on anti-immigrationist sources. Except, you forgot to include real research backed by tough academic standards in your mix, simply because it happens to prove the opposite point.

    Again, the goal of the H1 system is not to bring 'best and brightest' - it is to pring skilled workers (you can look up the INA on that). From the well-being of the country, younger workers are better than older workers, because they will pay into the coffers longer before they start drawing on SS/Medicare. There is no economic sense to encourage immigration of people in their 50s, no matter how accomplished they are. Currrent H1Bs are paying into your future SS, and I have not seen any desire on your part to refuse that money.
  18. Anonymous's Avatar
    "Roy, I believe you have done a great deal of "research" on anti-immigrationist sources. Except, you forgot to include real research backed by tough academic standards in your mix, "

    OK, so Senator Durbin is wrong. Duke is wrong. InformationWeek is wrong. Senator Grassley is wrong. The entire LCA database is wrong. Oh, Dr. Matloff is wrong. He's a left leaning liberal if you weren't aware - at liberal UC-Davis. I'm a liberal. And I'm wrong too.

    So you can't pull the "Rush Limbaugh" card this time. Sorry. I know how you love to pull the anti card.

    But, Immigration attorney Greg Siskind is right. Where is his peer reviewed research? John Miano's work was peer reviewed - and the LCA analysis was thorough. Of course you'll just call him an anti. Bet you didn't know he was a flaming liberal also!!! LOL.
  19. Athan's Avatar
    Anonymous

    Employees of Infosys/ TCS/Wipro are paid less compared to the consultants who work for the US based consultant companies. I know this why? I worked for TCS few years back. But not as less as u r quoating. They are still meeting the H1-B previaling wage criteria i believe.It is for different reasons why people still want to work with TCS/Infy. There are 3 main reasons,

    1. You dont have to search for a job in usa as long as u stay here. 2. You can go back to india whenever u want and u dont have to think for a minute what would happen if you go back
    3. The kind of growth that u get with experience in companies like Infy and TCS you can only imagine .You would never get such oppurtunities if you work as outside consultant for many people. long term benifits of working inthose companies are very very good.

    As far exploitation concerned , it was there to some extent. The notorious one from TCS was they used to take the income tax returns of the employess. Now they stopped doing from past 3 years i guess , as one guy sued tcs and the case is still going on.

    http://www.lieffcabraser.com/press_releases/20070314-lawsuit-against-tata-press.htm

    Another notoriuos one which and still happening on is that they dont pay for overtime. People slog many times as they co-ordinate with offshore and onsite but what they were paid for over time is none or very less.I remember I was paid around 10$ for overtime per day irrespective of number of hours you put.It is different story that .But on the otherhand work hours are very very liberal .you can come and go anytime as you like as long as u have udnerstanding with ur manager.

    On a whole working for TCS/Infy is not a bad experience I beleive .that is why u dont here many complaints from employees.

    By stating these I am giving some ammo to anti-immigrants. But it is ok .It is better to deal with facts than un-known.
  20. Anonymous's Avatar
    "By stating these I am giving some ammo to anti-immigrants. But it is ok .It is better to deal with facts than un-known."

    First, I'm not anti. I oppose some aspects of the H-1b and (less mentioned) L1 visa programs. Mostly, the low wages.

    Thank you for bringing levity to the debate. It's good to deal with facts.

    If we can take away the low wage aspects of the programs (have more rigorous wage standards) I will have no complaints. In fact, I would probably support the programs.

    I suspect that if the workers weren't tied to employers and were paid in the top 25 percentile the program would be very beneficial for our nation. It would become a "brain magnent".

    I'm not anti - I simply want people to consider the impact on labor. Greg doesn't seem willing to give that a try.
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