Children of H-1B Parents Among Highest Student Achievers

Don Tennant

The children of immigrants who have come to the United States on H-1B visas are among the most talented and accomplished science and math students in the country, and demonstrate how crucial it is for America to ensure that its immigration policies don't deprive us of this "wonderful gift."


Those are the conclusions of a newly released study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) titled, "The Impact of the Children of Immigrants on Scientific Achievement in America." The study found that 60 percent of the finalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition are the children of parents who came to the United States on H-1B visas. If you count all the finalists who are the children of immigrants, the proportion rises to 70 percent:

One surprising characteristic unites the majority of America's top high school science and math students - their parents are immigrants. While only 12 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born, 70 percent of the finalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition were the children of immigrants, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. Just 12 of the 40 finalists at this year's competition of the nation's top high school science students had native-born parents. While former H-1B visa holders comprise less than 1percent of the U.S. population, 60 percent of the finalists had parents who entered the U.S. on H-1B visas, which are generally the only practical way to hire skilled foreign nationals.

Those are pretty stunning figures, and they help to explain the points I've been trying to make recently in writing about the importance of the Asian influence in advancing academic achievement in America. Of the 40 finalists in the Intel competition, 16 had parents from China, 10 had parents from India, one had parents from South Korea and one had parents from Iran.


The NFAP concluded, moreover, that our immigration policies must not be allowed to deprive our country of the contributions that these kids are making here:

Many immigrant parents place a heavy emphasis on education, particularly in math and science, viewing this as a path to success in America. An important implication of the study is that preventing the entry of H-1B visa holders, skilled immigrants, and family-sponsored immigrants would shut off the flow of a key segment of America's next generation of scientists and engineers - the children of immigrants - because we would not have allowed in their parents. The benefit America derives from the children of immigrants in science and math is an additional advantage the country reaps from being open to talent from around the world. Americans should take pride in our openness to individuals and their children who can succeed in the United States without regard to class or place of birth. The talents possessed by these children of immigrants are a wonderful gift to America, a gift we can all benefit from in the future so long as we can allow talented foreign nationals to come to the United States and pursue their American dreams.

With that in mind, I will take the liberty of repeating the conclusion I drew in my post, "Why the U.S. Technology Work Force Needs the Asian Influence":

Anyone who has played sports knows that you play your best game when you're matched up against your toughest opponents. It's time for us to demonstrate the fortitude to do that. It's time for us to raise our game.

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May 25, 2011 1:25 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

Straight from a B-1 visa holder (Sara Hone) who was here for an astounding 2 years!:


"I worked in the US on a B1 visa, but my salary was being paid by our HQ in the UK, so I worked physically in the US but my salary was paid in the UK - which was great - I got to work for almost 2 years without paying any income tax..... Anyway, the basic premise is that on a B1 visa you can't work for a company and be paid by that company if they are in the USA. For that you would need an H1B visa. Or if you are transfering from a foreign company at a qualifying managerial level you can apply for an L1 visa. Some of the other posters say you can only stay for 90 days... that isn't true. If you come on the Visa Waiver Program then you get 90 days, no questions asked (as long as you are from a qualifying country) The B1 visa entitles you usually to a stamp for 6 months at your point of entry, once you are in the US you can then apply to extend for up to a year - basically and extra 6 months. The catch is you are supposed to spend more time in your home country then the US, so if you come, get a 6 month stamp, extend for a further 6 months you would have to leave at the end of that time for at least a few months. I came here, stayed 6 months, went home for 2 months, came back, got a 6 month stamp, then extended for 6 months - at the end of that time my US branch was redy to sponsor me for an H1B visa, and I stayed until that was processed and approved. To my knowledge there is no cap on how much you can earn on a B1 visa, our CEO uses his whenever he comes to the US, you just can't be paid by a US company when you are here on a B1 visa, in other words, even though you are physically present in the US, your income MUST be paid by a foreign branch of the company.


Personal Experience"

May 25, 2011 2:18 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

Is anything wrong in that?

I got your point and looks like these are loopholes.

I'm sure USCIS is well aware about that.

But is there any fraud involved here?

(This is honest question ...I'm not asking it sarcastically ... I don't know if something wrong happenned here. )

May 25, 2011 2:45 AM Warior Warior  says:

Don't be fool by Don Tenant, for the last several weeks he turned around bad mouth about H-1B to bargain his NASSCOM bosses for more money, as soon his NASSCOM bosses agreed to bribe him more he will turn around to become H-1B lover. Indian shill is still indian shill, castrated collaborator is still castrated calloborator. There is no different the old Don and the new Don, he is the same Don but a little bit different in smell, his color is same yellow color that is.

May 25, 2011 2:50 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Dolores

Thanks for the link to Norm's post, Dolores. This is what makes a blog a blog. I came across the NFAP thing and wrote something up about it based on what I gleaned from it, and threw it out there to start the discussion. You came back with some great information from Norm that I had not seen. No personal attack, just good information. Roy Lawson takes the same approach (although he tends to be a little less hot-tempered).

But nothing wrong with being passionate about something that's important to you. Thanks again.

May 25, 2011 2:52 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

I don't know that I was tricked, Roy. I'm not under the illusion that the parents of these kids are all that typical of the people who come here on H-1B visas. My understanding is, by the way, that these are the kids of immigrants who originally came here on H-1B visas, not necessarily the kids of current H-1B visa holders. I fully understand and agree that the big H-1B picture is a mess because of all of the abuse. But what I can't bring myself to do is to agree to allow the abusers to ruin the dream for these kids. I want them to have the opportunity to demonstrate to our kids what hard work can accomplish, regardless of what the disillusioned naysayers claim. Regardless of NFAP's motives in putting this information out there, the fact remains, as I understand it, that 60 percent of the finalists in the Intel competition were the kids of parents who came here on H-1B visas. No matter how you slice it, that's a stunning figure, and it demands that we ask ourselves why that's the case. I'm sure there will be those conspiracy theorists who are convinced that Intel fudged the whole thing and selectively chose finalists based on whether their parents came here on H-1B visas, but that seems a little implausible to me.

May 25, 2011 2:58 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

My kids are pretty smart (two in grad school right now, in fact) and they didn't compete in this. I'll bet millions of talented American kids didn't compete in this event. So the H-1B tiger and elephant moms (and dads) want to show off? And political hay was made of it by shills for scab labor? As you can see by the date of Matloff's piece, this isn't really news.

Besides, a big factor in the kids' ability to do well probably came from having secure, supportive homes with a breadwinner earning steady money. Something increasingly scarce for the American kids of white collar and STEM workers. And that's something to think about.

May 25, 2011 3:20 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Dolores

Of course millions of talented American kids didn't compete. Chalking it all up to tiger and elephant moms and dads who just want to show off seems to me to be a little over the top on the cynicism scale. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that these kids are interested in entering these sorts of competitions because of a sincere desire to excel that was instilled in them by loving parents who are culturally more inclined to be highly engaged in their children's education and to emphasize the importance of high academic achievement?

May 25, 2011 3:30 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Rick

Seriously, Rick? You want to know if I wrote this post because I'm in the pocket of Infosys management? AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH. Ahem. Sorry. No, to answer your question, that isn't why I wrote this post.

May 25, 2011 4:14 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

Roy: "If I get you right, you are saying that legal use of the program is more harmful overall than the fraud, and that fraud is isolated."

Su:"Is anything wrong in that?" and "... is there any fraud involved here?"

I guess it amounts to a difference of opinion.  You and I are debating which is most harmful, legal use or fraud.  Does it really matter which of us are right?  It's like arguing what hurts more - a wasp or a bee sting.  They both hurt.

I no longer believe that fraud is isolated.  I believe it is systemic, especially in key markets (IT services and financial services, as an example.  K-12 education is also on the radar).

Because the rules became more strict recently, we see companies starting to break other immigration laws that apply towards other visas.

At the end of the day the general public simply can't trust corporations to police themselves.  I think they need to be removed from the equation and we need to end corporate sponsorship. 

May 25, 2011 4:20 AM BP BP  says:

Chill Lolita...I'd love to provoke you further with the following joke (or may be an exaggerated true picture) that I happened to read


It was the first day of a school in USA and a new Indian student named Chandrasekhar Subramanian entered the fourth grade.

The teacher said, 'Let's begin by reviewing some American History. Who said Give me Liberty , or give me Death'?'

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up:?'Patrick Henry, 1775'he said.

Very good! Who said Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?'

Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar. Abraham Lincoln , 1863' said Chandrasekhar.

The teacher snapped at the class, Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about our history than you do.'

She heard a loud whisper: F ___ the Indians,' Who said that?' she demanded. Chandrasekhar put his hand up. General Custer, 1862.'

At that point, a student in the back said, I'm gonna puke.'

The teacher glares around and asks All right! Now, who said that?' Again, Chandrasekhar says, George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991.'

Now furious, another student yells, Oh yeah? Suck this!'

Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky,1997'

Now with almost mob hysteria someone said You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you.' Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, Michael Jackson to the child witnesses testifying against him, 2004.'

The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, Oh shit, we're screwed!' And Chandrasekhar said quietly, I think it was Lehmann Brothers, November 4th, 2008'

May 25, 2011 4:40 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> I came across the NFAP thing ...

Didn't check the facts. (again_

>> great information from Norm

Maybe I am old fashioned but I expect journalists to act like one instead of just blindly posting from a to put it mildly biased source.

>> tempered...  <<

Which by your definition seems to be everybody that disagrees with you.

May 25, 2011 4:43 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson


If not B1 something else will come:


May 25, 2011 4:45 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> ...No answer to your question ... <<


How about stop "wandering around" "beating around the bush" and answer the question that I and others wrote after your article "Over 50 stop whining and get back to work" when it turned out that the over 50 person got a customer support job paying between $10 to $14 an hour.

May 25, 2011 4:59 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

In many replies I have seen you are of opinion of skipping middleman and keep it between individuals and US Govt. Though it sounds nice solution it might be very complex and lead to more fraud.

Even in today's world most of the frauds are from individuals who are ready to pay some third party who behaves as if they are some consultant firm but there true work is to supply freelance worker to different companies in US.

Once it goes to individual level then everyone huge application will come to enter US and whatever screening process are there people be more and more innovative to bypass that. If nothing else US govt will spend tons of money just to do that screening. It is rather easier to beleive in companies with some reputation which won't go for any large scale fraude or even if they do there are ways to put a check on that.

May 25, 2011 5:03 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

"I don't know that I was tricked, Roy. I'm not under the illusion that the parents of these kids are all that typical of the people who come here on H-1B visas. "

As a military brat all my life, I think I have some idea as to what these kids are going through.  Maybe not exactly, but some of the same problems military brats face.

I never made long-term friends because I'd just lose them.  I don't really have a "home town".  I can't visit my old homes without a military ID, and there's no point because nobody I knew still lives in them.  I didn't have a favorite college team - keeping little league teams together was nearly impossible because half the kids would move mid-season.

My guess is that these kids of parents on the H-1b are faced with similar problems - not sure if they are going back to India (or wherever) or staying here.  Can I plan on attending an American university - or will I be sent to some country that is now foreign to me that I don't even remember?

The H-1b is the source of this pain.  Family values, roots, building future Americans, education, kids - none of those things were ever considered in the original H-1b bill.  The visa was simply a tool to bring in temporary labor.  Originally it wasn't even a dual-intent visa.  Every amendment since has been a hack - a hopeless attempt to fix a fundamentally flawed idea.

So any a-hole lobbyist from NFAP playing the kid-card really rubs me the wrong way.  The guy is scum - the latest "Harris Miller" if you've been following this long enough to know who he is.

I think the debate we should be having is "should corporations sponsor immigrants".  Let's start there, leaving out the alphabet soup of visas, and just debate the merits of temporary visas under corporate sponsorship.

May 25, 2011 6:28 AM Jim Jim  says: in response to Don Tennant

A relevant question to ask is what benefit these types of competitions yield. The amount of time dedicated to this activity has to come from somewhere. If it detracts from social development, i.e. how to work together and resolve conflict, then clearly it's an expensive vanity activity. Do we want to look up to people who spend hours a day competing for a social recognition award, which is what they really are, or people who work hard to add value to society?

May 25, 2011 6:30 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

"In many replies I have seen you are of opinion of skipping middleman and keep it between individuals and US Govt. Though it sounds nice solution it might be very complex and lead to more fraud."

That is a true assessment of my view - skipping the middle man.

It all boils down to motivation.  I think that individual motivations are more pure than corporate motivations.  Will we still find fraud?  Sure - but corporations and their legal counsel are far more savvy at this than the individual.

I also want to abolish all temporary visas, and all corporate sponsored visas.  All workers need to be on a level playing field and corporate sponsorship makes negotiating for better wages and conditions near impossible.  It's leverage that corporations don't deserve - and leverage that harms American workers because of the overall impact on the market.  It forces us into a race to the bottom.

Finally, I think immigration would be more widely embraced if immigrants were spread more evenly across the job market.  When you have concentrations in given sectors it's a recipe for disaster. 

As far as the number of immigrants permitted, I think we need a labor market test.  If we grow the labor market by one percent (now I'm throwing a number out - this would be hotly debated) limit the number of worker visas to 25% of that 1% the next year.  If we don't create jobs the following year, close the doors.  Immigration needs to be sustainable and based on something we can measure. 

As a concrete example - say it takes 1,000,000 new jobs to to maintain current population growth and unemployment levels, and the economy creates 2 million jobs that year.  The following year I would say issue 250,000 green cards.  (# to sustain - growth * .25).  Notice I said green cards - not some corporate sponsored or temporary visa.

The next question would be who gets the greencards.  I would suggest showing preference to our allies, and not allowing any one nation to get the lion share.  I wrote a paper about 5 years ago with the specifics.

May 25, 2011 6:44 AM jobs4us jobs4us  says:

Why is the field of competitors only limited to H-1b visa holders? Certainly there are plenty of talented and brilliant American kids who deserve a chance to show what they're made of too.  The program sponsors discriminate against American citizens , and deny American children a chance to compete for opportunities in our own country - exactly like they discriminate against their parents. 

In the meantime, these propaganda machines continue to throw out the FUD while most Americans just roll over and play dead. 

Why aren't Americans OUTRAGED by visa fraud and why aren't elected officials and experts linking visa fraud to US unemployment?

Why isn't the mainstream media covering the story?  Is it because they sell more ad dollars focusing on Arnold than worrying about the short and long term career prospects of American citizens?

Why aren't Americans in the streets protesting the outrageous and hostile takeover of the American Dream by Greedy Corporations and paid off politicians?

May 25, 2011 8:08 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Dolores

LOL....The parents do most of the work in these competitions. I recently visited my cousin out of the blue....six sets of parents were feverishly working on the kids' project while the kids were eating Taco bell and watching TV...the kids were just soooo happy to not have to eat rice and curry for dinner....hehehehehe...

May 25, 2011 8:11 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to hireamerican

And Don, No need to let a bunch of resume fakers steal american jobs today....we can get the smart kids once they are educated and grown up to be smart and intelligent we always have in the past....

May 25, 2011 8:13 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to jobs4us

LOL...Looks like this competition was rigged big time!!!

May 25, 2011 8:18 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to jobs4us

Americans are not on the streets because we have no choice..we have to work for the same corporations and accept peanuts in salary. The country has literally gone to the dogs...we will elect the same corrupt politicians again and again cuz there is no one else to elect :P.

If someone goes against the current political system and runs for office, how many of us will vote for them?

May 25, 2011 8:19 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to jobs4us

If anyone can find any evidence that the program sponsors deny American kids a chance to compete in these competitions, please let me know about it.

May 25, 2011 8:53 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Don Tennant

LOL...Don...why it's the American parents....unlike Indian parents, they do not want to do the work on the kids' behalf....

May 25, 2011 9:01 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Don Tennant

There is nothing like an honor system with Indians.....that is how the culture is in India....

Let's say a farmer puts his produce out by the street and leaves a note..people in the US will take what they want and leave the appropriate amount of money...but in sooner than the farmer turns his back, the produce will disappear and no one will leave any money for it...such is the culture there....

May 25, 2011 9:26 AM jobs4US jobs4US  says:

Misleading H-1b Propaganda - Conveniently Overlooks the FACTS  - Americans WON the Competitoin 

The misleading press releases  singing the praises of temporary visa workers outsourcing USA jobs while disparaging  American talent - neglects to mention the FACTs -  the winners of this event are, aghast - AMERICANS!!!!

Tell the H-1b propaganda machine to keep up the FUD cranking...  Misleading and dismissive media helps build a case against H-1b and alphabet soup visa fraud and abuse in the court of public opinion and with the DOJ.  

The lies and lack of ethics are proof points that show the depth of how far these invaders will go to displace Americans,  parents and, now, their children.    

Keep it up guys, efforts like these make  it a lot easier for Americans to prove that the USA has ample home grown talent..

Best and brightest is not a brand limited to foreign visa workers and employers that have an agenda -  to disgrace and displace American talent - parents and children.  

Bravo to the American children and their parents for winning this competition  - you have won our hearts and give us hope

LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2011-Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff from Lafayette,

Calif. were awarded the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public. They received $75,000 and the Gordon E. Moore Award, in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman and CEO, for developing a potentially more effective and less expensive cancer treatment that places tin metal near a tumor before radiation therapy.

Taylor Wilson from Reno, Nevada was named an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winner and received $50,000. Taylor developed one of theone of the lowest dose and highest sensitivity interrogation systems for countering nuclear terrorism.

May 25, 2011 9:32 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hireamerican

To be fair, I'm not sure that works in this country an more.  Only in Mayberry.

Say hi to Andy, Barney, and Goober for me!  LOL

May 25, 2011 10:42 AM Dolores Dolores  says:

This is just another PR campaign by the pro H-1B crowd. Didn't you read Norm Matloff's rebuttal (dating from 2004!) before posting this? What about our honor roll and IB kids who are graduating in STEM fields to a dead job market?

And, last but not least, how can you take anything that comes from NFAP with a straight face?

Here's Dr. Matloff on NFAP and the whiz kids myth. He's had their number for some time now.

May 25, 2011 11:10 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

Don, you have been tricked again by National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).  The media should point out, but never does, NFAP represents CORPORATE interests.  They aren't an immigrant rights group and as such their only interest in immigration is how it meets their narrow corporate objectives: profits.  Do they really care about education or smart asian immigrants?  If they can link that to profits - sure.

So how exactly were you tricked?  First, the vast majority of H-1b holders are young men fresh out of college or with a few years experience after college.  Those with children of school age (which this study focuses on) are more experienced, more likely to immigrate permanently (or at least desire to), and are more than likely the exception to the rule. 

So any study that looks at this group and makes broad based assumptions regarding the H-1b visa is a damned lie.

The H-1b has some positive outcomes.  The negative far outweighs the positives and groups like NFAP can only focus on isolated cases because if you look at the big picture it's a mess.

Because of body shops like Infosys and many of the corporate interests that NFAP shamelessly represent the program has been used, abused, and manipulated beyond recognition of what it was originally intended for.  Even the Congressman who originally sponsored the bill starting the entire program some twenty years later says he has regrets.  The source of those regrets are the companies using this for cheap labor and to offshore work.  He didn't see that coming.

Bottom line is any time I see the two words "Study" and "NFAP" in the same sentence I think "corporate propaganda".  These guys couldn't give two craps about immigrants themselves - as long as they show up for work, keep their mouths shut, and don't get all fussy about "rights" and "fairness".  The moment foreign salaries come close to matching American salaries is the moment NFAP forgets all about immigration.  NFAP really does represent "the bad guy".

May 25, 2011 11:19 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

Another "wandering Don" article.

After not addressing the issues about a prior article, Don writes a new one.

NFAP is hardly unbiased and is a dubious sort.

Let me explain this in simple terms we can all understand.

You are a STEM unemployed professional at 50 noting the extremely poor job prospects and you will be encouraging your offspring to do something else.

And "Here Don goes again" sputtering nonsense.


Don "please try to stay focused"

I along with others are waiting for YOUR response to the question "Do you consider getting a $10 to $14 an hour job a success" after YOU got "busted" with YOUR article saying "Over 50 stop whining and get back to work"


If all these low cost foreign imports over the past decade being well over a million really makes for a better economy then perhaps you can explain why the economy is in the great shape is at the moment instead of reaching to new heights of prosperity for all.

Something tells me you won't answer that question either.

May 25, 2011 11:24 AM Jobs4US Jobs4US  says:

Time out.  These H-1b families are NOT immigrants.  Legally, H-1b visa workers are temporary non-immigrants working in the US on corporate visas.  

At minimum, this study is suspicious - what reputable study would focus children's achievements on the parent's immigration status?

This questionable study provides zero basis for its claims. Yet another baseless piece of FUD to support the outsourcing of America from greedy corporations and paid off politicians.

This story is full of propaganda intended to build the case for bringing in even more temporary visa workers to the USA to outsource USA jobs and increase US unemployment.

Did you know that today it is LEGAL for corporations to bypass Americans for USA jobs and only hire citizens from other countries?

The H-1b is not about the brightest and best, its about the cheapest. GAO audits show majority of H-1b have average skills and fill entry level jobs. In 2009, India's Foreign Minister told the NY Times H-1b is an "outsourcing visa".

Fraud and More Fraud - According to GAO audits, 25%+ of H-1b applications are fraudulent. And, the US Embassy in India found fraud in 77% corporate work visas (Wikileaks)

Americans - not Indians - put a man on the moon... American tech workers - not Bill Gates solo - made computer technology a reality. Americans - not Indians - will end US unemployment and reclaim America's American Dream.

May 25, 2011 11:30 AM Su Su  says: in response to Dolores

All such data should be taken as some statistical distribution. These things should not be taken as if all H1 holder's children are way better than US kids. However nothing wrong in raising a concern that there is a scope of improvement and there is no denying in a fact that a big percentage of US kids are getting diverting on focussing too much on gym and gaming etc. and try to improve system. I think that should be the idea rather than having a biased attitude.

The same opposite bias is vbecause 3rd world Asian countries have lots of problem and may be 70% of those kids doesn't even have basic education - that doesn't mean that americans should be happy and relax hoping God bless America attitude. There can be 30% of those who are working hard and nothing wrong in motivating Americans to get better prepared to take that competition/challange.

Overall I think that is the idea. I think the bias on the idea that "all American's are much better than all poor 3rd World countries" are much bigger than the idea that "all Asians kids are much more genius than American kids". Any of such biased mentalities should be changed for having a better America.

May 25, 2011 11:37 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to R. Lawson

Funny you said Mayberry....I do live in that part of the Old dominion where we still have that culture.....we haven't been invaded to the levels that most big cities have been....LOL...

May 25, 2011 11:42 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Jobs4US

"At minimum, this study is suspicious - what reputable study would focus children's achievements on the parent's immigration status?"

A corporate "study". 

Their motivations are so transparent it's disgusting very few people connect the dots.  They get away with it every time.

Maybe it's time we start getting information on NFAP and Stuart Anderson.  If he has a speeding ticket, I want to know about it.  I think he would do anything - and I mean anything - to support his agenda.

NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR AMERICAN POLICY     ARLINGTON, VA     03     Assets: $25,277       Income: $165,37

Six figure salary to produce BS studies.  Not bad.  If only the non-profit groups I've worked with could get that kind of financial support.  It pays to lie. 

I just came up with a new name for the Programmers Guild.  National Foundation For American Software Innovators.  Who would oppose an American innovator?  You've got to start thinking like these creeps to beat them.

May 25, 2011 11:46 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Su

Within the boundaries of America, citizen workers ARE a legally protected class and their right (yes) to first crack at employment offers for jobs within America has been badly violated for over a decade. Non-immigrant visa holders are NOT a protected class per se, and have no standing to claim discrimination against ads that specify a citizen or green card holder, or ad that ask questions or make statements designed to screen out applicants who may require sponsorship. Most people don't realize this. Part of the answer will be to impose strict market tests prior to the granting of any more work visas.

May 25, 2011 11:51 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

<<>> - can't agree more than this and that is what is happening on H1 visa cases. American salaries went too high compared to skill individuals offered and then came the competition who could replace that work force at least with cheap labor if not at all on quality. So americans should scale up and offer challange on that competition.

Just thinking that everyone is doing fraud on H1 front and taking away millions of jobs from Americans is never going to help. H1 fraud might be taking away hundreds of jobs but fair clean H1 program is taking lot more bulk of the job and challange should be taken on that front.

May 25, 2011 12:13 PM Su Su  says: in response to Dolores

I understand and appreciate the view point here but that looks like a totally different topic and building a different America.

Countries like "France" protect and they don't like all these outsourcing job etc but America chose to be different and open rather than protect everyone (and who? how they decide who to protect? whoever came here in US before 1970, 1960...1920 or 1880?)

So yes if America starts protecting this legally protected class then it should be fair to keep outsiders away before protecting jobs within America first. But before that happens it will be unfair to call blindly anyone coming from outside as cheap, fraud, cheat etc.

US can't really pick and choose how they want to do business with other countries. Just like a t-shirt becomes affordable in US because it is made in china samething is happening in IT also. Some wireless phone plan might become 180$ per month if America starts protecting but definitely it is choice of a country.

On a different note if we don't like any certain model there a other model/countries policy which all think is best in the World? No ..because you will find always pros and cons everywhere. With all problems and joblessness America might be still doing way better than China and India. The idea is to keep doing that and article is about that.

May 25, 2011 12:27 PM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Su

Like I said before.

Don among many others practice LAZY journalism.

They don't check FACTS.

Just because someone says something doesn't make it true. 

NFAP is hardly an unbiased source

May 25, 2011 12:52 PM Rick Rick  says: in response to Dolores

Don are you sufferring from bipolar to take a sudden U turn in your stance from anti H1 visa to become pro H1 visa ??

May 25, 2011 12:55 PM Rick Rick  says: in response to Dolores

Don are you sufferring from bipolar to take a sudden U turn in your stance from anti H1 visa to become pro H1 visa ?? Have the Infosys management paid you well or convinced you by their sweet talking words and showing you the cause for a better world they are trying to build by filling their pockets by billions ?? I would say you are just being disillusioned .

May 26, 2011 1:35 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

I agree.  Too much of that from both sides.  Let's at least try to resist the urge to stereotype.

Ironically, to conduct a study such as this the authors are forced to stereotype. 

"The study found that 60 percent of the finalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition are the children of parents who came to the United States on H-1B visas"

So the study authors had the nerve to question the children and their parents about their immigration status?  Did they also click their boots and say "show me your papers"? 

NFAP is really just race baiting here.  What type of reaction did they expect to a study trying to make the case that one race's children are smarter than another? 

I've wondered about the immigration status of some people I have worked with - but it's not my job to police everyone so out of respect I resist the urge to ask intrusive questions.  I expect companies to follow the law and our government to enforce it.  We should be able to safely assume that everyone we work with is legal.  We can't but the way we solve that problem is through political advocacy and legal channels - not stereotyping.

NFAP has crossed a line here.  Nobody calls them on it because their motives are greed.  And greed is OK in America.

May 26, 2011 1:42 AM Edelweiss Edelweiss  says: in response to hireamerican

OMG! Now you give the impression that the H1B parents are better than the American parents. That's all we need now.

May 26, 2011 2:15 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Edelweiss

Doing the work on behalf of the children

1) teaches the children that it is ok to not uphold the honor system

2) It also puts the rest of the children at a disadvantage.

May 26, 2011 2:38 AM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

For fear  of garnering the wrath of a few of you ...

Try this        GOOGLE      H-1B  lie cheat

see what  turns up ?

May 26, 2011 3:17 AM sandy sandy  says:

Actually, our education system needs to be reformed; it needs more funds too. As a parent, I always try to motivate my daughter doing her studies. However, with motivation knowledge and skills are also required to do well. Our present education system does not always provide the challenges that (India and china provide to their students) can bring out the best from a student. Every American student has the capability to complete their school and hold postsecondary degrees. They have the expertise and talent; online tutoring services like helps to bring that out by providing them all essential helps at the most reasonable cost. Some of them offer online math scholarship program to help deserving underprivileged American students learning math at free of cost. There are many students in our country, who can't continue with their studies due to lack of proper guidance and poor financial background. They can take advantage of online tutoring services.

May 26, 2011 3:29 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to EngiNERD

1) Fake experience on resumes

2) Training on illegal copies of software in India

3) Paying to get a company to sponsor for a H1b visa

4) Running fake payroll for benched employees

5) Illegal ads saying only H1bs can apply

6) Interviewing for someone else over the phone

7) L1 visa holders working in production support & 3rd party applications

8) B1 visa holders coding and testing onsite

9) Discriminating against citizens at work

10) Threatening by corporate America to move their business to other countries if H1b visa levels are not increased..........The list goes on.......

May 26, 2011 7:50 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to hireamerican

...the list goes on and so the cribing. The only thing which is not happening is some hard work and only that can solve ur problem.

May 26, 2011 8:40 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Sam

You call it cribbing...we call it exposing the lies and deceit. It ain't the H1bs grandfathers' jagir to come over and do whatever you want and cheat people whose forefathers have built this country....

May 26, 2011 8:41 AM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

Let me  offer this posting,  articles

National Data, By Edwin S. Rubenstein

The Stupid American? Look again.

Psssst: Have you heard? We've lost our competitive edge.

May 26, 2011 8:45 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to hireamerican

Perform or perish is the only rule in this exponentially growing world. You cant just sit idle thinking it your forefather's jagir!

May 26, 2011 8:54 AM James Murphy James Murphy  says:

If all these immigrants are so smart, why is it neither they nor their ancestors were never able to make their own country worth living in? Where are the great software applications from the countries supplying most of the H-1Bs?  The 'KILLER APPS' that the U.S. is so great at producing.  What great software package was developed in India, by Indians, working for Indians?

Consider the source.  This is not an impartial report. Stuart Anderson makes a living lobbying for cheap foreign labor.  He was the author of the 1997 report by the Information Technology Association of America lobbying organization, which was the impetus for Congress' enacting the first major H-1B increase, in 1998.  Anderson went on to become a Senate staffer, authoring the 1998 and 2000 bills which expanded the H-1B program. The National Foundation for American Policy is actually a one-person operation consisting only of Stuart Anderson.  While most researchers find little difference in the achievement of immigrant kids and other Americans, Stuart Anderson has a long history of producing research papers showing that this country is headed downhill without the help of foreign scientist and engineers.  Check out the website.  Back in 2004 Mr. Anderson released a report 'The Multiplier Effect' claiming that the H-1B program is indirectly supplying the U.S. with a population of math and science geniuses--not the H-1Bs themselves, but their CHILDREN.  Almost the same thing he finds here.

Look at the data.  This is bad statistical analysis due to a biased sample. Almost all of the H-1Bs have degrees in science and engineering.  Is it really surprising that they are more interested in science than the general population? What would you expect if the children of American born engineers were compared to the general population?  If the high school age children of foreign born ITBusinessEdge bloggers knew more about IT business blogging than their classmates in high school would that mean that Don Tennant should be displaced by an H-1B blogger from India who is willing to do the jobs for a third less salary?   That by the way is perfectly legal. 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.

For a more balanced view see the following: Our Schools vs. Theirs: Averages That Hide The True Extremes by David Berliner,  Do we need more scientists? By Michael Teitelbaum Five-minute summary by Norm Matloff Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage by Norm Matloff


When I was in high school some of my classmates participated in a science fair.  Funny thing however, none of the students who entered went on to become scientist or engineers. I went to college with one who tried but flunked out and went into accounting.  When I asked why he had spent so much time in things like the science fair he said his parents had pushed him. 

May 26, 2011 9:41 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Sam

What we are doing is exposing the exponentially growing corruption....Americans know how to safeguard their interests. Never doubt that!!!

May 26, 2011 10:14 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to James Murphy

your statement " If the high school age children of foreign born ITBusinessEdge bloggers knew more about IT business blogging than their classmates in high school would that mean that Don Tennant should be displaced by an H-1B blogger from India who is willing to do the jobs for a third less salary? " is incorrect as H1B salary is more than what an American is getting for the same job.

May 26, 2011 10:24 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to hireamerican

and then American farmer goes to field to get next days produce...and people in village enter farmer's house start f**ing his the meantime some teen ager also enters and start doing same with his daughter...poor farmer caught it and shot at villager....sherrif caught farmer ...and farmer's wife happily f**ed ever after entire 3 kid grow up becoming stupid and lost job to indian farmer's kids...who was smart enough to take care of his produce and family . Such is the American Culture

May 26, 2011 10:37 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Sam

Indian farmer's wife gave birth to a daughter that looks exactly like the village barber......but...Indian farmer shuts his mouth and continues to keep the wife in the name of family honor....

Indian doctor's wife elopes with the family car driver...but the car driver in unable to provide her with the life that the doctor husband was able to so she came back..and the doctor took her back for the sake of his children......

True stories......hehehehe

May 26, 2011 10:41 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Sam

H1Bs get jobs with fake resume and 3 month IT Boot camp training...not because he/she is smarter....

American students will also start having the same access...I am making sure of that....

May 26, 2011 10:43 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to hireamerican

lol..well dont know if it is true or not but entire world knows that Americans are famous for cheating their partners and biggest problem which America is facing now is teen pregnancy!

May 26, 2011 10:44 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to hireamerican

BTW, Science and math are not everything....students needs to be taught to be well rounded individuals....

May 26, 2011 10:47 AM fireamericans fireamericans  says: in response to hireamerican

Looks like You and Sam can continue it for whole day but nothing gonna come out fruitful. But just from your comment it looks like you have very wrong idea about world and Americans...if you ask whole world then you will get fair idea on cultural background on both countries...both history and current picture.

US is just a country with top GDP because handful immigrants uses huge resource and land ....not because of any special skill and culture..... no one looks up at americans for their culture ..... just becuase you have huge money doesn't make you skilled cultured or intelligent..... all you can do is protect and not compete.... if you compete you are loosing to indians in IT...south americans in labor .... Asians in manufacturing, electronics, automobile ...everywhere.... your only agenda can be just PROTECT our wealth and keep it with handful people whose great great great grand parents were looser in their native country and came to the land of opertunities!!!

May 26, 2011 11:17 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says:

It sickens me to have my blog used as a forum for the two sides of this issue to engage in hate speech against each other. Take the ignorant slurs someplace else. They aren't welcome here.

May 26, 2011 11:19 AM hire american hire american  says: in response to Sam

LOL...In India girls are either murdered while still in the womb....or they are married off when they are in their teens....hence become teenage mothers....

There is just as much infidelity, if not more among Indians....LOL....

May 26, 2011 11:21 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to fireamericans

Whatever, get the heck of here if you don't like the cultur ehere....

May 26, 2011 11:26 AM fireamericans fireamericans  says: in response to Don Tennant

Thorugh out your blogs and comments I have never seen it sickens you whenever it is onesided attack....ok we'll keep it shut and let you guys enjoy some biased bashing.... keep going...I'm using this very bad name in here for last time (fireamerican) just to reply an individual here ...I don't mean it....I'll be lurker now....enjoy!!

May 26, 2011 11:27 AM Bob K Bob K  says: in response to fireamericans

From time to time there has been discussion of "immigrant bashing", yet I have never heard the phrase "citizen bashing" mentioned once by the media. Yet, these types of studies and subsequent articles (I saw this covered on the Huffington Post) basically amount to citizen bashing. In essence, they're saying US citizens are a bunch of chimps who can't learn math, and we all will be totally doomed unless every year we allow an unlimited amount of genius foreigners to immigrate to this country.

This thinking is wrong and offensive on so many levels. First, what kind of half-baked national strategy is it to fill the supposed "skills gap" by simply adding bodies and growing the population year-after-year to unbearable levels? Second, with massive unemployment in this country it's pretty hard to believe that we can't find people here to do the job. I mean really, even if there were NO Java programmers out there, is it really a herculean task to train someone up for 6 to 12 months? No company will make this minimmal investment, yet we hear double-talk from the corporate lobbyists that we need to "re-train the workforce."

Moreover, let's assume there is an achievement gap in math and sciences between citizens and foreigners and/or recent immigrants. It wouldn't be a total surprise since every elite from the National Science Foundation to Alan Greenspan has made it national policy to depress wages in these fields and shepherd Americans to non-value-adding professions like business management. So why would anyone be surprised that the average high schooler would take to business more than the sciences? Instead you get these lame brained, brute force ideas from the open borders and corporate lobby of stapling visas to diplomas and so forth. Good Lord, is there any common sense left?

May 26, 2011 11:30 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Don Tennant

What you are writing is not gospel. Thus you invite people who write the way they write.

The indian government just released the list of top rankers that will be admitted to India's top tech schools, the IITs. These students are among the top 100 students this year. If we want to have the best and brightest immigrate to our country, just recruit these students instead of bringing a few million H1Bs that get their degrees from one of the millions of low standard corporate engineering schools in India.

May 26, 2011 11:31 AM James Murphy James Murphy  says: in response to Sam

Not true as you can see by downloading the Labor Condition Application (LCA) data from

True they are supposed to be paid the prevailing wage (in the beginning they only had to be paid 95 percent of prevailing wage) but when the rules for determining the prevailing wage are applied employers get away with paying about a third less than an American doing the same job.  One opponent of the H-1B applied to hire programmers and asserted the prevailing wage as less than the minimum wage in his state.  The Department of labor approved the application. But then they had to approve it even with the unrealistic prevailing wage claim.  The H-1B law prohibits DOL from rejecting an application because of the wage.

See How to Underpay H-1B Workers at

As entrepreneur turned academic Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University put it:

'I know from my experience as a tech CEO that H-1Bs are cheaper than domestic hires. Technically, these workers are supposed to be paid a prevailing wage,' but this mechanism is riddled with loopholes. In the tech world, salaries vary widely based on skill and competence. Yet the prevailing wage concept works on average salaries, so you can hire a superstar for the cost of an average worker.'

May 26, 2011 11:34 AM James Murphy James Murphy  says: in response to Don Tennant

Then remove them.

May 26, 2011 11:56 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to James Murphy

As must be very obvious by now, we don't like to remove reader comments, regardless of how distasteful they are. It's only in the most egregious cases that that step is taken. I simply want it known that a back-and-forth exchange between readers directing hate speech against each other is not how I want this forum to be used.

May 26, 2011 11:58 AM Megan Megan  says: in response to Dolores

Don you are taking a very matured view about this whole discussion about immigration and globalisation where on one hand you are supporting the genuine H1 parents and their hard working kids while on other hand you taking on the crony capitalists like Infosys management who dont care about laws , dont care about employee security , dont care about ethics and all they care about is filling their own pockets through billions and trillions and consider appearing in the Forbes richest list as some sort of thing of pride and achievement . I have met many Indian businessmen and politicians and most of them have a very kiddish aspiration of appearing in the Forbes richest list and they dont care what cost the people working under them have to pay for securing their leaders an entry to the Forbes list .

May 26, 2011 11:59 AM Megan Megan  says: in response to R. Lawson

Don you are taking a very matured view about this whole discussion about immigration and globalisation where on one hand you are supporting the genuine H1 parents and their hard working kids while on other hand you taking on the crony capitalists like Infosys management who dont care about laws , dont care about employee security , dont care about ethics and all they care about is filling their own pockets through billions and trillions and consider appearing in the Forbes richest list as some sort of thing of pride and achievement . I have met many Indian businessmen and politicians and most of them have a very kiddish aspiration of appearing in the Forbes richest list and they dont care what cost the people working under them have to pay for securing their leaders an entry to the Forbes list .

May 27, 2011 1:22 AM James Murphy James Murphy  says:

Response to Some of the Don Tennant Bashing

I am a long time opponent of the H-1B.  I first became aware of this evil visa in 2002 when a year long search for a programming job produced nothing.   I noticed that not only had I not gotten a job but the jobs that were advertised had a distantly different flavor to them.  Two things were very different.  First jobs listed a greater number of skills.  Second, to a large extent, ads did not list a phone number.  What I found was that the lack of jobs was due to the H-1B cap being increased to 195,000 in October 2001.  The lack of phone numbers was because employers were trying their H-1Bs for green cards and had to collect resumes to 'prove' no qualified American were available. Google '' and see

"Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker," he said. "And, you know, that, in a sense, that sounds funny, but it's what we're trying to do here.  So certainly we are not going to try to find the place where the applicants are going to be the most numerous, we're going to try to find a place where, again, we're complying with the law and hoping and likely not to find qualified and interested worker applicants."

That said let me say I appreciate Don Tennant's reporting on this issue.  He has been fair to opponents.  I disagree with him on his basic judgment that foreign STEM workers are an asset. Perhaps once they were and will be in the future but not now.  I think he underestimates the now and long term harm the H-1B does to this nation. I also think he is too quick to label some comment as bashing or racist. My disagreement with him does not alter my view that he has covered the issue with journalistic integrity.   To date that makes him outstanding.  Back in 2002 most of the coverage of the H-1B, and there was little of it except in the Indian press, was a rewording of employer press releases.   It is a free country and Mr. Tennant is entitled to his opinion.  But, as a consumers of news, I am entitled to the facts and complete coverage.  Mr. Tennant has given me that.  Few others have.

May 27, 2011 3:22 AM Joe Joe  says: in response to hireamerican

Dont forget insider trading of INFY stocks trading on new york stock exchange , there have been brazen 10-15% percent volatility in INFY stocks on single days , the reason being wild insider trading . This is a huge criminal offense and if dealt with can wipe out Infy .Check the two links below :-

May 31, 2011 2:53 AM Student storage Student storage  says:

One basic thing about the human nature is that person response the way how his environment is. Emigrants people has to face many difficulties to survive. Thus the have developed and strengthen the genes of survival and struggle. So scientifically their children are also showing the results in such a way.

Jun 1, 2011 6:22 AM Hireamerican Hireamerican  says: in response to Test Test

That is close to how we were doing it back in the day..somewhere along the way it changed..... in the last 10 years....

Jun 1, 2011 7:38 AM Test Test Test Test  says:

What if, rather than using the flawed H-1B program, we simply sponsored the top 10% of foreign college students who graduate in the US each year (about 35,000 in total) and saved a remaining 45,000 for foreigners with exceptionally high test scores or grades who graduate abroad-regardless of major.  If they ace an IQ or a graduate admission test, they can come to the US-even if they decide they prefer painting to engineering.

The criticism of H-1B comes from its deliberate selection of computer programmers regardless of whether that is what the economy currently demands.  Simply sponsoring smart foreigners-and letting them CHOOSE their career later-would overcome this objection.

And, it would probably increase the number of smart kids with immigrant parents

Jun 7, 2011 9:01 AM G Wehrman G Wehrman  says:

Outstanding article  Don.  Thank you.

Jan 3, 2012 2:53 AM Kate Rostac Kate Rostac  says:

The fact that 70% of the highest student achievers come from immigrant families is perfectly normal, and I'm not even trying to be cynical, like Bill Mahr when he made the 'just how stupid are we' story. I took a close look at the demographics and educational statistics while taking my degree in curriculum and instruction, and the U.S. is not the only country that has a high rate of over-achieving students from immigrant families, Australia and New Zealand are in a similar situation. This doesn't necessarily mean that Asian or Indian immigrants are more intelligent than the natives, I think the motivational factor is of great importance, and who would be more motivated to do great in school than immigrant kids?

Sep 12, 2012 4:24 AM amnamaher amnamaher  says:
If anyone can find any evidence that the program sponsors 1z0-053 exam deny American kids a chance to compete in these competitions, please 1z0-053 practice tests let me know about it. Reply
Feb 4, 2013 2:10 PM Paul Warren Paul Warren  says: in response to Kate Rostac
In my masters in curriculum and instruction we really delved into motivational factors in students and I agree that many students with native parents have a sense of entitlement. Although I feel that this particular population is skewed considering most children with parents that have acquired a H1-B are going to more educated and wealthier than their contemporaries. Reply

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