Claim of 'Policies' to Displace U.S. Workers Is Destined to Backfire

Don Tennant

My post earlier this week, "Irresponsible Claim: U.S. Firms Have 'Policies' to Displace American Workers," has sparked quite an uproar among people who disagree with my contention that immigration reform advocate Ron Hira was untruthful when he claimed that major companies in the United States displace U.S. workers in favor of foreign workers as a matter of corporate policy.

 

The uproar aside, I was surprised to find that University of California at Davis professor Norm Matloff, a U.S. technology workers' rights advocate for whom I have the highest regard and who is consistently reasoned and knowledgeable in addressing these issues, was among those who failed to see the problem with Hira's contention. Hira had claimed during a debate on CNN with Vivek Wadhwa, a well-known advocate for expanding opportunities for foreign technology workers in the United States, that Bank of America, IBM, Pfizer and Wachovia have all instituted policies to displace U.S. workers.

 

In his H-1B/L-1/offshoring e-newsletter on Wednesday, Matloff wrote about the exchange between Hira and Wadhwa, and my coverage of it. He noted that in my response to a reader who commented on my post, I had made this statement:

Of course American workers are being displaced, Roy. Of course they are.

Unfortunately, Matloff chose not to include the rest of my comment. If he had, it would have given his readers a much more accurate understanding of where I'm coming from:

But the moment we take our eye off of what's happening in real life and start to make reckless claims like Hira's assertion that it is the policy of these very high-profile companies to displace American workers, we give companies like Infosys ammunition to plead a case that immigration reformers are making false claims. It's very similar to my longstanding argument that the anti-immigration haters have severely clouded the need to reform the H-1B program, because the voice of reform for so long was outshouted by the voice of hate. In this case, the true situation we have of American workers being displaced in practice is being clouded by the FUD created by the spread of a claim that massive corporations are doing this as a matter of corporate policy. Infosys says, "Show me the policy." And Infosys wins. I hate that.

If Matloff had included that part, it would have flown in the face of this portion of the same e-newsletter:

I've praised Don here before, and I've continued to find him to be exceptionally astute. Though I think he would admit to being biased a bit in favor of the industry, he usually makes a genuine attempt to be openminded. In this instance, though, Don dropped the ball.

As you can see, Matloff and I genuinely respect each other. But it's troubling that he would say he thinks that I would "admit to being biased a bit in favor of the industry." That's nonsense. I've never written anything to suggest such a thing. Anyone who cares can easily do a Google search and be reminded of a fair number of journalism awards I've been honored to receive over the years, specifically for calling "industry" to account for its actions. So Norm, I suggest you rethink going there.

 


It is a fact that there are documented cases in which American technology workers have been forced to train their H-1B replacements. That sickens me. It is a fact that U.S. workers have been displaced, laid off by companies that subsequently hired foreign workers on temporary visas. That's wrong, and that's an abuse of our visa programs that urgently needs to be fixed. What has to be understood, however, is that embellishing on the facts as a means of trying to fix those problems will inevitably backfire. That stuff just exacerbates the wrongdoing because the embellishment undermines the argument against them.

 

You can argue from now till the cows come home that Hira was being truthful when he initially claimed that IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer and Wachovia are out to displace U.S. workers as a matter of corporate policy. But you'll forever be thwarted by the simple fact that Hira backed down from that irresponsible claim when he was challenged on it. It's noteworthy that no one who has disagreed with me has bothered to mention that fact. They're all sidestepping Hira's own begrudging admission, "They have it in practice. I'll put it that way."

 

If Hira truly believed, and could demonstrate, that these American companies are out to displace American workers as a matter of corporate policy, why didn't he stick to his guns? That he couldn't, and that he put himself in that awkward position, is his own fault. He would have been much more convincing and effective if he had simply argued from the beginning that specific wrongs have been committed in practice, and that these wrongs need to be addressed. Instead, he came across as just another dissembling talking head. I can just imagine how the executives at companies like Infosys are grinning from ear to ear.



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Nov 2, 2011 5:15 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says:

I just watched the video.  You identified an area you disagree with when you parse one sentence among many, but Ron Hira asked simply for a labor test (at least in the clips I was able to on what is currently online - I understand it isn't the complete video).  Hira said we need a system that is fair for both American and foreign workers.

Wadwha began the debate insulting Hira, accusing him of haranguing foreign workers.  And that line of attack continued on.  "Because of all this haranguing and we have people like Ron Hira haranguing foreigners . . .we are exporting are competitiveness because of this xenophobia."

Are we referring to the same video Don?: yourmoney.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/30/should-a-u-s-degree-equal-a-green-card/

Wadhwa even had the nerve to suggest Hira was simply trying to sell some books.  Are you kidding me?  There wasn't a single segment where Wadhwa spoke that did not include a personal insult.  Not a one!

If I have anything to say critically about Ron Hira, it's that he didn't go on the offensive and shut Wadhwa's attacks down.  I don't see how you can watch that segment and not be drawn into the vicious nature of Wadhwa.

In the last blog, one of my last posts found some very interesting things about Wadhwa.  I'll accept your criticism of Hira as fair and an honest difference of opinion.  But you should spend an equal amount of time uncovering the truth about Wadhwa and being more critical about how his side has unfairly framed this debate - and also expose the grandstanding by Wadhwa.  He presents himself as an academic and uninterested researcher with no dog in the fight, when he is in fact using some of his old tactics BACK WHEN HE HELPED OFFSHORE JOBS and develop "junk technology".

This pattern has existed for years, and began with groups like the ITAA, with groups like NFAP and faux-researchers like Wadhwa now carrying the torch.  There is a story here, and Ron Hira is the most honest part of the story you will find.

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Nov 2, 2011 6:01 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Roy Lawson

It is not true that I identified an area I disagree with and parsed one sentence among many. I would have thought that you, of all people, would know better, especially since you are aware that what you saw is not the complete video. In fact, the part I wrote about isn't even in that part that's online. I watched it on TV and made an audio recording of that. I wrote about the "policy" claim, which is not part of the online clip, because I found it to be outrageous. Simple as that. I basically provided a transcript of that part of the interview in my previous post. You tell me: Why did Hira finally back down after being pressed (more by Velshi than by Wadhwa), and say, "They have it in practice, I'll put it that way"? The point of the post was not that Hira's cause is unfounded, but that the embellishment is deceitful, and deceit hurts the cause that Hira is fighting for.

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Nov 2, 2011 6:26 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

My reaction to the transcript and what is on television (or in my case the online link I provide) is different Don. The TV reaction is more emotional, the study of the transcript is more analytical. On the segment I watched you see Wadhwa being a worm/attack dog. I think most people will have the same emotional response I had, which is to conclude that Wadwha is an a-hole.

When I parse over the transcript you provided (also a synopsis I presume) I see where Hira mis-steps - and I agree with you on that rhetorical mis-step. 

"I think it's quite widespread right now," Hira replied."You've got companies like IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer, Wachovia that have all had these policies in place."

"Let's clarify it," Velshi said."You're saying, Ron, that there are companies, and you named them-Bank of America, IBM, Pfizer-that have policies that somehow do this -- they have policies."

"That's correct," Hira replied.

...

"Is there a policy?" Velshi asked."Do they have policies that do this, or are you saying it's a widespread practice?"

"They have it in practice," Hira replied."I'll put it that way."

RL:Hira was right to correct himself. That's what honest people do - when they recognize they mis-spoke the clarify what it is they are saying.

Don "Wadhwa didn't let up.He challenged that statement, too."

RL:Because he has some character issues.

"No they do not," he said."That is a dishonest statement." Wadhwa took issue with Hira's contention that the practice was somehow institutionalized in these companies.

RL:And Wadhwa is wrong. "Practice" is the correct word to use. Hira is correct, and the systematic practice of these corporations has been exactly that. Perhaps their motives were purely based on profits - and perhaps they were based on prevailing business practices. But at the end of the day the end result is the same. Motive matters little.

"There are some outliers-there are some bad companies," Wadhwa acknowledged."There may be some stupid manager who did something stupid.But when you say that all these big companies have policies to not hire Americans and to displace them, this is complete nonsense."

RL:Well, now it is Wadhwa who is lying. Because Hira corrected the record and changed his verbage to "practice" yet Wadhwa still characterized Hira's position as STILL sticking to the term "policy". He revised his statement, but that wasn't good enough.

Don, you also quoted the attack that was one of many from Wadhwa:

"This is the rhetoric that's hurting American competitiveness.We have this xenophobia, this stupidity, and it's scaring the world's best and brightest away, and the American economy is going to decline because of this."

He characterized Hira's position as xenophobia, just as he does anyone who has a different view than him. This is why so many people really dislike Wadhwa. We recognize his vile tactics. We see them so often that we are especially in tune to them. It really rubs me the wrong way because we simply cannot have an honest debate on the matter so long as Wadhwa and people like them continue to introduce red-herring arguments and personal attacks. 

But that is just the point. Wadhwa doesn't want you to think critically about this issue.  Reply

Nov 2, 2011 6:26 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant
He wants to distract you with salacious accusations and avoid really discussing the matter. He gets through these 3 minute segments because TV loves controversy and they really don't care about critical thinking so long as you are entertained. Wadhwa knows the formula - and he fools television watchers with his smooth tongue just like he fooled investors out of their hard earned money with some of his nefarious business dealings. He is a pitchman - and to be honest I'm not sure he even cares about this issue. I think he just enjoys the attention.

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Nov 2, 2011 7:16 AM Rich Heyne Rich Heyne  says:

Irresponsible Claim? Really Don!

So you were looking for evidence of Policy.

Well, If it walk like a Duck, talks like a duck, it's a Duck!

Unless you work for HR in any company, its going to be very hard to get.

But that does not mean, that is not the process, does it?

200 years ago, many in the US did not have a Policy to bring in Slaves from Africa, but we had slavery right. And so many in the US Benefited from Slavery did they not. Sure they did.

So many in the US don't have written policy that they will only hire illegal aliens, yet that's all they do hire. Am i missing something.

Ever since the 1990's, millions and millions of American have been laid-off, forced to train, then replaced by their H-1B/L1, replacement.

So because you don't see a "Hard Copy" written policy, it's not happening? Dahh..

Remember this:

"Our goal is clearly NOT TO FIND a qualified and interested U.S. worker."

The most infamous quote by immigration lawyer Larry Lebowitz during the Cohen & Grigsby seminar on employment visas, May 15th, 2007 in Pittsburgh. Lebowitz coached immigration attorneys and employers how to avoid hiring U.S. workers in order to hire foreign workers on green cards.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR1Jke2NWTA&;feature=rec-HM-fresh+div

How about this:

Indians involved in major US H-1B visa racket

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/US/Indians-involved-in-major-US-H-1B-visa-racket/articleshow/4124465.cms

And how about this:

Pfizer Forcing U.S. Citizens to Train H-1B Guest Worker Replacements Before Being Fired

www.economicpopulist.org/content/pfizer-forcing-us-citizens-train-h-1b-guest-worker-replacements-being-fired

Multinationals Dump U.S. Workers for Foreign Labor

www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/05/09/Multinationals-Dump-US-Workers-for-Foreign-Labor.aspx#page1

And how about this by YOU Don!:

IBM Global Services Reportedly Cited for Visa Fraud in India

www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/tennant/ibm-global-services-reportedly-cited-for-visa-fraud-in-india/?cs=46678#comment-46716

I could go on, but you get the point, we don't always the exact proof or proof of policy, yet we do have a crime and much of the evidence in millions, but you want the policy in hard copy. Good luck with that.

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Nov 2, 2011 7:30 AM American Worker American Worker  says:

Pfizer's Procedure 117:A policy that replaces American workers with H1B workers from Infosys and Satyam:

www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Management/Pfizer-Accused-of-Using-US-Workers-to-Train-Foreign-Replacements/

Pfizer's outsourcing contract with Infosys Technologies and Satyam Computer Services means job losses for IT workers in Connecticut.Many U.S.-based contractors are complaining that they are being asked to train H-1B workers who will soon replace them.

Pfizer is taking flak for what detractors charge is a plan to use U.S.workers to train the foreign contractors that will replace them during a years-long outsourcing project.

Contractors in the company's Groton and New London, Conn., R&D facilities-many of whom are either former full-time staffers or replaced Connecticut-based staff-are complaining that foreign workers on H-1B visas are coming in to be trained on the company's systems, according to local newspaper The Day.

Those temporary workers are scheduled to return to India, where they will run the same systems as part of an outsourcing deal Pfizer signed in 2005 with Infosys Technologies and Satyam Computer Services.

The complaints about IT contractors are part of a larger swell of discontent focused on Procedure 117, a policy Pfizer instituted in January that requires the closure of even long-term contractor arrangements as those terms expire.It also institutes conditions-and some say harsh ones-on which contractors in IT and other specialties may or may not be able to continue to work with Pfizer.

U.S.Sen.Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and U.S.Rep.Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, who represent the region, sent a letter to Pfizer asking the company to reconsider laying off U.S.-based workers in Connecticut.

The situation, as reported by The Day, is unpleasant for U.S.-based IT workers, but not terribly unusual for companies shifting IT operations overseas during major outsourcing deals.

Calls to Pfizer requesting confirmation or comment were not returned.In a public statement the company said it was continuing to evolve IT operations "to meet global business challenges and look for efficiencies to help better manage operations, which include the use of contract workers on an as-needed basis."

Pfizer circulated an internal memo in 2005 saying it would try to cut $4 billion from its annual operating costs by 2008, largely by moving IT and other operations from the United States and Europe to countries with lower costs of living.

The memo, entitled "Evaluating Options:Moving IT Services to Low-Cost Locations," outlined a plan to shift much of the company's IT operations to Indian IT services firms Infosys and Satyam.

It's not illegal for companies to bring in H-1B workers for training, even if they're there to learn how to replace U.S.workers, according to Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology and co-author of "Outsourcing America."

"It's not surprising to have a company bring in H-1B or L-1 visas to transition that work to companies like Infosys and Satya, which are classified as H-1B-dependent because more than 15 percent of their work forces here are on visas," Hira said. Reply

Nov 2, 2011 7:30 AM American Worker American Worker  says:
"Still, you shouldn't have to dig your own grave by bringing in someone on an H-1B and training them to do your job."

Pfizer has between 800 and 1,000 contractors working in Groton and New London on any given day, alongside about 4,500 full-time workers, according to The Day.

The IT outsourcing contract is only one part of Pfizer's overall outsourcing and reorganization plan, which includes offshoring much of its manufacturing and raw-material production and acquisition.Pfizer cut more than 11,000 jobs in 2007 and closed a number of factories in an attempt to save $2 billion in operating costs, according to Bloomberg News.

Much of the reconsolidation was sparked by the approaching end of the patent and exclusive-manufacturing rights to anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor and negative publicity about the effects of its anti-smoking drug Chantix.The two are among the company's most profitable products.

Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, announced in October that its third-quarter net income had risen to $2.28 billion compared with $761 million in 2007, when it took a $2.8 billion charge for the failed development of an inhalant version of insulin.The company said cost-cutting played a major role in improving its net income during the quarter.

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Nov 2, 2011 7:59 AM jake_leone jake_leone  says: in response to Don Tennant

I think Ron made his point very well (just re-listened to it).

On the otherhand, Vivek's comment was full of sound-bite hysteria.

Just take one thing Vivek said (and there are a dozen more like this, in this one short video peice, are blatent character assassination attempts) Isn't it the case that when you acuse an academic (AN ACADEMIC!) like Ron Hira, of haranging foreign workers.  Isn't that just the height of hysteria bating (really absurdness) ?  Come on? 

Ron Hira haranging anyone, is a joke, and a complete false characterization.  Vivek Wadwha is a hysteria bater, and anyone who (on either side of this debate) listens to his comments in this video critically can see this.  What about Ron Hira, who seems like a mild-mannered, positive thinking guy, could possibly warrant such an "acid" attack.

We've tried the Lessaiz Faire way, and the outsourcers have taken the Lion's share of Visa's and are using them against us.  Depleting our ability to re-employ workers (at beginning IT jobs).  InfoSys case is a prime example, check Palmer's testimony.

Don you pick one thing in Hira's statements, that frankly is not a even near a misrepresentation, that is in fact very substantiated by public information, and say Vivek successfully attacked it?  I am struggling to even consider that sane.

You know Don, your recent stuff has really hit a low for inaccuracy and a lack of critical awareness, fact checking, and journalistic vetting.

And here's my case:

It's time for the Lessaiz Faire fools (who nearly destroyed Wall Street), to stop with the idiotic attacks and just listen to reason on this one.  It is totally reasonable to expect companies to make a good faith effort to hire U.S. citizens first, and to attest that they have done so.  This would have the an affect on the outsourcing companies, instead of having 90% of their engineering workforce, here in the U.S. on a Visa, they might actually try to hire a local U.S. worker (before turning the U.S. visa system to meet all they engineering personnel needs, as they now currently do).

Whether you are Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/"Whatever", you've got to see that for every worker taken off the unemployment line (possibly into a starting position at an IT company) is like putting 2 people into the tax-paying system, thereby relieving the economy of the growing debt burden that is scaring the heck out of Wall Street (that January deadline is looking, U.S. debt crisis is like Greece on Atomic Steroids man!).

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Nov 2, 2011 8:25 AM hoapres hoapres  says:

Me think you protest too much.

Matloff gives you more credit than I because while I commend you for allowing people to respond to your posts believe that you are for the most part just run away from people that show you are wrong with demonstrable facts and just wander off with another post.

Some of your language can be borderline inflamatory  and as discussed before "Stop complaining and go back to work" does not get any response when it is pointed out that the "success story" was a person who found a $14 an hour throw away help desk job.

And Hira really didn't in your words "back down". 

Me doth think you protest too much.  American corporations have a policy in place (although it may not be set down in writing) to replace American workers and it is pretty tacky for you to complain of Matloff "not reading the whole story" when you do the exact same thing of sorts by not responding to those that print "the whole story"

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Nov 2, 2011 8:49 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> I wrote about the "policy" claim, which is not part of the online clip, because I found it to be outrageous. <<

You are splitting hairs and the argument could be made that you are trolling.  Whether a de jure (set in writing) versus a de facto(in reality but not etched in writing) definition of "policy" applies the simple fact of the matter by your own admission American corporations have policies designed to displace American workers.

"Outrageous" is hardly appropriate for a possible terminology slip.  Sorry Don but does it really matter if the "policy" is put down in writing or not.

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Nov 2, 2011 8:58 AM jake_leone jake_leone  says: in response to Don Tennant

Since this is newsworthy, I think we need to have the whole clip.  Can you put it online for us?  Or maybe just the parts that are not in the publicly available section.  Thanks

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Nov 2, 2011 10:15 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to jake_leone
Nov 2, 2011 11:50 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

Seems to me that Hira got it right.

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Nov 3, 2011 1:21 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to sanych

You wrote in your comment that BofA's policy was to "move ALL technology jobs out of the United States." That's called offshore outsourcing. Any number of companies have decided to offshore all of their IT operations. That's an entirely different issue. The issue being discussed by Hira and Wadhwa in the CNN segment was all about bringing foreign workers here to displace U.S. workers as a matter of corporate policy. That couldn't have been more clear. I suggest you take more care to understand what's being discussed before posting an insulting comment.

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Nov 3, 2011 1:36 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> The issue being discussed by Hira and Wadhwa in the CNN segment was all about bringing foreign workers here to displace U.S. workers as a matter of corporate policy <<

Walks like a duck, smells like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a duck.

If you accept the premise that BofA's policy is to move all technology jobs out of the United States then that certainly sounds like bringing in foreign workers (at least temporarily to get the skills) to displace American workers.

Don you lost me here.  What is the real difference with regards to American worker displacement between the two scenarios of : 1. The job is sent overseas 2. Foreign workers coming to the US and getting the job.

The end result is the same to the effect that an American worker gets displaced.

If one has to choose between option 1 being the job going overseas and option 2 bringing in more foreign workers to the US then the clear favorite should be option 1.

Either way an American worker is getting displaced.

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Nov 3, 2011 1:54 AM P Henry P Henry  says:

I'm not sure what your point is, Don.  Are you saying that cheap labor shill Wadwa somehow proved that corporations aren't abusing the h-1b visa because Hira used the word "policy"?  OF COURSE THESE CORPORATIONS DON'T HAVE WRITTEN "POLICIES" TO HIRE ONLY H-1B WORKERS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO DISSEMINATE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.   IBM won't even say how many foreign workers it employs now because they know there will be a backlash.  Wadwa has proved nothing.  Last month 110,000 workers were hired in the ENTIRE COUNTRY by private employers (and that was a good month compared to others recently).  Over 65,000 h-1b visa's were issued this fiscal year.  www.workpermit.com/news/2011-10-28/us/united-states-increases-number-of-h1b-visas-issued-to-indians.htm

DO THE MATH.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:02 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to P Henry

Don't expect Don to address your issue.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:13 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to John80224

The cynic in me believes that Don will abandon this blog and start another one.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:23 AM sanych sanych  says: in response to Don Tennant

Now I understand the comments about splitting hairs. 

The problem, Don, is that you have no clue how the real world works, and I have no time and no space to educate you, to cross all the t's and dot all the i's.

If you had some idea how the IT works, then you would have realized that it is IMPOSSIBLE to move ALL technology jobs out this country.  After all, computers, customers, users are still here.

So, while BofA was telling its techies that eventually they will all be fired, it was hiring a consortium of Indian companies (Tata, Wipro, Infosys) to do their job.  Vast majority of employees in these companies are Indians.  It is obvious, that BofA policy resulted in American workers being replaced by foreign workers in THIS COUNTRY.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:28 AM John80224 John80224  says: in response to hoapres

I suppose there's a legitimate enough argument that if you onshore the work at least the taxes and living expenses stay in the US.  However, I'd agree.  The act of changing the very rules of the nation to more easily facilitate screwing its citizens overshadows the tax benefits.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:34 AM DrGeneNelson DrGeneNelson  says:

The H-1B Visa law was designed by industry lobbyists like Harris Miller to facilitate employer access to essentially indentured high-skill labor within the U.S. borders. Nobel Economics Laureate Milton Friedman called H-1B a "government subsidy" program in a 2002 Computerworld article. www.computerworld.com/s/article/72848/H_1B_Is_Just_Another_Gov_t._Subsidy

Then Commerce Minister of India Kamal Nath called the H-1B Visa the "outsourcing visa" in a 15 April 2007 New York Times article. www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/business/yourmoney/15view.html

Given the bloated size of the H-1B Visa program, as documented in my 2007 article, "The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit" tinyurl.com/37l8ry ; the result is that since 1990, millions of U.S. workers have been displaced by this controversial work visa program.

In a 14 March 2007 Boston Globe article, www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/03/14/greenspan_let_more_skilled_immigrants_in/ former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan advocates for more skilled foreign workers to depress wages. Greenspan falsely claims this will reduce income inequality. In reality, it will further widen the gulf between the wages of the banker class (like Greenspan) and the wages of skilled professionals.

Here is an excellent 25 October 2011 New York Times article on the massive dimensions of income inequality. www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/us/politics/top-earners-doubled-share-of-nations-income-cbo-says.html ;

Top Earners Doubled Share of Nation's Income, Study Finds

By ROBERT PEAR

Be sure to look at the accompanying graphic. Note the caption.

"The top 1 percent of American earners controls as much of the nation's total income as it did on the eve of the Great Depression. Now, however, their money comes from skyrocketing paychecks more than unearned income, as it did in 1928."

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Nov 3, 2011 2:42 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

While not relevant to those that are upset with offshoring American IT jobs then I give the following advice:

Start living like a North Korean and stop buying.

Start living as if you are making minimum wage and if companies can't sell their goods and services at some point they are going to lay off even more employees.

Unlike our forefathers who had to go out and fight for their country, you can "fight for your job" by "sitting down" and not buying anything.

I am not happy about it but I don't see any signs that American worker displacement especially in IT is going to stop anytime soon.

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Nov 3, 2011 2:57 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to P Henry

What seems to have been lost in the shuffle is that I'm not taking issue with Hira's side of the general foreign worker debate. I happen to agree with a lot of what Hira stands for. I'm taking issue with his tactic. As I've repeatedly explained, I believe Hira's claim in this exchange with Wadhwa-that these four companies have instituted policies to bring in foreign workers to displace American workers-is a needless embellishment and a distortion of the facts that makes it easy for those on the other side of the debate to call into question the legitimacy of what Hira stands for. 

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Nov 3, 2011 3:03 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> I'm taking issue with his tactic <<

No you are not.

Now if you would say something to the effect that Hira should have been more careful with regards to the use of "policy" then you might have a point.

You didn't do that but went off into an attack on Hira based on at best a "splitting hair" argument of definitions.

>> ...needless embellishment ,,, <<

Not based on what YOU wrote.  It's one thing to disagree with somebody politely but what you did went over the line.

>> ...distortion of the facts ... <<

I would argue that YOU are distorting most of the facts.

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Nov 3, 2011 3:35 AM sanych sanych  says: in response to Don Tennant

Let me put it in another way.

Apparently, you, Don, insist on being presented a piece of paper where a company would clearly state that the management wants to only hire H-1B visa holders instead of American workers.  Obviously, this is an unreasonable demand, as management is not stupid to create a document like this.  However, they are stupid enough to say it.

Consider this report - www.washingtonpost.com/local/report-documents-dramatic-shift-in-immigrant-workforces-skill-level/2011/06/08/AGHqthMH_print.html. ;

"Some employers may say they prefer immigrants to native-born workers. When Samir Kumar needs to hire employees for his Northern Virginia-based IT business, he often looks overseas. Not only do workers from India and Ukraine have the required training, but their expectations are lower, he said.

"They actually don't demand a very high amount of salary, and the expectations are kind of grounded and they don't jump around so much" between companies, said the 39-year-old Ashburn resident, an immigrant from India. U.S.-born technology and business analysts are hard to find and hard to retain, he said, while immigrants with the same skills and education "are much easier to manage."

Is not this statement from Mr. Kumar a de facto admission of his US company POLICY to hire foreign workers instead of American? 

YES or NO?

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Nov 3, 2011 4:03 AM Steve Landess Steve Landess  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don -

I call BS.

The H-1B visa (as has been documented by Dr. Matloff) is a necessary component of any offshore outsourcing strategy. 

The ratio of H-1B workers to offshore workers in a typical outsourcing arrangement is approximately 1 to 5.

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Nov 3, 2011 4:04 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to sanych

"Is not this statement from Mr. Kumar a de facto admission of his US company POLICY to hire foreign workers instead of American? "

Was it written down in a company book that was notarized, bound, signed by all board members and executive staff, and labeled in gold foil "Official Corporate Policies"? 

If not, I'm afraid your just being a xenophobe.

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Nov 3, 2011 4:35 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to sanych

This is precisely the problem Wadhwa was talking about. You're citing some random guy and his no-name Northern Virginia IT business. Yes, it is absolutely this guy's policy to bring in foreign workers instead of hiring American workers. This stuff is happening. We all know it. There's no doubt about it. But as Wadhwa pointed out, there are "outliers" who do all sorts of stupid things. I would add there are some that are doing all sorts of criminal things. The problem comes when you cite Samir Kumar's Northern Virginia IT business as proof that what Hira said is true. You're apparently forgetting that what Hira said, and what I took issue with, is that IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer and Wachovia have policies to bring in foreign workers to displace American workers. You have completely tossed the facts of the discussion aside. It's not hard to see why Wadhwa gets so frustrated when he talks about this stuff. It's bad enough when somebody distorts this stuff in a comment to a blog post. But when Ron Hira does it on national TV, those of us who want to see the problems fixed have suffered a setback because the person who is ostensibly a voice for fixing the problems is doing what you're doing: dissembling. That's extremely unfortunate, and that's why I wrote about it.

One more thing: In the future, if you address me directly in a comment and you would like a response from me, lose the all-caps.

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Nov 3, 2011 4:50 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> This is precisely the problem Wadhwa was talking about. <<

No it wasn't.

>> You're citing some random guy and his no-name Northern Virginia IT business. <<

At least someone is cited.

>>  Yes, it is absolutely this guy's policy to bring in foreign workers instead of hiring American workers. This stuff is happening. We all know it. There's no doubt about it. <<

O.K.

>>  But as Wadhwa pointed out, there are "outliers" who do all sorts of stupid things. I would add there are some that are doing all sorts of criminal things. The problem comes when you cite Samir Kumar's Northern Virginia IT business as proof that what Hira said is true. <<

Well it is true.

And it is not just "outliers"

>> You're apparently forgetting that what Hira said, and what I took issue with, is that IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer and Wachovia have policies to bring in foreign workers to displace American workers. <<

Well

Too bad that you have "issues"

The issue is do IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer and Wachovia have policies to displace American IT workers.

At least with regards to IBM, Bank of America the answer is yes.

>>  You have completely tossed the facts of the discussion aside. <<

It's YOU that have completely tossed the facts.

>> It's not hard to see why Wadhwa gets so frustrated when he talks about this stuff. <<

Maybe some of us could care less that Wadhwa is frustrated.

>> It's bad enough when somebody distorts this stuff in a comment to a blog post. <<

Well

Don you "distort this stuff" beyond belief.

>> But when Ron Hira does it on national TV, <<

He didn't

You did in your blogs.

>>  those of us who want to see the problems fixed have suffered a setback because the person who is ostensibly a voice for fixing the problems is doing what you're doing: dissembling. That's extremely unfortunate, and that's why I wrote about it. <<

The only "setback" is YOU distorting what was said.

>> One more thing: In the future, if you address me directly in a comment and you would like a response from me, lose the all-caps. <<

Don don't want to give you the bad news but you and I are just "bit players" and don't count for much.

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Nov 3, 2011 7:43 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to hoapres

It has been clearly established, to the satisfaction of every interested spectator, that many companies engage in the deliberate transfer of jobs that pertain to economic activity in America to foreign workers, whether on a case-by-case basis or on a departmental or business function basis.

They may send jobs overseas, bring foreign workers in to live and work within America through visa sponsorship, or some combination of the two, either simulanteously or sequentially.

In order to do that, they must have formulated plans and established procedures for HR and knowlege transfer. To claim that there is no policy behind such widespread and well-observed activity is either naive or disingenuous.  It's semantic hair-splitting. It is being done deliberately by companies: it is not any natural process that is happening on its own, like changing seasons or bird migrations.                               

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Nov 3, 2011 10:25 AM jake_leone jake_leone  says: in response to Don Tennant

I didn't here any backing down. I think stating "they have it (a policy to use visas to replace american workers) in practice".

Don, I have had many managers say (at least 4) to me, we could replace you right now with an H-1b/L-1 worker. Over the last (nearly) 20 years, and to that is enough evidence. And they can do that because the bodyshops and headhunters all keep resumes of people who can come in on a Visa. InfoSys's prime method for obtaining an engineer is to bring them in on a Visa.

Who hire's InfoSys? The big companies (like IBM), big banks (like BofA). And what is a typical pattern, have the U.S. worker train his replacement. So they do have it in practice, but like any mafia gang, they use 3rd parties to bring in workers on a Visa. That way they never get their hand dirty.

These companies know it is scandalous, so they obfuscate the paper trail by using 3rd party companies to bring people in on a Visa. That is how it is done.

And as I said, 2 positions recently vacated at my company are being filled with people coming in on a Visa. NO ATTEMPT, WHAT-SO-EVER was made to hire a local candidate. And these are starting positions. If companies had to attest that they tried to hire a local candidate first (a process, that except for the man-hours, is virtually free, thanks to DICE), 2 people would be coming of the unemployment line, that's like putting 4 people on the tax roll. And that is as good for Republicans as it is for Democrats. You know it doesn't seem like anything, but we are going to bring down unemployment in this country, one hire at at time, that is how it happens, because it requires cause and affect.

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Nov 3, 2011 10:44 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says:

This is interesting.  Hira was the person that Don scrutinized the most in his last blog entry.  Wadhwa came out relatively unscathed (by Don at least in the main blog entry, he was bloodied in comments by readers)...  in this tweet he doesn't seem very happy about the blog entry:

@wadhwa

Vivek Wadhwa

This is the crap that anti-immigrant groups spread, naive people believe: bit.ly/ryDABe Does US disservice @dontennant

I'm not sure what specifically he is talking about because the blog entry essentially declared him the winner in that debate.  But he ain't happy.  And of course he is trying to associate anti-immigration with it. 

Congrats Don, you now appear to be a victim of Wadhwa's character attacks. 

//SARCASM Starts Here

Welcome to the club... the membership is quite large and diverse - from tree-hugger hippies who want to make love not war, to cross burners. 

Entry is simple: disagree with Wadhwa and you are "obviously" a xenophobe and/or anti-immigrant.  You are a middle-aged white man so there really is no defense.  The louder you protest your new status, the more you own it.  That said, membership isn't limited to white guys.  Ron Hira is a founding member - enjoying his Wadhwa anointed status of self-hating xenophobe.

Truth be told guys, my wife is Japanese.  I tell her every night how much I hate her because she's a scary foreigner (before heading to the couch).  I can't help it... I'm a white male.  Every time Ron walks by the mirror he pauses and then says "I hate you".  It's really sad.

Same for my mixed-race kids.  I can't possibly love them because I have the curse - and how could they love themselves?

I'm just glad Wadhwa is here to help me finally realize - the reason I oppose the H-1b visa is not because I like having a job, house, and food on the table (to feed my half-breed kids) but the real reason I oppose the H-1b visa is because I hate foreign people. 

The only thing I like about it is that it's hard for them to change jobs because of sponsorship requirements... and the only thing better than hating foreign people is exploiting them for profit!  Win.

//End of Sarcasm

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Nov 3, 2011 11:07 AM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

?? What part of American Job Destruction do you not understand ?? 

Why do you  continue to ignore what  others

  are finally  seeing?

DAN RATHER   ( www.hd.net)     see's there is a story!

Dan Rather     "NO THANKS FOR EVERYTHING"

It is definitely worth  viewing ! 

Here's a segment:   brightfuturejobs.com/dan-rather-visa-loophole/

and  I  believe  60  Minutes  (CBS -TV)   might be working on a story too 

The Corporate press  can   feed us the propaganda  ignoring the  issue of American Job Destruction .......  but with too too many Americans being displaced the truth will be  exposed.

OOH  Ever  heard of  Kevin Flanagan   (Bank of America)  ??

What   about the  Siemens  -   Mike Emmons  case??

then there's      Microsoft  and  Sona  Shah

It  goes on and on  and on and on 

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Nov 3, 2011 11:34 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Roy Lawson

No, the "crap" Wadhwa was referring to was what Hira was saying about policies. I had seen that he tweeted about the fact that the clip on CNN's website left out the part about policies, and I subsequently had an email exchange with him. I know from that exchange that he was fine with my post, and that he was tweeting about it because he wanted the part about Hira's reference to policies to get some public exposure.

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Nov 3, 2011 11:44 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

Well, you'll be in the club soon enough   We've pitched a really big tent.

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Nov 3, 2011 12:04 PM sanych sanych  says:

This situation really confirms that you can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink.

In the comment section for the "Irresponsible Claim" article I provided a specific example of Bank of America POLICY to replace American IT workers with foreign ones.  This policy is called "People Strategy" and it was announced to BofA employees in February 2006.

Yet, the author of these articles refuses to acknowledge his error.  This really puts under question his credibility and intentions ....

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Nov 3, 2011 12:33 PM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> ... crap .... <<

Got that wrong.

You are "splitting hairs" "making mountains out of molehlls", etc.

Say what you will but American companies have as a "matter of policy" to displace American workers.

Going around complaining that the claim of American worker displacement is "irresponsible" just because you can't find the "policy" is in writing makes no sense at all.

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Nov 3, 2011 12:34 PM John80224 John80224  says: in response to jake_leone

Infosys, Tata, etc. are really a method of "people laundering".  It allows companies to layoff then essentially, but not TECHNICALLY hire through a third party outsourcing company.  In health insurance, Molina was just the tip of the iceburg.  WellPoint (who has since dropped 10-15 slots on the Fortune 500 list, heh, heh, heh) started a rampage of IT layoffs in 2009 and is currently the source of work for thousands of predominantly Indians sourced to them by Cognizant.  They were just big enough and gave large enough severances to prevent being a forerunner to Molina.  Plus, by people laundering, they mostly weren't technically hiring anyone. 

Bringing this back to the policy v. practice point, the WLP layoffs were at least policy-supported.  50% of corporate policy (yes POLICY, written and given to their victims) for layoff is being unqualified for the position occupied.  My then manager attended a management offsite where the new VP opened the meetings (with most of the attendees being people he'd rarely if ever interacted with) with "Most of you are not qualified to do your jobs."  As the layoffs worked their way down the food chain, my new director delivered the classic line, "You are not qualified to do your job.  I don't know what the qualifications are."  And to Hira's point, at least in my round of layoffs, 91% were 40 or over.

Mine is only one Fortune 50 company's tale, true.  But I doubt you'd have to do much research to find a dozen F50s at a conservative estimate that have either directly or through people laundering done similar things to their IT.  Depending on how you count and classify IBM/IBM India, 5-7 of the top 10 H-1b sponsors are outsourcers according to LCA data.

The Forbes pick-up of Don's prior blog entry (www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2011/11/02/anti-immigration-claim-falls-apart-when-challenged) spends half its time on the same synonym-splitting and a decent job of counterpointing the math.  They are cleverly deceptive in singling out one year's L-1s as only .02% of the entire workforce.  By all means, take a small subset of the entire impact and compare it to a number that includes mostly jobs that are barely impacted or not even eligible.  How about instead counting the total current and former IT visas still here against the total IT workforce?  oops, then impact might appear.  Silly me.

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Nov 3, 2011 12:36 PM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sanych

>> Yet, the author of these articles refuses to acknowledge his error.  <<

Don won't do that. 

>> This really puts under question his credibility and intentions .... <<

When the going gets rough then Don gets going by starting another blog.

Don also uses abusive language.  As mentioned before, he had another blog with someone stating "Stop whining...." with a "success" story.  Then we found out that the "success" story was someone finding a $14 an hour job as an ATT customer service rep which did not appear to be related to IT at all.

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Nov 3, 2011 12:45 PM John80224 John80224  says:

I've got to agree with Mr. Lawson here.  This is an attempt to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Hira used a synonym of practice, the announcer caught it and Wadhwa jumped on it too feverishly to hear Hira use the word "practice".

It's not much more of a stretch for me to ask why you have less esteem for any other colleague, friend or family member because you said you have the "highest regard" for professor Matlof.  One could conclude that "highest" means unmatched and therefor you regard him above all others.  That's ludicrous nitpicking, of course, but not far from what you are doing. 

He misspoke.  When questioned (and attacked) he corrected, then was re-attacked and reworded his correction.  Yet now you've wasted two blogs and Forbes has picked it up.  Sometimes trolling does work, I guess.

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Nov 4, 2011 1:24 AM Madagasper Madagasper  says: in response to Roy Lawson

R.Lawson got it right.  The real threat to America is not a small fry like Wadhwa.  The real threat is the combine of American CEOs, lobbyists, and immigration attorneys.  These folks have sold American down the drain for personal profit.

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Nov 4, 2011 3:43 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to who knows

Wow, Don was quoted in Forbes (umm, once upon a time I was quoted in computerworld ). As uncle Ben once said, with great power comes great responsibility

Interesting discussion BTW.

Anywayz, the Forbes post was inaccurate and I suspect they knew about it and at worst, probably don't know to what extent. It was right that those companies have very few H1-Bs/L1s on their payroll but they indirectly do have them by contracting their work to vendors. Some of these companies, mainly Indian IT outsourcers,  would have a lot of their staff on H1-Bs and L1s and then supply them to these companies. So the blame goes with those vendors...not the companies who contract their work to vendors.

In one sense, you can't blame those companies because they don't know and do not have the right to find out the immigration status of contractors supplied to them (that is the responsibility of the employer. Even a cop can't ask that). Previous bids probably had staffing firms fill positions with whoever was available (Americans). When it's time to renew the contract, another company would have a chance at stealing the contract. Once they steal it with an attractive bid, they probably have people on visas filling in. I've seen consultants from various vendors - like PriceWaterhouse with a mix of consultants from Indias, England and America.

It's like Lou Dobbs hiring illegals indirectly and unknowingly through his landscaping contractor. Ditto with Mitt Romney.

At the end of the day, those big companies want their work to be done by contractors at good rates. They bid for it in the open. Companies like IBM, HP, CSC, ACS, Infosys, Wipro, TCS, CTS and a host of service companies start bidding and a combination of many parameters make the company choose a particular vendor. The responsibility of supplying people and their statuses lies with the vendor and not the company.

So if any blame has to be laid, it has to be laid at the company that provides people on visas. It would be unfair to blame it on the companies that contract their work to vendors. The companies have no idea what their visa statuses are. They just want to contract their work to vendors at good rates.

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Nov 4, 2011 4:13 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says:

"If Hira truly believed, and could demonstrate, that these American companies are out to displace American workers as a matter of corporate policy, why didn't he stick to his guns?"

He doesn't have to Don. It's been already proven numerous times elsewhere - the Kevin Flannagan/BofA case, Cohen & Grigsby video, the well-known Plam case of Natasha Humpries, Guy Santaglia at Sun, and numerous others. The fact that this IS corporate policy is already a well-established fact. Just because it's not WRITTEN in the employee handbooks doesn't mean it isn't real.

I am surprised an "Astute" writer such as yourself keeps harping on one tiny aspect of this one video like a 7th grade schoolboy instead of digging deeper and doing an article that covers ALL the examples that prove Fraudhwa wrong and Hira right.

We all know this is going on Don. Millions of American IT workers can testify to it. You can't ignore reality and what is happening Don: corporate America, and in many cases Indian companies and Indian managers in America's companies ARE doing this.

This is all payback on the part of India for Britain's colonization and alleged thefts of 200 years ago.

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Nov 4, 2011 4:17 AM numen numen  says: in response to George Alexander

Yes the companies know very well where their contractors come from.  They know bqased on the agency (Tata, Wipro, Infosys, etc) and they collect personal information for security purposes before allowing the contractor to come on site after 911.

They also know in the way one credit card company I worked for knew...they had a 50% ownership in the India-based contract agency...

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Nov 4, 2011 4:31 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to numen

>>Yes the companies know very well where their contractors come from.  They know bqased on the agency (Tata, Wipro, Infosys, etc)

This may sound correct but it's not entirely true. Like I said, some of these companies have American staff too. My customer's engagement has vendors from HP, Infosys, PriceWaterhouse and other independent. There are two American workers and three Indians from the Infosys team along with an offshore team while HP has Americans with an offshore team in Costa Rica while PWC has two Indians, a Brit and an American. Offcourse, this is just an example and it could different elsewhere. The fact is, all these companies care about is getting a good package from the bidders. HP, IBM, Accenture - US based companies also have foreigners on visas. So what's a company to do? Not contract to HP, IBM and Accenture??? Illogical and frankly, that's not a problem they need to worry about either unless they want to be angels. Show me one person who is an angel.

>>they collect personal information for security purposes before allowing the contractor to come on site after 911.

This is not true at all unless the position requires security clearance. I've worked for many customers in the Fortune 100 list as a contractor. All you need is a government issued photo id.

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Nov 4, 2011 6:20 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says: in response to numen

Companies don't have any real (actionable) information about where the contractors are coming from.  If you read through the Palmer-InfoSys case, you will see this is the case.

And they cannot ask a contractor, or even an employee, where they come from?  They can only ask, only if they are direct (maybe also long-term) hire (not a contractor), do you have the right to work in the United States?

And hey, the right to work can be anyone in on a Visa, Green card holder, or a citizen.  But one of the companies that was using an InfoSys Contract, did get upset with InfoSys after they learned (because of the exposure of the InfoSys case) that the contractors were in on a Visa and that no attempt had been made (read Palmer's testimony) to even try to hire a local person already in the United States (be they Citizen, Green Card holder, or some other kind of status that gives them the right to work in the United States).

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Nov 4, 2011 6:24 AM jake_leone jake_leone  says: in response to Jake_Leone

And by Contractor, I mean employee with a 3rd party service company.

People-Laundering in order to avoid paying their taxes and to avoid having to disclose the reality.  That many large tech companies in the U.S. are replacing U.S. workers with Visa'd personnel. 

Fascilitating the removal of millions of U.S. jobs.

Our Visa system turned against us, destroying even our ability to pay back the trillions we borrow from the job-stealers.

Irony-without-end.

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Nov 4, 2011 6:46 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Wakjob

I have no idea why the truth would "backfire."

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Nov 4, 2011 7:49 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to Dolores

Here is the truth my friend

Source :

www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2011/11/02/anti-immigration-claim-falls-apart-when-challenged/

A Look at the Facts

What are the facts?Data exist that show if Bank of America, Pfizer, IBM and other companies are trying to replace most of their workforce with foreign-born professionals on H-1B visas, then they are not doing a very good job of it.

With worldwide employment of 288,000 people, Bank of America received approval for only 26 new H-1B professionals in 2009, according to U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Pfizer had only 25 new H-1Bs in 2009, out of a worldwide workforce of 110,600.

IBM had 170 new H-1B petitions approved in 2009, according to USCIS, and its Indian subsidiary had 696 approved.This is out of a worldwide workforce for IBM of 426,751.(U.S.-only employment data were not available.)

Wachovia, bought out by Wells Fargo, did not appear to hire anyone new on an H-1B visa in 2009 and had only about 26 such hires in 2008, according to USCIS.

U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services does not publish company-specific data on L-1 visas, but the U.S.embassy recently announced that about 26,000 such visas were approved in India for all employers in fiscal year 2011, representing approximately 0.02 percent of the U.S.labor force.Even then, it is questionable to consider L-1 visas "job-destroying."

When companies use L-1 visas they are transferring into the United States individuals who already are employed by the companies in another country.Why moving an employee from one location to another means a job loss for a U.S.worker is unclear.(Sometimes a source of controversy is when a consulting company's contract ends and a new company receives that contract.)

Those most opposed to the movement of personnel internationally and the hiring of foreign nationals often fall into the trap of "lifeboat economics," the belief that adding someone new to the "boat" or economy risks the livelihood of someone already here.That is not how the world works, as consumer spending, innovation, business startups, etc.all create more jobs.

A second fallacy, this one inherent in the exchange between Vivek Wadhwa and Ron Hira, is the view by some that companies engage in a conspiracy to hire foreign nationals and purposely pay such professionals less.Under U.S.immigration law, an employer must pay an H-1B visa holder either the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to a comparable U.S.worker, whichever is higher.In addition, employers typically pay $5,000 to $6,000 in various legal and government fees to hire H-1B visa holders, and potentially up to $40,000 to sponsor a professional for a green card (permanent residence).

For a conspiracy to exist to underpay a foreign national rather than hire a U.S.professional, a company would need not just the company's CEO involved in the conspiracy, but also likely mid-level human resources staff, the head of human resources, the company's general counsel and any outside legal counsel to cooperate as well.Why all these individuals would risk their careers and potentially serving time in prison (for fraud and conspiracy) to save a relatively small amount of money for their company is unclear? Reply

Nov 4, 2011 7:49 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to Dolores
Moreover, even after all these efforts, an H-1B visa holder can simply go work for another employer that files a new petition and offers more money.

Vivek Wadhwa argued the type of rhetoric coming from Ron Hira and others harms the competitiveness of key sectors of the U.S.economy.

IT Business Edge's Donald Tennant sided with Wadhwa over Hira:"I don't know whether the rhetoric is scaring the best and brightest away.But I do know that making the wild claim on national TV that Bank of America, IBM, Pfizer and Wachovia have policies in place to bring in foreign workers as a means of displacing American workers is horribly irresponsible."

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Nov 4, 2011 8:36 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to who knows

Thanks Sara for re-posting an article by a lobbyist in the pockets of industry.  Well done.

Stuart Anderson does what Vivek Wadhwa is unable to do.  He still deceives the public, but he somehow manages to not make a complete fool of himself. 

Anderson presents half of the equation and makes you believe the problem is solved.  He is far more effective at his craft - of word smithing and deception - than Wadhwa is. 

In my mind I see Wadhwa as an annoyance who's exaggerations and and self-promotion will ultimately bring him down.  Wadhwa will do more damage to his career than I ever could... so sit back and enjoy the show.

Anderson at NFAP is a real threat to American workers.   I would gladly debate every point he has made - if only he would show his face.  He doesn't really engage in public discourse.  He makes statements and uses his connections and influence to change policy.  When the smoke clears from the back rooms of politicians offices, you see Stuart Anderson's face. 

The difference between Wadhwa and Anderson is that Wadhwa fights to get in front of the camera and Anderson fights to get away from the cameras.

Don't let yourself get distracted by Wadhwa's antics.  Keep your eye on the true threat to American technology workers - which is NFAP and Stuart Anderson. 

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Nov 4, 2011 8:38 AM P Henry P Henry  says: in response to who knows

@SaraR

Bank Of America was FORCED to stop hiring h-1b's for two years instead of Americans after they begged American taxpayers to bail them out.

www.usadiversitylottery.com/green-card-dv2011-immigration-news-march122009.php

Pfizer simply uses outsourcing companies like Satyam and Infosys for their h-1b's which explains their low number.

www.economicpopulist.org/content/pfizer-forcing-us-citizens-train-h-1b-guest-worker-replacements-being-fired

Wells Fargo is another TARP recipient which explains why their numbers were low in 2009.

I could go on and on but I think your entire argument has been destroyed by now.

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Nov 4, 2011 9:12 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says: in response to Don Tennant

No Don, the dissembling is occuring at the corporate level.  The way that corporations are using the 3rd party companies to obfuscate their true hiring practices, is exactly like any money laundering or tax-shelter scheme.  And it is actually very disruptive to business and the ability of this nation to get back on its feet. 

The statement "They have it in practice." is a very true statement.  I am happy he did bring this up.  I am actually happy it was discussed.  It looks awkward, so what, the truth in this case is very awkward, and diabolical.

By the way, I think Wadhwa takes pleasure in making this debate a  personal one whenever he can and he takes perverse pleasure in it, he doesn't really want to debate the pros-cons of the issue.

With Wahwha's lie that that Hira scaring off foreign workers, shows he has no intention of finding real solutions, Wadwha is a polarizer.

We all know the reason why foreign workers are leaving is because of the bad-economy, why does Wadwha insist on making such ridiculous claims on national T.V.  And why haven't you pointed it out, you seem content to be silent when Wadwha lies, on National T.V.?

I would appreciate it (because it would mean that we are on the same page on this) if you would point out Wadwha lies as much as you are going on about a Hira's corrected statement.

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Nov 4, 2011 9:19 AM numen numen  says: in response to who knows

SaraR posts two common fallacies, first that if a company directly makes few LCA requests that it is not using h1b's, and second that companies are paying equivalent wages to guestworkers.

First, anyone who actually worked in a Fortune500 IT shop would know that most IT people now are contract workers and not internal staff.  And most contract workers are guest workers.  At one location I was in a room with 100 IT contract workers and only two of us were Americans, and all the rest were H1B or L1 (yes there are lots of L1 contractors) mostly from India, and the other American was a clerk to handle the paperwork for all the guestworkers.  It is easy for a company to have only 25 of its own guestworkers, yet have 90% or more of its IT workers be guestworkers.

Second, guestworkers are getting much less than their American counterparts because the "prevailing wage" is a sham.  The "prevailing wage" is broken into four levels, from "entry level" where nearly all are brought in, to "fully competent" where very few are brought in even though they tell Congress they are only looking for the "best and brightest" (who would be far beyond merely "fully competent", and who would qualify for the O-1 or EB-1 visas for which there are no quotas and no waiting).  These guestworkers being paid at about the 17th percentile of actual prevailing wages and they typically replace American programmers who at age 35 or older are considered too old to be able to dodder over to the terminal to type, which is why the H1B is called the "age-discrimination visa". 

American companies don't want the "best and brightest" native or foreign because the incompetent managers would not be able to underpay them and order them to do stupid things, like they can do to guestworkers.

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Nov 4, 2011 10:36 AM sanych sanych  says: in response to Don Tennant

First of all, Samir Kumar admitted that his company violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin in employment practices.

However, the relevant question for this discussion is not whether he is a criminal, but whether these illegal practices are a matter of policy for the major US companies. 

All you need is an ability to see and hear.  If you go to Kumar's company, you will find its IT department staffed by foreign-born workers.  If you go to any IT department in the companies you listed, you will find in it staffed by foreign-born workers, primarily ethnic Indians.  The result is the same, the difference is that he admitted his preference, they did not.

Kumar's company is hiring them directly -  apparently it does not have an off-shore center.  Big companies, in order to hide their true intentions, either hire Indian outsourcing companies or rotate workers from their own Indian centers.  Once in a while you see them slip, like in that video from the Programmers Guild where a lawyer tells HR personnel how not to hire American workers, but it is rare.  However, the proof is in the pudding...

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Nov 4, 2011 10:46 AM P Revere P Revere  says:

@SaraR

Bank Of America was FORCED to stop hiring h-1b's for two years instead of Americans after they begged American taxpayers to bail them out.

www.usadiversitylottery.com/green-card-dv2011-immigration-news-march122009.php

Pfizer simply uses outsourcing companies like Satyam and Infosys for their h-1b's which explains their low number.

www.economicpopulist.org/content/pfizer-forcing-us-citizens-train-h-1b-guest-worker-replacements-being-fired

Wells Fargo is another TARP recipient which explains why their numbers were low in 2009.

I could go on and on but I think your entire argument has been destroyed by now.

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Nov 4, 2011 10:58 AM sanych sanych  says: in response to who knows

I just read your post after I finished my message to Don Tennant.  You should read it as well, as it answers your comments as well.

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Nov 4, 2011 11:06 AM DrGeneNelson DrGeneNelson  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

I responded to the Stuart Anderson article in Forbes about 24 hours ago with a comment similar to the one above. When I checked back, my comment, while successfully posted, had been deleted.

So much for Forbes allowing carefully reasoned and footnoted rebuttals to Stuart Anderson's misleading claims (that have been reposted to this website by Sara.)

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Nov 4, 2011 11:15 AM DrGeneNelson DrGeneNelson  says: in response to Roy Lawson

I appreciate R.Lawson's vivid word imagery regarding Stuart Anderson, who used to work for U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham. The word images are chillingly accurate.

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Nov 4, 2011 11:31 AM John80224 John80224  says: in response to who knows

While we're at it, let's discuss why all the hoopla over breast cancer is a joke.  In a review of nearly of the entire population of the US, only 1600 people will be diagnosed with it this year.  This is less than .00006% of the nation's population.  Why then does it get so much attention?

Much like one year's use of the L-1 visa only impacts .02% of the workforce is probably factual, so are my statements above.  I just conveniently omitted that the "nearly " I speak of is men, and added women back in to further skew the percentage.  Mr. Anderson conveniently omits things like the H-1b visa that at any given time can have nearly a million guest workers in the country and other similar avenues.  He goes onto compare a skilled visa against an entire work force-most of which is in roles not applicable for such a visa.

- million visas predominantly used in IT (still omitting other visas and visa alumni who now have green cards) in a field that Information Week estimated at under four million total is much more than .02%.

Before citing a source that cherry-picks its numbers, spend some time thinking about whether those numbers actually support your cause or just relies on the ignorance of others.

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Nov 4, 2011 12:26 PM DrGeneNelson DrGeneNelson  says: in response to EngiNERD

I appreciate Donna Conroy alerting us to the recent coverage of the Jay Palmer - Infosys case on "Dan Rather Reports." I hope that everyone invests about 13 minutes to watch this report and then asks themselves how this implicates one of the largest IT firms in the world in having a set of policies that exclude American citizens from working in the U.S.

BTW, the November 2nd Forbes article by Stuart Anderson mentioned above is misleading as well, as it appears to neglect the use of "indirect employees" by American firms who contract with Infosys or Tata or other outsourcing firms. Furthermore, Stuart selects (or should I say cherry-picks) the year 2009 apparently as representative data. The TARP regulations required that in 2009 that banks receiving TARP aid were effectively forbidden from discriminating against Americans in hiring - until the TARP funds were repaid.

Since the H-1B LCA data since 2000 has been nicely summarized at H1Bistro.com, how about comparing Stuart's 2009 data in "Anti-Immigration Claim Falls Apart When Challenged"  with LCA data for the past decade.... The 2009 data is followed by the post-2000 data

Bank of America    26     2,990

Pfizer  25     1,761

IBM (including IBM India) 866   17,003 (18,986 when "International Business Machines" is also searched)

Wachovia 0     1,264

Of course, the Number 1 H-1B user over the past decade - Microsoft - should also be mentioned - 33,006 sivce 2000.  In a 2007 news story cited in "The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit"  Microsoft spokeswoman Ginny Terzano noted that Microsoft had 46,000 U.S. employees then.

Based on this more complete data set, which firms fit the pattern of discriminatory conduct that raised Professor Ron Hira's level of concern?

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Nov 4, 2011 12:39 PM numen numen  says:

Don's entire response here is the attempt to totally invalidate everything Ron Hira said, based solely on Ron's accidental neglect to precede the word "policy" with the word "unofficial" or "tacit".  That constitutes the logical fallacy "quibbling", or "hair-splitting".  Anyone under the pressure of an interview could leave out a word, and the attempt to invalidate Ron's entire interview because of it shows that Don is the one trying to help the "other side", instead of being objective, despite his claims.

As for me, I've worked my entire career for the Fortune 500 (sometimes Fortune 5), and when over the course of a year, an IT shop goes from 100% American contractors to 95% guestworkers, followed several years later by many offshores using the H1bs as foremen, it looks like a policy to me, whether they advertise it as such or not. 

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Nov 4, 2011 12:52 PM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says:

Informatica opened a new R&D Center in Bangalore in August. In September they laid off most of their US R&D team. So what's the spin on this one ?

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Nov 5, 2011 1:30 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

There is a plethora of information out there on Wadhwa. 

Wadhwa is an Entrepreneur, Writer, Professor, Bollywood producer, Scholar, Director of Research at Duke, Executive in Residence at Duke, Senior Research Associate, Distinguished visiting scholar at Emory, former Programmer, and he worked in Russia with 25 KGB agents (I presume retired). 

What Wadhwa is best at is self-promotion and making mundane parts of his life seem fantastical. Most of what he says is a half-truth.

Just to make the point, he likes to portray himself as a Hollywood big-shot and reminds everyone that he produced a Bollywood film. Yes, he was in fact a producer of a Bollywood film. Along with a 9 of other schmucks who also "produced" the same film that got low ratings:www.imdb.com/title/tt0397551/. ;

Produced by

Balwinder Bajaj     ....     co-executive producer

Daljit Buttar     ....     co-executive producer (as Dr.Daljit Buttar)

Duncan Clark     ....     executive producer

Douglas Falconer     ....     executive producer

Ruchi Gupta     ....     associate producer

Harit Kapedia     ....     associate producer

Brad Listermann     ....     producer

Richard Martini     ....     associate producer

Ashok Rao     ....     executive producer

Vivek Wadhwa     ....     executive producer

I guess we can just call this Vivek Wadhwa's contribution to the arts and to enhancing his own ego.

I have heard his "director" role reported several ways. One is as "Director of Research at Duke University" and the other is as "Director of Research at Duke's Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization". Wadhwa doesn't have a Ph.D.so he certainly isn't "the" Director of Research at Duke. He isn't even a full-fledged professor - he is an adjunct professor who doesn't seem to spend much time in the classroom. He may have some involvement with the CERC, but strangely he isn't on the website. And the website hasn't been updated in a couple of years, so this "research center" doesn't seem to be doing much.

He loves to drop names - like Duke, Harvard, Emory, Berkley. Wadhwa's "research" is really just an exercise in political activism. Everything he writes has an agenda and not to the standard that is expected of true research. 

Wadhwa takes all sorts of liberties with his resume and overstates his qualifications. He takes the same liberties with presenting factual information and has no qualms cherry-picking data. If we can't trust his resume, we also can't trust his "research".

As far as his role as CEO - well please ignore the fact that he was kicked to the curb in a bitter dispute with investors. He has another sob story explaining that away.  Reply

Nov 5, 2011 1:30 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

The narrative of his life reads like Hollywood fiction. I suggest that Wadhwa stick with fiction because that is what he is best at. He has effectively used one exaggeration over another to propel his career. That may work in Hollywood, but it's not appropriate in serious business like engineering or in academia.

Now Vivek, do you at least have a letter or email from Duke that can confirm this director position? I can't find you listed anywhere as a director - well except in your hyped up bio that is posted everywhere. I emailed someone at Duke at the CERC and they said they would get back to me a couple days ago. The associate director is on the website, but not the director? The website also shows you on sabbatical.

In actuality what I believe to be the truth is that Wadhwa managed to talk his way into an adjunct professor job and a few honorary titles, overstating his prior leadership and success at these companies. Every-time he gets a title he very quickly adds it to his bio.

I think Vivek was the type of kid who wore his boy-scout uniform to school - proudly displaying his merit badges. I'm not trying to say he hasn't had success or being proud of accomplishments is a bad thing, but he is such a prolific promoter of himself that it's very difficult to judge what he is good at and what is just hot air. 

What I absolutely oppose is any deception in an attempt to establish credibility where there is none. I could go on about his writing - but I'll just leave it alone. Wadhwa is probably too busy to comment right now since he is either in China or enroute to India for an offshoring conference (seriously, he is). 

I feel like I know Wadhwa's character very well even though we've never met in person. Stuart Anderson on the other hand - he's a mystery to me. I like mysteries and may make NFAP my new hobby. I've got Wadhwa figured out and I'm not impressed. Big mouth, small results.

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Nov 5, 2011 4:27 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hoapres

At least on Don's blog one can comment.

Unlike Susan Hall's blog which seems to be more of a commercial for Dice and perhaps CompTIA as well having comments disabled.

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Nov 5, 2011 8:46 AM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

You have to  look  hard for stories like the one that follows. The American Corporate Press is  not in the habit of wanting to expose  American Job Destruction.

Indian Outsourcing Firms Use H-1B To Displace U.S. High-Tech Workforce

www.manufacturingnews.com/news/newss/outsourcing111.html

Remember:

The scandal you are not hearing about:

www.etherzone.com/2002/jack102102.shtml ;   removed  but posted at

www.americanreformation.org/Articles/GlennJackson/EnronandH1BVisas.htm

Is Anybody out there?

Is Anybody listening?

www.rense.com/general35/wakeupNHwakeup.htm

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Nov 5, 2011 11:28 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

While I posted the below on another blog, one of the reasons companies bring in more foreign labor is because we have a "booming high tech field".  Said "boom" claims are often based on bogus job counts.  In particular, I mention Dice since it is the one most quoted.

Even Dice admits that the number is inflated as given below.

I am always skeptical of any claim of "jobs" based on simply taking a count of job ads.

If anyone is still following this thread then note that even Dice admits that its job count is inflated.

A note taken from the latest Dice marketing report mentions that the job count may be inflated by as much as 3,000 due to a "job posting trial".

Noting that the Dice job count has been in the mid 80K region throughout 2011 this sounds like the Dice equivalent of "quantitative easing". If we don't have jobs then let's create them out of thin air by increasing the job count.

marketing.dice.com/dice-report/index.htm

As the result of a job posting trial by a Dice customer, the reported job count on the site may be higher than normal by as many as 3,000 jobs. The trial is expected to run through mid-November. As reported, the November 1, 2011 job counts exclude any impact from this trial.

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Nov 6, 2011 3:44 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Jmercier

I am finding more and more young Americans learning Mandarin in order to search for work in China.  China is likely to be a much better bet for stable STEM work than in the US.

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Nov 6, 2011 4:28 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to Jmercieryahoo.com

Being a college grad in STEM does not mean someone is job worthy. Fact is, most  the good programmers have jobs today. And companies are hiring college grads who have performed intern roles in the real world or have good GPAs and analytical skills. If someone can't make it through the selection process, then they have to take a good hard look at themselves and see what skills they lack.

The notion that a college degree guarentees a job stems simply from an entitlement attitude.

I work in the IT industry and criss cross between various states and times have never been better for people with the right skills. There are plenty of IT jobs out there. I know many college grads who are regulars at user groups work as interns and then get placed in companies as employees and also know companies who are looking for experienced folks with the right skills or fresh college grads with good GPA to join in.

People blaming visas and offshoring for lack of getting IT jobs in an industry whch has plenty of open positions right now are symptomatic of other problems. Employers frankly don't care if your American or not as long as you can get the work done at the salary they are willing to pay.

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Nov 6, 2011 7:01 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says: in response to George Alexander

All of that would be true, if it were true that companies (as some kind conscious entity) actually do the hiring individual engineers.  No, most (like 99%) of software engineer hiring occurs because someone at a low-level (the hiring manager) decides who gets interviewed and who interviews who. 

Also, the only thing that occurs at the (medium-sized, 500 or more employees) (CEO, VP, Director) corporate policy level (that level to which you are trying to address), is what number/percentage/head-count of the workforce will be contractors versus permanent.  So you can say, that companies decide which other companies they will do business with, but companies (as a conscious entity) do not decide who gets hired (or often who gets fired).

So who decides which engineers, get hired, when you are dealing with an outsourcing company?  The low-level hiring managers at the outsourcing company, that's who. 

As far as better, or more qualified, there isn't necessarily any real cause and affect here.  In the hiring chaos, there are plenty of opportunities for let's just say "Time-To-Run-Backward".  For example, I remember an H-1b engineer brought on board, just to protect a hiring manager, essentially his "Yes" man, because this manager (who's project was failing), needed more moral support in meetings.

As for Visas, Visas are a government program, companies are the original winers on the Visa issue, not the engineers being replaced by people who seem to be a better "Value"-proposition to a hiring manager.  Like any Government-Program, we are free to debate the policy, to any-level necessary, in order to encourage improvement in this program.

One excellent improvement would be to require that companies (be they out-sourcing companies or domestic software producers) to attest that they have made a real effort to hire a local candidate (anyone who has the right to work in the United States).  Do that and you will stop seeing companies such as InfoSys, which have a U.S. engineering workforce that is 90% from India, only looking to a U.S. government administered program, in order to meet all their U.S. personel needs.

Indeed, if you read the InfoSys-Palmer case, you will see that in documented cases where InfoSys brought in engineers on a Visa to do beginning-level software testing,  in other word InfoSys used our Visa system to fill starting positions (Junior college level computer work).  How completely ridiculous is that? 

Add insult to injury, one of the primary uses for these Visa is to fascilitate the removal of thousands of U.S. jobs.  No country on this Earth, except the United States, would even allow such a program to ever exist.  Indeed the congress-people who started the H-1b visa, have publicly stated that if they knew the H-1b visa would be used to fascilitate the outsoucing of U.S. jobs, they would have never have created the bill that started this Visa in the first place.

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Nov 6, 2011 8:30 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> Being a college grad in STEM does not mean someone is job worthy. <<

Agreed

>> Fact is, most  the good programmers have jobs today.  <<

Depends on how you define "good".  If you define "good" as one who is employed as a programmer then the statement is true.

>> And companies are hiring college grads who have performed intern roles in the real world or have good GPAs and analytical skills. <<

No they are not for the most part,

>> If someone can't make it through the selection process, then they have to take a good hard look at themselves and see what skills they lack. <<

Try telling that to Stanford, MIT, Berkeley CS grads that can't find a job.

>> The notion that a college degree guarentees a job stems simply from an entitlement attitude. <<

Agreed

Unfortunately, college is used as an expensive aptitude test.

>> I work in the IT industry and criss cross between various states and times have never been better for people with the right skills. <<

Hardly

>>  There are plenty of IT jobs out there.  <<

No there isn't.  Or at least not enough to go around.

>> I know many college grads who are regulars at user groups work as interns and then get placed in companies as employees and also know companies who are looking for experienced folks with the right skills or fresh college grads with good GPA to join in. <<

Hardly the case.

Companies first look at the school you went to.  If it is not a top 10 school like Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, etc. then your chances of a decent CS career are low.  Ideally you should have a graduate degree and perhaps a PhD as well.

>> People blaming visas and offshoring for lack of getting IT jobs in an industry whch has plenty of open positions right now are symptomatic of other problems. <<

Got that wrong.

>> Employers frankly don't care if your American or not as long as you can get the work done at the salary they are willing to pay.  <<

Got that wrong.

Understandably some may not want to work for free or at minimum wage.

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Nov 6, 2011 8:39 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

So what do small software companies and IT shops do when they need developers?

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Nov 6, 2011 8:53 AM Jmercieryahoo.com Jmercieryahoo.com  says: in response to jake_leone

Occupy Wall Street is one of the ways to bring attention to this fact.

That is the main reason many recent college grads, including those holding advance degrees do not even land an interview.  The TBTF corporations, and their Wall Street lackies will continue to deny our young people employment simply because they are Americans. If it takes a grass roots revolution to bring these corporate traitors down then "viva la resistance!"

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Nov 6, 2011 9:57 AM Jmercier Jmercier  says: in response to jake_leone

I am going to put this as politely as I can, as I do not wish to insult anyone reading this post. DUE TO THE PRACTICE CALLED OFFSHORING, outsourcing, and replacement of American workers here in our own country by the numerous visa programs such as L1, H1B, and etc, I have concluded the following.  First this observation is the result of my first hand experience. I like many of my countrymen/women involved in IT have been the victims of this legalized discrimination based on our national origin, that of having the misfortune of being an American citizen. Second the captains of industry, the government, and lastly the lame stream media do not give a "RATS ASS" about us. Third, my wife was deported back to Beijing China and barred from entering the USA for 10 years.  This compelled me to try to fine gainful employment in the communist country of China. However this turned out to be a blessing. I work In Beijing and I have been given far more respect from my Chinese company for which I work than from any American Nazi corp.

And since the people of China dislike Indian nationals, I have not had to suffer their rude, arrogant, and holier than thou attitude. In fact I am afforded respect because I am an American. Good God what a novel idea that Americans should be given respect so why not here in own country? In conclusion I have found that in the words of the erstwhile Mr. T, "I PITY THE FOOL WHO WORKS IN AMERICA"

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Nov 6, 2011 11:48 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to George Alexander

George,

I'm sorry but your description of the IT job market as it stands in 2011 reminds me of the infamous Walter Duranty's gushing praise of life in the Soviet Union under Stalin, when millions were dying of starvation and oppression..

I have been in this business for 20+ years. I have not seen such a dismal job market ever. My EE peers who have worked in the chip industry paint a grim picture of the total gutting of professions like VLSI design . Digital design is almost absent as a career in the US. Analog design is slowly eroding away. I don't know what spin you are being given by the people you meet. My industry barometer indicates a very dismal picture.

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Nov 7, 2011 1:24 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> ah, okay.. you're talking about VLSI / digital desgn which is a very different industry. <<

Fair enough but quite likely someone that is expert in VLSI / digital design could move over into software development.

>> My exposure and line of work focuses around software developed using Microsoft technologies (.Net, Azure Cloud, SharePoint) while we also have to interact with cross platform teams that have systems built on other technologies like Java. <<

O.K.

>> There is a dearth of good .Net and Java developers for different platforms such as web, cloud and mobile space. <<

Hardly

Thousands and thousands and thousands of qualified developers with the skills described above are applying for every job.

O.K.

Thousands and thousands is an exaggeration but not by much.

>> There is still a lot of software development and support right here in the US from small to medium to large IT shops. <<

Not much.

And a lot of small companies are being staffed by unpaid people working for equity only.

>> This is the same thing that leaders like Joel Spolsky who have no interest in outsourcing or offshoring but run their own firms interacting with other software companies across the industry have been saying for years <<

Sposky is hardly a "leader" with regards to hiring.  The problem with small software companies is just that being they are small.  If anything small software companies are on the way out as the big players are surviving in an industry that is in consolidation mode.

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Nov 7, 2011 1:26 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> hmmm, then me and many of my peers must be having it real good. <<

Right now if you have a job that pays money then the case could be made in the relative sense that you have it "real good".

I know of Stanford and Berkeley CS grads that are working for equity only because they can't find a paying job.

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Nov 7, 2011 2:13 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to George Alexander

I would disagree on that. The two fields do not exist in a vacuum. VLSI design is done via software tools and simulation suites. I mentioned it just to point out how pervasive the gutting of the tech industry is, i.e not just application level software (web, cloud etc) which doesn't require as specific domain area skills like circuit design. You are likely to find people without formal CS backgrounds doing application level programming. But not too many without a solid EE/CS background go  into  circuit design tool development.

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Nov 7, 2011 5:05 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Indian_H1B

>> Had a drink with a bunch of friends in Bangalore, India recently. Each one went to an IIT like I did. There were a mixture of guys with PhDs from Stanford, Purdue, UIUC and a few other US schools, MBAs from top US programs (Chicago, UCLA) and a great number with MBAs from the IIMs (a pretty good set of Indian B-schools). We were discussing ways to set up new business entities since we already had 2-3 founders in that group. <<

O.K.

Start these new startups in Bangalore so that you can hire Indians in India instead of more Indians coming to the US. 

IT job opportunities are better in India so most likely the Indians that are coming over to the US are the ones unable to find a job in India.

>> Interestingly, I was the only one in this group of 15 guys who still lives in the US. <<

That is good.  As more job opportunities are created outside the US then it is less likely for those individuals to come to the US.

>> All the discussions surrounding setting up companies in India/Asia/Eastern Europe in industries ranging from business intelligence to telecom to nano-manufacturing.  <<

Only time will tell if India/Asia/Eastern Europe start ups will succeed.  If they do then that can only be good news for Americans.  Either way the American STEM worker is likely not to get the job but it is far better to have the job go overseas than to bring more people in from overseas.

Of course, we can make an exception for the few true geniuses.

>> Some of these guys have already broken through with angel investors and VCs (usually a mix of money-men from India and the US). <<

Even better would be to actively recruit Indians from Silicon Valley to assist in these Bangalore startups.

>> 10 years back, we would have likely been having this discussion in the US as a mixture of greencard holders and US citizens. <<

That was then.  This is now.

>>  These days, the visa processes in the US have discouraged a great number of us to return to India and the landscape has made it interesting for us to pursue both technological and entrepreneurial challenges here. <<

Given the choice of having 12 H1Bs stuffed into a 1BR apartment working for minimum wage then having foreigners working in their home countries should be the obvious choice.

>> I am 2-3 months away from a greencard, but I wonder if it's much use having one anymore! <<

Getting a green card will allow you to participate in American insourcing projects with H1B employees learning skills in America to take jobs overseas.

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Nov 7, 2011 5:28 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

ah, okay.. you're talking about VLSI / digital desgn which is a very different industry. My exposure and line of work focuses around software developed using Microsoft technologies (.Net, Azure Cloud, SharePoint) while we also have to interact with cross platform teams that have systems built on other technologies like Java. There is a dearth of good .Net and Java developers for different platforms such as web, cloud and mobile space. There is still a lot of software development and support right here in the US from small to medium to large IT shops. This is the same thing that leaders like Joel Spolsky who have no interest in outsourcing or offshoring but run their own firms interacting with other software companies across the industry have been saying for years

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Nov 7, 2011 5:35 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

>>So what do small software companies and IT shops do when they need developers? <<

Simple They go out and hire one as an unpaid intern or pay close to minimum wage.<<

hmmm, then me and many of my peers must be having it real good.

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Nov 7, 2011 6:10 AM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says:

Had a drink with a bunch of friends in Bangalore, India recently. Each one went to an IIT like I did. There were a mixture of guys with PhDs from Stanford, Purdue, UIUC and a few other US schools, MBAs from top US programs (Chicago, UCLA) and a great number with MBAs from the IIMs (a pretty good set of Indian B-schools). We were discussing ways to set up new business entities since we already had 2-3 founders in that group.

Interestingly, I was the only one in this group of 15 guys who still lives in the US. All the discussions surrounding setting up companies in India/Asia/Eastern Europe in industries ranging from business intelligence to telecom to nano-manufacturing. Some of these guys have already broken through with angel investors and VCs (usually a mix of money-men from India and the US).

10 years back, we would have likely been having this discussion in the US as a mixture of greencard holders and US citizens. These days, the visa processes in the US have discouraged a great number of us to return to India and the landscape has made it interesting for us to pursue both technological and entrepreneurial challenges here.

I am 2-3 months away from a greencard, but I wonder if it's much use having one anymore!

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Nov 7, 2011 6:29 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says: in response to Indian_H1B

I've been in this industry for 20+ years now and I can tell that what really drives hiring is competition.  If more engineers in China or India would simply become entrepreneurial, we would actually drive hiring in both countries. 

Companies would begin to realize that they must hire (like Apple did) in order to beat the competition.  Instead of doing what HP did (give up), hopefully that will turn around under Whitman, we'll see.

Instead what is happening is parasitic, it actually only benefits the resource producers (4$ gasoline, 1600k/gold, wheat, barley, you name it) and those who own the intellectual property.  Consumers are stuck with limited suppliers (therefore hire prices), workers are stuck with tough competition for a job.

Hey SAP hires engineers in America, why can't InfoSys?  The reason is that it is too-easy to get a Visa, the worker-time cost (forget about fees, these are nothing), is just too high.  It takes a hiring manager 10 minutes to ask HR for visa, it takes a hiring manager 3+ man-days to hire direct and local.

Companies that are good at getting Visas, only continue to beg for more.

Is this not the reality we have inherited?

Meanwhile, engineers that could be creating SAP-like business in India and China are thwarted by competition that is always trumped by the all-mighty-pay-check.

That competition would raise the value of Indian and Chinese currency, further driving hiring (in jobs that will make a difference, not just more vaccuum tubes) in the U.S., India, and China.

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Nov 7, 2011 12:37 PM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> So what do small software companies and IT shops do when they need developers? <<

Simple

They go out and hire one as an unpaid intern or pay close to minimum wage.

One of the reasons I post on "bogus job counts", etc. is that the job market for IT is extremely grim and it gets tiring of people complaining that lots of open positions are available when in reality very few IT jobs are available.

People who often claim lots of "open positions" base them on bogus job counts as described above.  While broadcasting is a big problem leading to a massive over counting of jobs relative to number of job ads, one must admit that it is kind of tacky for Dice in its own marketing release to admit to inflating its job count by 3,000 as a result of a "job posting trial"

If companies really need to hire someone (e.g. need a squirrel) then they can easily get one.  Companies that say they can't find anybody are most likely looking for someone that doesn't exist. (e.g. purple squirrel)

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Nov 7, 2011 12:39 PM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

>> I have been in this business for 20+ years. I have not seen such a dismal job market ever <<

And it is getting worse.

What you are likely to see is the continuing offshoring of IT with the vast majority of new development eventually going to India and China.

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Nov 8, 2011 1:08 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

To my knowledge, Don has never censored posts - even in cases where I thought censorship was appropriate because the post was insulting, racist, and deplorable.

I'm not sure if the blog engine filters out things (like four letter words) but my guess is if a comment didn't appear there was a technical reason for it.  Try posting again.

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Nov 8, 2011 2:18 AM P Henry P Henry  says: in response to Don Tennant

Both times it said that "comments must be approved by moderator".  Not sure where the glitch came in.

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Nov 8, 2011 2:50 AM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says: in response to Jake_Leone

Probably made my point poorly at first blush. It is: Companies that hire STEM graduates are increasingly being formed outside the US. 10 years back, it would have been an automatic to spawn them in the US. Now, visa protectionism has caused the founders to stay away from the US. In effect, the companies that will likely employ in the hundreds and the thousands in 5-6 years are less likely to be based out of the US than before.

The average comment here suggest rampant myopia or selfishness (or both). They seem less focused on jobs for Americans down the road and would gladly settle for having fewer workers in the employment market right now. Sadly for them, the jobs themselves continue to move abroad thereby leaving the demand-supply gap intact.

IT is going through the same life-cycle as industries preceding and succeeding it. Routine jobs will pay less than they did 10 years ago. Innovative ones will pay more than they did 10 years ago. To constantly self-improve so as to be an innovator rather than a worker-ant is the way to go.

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Nov 8, 2011 4:31 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Indian_H1B

>> Companies that hire STEM graduates are increasingly being formed outside the US. 10 years back, <<

That is a good thing.

>> it would have been an automatic to spawn them in the US. <<

That is good  that is no longer the case.

>> Now, visa protectionism has caused the founders to stay away from the US.  <<

That is even better. 

>> In effect, the companies that will likely employ in the hundreds and the thousands in 5-6 years are less likely to be based out of the US than before. <<

Since the companies are not hiring Americans for the most part but importing low cost foreign labor then anything that creates more jobs overseas can only in the long run help the American workforce.  This is starting to happen as companies.

What needs to happen since IT is mostly a commodity is for lower cost countries to start taking over the "higher end" work.  India and China probably have the critical mass of people to do the software development.  The big US companies can simply call up India and China to order version 10,000 of their software. 

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Nov 8, 2011 9:02 AM DrGeneNelson DrGeneNelson  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

I learned that my comment on Forbes.com which had been modified to have no explicit web links in it has remained. They likely have a process that alerts them to review (and then censor) comments that they don't like that contain web links. I added another comment to Stuart Anderson's Forbes article today - also without explicit web links to confirm this hypothesis.

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Nov 8, 2011 12:34 PM P Henry P Henry  says: in response to DrGeneNelson

Don is also censoring the comments.  I replied to SaraR twice only to not have my comment posted.  Don apparently didn't like it because I destroyed her argument with proof.

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Nov 8, 2011 12:36 PM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B

" Now, visa protectionism has caused the founders to stay away from the US."

That's quite a spin and departure from reality.  Visa protectionism has resulted in the hiring of thousands (and that number is growing) by Indian offshoring firm who once had just a few token American employees.

If your business is primarily centered around labor arbitrage, it is only natural that you see growth in countries that have large pools of low-paid skilled labor.  That isn't the measure we should be looking at.

The US cannot compete on billing rate alone, and we shouldn't even try.

What the US has always been great at is innovation.  Indian companies, with the exception of a few stand-outs, aren't known for innovation.  The business culture is really about solving problems by throwing more labor at it. 

Automation, gradual rising currency values, and visa protectionism (which isn't a word I think is accurate - it's like calling slave abolitionists protectionists) will have a staggering impact on the Indian economy.

We have seen bubbles burst so we know the signs.  The economies of China and India cannot expand as rapidly as they have without rapid and painful contractions.  India and China are gigantic bubbles that will eventually burst. 

That's not something I wish because I fear instability in the region.  But India and China cannot grow indefinitely based primarily on exports of goods and services.  Eventually deficits will catch up, and contraction will occur.

The solution is for India and China to look inward.  India is so fixated on offshoring, aquiring visas to other countries, and servicing global business  while ignoring local economic expansion that there is a growing divide between rich, poor, and the middle class.  This isn't a sustainable economic model.

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Nov 8, 2011 12:55 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to P Henry

I have censored nothing. You simply must know better. I have no idea what comments you're referring to, because I never saw them. I don't know if there was a system glitch. I do know that I don't like being insulted. Don't do it again.

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Nov 9, 2011 4:51 AM weaver weaver  says:

Don,

I think the clearest indication of a policy to replace/displace American workers is in the blanket LCA.  The blanket LCA is where an employer can apply for multiple H-1B (generally 50) without naming the candidate.

The blanket LCA is limited to "H-1B dependent" employers, who are required to to a labor market survey, but how can an American compete with an unnamed candidate?

Otherwise, I'd say that there is definately reluctance to hire citizens for offshore outsourcing efforts.

Finally, I think that recruiters have a lot to do with citizen candidate resumes never reaching the end employer.  An American candidate can go direct with the employer after six months.  A properly compromised temporary foreign worker, whom has been coerced into making false statements about experience or training is stuck with the agency/recruiter who holds the visa for the duration.

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