Yes, We in the U.S. Media Are Lousy at Covering H-1B Visa Abuse

Don Tennant

The most valuable contribution made as a result of my recent post, "Why the Anti-H-1B Argument Isn't Being Taken Seriously," came from a reader who raised a critical question: Why isn't the U.S. media doing its job in covering the H-1B visa abuse issue?

 

Check this out:

Help me out here. Why is it all too often I have to go to INDIAN websites to learn of the issues, the problems with the H-1B program? Seems the Indians are very, very interested in our program. Here's some news the American (corporate) business press is not covering. Seems a month doesn't go by and yet another scandal, problems with the H-1B program is exposed, but then most of it is ignored by the (American) media.

The reader supplied two links to a story about a U.S. employee at Indian outsourcing services provider Infosys who is alleging that the company is engaging in large-scale visa and tax fraud. He linked to coverage by India's Hindustan Times and Economic Times.

 

Separately, another reader e-mailed me a link to the Times of India's Feb. 28 coverage of the story, and wrote that he hadn't seen the story picked up in the U.S. press. Here's an excerpt from that article to give you the gist of the story:

In a year when sustained unemployment in the US is threatening to raise the rhetoric against India's outsourcing sector, Infosys Technologies is facing tax and visa fraud charges in the top market for software exports after an employee filed a case against the company last week.

 

Jack Palmer, who has been working with the company as a principal consultant since August 2008, has filed a complaint with the Alabama Court saying the company was sending employees on B1 visas to work full time in the US, though the visa is only meant for visitors who come for meetings, conferences and business negotiations.

 


In his complaint, he has also accused Infosys of not paying federal and state taxes in the US. Palmer said Infosys had asked him to come down to its headquarters in Bangalore to devise ways to overcome the restrictions on H1B visas that had been put in 2009. He was also asked to write "welcome letters" for Indian employees so they could come on B1 visas.

After reading the article, I have to tell you that I was extremely skeptical that the story had not been covered in the U.S. press, so I did a search. What I found-or, more to the point, what I didn't find-was stunning. I couldn't find a single U.S. media outlet that covered the story. I found three UK sites that covered it-Computerworld UK (a blog post that partially plagiarized the Times of India story), ComputerWeekly (citing the Times of India story) and Information Age. Palmer's attorney filed the lawsuit on Feb. 23, but based on my search, not only did the business/trade press in this country (including IT Business Edge) fail to cover it, but it was overlooked by the mainstream press, as well. There was a news service for attorneys and a law blog that wrote about it, but that was the extent of any U.S. coverage that I could find.

 

So why is that the case? Some people insist it all has to do with some massive corporate/media conspiracy to import cheap labor to maximize profits, and that covering stories about companies like Infosys engaging in visa and tax fraud is either overtly or covertly prohibited for fear of damaging business.

 

I've been in this line of work for a long time, and I can tell you that's simply preposterous. It's just not the way things work. Journalists may not be your favorite people, but they're not mindless, manipulated puppets tasked with mindlessly manipulating the public. By nature they're aggressive, inquisitive and skeptical, and they see their calling as a noble one. Corporate interests aren't above trying to manipulate the press, but I assure you that any such attempt fires journalists up to be that much more aggressive.

 

If a news organization doesn't write about something that's truly newsworthy and that it should be writing about, it isn't because it fears retribution from advertisers or the parent company, or because it's toeing some corporate line. It's much more subtle than that.

 



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Mar 14, 2011 1:17 AM Kim Berry - Programmers Guild Kim Berry - Programmers Guild  says:

Donna - there is no basis for attacking Don over this article. Regardless of the reasons media and reporters write pro-industry bias are numerous - but certainly not Don's fault.

Among the reasons are the industry has a powerful PR machine. Often reporters have one day to expand a PR "we need more H-1b to remain globally competitive" into an article. What often angers me is that media puts more faith in statements by corporate CEOs and PR persons than on what we unpaid activists say. A typical format is:

"Donna alleges that H-1b are used to drive down wages and are often hired even when qualified Americans are available. However, 'that is simply false' according to Mr. Smith, CEO of Microtech."

PR spokesman are hired for their legal training in how to "lie effectively." So why do reporters believe a word they say?

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Mar 14, 2011 1:25 AM Dave Chapman Dave Chapman  says:

The problem is not with the individual reporters.  The problem is with the editors and owners.

Once a reporter gets the message that no story about H1-B fraud or about unemployed American tech workers is going to be published, they get the message.

Some years ago, we had a woman at the San Jose Mercury News who was doing a good job covering H1-B issues.  The corporation gave her a transfer to Minnesota.

The problem is with the editors and owners, not with the reporters.

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Mar 14, 2011 1:28 AM Bob Bob  says: in response to Don Tennant

" I'd rather miss a story about the impact of the H-1B visa on American workers than miss an opportunity to confront hatred. You're not going to like this, but if I have to choose between ridding the world of unemployment and ridding the world of hatefulness, I'm going to choose ridding the world of hatefulness every time"

you have a bizarre sense of right and wrong to be more concerned about some people's (a minority of the people wronged) reaction to injustice, more than the injustice itself

Your point is a hazzard to your hat

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Mar 14, 2011 1:42 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Bob

You're distorting what I said, which is a glaring example of the problem we're facing. The injustice exists -- we all know that. I addressed two ramifications of that injustice -- unemployment and hatefulness, and said it is more important to me to rid the world of hatefulness than to rid the world of unemployment. You can disagree with that, and that's fine. But you unjustly equated the ramification with the injustice, and used that as an opportunity to hurl an insult. It's going to take a while for the point of my post to get through, no doubt. I knew that before I posted it. But I can assure you, the longer it takes, the longer the H-1B problems will confound us all.

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Mar 14, 2011 2:36 AM Koenig Koenig  says: in response to Don Tennant

You are wrong in saying that the h1B is core to the indian economy. Though the percentage of visas from the large Indian companies has been high recently, they only have a small fraction of the total visas issued so far. Even then, the number of people in the US on visas, in these companies is very small compared to the total number that they employ.

Is the H1b core to the large Indian IT companies (only 4 actually)? maybe.

Is it core to the Indian economy? obviously not. 

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Mar 14, 2011 2:40 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Koenig

You did a much better job of making the point than I did -- thanks.

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Mar 14, 2011 3:38 AM Koenig Koenig  says: in response to Don Tennant

I am not sure why I am even bothering to post here, I guess because somewhere inside I wish all this could be resolved happily somehow. Nevertheless, here are some facts around H1B which most Americans wouldnt know or they chose to ignore.

The total number of folks on H1B in the US < 500,000. Not all of them are in IT, not all of them are Indians.People here complain that these many people have completely wrecked the American IT industry, caused all the unemployement and the financial crash. 

The H1B can only be applied by an American company, so even if it Indian based companies, visas are applied by their US subsidiaries for American positions, who pay taxes, social security etc to the US govt. Moreover, the biggest H1B employers are "pure" American companies. And folks complain that Indians are the ones gaming the system

Out of the million things involved in an H1B application, is a Educational evaluation. Which is bascially a govt approved American, certifying that the educational qualifications of the employee are equivalent to so and so level in the US and is eligible to apply for the particular position. And people complain that Indians on H1B graduate from fly by night schools and get their degrees for free.

India has a massive trade deficit with the US, around 50% (unbelievable but true!). Which tends to suggest that India is responsible for generating twice as much production/employement in the US as the other way round. And people complain that Indians are taking all their jobs away.

The minimum wages for an H1B employee is set by the US govt. An applications costs $2500 in govt fees alone. The lawyers fees, reapplication expenses, visa stamping etc add upto around $10,000. Eben guys who who work for fraudulent staffing companies end up costing the final customer a couple of times more than what they may be paid themselves, because of multiple levels of contractors in between. And we hear that all H1Bs are worthless folks who have a job just because they are cheap.

This article is misleading, in saying that the media hasn't done justice in reporting H1B issues. Every H1B guy (the genuine ones I mean) hopes the day will come soon when someone comes out with real data on numbers and salaries of H1B visa holders remaining in the US. Which I am sure will be a shocker for most of the haters out there. We know how much sense people make when they are filed with hate.This is just like terrorists complaining that America is responsible for all their problems.

The US is undoubtedly a great country, no wonder a lot of people want to come here (including Indians). If it was not for their bias, hatred and ignorance of the way the world works, they would have surely been at the top for a long time to come.

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Mar 14, 2011 4:59 AM Kim Berry - Programmers Guild Kim Berry - Programmers Guild  says: in response to Koenig

Response to Koeing,

1) No one has said that "all" H1b are from India, nor that that are "all" in IT. However disproportionately that is true. As reported by Business week, the largest users of H1b are Indian firms:

http://programmersguild.blogspot.com/2008/02/businessweek-exposes-how-industry.html

In fact, H1b program allows foriengers working for foreign firms to sponsor each other for visas, including for greencards that lead to citizenship. How many people know that citizens of other countries can sponsor each other to become U.S. citizens? (Don, care to be the first to report it?)

2) There are are many more H-1b in the USA today then there were during the 1990s - when the U.S. had many more jobs and the economy was better. There is simply no correlation to "number of H1bs" and "economic strength of the USA."

3) There is no "education evaluation." The only requirement is that they hold a BS degree.

4) Indian bodyshops even ADMIT that their "competitive advantage" is that they pay their H-1b workers 25% below what they would have to pay an American - that is how they win contracts away from American consulting firms:

http://programmersguild.blogspot.com/2007/05/india-now-denies-their-prior-admission.html

5) The DOL "prevailing wage" is a sham. It does not correspond to what even average-skilled American workers are paid. When my daughter could not find work after graduating, we saw many H-1b "architects" working for $28k per year. Is that a fair wage for a "best and brightest H-1b architect"?

http://www.programmersguild.org/docs/stephanie_job_11sept2009.html

6) In the multiple cases where I've seen H-1b hired first-hand... in EVERY case there were also qualified American applicants. And in every case the H-1b got the contract because they were willing to work below market bill-rate.

Here's a profile of the lowest paying H-1b employers - the common denominator is Indian management:

http://www.programmersguild.org/docs/lowest_paying_2004.htm

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Mar 14, 2011 5:02 AM Jim Jim  says: in response to Koenig

"Every H1B guy (the genuine ones I mean) hopes the day will come soon when someone comes out with real data on numbers and salaries of H1B visa holders remaining in the US. Which I am sure will be a shocker for most of the haters out there. We know how much sense people make when they are filed with hate.This is just like terrorists complaining that America is responsible for all their problems."

I am also looking forward to the day when the "real" numbers will come out. They should be a function of supply and demand. Yet when it comes to foreign workers and/or immigrants, this law is suspended. Under the popular wisdom, we can add hundreds of thousands of foreign tech workers to the labor force yet wages stay the same, if not increase.  Jobs are also created  (supposedly 5 jobs for every foreign worker). This runs contrary to basic economic theory, if not common sense.  Is there anyone on here who can explain the mechanism behind this job creating juggernaut?

I think we could all do without the racial slurs and hateful language, of course it cuts both ways. The racial aspect is a distraction from the real issues.  However, in this upside down world we call the U.S.A it can sometimes be considered "xenophobic" or "racist" to expect that Americans should generally have first crack at jobs that are based here (according to Microsoft for instance), or to expect that companies that sell here should manufacture here.

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Mar 14, 2011 6:37 AM Koenig Koenig  says: in response to Kim Berry - Programmers Guild

Kim,

Most respectfully,

All the points you made above don't correlate with each other (like the 2 paragraphs in point 1), don't respond to my points and are factually incorrect. Here are some examples;

Foreigners don't/cant sponsor employment green cards for others, only organizations can. The only green cards which can be sponsored by individuals (family based) can only be done by US citizens. Moreover, the largest sponsors of green cards by far, are US based companies. Indian companies hardly sponsor any employees for green cards/citizenship.

There are more H1Bs today than 1990s, because the IT industry has grown since then. However, the number  of H1Bs today is less than the 2000s, since the number of visas available now is a 3rd of what it was.

By default Indian degrees are not recognized in the US. A BS in US is not= a BS in India. Hence an educational evaluation is required in a H1B application, to prove that the candidate's qualification is sufficient by US standards.

I am yet to come across an Indian company which has admitted to winning contracts because they pay their employees less (even though it might be true). Can you provide some proof?

Indians or Indian companies didnt set the prevailing wage, the US govt did.

I am not here to argue with the likes of you on this issue. You, as a US citizen, have made the laws in the past, and are responsible for doing so in the future, deciding who stays and who goes, and in general working towards the betterment of your country.  You have done an immense disservice to your nation by not doing so, at the same time spreading lies to contribute to the atmosphere of hatred, breaking the social fabric and negatively portraying a law abiding and hard working community.

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Mar 14, 2011 7:06 AM Kim Berry - Programmers Guild Kim Berry - Programmers Guild  says: in response to Koenig

Hi Koenig,

1) "Foreigners don't/cant sponsor employment green cards for others, only organizations can."

- True, including foreign organizations such as InfoSys - everyone from the CEO to the lowly admin could be a citizen of India, working in the US on various visas. And these people have the power to sponsor their fellow Indians to get greencards.

-- An Indian on a greencard call call himself an company and sponsor his buddies for green cards, under the veil of the "company."

2) "I am yet to come across an Indian company which has admitted to winning contracts because they pay their employees less (even though it might be true). Can you provide some proof?"

Did you click on the link that i had provided?

http://programmersguild.blogspot.com/2007/05/india-now-denies-their-prior-admission.html

3) US citizens don't make laws - Foreign entity NASSCOM has more influence over our Congress than do U.S. citizens - my congressman will meet with NASSCOM - my congressman will not meet with me.

Thanks,

Kim

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Mar 14, 2011 7:34 AM Koenig Koenig  says: in response to Kim Berry - Programmers Guild

Kim,

So may I ask then, what it is that you have against Indians.

Because, if an Indian citizen in an American Company can sponsor another Indian's green card, then so can people from any other country. The Indian guy will actually take 10yrs or so longer to get his green card, compared to any other nationality, as per the current USCIS availability dates.

Unlike what you are trying to project, India and Indians are not evil people who hate americans and hell bent on destroying the US economy. On the contrary, India has the highest rating/approval of the US and the american people anywhere outside the US.

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Mar 14, 2011 7:37 AM Boerne Reader Boerne Reader  says: in response to Don Tennant

alientate?

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Mar 14, 2011 9:22 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

Thank you Don for blogging on the lack of coverage on this story by the American media.  The issues surrounding H-1b visas are very 3-dimensional and there are many angles to explore.  Rarely does the media do more than scratch the surface. 

In terms of criticism, I'll give the IT journals a pass because they have probably covered the issue more than any other media outlet - even though in many cases it is incredibly one sided.

If you look at the Wall Street Journal they have never reported objectively on the matter, and have constantly pushed the corporate line.  I would encourage you to look up every H-1b article written by the WSJ, and let us know your view on just how objective they are.

I'm not able to look at their reporting on the matter and still respect them as journalists.  Are they sellouts, did "the man" make them do it, or maybe they just hang out in other circles and suffer from group think.  It really doesn't matter because at the end of the day their reporting lacks substance and misleads millions of people on a subject they don't truly understand.

I could come up with all kinds of names for them, but the most insulting name I can think of for a journalist is "biased".  Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer journalist who find that word insulting.  Some even take pride in their bias.

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Mar 14, 2011 9:56 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

As I indicated in my post, I am highly doubtful that "the man" made them do anything. I think it indeed is more a case of hanging out in particular circles and having a particular frame of reference. Also as I noted, every journalist who has ever lived has been biased. The only question is the extent to which they allowed their bias to creep into their reporting. The very best journalists allow practically zero bias to creep in. But some of the very best journalists these days also blog. There was a time when journalists would never to that, but times have changed. It's a key way information is disseminated and a key resource people go to for information. And it gives journalists the opportunity to express their own viewpoints, which they could never do before. The inherent danger is in allowing that blogger mentality to creep into your news reporting,

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Mar 14, 2011 10:22 AM Kim Berry - Programmers Guild Kim Berry - Programmers Guild  says: in response to Koenig

Koenig,

You now seem to acknowledge that foreigners, under a corporate veil -  either foreign or domestic - can sponsor their fellow foreigners to become U.S. citizens - you are correct.

Since WIPRO and InfoSys are blatantly racist in their hiring practices within the U.S. - and are in direct competition with U.S. service providers and bodyshops - I suggest that America should not be tasking U.S. immigration decisions to WIPRO or InfoSys - or the thousands of smaller clones.

I further believe the HP and Intel and Microsoft and Oracle should not be trusted with this either. These corporations have no allegiance to the USA. But this is a lesser problem.

I have never projected that "Indians are not evil people who hate americans and hell bent on destroying the US economy." You are just making s** up! The H1b sponsors do so in order to get cheaper, indentured labor, and the H1b candidates take the jobs because India is terrible place to live...

You know, if having a lot of Indians in a country is the key to economic success - why does the country that has over one billion Indians have the largest slums in the world? I believe that flooding more immigrants into the U.S. has many negative consequences - overcrowded schools and highways, increased trade imbalance, increased dependence on foreign energy, a large population that sends funds back to the home country rather the recirculating the money within the local economy.

The Programmers Guild consistently calls for a few basic H1b reforms:

http://www.programmersguild.org/factsheets/2009_H1b_media_fact_sheet.html

1) Reform the flawed "prevailing wage" an instead mandate the H-1b workers get paid at least as much as average-skilled Americans earn.

2) Require good faith effort to fill jobs with Americans before an H-1b would be granted.

3) Ban the remarketing "bodyshops." The principal should be the sponsor - no intermediate brokers.

DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGEE WITH ANY OF THESE REFORMS?

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Mar 14, 2011 10:29 AM walterbyrd walterbyrd  says: in response to Don Tennant

Stop lying Don.

There is no reason, on earth, what-so-ever, that an out-of-line comment,  on some obscure blog, prevents the mainstream media from reporting anything. People post nasty things about Obama, does that prevent the main-steam media from covering Obama?

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Mar 14, 2011 11:01 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says:

There is a "Human Interest" aspect to stories about people wanting to come to America.  This fits within common grooves of Television new format.

Stories about Tax Fraud and Visa Fraud do not fall within those common grooves.

I did see a local news broadcast about the Visa fraud at the school in Pleasanton.  Again, this is a human interest story.  60 minutes did a show about unemployment, and highlighted a Silicon Valley engineer who could not find work, after 2 years (and Chambers has the nerve to lie to Congress).

Back in the nineties, companies would actually retrain workers.  H.P. paid a friend of mine to attend Stanford and get a Masters degree.  IBM trained his brother in Object Oriented Programming.  Today the training would still be there (just different and more advanced) if not for the availability no of cheap foreign labor.

Indeed, for the cheaper foreign worker there is ample free on-the-job training.  Provided by the American workers which they are replacing.  All thanks to the U.S. H-1b, L-1, and B-1 Visas.

Engineers may seem to be lionized by a few companies, but these companies are the exception and not the rule.  It can require years of training (College is just the start), and constant re-training, often paid for by the engineer. 

Most software engineering jobs (if you can get one) are contract jobs (just check Dice), that have no benefits, no pension, and a short-(3-6 month)term.

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Mar 14, 2011 11:02 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to walterbyrd

Lets use some common sense.

No one outside those directly affected by low cost H1B imports cared for one moment.  It simply wasn't news worthy to address America's war on its own STEM workers.

H1B program has hardly been abused but is working exactly as attended.

It is ONLY after the effects become known to almost everybody that the truth comes out.

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Mar 14, 2011 11:08 AM Donna Conroy, director Donna Conroy, director  says:

Don, it's one sided reporting, coupled with a lack of ambition on the part of IT journalists.  Finally, IT journalists ignore tips reported by highly-skilled American IT professionals.

It's not hard to search for "B1 visa" on Monster India.  There are currently over 1200 Help Wanted ads for short-term assignments in the US.  These companies will do anything, including breaking the law, to avoid hiring Americans for these positions. 

Here's just one:

SAP ABAP Consultant with B1 VISA

Currently looking for people with Microsoft SharePoint Portal Development skills and also some poeple with Microsoft DTS skills

Location :Huntington beach, CA

Duration :3 months (extendable)

Start Date: ASAP

Job Description:

Need SAP ABAP consultant with SD MM and also with IS RETAIL or AFS Skillset.

Candidate must have valid B1 VISA.

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Mar 14, 2011 11:20 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Donna Conroy, director

I agree, Donna. It is indeed one-sided reporting, and it is indeed lack of ambition on the part of IT journalists. There is no excuse. But there are reasons, which I outlined in my post. To the extent that you and others who are opposed to the H-1B visa program can address those reasons by presenting the argument in a way that doesn't alienate journalists, you're going to be much more successful, and the chances of solving the H-1B visa problems are going to be much greater.

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Mar 14, 2011 12:14 PM Donna Conroy, directory Donna Conroy, directory  says: in response to Don Tennant

On the contrary, Don.  There's no excuse for IT journalists to ignore the human tradegy that they've been hearing about for 20 years now. 

There's no excuse for IT journalist to ignore the accompanying grand, good fight to restore our freedom to compete job openings in our own country--and end the trafficking of unemployed Indian tech workers.

But Don, you and other IT journalists passed on this opportunity to caputre this compelling story that you have been observing over the last many years.  Now, the opportunity is gone for IT journalists.  It's moving to the popular press.

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Mar 14, 2011 12:27 PM James Murphy James Murphy  says:

Mr. Tennant,

I do not buy your hate-monger explanation of why American journalist ignore the H-1B issue, both abuse and the impact on Americans.  Hate is both too small and, more important, too recent to be a valid explanation.   If you go back more than five years the hate response was almost non-existent but the lack of coverage was almost the same.  In fact most of what coverage there was on the H-1B then consisted of a rewrite of an industry/think-tank press release and did not even acknowledge that there was opposition. 

I would suggest that the cause of the lack of coverage is because the H-1B is much more important to the economy of India than here.  The India press commonly refer to the H-1B visa as the 'outsourcing' visa.  This is because it is so necessary to the outsourcing of IT to India.  As such, India is hypersensitive to the issue and have a better understanding of it than the American press. 

I think your rejection of journalist doing their master's bidding with respect to the H-1B is nave.  All of the think tank puff pieces supporting the H-1B are funded by those who benefit from the H-1B.

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Mar 14, 2011 12:45 PM Bob Bob  says:

I think the US media sees it's mission as 'To Serve Man"

problem is, it inteprets that mission as a cookbook title for multinational corporations

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Mar 14, 2011 12:46 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Donna Conroy, directory

On the contrary? You repeated what I said -- that there's no excuse. I don't see how that's on the contrary. Don't let your own bias against those you feel have done a disservice to the proper telling of the story distort what they actually say -- that's no better than the bias that has kept journalists from properly covering the story. I have written for years about the abuse of the H-1B system, but I've chosen to focus on trying to bring attention to the counterproductive nature of the hatefulness that has infested the anti-H1B argument. Quite frankly, you have been one of the moderate (if occasionally snide, cynical and unfairly accusatory, in my opinion) anti-H-1B voices who has sat back and watched the poison spread without saying a word. I'll be honest with you, I'd rather miss a story about the impact of the H-1B visa on American workers than miss an opportunity to confront hatred. You're not going to like this, but if I have to choose between ridding the world of unemployment and ridding the world of hatefulness, I'm going to choose ridding the world of hatefulness every time. And yes, I know what it's like to be unemployed and to suffer financial hardship. It's nothing compared to witnessing the destructive force of hate.

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Mar 14, 2011 12:54 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to James Murphy

A couple of points: First I'm a lot of things, my friend, but naive isn't one of them. And the people who work at think tanks aren't journalists. I'm not sure how you got that impression.

I do agree with you that the reason that the coverage of the issue is so much more extensive in India is that it's so core to their economy.

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Mar 15, 2011 1:08 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

I've spent some time considering this issue.  For the sake of argument let's agree that H-1b opponents should in many cases use more tact and we should consider the reasons you outlined.  I'll give you that.

However, I don't think a few angry people should have any impact on how a professional journalists reports a story.  I also don't think that the key figures who have researched or have been politically active on the issue have alienated journalists.

I'm not asking you or the mainstream media to interview Tunnel Rat or others who choose to not use tact.  I am asking that Norm Matloff, Ron Hira, Kim Berry, the IEEE-USA, and other respected people or organizations have their point of view and their research considered.  Why weren't they sitting next to Bill Gates when he sat in front of the Senate begging for more H-1b visas?  That's a rhetorical question.

With a few mouse clicks and key word searches, I can easily find you India's own "Tunnel Rat".  There are people like that everywhere and on all sides of the debate. 

I personally have no control of Tunnel Rat and if I asked him to kindly stop injecting his extreme comments into the debate (I have already, actually) you can bet your last nickel he isn't going to be swayed by me, and nor are most others.

If journalists selected their story based on a lack of extreme voices pertaining to that story, nothing would every be written.  I don't care what topic you pick, there will be someone with a very strong opinion on it out of the 7 billion people on this planet. 

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Mar 15, 2011 1:51 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

It's not 'a few angry people,' Roy. Downplaying the reality like that does nothing to advance the discussion. It's a lot of hateful, shameless, attack-oriented, mean-spirited, bigoted, venom-spewing people. Let's tell it like it is.

Now, that said, a lot of hateful, shameless, attack-oriented, mean-spirited, bigoted, venom-spewing people should have absolutely no impact on the way a professional journalist reports a story. Zero impact. I agree with your point 100 percent. But the simple fact is, they do have an impact. Journalists are human beings like everybody else, and they tend to have a bias against ignorance. That's not a good thing. But it's a fact. The anti-H-1B argument that has permeated the blogosphere is laced with that ignorance, and journalists are disinclined to investigate an argument that they associate with ignorance. Yes, it's lazy. Yes, it's inexcusable. But it's a fact. And it's a fact that it's the hateful screaming that gets heard because not enough people have the guts and fortitude to endure the hateful attacks that will assuredly be launched at them if they dare say anything. If I sound like I'm getting a little tired of that inexcusable, almost embarrassing weakness and timidity, I am.

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Mar 15, 2011 2:30 AM Jobs4US Jobs4US  says:

Mr. Tennant's blog posts have mystified and angered me for some time. I could never understand why someone who claims to be an American, working for the NSA, would callously dismiss serious legal and ethical issues due to H-1b visa fraud and abuse that have devastated fellow American citizens.

By following the money, the pieces of the puzzle come together:

 

Fact: IT Business Edge advertisers are the top companies who shamelessly violate H-1b Visa laws, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and more. 

Fact: 76% are C-level, IT or line-of-business vice presidents, department heads, managers, directors, consultants and other managers

Fact: 92% of IT Business Edge subscribers are involved in the purchasing process for their organizations.

The people directly impacted by H-1b visa fraud and abuse, every day, hard working, qualified American IT professionals, are NOT in IT Business Edge's target market. Mr. Tennant has zero motivation to bite the hand that feeds him, technology companies, and their IT Decision Maker customers-both parties in need cheap labor vendors to make the stuff they sell and subscribers who try to implement the stuff they were sold.

It's a vicious cycle. 

Fellow American IT pros affected by H-1b fraud and abuse, we are wasting our valuable time and energy sharing the facts, ideas, and concerns with IT Business Edge.

IT Business Edge uses our feedback in ways that work against us.

Why?  IT Business Edge's packages our feedback with PowerPoint and buzzwords and delivers it to advertisers and subscribers as "insight".  See for yourself here http://www.itbusinessedge.com/mediakit/

Lots of money is at stake and our feedback to this biased site is valuable, but  does not help us.  

The more frustrated and angry we get, the more contributions we provide, the more insight we give to H-1b abusers. 

Let's not waste our time any more with this site, there are more fish in the sea Together, will prevail. 

Don't help the people who created the H-1b problem, IT Business Edge Advertisers and Subscribers. Don't let them use our feedback and spin it to their advantage at our expense.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.   Move On.

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Mar 15, 2011 2:35 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don said: "It's not 'a few angry people,' Roy. Downplaying the reality like that does nothing to advance the discussion. It's a lot of hateful, shameless, attack-oriented, mean-spirited, bigoted, venom-spewing people. Let's tell it like it is."

I agree, let's tell it like it is.  I suspect your blog is like a magnet to anyone passionate about this issue - including those with extreme viewpoints.  So although you have run across "a lot" of people with extreme views, the vast majority of people have much more moderate beliefs on the matter.  Including the vast majority of people who oppose the H-1b visa.

My guess is that the "average" American IT worker would oppose the H-1b visa because of the economic impact it has on their families,  while at the same time they are too busy with work and family to post a comment on the matter.  By now most people in IT know what the H-1b visa is, and they want the shananigans to stop.  They aren't against Indian people and they aren't like Tunnel Rat.  They are just ordinary people trying to get by.

It is these "ordinary people", who I consider myself one of, that are paying the price because of a combination of poor journalism and powerful business interests.  You give Tunnel Rat and other extremists way too much credit and you inflate just how many extremists are out there.  They make up a very tiny percent of the overall IT population.  You've just been lucky enough to hear from most of them

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Mar 15, 2011 3:25 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

Of course they make up a very tiny percentage of the IT population, Roy. Of course they do. They also make up a tiny percentage of the people who oppose the H-1B program. The problem, as I've stated over and over again, is that they have succeeded in tarnishing the anti-H-1B argument because they're the ones who are the most vocal, and they engage in their hatefulness with impunity. No journalist has ever seen or heard anyone other than another journalist confront or challenge them. That sort of casts the entire argument in a very bad light.

I guarantee you, you ask any journalist who knows what the H-1B is what he knows about the anti-H-1B argument, and the typical response will be something like, 'All I know is that they're a bunch of wackos.' It doesn't matter whether he's ever actually heard or read the hatefulness first-hand. That's just the vibe that's out there. I'm speaking from the experience of having covered this issue as a tech journalist for many years, Roy. I'm not making it up. It's the way it is. You can argue from now till the cows come home that it shouldn't be that way, and you're right. But it is. For years my focus in writing about this issue has been to try to get you guys to see how damaging this stuff is, but it's fallen on deaf ears. And it's only getting worse. Bummer, huh?

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Mar 15, 2011 6:22 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> ... in tarnishing...

And the point is ??

So what ??

You always have "nutcakes and fruitcakes" in any discussion.  So what makes the H1B argument any different. 

You have "fruitcakes and nutcakes" saying Obama is a nut and worse but that doesn't stop discussion about Obama.

>>...ask any journalist...

You would be wrong.

>> ...damaging this stuff is...

Unfortunately in the scheme of things you (and other journalists) as well might be a quantite negligible.  Sorry Don but you and ComputerWorld were not taken seriously by many over the past couple of years.  ComputerWorld was going down hill for years. 

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Mar 15, 2011 7:01 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

I was job-hunting in 2001, around the time when they raised the H-1B cap to nearly 200K and left it there for three years. We'd just had a downturn followed by 9/11, and people were struggling to find jobs in the wake of massive layoffs where IT and Telecom were heavily affected.

To raise the cap that high while so many American techs were unemployed was as weird as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Only it was Invasion of the Job Snatchers. It was that strange, yet those unaffected seemed not to notice anything bizarre happening.

To say now that a few people saying mean things - most of which are well below the radar of the press and public - are causing this dislike and rejection of American workers and their concerns is crazy. This is like a teacher making the whole class stay inside for recess because somebody threw a spitwad or wouldn't stop whispering. "The few spoil it for the many." one teacher explained. I haven't heard this logic used since elementary school. And that is part of the problem here. We are in grownup land now.

Deciding whether to eliminate unemployment or hatefulness is not a choice that has been given to human beings. For one thing, makes no sense: standing idly by while a man is robbed of his livelihood (which includes his social standing, comfort, and survival) and expect him not to express anger and fight back is unrealistic. Second, you are not going to change human nature. That's not within your power. You're just another human being.  Hate is a natural emotion, and will pop out under some circumstances. Nobody can eliminate hate any more than they can eliminate love.  You can try eliminating conditions that tend to provoke hate. But then you would have to join our side and use your pulpit to fight for the well being of American workers.

To see an injustice of this magnitude, yet justify non-response by blaming the victims, is not only cruel and a form of siding with the bad guys. It's also a denial of the right to freedom of speech. You're telling victims to be nice or they won't get help - but we didn't get help back when we were nice, either.

Finally, it's hard to believe that the press hasn't noticed the campaign of hate directed against American workers. Maybe the powers that be were just practicing on IT people. It now seems to many that the top 1% of America has declared open warfare on the rest of us. Maybe the obscene increase in the H-1B cap back in 2000 was just an opening salvo.

If we don't fight this and win, then America ends up like every other third world country: a few rich, most suffering and struggling, with corruption and hell on earth everywhere. The middle class we knew - gone forever. Some people actually want that. Others don't care as long as they end up well.

Don, I believe that you have taken the wrong side in this matter, and that you have stepped up to the wrong pulpit. I know how good it feels: I've spoken from pulpits too. But I also stepped down when it was time and rejoined the congregation. I feel very uncomfortable with the perspective from which you approach your fellow American workers here.

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Mar 15, 2011 7:51 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

Roy, you make an excellent point about the need to 'bias-check' a story, just like someone needs to fact-check and spell-check a story. The sad thing is that none of that is being done the way it used to be. Newsrooms everywhere have been absolutely decimated by the emergence of online journalism. Journalism now is real-time-it's no longer enough to be on top of the story of the day or the story of the hour. You have to be on top of the story of right now.

As a result, the workflow process in newsrooms has drastically changed. In its most basic form, the workflow went from reporter to content editor to copy editor to publication. Now, more often than not it's reporter to cursory editor check to publication. Sometimes reporters post their stories directly online. Fact checking in many newsrooms is long gone. Copy desks are being completely disbanded.

The bias check used to be done by the content editor. Now, there is so much pressure to post a story immediately that no time is allotted for such an in-depth analysis of a reporter's copy. The uninformed people who continue to believe that there is some conspiracy to publish pro-advertiser articles don't understand that even if that was the way things worked, no time is allotted to ensure that a story toes the company line.

You and I both lament the direction that journalism is taking. It's tough for an old-school guy like me to see it happen. There will continue to be an increase in biased reporting, plagiarism, and substandard writing, simply because the fail-safes are being removed.

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Mar 15, 2011 8:28 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Jobs4US

This response really isn't directed at you, whoever you are, because you're going to believe whatever it is you want to believe regardless of what I write. But for anyone else who cares, no one at IT Business Edge has ever said one word about what I should or should not write. I have absolutely no idea who advertises on IT Business Edge and who doesn't-I hate ads, so I don't look at them. I don't care who advertises on IT Business Edge, although I hope somebody advertises so I continue to get paid. If anybody at IT Business Edge ever even hinted to me that I should or should not write about something because of who does or does not advertise, I would immediately tell them that I'm gone. Yeah, I know, a lot of people would be just fine with that. But if you're tired of reading this blog, you're going to have to take this reader's advice and spend your time reading elsewhere, because I guarantee you that nobody at IT Business Edge is going to tell me what to write or not write based on who advertises on the site.

Apparently some people think I sit someplace at IT Business Edge and write stuff that we all agree the advertisers will be tickled with. Just to give you a peak behind the scenes, this is coming to you from my office in the loft of my apartment in Eliot, Maine. IT Business Edge is in Louisville, Kentucky. I've only been there once, and that was for one day, just to meet the people there. I'm not an employee of IT Business Edge. I have a day job outside of journalism, and I just do this on the side. They're a great group of people, and I have a lot of respect for them, and I have a blast writing this blog because I can write about whatever I want to write about. Not a bad gig.

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Mar 15, 2011 9:06 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Dolores

Dolores, the simple fact is that there are some things that you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on. As far as the hate thing goes, I agree that it's part of human nature. But I believe it's part of our lower nature, and that we also have a higher nature that we need to focus on and try to develop. I disagree that all of us are always going to be hateful at some time or another, and that we don't have any control over that. I know plenty of people who are never, ever hateful, and I would imagine you do, too. And I'm going to have to shoot down the pulpit thing. I don't believe in pulpits. It's nobody's place to preach to anyone from a pulpit. We can investigate for ourselves-we don't need to be told what to believe by somebody preaching from a pulpit. But that doesn't mean I can't express my views and promote values that I believe will make the world a better place, just as you express your views and promote values that you believe will make the world a better place.

For what it's worth, I can't help but notice that your comment was an impassioned, heartfelt, eloquent, decent expression of your opinion. No references to 'marble-mouthed' Indians, no snide comments, no personal attacks. That's all I'm asking for and trying to promote. That's it. Because I believe that things will get better for everybody if we go that route, and that not going that route will only exacerbate and prolong the suffering. It's what I believe, Dolores. Disagree with it. That's fine. I write this blog so people can have an open forum to discuss these things and share their differing opinions. Thank you for your post.

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Mar 15, 2011 9:48 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Koenig

Koenig to Kim Berry: "You have done an immense disservice to your nation by not doing so, at the same time spreading lies to contribute to the atmosphere of hatred, breaking the social fabric and negatively portraying a law abiding and hard working community."

Not that Kim Berry needs someone to come to his aid because he has been a very fair and reasoned voice on this matter and to my knowledge has never displayed bigotry or hatred towards anyone, so I've got to strongly object to this type of rhetoric.

Kim Berry has argued for fundamental fairness in a system that is both corruptible and highly corrupted.  The companies most responsible for this corruption, as a matter of fact, are from the nation of India.  We also have seen fraud from other Asian and European nations, but primarily the source of fraud is India.  This is not my opinion, this is a fact.  So It is only natural that the nation of India deserves special attention.

This fraud as well as the (legal) misuse of a visa program designed to fill shortages of workers has harmed American IT professionals.  It has taken food off of our tables and placed many of us in economic jeopardy.  The program exists primarily to increase an already ample supply of labor, and to stimulate wage decline.  Lower (average) wages across all H-1b workers is not idle speculation, but fact supported by professional researchers.

Although there are a few token doctors on H-1b visas, there are far more junior level Java programmers with a college degree that will still smear of fresh ink if you run your fingers across it.  I don't say this because I hate anyone, I say this because it is a fact.  A fact backed up by empirical evidence.

Although there is of course rhetoric from BOTH sides that nobody should condone or be proud of, I can't sit idly by and watch you place the hate card against a person who does not deserve such a label.  I find it common for our opposition to resort to this type of attack whenever the facts don't support their opinion.

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Mar 15, 2011 10:04 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

The way to cultivate someone's higher nature is not to jeopardize their survival. The defamation campaign against American workers started before any of us realized what was happening. We didn't start it. What are you going to do about the lack of publicity for a major, major lawsuit with massive ramifications for American labor?

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Mar 15, 2011 10:56 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Dolores

I guess today's posts are a start ...

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Mar 15, 2011 12:06 PM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Don Tennant

I can't find any serious points of disagreement with your response to my comment - I tend to agree with your points.

As far as journalists blogging, I'm OK with that and don't hold that to the same standard as "real journalism".  It is a bit of a sunshine policy on journalists.  If journalists present their opinions in blogs, we know whatever slant they have.  Hopefully the blog gives them a chance to get their bias "out of their system" so they can write more balanced articles.

I agree that it is impossible to be 100% unbiased and there will always be a balance to both captivate and inform the reader.  That said, I think an attempt should be made to identify and correct bias just like you fact check, spell check, and proof a report.  I'm sure many people do that, but I'm also sure many people do not.

I'm so opinionated on this particular subject (H-1b) that it would be very difficult for me to be objective.  I still think I could be much more objective than most of what we read on the matter. 

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Mar 15, 2011 12:48 PM Boerne Reader Boerne Reader  says: in response to Don Tennant

"There was a time when journalists would never to that.." ?

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Mar 17, 2011 1:35 AM BT1024 BT1024  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don,

So, with this statement, "That's not a good thing. But it's a fact. The anti-H-1B argument that has permeated the blogosphere is laced with that ignorance, and journalists are disinclined to investigate an argument that they associate with ignorance."...

...doesn't that in fact make those journalists "ignorant" themselves, with regard to the issue/argument/topic that they refuse to investigate fully...

There's no excuse - But, like you said that's the way it is ("I'm not making it up. It's the way it is."), it's human nature I guess (though, not in my human nature)...

**While you are taking the time to communicate to the "Anti-H-1b" people on how to best go about arguing their side, could you please take the time to encourage journalists out there to look beyond the tiny percentage of "venom-spewing" folks and take the time to investigate and report on the H-1B issue fully...

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Mar 17, 2011 1:50 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to hoapres

I typically don't waste my time responding to nonsensical comments, but hey, I guess I'm feeling charitable.

Regarding this:

'>> ... I have observed on the journalist side... <<

Not accurate.'

I have no idea how you could possibly think that you have the capacity to know better than I do what I have personally observed. But let me suggest to anyone who cares, because I recognize you don't, that this is the sort of senseless commentary that exacerbates the problem of the anti-H-1B argument being perceived as an argument that's advanced by unthinking people. Singly, the harm you're doing to your own cause is negligible. But communally, I assure you, it's only making things worse.

You tend to use phrases like 'let's get real' and 'let's use common sense.' I would submit to you that if you were to take your own advice, you would stand to make a much, much more positive contribution to the discussion.

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Mar 17, 2011 3:18 AM BT1024 BT1024  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don,

- I did read your original post/entry, all of the readers comments and your responses to those comments...

- I wasn't saying that you felt that issues should be overlooked and not reported about...  ** I do agree with your perspective that the angry/hateful ("venom-spewing") posts from the Anti-H-1B side, can cause folks (journalists) to look the other way... I was just saying that there's not excuse for that kind of behavior... And I do understand how that behavior comes about... We've all seen it in many different situations - Just like when I was at work and there was some sort of problem with a system or project... and I went into my manager's office with nothing but an angry, "complainer-like" attitude, he was less likely to listen to my concerns... On the other hand, if I went into his office with a positive attitude, identifying facts about the problem and suggestions, he was more likely to listen... I understand that...(though, there are many cases where the manager just doesn't listen and the "employee" then reaches a "boiling point", where all they do is complain - and in that case they are both at fault for the breakdown in communication)...

My comment about encouraging journalists to look beyond the tiny percentage of "venom-spewing" folks, was geared toward reaching the other side of the communication problem... **I was suggesting that the next time you encounter a fellow journalist that takes the perspective that the Anti-H-1B group is nothing but a bunch of "wackos", please take the time to explain to them that just because some of the Anti-H-1B folks are angry/hateful/"venom spewing", it's not all of them and that there are legitimate concerns that need to be investigated and reported on. So, I believe you can help solve this communication problem by also reaching out to the other side...

  I know you posted here on this site, that "we in the U.S. media need to suck it up and get off our butts and do our jobs", but I am not sure how many journalists will be reached by that message posted here...

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Mar 17, 2011 3:19 AM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

I've been  following on/off the H-1b  issue  for   more than  20   (yes Twenty)  years   when a group    ACCE    (American Council of Concerned  Engineers)  warned that  there was no shortage of engineers,  IT,  Tech professionals. They raised  concerns about the H-1b  issue.   No one  listened to them. The  group  disbanded   but  another one surfaced      www.aea.org

The American Engineering Association has long  warned of problems with the  H-1b  program.    No  one  listens.   Then there is  this piece  from   eight years  ago........

Is Anybody out there?

Is Anybody listening?

www.rense.com/general35/wakeupNHwakeup.htm

Still  looks to me  that  no one is listening,  few  reporters are covering the problems with the H-1b  program    but they we have had a few  isolated commentaries:

Bye  Bye Engineering

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38064

How Young Engineers and Our Economy Are Betrayed

http://www.creators.com/opinion/phyllis-schlafly/how-young-engineers-and-our-economy-are-betrayed.html

A Worrisome Confrontation

http://www.tbp.org/pages/publications/Bent/Features/Su05Florman.pdf

The  Bombing of the Middle Class

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/2/10/183350.shtml

Feeling the Elephant

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/2008_01_04/caredit_a0800002

What Kind of Country Destroys the Job Market for Its Own Citizens?

  By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts07162005.html

'Skill Shortage' Racket Driving Americans From Science And Engineering

http://www.vdare.com/roberts/071204_america.htm

And there is now even protest songs!!!

http://www.complex-numbers.com/home/dog-one.html

Lap of Luxury  (The H-1B  Song)    http://www.complex-numbers.com/home/dog-one.html

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Mar 17, 2011 4:14 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> I typically don't waste my time responding to nonsensical comments, but hey, I guess I'm feeling charitable. <<

O.K.

But I am charitable as well.

Regarding this:

'>> ... I have observed on the journalist side... <<

Not accurate.'

>> I have no idea how you could possibly think that you have the capacity to know better than I do what I have personally observed. <<

Maybe you don't know that much.

I think you place too much importance on your views. Of course the US media is lousy at covering many issues but to argue that an issue is not being covered in large parts because of extremists is just nuts.

>> But let me suggest to anyone who cares, because I recognize you don't, that this is the sort of senseless commentary that exacerbates the problem of the anti-H-1B argument being perceived as an argument that's advanced by unthinking people. <<

If you are saying that extremists don't help your cause then that should be obvious.

BUT

To imply that the H1B issue is not being covered because of extremists is just nuts.

Lets use some common sense.

And get real.

I have talked to many journalists over the years and either a story is newsworthy or it isn't.  Until recently H1Bs was not a newsworthy story.

>> Singly, the harm you're doing to your own cause is negligible. But communally, I assure you, it's only making things worse. <<

It sounds like your definition of an "extremist" is everyone that disagrees with you.

Actually, I am pretty realistic about the whole thing.  I am not too happy that H1Bs are brought over to keep labor costs down but those are the facts of life.

>> You tend to use phrases like 'let's get real' and 'let's use common sense.' I would submit to you that if you were to take your own advice, you would stand to make a much, much more positive contribution to the discussion. <<

Don't want to give you the bad news but you are NOT a major player in journalism.  Nothing wrong with that as I don't claim to be a major player but lets use some common sense that your blog is not going to make a significant impact for or against the H1B program.

If the YouTube video which was shown to over a million viewers had no effect then certainly your blog won't either.

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Mar 17, 2011 4:18 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to BT1024

This is the sort of reasoned, thoughtful counterpoint that advances the discussion and helps everybody. Thank you for taking the time to express it.

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Mar 17, 2011 4:46 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to BT1024

>> ...you encounter a fellow journalist...

If the objective is to "stop H1Bs" or something similar then you need to become politically active and not wait for journalists.

Journalists (for the most part) don't make the news but report it.

If you want to do something (not saying you should) then you can call up your congressman and tell them that you are going to have CS grads collecting food stamps in front of their office complaining about H1Bs.

Now that may (or not) get some attention.

Lofgren's staff was not too happy with my suggestion that I was going to bring Stanford and Berkeley unemployed CS grads collecting food stamps  with the San Jose Mercury News in attendance complaining about her support of H1Bs.

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Mar 17, 2011 7:57 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to BT1024

' ... that doesn't mean that the issues/problems with the system should be overlooked and not reported about.'

If you would just bother to take the time to fully evaluate and consider what I wrote, you would stand a much better chance of understanding that this is precisely what I'm saying in this blog post and in my subsequent commentary. I didn't write that the issues should be overlooked and not reported about. I wrote that they ARE being overlooked and not reported about, and why, and I wrote that they need to be reported about, and why-so that something will be done about the H-1B visa problem. If you choose not to believe the premise that the hatefulness is exacerbating the problem, so be it. I'm only conveying what I have observed on the journalist side of the equation for many years. I'm trying to help you and others understand what will help fix the problem of journalists overlooking H-B1 visa abuse and not reporting about it. If you're determined to disagree, that's fine-I welcome and value opposing viewpoints. But disagree with what I actually write.

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Mar 17, 2011 8:00 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to BT1024

'... (though, not in my human nature)...'

That's wonderful. In that case, journalists should aspire to be more like you.

' ... could you please take the time to encourage journalists out there to look beyond the tiny percentage of "venom-spewing" folks and take the time to investigate and report on the H-1B issue fully...'

Did you even bother to read my post? I wrote that 'we in the U.S. media need to suck it up, get off our butts and do our jobs.' My post led to two conclusions, that being one of them. What positive purpose is served by ignoring that and suggesting that I'm not encouraging journalists to investigate and report on the issue fully? I have to tell you, the selective reading is getting a little tiresome. And I also have to tell you that this mindless contrarianism does nothing but exacerbate the problem of the anti-H-1B argument being perceived as an argument that's advanced by unthinking people.

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Mar 17, 2011 11:47 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> ... I have observed on the journalist side... <<

Not accurate.

What happens is that until a story becomes news worthy then it doesn't get reported.  Journalists for the most part report the news but don't make it.

As with other issues, a few solitary group of individuals are ignored for years before an issue comes to the forefront.  Having complained for years (with a few others) about H1Bs and other high tech immigration keeping labor costs down and get totally ignored.  As long as the economy was good then it is hardly a news worthy item.

NOW that the economy to put it mildly is in a mess then the immigration issue becomes of interest.

Come on Now

Lets get real.

Journalists "find a story" ONLY AFTER it becomes of interest. 

In fact the H1B program is working EXACTLY as intended by keeping labor costs down.

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Mar 17, 2011 12:26 PM BT1024 BT1024  says: in response to walterbyrd

I agree with you "walterbyrd"...

- I don't quite understand Don's "reasons" and "excuses" perspective...

- A "reason" why something can't be done, when in fact it (something) can actually be done, seems to be a "excuse" in my book.

Someone (journalists) needs to deal with all the perspecties of the H-1b (and offshoring) issue rather than just one side of the picture.... The TRUTH should be reported, regardless of "who said what"....

So, to ignore the truth or finding the truth, based on the way some folks may express their viewpoint, is completely unfair.... Meaning that just because some folks have reached their "boiling point" over the HARM that the H-1b visa (and offshoring) has done to our country (U.S.A.) and they express it in a hateful format (out of frustration), that doesn't mean that the issues/problems with the system should be overlooked and not reported about.

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Mar 20, 2011 4:18 AM Tunnel Rat Tunnel Rat  says: in response to Don Tennant

Since castrated wimps like R. Lawson and collaborator Don seem to be obsessed with my rhetoric, I figure it is time to chime in and respond to their pansy hand wringing. 

First off, when I started blogging, I had a paltry audience and my posts were benign, snarky, and maybe a bit non-PC, but that is about it.  Only when I started writing about my experiences at Indian software company that was committing visa fraud and discriminating against Americans did I start to get HUNDREDS of posts from insulting, foaming-at-the-mouth INDIANS.   Everyday, more and more attacks and threats.  Promises to rape my daughter in front of my wife, assurances that they know who I am and were I live, even online scams that had the FBI asking me why I sending emails threating to "kill niggers" (which is absurd because I blog all the time about the dearth of minorities and women in IT because of the racist and mysoginist Indian influence that have come to dominate many IT departments).

Thus the hating began. 

Secondly, I think I express the views of many American techies who have been impacted by the campaign of ethnic cleansing by the high-tech junta and the IOR (Indian Oustsourcing Regime).  I'd rather be accused of being a bigot than confirmed as a coward.

Screw you, Don, and the rest of your shills for the high-tech junta.  You are not doing American techies any favors by playing into the hands of NASSCOM whose strategy is simple:

"Call anybody who opposes us a racist, and they will run in fear and hide."

The INDIANS started the rhetorical race war, with the HCL head calling American grads unemployable, and a decade's worth of propaganda calling us dumb, bad at "maths", and unable to do STEM work.

And for that they will pay.  If some some nutjob programmer goes crazy and starts aiming for the red-dots after losing his job and being forced to train his marble-mouth replacement, I wouldn't shed a tear.

It is shills like you DON, and cowards like R. Lawson, that have turned IT into a globalist gladiator pit where men like me have to fight everyday for the right to stay in our careers and not have our livelihoods destroyed by packs of sick, surly scabs from a third-world sewer.  I don't give a sh*t about alienating pussy journalists either, in fact Business Week quoted me, not R. Lawson or some wuss from Dice. Another writer called me an "American Folk Hero". 

You have to be a fool not to realize that there are some people who will not stand for intimidation or descrimination, Don.  You say you served your country, riding a desk in DC.  Well, how does that compare to someone like me, a Marine who risked his life for this country, only to find that with the help of scum like you, he has been deemed disposable and an unfortunate victim of the globalist slave trade?  Perhaps you would suggest that I retrain to be a cab driver or security guard, and embrace the smelly scabs that you are so enamored with.

Sorry Don, ain't gonna happen.  I will stop being an American programmer when you folks pry the keyboard from my cold, dead hands.  I will NEVER again train my H-1B replacement, or facilitate an outsourcing initiative.

And I will NEVER stop writing about the slumdog slave trade that you support, and its victims like Jack Palmer or Kevin Flanagan.

YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS, DON;  the blood of many American techies that seen their careers destroyed by the likes of you.

And for that....

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION

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Mar 20, 2011 9:02 AM twins.fan twins.fan  says:

The media made a big deal out of the campaign contributions that were made by Keith Olbermann that in total amounted to less than $10K because that created some kind of conflict of interest.

But the ownership of MSNBC obviously includes Microsoft, who is owned by Bill Gates the leader of a block of Microsoft ownership that includes Steve Balmer, and other Microsoft employees/investors that built a nest egg by being some of the original Microsoft employees.  Yeah, Gates only owns 7% of Microsoft, but the block of ownership that he leads probably owns well over 50% of Microsoft.

Anyway, it seems that is perfectly OK for MSNBC ownership to make campaign contributions which are SUBSTANTIALLY more than the $10K that was made by Olbermann.  Gates, et al make substantial campaign contributions to political campaigns. I don't make this point to justify Olbermann's behavior.  I make it because it identifies that the folks at MSNBC are aware of the conflict of interest.

In fact, Gates not only makes campaign contributions, Gates makes campaign contributions to politicians that are friendly to the causes that allows Microsoft to import cheap labor into the US to undermine the careers of US STEM workers.  It seems that not only are the paid politicians passing laws that are friendly to Bill Gates' business interests, the errand boys that work for MSNBC provide stories with a friendly spin to the business interests of Bill Gates.

Gates and MSNBC marched out one of his errand boys, Tom Brokaw, to report on a story that gave a total superficial, shallow whitewash justification of the H1B visa, but Gates, MSNBC, and Brokaw, have said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the GAO report that reported that half of the H1B recipients are entry level workers and only 7% of the H1B recipients receive wages that are commensurate with wages of highly talented workers.

So this crap about Olbermann being fired and suspended because Olbermann violated some kind of conflict of interest is crap, because MSNBC does not implement any kind of conflict of interest policy if it doesn't implement policies that guard against the conflict of interests created by Microsoft ownership of MSNBC.

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Mar 20, 2011 11:00 AM sunil sunil  says:

Respected Sir,

People come to work on B-1 visa is more than 2 decade old story. I worked for a company more than 20 years back in India. That company used to send many engineers on B-1 Visa for 3-6 months depending upon the validity of the visa. The engineer was paid $1000 per month as compensation, shared accommodation and health insurance. In addition to they were paid Indian salary ($200 to 300 per month). They worked as developer in company's own facility. Most of the engineers were highly educated well trained and solid experience of 4-5 years. The company was a well-respected US company.

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Mar 29, 2011 2:10 AM DesiTechie DesiTechie  says: in response to sunil

They say H1-B is for CHEAP labor. Is it?

I am on H1-B and my salay is >100K + All benefits for me and my family.

My employer(s) have spent more than $30K in last 4 years on just my H1B petitions itself. Add visa stamping, attorney, clerical cost etc.

No company is fool to pay blindly to someone just like that.

How much is the average salary of a US citizen Java Developer?

I pay all the taxes including social security tax, medicare tax, unemployment tax.

I can never benefit from social security, medicare - as I am not going to retire here.

I can never benefit from unemployment tax- because if I am unemployed I am illegal. I am working here since last 4 years and have been paid salary for every single day here. No recession has affected me.

So, who is gonna benefit from all these taxes to IRS and various fees to USCIS?

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Apr 4, 2011 1:04 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to EngiNERD

Thanks for the heads-up -- I just tweeted it. At least this one was in a U.S. media outlet.

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Apr 4, 2011 12:49 PM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

Here another breaking  story... 

Just wonder how much news coverage there will be  of

Edison Man Sentenced To Six Months In Prison For Money Laundering

http://njtoday.net/2011/04/04/edison-man-sentenced-to-six-months-in-prison-for-money-laundering/

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Oct 30, 2011 7:11 AM devd devd  says: in response to Don Tennant

Here is the problem with this visa.  It is used as an outsourcing tool .  Without the h1b visa holders, all offshoring would come to a grinding halt.  I am surprised that no one has mentioned this yet.  The h1bs are contributing directly to knowledge transfer and offshoring. All the arguments that it brings jobs here and keeps them from being off shored are false.  It has the opposite effect. I know how this is done.  A few h1bs are brought here.  One of them is made the manager.  The offshore facility usually has 4-5 employees per person here.  The manager is also made the boss of the existing American employees.  They are forced to transfer knowledge to the h1bs.  Each of the h1bs transfers the knowledge to 3-4 offshore employees.  The department soon moves offshore.  The whole thing is insidious.  The American employees are given no work while they train the h1bs.  Their job is simply to train.  Since their manager is himself an h1b, they have to agree.  The knowledge transfer happens at the speed of light with instant messaging and morning phone calls with offshore employees in which everyone has to participate.  This is happening in all American companies that have offshore facilities.

The offshore quality sucks but you cannot compete with a 10 to 1 ratio of employees working at one tenth the price.  The h1b visa does not bring jobs here.  That is a lie and the corporations know it.

The h1bs that came here in th 80s brought their jobs here and did not offshore them.  They bought houses and cars and paid taxes here.  The technology did not exist to be able to offshore American jobs.  There was no Internet and email and instant message.  It is different now and the h1b is no longer good for America.

There is no reason to target the software industry professionals with this kind of competition.  The H1b can work if it is disallowed for companies that have offshore facilities.  That would then be good for the economy since these people would live here, spend here and pay taxes here and create jobs here.

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Oct 30, 2011 7:26 AM devd devd  says: in response to devd

If these software developer jobs came back to this country,  several other jobs such as software tester and business analyst jobs would come back.  A high school diploma is sufficient to be a tester.  Unemployment here would fall rapidly.  The H1b can work, but just don't allow them to offshore American jobs, because with each software developer job that is offshored, atleast 4-5 jobs that could be done be a high school graduate goes away.

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