Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Government United States News

Feds Consider H-1B Changes After Uncovering Fraud 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the evidently-some-people-lie dept.
CWmike writes "A Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman said today that the agency is weighing a series of reforms to the H-1B application process, including the use of 'independent open-source data' to obtain information about visa seekers or the companies that file the petitions on their behalf. The move follows a report by the agency that found widespread problems and evidence of fraud in the nation's H-1B program, including forged documents, fake degrees and shell companies being used in H-1B applications. It also comes after the controversy caused by changes to the H-1B rules earlier this year."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Feds Consider H-1B Changes After Uncovering Fraud

Comments Filter:
  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @10:55AM (#25345741) Homepage Journal

    H1-B fraud? Shell companies? Fake degrees? You mean it really does come down to cheap labor?

    I'm shocked. SHOCKED!

    Well, not that shocked.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      Yes because corporate lawyers who put out videos like this one [noslaves.com] were all just telling lies. LIES! Seriously though,who DIDN'T know that the H1-B was being used to turn a college education into a McJob?

      I personally loved how they told everyone "Get a tech education! All the manufacturing jobs will be shipped overseas so you need a degree!" and then once folks graduating high school did just that they bring in the H1-Bs who can work the same job for peanuts. I'd love to see one of those congress critters lo

      • I'd love to see one of those congress critters look the camera in the face and try to explain how someone who has to pay 60-100K for a degree is supposed to compete with someone who pays 25K or less

        I'd love to see who pays 100K (presumably US dollars?) for a degree and thinks it's actually worth it, in any subject. Even counting living costs, $25K seems quite high for a bachelors' degree (and a PhD is usually funded by grants, so doesn't cost the recipient anything).

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by konohitowa (220547)

          I assumed he was talking yen or pesos.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ximenes (10)

          I don't know what you think universities cost today, but $40,000 per year is not uncommon. Whether or not it is worth it is another matter, but you can find somewhere willing to charge in that range easily.

          The university that I went to is now up to $46,000 per year, although only $34,000 of that is for tuition and another $1,000 in required fees.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)

            Well, I work (intermittently) in a university, and tuition fees recently went up to £3000 per year ($5,150). On top of that, students have to pay around £25 ($43) for course notes (they aren't expected to buy textbooks, and all of the recommended course texts are in the library). When I was a student, tuition cost £1025, and a few years before that it was free - putting it up to £3000 caused a lot of complaints and it's unlikely to go up any more because of

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Beetle B. (516615)

        I'd love to see one of those congress critters look the camera in the face and try to explain how someone who has to pay 60-100K for a degree is supposed to compete with someone who pays 25K or less.

        The solution isn't limiting H-1, but reducing tuition fees.

        Tuition rates in public universities are too high. And most university funding doesn't even come from it.

  • There's a surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cs668 (89484) <cservin@cromagnon.com> on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:00AM (#25345761)

    Even if the H-1B program had no fraud it would push wages down in the US by artificially changing the demographic in the workplace.

    Older experienced high tech workers are more likely to stay at home with their families. Younger recent graduates are more likely to travel for work/opportunity. They also earn less because they have less experience.

    But, it doesn't surprise me that greed leads to fraud in a situation that already drove wages down.

    Look at how greed is affecting the economy now. Greedy people want houses they cant afford, greedy bankers want to make money by giving risky loans and turning them over. Greedy companies want to reduce wage costs by defrauding the H-1B program.

    It's just par for the course!!

    • by nbert (785663) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:34AM (#25345931) Homepage Journal
      On the other hand lower wages make the US' economy more competitive, which could lead to a higher employment rate. So it's really a two-sided problem.

      However, when it comes to real specialists I don't see how low entry barriers will affect wages, because those people will move to wherever they earn the most. If you look at wages for IT-specialists* in Europe for example they are not much lower in Poland than in the UK, even though the general population earns much less in Poland. The reason for this is that if the employers would offer less those IT workers would just move on to Germany, France, UK etc..


      *Not talking about the guy who runs the Exchange server or fixes your printer problems.
      • Lower wages (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wfstanle (1188751) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:54AM (#25346047)

        "On the other hand lower wages make the US' economy more competitive"

        If this is true, why don't the CEO's set the trend by taking less? I'm not asking for a lot, just limit you total compensation (salary & bonuses) to something reasonable like a million dollars per year. A million dollars is an amount that many people can't achieve in a lifetime but some CEOs get more than 100 million each year.

        • In a private company the owners or the stock holders decide, directly or indirectly via the board of directors, how much the CEO is paid and it is not just a matter of how much more the CEO is paid than the workers but rather what is best for the company. Someone has to be in charge or lead and you don't want that person to make bad decisions that loose value. So if the corporation has revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars per year what is 20 million to ensure that the most talented CEO available make
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by publiclurker (952615)
            You forgot to add the part where the board is usually composed of other CEO's and friends of the CEO, who happens, strangely enough, to be on the boards of these other CEO's companies. I personally wouldn't mind it so much that these guys were allowed to have their friends choose their salaries if the people who actually do the work had the same luxury.
            • The income which allows them to do those things comes from private sources or at least it should, although that is sadly not always the case for reasons which cannot be blamed entirely on the free market, so if you don't like the salary arrangements or those policies then don't invest in those companies and don't buy their products. Vote with your wallet if you must, be beware of the seductive promises of politicians to "punish" those in the private sector whom the public perceives as "evil doers" (i.e. cla
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Z34107 (925136)

          If this is true, why don't the CEO's set the trend by taking less?

          Because CEOs are important. No board of directors wants to skimp on the CEO offerings, let they get a "cheap" one that runs their company in the ground.

          But, there have to be some limits. While paying $dirt means you won't get a good CEO (even for large values of $dirt), paying $bucks doesn't guarantee you a good one, either. The idea is to pay CEOs for their performance, just like any other employee.

          Problem is, how do you measure a CEOs

          • by nabsltd (1313397)

            Problem is, how do you measure a CEOs performance? If a company has a great year, was it just because of a good economy? Would that year have been just as great if the CEO did nothing? How about if the company has a bad year? Is it the CEO's fault if oil prices quadruple and the financial markets tank?

            As for "what if the market tanks?", well, you are paying a good CEO to be in front of such things, and allowing the company to continue its success.

            Although measuring performance in meaningful ways might be difficult, there are obviously ways like profit, etc. But, there really isn't any need to be accurate if you demand true accountability for anything that happened on during the tenure of the CEO. So, if Joe in shipping screwed up and lost the company a boatload of money, the CEO is ultimately to blame,

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Some karma burning time for me.

        In US it is easy to fire underperformers, but not in Canada.

        With personal experience I can say that the kind of money we wasted^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hspent in hope to bring some morons in Canada to a level of a programmer, we could have easily built another Cisco, with the help of Indian programmers. I do that now, having learnt my lessons, and I am happy I did that. It is much easier to pick good skilled among those 1 billion people and bring them to our standards than risking my p

      • by linhares (1241614) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @12:17PM (#25346171)
        America has forgotten that it built its success on the back of the geniuses that migrated there. The Manhattan project, for one, is an example of America's prodigious talent-attraction while Germany was burning people down. Here's a quote from a Lexington piece [economist.com]:

        when it comes to immigration they [congress] are doing exactly the opposite--trying their best to keep the world's best and brightest from darkening America's doors.

        Consider the annual April Fool's joke played on applicants for H1B visas, which allow companies to sponsor highly-educated foreigners to work in America for three years or so. The powers-that-be have set the number of visas so low--at 85,000--that the annual allotment is taken up as soon as applications open on April 1st. America then deals with the mismatch between supply and demand in the worst possible way, allocating the visas by lottery. The result is that hundreds of thousands of highly qualified people--entrepreneurs who want to start companies, doctors who want to save lives, scientists who want to explore the frontiers of knowledge--are kept waiting on the spin of a roulette wheel and then, more often than not, denied the chance to work in the United States.

        This is a policy of national self-sabotage. America has always thrived by attracting talent from the world. Some 70 or so of the 300 Americans who have won Nobel prizes since 1901 were immigrants. Great American companies such as Sun Microsystems, Intel and Google had immigrants among their founders. Immigrants continue to make an outsized contribution to the American economy. About a quarter of information technology (IT) firms in Silicon Valley were founded by Chinese and Indians. Some 40% of American PhDs in science and engineering go to immigrants. A similar proportion of all the patents filed in America are filed by foreigners.

        These bright foreigners bring benefits to the whole of society. The foreigner-friendly IT sector has accounted for more than half of America's overall productivity growth since 1995. Foreigner-friendly universities and hospitals have been responsible for saving countless American cities from collapse. Bill Gates calculates, and respectable economists agree, that every foreigner who is given an H1B visa creates jobs for five regular Americans.

        There was a time when ambitious foreigners had little choice but to put up with America's restrictive ways. Europe was sclerotic and India and China were poor and highly restrictive. But these days the rest of the world is opening up at precisely the time when America seems to be closing down. The booming economies of the developing world are sucking back talent that was once America's for the asking. About a third of immigrants who hold high-tech jobs in America are considering returning home. America's rivals are also rejigging their immigration systems to attract global talent.

        Canada and Australia operate a widely emulated system that gives immigrants "points" for their educational qualifications. New Zealand allows some companies to hand out work visas along with job offers. Britain gives graduates of the world's top 50 business schools an automatic right to work in the country for a year. The European Union is contemplating introducing a system of "blue cards" that will give talented people a fast track to EU citizenship.

        The United States is already paying a price for its failure to adjust to the new world. Talent-challenged technology companies are already being forced to export jobs abroad. Microsoft opened a software development centre in Canada in part because Canada's more liberal laws make it easier to recruit qualified people from around the world. This problem is only going to get worse if America's immigration restrictions are not lifted. The Labour Department projects that by 2014 there will be more than 2m job openings in science, technology and engineering, while the number of Americans g

        • by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @12:57PM (#25346411)
          I agree completely. Yes, immigration does have its downsides. Letting in an additional 10,000 foreigners to work in or immigrate to the U.S. should, in the short term, increase competition. But the long-term payoff is potentially huge. If just one of those immigrants turns around and helps found a major company like Google (co-founded by Sergei Brin, whose parents immigrated from Russia when he was six) the job creation by that company, and indirect job creation caused by economic benefit to other companies, will vastly outweigh the short-term losses.

          Unfortunately, we're losing sight of that because of post 9-11 hysteria. Yes, some of those foreigners might want to blow up your house. But I'll bet that the vast majority just want to work hard and to see their kids do better than they did. Ivy League schools are just packed with the children of immigrants for that reason. And I'd be willing to bet that the people who legally arrive in this country are vastly less likely to cause problems than the average American. We have no shortage of home-grown murderers, drug dealers, serial killers, sexual predators, white collar criminals and domestic terrorists... it's arguable that a group of carefully screened legal immigrants is vastly less of a threat to the American way of life than a group of average Americans.

          • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @01:45PM (#25346701) Journal

            There is a big flaw in your reasoning. H-1B workers are NOT "immigrants". They are "guest workers". Thus, your founder examples are misleading. If they were made immigrants, maybe companies would not treat them like indentured servants.

            Further, even if visa workers benefit the average person in the US (perhaps disputable), it may still hurt those in *specific* careers. Foreign cars don't help factory workers in Detroit, for example, even if it benefited car consumers in general.
                 

            • by fartrader (323244) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:20PM (#25347331)

              You are correct, it's a non-immigrant visa, but it has the capability to lead to a green card with sponsorship which many other types do not have ... and just to correct you, it's a "specialist worker program" not "guest worker". Guest worker is a term typically applied to people who undertake non-specialist labor such as farm labor work at harvest time, these are not eligible to become immigrants. To have a H-1B you need a degree in the field relevant to the job you are applying for (or 12 years expertise).

        • America has forgotten that it built its success on the back of the geniuses that migrated there.

          Not really. The real problem is that certain people are blurring the distinction between legal and illegal immigration.

          What really pisses me off in the current public "debates" regarding immigration and housing loans is that the people who are getting screwed the hardest are the ones who have obeyed the law and applied common sense.

          That's just wrong.

          • look at history (Score:5, Interesting)

            by linhares (1241614) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @01:16PM (#25346537)
            So if Einstein, von Newmann, Szilard, and a HUGE HOST OF Others had decided to build the A-Bomb for the fuhrer, America would have been just as successful during the past decades? PLEASE.... A nazi Germany with A-Bombs would have taken over Russia and Britain easily. America would be farther geographically, but after some mushrooms in the sky morale would be so low that surrender would be inevitable. Of course, gladly, we will never know. But to imagine that it's good policy to keep out the most talented people in the globe is to repeat but one of Hitler's mistakes. Ok, I get the Goodwin prize today, I guess.
            • Re:look at history (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:59PM (#25347681)
              That entire HUGE HOST of others that are speaking about would be dwarfed in terms of numbers by a single year's worth of H1B's. Your argument is specious: all the guest workers are not Einsteins. The whole point of this article is that many of them are not only not Einsteins, but nowhere near as educated and useful as they say they are.

              Get a grip. This is about corporations wanting cheaper labor, and about corrupt politicians aiding and abetting them. It's not about immigration, not about improving our society by bringing in worthy people from other cultures and assimilating them into our own. Not by a long shot.

              Furthermore, if it were about immigration, we'd be perfectly justified (by your own logic) in being selective as hell and only allowing the best and brightest of those people to work and live in our country. But we don't: we just want them cheap. Period. If they happen to be good, fine. If not ... why, that's fine too, so long as they work cheap enough to justify firing the domestic workforce. What, you think quality is an issue here? Are you blind?

              You can't put a price on an Einstein, or a Tesla, or any of the other great men who came to this great nation and more than repaid our generosity. You can, however, put a price on yet another Unix server admin, database consultant or Web developer.

              And that is what this is about. Don't try to make it any grander or more poetic than it is. It's down and dirty politics and money-grubbing, and none of your references to intellectually accomplished immigrants will ever change that.
            • Einstein would never have helped build the a-bomb for the Fuhrer. The Fuhrer would have exterminated Einstein with all the other Jews.

          • Mod parent up (pretty) please!! (with sugar and a cherry on top).

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by ScrewMaster (602015) *

            America has forgotten that it built its success on the back of the geniuses that migrated there.

            Not really. The real problem is that certain people are blurring the distinction between legal and illegal immigration.

            Correct. I would further note that when anyone tries to point this out, they're immediately hit with the "racist" label. It's not racist to speak out about trends and policies that have a negative impact on you and yours. However, in the U.S. a powerful method of attacking an opponent's credibility is to cry "racist", whether they are or not (or whether it's germane to the discussion or not.)

            It's happened to me here on Slashdot on several occasions, even though I'm a white guy who's getting married to an

        • by PPH (736903)

          The Manhattan project, for one, is an example of America's prodigious talent-attraction while Germany was burning people down.

          The people that came over to support the Manhattan Project came and stayed. The H-1B visa program brings them over for 3 years, trains them to build nuclear weapons and then sends them back home to live in mud huts. Where they are oppressed by the politics of their former employers and eventually lash out against them.
           

        • by Tuoqui (1091447)

          The unfortunate thing is that none of these companies seem to be using the H-1B visa program for its intended purpose. Recruiting highly skilled, highly intelligent professionals from abroad.

          You know what happens when an individual abuses a right or privilege they've been given... They lose it. It's about time that companies lose the privilege of H-1B visas.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)

        We don't need lower wages, we already beat the hell out of the rest of the world on efficiency. Wages are supposed to rise and efficiency rises. That held up pretty well until a few decades ago. I'm not sure when exactly, but it was sometime in the late 70s or early 80s that that started to go south.

        Having an income gap isn't in and of itself a problem, but when you look at what the people at the bottom are having to put up with because they're not being paid enough, that's a problem. The numbers frequently

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        On the other hand lower wages make the US' economy more competitive, which could lead to a higher employment rate. So it's really a two-sided problem.

        On the other hand lower wages make the US' economy more lopsided, which could lead to a higher amount of wealth concentration.
        Sure the employment rate might be higher, but the employment rate on a slave plantation was 100%, that didn't make it a great place to work. High wages and lower wealth concentration make for a strong middle class; which leads to low
    • > Greedy people want houses they cant afford

      Ordinary people know that if they want to be able to retire at 65 they need to own property and have their mortgage fully paid otherwise they won't be able to afford healthcare.

      • by cs668 (89484) <cservin@cromagnon.com> on Sunday October 12, 2008 @01:29PM (#25346601)

        Exactly so they should buy a house they can afford or rent. I am sick and tired of people making excuses for "ordinary" people. The people who gave the loans suck, the ones who took ones they could not pay suck too.

        If you can't afford to buy a home then rent an apartment. I rented for 6 years after college. Didn't want to, thought it was a waste of money. But, it's what I could afford. Then when I could afford to buy a home. I bought one that I could afford to make the payments on.

        Everyone is looking for a get rich quick scheme. Or wants to look richer than they are by taking a negative interest mortgage and maxing out their credit cards rather than living within their means.

        American financial habits have to change or the $ will eventually be worth nothing. The consumer culture has to change or we will all be broke.

  • by teknopurge (199509) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:06AM (#25345791) Homepage

    No! It can't be! paying a resource 10k USD/yr to replace a 70k/yr resource offers a lot of incentive to skirt the rules. You would have thought that the sub-standard work would have been outrageous enough, but companies keep offshoring.....

    • by jacobsm (661831) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:48AM (#25346011)

      Some companies find it cheaper to outsource the programming offshore with the expectation that the local staff will have to "fix" the program when it gets back to the USA.

      It is still cheaper for companies to pay 10% of the prevailing wage oversees for 90% of the desired result and have a few highly paid talented programmers clean up the mess that they receive.

      I have visions in my head of hundreds of programmers chained to their desks with taskmasters standing above them with whips shouting "Faster, code faster".

    • What does H1-B have to do with offshoring, and what H1-B worker gets paid 10k/yr?
  • Why reform? (Score:5, Informative)

    by plopez (54068) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:21AM (#25345859) Journal
  • What those fake Internet diplomas were good for.
  • h1b and L1 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slmdmd (769525) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @11:48AM (#25346013)
    People often mistake L1 to be H1. L1 is a visa for inter company transfer. It means any one can be employed at India/China office and then will be transferred to work in usa office. The Embassy interview for L1 is just a formality. There is virtually no educational qualification criteria/check for L1. So even a 12th pass guy comes in on L1 visa then he is posted at various clients. There is no limit on number of L1 visas. H1b's have a 65000 yearly limit. H1B embassy visa process is tough, education qualification is 16 years education plus experience. While we all are crying about h1b, the companies recruit any one with ok english in india, after working for 1 year in india they are sent here on L1. I have not heard of any rejections in L1 applications.

    L1 is the loop hole. It is the top secret one. I agree that there are about 30% h1bs who fake their experience(h1b criteria is 16yr edu + 3 years minimum work exp or 15 yr edu + 6 years work, 1 year education = 3 year work). 90% people on L1 have 15 year education or less and just 1 year exp. In any economy downturn h1bs are the first to be fired because 90% of them work on corp to corp contracts which are very expensive. Example for a unix admin - 100+ per hour is paid by company A to vendor V, V keeps 35% and gives 65 to H1B holding company H, H pays about 30 to the employee who is new in USA or 40 if he is more than 2 years old in usa. H1b end up getting exploited till GC(6 to 8 years). L1s too get exploited but they are happy because they are rotated every year. So they have less expenses(no need to buy car or family home) in usa and carry all money as savings to india/china.
    Since h1b corp to corp is expensive, candidate has to be really skilled, but some do manage by changing clients(A) every 3 to 6 months by slipping through a phone interview(some one else giving the phone int in their name). On being found out they are fired in 3 to 6 months. Yet they manage to settle in low tech areas like managing remedy tickets etc in about 2 years of hire-fire cycle. So in downturn, h1bs are fired first, then the citizen employee and are replaced by L1. L1's don't get overtime pay. They get about 3 to 4 k per month and yet that is a very good money because in india they get max 1k per month for 1+ year experience.

    • Re:h1b and L1 (Score:5, Informative)

      by infinite9 (319274) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @09:17PM (#25350181)


      Example for a unix admin - 100+ per hour is paid by company A to vendor V, V keeps 35% and gives 65 to H1B holding company H, H pays about 30 to the employee who is new in USA or 40 if he is more than 2 years old in usa. H1b end up getting exploited till GC(6 to 8 years). L1s too get exploited but they are happy because they are rotated every year. So they have less expenses(no need to buy car or family home) in usa and carry all money as savings to india/china.
      Since h1b corp to corp is expensive, candidate has to be really skilled, but some do manage by changing clients(A) every 3 to 6 months by slipping through a phone interview(some one else giving the phone int in their name). On being found out they are fired in 3 to 6 months. Yet they manage to settle in low tech areas like managing remedy tickets etc in about 2 years of hire-fire cycle. So in downturn, h1bs are fired first, then the citizen employee and are replaced by L1. L1's don't get overtime pay. They get about 3 to 4 k per month and yet that is a very good money because in india they get max 1k per month for 1+ year experience.

      None of this sounds right to me. I'm a 17 year IT consultant in chicago. What I've seen is that the majority of H1s can't find their ass. Typically two or three are needed to replace the american being fired. Obviously there are exceptions. But the vast majority are really quite useless. They're hired because upper management thinks IT workers are lego bricks. You can just unplug one and plug in another with no intangible cost to the company. Gardner told them so.

      Also, the bill rate numbers you quote are way off. I've never seen an H1 anywhere hired for $100 an hour. I'd say $60 is pretty much max. Otherwise, why wouldn't the end client just hire an american? There's a financial incentive for the client to hire an H1.

      Usually, there's no extra middleman for H1s. The consulting firm billing them out is host for the visa.

      I agree that L1s are a huge loophole. But usually, they come in when an indian corporation like TCS (tata) comes in an takes over an entire IT department. Then they can place an army of indians at the client because the project manager probably works for TCS also. I seriously doubt consultants on L1 visas get sent alone to a client.

  • by snarkh (118018)

    Let's make the rules even more complicated. Nothing helps to combat fraud and "technical violations" like some extra 70-80 pages of documents.

  • In fact, he said several of the waiters at this (unnamed) establishment were on H1-Bs. I believed him, but maybe I was too gullible.

    For those who say H1-Bs are an excuse to pay low wages, I've hired several foreigners on H1-Bs, and they make a ton of money. They make more than the Americans I've hired (because they're more qualified) and a lot more than the TN-1 employees we have.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      And this is honestly the point, isn't it? The folks that you have hired on H-1B's were willing to relocate (for whatever reason) and here they are, well-qualified, doing the jobs that they were hired to do.
    • by SL Baur (19540)

      In fact, he said several of the waiters at this (unnamed) establishment were on H1-Bs. I believed him, but maybe I was too gullible.

      Actually, I would believe it. I've talked to such people who told me of their plans to do it and I've heard too many other related stories of OFWs that corroborate to disbelieve them all.

      I'll bet you anything that 1) they had to pay for their job[1] and 2) they are not making anything near minimum wage.

      [1] It's typical for an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker and that's an official term) to pay the first two months wages to the agency that arranged the employment.

  • What they should do is run a continuing sting program, where undercover INS agents apply to jobs that these companies apparently can't find American applicants to fill.
  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @12:14PM (#25346151) Homepage

    So when that recruiter called me in 1988 looking for someone with 10 years of DOS programming was really a company trying to justify an H1B? Say it ain't so.

  • by hemp (36945) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @12:14PM (#25346155) Homepage Journal

    The least they could do is require H1-Bs to buy a portfolio of stocks and keep it all until they leave the country. I'm sure Wall Street would approve of this plan!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Arkem Beta (1336177)
      Actually there's a different US visa for people who own American stocks. The E-2 Investment Visa is for people who have significant US investments(usually more than US$100,000) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-2_visa [wikipedia.org] The visa is a non-immigrant visa valid for 1 year, renewable until the holder divests himself of the investments.
  • For law firms that have used immigration law against citizens, I hope they make it hard if not nearly impossible for them to do "requirements that exclude every citizen by design" anymore.

  • by MarkKnopfler (472229) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @01:38PM (#25346653)

    I have been living in the US for less than a year now. I have been working for more than ten years. This is the first time that I have been living in the US. Here is what I think of the whole matter.

    1. The H1B program, in spirit is a wonderful, clever thing. I have lived and worked in Europe, Japan and India. I love to travel and take in new experiences. Thanks to the H1 program, it allows for me to actually live and work here. In all honesty, it has been a great experience.

    2. The H1B program allows for _american_ companies to actually fill in a labour gap as and when required.

    3. Does the H1B program get abused as the article states ? Absolutely. I have seen it happen myself. There are huge number of shell companies ( called consultants ) out there who are absolutely flooding the H1B channels with applications for requirements which do not exist. The article is spot-on with its observations. The biggest victim of this whole thing however is the H1B program. Due to this channel-stuffing, legitimate american companies cannot actually recruit an employee when it is _really_ required since the quota has already been filled by fraudulent/redundant applications. These redundant and fraudulent applications really really need to be stopped for the H1B program to actually deliver what it actually set out to deliver.

    4. There is a lot of talk about salaries and cost, and this is what I think. The H1B program is a cleverly crafted law in some ways. The H1 application belongs to the employee and and not the employer. The employee is free to change his employers as and when he or she wants to. If an employee thinks that he is being paid less than the market value, he or she is free to seek out an employer who will pay him as much as he or she deserves. The free market will, at the end of the day take care of it. Also if there is a company which pays its employees based on his legal status and not his skills and ability, please do not consider working for it, whatever might be your legal status.

    5. In my professional career, I have worked with some of the biggest bozos and some of the most exquisitely talented engineers. Race or geographical location had absolutely nothing to do with their abilities. There are smart people and idiots everywhere. Supposing that a H1B worker to be inferior in terms of ability, is not a very clever viewpoint.

    • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:51PM (#25347613) Homepage

      1. The H1B program, in spirit is a wonderful, clever thing. I have lived and worked in Europe, Japan and India. I love to travel and take in new experiences. Thanks to the H1 program, it allows for me to actually live and work here. In all honesty, it has been a great experience.

      I think it's great you can travel around the world and work in different places.

      2. The H1B program allows for _american_ companies to actually fill in a labour gap as and when required.

      The problem here is that MOST of those hired via the H-1B program are not hired to fill a labour gap, per se. Instead, they are hired to fill in a gap of people who are willing to work for substandard pay levels, and work extreme workloads and longer hours.

      3. Does the H1B program get abused as the article states ? Absolutely. I have seen it happen myself. There are huge number of shell companies ( called consultants ) out there who are absolutely flooding the H1B channels with applications for requirements which do not exist. The article is spot-on with its observations. The biggest victim of this whole thing however is the H1B program. Due to this channel-stuffing, legitimate american companies cannot actually recruit an employee when it is _really_ required since the quota has already been filled by fraudulent/redundant applications. These redundant and fraudulent applications really really need to be stopped for the H1B program to actually deliver what it actually set out to deliver.

      Not all of the abuse is like this. In one case I know of in the past, a major american company primarily involved in high-technology engineering and manufacturing hired someone for a position as a Unix system administrator, despite a few dozen of them in that city being available for work (who were presumably US citizens). It turns out the person actually hired did have a graduate degree in a field unrelated to computers or engineering. She was then trained on Unix system administrator by that company, and she also sought out outside help to speed up her learning of Unix system administration. That's how I ended up meeting her.

      The problem here is that this major company knew what they were doing. If they really had a true need for people in very specialized fields for which the supply of skilled and experienced people here had been exhausted, they would not have been trying to hire someone for a Unix system administrator job (which has an abundant supply of people available in large and small cities, and has for at least a decade).

      4. There is a lot of talk about salaries and cost, and this is what I think. The H1B program is a cleverly crafted law in some ways. The H1 application belongs to the employee and and not the employer. The employee is free to change his employers as and when he or she wants to. If an employee thinks that he is being paid less than the market value, he or she is free to seek out an employer who will pay him as much as he or she deserves. The free market will, at the end of the day take care of it. Also if there is a company which pays its employees based on his legal status and not his skills and ability, please do not consider working for it, whatever might be your legal status.

      This is not true. If someone with an H-1B visa is let go from their current job, they have a finite period of time to find a new employer who can sponsor them before their visa expires. The visa lets them in the country. The sponsorship is required for the visa to remain valid. Maybe they can work at any job for the month or two they are allowed to stay when losing sponsorship. But they must find that sponsorship by a deadline to keep the visa.

      Apparently, part of the big picture of abuse is that the "recruiting companies" that they get their work through is carrying out some fraudulent practices to keep them here. The shell companies may be part of that. That fact is, the free mark

  • 97000 applications times 21 percent comes to 20370 cases that businesses need to be fined. Now I'll pick a totally random number of 700 billion dollars, and divide it by 20370. Each business involved should be fined 34,364,261 dollars and 18 cents per bad application.

    • by xero314 (722674)
      Nice governmental bailout plan, I totally support it. But you are only taking into account one year of H-1Bs and this has been happening since the H-1B program was started. So my totally random guess would be that we can make this a lot cheaper of the businesses committing fraud, maybe even as low as a few thousand per violation. If they share the fines with the recruiters, and legal firms helping to perpetuate the fraud and it should a reasonable fine. But alas, the chance of some major corporate in th
  • I very much doubt that this is a correct use of "open source". The government refers to purchasing large numbers of something (or a contracted service) as "sourcing," so I suspect that what they mean is that they'll buy information from whoever's selling it, not that they're opening the process to the public in a way that could be likened to the open source development model.

  • After almost 2 decades of ignoring the problems caused by the H1-B program, now they decide there's fraud and abuse. Oh well, better late than never but the damage is done. They're shutting the barn door after the horse has run off.

  • Do you feel safe?
    Are we safe yet?
    I am not safe?

    Damn, is "SAFE" a four letter word, or politician PC acronym speak?

    Global businesses in the USA need "Save American Foreign Employees (SAFE)" H-1B visas for affordable Home Land Security contracts.

  • Stay tuned to WFUK News for a tonight's breaking story: Government officials find air in the sky!

    I'm Kent Brockman, and that's news to me!

  • by gabrieltss (64078) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:04AM (#25354093)

    I knew these problems existed as early as 1993 - 1995. The consulting company I worked for brought lots of H1-B's from India (becuse they could pay them 1/3 - 1/2 what they paid us) and 90% of them didn't know a darn thing. They all had forged resumes, had lied about degrees, etc... They would get to a cleint site and sit and stare at a screen they aks thousands of questions on how to do the job they wre hired for.

    What they also won't tell you is most - not all - but most people in india have TWO birthday's. Their REAL one and the one they put on all documents (the lie birthday). They use this so they can try to get into school earlier and use it for other ways to "sneak ahead". I know for a fact this goes on from having worked with many people from India. One gal slipped one day and mentioned about her "real" birthday and when I caught her on it I made her explain why she had TWO birthdays. That is how I found out about it.

    Granted I have worked with a few that really did know their head from their @$$. But precentage wise I would say only 1 in 1000 really know their head from their @$$.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

Working...