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IEEE-USA Criticizes Failure To Reform The H-!B Program (ieee.org) 239

Slashdot reader Tekla Perry writes: IEEE USA says H-1B visas are a tool used to avoid paying U.S. wages. "For every visa used by Google to hire a talented non-American for $126,000, ten Americans are replaced by outsourcing companies paying their H-1B workers $65,000," says the current IEEE USA president, writing with the past president and president-elect. The outsourcing companies, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy in 2014 "used 21,695 visas, or more than 25 percent of all private-sector H-1B visas used that year. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Uber, for comparison, used only 1,763 visas, or 2 percent," they say.
On Friday, IEEE-USA also issued a new criticism about the lack of progress in reforming the H-1B program, saying "At least 50,000 Americans will lose their jobs this year because the president has yet to fulfill the promise he made to millions who voted for him."
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IEEE-USA Criticizes Failure To Reform The H-!B Program

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  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday March 11, 2017 @01:53PM (#54018723) Homepage Journal

    HB, or H not B. That is the question

  • Locals preferred ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:04PM (#54018777)

    Genuine question here. Companies are supposed to hire local people if they are available and H1Bs only when there are no qualified locals. The question is:

    Have any of you ever been hired instead of an H1B because you are local? Have you ever heard of a situation where a company wanted to hire an H1B but ended up having to hire a local person instead because of this requirement?

    In my experience, the idea that H1Bs only get hired if there are no locals available is complete fiction. Has anyone ever seen this rule help a local person get a job instead of an H1B?

    • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:18PM (#54018833)

      If they want to do it, they can do it.

      So company A wants to downsize and replace with cheaper workers. If a company get H1Bs, then very shortly lays off people, then it's a flag.

      So instead they outsource to company B. So far, they are playing by the rules. Company B has bid to provide the work cheaper than doing it in house.

      Now company B says "I need some talent, I don't have enough staff', then *they* can claim there are no available local talent for what they need (for some *very* narrow definition, like 'software programmer ii' or something). They don't have layoffs to explain. When they are not your existing employees, it's easier to try to paint the labor market as somehow not applicable to the positions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Example:
        Feb 2016
        “Hertz is reportedly bound to lay off more than 250 IT professionals as the U.S. car rental company is outsourcing its IT service to IBM. Hertz says the deal will help it cut costs, free up resources, and focus on its core business. ...
        According to Computer World, IBM’s Indian subsidiary has filed paperwork for numerous H-1B workers for a property in Oklahoma City. The property belongs to Hertz Technologies Inc., a Hertz subsidiary, says the tech magazine while citing government

      • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:55PM (#54018987)

        Understood. Any real counter-examples though? Any examples of companies breaking the rules and facing enforcement actions? Is "hire locals first" 25% fictional, or 80% fictional, or 99.9% fictional?

        The "hire locals first" rule keeps getting brought up to defend the H1B program. I'd like to know how phony that argument is: partly, mostly, or entirely phony.

        • by GlennC ( 96879 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @05:31PM (#54019639)

          In my experience, it's 99.999% fictional.

          The H-1B program is almost always used to replace local workers with lower-paid imported contractors. The next step is for the work to be sent offshore.

          • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @05:46PM (#54019727)

            The companies that I have worked for haven't used them that way. But there's no way a local could ever be hired for a position instead of an H1B if they'd already decided to hire the H1B. They decide on the person they want and then go through an exercise of pretending the job is open to locals. After keeping up the pretense for a while, they hire the H1B.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @01:37AM (#54021283) Homepage

          I do not understand the gullibility of US workers, seriously WTF? The rule should be hire locals first than if none are available THAN YOU FUCKING TRAIN THEM!!! Seriously what the fuck is the matter with you guys, not guts, no genitals, please sir may I have another, what the fuckity fuck fucking fuck. No one available, then pay to train them, user pays, what is wrong with you people. As the corporations demand from you, so you demand from the fucking corporations.

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:56PM (#54018993)

      Genuine question here. Companies are supposed to hire local people if they are available and H1Bs only when there are no qualified locals. The question is:

      Have any of you ever been hired instead of an H1B because you are local? Have you ever heard of a situation where a company wanted to hire an H1B but ended up having to hire a local person instead because of this requirement?

      In my experience, the idea that H1Bs only get hired if there are no locals available is complete fiction. Has anyone ever seen this rule help a local person get a job instead of an H1B?

      My company always searches for local candidates and candidates in this country before looking for H1-B's -- hiring an H1B worker is hard, you have to interview them, decide to hire them, *then* wait month(s) to see if you can actually get them a visa. We've lost some really good candidates that either weren't able to get an H1-B in the lottery, or they just got tired of waiting for it to come through and they took a job locally.

      Used as it's meant, the H1-B program is very valuable to american businesses and workers -- it helps businesses succeed by giving them the talent they need to start grow. My company was started by a team of 5 - one was an H1-B holder, 3 others were green card holders who previously held H1-B's (those three have since become US citizens), we've now grown to around 250 people, I think around 20% of our engineering team is made up of H1-B workers (all PhD's from well known schools, with degrees in the domain my company specializes in). We have a strong college recruitment program, traveling to about a half dozen USA colleges a year, but we can't find the senior staff we need from American universities alone. Due to my work on our HR system, I can verify that they are paid comparably to our american workers (not even taking into account the higher hiring costs due to the cost to get the visa, relocation costs, etc)

      Without the H1-B program, I doubt this company would have ever been founded, or if it was, it would have been based in Europe where most of the founders were from. In fact, we're scouting around for a European office due to the uncertainty in the H1-B program, so we may curtail hiring in the USA as we build up a European engineering team.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        But that's not the question. Did you ever want to hire a specific H1B for a position, but you had to hire a local person instead? That's the question.

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          But that's not the question. Did you ever want to hire a specific H1B for a position, but you had to hire a local person instead? That's the question.

          Doesn't this answer the question:

          My company always searches for local candidates and candidates in this country before looking for H1-B's

          So, no I've never seen a case here where we found an H1-B candidate before we searched for (and didn't find) an American candidate. Jobs are always posted internally before they are opened up to outside candidates, and we won't consider an H1-B candidate if we have a suitable American candidate, and we give preference to candidates living in the local area.

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            So you would agree that the legal requirement to hire locals instead of H1Bs is essentially fictional in your case? Because that's just not how the hiring process works?

            I'm in favor of H1Bs too (with some critically needed reforms).

            But I don't like being told "there's a legal requirement to hire locals first" because it's disingenuous -- companies hire who they want, not who they don't want. I want to tell those people who make that argument to be more truthful and to make genuine arguments, not phony one

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            And no, statements about "searches" aren't really what I'm looking for. Designing a "search" with the objective to find zero "qualified" candidates is trivially easy.

            • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

              And no, statements about "searches" aren't really what I'm looking for. Designing a "search" with the objective to find zero "qualified" candidates is trivially easy.

              I don't know if you've ever done recruiting, but it's very time consuming, we don't search for a candidate if we're not looking for one.

              When I say we search for a local candidate, we do a legitimate search, bring candidates in for interviews (flying them in if they are from out of area), and then if we don't find someone locally, we'll start interviewing potential H1-B's. If there's a qualified American candidate, there's no reason to take an H1-B over him (or her) -- it's not like we're saving any money wi

              • by Kohath ( 38547 )

                we don't search for a candidate if we're not looking for one.

                I've seen it happen though. A manager will decide they want to hire a specific person. But that person has a visa issue. So they go through the motions of pretending to search before they can hire the person they already decided to hire.

                When I say we search for a local candidate, we do a legitimate search, bring candidates in for interviews (flying them in if they are from out of area), and then if we don't find someone locally, we'll start interviewing potential H1-B's. If there's a qualified American candidate, there's no reason to take an H1-B over him (or her) -- it's not like we're saving any money with H1-B's -- the highly qualified individuals we hire know the market and won't let us undercut them on salary.

                It would be cool if some Americans got the opportunity to improve their positions sometimes. That would mean hiring someone who was only somewhat "qualified" and letting them learn the rest on the job. HR people and recruiters seem to oppose this and use "qualifications

        • My impression from hawguy's post is that most of the H1Bs are from Europe (I'm assuming Western Europe). These workers would at least have similar salary expectations as American workers, and not part of the "Hire cheap Indians" for which the H1B program is abused for. They are not the problem.

    • by sgt_doom ( 655561 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @03:16PM (#54019099)
      The federal regulation is that there can be NO oversight on the visa program --- that's right, it is illegal for the federal gov't to monitor the work visa program (see either the federal regs, or read Michelle Malkin's book, Sold Out --- and yes, I realize she is or was a conservative, but this book is definitely not in that realm).
    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      Genuine question here. Companies are supposed to hire local people if they are available and H1Bs only when there are no qualified locals. The question is:

      Have any of you ever been hired instead of an H1B because you are local? Have you ever heard of a situation where a company wanted to hire an H1B but ended up having to hire a local person instead because of this requirement?

      In my experience, the idea that H1Bs only get hired if there are no locals available is complete fiction. Has anyone ever seen this rule help a local person get a job instead of an H1B?

      When there are multiple applications for a job, we only interview H1Bs if there is no local US person applying who seem qualified.

      • When there are multiple applications for a job, we only interview H1Bs if there is no local US person applying who seem qualified.

        I've never worked at a place where that was true. Generally a company creates an opening. Then they filter folks for some short period of time to meet the requirements. Then we spend the next 6 months interviewing only H1-Bs.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        When there are multiple applications for a job, we only interview H1Bs if there is no local US person applying who seem qualified.

        Say you interview 2 locals and decide neither one is a good fit. Are you saying you wouldn't go on to interview an H1B candidate after that because you can't hire an H1B for a position that locals have applied for?

        I doubt it. But I'm looking for more info to either confirm or refute my doubts.

        I don't think companies hire a local who is an 80% fit for a position over an H1B who is an 85% or 90% fit -- unless they can't get the H1B for other reasons. But if I'm wrong about that, I'd like to know.

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      You have the hiring process backward.

      Have you ever heard of a situation where a company wanted to hire an H1B but ended up

      You will never see a job posting that says:

      Position: SOFTWARE ENGINEER
      Requirements:
      5 years of D++
      2 years using WGF and Visual Baloney
      Experience with Libux a bonus
      Must be an H1B

      So if companies are exclusively looking for H1B applications, they will not make it apparent that they are doing so.

      Have any of you ever been hired instead of an H1B because you are local?

      How would the applicant know? They don't get any insight into the other potential hires.

      In general, there are 2 kinds of companies hiring H1Bs. The one type is contracting companies looking for massive cheap labor, so they just take the cheapest people. The other type is just looking for skilled contractors, and

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Those companies pick the best applicant regardless of H1B status. It would only matter if it was a tie, because the H1B would be more of a pain to deal with. But in reality, ties don't happen.

        This is what makes the argument that "companies are legally required to hire locals first and H1Bs only when there are no locals available" a phony argument. It's just not how it works.

        I'm looking for counter-examples. So far, none. Companies hire who they want. Legal requirements just add time and paperwork but don't really change the outcome.

    • Have any of you ever been hired instead of an H1B because you are local?

      If companies are looking to hire H1Bs you won't hear about the opening. Either they will do some obscure worthless job hunting in some obscure place to prove their point to the government, or they will outsource it to firms specialising in H1B recruitment where the job descriptions are not at all related to the actual jobs.

      Either way you won't ever be in a position to be hired.

    • You never hear what the company "wants" to hire. They don't announce this. You are not told why you did not get the job or why you did get it.

      As a rule, nobody wants to hire anyone that needs extensive training first. Not even an H1-B employee. So to get those jobs you must be above average, provide skills that are not commodity skills, make yourself invaluable. If you show up and say "I have a certificate, just like millions of other people" don't expect special consideration be made just because you're l

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      In my experience, the idea that H1Bs only get hired if there are no locals available is complete fiction.

      The requirement isn't fictional, and there are lots of legitimate companies like Google and Facebook that hires H1Bs in the Bay Area because there is no other work force available, much less any highly skilled work force. Naturally, if Google wants to have the best engineers in the world, then a large potion of them have to be imported.

      That said, yeah, there likely is a problem with the enforcement... But isn't that systemic to the US? Do you expect justice if you have no money? Do you expect the police t

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        If no company ever had to hire a local person when they wanted to hire an H1B instead, the requirement is fictional.

  • That's cute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:08PM (#54018793)

    At least 50,000 Americans will lose their jobs this year because the president has yet to fulfill the promise he made to millions who voted for him.

    You thought Trump would fulfill his "promises"? Remember when he said he'd put Hillary in jail? How about when he said he wouldn't have time to go golfing because he'd be too busy working? Mexico paying for the wall? Draining the swamp?

    Like so many others who voted for Trump, you've been conned.

    • Re:That's cute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ccguy ( 1116865 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:31PM (#54018881) Homepage

      At least 50,000 Americans will lose their jobs this year because the president has yet to fulfill the promise he made to millions who voted for him.

      You thought Trump would fulfill his "promises"?

      I don't think he's going to deliver, but let's be serious, it's been less than 2 months.
      Someone else was in office 8 years and didn't close Guantanamo.

      But in general, I think anyone that promises "jobs" these days is just a liar or clueless.

      • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

        I don't think he's going to deliver, but let's be serious, it's been less than 2 months.

        And in that time period he's managed to have more scandals, conflicts of interests, ethics violations, flat out lies, etc. than any president in recent memory. Alternative facts, CONway promoting Ivanka's product line, senior level cabinet members having, at best, questionable ties to Russia. This is the type of shit I used to read in in political intrigue novels.

        Someone else was in office 8 years and didn't close Guantanamo.

        You can't be that stupid. That wouldn't have anything to do with the assholes in Congress who did nothing but work to undermine and block Obama in

    • Like so many others who voted for Trump, you've been conned.

      That's precious, given that Democrats and social justice activists are trying to block everything Trump tries to do, including such simple and sensible things as a 90 day review of visa handling from countries we are effectively at war with. Reforming the H-1B program would take many months even under the best of circumstances, and with Democrats trying to tie the Trump administration in knots, don't complain if it takes a lot longer than that.

      No,

      • The Democrats don't have the votes to block anything. Iraq is America's "boots on the ground" ally in the fight against ISIS, not an enemy. America is not effectively at war with anyone, though Syria/Iran might soon be. The reason the Social Justice Activists stopped his ban was the retroactive part, it affected travel visas already issued.
        • The Democrats don't have the votes to block anything

          They file lawsuits. Democratic bureaucrats and judges sabotage the implementation of directives, etc.Yes, there is plenty of crap Democrats can do and have been doing.

          Iraq is America's "boots on the ground" ally in the fight against ISIS, not an enemy. America is not effectively at war with anyone, though Syria/Iran might soon be

          Well, call it whatever you want to. Those countries are in chaos, and that's why their citizens can't be vetted properly and shou

  • Okay...... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @02:59PM (#54019013)

    I know that we mere mortals can't edit our posts (O The Horror) but for fuck's sake, can't the editors even correct a typo?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the word "editor" is based on the word "edit". That implies the ability to ummm, edit.

    Is the ability to alter a post outside the lofty control of the Powers That Be?

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @03:31PM (#54019147)

    Whenever I think people cannot get any dumber, something like this is in the news. Expecting a pathological liar to keep promises is hard to top, but I am sure the idiots will find a way to do even dumber things.

    • "What have you got to lose?". The trouble with Hilary was a) she campaigned on no policy whatsoever (seriously, there was just an article about how her ads were almost completely policy free) and she didn't campaign in the rust belt (either because she took 'em for granted or was too old/tired to do so, doesn't matter really).

      Trump's voters don't expect him to keep his promises, but his opponent didn't make any. And the ones that put him in office (Blue collar guys abandoned by us white collar guys, so
    • Whenever I think people cannot get any dumber, something like this is in the news. Expecting a pathological liar to keep promises is hard to top, but I am sure the idiots will find a way to do even dumber things.

      You don't get it.

      Trump's supporters take his promises seriously not literally. His opponents err in taking him literally when they should be taking him seriously.

      No, I have no idea what that means either.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Hmm. Is that an alternate fact or fake news? I do not understand that distinction either.

        • Is that an alternate fact or fake news?

          Yes. Or no. You'll have to wait for the tweet to know for sure. And then the non-clarification from Sean Spicer.

  • by OneSmartFellow ( 716217 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @03:58PM (#54019281)
    ... training my replacement,  after I gave notice.

    I am always looking for a new job,  anyone who isn't is a fool.

    So, I was/am happily employed by a medium sized ,very high tech , company.  I'm a sys-integration guy, which means I used to be an very good developer, then got more interesting in the bigger picture.  Since I was never satisfied with my knowledge in any aspect of computing,  I became very good with OS fundamentals, networking,  file systems,  and all the other peripheral stuff associated with software development  (revision control,  ticketing, testing,  deployment, you name it,  I know about it )    So Integration came easy.

    I  recently found a significantly better paying,  more interesting job, so gave notice.   My company hired an H1B to replace me.

    He is useless.   After 3 weeks of fairly intensive OJT, he is still unable to even start to resolve the few minor problems that come up.

    I have very,  very little faith that he will be able to take over for me.

    I know for a fact that he is being paid less than half of what I am earning.  I  also know that totally qualified locals are available,  for about 85% of my rate.

    So, I  have told him,  he shouldn't even have the job, he is taking a decent paying position from a properly qualified local,  and that he should be happy I'm not his boss, cause I'd fire his ass immediately.  I have a pretty good suspicion that he was hired because the project manager' wife (indian) has a H1B recruiting company in India.   She's a bitch and a half too.

    Needless to say we're not really on speaking terms.

    Fuck the H1B program.   It's just a way to abuse the labor market.  There's no skills shortage,  there's a corporate greed problem.

    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      ... training my replacement, after I gave notice. I am always looking for a new job, anyone who isn't is a fool. So, I was/am happily employed by a medium sized ,very high tech , company. I'm a sys-integration guy, which means I used to be an very good developer, then got more interesting in the bigger picture. Since I was never satisfied with my knowledge in any aspect of computing, I became very good with OS fundamentals, networking, file systems, and all the other peripheral stuff associated with software development (revision control, ticketing, testing, deployment, you name it, I know about it ) So Integration came easy. I recently found a significantly better paying, more interesting job, so gave notice. My company hired an H1B to replace me. He is useless. After 3 weeks of fairly intensive OJT, he is still unable to even start to resolve the few minor problems that come up. I have very, very little faith that he will be able to take over for me. I know for a fact that he is being paid less than half of what I am earning. I also know that totally qualified locals are available, for about 85% of my rate. So, I have told him, he shouldn't even have the job, he is taking a decent paying position from a properly qualified local, and that he should be happy I'm not his boss, cause I'd fire his ass immediately. I have a pretty good suspicion that he was hired because the project manager' wife (indian) has a H1B recruiting company in India. She's a bitch and a half too. Needless to say we're not really on speaking terms. Fuck the H1B program. It's just a way to abuse the labor market. There's no skills shortage, there's a corporate greed problem.

      Why is this an H1B problem then? Anybody can hire an incompetent bozo for half the salary.

      After all the legal and immigration paperwork and fees, he'll probably add 10K-20K in expenses over his salary.

      • because he'll push through it or quickly get replaced. H1-Bs work 60, 70,90 hours a week. Whatever it takes. If they don't it's back to their home country and well, there's a reason they came here.

        The H1-Bs we're mad about aren't the rocket scientists, cryptography experts and geniuses. They're rank and file programmers taking jobs us /.ers used to have. This stuff isn't hard. It's mostly database driven apps and entry level engineering. 4 years college..hell 2 years of self training and you're good to
    • Have you thought about reporting it? I mean, if no one bothers to report it, how are the enforcement authorities supposed to know they need to do something?

    • If you look at countries with guest worker programs you see 90% of the population are "Foreigners", who just happened to be born and raised in your country.
  • Currently, H-1B visas are given out by lottery, which makes little sense. It means that outsourcing firms just flood the process with applications for low-paid workers.

    Trump has proposed reforming the H-1B program so that visas are handed out for the highest-paying jobs first. That would fix most of those problems. It may be something Trump can even do without congressional action.

  • I am a New Zealanders currently working for the New Zealand branch of a USA company. In my last job my employer was a New Zealand company that has a branch in the USA. It is my personal view that H-1B programs, and the New Zealand equivalent, should be paying imported staff more that local staff for the same role to stop out sourcing just to save money.

    In the case of my current role we have a couple of people working in NZ from the USA who are here because they know the parent companies operation and p
    • I was wondering about the reverse situation, if I was to work for my former employer in the USA. I would expect to be paid at least the same a local for the same role, probably more due to my skills and experience. There would be one less local employed but the company would be better off because of my deep and long knowledge of their product range. Would I still be seen as stealing a job from a local?

      In my experience, no you would not be viewed as stealing a job from a local. I've worked with multi-national companies and when some came from an overseas office we knew they were good and looked forward to working with them.

  • Nail the slimy fuckers (Infosys, Wipro, Tata), and leave the rest of us legitimate H1B folks alone. Full disclosure : BS + PhD here in the US, H1B for ~3 years, now a permanent resident.
  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @08:29PM (#54020311) Homepage

    So, we're criticizing Trump because he hasn't gotten around to this in his first 50 days. At least he acknowledged that there's a problem and has proposed a very good solution.

    I have to wonder what all the Trump bashers would be saying now had Hillary won, because her handlers had her dancing to the tune of "we're going to expand the H-1B program". I don't know if the IEEE leans left, but was this ever an issue for them before Trump became President?

    • So, we're criticizing Trump because he hasn't gotten around to this in his first 50 days. At least he acknowledged that there's a problem and has proposed a very good solution.

      He hasn't made a concrete proposal, that's what we're complaining about. Try again, son.

  • "The outsourcing companies, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy in 2014 "used 21,695 visas, or more than 25 percent of all private-sector H-1B visas used that year."

    While this statement might have been intended to highlight the dominance of H1-B visa usage by outsourcing companies, the truth goes far beyond that. In 2015, the top-8 companies receiving H1-B visas received 49539 or over 58% of the total visas. Of those 49539 visas, 48651 or over 98% went to Indian nationals. Furthermore, of tho

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