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Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    And yet somehow a number of instances "fall through the cracks." What is meant by "Advance Degree" as well as "Investigation of Such Degrees"... The wording is vague to the extent that companies pay little recourse in instances when such instances occur. It is just too easy to bypass the system requirements and the consequences for doing so are to minimal. In our part of Michigan, a number of job advertisements look like: Wanted: staff member to support corporate technology. Required skills: Senior AS/400 Programmer (10+years), Certified Network Administrator (5+years), Database Administrator (3+years), Windows PC technician, HP Printer technician, CISCO Router Certification, etc.... Salary Range $35-$45k. For those that have ALL the skills, the salary offering is unspeakable. Those with some (not ALL) of these skills that that will work for the salary range are disregarded as "not having needed skills."

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    Here is an interesting article from the L.A. Times that claims that there are no takers on many open positions and that the only way to get some positions filled is to use the H1-B method. Many have claimed that our educational system has been on the decline for years and that we're producing math-deficient students that can't compete. Well maybe that's come home to roost. It hits us all when companies fail. It hits home, or in your hometown (the Rockwell company is in my hometown) then maybe it has an effect on other items such as home value, etc. Here's a key quote from the article: "Nearly half of the people hired on H-1B visas have graduate degrees, while only 5% of the U.S. population has the same level of education" chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer. --------------------------From L.A. Times--------------------------- U.S. Firms Lament Cutback in Visas for Foreign Talent Companies say too few in U.S. have the needed math and science skills. Critics claim the H-1B program is misused. By Evelyn Iritani, Times Staff Writer For Rockwell Scientific Co., hiring the best talent is a matter of corporate survival. Chief Executive Derek Cheung says he simply can't find enough professionals in the United States with the highly specialized skills to produce the sophisticated sensors and other high-technology products the Thousand Oaks company makes. And he says changes to a foreign worker visa program threaten the ability of Rockwell Scientific and other U.S. technology firms, schools and hospitals to bring in employees from abroad - just when they are needed most. The H-1B visa program, designed to allow U.S. companies to hire foreign professionals on a temporary basis, was scaled back last year because of the sluggish U.S. technology job market and a political backlash in Washington over the importing of foreign labor. Now, with the economy healing, companies are scrambling to get foreign hires approved before this year's allocation of H-1B visas is exhausted. Pulling up the welcome mat to foreign talent when corporate America is gearing up for a turnaround poses a threat to America's global competitiveness, Cheung and other executives said recently. They predicted that a shortage of H-1B visas would force them to pass over promising foreign-born scientists, leave crucial jobs unfilled or delay projects that require special talents that can't be found in this country. "These are the best minds in the world," said Cheung, an American citizen who grew up in Hong Kong and received two of his degrees from Purdue and Stanford universities. "They are really helping this country." Immigration attorneys predict the cap on H-1Bs - set at 65,000 this year, down from 195,000 in 2003 - could be reached within the next few weeks. U.S. immigration authorities had approved 43,000 of the visas as of the end of December. Once the ceiling is reached, no new visas will be given out until Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year. "Come March, you're going to have companies feeling it very urgently," said Judith Golub, a senior director with the American Immigration Lawyers Assn. in Washington. Rockwell Scientific has applications pending for 10 visas, including one for a 30-year-old specialist in high-speed electronics who Cheung persuaded to leave his government job in Asia and move to the United States. Russ Knocke, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, confirmed last week that his agency was "on pace to reach the cap in the near future." It isn't just Japanese electronics experts, Chinese physicists or Indian computer programmers who could get caught in the H-1B crunch but also African fashion models, European game designers, Pakistani doctors and Filipino occupational therapists. Even accounting firms use the visa program to beef up their staffs during their peak season, noted Bernard Wolfsdorf, a Los Angeles immigration attorney. "This is going to provide enormous disruption for certain crucial industries," he said. Finding a sympathetic ear on Capitol Hill isn't easy these days. Signs of improvement in the overall economy are overshadowed by worries about the lack of job growth. The threat posed by the outsourcing of increasingly higher-skilled jobs to India and China has become a presidential campaign issue, with Democrats accusing the Bush administration of doing too little to protect American workers. "The anti-immigrant mood and the anti-globalization mood inside Washington is as negative as I've seen it in my 25 years working in this field," said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Assn. of America, which is lobbying for less-restrictive immigration measures. The H-1B program, established in 1952, has ebbed and flowed with the economy. Initially there was no cap on visas. In 1990, Congress imposed a yearly ceiling of 65,000 visas, though some occupations such as university employees were exempt. Under pressure from high-tech employers, the ceiling was raised in 1999 and again in 2001, staying at 195,000 for three years. Applications plummeted, however, after the tech-sector bust. Last year, under pressure from anti-immigration forces, Congress reduced the cap to its original level. To apply for an H-1B visa, a U.S. firm must demonstrate that it is unable to find a qualified American citizen for the job and agree to pay the foreign worker a wage comparable to what a U.S. worker would earn, in addition to benefits. The visa is good for a maximum of six years. Critics argue that firms are using the program to replace U.S. citizens with lower-cost foreign workers. Pete Bennett, who launched the website http://www.nomoreh1b.com, said he didn't oppose bringing in foreign workers with special talents when there was a genuine shortage. But, he said, the program is being abused. He pointed to the thousands of attorneys, accountants and teachers brought into the United States each year under the program. "There are plenty of qualified Americans who are dying to take these jobs," said Bennett, who opened a cabinetry shop in Danville, Calif., last fall after working more than 15 years as a computer programmer and website designer. Employers say they try to fill jobs with U.S. citizens but can't always find qualified candidates, particularly in math and science. In engineering, for example, 43% of the master's degrees and 54% of the doctoral degrees awarded by U.S. universities go to foreign-born students. Nearly half of the people hired on H-1B visas have graduate degrees, while only 5% of the U.S. population has the same level of education, said Thom Stohler, vice president for workforce policy for the American Electronics Assn. Hospitals, especially in rural areas, face a shortage of physicians and specialized healthcare workers such as occupational and physical therapists. And school officials can't find enough teachers in math, science and foreign languages. Stohler warned that a restriction on foreign workers could backfire, resulting in companies setting up research operations overseas where they don't face restrictions on hiring. "Companies might decide if they can't get this visa, they'll hire them there and keep them there," he said. "Now this person is creating intellectual property in another country." Belkis Muldoon, director of global immigration services for Schaumberg, Ill.-based Motorola Inc., said the cap on H-1B visas could create an "extremely difficult" situation for her firm, which employs about 90,000 people around the world. She said some foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities initially hired while on student visas needed to shift to H-1B status to stay in the country. "Many of the students hired by Motorola - or other companies - would face being sent home or terminated if unable to have their legal immigration status changed," she said. Groups such as the American Electronics Assn. and the Information Technology Assn. of America are asking Congress for relief. One proposed remedy would remove from the cap foreign graduates of U.S. universities holding master's degrees or doctorates. Presently, H-1B visa holders working for institutions of higher education or nonprofit groups are not counted against the ceiling. For Rockwell Scientific, keeping the door open to foreign talent is just part of the answer to staying ahead of competitors. Cheung said the United States must improve its K-12 educational system and find ways to encourage more young Americans to study math and science, or risk losing the competitive edge to countries such as China and India that are investing heavily in these areas. In 1999, the U.S. granted only 61,000 bachelor-level engineering degrees compared with more than 103,000 in Japan, 134,000 in Europe and 195,000 in China, according to a study by the Computer Systems Policy Project, a Washington-based group of high-tech chief executives. They have urged the Bush administration to approve new tax credits on research and development spending, allocate more funds for university research and improve education, particularly in math and science. The education gap is of particular concern to Rockwell Scientific, which depends on defense-related contracts for 70% of its revenue. With few exceptions, only U.S. citizens are allowed to work on those jobs. "In military defense, we have a clear superiority," Cheung said. "But can we maintain it with the number of graduates we are turning out?"

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  • David Abramowitz
    replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    Chuck Ackerman wrote: it would be suicide for a company to offer a person with an advanced degree in engineering less than $100k to start. I agree with you Chuck, but that's exactly what companies are doing in order to feign compliance with H1-B. If investigated, the company can point to publicly placed ads, and avoid further troubles. There is no requirement that the company has to offer a fair or market rate, just a requirement that the company performed the search, and came up empty. To bolster this point, visit DICE, Monster.com, Net-Temps, Computerworld, or any one of many job search sites. You will find a multitude of positions requiring great knowledge and experience along with a laughable (cryable?) compensation level. These are red herrings, placed for the sole purpose of hiring the innocents abroad. The internet is rife with sites that explain in detail how to obtain an H1-B visa, or how a company can hire the H-1B visa holder. This technique is not a secret. BTW H1-B visa holders are required by law to hold advanced degrees, or else they are not eligible for the H1-B visa! To put a corollary on the stated article it would mean that half of H1-B visa holders are in violation of the law. It should also be noted that employers of H1-B holders are required to investigate degree claims. This is almost never done, because when it has been done (sorry, I no longer have the link for confirmation) it turns out that the degrees are phony. Dave

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    ctibodoe asked: "Are we making getting the education for an American citizen have a cost that students can't justify, especially since we are scaring the hell out of em with all the outsourcing talk." No, absolutely not! A year of education at University of California, UCLA or any of the other 11 campuses of the UC system costs approximately $4,000 for residents of California, including books. By the way, UC Berkeley and UCLA are two of the finest engineering and scientific research schools in the country. A year of education at San Jose State, Long Beach State or any of the other 19 California State University campuses costs approximately $2200 per year including books. BTW, San Jose State is one of the finest engineering schools in the country. I have no sympathy for those students that generate huge student loans just so they can say they went to Stanford, Harvard or Yale. It's a waste of money just to obtain status. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    David, To live in the Thousand Oaks area where median home prices are about $580k and the average family income is over $90k it would be suicide for a company to offer a person with an advanced degree in engineering less than $100k to start. It's unlikely that his account is incorrect. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer. "David Abramowitz" wrote in message news:6ae9797c.0@WebX.WawyahGHajS... > Chief Executive Derek Cheung says he simply can't find enough professionals in the United States with the highly specialized skills to produce the sophisticated sensors and other high-technology products the Thousand Oaks company makes > > This is an interesting statement. There are no claims here that the people to perform the tasks do not exist, nor does it claim that an extensive search has been made. The only statement of note is that this guy can't find them. > > I can just picture (based on what I have seen of ads for AS/400 personnel) the ad (placed locally only): > > Wanted: Sensor engineer with fifteen years experience. Must have an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, and another one in physics. No relocation offered. Salary $31,000 per year. > > > > I know, I know, I just made up that piece of fiction, but who among us performing a search hasn't seen something similar. To me, the initial statement would carry some validity if I know the methods and means of the employer's search. > > Dave

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    Disclaimer - fiction: Wanted: Sensor engineer with fifteen years experience. Must have an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, and another one in physics. No relocation offered. Salary $31,000 per year. How much would this double engineer have spent, or would have to spend today to get this level of education? And how much does it cost the individual from elsewhere for his? Or how much does it cost for them to come here and get it. ( I know of a relative who went to Yale and Harvard and has a pretty student loan to pay off, he married a woman from the Philipines whose family situation as far as citizenship in the states I never really understood, but I remember she got big financial breaks because of it). She has the same degree's, not the loans. Are we making getting the education for an American citizen have a cost that students can't justify, especially since we are scaring the hell out of em with all the outsourcing talk. It sure seems like we have a lot to fix.

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  • David Abramowitz
    started a topic Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    Can limiting H1-B visas hurt us all?

    Chief Executive Derek Cheung says he simply can't find enough professionals in the United States with the highly specialized skills to produce the sophisticated sensors and other high-technology products the Thousand Oaks company makes This is an interesting statement. There are no claims here that the people to perform the tasks do not exist, nor does it claim that an extensive search has been made. The only statement of note is that this guy can't find them. I can just picture (based on what I have seen of ads for AS/400 personnel) the ad (placed locally only):
    Wanted: Sensor engineer with fifteen years experience. Must have an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, and another one in physics. No relocation offered. Salary $31,000 per year.
    I know, I know, I just made up that piece of fiction, but who among us performing a search hasn't seen something similar. To me, the initial statement would carry some validity if I know the methods and means of the employer's search. Dave
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