Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses United States IT Politics Technology

Immigration Bill Passes the Senate, Includes More H-1B Visas 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-word-on-more-h-1b-mastercards dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While the landmark immigration bill (full text PDF), which recently passed the U.S. Senate, is being hailed as bringing crucial reforms that will vastly improve the state of immigration in this country, there is a provision in it that is seeing relatively little discussion: section 4101, a 'market-based' increase in the amount of H-1B visas for skilled workers. 'The pitched arguments of both sides, which are likely to resurface in the House when it takes up its version of an immigration overhaul, cloud a complicated reality. There is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole. If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers — more of them are hired and at higher-paying jobs — but has no noticeable consequences, good or bad, on older workers.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Immigration Bill Passes the Senate, Includes More H-1B Visas

Comments Filter:
  • by helixcode123 (514493) on Friday June 28, 2013 @03:54PM (#44136515) Homepage Journal

    > If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers

    Of course. Isn't that a basic law of economic theory? As the supply of labor increases so do salaries.

    I have some doubts.

    • Of course salaries increase when immigration increase - in their countries of origin...
    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:59PM (#44137323)

      "If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers"

      Not only do I find that claim dubious, it's completely beside the point. At least one recent study discussed here on Slashdot, possibly more, said THEIR IS NO SHORTAGE of qualified technical workers in the United States. Some corporations just want more H1-Bs because they're cheaper.

  • HAH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @03:57PM (#44136551)

    There is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole.

    Written by someone that obviously has never worked in the tech industry.

    Fact: H1-Bs are abused to artificially suppress wages in sponsoring countries. There's nothing inherently wrong with having a program to help immigration, but the way it has been implemented, enforced, and maintained is causing serious harm to the U.S. economy.

    If you need citations for this, you're at least as clueless as the bought and paid for government approving expansion of this legitimized abuse.

    • Re:HAH (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:37PM (#44137099)
      Actually, if you need citations for this, you're thinking critically. Are you suggesting we should believe every unsupported opinion by every AC on Slashdot, or just you?
      • Actually, if you need citations for this, you're thinking critically.

        If you don't think many citations have been posted here in the past, you're being deliberately obtuse. For starters Google "Norman Matloff" - hours of fun reading. I used to post specific links and quotes, but at this point it's ridiculous. "Prove it" is a zombie line, killed a thousand times and still coming back.

      • Re:HAH (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shadow99_1 (86250) <<theshadow99> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:50PM (#44137237)

        Slashdot alone has been collecting anecdotal evidence for... 15 years now...? I think it's been 15 anyways...

        There have also been videos of presentations by firms who work in this area that teach companies how not to hire americans (You can google that). If their really was no advantage to hiring H1-B over a US worker, then why would companies go out of their way to disqualify US workers...?

        I think they real factor in "recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers" is that the few who do get in as US workers are the top of the crop and the rest simply are left to pick there way through other fields after getting their expensive degrees.

      • you're too lazy to google. [google.com]
    • The summary alleges that there is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole.

      Perhaps if you wish to argue agains that statement you could provide some empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole.
  • have an H-1B min wage and or open job switching aka the (worker owns the H-1B).

    The min wage can be like 50k+ forced overtime pay maybe at the 100k+ level no forced OT pay.

    Some H-1B are abused with low pay and or lots of foreced OT.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I agree if you double or triple those numbers.

      For type H1B tech jobs $50k is basically a pittance.

      • Well at least 50K + ot is an min and under that it opens room for US workers to have a good starting wage.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Depends on the job. It might quickly mean lots of jobs now only pay $50k when they used to pay more.

          Simply make them pay some multiple of the current labor board numbers for that job avoid this. Index it to inflation and compare 5 years down the road. Any slip in wage would mean reducing the number of H1Bs.

          • just saying 50K + forced OT pay as a base line some areas may need cost of living add ones and inflation add ons. Maybe even move the base line to 75K.

            But that will stop the H-1B's working for say $11-$13 hr under the staffing firms.

          • This. I think that if finding a worker for a hard to find job is really worth that much to you, then you need to put up the cash or GTFO. It's simple economics really, if you can't find people their wages should go up. As such, you need to pay them 3-4x some current index.
    • by jeff4747 (256583)

      It's a lot easier than that.

      Make the visa permanent. Allow the worker to work for any employer.

      If there really is an IT shortage and we need to import labor, we should actually import labor instead of renting it.

  • There is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole

    There is no evidence that there is a general "shortage" of tech workers either. Sure, there are spot shortages, but those are necessary to give the flooded niches room to move. If you plug the spot shortages with "guest" workers, then citizens in flooded niches can't get them.

    • And there's no way to grow your workforce, either. Which has to be bad for the country as a whole.
  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:13PM (#44136775)

    There is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole.

    Apparently the author is unfamiliar with Internet search engines and/or the name Norman Matloff. You'll find plenty of empirical evidence.

    If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers — more of them are hired and at higher-paying jobs — but has no noticeable consequences, good or bad, on older workers.

    Would the author care to mention the name of the study, who it was performed by, or even (*gasp*) provide a link? Otherwise a reference to "one recent study" has no credibility whatsoever.

    If you're going to shove a line of bull at people, at least have the respect to make it seem a little credible. Propaganda like this is just plain insulting. I'd rather have somebody be honest enough to say "Screw you, the tech billionaires won, courtesy of the propaganda they pay for and the bribes they give their sycophants in congress. If you don't like it you can eat sh*t."

    • by mrheckman (939480)

      Would the author care to mention the name of the study, who it was performed by, or even (*gasp*) provide a link? Otherwise a reference to "one recent study" has no credibility whatsoever.

      The OP was quoting from the NY Times article that was linked to in the post. There are even quote marks in the post to indicate that. The times article gives a link to the study: http://www.people.hbs.edu/wkerr/Kerr_Kerr_Lincoln%20Feb2013.pdf [hbs.edu] .

      One could blame the OP for not providing some personal commentary on the article that he or she quoted, but you can't blame the OP for not citing the study. On the other hand, one can and should blame the reporter who wrote the Times article for not summarizing the st

      • by mrheckman (939480)

        One more thing,

        The study says that "there is a higher departure rate of older workers in STEM occupations with greater young skilled immigration into the firm. This heightened old/young differential is especially pronounced for workers earning over $75,000 a year."

        Why didn't the NY Times reporter mention that?

        • He did mention it - he just got it wrong. FTA:

          If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers — more of them are hired and at higher-paying jobs — but has no noticeable consequences, good or bad, on older workers.

          I doubt reporters read these studies they cite in any detail, probably just getting a brief summary from somebody who supposedly has. In all fairness though the article does begin and end with a discussion of age discrimination, albeit in that anecdotal human interest style beloved of most reporters. All in all it's not a bad article. There are certainly many points I'd refute, but it's hardly mindless cheerleading for H-1B's.

  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:29PM (#44136993)

    The number of CS undergraduates closely mirrors the demand for workers. Hiring H1-Bs just reduces the number of young Americans who study CS. In the end, it doesn't really effect people already working in the field.

    • by goruka (1721094)
      That is absolute bullshit, your country does enormous amounts of outsourcing, H1Bs are not even a single digit percent of the American jobs lost to outsourcing.
      It is *very* clear that there aren't enough American workers to supply demand, which is why they quickly become too expensive.
      H1B solves this for companies, because talented foreign workers will do their jobs for less money, but in the end that only helps a little and the rest goes to outsourcing.
      • It is *very* clear that there aren't enough American workers to supply demand

        How is it clear? What is your evidence?

        • by TheEyes (1686556)

          To be clear, the "demand" is on the business side, and it's for IT workers that only make $8-10 an hour so the CEO can shave a few million off the personnel budget and buy himself another yacht. The evidence for that is crystal clear: wages are down, unemployment is up, and companies are still importing cheap labor because they "can't find qualified people".

      • Then, put your money where your mouth is. Hire me (have a degree in CS and a masters in a related field). Don't give me some BS how I'm not "qualified" - because most anyone with half a brain could probably do the run of the mill job.
  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by s.petry (762400) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:48PM (#44137221)

    If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers — more of them are hired and at higher-paying jobs — but has no noticeable consequences, good or bad, on older workers.'"

    Those same people seem to think that NAFTA really helps American's as well, but our economy in shambles for well over a decade seems to prove them wrong. And no, I will not bend logic to suit their purposes as they do to suit themselves.

    Providing lower paying jobs for non citizens while taking away jobs from US Citizens does not increase pay for US Citizens. The fact is that it reduces US jobs and harms the economy. The Henry Ford model was right and we have Detroit and Flint's economy and collapses to show he was correct. These people are just idiots, and it's too bad that so many suckers actually believe their bullspit.

  • Karma, it hurts. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Inka22 (2831951)

    Too bad there aren't even more (unlimited) H1-Bs.

    Then all the left wing techies who are all happy and gang-ho about a bunch of low-skilled immigrants flooding USA (because they don't hurt their precious white collar jobs) would suddenly realize that Yes, People Get Hurt when you import a bunch of cheap workforce in a bad economy.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:05PM (#44137379) Homepage

    This isn't even so much about "individual" needs of individuals. This is about the health of a nation's economy. People who understand that money is more about flow than about hoarding (accumulating wealth) also understand that when people are not working and are not making enough money, they aren't spending money. This causes a reactive affect which radiates out everywhere in every direction.

    Now we're opening the doors even wider to bring in more people which will put more locals out of work, raising unemployment and underemployment and those people reacting with the rest of the economy. Additionally, this brings a much larger number of people who will require social/government programs to survive.

    This feels "intentional" and if feels planned. But one part isn't planned -- it's corporate greed and short-sightedness. They have no sense of responsibiity for what they are doing to the economy -- an economy in which those very businesses cannot exist for long without. That's a kind of given natural law. The real decision makers, the same ones who spend orders of magnitude more money than they collect in taxes on weapons we don't need, have decided they would rather help a small few at the expense of the nation's economy.

    Meanwhile? The people who are the most affected? They're bitching about what's on "reality TV" and the news of the latest xbox. Sheeple.

    It can't be stopped because not enough people are going to actually do anything about it. A person writes "shame on [the banks]" in chalk and getting charged with a crime that could end up with years in prison. We're in a real problem situation and the leadership of the country is unable to stop the train wreck that is happening all around us.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Green Card (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:26PM (#44137569) Journal

    If they still don't make it easier for people who go there LEGALLY to work to eventually get a green card (no tons of money, no company sponsorship or getting married, no years of waiting) then fuck it, it still isn't worth going there to work. I worked there for six years and moved back to Canada because it would have taken forever to get a green card and being indentured to a company for the duration. Fuck that. If they can give green cards to illegal immigrants and not those there legally, fuck them.

    Most countries will give you a landed immigrant status (same as a green card) if you work there LEGALLY more than a set time (usually four or five years), keep your nose clean, and don't mooch off the government for anything. If that isn't the case, even though I get recruiters calling me from there regularly because of my good reputation in the city I worked in, I won't go back there to work ever. The odd vacation maybe but that's it. Not worth the stress of worrying about having to relocate your family out of the country within a month if the contract ends suddenly. Nor the stress of companies feeling like the fuck you because they think you are captive for the same reason. A big three letter telecom convinced me of all this because of the last statement.

    • Re:Green Card (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shados (741919) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:31PM (#44137613)

      Thats kind of the issue I have with these bills. You have millions of people who fully ignored laws they knew existed, in many cases living underground or at least off the map to some extent...but then they make friends, build a family, then everyone starts crying if you threaten to kick them out for what they did once they're caught.

      During that time, people who did everything right, go through the appropriate processes and so on and so forth, have to dish out enormous amount of money and wait wait wait wait wait.

      I do have a green card, but I "married" into it. And even with that, its taking forever and the process is annoying and expensive.

      I know these people don't have it nearly as good as I do, and smuggling yourself in the country is far from fun, but they're basically being rewarded for having done it. And what about all the foreign people who stayed in their countries because they KNEW it was illegal to come here without appropriate visa? You're basically sending them a clear message: "You followed our laws. Thank you and screw you!"

  • bs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by superwiz (655733) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:28PM (#44137577) Journal

    There is little empirical evidence to suggest that foreign engineers displace American engineers as a whole.

    If this were true, they'd be given green cards instead H1B. With H1B, they are indentured servants. Getting fired means getting deported for them. Stop forcing Americans to compete with indentured servants in technology and then you'll see more Americans going into those fields. Even if you accept that they don't compete on salary, they still compete on work conditions.

  • And in other news, the bill has been declared DOA on arrival at the House of Representatives, where the Speaker of the House has announced that they intend to do their own thing, perhaps later this year, or possibly next year where a bill can be used as fodder for the 2014 campaigns.

    Meh.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:28PM (#44137581)
    That's the number of actual H1-B workers in this country. E.g. take the legal limit and multiply it by 3. We don't send them home when their Visas expire, so lots of them stay. The estimates are around 3 times the limit. 180,000 today. Once we raise the limit to 300,000 we'll have a million new tech workers hitting the economy within 3 years. Forget the tech economy, that'll depress _everyone's_ wages.
  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:40PM (#44137693)

    Many industries have a lobbying group:

    1) Doctors have the American Medical Association
    2) Teachers have the National Education Association
    3) Realtors have the National Association of Realtors
    4) Senior citizens have the AARP

    And so on and so forth. [opensecrets.org]

    The employing companies certainly are represented in Washington DC. Which is why we get the system we have. There's the IEEE [opensecrets.org] which gave a whopping 70-80 thousand dollars a year to politicians. The ACM - I couldn't even find them as a lobbying organization at all.

    We can whine about it. But tech workers need a lobbying organization. Politicians do what's in their own personal best interests. And you can't expect them to vote against big donors. They won't even talk to you if you're not a sizable contributor or don't have some block of votes to present to them.

  • Think about it.

    If American engineers are good enough, why import anyone?

    If they're not good enough, what are they saying -- foreign engineers are better? For what reason?

    The point is that other nations have less developed economies and so it's cheaper to import these people and then drop them when they hit 40.

    Either way however, an American job is displaced and you're worth less as a result.

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

Working...