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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-he-was-wearing-pants dept.
theodp writes: Back in 2012, Computerworld blasted Vice President Joe Biden for his ignorance of the H-1B temporary work visa program. But Joe's got his H-1B story and he's sticking to it, characterizing the visa program earlier this month in a speech to the National Governors Association as "apprenticeships" of sorts that companies provide to foreign workers to expand the Information Technology industry only after proving there are no qualified Americans to fill the jobs. Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree.
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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

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  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:29PM (#47518905)

    they can't find people who will work 60-80+ hours for very low pay and the will to be in a place where they can't quit and will be big suck ups not to get fired.

    It's not about skills it about this

      On average, applications for H-1B workers in computer occupations were for wages $13,000 LESS then what USC get.

    $13000 less and they get 60+ work weeks out of them as well.

    • by Entrope (68843) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:24PM (#47519213) Homepage

      Hey, working 60+ hours per week is a bona fide occupational qualification for some jobs! These immigrants are just filling jobs that Americans don't want to do.

      Another problem is that these companies tend to tailor H-1B job requirement statements to particular foreign candidates in such a way that essentially every US-based candidate who might see the posting would not qualify or would ignore it (for example, because of that pay disparity or the work week or other conditions listed in the job description).

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Free market - they are filling jobs locals don't want to do for the money being offered - apparently it's only a one way free market - surprise, surprise, surprise. Using the car analogy Unions provide for lanes travelling in the other direction, from the top down to the bottom. Want change unionise and kill the H-1Bs.

        • by Entrope (68843)

          Unions are an incredibly poor way to control abusive employer tactics unless workers in the bargaining unit are basically fungible -- and knowledge workers are not. A much better approach would be something like an online exchange for H-1B job postings, where US-based employees can register their interest for a job opening (along with their current and/or target salary) and see whether the job eventually goes to someone with permanent work authorization in the US and what the salary is, and perhaps see an

        • Want change unionise and kill the H-1Bs.

          I like the way you think but killing migrant workers is still illegal in my state.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Hey, working 60+ hours per week is a bona fide occupational qualification for some jobs!

        No, no it is not. It means that one person is doing the work of two, and a so-called "job creator" is expecting them to pick up the tab for their greed. Of course, it's possible that this supposed job creator cannot afford to hire enough people to get the work done, in which case they should go out of business so that someone who can fill the need and pay a living wage can fill the gap, or so that potential customers find another, more cost-effective solution which can be implemented while paying a living w

        • by Entrope (68843)

          To clarify, both sentences in the first paragraph of my earlier comment were sarcastic. Working that many hours per week might be a BFOQ in rare instances of personal service work, and maybe (I personally doubt it) some operations jobs, but there is no way it would be accepted as a BFOQ for a development job.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            To clarify, both sentences in the first paragraph of my earlier comment were sarcastic.

            I find that I have a harder time detecting sarcasm online as I age. Perhaps it's all the times I've seen such sentiments promoted honestly.

      • Hey, working 60+ hours per week is a bona fide occupational qualification for some jobs! These immigrants are just filling jobs that Americans don't want to do for the salaries that companies want to pay - and can get away with paying to H1B visa holders

        FTFY

        I can't count the number of times I've recently been approached by Indian service companies for contracts I would have taken if it weren't for the rates on offer.

        I'm guessing they're keeping count of how many people turn down how many jobs/contracts and use this as justification to demand temporary visas.

        If this happens to anyone else I suggest that when they say "Oh so you're not interested?" that instead of answering 'No' answer instead 'Yes but I want my rate of X per hour/day/year'.

    • by Lije Baley (88936)

      Though they do spend about 20 of those hours smoking and watching cricket matches.

  • 2+2=? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:31PM (#47518913) Journal
    Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree

    So perhaps he can reconcile those two concepts and explain why we allow H1Bs when we have MILLIONS of unemployed college grads?

    Mr. Biden, I have a word of advice for you - CEOs lie. And not just a little, but as their primary (and sometimes only) qualification. You might not want to go around repeating the crap they spew to try to sway you to do their bidding. It just, y'know, make you look like a little like a Special Olympics winner, if you get my meaning.
    • Re:2+2=? (Score:4, Informative)

      by DivineKnight (3763507) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:45PM (#47518999)
      Dude, give up while you still can. They can't hear you over the sound of those campaign contributions.
      • I hate to say give up, because I agree with you. The problem is that no-one cares about their tiny issues until AFTER an election. I personally am happy with a divided congress and a president that can't do anything. Hell, it hasn't hurt us for the past 6 years (actually 14-2). When government is barely keeping up, the people are moving ahead. Stop giving and vote to the middle. Start at home and divide the hell out of your local government. At least you won't have to worry about walking your dog after 6pm

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Pretty sure you mean they can't hear you over the sound of contributions, and special interest groups that are pushing for "amnesty." Man if I knew I could become an american citizen by pissing on the rule of law, I would have stayed in the US and said fuck you.

    • What Biden is saying is that there is systematic and widespread abuse of the H1-B visa program.
    • So perhaps he can reconcile those two concepts and explain why we allow H1Bs when we have MILLIONS of unemployed college grads?

      That one's easy, English majors who've never taken a Shakespeare course [wsj.com] aren't worth very much. Kids graduated thinking their piece of paper was worth something......turns out it's not worth much if you can't do anything.

    • Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree

      So perhaps he can reconcile those two concepts and explain why we allow H1Bs when we have MILLIONS of unemployed college grads?

      Mr. Biden, I have a word of advice for you - CEOs lie. And not just a little, but as their primary (and sometimes only) qualification. You might not want to go around repeating the crap they spew to try to sway you to do their bidding. It just, y'know, make you look like a little like a Special Olympics winner, if you get my meaning.

      You seem to have forgotten the primary (and sometimes only) qualification of politicians.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:34PM (#47518933)

    Some places want them to fill lower-level rolls and low pay as it's much cheaper and they locked into the job.

    Now maybe if there was say very high H-1b min wage say 100K + COL and forced OT pay (so they can't get the work 2-3 people out of 1 h-1b) that would get rid of a lot of the abuse of the system.

    • Some places want them to fill lower-level rolls

      you'd actually want a kaiser for that, I think. no?

    • by BVis (267028)

      Now maybe if there was say very high H-1b min wage say 100K + COL and forced OT pay (so they can't get the work 2-3 people out of 1 h-1b) that would get rid of a lot of the abuse of the system.

      Why do you hate America? Go back to your wage slave job and serve your "job creator" masters before we fire you for something like taking vacation time that you've earned.

    • Some places want them to fill lower-level rolls and low pay as it's much cheaper and they locked into the job.

      Now maybe if there was say very high H-1b min wage say 100K + COL and forced OT pay (so they can't get the work 2-3 people out of 1 h-1b) that would get rid of a lot of the abuse of the system.

      Or just remove the system altogether and let market forces drive up (or keep where they're already at) salaries/rates until Americans actually want the jobs.

  • 4 year degrees have a lot theory with big sides of fluff / filler classes.

    While tech schools and community college have teachers who have been / still are working in a real work place doing IT work.

    the 4 years places not so much.

    • by Nemyst (1383049) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:43PM (#47519331) Homepage
      They're not fluff. They're just not about getting a job, but about getting an education. If all you want is a degree, go to a technical school. You'll be happy. University is (or rather, should be) for people who want to learn and expand their knowledge, even in fields unrelated with what they hope to be doing once they graduate.

      The "4 years places" you speak of so lowly may not have professors doing IT work, but they have highly knowledgeable researchers who have done stuff you wouldn't even be able to grasp for years, often decades. They're just not the people I'd ask about IT.
    • 4 year degrees have a lot theory with big sides of fluff / filler classes.

      While tech schools and community college have teachers who have been / still are working in a real work place doing IT work.

      the 4 years places not so much.

      Can't say for today, but my 4 year school I went through in 6 years (co-op programs spread things out); and near the end, most of my seminars were taught by either domain experts or people taking a sabbatical from their day job to teach what they had learned.

      The theory courses were what has kept me employed since... there's a difference between a real CS degree (being able to do the math and work the concepts) and being a code jockey. The second has a much lower glass ceiling.

  • Well hell, if the need H1B for an apprentice (i.e. entry level with low skills), that goes to show the true intent.
  • by phizi0n (1237812) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:01PM (#47519081)

    Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree.

    How are they highly skilled if they could be replaced by 2 year community college degree holders? If any this just shows how much companies are abusing H1B's to get cheap foreign workers when they could be encouraging high school students to get these mythical 2 year community college degrees that are in such high demand.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:49PM (#47519369) Homepage Journal

    They said that they needed Temporary Foreign Workers and it would lead to full time jobs in Canada too.

    And then the media got off their butts and figured out that it was really being used to provide cheap labour in Canadian restaurants instead of hiring local teens.

    H1-B is a giant sucking sound of jobs being outsourced to India, and I don't mean native tribal lands here in North America.

    • by BobandMax (95054)
      Hear, hear! If they were actually hiring Native Americans and lifting them out of poverty and dependence, I would support them wholeheartedly. All they want, as many other posters have noted, is abusable workers that they can pay sub-market wages.
    • by Rinikusu (28164)

      Hell, I'd be happy if we could open up code shops on Indian Reservations here and help get a lot of those kids out of their cycle of poverty and alcoholism.

  • I thought the verb was "pantsing". As in VP Biden pantsed the governors while yelling "it's going to happen! Just give in a enjoy it!"
  • Something is a bit off.

    If H-1B is for hiring foreign highly skilled worker -- people who have skills that just aren't available in the US workforce -- then how are they "apprentices"?

    Isn't an apprentice someone who is learning the trade, not someone who is teaching it to the "master"?

  • A few radical republicans fantasize about impeachment. But when they realize who'd replace Barak, they'll come to their senses.
  • There's only one thing you need to know about the H-1B program to see that it's not about providing skilled labor *here*: after 6-10 years of working the visa holder is kicked out of the country to make room for a less experienced visa holder.

    If H-1B led automatically to a green card, then we'd be keeping the *most* expert workers here, rather than replacing them with less experienced ones. Change that *one* aspect of the program, and it's be an asset to the US as a nation.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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