Tunnel Rat posted on April 26, 2013 13:35

Yeah, no shit:

There's a constant clamor that the United States is falling behind in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) capabilities, but that's not really the problem, says a Rutgers University professor who is weighing in on the immigration debate now taking place in Washington.

The problem, he said, is that various work visas are bringing in so many STEM workers from other countries who are willing to work for lower wages that U.S. STEM graduates either can't command the pay they expected or can't find jobs in their fields.

The situation will only get worse, he said, if Congress increases the number of available H-1B visas for highly skilled professionals, as proposed in federal immigration legislation.

"It's Econ 101," said public policy professor Hal Salzman, a senior fellow at the school's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in New Brunswick.

Employers "generally don't pay more than what they have to pay as long as they can get what they need without paying for it," Salzman said. "If you can increase supply, you can hold down wages."

There's no shortage of homegrown talent, Salzman said, but there is a lack of willingness to pay for it.

On Wednesday, Salzman and others released a study analyzing the impact of high-skilled guest workers on the U.S. labor market.

The study, conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank, has particular relevance in New Jersey, where the largest 2012 petitioner for H-1B visas - Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. - has its headquarters.

"There is a large offshoring industry in New Jersey," Salzman said, "and the offshoring industry in New Jersey is heavily dependent on these guest-worker visas."

Companies that offer to help U.S. businesses lower costs by moving their information technology functions and jobs abroad often circulate H-1B guest workers into their U.S. offices to help them understand American clients and work in quality control, he said.

- Link


It is now official, now that the Wall Street Journal has stopped being the cheerleaders for more H-1Bs.  And it is also amazing that the "Indian outsourcing giants" can call this bill discriminatory when they refuse hire Americans to staff consulting gigs in the US, and instead turn every fucking project they take over it a nepotistic curry den:

A fight is brewing between Washington and New Delhi over provisions in the U.S.'s draft immigration bill that could hobble Indian outsourcing firms' businesses in the U.S.

The proposals, which include cutting back sharply on the number of foreign workers these outsourcing companies can send to their U.S. offices, have won broad support from rival U.S. technology firms, including International Business Machines Corp. IBM +0.05% and Accenture ACN +1.98% PLC, lobbyists say.

India's $110 billion IT industry, which performs back-office tasks such as software programming, makes about half its revenue from the U.S.

Indian companies such as Infosys Ltd., 500209.BY -0.84% Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. 532540.BY -1.16% and Wipro Ltd. 507685.BY -0.82% have set up large U.S. offices to be closer to clients, staffing the sites overwhelmingly with Indian expatriates, who earn significantly less than their American counterparts.

The model has been challenged in recent years by U.S. politicians, who argue Indian outsourcing companies are misusing the program to undercut local technology-sector workers.

Now, big U.S. tech companies, which want to hire more foreign workers but can't because of competition with Indian firms for available visas, have joined the fray.

U.S. tech firms successfully lobbied for the draft immigration bill to include caps on the number of foreign workers a U.S.-based company can employ on skilled-worker visas, according to lobbyists working for U.S. firms and another representing Indian outsourcers.

The bill doesn't name countries. But Indian outsourcing giants sponsor more than half the 65,000 skilled-worker permits, known as H1-B visas, that the U.S. issues annually to workers with at least a bachelor's degree.

Many of these firms have as much as 80% of their staff in the U.S. on H1-B and other visas. The draft legislation, which is being debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, would prohibit companies with more than 75% of their employees in the U.S. on such visas from bringing in additional workers. That figure would fall to 65% within a year, and in the years after that the limit would be 50%.

IBM and Accenture declined to comment.

The U.S. firms are seeking to hire more foreign workers for high-skilled jobs but face a visa shortage because of competition with Indian firms.

Earlier this month, U.S.-based employers exhausted the annual 65,000-person quota for H1-B visas within days of the opening of applications, a sign of the strengthening domestic economy.

The immigration bill also seeks to raise the yearly cap on H1-B visas to 180,000. The cap on foreign workers means U.S. companies could benefit, while Indian firms would have to hire more U.S. employees.

Firms that don't comply will be barred from sending consultants to work in clients' offices, a business that accounts for roughly 50% of Indian companies' revenue in the U.S.

The foreign-worker caps were designed to get political backing to increase the number of available H1-B visas, people familiar with the negotiations said, and U.S. firms were concerned that a broader curb on visas would reduce their ability to hire more from overseas amid a dearth of U.S. computer graduates

Som Mittal, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, an India IT trade body, warned the bill was "discriminatory" and might ignite a trade war. The association estimates the regulations could wipe out a quarter of the Indian IT sector's global revenue.

Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram raised concerns about the bill with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew during a meeting last week in Washington. He told Mr. Lew the issue of short-term work visas shouldn't be mixed up with immigration, according to an account of the meeting Mr. Chidambaram gave to Indian media.

Commercial relations between the nations are already tense because of recent Indian regulations that would impose a sweeping "Buy India" mandate, requiring that large portions of high-tech products purchased by the government be manufactured locally. U.S. and other foreign companies are lobbying against the rules, saying they conflict with free-trade norms. Other areas of contention include India's efforts to increase its tax haul, which overseas companies complain has caused confusion for investors.

India argues the provisions are needed to curb technology imports from the U.S. and spur domestic manufacturing.

Indian companies claim the U.S.'s latest proposals to restrict visas could also amount to restrictions on free trade.

But many U.S. members of Congress contend India is misusing the H-1B system to bring in fairly low-skilled employees, denying those places to higher-skilled workers that U.S. firms want to hire.

On Monday, at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the immigration bill, Brad Smith, Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT +3.79% chief counsel, said the company couldn't get enough visas for high-skilled jobs that it can't fill through hiring in the U.S.

"We are not able to fill all the jobs that we are creating," Mr. Smith said in testimony. He told the committee that Indian outsourcing firms must "evolve their business models" by hiring more Americans.

Microsoft and IBM have recently expanded their presence in India, where they have hired thousands of local employees.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) said in response that the situation was an abuse of the visa regime. "Most people would think, well, Microsoft needs these folks," he said. "And they'd be shocked to know that most of the H-1B visas are not going to companies like yours. They're going to these outsourcing companies."

Indian firms say that over the past three years, in anticipation of the visa changes, they began hiring U.S. employees at a faster rate than new foreign workers.

Nasscom, the association of Indian IT firms, said the efforts faced roadblocks because of a lack of qualified U.S. graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, the U.S. economy will create approximately 120,000 new jobs for people with degrees in computer science.

In his testimony before the Senate committee, Mr. Smith of Microsoft said that, by his own company's calculations, U.S. colleges produce under half that number of graduates annually.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578441070153741766.html


While the increase in the H-1B quota seems inevitable, there are some provisions that will impact the Indian Outsourcing Regime.  You know it is bad when even the cheerleaders in the Indian press realize that the prime abusers of the visa process, the slumdog slave traders like Infosys, Tata, HCL, etc. while be hurt:

The proposed changes in the issuing of H-1B visas, the highly sought after US work permits, will badly affect the Indian IT firms which depend heavily on these work visas.

The changes under the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) put a curb on use of H-1B visa for those companies which have a higher ratio of work force under this category.

Most of the Indian companies will fall under this classification.

The companies will also have to shell out more fee [WTF?  Why can't these Indiots write properly?] to get a H-1B visa, if the draft legislation is cleared by the Congress and is signed into law by the US President.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/changes-in-h1b-visas-to-affect-indian-it-firms/1103732/

Even Bloomberg's Business Week, which used to tout the "best and the brightest" myth of the Indian H-1B, now bemoans the displacement of American techies:

 Under the bill, even undergrads can get green cards directly out of college without having to apply for the H1-B. Ruiz estimates that about 343,000 foreign students currently studying in the U.S. will be eligible to apply for this fast track to citizenship. That’s a huge number, and it includes people who currently don’t even try to apply for an H1-B. Right now, many foreign students in the U.S. decide to go back to their own countries after graduating because the visa restrictions make it hard to land a job. If a British political science major graduating from a U.S. liberal arts college, for example, wants to work at a nonprofit organization in New York City, she’s unlikely to apply for an H1-B because she has almost no chance of getting one. Other types of visas are even harder to obtain.

If the bill passes, there will be plenty more slots to go around. The bar to prove that one qualifies for those slots will also become more stringent. Even so, the number of available visas is expected to skyrocket. That will send ripples through the entire job market.

Which is great, if you’re a U.S. business seeking to recruit the best talent. It’s also great if you’re a university, because now you’ll have an easier time getting top graduates to stay on as researchers. But if you’re headed into the job market in the next couple years, the changes are rather frightening. No matter how you slice it, you’re likely to face more competition.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-17/immigration-reform-may-make-your-job-search-much-tougher#r=pol-s

 Brian Fung of the National Journal also echoes this sentiment:

The implication is that even if the H1-B visa holders were geniuses -- and they may not be, judging by their educational achievements, patent applications, or other merit-based measurements -- businesses aren't putting their potential to effective use. What's more, most of the supposed shortage of STEM workers has been in the computing industry -- a very specific, if growing, sector. Meanwhile, other scientific fields have the opposite problem: There aren't enough jobs for well-qualified applicants.

Costa admits that even if it were native graduates who were filling the entry-level computing positions rather than foreigners, the Americans wouldn't be much more likely to come up with the next Apple or Google. But, he said, the ultimate effect of that trend is to keep STEM wages from rising. And over the long term, that should be troubling for native and foreign-born workers alike.

http://news.yahoo.com/high-skilled-immigrant-shortage-myth-120142015--politics.html

It remains to be seen what all this will do to the lives of American programmers assaulted by the curry-scented wage pirates, but I predict fewer locals will be blackmailed into training marble-mouthed Kumar or Ashish to do their job.  It just doesn't make economic sense anymore, and the IT business is littered with failed projects that met their demise in curry den sweatshops.

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION



- Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies

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