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Programming The Almighty Buck United States IT Technology

No Americans Need Apply 1374

Posted by michael
from the giant-sucking-sound dept.
Victor G. Sommers writes "Daniel Soong, who lost his programming job to Indian offshore companies, is willing to relocate to India. 'It would be really interesting to work in Bangalore,' he says. 'But I was told, "Daniel, it is against the law for you to work here. You can come here on vacation, but you can't work here."' Indian officials have told him they don't hire Americans." An article in ComputerWorld talks about the possibility of getting more than you bargained for in outsourced code.
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No Americans Need Apply

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  • Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tliet (167733) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:41PM (#6932273)
    Well, duh... As a dutchman it's also not possible for me to relocate to the USA. Unless I prove that there's no way my skills can be found in the States.
  • by Altima(BoB) (602987) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:46PM (#6932358)
    With the exception of places like the EU, it is not unusual for foreigners to just pack up and grab a job someplace else. I doubt people will be surprised by this, considering that what happened three years ago today reminded people to tighten Visa restrictions. Who knows, it may have been much easier five years ago, but today that's just the way it is. Here in Ireland there are immigrants who are qualified doctors, but because they aren't allowed to work here as anything other than a fast food counter-person, their skills are totally wasted. It's not discrimination, it's just the way the world works.
  • hidden malware story (Score:3, Informative)

    by herrvinny (698679) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:47PM (#6932370)
    Hidden malware in offshore products raises concerns

    Story by Mark Willoughby

    SEPTEMBER 11, 2003 ( COMPUTERWORLD ) - "You've go to be a little paranoid to survive in this business." -- Andrew S. Grove, chairman and founder, Intel Corp., ca. 1980
    The extreme difficulty in discovering a back door hidden deep within a complex application, buried among numerous modules developed offshore in a global software marketplace, is forcing those assigned to protect sensitive national security information to take defensive actions.

    The threat of hidden Trojan horses and back doors surfaced this summer when the governments of the U.S. and China announced plans to strengthen national security policies covering information processed by applications written in the global software marketplace. The private sector joined the fray with the August announcement of the File Signature Database, which will use hash values to protect software integrity from malicious additions (see story).

    The National Security Agency's information assurance director, Daniel Wolf, in testimony before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security's cybersecurity subcommittee in July, called for a federal lab that would "find malicious software routines that are designed to morph and burrow into critical applications." Separately, the State Council of the People's Republic of China in August directed all government ministries to buy only Chinese software in the next upgrade cycle in an effort to encourage the development of local software companies but also to protect sensitive government data.

    Mark Willoughby, CISSP, is a 20-year IT industry veteran and journalist with degrees in computer science and journalism. For the past seven years, he has tracked security and risk management start-ups and is a managing consultant at MessagingGroup, a Denver-based content development specialist.

    Steps taken so far

    The simmering global paranoia is rooted in the realization that no simple solution exists today, experts say. It is virtually impossible to find unauthorized malware hidden deep within a sophisticated multitiered application with data normalization, messaging middleware and other modules originating from labs in a half-dozen countries.

    Robert Lentz, the U.S. Defense Department's director of information assurance, said in a written statement, "The DoD currently is studying several aspects of software assurance. The DoD has a current software acquisition policy. The group studying software assurance is looking to supplement that policy with strengthened mechanisms to increase our confidence in the security of both foreign and domestic software products."

    Input, a Chantilly, Va.- based technology research firm, says federal government spending on IT products and services will grow 8.5% yearly from 2003 to 2008, from $45.4 billion to $68.2 billion. Approximately half of that spending will be in areas in which the government would like to see stronger information assurance.

    Incidents of back doors compromising sensitive national security information may never be known. That's not so in the private sector.

    "There have been a number of cases where software was found with intentionally planted back doors," said Shawn Hernan, team leader for vulnerability handling at the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University. "Most of these were for providing support, although no such support option was given to commercial customers. It's happened in both proprietary and open-sourced software."

    Hernan said discovering hidden malware is one of the most difficult tasks facing an assurance investigator. CERT doesn't track vulnerabilities by country of origin, he added.

    Software engineering processes are only now beginning to focus on providing traceability in security code. Traceability, which would allow a given line of code or a software module to be tracked back to the developer, is viewed as the Holy Grail in combating hidden malware. Traceability is also an effectiv
  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:47PM (#6932384)
    Yep you are exactly right. I am a US citizen and my company had to get a work Permit to send me to England. I don't get why this should be on Slashdot. Sound like more fear-mongoring. I do think there needs to be some sort of limitation to countries that do not have similar worker rights as the western world. However, that probably wont happen in Dick Cheney's new America.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by b1t r0t (216468) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:48PM (#6932400)
    It's easy. All your prospective employer has to do is put a bunch of wierd job requirements that just coincidentally happen to match those on your resume, take a couple dozen other resumes, and strike them out because they don't have ten years experience in Java.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#6932477)
    SEPTEMBER 11, 2003 ( COMPUTERWORLD ) - "You've go to be a little paranoid to survive in this business." -- Andrew S. Grove, chairman and founder, Intel Corp., ca. 1980

    The extreme difficulty in discovering a back door hidden deep within a complex application, buried among numerous modules developed offshore in a global software marketplace, is forcing those assigned to protect sensitive national security information to take defensive actions.

    The threat of hidden Trojan horses and back doors surfaced this summer when the governments of the U.S. and China announced plans to strengthen national security policies covering information processed by applications written in the global software marketplace. The private sector joined the fray with the August announcement of the File Signature Database, which will use hash values to protect software integrity from malicious additions (see story).

    The National Security Agency's information assurance director, Daniel Wolf, in testimony before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security's cybersecurity subcommittee in July, called for a federal lab that would "find malicious software routines that are designed to morph and burrow into critical applications." Separately, the State Council of the People's Republic of China in August directed all government ministries to buy only Chinese software in the next upgrade cycle in an effort to encourage the development of local software companies but also to protect sensitive government data.

    Mark Willoughby, CISSP, is a 20-year IT industry veteran and journalist with degrees in computer science and journalism. For the past seven years, he has tracked security and risk management start-ups and is a managing consultant at MessagingGroup, a Denver-based content development specialist.
    Steps taken so far

    The simmering global paranoia is rooted in the realization that no simple solution exists today, experts say. It is virtually impossible to find unauthorized malware hidden deep within a sophisticated multitiered application with data normalization, messaging middleware and other modules originating from labs in a half-dozen countries.

    Robert Lentz, the U.S. Defense Department's director of information assurance, said in a written statement, "The DoD currently is studying several aspects of software assurance. The DoD has a current software acquisition policy. The group studying software assurance is looking to supplement that policy with strengthened mechanisms to increase our confidence in the security of both foreign and domestic software products."

    Input, a Chantilly, Va.- based technology research firm, says federal government spending on IT products and services will grow 8.5% yearly from 2003 to 2008, from $45.4 billion to $68.2 billion. Approximately half of that spending will be in areas in which the government would like to see stronger information assurance.

    Incidents of back doors compromising sensitive national security information may never be known. That's not so in the private sector.

    "There have been a number of cases where software was found with intentionally planted back doors," said Shawn Hernan, team leader for vulnerability handling at the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University. "Most of these were for providing support, although no such support option was given to commercial customers. It's happened in both proprietary and open-sourced software."

    Hernan said discovering hidden malware is one of the most difficult tasks facing an assurance investigator. CERT doesn't track vulnerabilities by country of origin, he added.

    Software engineering processes are only now beginning to focus on providing traceability in security code. Traceability, which would allow a given line of code or a software module to be tracked back to the developer, is viewed as the Holy Grail in combating hidden malware. Traceability is also an effective tool for discovering software defects that expose an application to a myriad of exploit
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:56PM (#6932541)
    Grow up. Sanjay won't let me play with his toy train so I am not going to play with him ever again. India has 1 Billion people to employ. The last thing they need is Americans coming in and taking quality jobs.
  • by silentbozo (542534) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:59PM (#6932596) Journal
    Get used to it. US workers cannot get jobs in Canada, Europe, Australia, etc. without first applying, and getting necessary work visas. To get a work visa, you must have an employer who has applied to get you in, and has demonstrated that there isn't local talent who could do the job you're being hired for.

    Funny enough, that's pretty much the situation here (except for the illegal immigrants that is.) If you really want to work overseas, start applying for foreign citizenship/work permits.
  • Re:TPS Report? (Score:2, Informative)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:59PM (#6932602) Journal
    Does SourceSafe or cvs not do that already? Can someone elaborate, is this actually a new technology?

    I mean, you want to find out who put the comment /* Gates is a big dork!! */ into windows.h, you look at the changelog.

  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by raju1kabir (251972) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:00PM (#6932605) Homepage
    Yep you are exactly right. I am a US citizen and my company had to get a work Permit to send me to England. I don't get why this should be on Slashdot.

    Read the article more carefully. The guy tried to get a job with Tata Consulting, an Indian-owned firm operating in the USA that places staff at USA-based clients. They apparently refused to hire him for this work in the USA because they do not hire Americans. Only then did he try to work in India, which is the less interesting aspect.

  • by Black Perl (12686) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:00PM (#6932607)
    The implication of the article was that it is not possible for him to get a work visa. A work visa requires a corporate sponsor, and no Indian firm was even willing to talk to him.
  • Re:What's this? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:01PM (#6932629)
    More than that - when my wife moved here she was offered an opportunity for a fastrack work permit while she waited for her green card. Yes, up and up, through the INS.

    That means she could have been working within a matter of months instead of the years it took to become a permanent resident, with no special specifications about the job needing to be met.
  • Indian embassy (Score:3, Informative)

    by ramzak2k (596734) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:03PM (#6932659)
    May i recommed that you contact the nearest indian embassy and find out about the Employment Visa [indiagov.org] as found on the indian government webpage.

    I am sure there is a provision. While living in india i have seen many foreigners, mostly russian working in the nuclear facilities at BARC. It shouldnt be more difficult than it is to receive work permit in the US.
  • by zoid.com (311775) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:04PM (#6932677) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever heard of the H-1B Visa program? H-1B workers continue to flood a terrible job market. During 2001 and 2002, 799,100 H-1B visas were issued and renewed despite a 6 percent national unemployment. Read some speech excerpt [oddhobby.com] by U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo.

    It's time to terminate the the H-1B visa program.
  • Re:would like to add (Score:3, Informative)

    by ramzak2k (596734) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:06PM (#6932708)
    from that website :
    These are the requirements for an Employment Visa

    EMPLOYMENT VISA: An appointment letter, contract letter, applicant's resume and proof that the organization is registered in India are required. Duration of visa would depend on the period of the contract.
  • It isn't true. (Score:5, Informative)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:14PM (#6932842)

    You can get a working visa for India. I have a friend that works there. It's just like anywhere else in the world in that respect.

    I expect this guy just got a tourist visa and turned up in India expecting to get employed, and the person told him he couldn't legally employ him, which would be true because he had the wrong type of visa.

    Is there anywhere in the world where you can just turn up without a working visa and legally work? Not that I know.

    I wish the Slashdot editors would just spend five minutes googling to check the validity of this type of thing before posting.
  • by jpu8086 (682572) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:15PM (#6932852) Homepage
    Disclaimers: I was born in India. However, my family moved to USA since I was 14. I consider myself American.

    Fact #1: Americans (and others) can work in India
    Fact #2: Lots of Americans (and others) do work in India
    Fact #3: A Visitors visa is different from a Work visa (just like USA)
    Fact #4: If you travel on visitors visa, you cannot change it to work visa unless you leave the country first. Basically you cannot transfer visas without changing your port of entry (guess what? just like the good ol' USA)
    Fact #5: This guy traveled to India on a work visa and applied for a job
    Fact #6: Following fact #4, he got denied a visa.

    BTW, all these facts are responses to USA's visa policies. India has a repuation for treating citizen of outher countries the same way other countries treats it's citizens. For example, USA charges a fee for each applicant of a visa (may it be student, work or travel) to people from India. Guess what India does? They charge a fee to Americans who want a visa to India too. Nepal doesn't charge a fee for Indian citizens. So, India doesn't charge a fee to Nepalese citizens. So, that is it guys: tit-for-tat.

    However, moving tech jobs offshore is bad, and so are H1B visas in todays economy. They were good during the boom days when we couldn't hire enough people.
  • Re:What's this? (Score:4, Informative)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:18PM (#6932892)
    H1-B visa? Anyone?

    India working visa, anyone? Contact your local Indian embassy for details.

    This story is bunk.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by soundcore (688686) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:19PM (#6932909)
    Read this and then come back and we'll talk. http://www.zazona.com/ShameH1B/Horror.htm
  • by tetsuji (572812) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:19PM (#6932912) Homepage
    Having been in the Bangalore area in the past year, I think I can safely say I could live comfortably there on less than $1000 US per year. $200 a month is a great salary in India; I was there building houses with Habitat for Humanity and the average day laborer's pay was less than $1.
  • Re:What's this? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:22PM (#6932969)
    The parent makes it look like easy to get a job over here. Oh, just get an H1b. I have a lot of international friends who tried to get work here and it's just not that easy. Even for those with great GPAs they're told if they don't have a masters degree there's little hope of them making it past audits because you can not work under an h1b unless you're more qualified than any citizens who want the job. Paperwork has gotten much nastier since 9-11 and hasn't gotten better in the years since (unless it did and I didn't hear of it). to top it off the number of h1b visas allocated is getting slashes this fall so it'll be even harder to get them. So yeah, it's possible but it's not like people are coming here in droves at their slightest whim.
  • why work in India? (Score:1, Informative)

    by drunk_as_in_beer (661124) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:23PM (#6932979)
    why would you want to work in India? You should *retire* in India. A few years of working in the U.S. should be enough for you to save up enough money to live a good 20 years in India easilly. You'll even be able to afford servants. Don't worry about language, in the big cities, most people speak English.

    If you plan to live in one of the populated areas of India, be prepared for incredibly bad polution. Also, one of the advantages is that you can piss in the streets or anywhere in fact. No more having to find a bathroom or worrying about cops arrested you just for taking a leak. Hell, you can take a dump on the side of the road, and no one will even look at you funny. On a related note, be prepared for some serious diarrhea. Diarrhea is common there, that its typical to respond to "how are you doing?" with "I have diarrhea."

    If you're rich enough (a small U.S. fortune will do), you can build a huge castle on a huge plot of land, and have servants cook you food using vegetables grown on your own land. They will clean the entire place every day. I've seen this myself with someone who moved here for a few years, made some money, and then moved back to India.

    This applies to people in other rich countries besides the U.S that have a high currency value.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by soundcore (688686) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:27PM (#6933046)
    Well it IS in violation of the law. U.S. law forbids discrimination in hiring on the basis of national origin. But guess what? The EEOC will NOT investigate ANY complaints filled by AMERICANS. Imagine being locked out of your own job market in your OWN country because 4 million non-immigrant guest workers have been imported to fill you jobs. Only in the U.S. will this be tolerated.
  • This is not correct (Score:2, Informative)

    by Vedanti (689689) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:28PM (#6933066)

    When I was working in India, our company always used to have some Americans working in the company. Just as in the US, you need a work permit ( see this advice [imahal.com] ). We also had quite a few non-citizens of Indian origin working in our company, who also needed work permits. Unlike H1B, your company doesn't need to prove that a person with your skills can't be hired locally.

    The problem really is one of money. Why would anyone want to work in India for fraction of the money you can get anywhere else ?

    Considering how easy movement of professions helps Indian S/W industries, I'm sure the govt. will be willing to introduce temporary work permits too if need be. Infact, they had mooted GATS guidelines on visas, work permits [twnside.org.sg]. I don't know the status now.

    For those who don't know, India has a huge illigal immigrants problem. The immigrants are mostly from Bangladesh. In the 80's and 90's there was a very militant movement against illegal immigrants in the state of Assam. See this article [csmonitor.com].

    Opposition to H1B in the US now is understandable. Infact, if INS is even now giving out H1B visas in this economy, it is absurd.
    .

  • Re:Hrm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by YU Nicks NE Way (129084) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:33PM (#6933140)
    Uhh...US EOE laws forbid discrimination on the basis of national origin. So it would be illegal discrimination here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:35PM (#6933173)
    Your sarcasm proves the point: You apparently can't do what the Indian replacement can do, namely working for less and still get by.
  • Also not accurate. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Speare (84249) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:48PM (#6933424) Homepage Journal
    I am an American citizen, who works for an Indian contracting firm, though not the mentioned Tata Consultancy Services.

    I also work with people from Tata, and they do employ American citizens, to fill much the same sort of job responsibilities that my firm does.

  • by ramzak2k (596734) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:50PM (#6933469)
    from Indian government Visa Guidelines [indiagov.org]:
    These are the requirements for an Employment Visa

    EMPLOYMENT VISA: An appointment letter, contract letter, applicant's resume and proof that the organization is registered in India are required. Duration of visa would depend on the period of the contract.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:54PM (#6933530)
    Hi all,
    I haven't read all the responses and some of them may have covered what I am writing.

    I know of several people of non-Indian citizenship working in India.

    One company for which we developed MIS located in the heart of Delhi had a British (white man, not an Indian of British nationality) head.

    The last company I worked for in India had an American head.

    Also, do you remember the Bhopal Gas Disaster of 1984? There were some technicians of American nationality working in Union Carbide plant in Bhopal even in those days.

    Long ago (I think 1993, 94)Microsoft India had an American national of Indian origin handling their affairs in Delhi.

    An acquaintance works in Cathay Pacific and their bosses working in Delhi are British or nationals of some country from East Asia.

    Last year at the height of India-Pak military standoff, it was reported that there were 60,000 individuals of American nationality working in India.

    The guys who are creating the city of New Auroville in India are totally American.

    Hence it is not true that non-Indians cannot work in India. They can do so, can do so legally and also remit dollars to America or Canada. This according to a FERA - Foreign Exchange Regulation Act - consultant who I know and who deals with such matters routinely.

    (Also, there are hundreds of thousands of illegal Bangladeshis living in Delhi and other parts of India, earning money and sending some back to their relatives in BD).
  • by grn_lantern (533741) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:56PM (#6933558)

    I was working on a project a couple years ago where it was decided necessary to hire outside help. I provided the skillset requirements and let others handle the hiring. As a result we hired (temporarily) a fellow from Bangladesh, through a consultant organization.

    I can't remember the particulars of his situation, but the place he worked for really had some strick rules. In order for him to work in the US, he needed someone to sponsor his visa (as others have suggested). He wanted a job here, permanently, but in order to do so had to have someone sponsor him through the process.

    His family (a wife and a newborn) came over later on. I think it was a condition of his contract that he work several months away from them. I might have that wrong. But there was definitely something time related to the job, either he'd have to work for them for X number years or something simliar.

    As I recall the contract fee was cheap, $25k or so over several months. So I can only imagine what he was actually paid. At any moment as well, I belive they could fire/let-him-go and without a visa he'd have to return to Bangladesh. What's more, a lot of the expenses related to the job he had to cover himself (apartment, transportation, travel, etc.).

    Eventually I think he was considering moving to Canada because the immigration process would be faster (6 or 7 years!). But this was before the attacks on the World Trade Center so one can only imagine that it's even longer now.

    I'm not saying I agree with the whole "ship everything out of the country cuz its cheaper" idea. But opposing H1Bs doesn't solve anything either. Ultimately we're all people who are trying to do the best for either ourselves or our families. Folks in other countries have just as much right to find work as we do. As others have suggested, I don't find it too surprising that they'd indicated no Americans could apply. When the consultant I worked with tried to find work elsewhere, as I recall, some places couldn't hire him because they weren't able to sponsor his visa (or didn't want to), one was a state (wisconsin) funded agency.

  • by Scot Seese (137975) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:10PM (#6933820)
    My fiance' is presently working in the U.S. on an H1-B Visa. A quick refresher:

    H1-B visas are only granted to persons with the equivalent of a 4-year Bachellor's degree. Part of the application process involves going through a degree equivalency comparison by an accredited lawyer. My fiance' has a Masters' in Computer Science.

    H1-B visa holders have a minimum salary stipulation. I believe the last time I checked it was $35,000 US. My fiance is being paid the same salary as the person that held her position before her, which is substantially higher than minimum.

    The position she was hired for was unfilled for some time as the company could not find someone with her required database/programming/java skills locally (we reside in a small midwestern community of ~150,000 population including neighboring villages and suburbs.)

    The real culprit here is twofold:
    1. The L-1 Visa. The L-1 has *substantially* lower pay requirements. These are the job-stealing visas.

    2. Corporate greed and government inaction. CEO's just see their programming expense as a budget line item to be reduced, like finding a cheaper widget supplier. Government inaction is self-explanitory. They are closing the door too slowly.

    H1-B's are typically attracting highly educated Western Europeans to the U.S. for a number of reasons. Salaries that are 1.5 to 2x higher than back home (not 5-8x as compared to India), A significant other in the states (grin) or a sense of adventure and desire to try the U.S. for a while. I find it baffling that in the wake of the articles regarding Teller's passing that we're questioning the H1-B situation. Post WWII, alot of our brainpower came from Western Europe. Highly skilled, highly educated persons who desire to become U.S. citizens and melt into the pot are what strengthens the U.S.

    It.is.the.L-1.visa.that.is.killing.the.programmi ng .jobs.market.in.the.US.

    PERIOD.

  • What Crap ! (Score:4, Informative)

    by kettlehead (704978) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:12PM (#6933850)
    Please listen to an Honest Indians defence I cannot believe that C I O could publish such a stupid article !!!! IT IS NOT ILLEGAL FOR EXPATS TO WORK IN INDIA ! How do I know this , Well we set up a company makin watches in collaboration with a jap company. The jap company being the majority shareholder sends two japanese managers. All the japanese company had to do was get a WORK PERMIT, Which believe me is a piece of cake compared to the shit we go through to get a h1b or even a student visa. All major US companies and mnc's who set up base in India have a number of managers who are actually expats. In fact the CEO odf Coke India etc. etc are US citizens. In fact articles in indian business magazines have pointed out that there is a recent trend even among Indian companies to hire expat managers. And if u think that they hire only coats, That also is not true. Many Indian software comanies also hire techies although they have to be *highly specialized* However if some of u nice unemployed people want to shift to India, Think of what you are going 2 put urself through. A TechWorker in India with all the qualifications of Daniel Soong may have to work for as low as 200-300$. Believe me thats what my friends here earn! All of u who think that bannin the h1b is the answer may be sadly mistaken. Outsourcing may be a more serious problem than H1B and also realize that artificially creating hurdles rarely solves problems. The companies who are outsorcin 2 India are the ones that are doing this out of desperation alias economic recession. Note that america could not really prevent a lot of manfacturing activities 2 be shifted to bases like China, Malaysia. Banning the h1b also will not prevent the long term ousourcing phenomena.
  • by lifeone (698674) <amlanc&gmail,com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:15PM (#6933894) Homepage
    Any American can work in India provided they a) have a job there b) their employer is willing to sponsor their work visa. You can talk to any Indian consulate for this. The whole process takes a week or two with all the documentations available. Last time I went to B'lore (2001) I found many Ukranians and Russians there working for the software companies. If they can do it so can you. This sort of articles with a half assed research to find a scapegoat dont bode well in terms of your own philosophies. Remember, not a single Indian arrived in the USA unless an American company sponsored them to come and work here. I liked what the CEO of Infosys said once about all these jobs moving there .. "They came to save money and stayed for quality" Frankly I think this is an unstoppable trend and in a global economy and in the "so called" free market, this is entirely expected. Also some mentalities matter as well. No one gave a damn when the 3rd world countries were starving in the 60s and America and Canada were dumping wheat filled ships in the atlantic. So why should anyone care what happens to their workforce now ?
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by GlassHeart (579618) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:15PM (#6933900) Journal
    since H1Bs are supposed to be for skills that couldn't be found in the US - if I can prove that I have the skills an H1B has, can I file a lawsuit to claim that position.

    No, an H1-B is granted to a foreign national who fits the requirements of a job, if no qualified American or permanent resident can be found after a reasonable recruiting effort. There are 280 million Americans, and it'll be prohibitively expensive to ensure that there are absolutely no matches anywhere in the country.

    That may sound like a bad deal to you, but consider that the foreign national in question may have to have moved an entire family overseas to take the job. It is equally unfair to fire him or her the very moment a qualified and willing American shows up at the door.

  • Re:What's this? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:19PM (#6933941)
    is one example of the misuse of the H1-B visa. [americanfreepress.net]

    The point of the artical is about how the H1-B program is abused by hiring non technical people for non technical work that there isn't a shortage of american workers for.... like welding.

    And as far as them being mistreated, yes, they were underpaid, but their room and board was paid for and they didn't have any bills to pay. They weren't kept prisioner, they just did't have any cars and they were in an old industrial part of town with no place to go. I know they were taken out on more than one occasion. One time a group of friends of mine rented out a skating rink for the night and one of those friends was the IT guy(technical american, not H1-B) for the John Pickle Co and brought a bus load of them with him. They all seemed pretty cool and not at all acted like they were just released from prison.
  • by reporter (666905) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:21PM (#6933970) Homepage
    But if Americans can't work in India, then let's kick the damn H1B's out of this country. I had NO IDEA that Americans couldn't get an Indian job. If that really is true (although no real good source was cited), I say fuck 'em and give 'em the boot until India wants to open up it's doors to American workers.

    Don't get angry. Get justice. Join with us in the Slashdot community. Support outsourcing but stop the H-1B program. Please read "Oppose H-1Bs but Support Outsourcing [slashdot.org]".

    We in the West often make the innocent but stupid mistake of extrapolating our experiences in the West to other societies. The morals of people in non-Western societies like India are radically different from the morals of people in the West. To us, allowing an H-1B worker to be employed in the United States of America (USA) but preventing an American worker from working in India is wrong and unfair. To the Indians, such a situation is fair. Radically different sense of right and wrong.

    Don't get angry. Get justice. Join with us in the Slashdot community. Support outsourcing but stop the H-1B program. Please read "Oppose H-1Bs but Support Outsourcing [slashdot.org]". Petition the American government immediately to stop the H-1B program. Do not sit on your ass. Move it.

    ... from the desk of the reporter [geocities.com]

  • by Tor (2685) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:33PM (#6934187) Homepage
    The title "No Americans Need Apply" is both incorrect w.r.t. working in India (or other countries) in general, and only serve to rile up the more, ahem, chauvinist elements among the (American) Slashdot readership.

    In order to work in India, you need a work permit. Not knowing exactly the procedure for obtaining a work permit in India, I can only speculate that one will normally be issued only for jobs/diciplines for which there is no qualified native applicants.

    That's the same way it works in the USA. In order for foreigners to get a work permit (a H1-B visa), the prospective employer must:
    • Advertise the position publicly for 60 days
    • Demonstrate that the candidate has unique skills pertaining to the job
    • Be unable to find qualified candidates that are either citizens or permanent residents.


    The H1-B visa is temporary (expires after 3 years, can be renewed for a grand total of 6 years). This is kind of unique - not many other countries have this restriction.

    Finally, a H1-B visa is tied to a particular employer (which some other countries do, but not all), so the holder cannot change jobs without going through this process again.

    Given these restrictions, only a small percentage of American companies (usually mid-size companies that otherwise have troubles finding qualified personel) are willing to sponsor H1-B visas for foreign workers.

    In a country of ~250 million people, an influx of 150-200 thousand legal (H1-B) immigrant workers per year is nothing - indeed, a much lower percentage than other western countries (including my native Norway).

    Of course, illegal immigration is much larger, and a different problem alltogether. Too bad some of the less intelligent elements of this society is unable to distinguish the (modest) number of legal immigrants from the (huge) number of illegal immigrants.

    The process of getting a permanent residency ("green card") -- remember, the H1-B is only temporary -- is even harder, and many more steps are involved (including INS, the department of labor, and a handful of other agencies -- all of which are understaffed and overwhelmed).
    I was personally on a H1-B visa for nearly the allowed 6 years -- it took me that long to apply for (and receive) a green card. I am in a field where there is still a lot of demand for labor, and I am from a country for which parts of the application/qualification process goes quicker than for most. (Yes, the processing time of one of the agencies involved in the serialized green card application process depends on where you are from).

    Re: Outsourcing to India in general, I can only say: Tough. The USA is getting what it asked for - a more globalized economy. If the US gets easier access to foreign markets, then foreign countries get easier access to the US market as well. Indian-produced goods and services (whether managed by US companies or not) can enter the US market more freely, just like US goods and services have already entered other markets more freely.

    The bad news for industrialized countries is that this will level the global playing field w.r.t. salaries, standards of living, etc. The good news for the developing word is the same. All the same, it means further concentration of power an money in the hands of large, multinational corporations, whether they be incorporated in the USA or elsewhere.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by rifter (147452) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:41PM (#6934330) Homepage


    " But as the article showed, it is *illegal* to hire Americans in India."

    The article showed no such thing. I doubt that it's illegal.

    RTFA.

    He still gets occasional interviews, but he feels that they are just for show and that the companies will send the job overseas. Soong recently decided to send his rZsumZ to India, to see if he could get work there.

    "It would be really interesting to work in Bangalore," he says. "But I was told, 'Daniel, it is against the law for you to work here. You can come here on vacation, but you can't work here.'"

    Now, it may not be true. Just to be sure, I looked into the official websites. Unfortunately India's visa website [passport.nic.in] is far less informative than many others. It is not clear whether an American can get an employment visa for hire in an Indian firm, or if s/he must be working for a company that happens to base its operations in India and is transferring him/her there. However, if they follow what most countries do, the Business Visa would be for transfers and the employment visa would be for employment.

    Of course, even if that is true there is the chicken-and-egg problem of getting the job before getting the visa. Notice the only statement of requirements:

    # EMPLOYMENT VISA
    Are issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organisations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract/employment/engagement of of foreign nationals by the company or organisation.

    I would be surprised if this were all there is to it. To be fair, the US requirements are similar, but in the case of the H1Bs people are worried about they are being sponsored by US companies who pay the visa fees and do all the paperwork for them. I would doubt there are a lot of Indian firms doing this for US workers as there is not much in it fo rthem, but there might be.

    Anyway, you might find the following article [wired.com] interesting; it is prophetic, don't you think? Check the date.

  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bbrockit (700395) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:42PM (#6934351)
    "There are 280 million Americans, and it'll be prohibitively expensive to ensure that there are absolutely no matches anywhere in the country." First off, there are 150 mil Americans in the workforce or available to work if you don't include retired people and children. There are over 2 million unemployed Americans and over 500,000 unemployed American IT workers. Companies don't have to expend a lot of effort to find qualified American workers because those people are beating their doors down. Visa workers and offshore workers are being used for service desk and software development. 99% of the time, it's not cancer research. There is no reason for the US to be importing over 250,000 H-1B Visa holders a year in this employment market. The only thing most of these foreign workers have to offer is that they'll work for less. That's it. More of the truth can be found here. [insourceamerica.org] Thankfully, the H-1B Visa quota will be cut to 65,000 this month and there is increasing pressure to eliminate L-1 Visa's altogether.
  • by SilverThorn (133151) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:49PM (#6934451) Homepage
    I found through Google about Congress and Outsourcing revealed this interesting article on IndianExpress.com [indianexpress.com]

    Here is also a Petition site attempting to Abolish the H-1B program entirely: Zazona.com [zazona.com]

  • Re:Duh... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:53PM (#6934517)
    Discrimination on the basis of national origin applies to American citizens. So you can't hire Italian Americans and not Mexican Americans on a whim.

    I dont think you violate any laws if you put CITIZENS ONLY on any job posting, as long as it does not have the "purpose or effect" of discriminating on the basis of national origin.

    See http://www.eeoc.gov/docs/national-origin.html
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:59PM (#6934592)
    This really sucks.... BIG TIME. Indian programmers come over here and work for half our wages for big Phat cat companies under an H1A visa. Usually, they don't last long, so seek work for other companies, taking away OUR jobs.

    I guess few people know that the Bush administration increased the H1A visa quota 5 times what it was before.

    Indian's are buch better trained programmers then we could ever hope to be.

    I lived in Mumbai and Goa for a period of time, and everywhere I go, I see huge ass billboards touting "Learn C++ Enroll today".

    Indian's get subsidized scholerships to these special trade schools and "diploma mills". Americans have to pay FULL PRICE, usually involving about $5k.

    How many Indian programmers are working at YOUR company?

    While in India, I learned how this works. In Bangalore (Indian's answer to Silicon valley), American programmer houses started to spring up. Indian's just out of school would work there, getting "real world" experience. Only problem was keeping them. Most Indians would prefer to work and live in US, and they have a large network of American firms eager to snap them up. In most cases, American recruiters are in cahoots with these Indian programmer havens.

    Jobs that open up in American companies are never even put on the USA job market. Indian recruiters get them first. Often these spaces are filled long before they would even be known over here.

    So, if you're a programmer out of work, you have little chance of landing that ideal job.

    This is MY experience with India, programmers, and the insane Bush administration claiming to do something about getting us jobs.

    And now this? Americans can't even go to India looking for work? This really sucks.

  • Re:What's this? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mythicman (701927) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:06PM (#6934670)
    I mean we let people from all over come here and work. Ummmmm, except we don't.

    Um, YES we do!

    The H-1 and L-1 Visa programs were invented specifically for this reason. In the US, we have no standard like those I've read about in Australia and elsewhere. Well, we have some regulations, but recently they've gone completely unenforced. If a company in this country can hire someone from overseas to do a job for which they're currently paying an American worker, and pay that worker half or less what the American makes, the company is under no pressure not to hire the foreign worker. It's happening for real. In the REAL world.

    http://www.rescueamericanjobs.org/ [rescueamericanjobs.org]
    http://www.local6.com/money/2381343/detail.html [local6.com]
    http://www.thenetworkadministrator.com/LosingYou rJ ob.htm
    http://www.house.gov/delauro/press/2003/L1_bill_7- 10-03.htm [house.gov]

    Further, US jobs now are being sent TO other countries. By some estimates, 2 million plus jobs in the next few years. Than't a HUGE chunk of the IT sector.

    http://www.cio.com/archive/090103/backlash.html [cio.com] (accoring to this article, the number is like 10% of IT jobs)
    http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.j html?articleID=14700325 [informationweek.com]
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/947478.asp?cp1=1 [msnbc.com]
    http://www.techsunite.org/news/techind/030722_ibm. cfm [techsunite.org]
    http://comment.cio.com/comments/13404.html

    The reason this is a story here, is because a good number of us work in the IT sector. This has HUGE implications for us.

    Consider the fact that many colleges around the nation are scaling back IT programs (my stepmother teaches various IT classes at a local college) and thike about what that means for those of us who spent money on educations or who have been relying on our IT experience as means to acquire jobs.

    The economy and job prospects have been bad enough just dealing with the economic slowdown without having to deal with the jobs that are still there going away from the US (I know, I was unemployed for the greater portion of 2002, and I'm only employed now because I new the guy who ran the IT department for the company I work for now).

    In many countries in the EU and also in Australia, they cannot hire a non-citizen unless they CANNOT find a qualified candidate who IS a citizen. The US government needs to step up and implement some similar legislation. Even if you think about this from a lawmakers perspective, an American who makes $50,000 a year pays a whole lot more than an unemployed American and the foreigner who takes his job for $30,000. They'll see a WHOLE LOT less than that from the unemployed American and the job that's no longer in the US! Even the companies that do use outsourcing are killing their own market. How many computers or programs or Coke ayr you going to buy when you're unemployed, and can the foreigner who's making half of what you were making pick up the slack? I don't think so...

    Anyway, I'm done...
  • by randyest (589159) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:07PM (#6934680) Homepage
    No, oh +5 Insightful but painfully incorrect one. There is no such law in the US that requires H1B visa applications to be denied even if there are many Americans capable of doing the job.

    You certainly wouldn't have to prove it anyway, under any conceivable sensible legislation, since it's hard to prove a negative, and an exhaustive analysis of all 230 million + Americans would be rather cost-prohibitive.

    What keeps the US from being "flooded (more so than now) with techs and doctors from all over asia" are the limits placed on the number of H1B visas granted, not any sort of rules for being eligible for an H1B visa.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by StevenMaurer (115071) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:13PM (#6934755) Homepage
    No, an H1-B is granted to a foreign national who fits the requirements of a job, if no qualified American or permanent resident can be found after a reasonable recruiting effort.

    Unfortunately, who determines whether the individual is qualified is the employer. This means that the only real requirement is that the employer advertise for a job for which they have absolutely no intention of hiring anyone.

    Sometimes - to keep down the number of responses, they'll also stick in all sorts of obscure unrelated skills their visa applicant has. You see this a lot on job boards -- "HW Design Engineer working in Boise - must be fluent in Mandarin".

    This comes straight from the mouth of a senior HR recruiter I knew at a previous company.

  • Many are sure ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:26PM (#6934960) Journal
    ..too bad it is at 70% of my current salary thanks to the H1-B's.

    Are you sure it's not because you're an incompetent hack?


    Many people are sure - because their company hires a bunch of H1Bs, uses their higher-paid US workers to TRAIN them to do jobs equivalent to the US workers', then fires the US workers.

    Happens all the time in Silicon Valley - both in big and small companies. Occasionally a large company (Sun was one) gets so blatant about it - dumping whole departments - that they get sued.
  • NAFTA Countries (Score:4, Informative)

    by FrankDrebin (238464) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:46PM (#6935241) Homepage

    Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a citizen of a NAFTA country may work in a professional occupation in another NAFTA country if the applicant meet certain requirements.

    American professionals may easily work in Canada [cic.gc.ca], for example, and vice versa [state.gov].
  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by satyap (670137) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:58PM (#6935388)
    The article showed no such thing. I doubt that it's illegal.
    RTFA. [snip]
    But I was told, 'Daniel, it is against the law for you to work here. You can come here on vacation, but you can't work here.'
    Yes, and it doesn't say it's illegal. It says "I was told...". By whom? Conveniently, it doens't say. the website is uninformative? I'm not surprised. I'm sure it's not illegal, though. Nor does the article show that it's illegal. This whole thing is based on hearsay and propagates FUD. The original article as well as the /. article should be prosecuted for slander or libel, and fall in the same class of those stories written by that juornalist (NYT? Washington Post?) who made his stories up.
  • by bot (235273) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:04PM (#6935445)

    1. Before you start beating up on Indians, remember that it's American managers that do the outsourcing, and the ones that benefit the most.
    2. If the Tata company didn't hire him in US because he was American, he could (and should) take legal recourse.
    3. You can work in India as an American. Thousands of other Americans do, even in high tech jobs. You need to :
    a. Get a job in an Indian company. Like Intel [intel.com] :-)
    b. Apply for a 'business visa for employment at your local Indian embassy/consulate [indianembassy.org]
    And go.

    The economy sucks, but that doesn't mean you put the blame on other people who like you are trying to work for a living.
  • by meehawl (73285) <meehawl DOT spam AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:09PM (#6935514) Homepage Journal
    I read constantly about stories like this, and the older thread about about how a secret memo shows that IBM are planning to move huge quantities of their best jobs out of the US and into India over the next few years.

    The central issue for me that links these stories is not so much the relocation of manufacturing and productive jobs from the core of an empire to peripheral client states. This has happened before (Roman Empire, United Kingdom, and so on) and will happen again.

    No, for me the real issue is one of freedom of movement for labour versus freedom of movement for capital. Because of their many advantages, corporations are "gaming" the international political system to produce labour arbitrage. They have lobbied hard for their right to move capital between countries at will. What we have now is globalization that serves corporations, not globalization that serves people.

    This is the fundamental ideological underpinning of this discourse. Corporations and politicians have structured a political system that implicitly and irrevocably favours the movement of capital over labour. Why should this be so? Could it be different? These are questions that need to be addressed. Different political movements are examining them in different ways.

    Meanwhile, for ordinary people who, for the most part, have no greater or more fundamental asset to offer than their labour, their options are a lot more restricted. US companies send jobs south into Mexico with minimal regulation because of NAFTA, but Mexican people are not equally free to move their bodies north into the US. This unequal treatment creates the exploitative arbitrage that the corporations milk for profits.

    This also explains a fundamental difference between the USA, NAFTA, and the European Union project. I've noticed most Americans really don't "get" the EU because their expectations are constrained by NAFTA and the halting of the US expansion within North America.

    At its core the EU project is very simple, but very powerful. It holds out the promise of regional improvement by granting freedom of access to a unified market for both capital and labour. As it expands, relentlessly it seems, it allows poorer countries to join, once they restructure their political, legal, and social systems to bring them into some degree of harmony with the EU consensus. In return for this social transformation, all the citizens of member countries can enjoy free and unfettered movement throughout all other EU countries (admittedly and annoyingly, several EU countries impose different temporary restrictions on some new member country citizens). In essence it's very similar to the freedom of movement that US citizens enjoy throughout all 50 States.

    This is a powerful lure. For all the talk of "old Europe" and "new Europe", the former Soviet Bloc countries are not clamouring to create bilateral trade agreements with the US... they are fighting tooth and nail to join the EU, and so submit their trade relations with non-EU countries to the fiat of Brussels. This yearning for EU membership has produced and is producing massive social and political change across eastern Europe.

    However, it seems that the US project has stalled at its current borders. I don't see the US engaged in a determined effort to expand south, to create a distributed American citizenship that would be a beacon for social progress and political aspirations throughout the Americas and the world. Immigration isn't any sort of answer: it's tedious, socially disruptive, and over-regulated. Try opening the floodgates, as the EU has done for its member countries, and within a few decades the improvements in both old and new member States will be enormous and unprecedented.

    But that's a fantasy. People today in the poorer countries of Central America, so close to the US, nonetheless know explicitly that their relation to the US and the member States within can never be based on equality and access, but will instead be permanently structured as clientist an
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:41PM (#6936699)
    I think he meant to write

    Fact #5: This guy traveled to India on a VISITOR'S visa and applied for a job
  • Re:Miners (Score:2, Informative)

    by TwistedSquare (650445) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:11PM (#6936957) Homepage
    Interesting... In the UK mining was killed off, essentially completely, in the 1980s and is now rapidly becoming part of the industrial past.
  • Re:Just usual (Score:1, Informative)

    by gears5665 (699068) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:26PM (#6937116)
    while my karma is bad enough, I venture to worsen it by replying.

    How so many people in our country claim that the republicans are the racist bunch is beyond me.
    There is a historical precedence to this. (Civil Rights, Segregation, Anti-Immigrant)

    Conservative by its definition means keeping the status quo. Keeping the Rich White Christian Men in power. As a white man of many generations in America I've almost been tempted to vote Republican many times to maintain my status when I felt threatened. But the arguements of the Republican party against common sense in the fields of Gay and Lesbian Rights, Religious Freedoms, Civl Liberties, Women's Right to Work, National Health Care for Everyone, anti-Union, anti-Choice of Abortion, and many more keep me voting democrat time and time again. And while the current administration in America has too many faults for me to accurately characterize, I don't think I could do the arguement justice. I'll leave that up to the people that will replace them.

    Suffice it to say, the stated views of the Republican party have always been against the common good.
  • Re:No Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by epiphani (254981) <epiphani@ d a l . net> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @08:42PM (#6938222)
    Then there are the cases where the "refugee" decides to make a living via B&E, armed robbery, etc., despite being able to work legally. Even if they are caught, their lack of compliance to basic laws of society cannot be used against them in the hearing that they will not attend that produces results that nobody pays attention to.

    This is exactly the type of prejudice that I as a Canadian am vehemently opposed to. I'm insulted to think these comments came from a Canadian, and it sickens me to see this type of racism being moderated as "Interesting".

    From the Canadian Government website on refugee elegibility [cic.gc.ca]:

    The Convention Refugee Abroad class includes people who are outside their country of citizenship or habitual residence. Refugees in this class have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of:

    * race;
    * religion;
    * political opinion;
    * nationality; or
    * membership in a particular social group.

    There are other reasons listed on that page. Believe me, if you have ever delt with a customs agent beyond the standard 5 questions, you will have one hell of a time claiming refugee status without any documents.

    As a side note, are you aware that more than 100 American Citizens claimed refugee status in canada for some of the reasons listed above?
  • Re:I call Bullsh*t (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @09:45PM (#6938682)
    Actually I am not 21. I am 33. And, at my age, my father was making a great deal more money than I am, especially when you adjust for inflation. Of course, he worked a lot "harder" than I do. But I do believe there was a higher job/person ratio back then. Employees are increasing at a faster rate than employers. Why is it that you glass is half full people are always thinking that things are just constantly getting better, that the future is always better than the past? I'll believe that when I see it.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by fijimf (676893) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @11:44PM (#6939516)
    The short term effects, plainly put, are a drop in the standard of living for most of the population;

    This is simply not true.

    http://www.eh.net/hmit/gdp/ [eh.net]
  • Working in the EU (Score:3, Informative)

    by jtheory (626492) on Friday September 12, 2003 @01:26AM (#6939974) Homepage Journal
    Here's an interesting tidbit for Americans who are considering working in the EU.

    If you have an Irish grandparent (and you can track down the proof that they were born in Ireland), you can have your name entered in the registry of foreign births, and tada! You're an Irish citizen (they do allow dual citizenship with the US).

    Then you can work anywhere in the EU. Plus you can travel with your Irish passport, and (if you can do the accent) reduce your risk of being shot for sport in places that are getting hostile to Americans. Neat, huh? Of course, you do need that Irish grandparent...

    There's a nice summary here [ancestry.com], and the relevant page with the Irish Embassy [irelandemb.org].

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