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

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

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:04PM (#44136673)

    The ridiculously narrow job requirements are specifically designed so they *don't* find Americans to fill their jobs. They want an excuse to hire H1-B indentured servants, and to go to Congress claiming that there are no Americans to fill them.

  • 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 h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:15PM (#44136797)

    I don't think Mexico has only people of one race in it. I am pretty sure there are Mexican citizens of many races.

    I oppose that program as well, but I am not sure it is racist. I think those who implemented it were trying to be racist, but were too racist to know that Mexico has other races.

  • Re:No Worries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:16PM (#44136819)

    You mean there's an opposition party? Wow. Normally I side more with the D's than the R's (not that I have much faith in either), but this time I'm damn glad there's an R majority in the House.

  • by darury ( 1235658 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:23PM (#44136931)
    The reason it shouldn't pass is it rewards those who broke the rules instead of those who actually try to follow the process. I'm not saying we shouldn't have immigration, but I don't see how rewarding someone for bad behavior won't increase the amount of it. This isn't the first time the "amnesty" idea has come up and each time I was going to address the issue of illegal immigration. And each time, it just makes it worse.
  • by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:25PM (#44136947)

    people that companies REALLY want to hire talk to the group who needs the help, THEN they get sent to HR for a nice rubber stamp. HR is for the cattle.

  • by frinsore ( 153020 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:35PM (#44137071)

    My issues with the H-1B visa program is that it doesn't fix any of the problems that it tries to address and probably creates new issues.

    The basic problem H-1B visa tries to address: "There are not enough mediocre engineers for our current business needs." The H-1B visa brings in some temporary employees to fix the short term shortage. But when the visa expires they go home and the company has to hire a new H-1B employee to replace him (remember there is a shortage of qualified applicants) and probably has increased their need of mediocre engineers during the past few years. There is no incentive for the company to fix the problem but instead to just apply the H-1B bandaid to it.

    If the company hiring a H-1B visa holder was forced to train workers that would take over the position then the H-1B visa program would probably be rarely used and only when there was an actual need. Or if the company could only use H-1B visa employees/contractors every 2 years out of 5 so that they knew that they were ineligible for the H-1B bandaid when the current employees leave. Or even make the visa permanent, the visa holder isn't forced to leave the country and is free to find other employers whenever they wish; broader immigration issues this would fix the short term problem by just importing more people.

  • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:37PM (#44137095)

    and they are not loaded down student loands

    And therefore what? Shun foreigners to help perpetuate wildly excessive [] education cost growth? Or ...and here comes a new thought... change domestic education to stop the relentless growth of costs.

    We flail about trying to pin the costs of healthcare and education on each other while the costs of these products annually balloon to record breaking levels. Educated people somehow elide any thought about why the costs of these things compound themselves while honing ever more hate filled arguments about who is supposed to pay to a fine point.

  • 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?
  • Re:WHAT?!?!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:43PM (#44137157)

    Actually, they are required to pay the H-1B visa holders the prevailing wages

    Laws are meaningless if they're not enforced, and that one isn't.

  • Watch How not to hire an American [] to see how the whole H1-B system has become a scam, they rig the requirements of the job so its impossible for ANY American to meet the requirement (such as demanding 10 years exp on a tech that has only been around 5 years) so that they can hire more indentured servants through H1-B.

    For those that beat the globalization drum all you are doing is killing our future, these guys will go back to their own countries and come up with the next new things while we will be left a husk. in my own area the local college is getting ready to pull the plug on their entire IT program, why? Because students have found they can't compete with a guy that paid less than we pay for a new car for a master's degree so are no longer even attempting to go into tech fields, they know it will just leave them buried in debt in a dead end job.

    I wish i could take all those that constant scream "free trade" and "free markets" and drag their sorry asses through middle America to see the seeds they have sown, where there is more boarded up businesses than open ones and the business districts look like Escape From New York thanks to all the abandoned factories. there is NO SUCH THING as free trade, all you are doing is exporting misery and pollution, and all you are importing is more indentured servants.

    They won't stop until the highest paid IT jobs are less than the manager at a Mickey D's, and when the day comes that countries stop taking our overprinted money they will all leave and we'll be left with another dead sector. Of course it won't phase them as they'll just move, as Thomas Jefferson wisely pointed out :"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

  • 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 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:50PM (#44137235)

    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.

  • Re:HAH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow99_1 ( 86250 ) <> 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.

  • 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.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:22PM (#44137523) Journal

    drag their sorry asses through middle America to see the seeds they have sown

    It is really, Really, REALLY hard to convince the people who believe in Free Trade. They were taught the theory in school. Often they were taught it or had it reinforced in Comm school while getting an MBA. I had an argument about this with somebody taking Comm school while I was an undergrad. This was back in the 90s, when Perot was running. It was all "why should I listen to an undergrad. What do you know?" and I was like, "our grandchildren are going to hate us". It looks more like our children will hate us. I had no idea how fast it would happen.

    Finally, a lot of these guys are doing well for themselves. Even if they see other people doing badly, they still buy into the "they're just not working hard enough and smart enough" meme. It's waaaay too easy to believe something when you're paid to believe it. The people who are doing well are often paid to believe in Free Trade.

    Finally, the middle class can indeed get a temporary boost from Free Trade. It's the macro economic version of selling your house and using the money to take trips and throw parties. We sell our production capability, the middle class gets $20 microwaves at Wal Mart for a few years, while ignoring the relatively small number of people who used to work at the microwave factory. Then, we cut another trade deal.

    Eventually we run out of new trade deals to cut, just as you run out of possessions to sell. Then the party is over.

  • 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.

  • 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!"

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:49PM (#44137767)

    HR is for the cattle.

    Indeed. Most of our people were hired either through referrals, or through our internship program. Less than 10% were hired by submitting a resume to HR. Instead of shotgunning resumes, you should be using your network. If you don't have a network, you need to start building one: go to meetups, volunteer for a FOSS project, etc.

  • Ya know I USED to make fun of the survival nuts, but after driving through the south and seeing scene after scene that could have been taken straight out of 1934? i really can't anymore.

    And I have met the type you are talking about, fifth and sixth gen money who live in their little bubbles with other bubble living people that parrot the same and all I have to say is they better "Get to teh choppa!" when the shit finally does hit the fan because i don't see the peasants going gently off to starve like they did in the 30s, I really don't. look at NO after Katrina to see what will be more likely to happen, it was total "welcome to the jungle" and in a survival situation where its survival of the fittest? they ain't looking very fit from where I'm sitting.

    But anybody who believes their little 'recovery" bullshit really needs to take a trip through the flyover states, you'll find reality FAR different from the BS they are spewing. More and more scrambling to get on the dole just to keep a roof over their head, boarded up homes and businesses, its getting pretty damned bad here folks. I see all this shit like H1-Bs and all I can think of is some rich guy drinking wine while the boat sinks, sooner or later reality is gonna bitchslap them and when it does its not gonna be pretty. the shit they have done in the last 20 years will probably take a century to fix and all the BS in the world isn't gonna make that reality go away.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone