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Businesses Government United States IT

Ted Cruz Wants Minimum H-1B Wage of $110,000 (computerworld.com) 543

dcblogs writes: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has morphed from a vocal supporter of the H-1B program to a leading critic of it. He has done so in a new H-1B reform bill (PDF) that sets a minimum wage of $110,000 for H-1B workers. By raising the cost of temporary visa workers, Cruz is hoping to discourage their use. Cruz also wants to eliminate Optional Practical Training Program (OPT). The co-sponsor of this bill, The American Jobs First Act of 2015, is U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who called the OPT program "a backdoor method for replacing American workers."
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Ted Cruz Wants Minimum H-1B Wage of $110,000

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's still poverty in Silicon Valley

  • I still say (Score:3, Funny)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:15PM (#51102015)
    I still say Ted Cruz is actually Al Lewis from The Munsters.
    • Re:I still say (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:37PM (#51102161)

      I still say Ted Cruz is actually Al Lewis from The Munsters.

      Yea, I noticed that too... But still, Mr. Lewis certainly wouldn't have the same politics and I think he'd be more interesting to listen too. However, who he looks like has nothing to do with his politics....

    • I still say Ted Cruz is actually Al Lewis from The Munsters.

      And John Kerry is Herman Munster. Illuminati at work?

      Newt's "ice queen" wife doesn't directly match any of the characters, but she's gotta be a relative. (And Newt talks like a muppet, something's going on.)

    • Al Lewis ran for governor of NY as a Democrat. But Paul Ryan is most definitely the grownup Eddie Munster. Or perhaps the love child of Eddie and Jake Gyllenhaal.

      • Al Lewis ran for governor of NY as a Democrat.

        Actually, he was a candidate with the Green Party. [wikipedia.org]

        • Like he said, a Democrat.
  • Ha! (Score:2, Insightful)

    Good luck with that.

    No way will corporations and the lobbying of the chamber of commerce allow this intrusion of socialism to harm profits! Every .com and software company in existence will freak out and open their wallets in unifying opposition!

    I guess it shows the goverment hasn't worked for it's people in the US for a long time now. This is a show for votes as no way this will pass.

    • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:18PM (#51102025)

      Two people in Congress finally do something that isn't complete self-serving bullshit and the best response slashdot can come up with is a guy making fun of them.

      • Two people in Congress finally do something that isn't complete self-serving bullshit

        Seriously?

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        It's self-serving, I'm sure. Somebody's paying him. The guy's already demonstrated that he's a dick-for-hire. Just because some asshole comes up with an idea that might make ME money doesn't make him any less of an asshole.
    • the mouse does not want this and if you want that free VIP trip for your family we need an copyright extension and no $15 HR min wage.

    • Good luck with that.

      No way will corporations and the lobbying of the chamber of commerce allow this intrusion of socialism to harm profits! Every .com and software company in existence will freak out and open their wallets in unifying opposition!

      Silicon Valley tech companies that hire H-1Bs won't care much. Very few of their H-1B employees make less than $110K anyway. If the definition of "wage" includes not just base salary but also bonus (actual awarded amount) and stock (actual value, not some notional future value), then it's likely that all of their H-1B employees already meet this requirement.

      • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ttsai ( 135075 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @05:45PM (#51102569)

        Silicon Valley tech companies that hire H-1Bs won't care much. Very few of their H-1B employees make less than $110K anyway. If the definition of "wage" includes not just base salary but also bonus (actual awarded amount) and stock (actual value, not some notional future value), then it's likely that all of their H-1B employees already meet this requirement.

        Here are the numbers for 2015 [myvisajobs.com]:

        Rank H1B Visa Sponsor Number of LCA * Average Salary
        1 Infosys 23,816 $76,794
        2 Tata Consultancy Services 14,096 $67,673
        3 Wipro 8,365 $69,936

        I suppose that these workers might have received some significant additional compensation above their salary, but my guess is that the probability is pretty close to zero.

        These top three companies received 46,277 visas, which is over half of the total visa issued. Their average salaries are way below $110k.

        If the speculation that companies above abuse H1B visas by importing low-wage earners is true, then the $110k wage limit would eliminate those visa uses. Of course, that assumes that the changes forces companies to actually pay that much. I can easily think of many ways to circumvent the $110k limit, including paying that amount and deducting most of it back (a la indentured servitude).

        But the key point is that the abuse is predicated on saving money for the ultimate users of the companies' services. Kill off the financial incentive, and the problem completely disappears.

        There is actually a reasonable case for some companies to need something like an H1B. There are actually quite a few US companies that pay decent H1B wages. Instituting a minimum financial threshold allows separation of these arguably more legitimate cases from the arguably job killing cases.

        13 Google 3,059 $125,596
        18 Amazon 1,600 $113,163
        19 Qualcomm Technologies 1,585 $111,816
        21 Apple 1,464 $133,593
        24 Oracle America 1,073 $119,506
        40 Facebook 780 $133,535
        50 Ebay 664 $121,691
        55 Yahoo! 619 $132,752
        59 Paypal 576 $124,616
        63 VM Ware 535 $121,203
        70 Cisco Systems 494 $121,899
        74 Salesforce.Com 483 $124,063
        96 Linkedin 382 $139,634

    • If nothing else....

      They could also balance this, by giving HEAFTY tax deductions for hiring US Citizens for jobs...located IN the US.

      A two pronged approach to keeping US jobs in the US with US citizens working them...and ONLY after that resource is exhausted would it be necessary to have guest workers.

      Do everything possible to make external to the US workers that absolute last resort.

  • I support this. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by generic_screenname ( 2927777 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:18PM (#51102023)
    If a company truly needs expertise that just simply cannot be found in the US, then a six figure salary is probably a bargain. Of course, this will never pass. I can dream, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If a company truly needs expertise that just simply cannot be found in the US, then a six figure salary is probably a bargain. Of course, this will never pass.I can dream, though.

      If it does pass, I'm leaving the country and coming back on a visa.

  • by grilled-cheese ( 889107 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:19PM (#51102031)
    Companies are going to do whatever makes the most money. The H1-B program gets them cheap labor in the US. Take away cheap labor, jobs will simply move offshore. If the labor is at least based in the US, those workers are still participating in the US economy.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:31PM (#51102111)

      And then those companies will realize that it's actually a bargain to pay labor costs here and get an actual working product. Every single product I've seen shipped offshore for "cheaper" labor has ultimately resulted in massive cost overruns and a product that doesn't meet expectations (at best) and frequently just doesn't work. There's a lot to be said about being able to work with your business face to face or at least in the same daylight hours when you're both awake.

      • by sbaker ( 47485 )

        OK - you can't have it both ways! If you think the H1B guys are good enough to come here and take your jobs - then they are good enough to do the same job in whichever other country will physically house them. If it turns out that those guys are best able to do the job - then you can either pay them to come here and do it (and thereby claim their taxes and have them spend their earnings in the US economy) - or you can pay them to work someplace cheaper and spend all of their earnings and pay all of thei

    • Take away cheap labor, jobs will simply move offshore.

      Horseshit! Regardless of insourcing via H1Bs, outsourcing has and will continue to occur regardless. They are, and will be, two entirely separate things. One does not effect the other. The only reason some jobs haven't moved offshore is because they're isn't a market yet for them. But cooperation do try and do both insourcing and outsourcing at the same time regardless.

    • Why not offshore US workers to somewhere cheaper? I'm surprised no one's proactively creating a tech hub in Latin America,

      Let's say Alphabet, or some other large corp, are working on a new project that will take 3 years and employ 100 people. But the budget can only support 60 people over 2 years.

      So they rent an office space in, say, Peru where the weather's fine 9 months of the year and language isn't a problem because everyone in California speaks Spanish anyway, right? So you're only a couple of hours ti

  • Dammit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:20PM (#51102035)

    It's bad enough that you give my job to some foreign worker, but now your going to pay them twice as much as you were paying me?

    You SUCK!

  • by MDMurphy ( 208495 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:21PM (#51102047)

    First "loophole" I could think of off the top of my head would be: "Sure we'll pay them $110K". Oh, those jobs include no paid health benefits, no vacation, no sick leave. That could drop the "cost" of the employee down to someone making $70K.

    While that sounds bad at first, it wouldn't really be horrible, heck I might even be interested in having all the cash my employer was willing to put out and leave it up to me to spend it. For couples where the other spouse has a good deal on insurance, it might be nice to have the money rather than overlapping policies.

    • by gQuigs ( 913879 )

      >For couples where the other spouse has a good deal on insurance, it might be nice to have the money rather than overlapping policies.
      So ask for it. My wife has negotiated higher wages because she doesn't need to use her companies' health insurance.

      • Do you realize how f*cked up it sounds to someone outside of the US that you'd need to negotiate health insurance with a company that's hiring you? Do you negotiate police response coverage and home fire insurance as well?
    • It not only sounds bad, it sounds illegal. H1B workers must, by law, be paid the same as a resident worker, and get the same benefits.

      Which raises a question: I'm not sure if it is legal to pay a H1B worker *more* than a normal worker. So, if you're forced to pay a H1B worker $110K, and your normal staff currently happens to earn $95K, do you (a) raise your salaries to match, or (b) tick off your current staff so they quit?

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @07:16PM (#51103033) Journal
      Many tech companies already pay more than $100k per employee. Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. Making a minimum wage is a benefit for those companies, because they will be able to get more H1-B visas for themselves, whereas companies in middle-America where cost of living is lower won't be able to afford hiring people on the visa anymore.
  • by unencode200x ( 914144 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:22PM (#51102051)
    I tend to agree in theory BUT the big corps will just take the H1B and a bunch of other jobs and move them elsewhere. They don't give a crap.

    Well-intentioned things like this and (some) tariffs sound like a good idea but have a tendency to not work out as intended. I wish there was an easy solution to this erosion of jobs/income.
    • by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:32PM (#51102117)
      If they could offshore these jobs they would already have done it.
    • You still lose anyway as these shops won't hire you regardless. Nothing to loose as appeasement won't win with corporations

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      I tend to agree in theory BUT the big corps will just take the H1B and a bunch of other jobs and move them elsewhere.

      The quota would still be filled at the higher wage, but the H1-Bs would be higher quality and possess skills for positions that are actually difficult to fill, as opposed to just cutting labor costs. So it's a net benefit to the nation.

      As for $110k still being too little for Silicon Valley et al.... whatever. It's a free country. Move. There are plenty of tech employers that exist in places where compensation is aligned better with costs. Your poverty is self-inflicted. Enjoy.

  • Close.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:24PM (#51102071) Homepage

    Add $80,000 to that number for any H1B in California or New York City.

    Honestly, H1B is NOT for cheap labor, it 's for highly skilled professionals that you cant find anywhere else. Force the scumbag CEO's to pay for them.

  • ...so it must be racist and evil.
  • Now index it for cost of living and include automatic inflation adjustments and we've got something to talk about.
  • by reemul ( 1554 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:44PM (#51102193)

    I just want a company officer to sign off, under penalty of perjury, on the supposed prevailing pay for the position they are seeking to fill. Right now the company gets to essentially make up a number, which no one checks and carries no penalty if anyone were to find out that they massively lowballed it. Put a company officer on the hook for it and suddenly those wages are going to jump up to a competitive level. Putting an artificial floor on the pay for visa holders is a nicely simple step that is hard to evade, but I'd really rather we just force the companies to pay the real wage for the job or have someone high ranking head to jail. There might genuinely be a job at a lower pay level that we simply can't get enough qualified Americans to fill. I don't know what it might be, but I don't want to close the door, I just want to cut back on the abuses.

  • The stopped clock is right on something.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @04:48PM (#51102213)
    Libertarians don't call for government enforcement of minimum compensation stipulations, especially not for specific priviledged groups over others.
    • He's calling for a tariff, more like. Which is, of course, also not a Libertarian ideal.
    • He's not a libertarian.

      But to people who like to hate Libertarians, it is useful to call him one, then point out that he is an idiot (which he is), and therefore all libertarians are stupid. Solid logic.

  • It is surprising how many middle aged obsolete technology professionals you will find if you care to visit your local job career transition networking meetings. It not always that the people don't want to learn a new skill set, but more times than not, its a matter of cost of training. Its hard to fork down money for a training program if you are not working. Moreover, there is another problem in that people are reluctant to lay down cash on a skill set if they are unsure that it will be used in two year
  • Better yet, instead of an artificial minimum wage, have them pay the wages of the displaced worker, PLUS the cost it would take to retrain the displaced worker PLUS the cost of vetting H-1B workers by the government.

    Then, a business can determine if there truly are no qualified works, is it in their best interest to import labor or train their existing labor.

    Of course businesses, particularly IT ones, will complain that if they train or retrain workers, the workers will just leave and they will still be ou

  • Didn't Trump say he was going to fire any CEO of a company that hires H1-B workers... maybe not... but sounds like something he'd say...

  • by Maltheus ( 248271 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @05:19PM (#51102437)

    The bill also calls for:

    that within 730 daysâ"two yearsâ"of âoean employee strike, an employer lockout, layoffs, furloughs, or other types of involuntary employee terminations other than for-cause dismissals,â a company cannot bring aboard any H-1B labor

    I think this is an even bigger deal than the $110k provision.

  • I would prefer a substantial Federal tax (perhaps 25% of the reported W-2 income?) paid by the H-1B employer and removal of H-1B caps.

    Retain the prevailing wage requirement, but when computing general prevailing wages, include the H-1B tax the employers pay in the prevailing wage calculation for H-1B workers in general (but not in the wage of the specific H-1B position that is being evaluated).

    Just for show, also retain the 'must try to hire an American first' requirement - but that's really a joke as we al

  • "The Republican Guy, champion of the people," no one ever said. EVER. He's not going to say something like this unless he's sure it's going nowhere or he's desperate for any coverage at all in the face of the overwhelming noise emanating from The Trump Hole.
  • Make it easier for H1-B visa's to transfer and a generous grace period, that way good talent can stay and compete in the job market. Make it easy to do business in the U.S., just take away the ability to hold labor hostage to a visa.

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."

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