back to article Trump buries H-1B visa applicants in paperwork

The United States Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services has released new and strict rules for H-1B visas, the permit used by many-a-tech-company to bring skilled workers to the USA from abroad. President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to restrict use of the visas, which he claimed are …

  1. cyke1

    How many H-1B workers have buried American's in Unemployment paper work?

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      This has always been about shipping in cheap foreigners. It's the exact same in the UK.

      There would be no shortage of talent applying if they offered a higher salary for the roles.

      1. K Silver badge
        Pint

        @TheVogon

        "There would be no shortage of talent applying if they offered a higher salary for the roles."

        You are either a genius, or an idiot.. your statement is an oxymoron - if they are paying less, the chances are there is a skill surplus, not shortage.

        I sympathize with people who don't earn much (We all start there.. through Uni, I worked in a nursing old, wiping backsides of old people!), but if companies paid higher salaries (and wages) across the board, these same companies would have to raise their costs to cover this, including supermarkets etc, so the effects would cancel each other out.

        1. Nial

          "You are either a genius, or an idiot.. your statement is an oxymoron - if they are paying less, the chances are there is a skill surplus, not shortage"

          Companies advertise "IT" jobs at below the going rate.

          No applicants.

          They then go to the government claiming there's a desperate shortage of suitable people in the UK, they need visas to bring in foreign workers to fill these roles or the economy will be terribly constrained.

          Multiple visas issued, temporary foreign workers arrive, supressing wages and the vicious circle starts.

          This is a well known tactic by big outsourcers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Nial

            It's up to a company to decide the value it places on a position, markets-rates are only a guidance for them, I've seen some companies advertising for an IT Manager and paying £40k, the market-rate is about £60k, but I've also seen others offering £75k..

            1. Blotto Bronze badge

              @AC i think that's the point. Companies advertising roles below local market expectations and then claiming they can't get the staff. Advertise at correct rates and get the staff. If i'm a manager on £40k i'm more likely to apply for the one on £60k than another at £40k. Either the firms don't know the market costs, or are deliberately low balling in the hope to get someone desperate or so they can import.

              If you want to tick the box you'll pay £40k, if you want to attract the very best you'll offer £75k +.

            2. roningr

              The E40 advertisement is done to demonstrate that the company can't find local workers, and thus they have to import cheap labor.

              1. ThomH Silver badge

                There are a lot of anecdotal data points about the sweatshop end of the H-1B spectrum, but quite a few of us benefit from being at the flip side: real, legitimate employers want to ensure we get an H-1B so they take the reasonable salary requirement seriously and offer at or above the market average. H-1Bs are subject to a quota which is usually exhausted within the first few days of new availability each year, so you get only one shot at this. If you have a specific person you actually want to bring in, you don't take any chances.

                If it were only the sweatshop kind of people, that'd lower the average. If it were only the specific offer kind of people, that'd raise the average.

                I know a lot of people have an emotional answer about what they really, really believe is true on how that averages out, but I'd love to see some real data.

                If I had to guess, I'd imagine that the overall H-1B average offer isn't as far below the market average as concentrating on the sweatshops would imply, and that the quota makes the total number of H-1Bs entering the pool each year have only a negligible effect. It's at most 65,000 people a year across all industries; there are believed to be at least 6.7m tech workers in the United States. Even if every single H-1B were for a tech job, would an influx of less than 1% each year really have much effect?

                H-1Bs are time limited, so even if you assume that everybody stays for the totality of their visa, obtaining the maximum available extension, and that everybody who came in was a tech worker, that's still less than 6%.

                1. AmyInNH

                  You're commenting with little knowledge on this topic.

                  Senator Issa said 80% of H1Bs are paid $60K or less. $60K is "special skill" and fair market wage for Silicon Valley, among others? Total BS.

                  Downloading the approved databases, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. hire some of their staff at well below $60K. Really, HR is "special skill"?

                  As for the 65K quota, not really. 65K is lottery for commercial hires of Bachelors. Another 20K for Masters and PhDs. UNCAPPED: H1B hires for government, research, education and medical - and those professions are so flooded it's not even funny. Adjunct professors are now working for less than min wage and on food stamps. This isn't taking into acccount OPTs, who have NO min wage and NO cap.

                  There's a WHOLE lot you don't know. And that's giving you the benefit of the doubt, that you aren't spreading BS intentionally.

            3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              IT Manager and paying £40k, the market-rate is about £60k

              As with most things, market rates are a complete fiction since they don't take into account trivia like size of company or workload..

              (Yes, I've been an IT manager for a small manufacturing company. It was enjoyable except for the utter lack of anything resembling budget..)

            4. DJSpuddyLizard

              It's up to a company to decide the value it places on a position, markets-rates are only a guidance for them

              Ah... but they are market-rates, as in "free market". As soon as you open the possibility of importing labor that will work below the market rate, then you're buggering around with the market.

              Even in the absence of imported labour below the going market rate, you may well find someone to take that job for £40k, but they might not be as qualified or as competent as you'd like - the qualified, competent ones are interviewing for that £75k job.

          2. Compression Artifact
            Devil

            "Companies advertise "IT" jobs at below the going rate. ... No applicants."

            At the last company I worked for before I retired, one of the tricks they used was to require 10 years of experience at a job that most people would consider entry-level. No takers. Anyone who has been in that position for 10 years without getting promoted out of it is someone you wouldn't want anyway.

            A related trick was to require more years of experience in some technology (Java, in this case) than the time the technology had been in existence. Having no takers, they would then fill the building with H-1Bs with no experience at all and bring in a team of consultants to give them basic training in programming.

          3. AmyInNH

            In the US, they don't advertise rates.

            They advertise the job (often in the back of a horseback riding magazine or some such nonsense), and claim there were no qualified applicants.

        2. roningr

          The "surplus" of skilled workers is not real. It's created by importing cheap product, in this case skilled workers. It's a circular problem. With skilled IT paying burger-flipper wages, there's no incentive to learn the IT job, and the supply of American skilled workers declines. If skilled workers are beaten down, low-skilled jobs will also pay less. Starting "at the bottom" is OK, but if the middle jobs have been sent to cheap labor markets (in the same building) why start at all? I despise donnie trump and I can't figure out why he's done this, but it's one of 2 or 3 good things he's done. The TPP was written and negotiated by American drug companies with significant benefits for every country EXCEPT America. (I'd also guess that H1-b workers claim 99 dependents for taxes and are out of the country before they're caught. )

        3. SmallBusinessUser

          I think you are the idiot. The reason there is a surplus of skills is because companies like Infosys and Tata have an unlimited stream of East Indians they can bring in under H-1B. Because those people will work for substantially less dollars ($20 per hour is $1300 Rupee's per hour), live cheaply and send the money home, these firms can also charge less per body. Big companies like Disney get around hiring rules by laying off their entire IT department and contracting with Infosys for workers that earn less. This gets them out of age discrimination problems as well.

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            @SmallBusinessUser

            Don't know who you're calling an idiot, but there's a fixed, finite number of H-1Bs available each year. There's no infinite supply of anything, and they're just as valuable to the megacorps like Google, Facebook et al as to the dodgy Tatas and Infosyses. So quite limited indeed.

            What's needed is to cut off the market by properly policing the local worker rule. Prosecute egregious companies like Disney that are openly breaking the rules.

            Alas the probability of, well, any administration really doing something against big business is very limited. Especially the party du jour: blah blah blah Obama red tape regulation states' rights!

        4. FrozenShamrock

          It would only be an oxymoron if the magical Market worked the way pure capitalism mythology claims. However, big companies manipulate the market daily to suit their needs while screaming bloody murder if regulators try to keep them under control. If there were no cheap foreign labor and these companies had to actually get local help wages would go up and more people would be interested in entering the field. There would certainly be a lag time as people were properly trained; but, this artificial shortage was created by the same companies that would howl. And, what ever happened to the old concept of training the workers you need?

          1. AmyInNH

            "what ever happened to the old concept of training the workers you need?"

            They do, at least in the US. They have their citizens train their foreign workers before laying off the citizen employees. No, I'm not kidding. 20 years of this malarkey.

        5. AmyInNH

          They are importing a surplus, and no, they wouldn't "have to" raise their costs. It would first ding their profits, and considering they're at record profits, no, they wouldn't "have to" raise costs.

      2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Agree

        As a foreign national in the UK, and a highly qualified one, I agree that every qualified person you add to a pool lowers the salaries for everyone.

        Now, the H-1B is a joke.. as an example Disney firing loads of people and hiring H-1Bs.. and nobody went to prison...

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Agree

          Disney firing loads of people and hiring H-1Bs..

          They're not even trying to hide what they're doing any more. And, in the US, this sort of thing is explicitly prohibited (bringing in H1B to take an American job). But, since no Americans would work at the salary they're offering, which is well below a living wage, they get to hire H1Bs ("See? No qualified US applicants!").

          When I worked at a now-defunct large California based networking company, they posted the H1B jobs with ridiculous requirements: Masters degree and 10 years of experience, $40k. Now, this was in the 90s, but still...the pay they were offering and the qualifications required were so far out of alignment as to be farcical.

          I'm not sure how they get around paying far less than the going rate, but I suspect it has to do with Disney being the only employer for that specialty within many miles. But, since H1Bs seem to be handed out like candy, it doesn't matter anyway.

          1. DanceMan
            Holmes

            Re: Disney

            Disney has history for being anti-labour that goes back at least 60 years.

          2. AmyInNH

            Re: Agree

            OFLC publishes LCA database annually. And they've visas approved for $7.25 an hour for a teacher, $21 an hour for PhD Post Doc, etc. etc.

        2. roningr

          Re: Agree

          Disney bragged about it.

      3. E 2

        There would be no shortage of talent applying if they offered a higher salary for the PROLES!

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        There would be no shortage of talent applying if they offered a higher salary for the roles

        Don't be silly - that would reduce the bonuses for senior management and the shareholders..

  2. Comments are attributed to your handle
    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well that's screws Ginni's IBM policy of bringing in cheap Indians, now they'll have to hire more cheap grads, when they sack all the experienced workers.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      They'll just what they always do, make the American teams have odd hours conference calls to India.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Nah... the jobs will be outsourced directly to India or wherever. The company will save on office space and possibly sell off a few buildings.

      This will also have detrimental effect on the "trickle down" of money as the workers won't be spending their money in the States but at home.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Well that's screws Ginni's IBM policy of bringing in cheap Indians

      Not in the slightest - IBM has no issues to provide the necessary paperwork. The same is valid for any other company of similar size - they will have no issues with these new requirements.

      It screws only smaller companies and agencies. The former are not a big H1B user anyway and as far as the latter is concerned, good bye and good riddance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Exactly - it's just smoke to give an impression they're doing something, when they are actually doing nothing. Add some more bureaucratic paperwork between, it will make some consultancy happier, and nothing will change. As long as salary/wage dumping is permitted, more paperwork won't deter those who gains from the system.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Well that's screws Ginni's IBM policy of bringing in cheap Indians, now they'll have to hire more cheap grads, when they sack all the experienced workers."

      Presumably they will just hire cheap Indians and other such third worlders to complete the paperwork.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off shore slumming

    Simples.

    Hire off-shore, house in a warehouse, pay crap, work poor peeps all hours of the day.

    No jobs for YOU!

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Off shore slumming

      It'd be nice if firms quit gaming the system, hire qualified people already in the US, but I don't expect that will be the case. I fully expect what you seem to as well. No jobs for YOU!

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Off shore slumming

        well, we WANT it to be "hire local expertise at the going rate" rather than "import people to drive the cost down".

        but yeah, unintended consequences being what they are, hard to say how it will work out unless we let it run for a while, see how it goes.

        Just out of curiosity, how does UK handle _their_ equivalent of H1-B?

        1. Wolfclaw Silver badge

          Re: Off shore slumming

          We don't EUSSR says we have to let anybody in, well until our break away unless the politicians screw it up and sell out !

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: Off shore slumming

            You're an idiot. The UK has been able to restrict non EU immigration for years - but they don't. Ask yourself why. Also note that when various countries were added to the EU there wasn't a flood of people moving to work here, and that we have a shortage of nurses in part because the EU nurses can get better jobs in the rest of the EU. Fruit is rotting in the fields because there's a lack of seasonal (foreign) labour.

            One result of Brexit may well be increased immigration from India and other countries. Those trade deals will have conditions.

            1. Fortycoats

              Re: Off shore slumming

              The UK would have been able to restrict "New EU" immigration after certain eastern european nations (including Poland) joined the EU several years ago. Most EU countries passed legislation through their national parliaments for a grace period where new EU citizens would not immediately have full freedom of migration/employment. In Germany, I think it was 7 years. Only a few EU countries did not pass such laws, including UK, Ireland. Guess where a lot of those people went as soon as they were legally allowed? So for all the "polish plumber" complaints, Westminster had the ability to restrict it but did nothing. As Binky said, ask yourself why.

            2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: Off shore slumming

              "Also note that when various countries were added to the EU there wasn't a flood of people moving to work here"

              You either have a selective memory or are a liar. Immigration from Romania and Bulgaria was way above official forecasts of 5000-13,000 people over 5 years because Blair never put controls in place. It turned out to be over a million people in 5 years just from those two countries.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Tigra 07: Re: Off shore slumming

                What absolute rubbish that over a million people arrived from Romania and Bulgaria in a five year period. If you could be bothered to take a moment to think about it - and ditch your narrow mindset and instead be open-minded - you'd realise pretty damn quick how questionable that could be.

                Your statement pinning the blame on Blair is also incorrect.

                Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.but it wasn't until 2014 (and under the coalition Government) that immigration restrictions from those two countries were lifted (and thus the Blair & subsequent Brown Governments did indeed have "controls in place". The ONS estimated around 400,000 people from those counties were resident in the UK by 2017 with around 250,000 having come since 2014 (and so 150,000 prior to that).

                Pretty far off 1 million entering in a five year period don't you think? You're perfectly entitled to whatever your view is on immigration, but when you start accusing people of having a selective memory or being a liar, you really don't help your case when you start quoting blatantly absurd and false statistics.

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

              Re: Off shore slumming

              Geez, could this be any moe racist and stupid?

              1. roningr

                Re: Off shore slumming

                Racist? Putting families on welfare in support of Adam Smith is a devil's errand. It's racist to suggest that dark skinned workers are worth less than light skinned Euro and US workers. Reducing the pay for all is not a moral solution.

                1. AmyInNH

                  Re: Off shore slumming

                  Don't let anyone claim this is in alignment with Adam Smith philosophy. This isn't capitalism.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Off shore slumming

          Just out of curiosity, how does UK handle _their_ equivalent of H1-B?

          Our equivilant is inter company transfers, where a multinational can bring anybody into the country to work. It was intended to make it easier for large companies to have meetings and collaborate on projects. What actually happens is that entire sites are staffed by foreigners, who can't get another UK job because they lose their visa and immediately end up being returned to their "home office" in their original country.

          I'm not convinced our system works any better, frankly. Both systems get abused to hell by large companies.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Off shore slumming

          "Just out of curiosity, how does UK handle _their_ equivalent of H1-B?"

          It's not an issue. There's an ample supply of workers from poor countries in the far flung corners of Europe who can work here without a visa, or we outsource it to India.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Off shore slumming

      "Hire off-shore, house in a warehouse, pay crap, work poor peeps all hours of the day."

      Sounds like Amazon. Had a friend who worked there. Absolutely disgusting company to work for. A Shithole...one might say...

  5. J J Carter Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The Donald is a winner!

    #MAGA

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: The Donald is a winner!

      don't you really mean

      Donald Duck?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Donald is a winner!

        #MAQA

        Make America Quack Again!

        I can live with that sort of politics and slogan. Free bread for all.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: The Donald is a winner!

          Free bread for all.

          Bread is bad for ducks.. (and swans).

      2. smudge Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: The Donald is a winner!

        don't you really mean Donald Duck?

        After he compared the size of his nuclear button with Kim Jong-Un's, I started calling him Donald Dick.

        Wasn't that what he wanted?

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Joke

          @Smudge:Re: The Donald is a winner!

          Smudge,

          how dare you insult the commander-in-orange...

          Jay

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: The Donald is a winner!

      Morons Are Governing America.

      #MAGA

  6. herman Silver badge

    No problem

    The outgoing sysadmin will be required to write a small Perl script to generate and file the paperwork for his H1B successor.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Hugh McIntyre

    Not all H1-B's, only "3rd party worksites"

    The article is misleading, in that if you read the attached policy document it's titled: " .... Requirements for H -1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites".

    So this is only for "third party worksites" and seems like it's targeting outsourcing agencies (arguably correctly) and not companies that employ H1-B people directly.

    I guess it's possible the agencies will get round this for outsourced support jobs where people work full-time at the outsourcer's office, but that won't work so well for outsourced engineers. And/or it may limit direct employees such as application engineers who spend time at customer sites. But it's misleading to imply this is targeting all H1-B's.

  9. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Joke

    This application has been approved :(

    H1-B application

    --------------------------------------------

    Name: Vladimir Putin

    Position: Controller of operatives

    Location: Oval office

    Telephone number: 0800WEKILLU

    Unfortunately, not a -------------------------->

  10. Snow Wombat
    Thumb Up

    Great!

    Now of the Australian Govt would close the same damn loop holes here, life would be a lot better here too.

    It's better than it used to be, but there is still a lot of cheap "fly by night" contractor mobs out there who keep trying to flood the market with cheap imported labour.

    H-1B's in the US were a joke, and just a way for companies to depress market rates with cheap, expendable labour. It was terrible for everyone but American big businesses.

    I have no issue with importing labour but it should be as a last resort and the imported labour should not be treated like indentured slaves and payed half as well as one/

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge

      Re: Great!

      Infosys, wipro just to name a couple

      1. BA

        Re: Great!

        Thank you for spoiling my day by mentioning wipro.

        We used to call them "Why Program" because they would just slap a couple of generic scripts together to form an application and then spend months debugging it and wondering why we wouldn't give them a break and give them Enterprise Admin rights for 50 generic service accounts and remove all the rules on the firewalls !!!

        Those guys should be put against the wall before the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation marketing division.*

        * Copyright Dougals Adams.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great!

      H-1B's in the US were a joke, and just a way for companies to depress market rates with cheap, expendable labour. It was terrible for everyone but American big businesses.

      In the end, it is bad for business, as they end up with no IT managers who've worked in the trenches and understand really how things work.

      1. AmyInNH

        Re: Great!

        "it is bad for business"

        You're presuming they're after a healthy business. They aren't. They are after locking it all down, to coast. Or as Bank of America's CEO put it, "easy", "immigrants" make "growth" easy.

  11. Justacog

    Wonder if Trump will bury his foreign visa applicants in paper work

    Trump uses many of the same tricks that other big American companies do to get foreign workers for his resorts.How anyone can believe anything this idiot says is beyond me. He actually ran an add for positions at Mar-a-Lago resorts and the only option was to fax your resume in for consideration.

    http://realtime.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2017/08/07/want-a-seasonal-job-at-trumps-mar-a-lago-club-fire-up-the-fax-but-the-number-doesnt-seem-to-work-realdonaldtrump/

    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-gets-visas-70-foreign-workers-mar-lago-despite-hire-american-pledge-702295

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonder if Trump will bury his foreign visa applicants in paper work

      "He actually ran an add for positions at Mar-a-Lago resorts and the only option was to fax your resume in for consideration."

      ........ or if you read the article you linked: "job seekers can visit the CareerSource office on Belvedere Road", which I see on the map is about 6 miles away.

      1. Justacog

        Re: Wonder if Trump will bury his foreign visa applicants in paper work

        Yea, I did see that many people work multiple jobs to get by and having to drive somewhere to just fill out an application is not worth it for many. And yes it is another one of the tricks they use to try an avoid hiring American workers.

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Wonder if Trump will bury his foreign visa applicants in paper work

      H-2Bs still welcome at Trump's resports and hotels.

    3. Snow Wombat

      Re: Wonder if Trump will bury his foreign visa applicants in paper work

      Don't hate the player, hate the game.

      If that's what he could do, then it's a problem with the system.

      At least he is working to get that system fixed, seemingly at his own expense.

  12. Tim O'Connor

    The damage has already been done, but the program should still be put to death, except for extraordinary cases where someone has skills that are exceptional and can't be found anywhere else. H-1B has been great for immigrants and fat cats, and that's all.

    1. AmyInNH

      The US has an O visa for exceptional. There's no need for H1B.

  13. SuperG

    There's simply no upside for Trump in honoring the H1-B visa program amongst his people, and the rest of us normal folks don't like it anyways.

    Anyone here over 35 gets shown the door and replaced, IT companies colluded for years to suppress wages. Screw 'em, and good! This one's on the house.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good

    Having watched in my previous company as my fellow US employees were replaced by Indians (who sat in the seat in the US) even when some had given 20 years to the company. Was disgusting. Greed from those at the top which is why those at the bottom now vote for people like Trump.

  15. Charles 9 Silver badge

    I think the end of the article put it best. Given the likelihood of unintended consequences, this is something that basically has to run its course for a while. Thing is, how will the system be gamed next?

  16. unwarranted triumphalism

    If Obama had done this I would have condemned it as a socialist anti-business job-killing regulation. But now Mr Trump has correctly taken the initiative in cracking down on the abuses of the H-1B visa system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obama?! He actually promised similar reforms, and though I voted against him, I hoped and expected he would deliver something once in office. Call it "socialist" if you like, but it's a welcome pro-competition regulation in my book.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Obama would have been wrong if he had done it but Trump is right for doing it.

  17. davenewman

    Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

    Why should your place of birth be an employment qualification at all? It isn't one of your achievements, it is an achievement of your mother.

    What is the economic or ethical justification for nationality to be used in determining who gets a job? We are all humans (or AIs) in one world. All humans are equal, nationality is an artificial distinction brought in to recruit soldiers to fight wars. It should have nothing to do with employability.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

      "Why should your place of birth be an employment qualification at all?"

      Two words: jus soli. It a matter of citizenship, and that IS very important for the host country since that has significant effects on populations, taxes, benefits, etc. ANY sovereign nation will and general DOES prefer its own citizens to foreigners.

      1. AmyInNH

        Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

        "ANY sovereign nation ..." has an obligation to its citizens. All of them.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

      Citizenship isn't the problem, different standards of living is.

      Call me old fashioned, but I believe a company based in the US, should be hiring predominantly from the local labor pool, "giving back", if you will, to the community in which it is based. A company based in India should do the same. They compete on they quality of their products and may the better company win.

      Now, when a company in a country with a higher cost of living exploits employees from a country with a lower cost of living by paying them a wage which may be considered "good" in their home country, but which is less than fair in the wealthier country, that's exploitation in my book, and deserves to be called out as such.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

        Call me old fashioned, but I believe a company based in the US, should be hiring predominantly from the local labor pool,

        And customers should do the same, nobody outside America should buy American software or cars or watch american tv shows

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

          "And customers should do the same, nobody outside America should buy American software or cars or watch american tv shows"

          If you cut off the flow of Canadian produced shows on HGTV they would be broadcasting video of the flag and playing the National Anthem every night at 9:00!

          (For those too young to have seen it, before the 3 networks had 24 hour programming they would sign off for the day, usually showing a video of the flag and playing the National Anthem)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

            You can still see it now. Not all networks around the world run 24 hours. I know it's not that way with the major broadcasters of the Philippines. Even in the US, the major broadcasters slack off in the late-night hours, usually just filling in the time with news loops, reruns, or other "cheap" shows that don't need a lot of ratings.

        2. AmyInNH

          Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

          "nobody outside America should buy ..."

          Monopoly. Legislated monopoly. Called "trade agreements", they trade markets.

          NAFTA, for example, Mexico traded their corn market to the US for manufacturing jobs - they unemployed 2 million Mexican farms/farmers doing so. US corn shipped there, US subsidized.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

      Why should your place of birth be an employment qualification at all?......All humans are equal, nationality is an artificial distinction brought in to recruit soldiers to fight wars. It should have nothing to do with employability.

      If you can't understand that there are significant cultural and educational differences between your average Indian and your average American, then you are an ignorant fool.

      If you think the sole purpose of nationality is to fight wars, then you are either wilfully ignorant, or too supid to be educated by any poster here.

      Seriously, is it half term holiday this week or something?

    4. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

      Congratulations @ Davenewman

      The level of ignorance and gross stupidity of your post sent my brain into safe mode.

      Now I have to spend the rest of the day drinking in an attempt to recover to a normal operational level

    5. AmyInNH

      Re: Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

      "All humans are equal, nationality is an artificial distinction brought in to recruit soldiers to fight wars."

      A nation and its citizenry is an agreement to a set of rules, laws, principles - and as citizens we've paid for it - with money, with effort, with life and death.

      Piping in unnecessary labor into the workforce, is gaming the rules, laws and principles, for profit.

      At some point, break the rules, laws, principles, and the dynamics that made it work falls apart.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a cyclical pendulum ...

    Eventually - and a lot quicker than the stupid people think - India and the great off shore nations will approach the Wests "standard of living". At which point - guess what ? - they will want the same money. Or even more (for the insult).

    Then all the US (and UK) firms that dumped local staff for offshore outsourcing feel a tiny chill around their bollocks as the costs rise and they have no leverage against it.

    Have already seen it twice. Large companies that decided to move more offshore than was sensible, suddenly found the hourly rate doubled. By that time they were so embedded it was operationally impossible to move to another company (fancy that). So they had to find some money in the UK (guess how) to pay the hike. When they started trying to move to another company, mysteriously all the base rates made outsourcing unsustainable. They are now "fucked". As a former colleague commented ... "they are still having to make redundancies in the UK".

    If the UK had any sense (which we know, collectively it doesn't) it would be positioning itself to take up all the work that India will want to outsource - artisan jam and the like.

    1. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: It's a cyclical pendulum ...

      Yep.

      Served the dog shit sandwich of a contract that was basically employing 2x Indians at 30% of the UK cost.

      They went for 2x as even in the the early, optimistic part of the relationship it was obvious even to the C suite morons that Indians were somewhat less productive than Brits - what with the monsoon and the odd team member being eaten by a crocodile....

      Roll forward Y3 in the 5 year contract and that 2x safety was found to be way too optimistic. And, rather than 'standing on their own feet', people were still being flown over to train up the people who replaced the people who replaced the people who replaced the people.

      And then per head cost doubled too.

      Total cost at Y3 - about twice the UK cost for about a 50% of the output.

      Y5 came and the contract was quietly canned by both parties.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a cyclical pendulum ...

      > Eventually - and a lot quicker than the stupid people think - India and the great off shore nations will approach the Wests "standard of living".

      Yo. Stupid Trump voter here.

      Do you know anyone from India, or anything about it? It's way behind China, with nearly as much population. That's not to say it's a good investment, what with all the corruption and political instability. But while China is starting to look a bit like a level competitor with the West, India is stuck in the status quo for the forseeable future. Sucks for them.

      1. smudge Silver badge

        Re: It's a cyclical pendulum ...

        Do you know anyone from India, or anything about it?

        Hi, stupid Trump voter. Anyone who works in IT in the UK will know someone from India, and will likely have worked with folk from India, either in person or remotely. Many people in IT in the UK are from Indian families. We know A LOT about India when it comes to getting IT work done.

        Now, what was your point?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do you know anyone from India, or anything about it?

          Er, yes. I've also got enough Hindi to keep any UK based developers on their toes (much to the disgust of the UKIP voting folk in the office).

      2. HmmmYes Silver badge

        Re: It's a cyclical pendulum ...

        Yeah.

        I know Indian-Indains.

        And British-Indians.

        And some Anglo-Indians - some AI women are prone to having huge boobs. Not that I noticed.

        Id be happy leaving the Indian developers in Indai and bringing over those curry wallahs that bring tiffin boxes to your desk. Thats really cool.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: It's a cyclical pendulum ...

          Or maybe the Indian IT people in India could have a nice tea-lady pushing her sarnies and Mr Kipling cakes around their offices.

  19. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    As much as I'd love to see action on this...

    ...the proposed remedy is completely BS. Administrative equivalent of a Potemkin village. If Trump were serious about doing something here, the lottery system would have gotten an overhaul instead of adding more paperwork requirements that outsourcing firms will merely write some Word macros to overcome.

    My reasoning:

    There are 85k or so H1-B visas available in a given year USA graduates about 300k STEM grads / 90k-ish engineering grads - 85k is not a drop in the bucket. With roll overs and exemptions the real number is probably far in excess of 100k.

    Employers bid against the lottery pool, and the large outsourcing firms go for tens of thousands at a time; last numbers I saw were about 40pct for a handful of firms. If you are a small business with a legit need for a handful of specific foreigner's skills (in my case, specific local language expertise) you are frozen out and have to move that work overseas - an added knock-on offshoring effect.

    What's the point of an H1-B-like program? Twofold: you want your businesses to have an ability to leverage truly unique talent, and you want to create a citizenship path for truly gifted foreigners so they can set up businesses in your country and hire a boatload of your own citizens. Allowing outsourcing firms to dominate the visa lottery serves neither objective.

    If I'm an outsourcing firms it costs me nothing to stuff the visa "ballot box" as my application fees for unsuccessful applications are refunded.

    This is federal law - and a truly bipartisan fsckup. Could it be the chief executive does not have the testicular fortitude to confront Congress on this and just signs EO to make it look like progress?

    1. AmyInNH

      Re: As much as I'd love to see action on this...

      A quick snapshot of status,

      2016 - 800K LCAs "certified", approved

      Legal work visas given out since 2009, over 70 million (this lady's numbers are low): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-frankel/insourcing-american-lose-_b_11173074.html

  20. Notwork

    The office is obsolete

    If you can't import the skills you need then just employ them where they're already at.

    There are plenty of jobs out there and many for a higher wage than I'm getting but would I swap my big house in the country for a small flat in London, would I swap my 45 minute commute 2 days a week and 3 days WFH for a mind numbing commute through London? No way, you can ship someone in from India to do that thanks!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The office is obsolete

      You can't telecommute construction workers and other "hands-on" positions. How many of these positions actually require a physical presence to work?

  21. IGnatius T Foobar
    Thumb Up

    End the H1-B program entirely.

    I know the Reg editors lean left and like to bash Mr. Trump, but he's doing the right thing here. The H1-B program was supposed to provide workforce for openings that could not be filled, but we all know that the only thing it was actually used for was to replace American workers with indentured servants from offshore at a fraction of the cost. The whole program is corrupt and unnecessary and should be scrapped.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: End the H1-B program entirely.

      He is not in my opinion.

      Those that break existing rules should be punished.. and these rules seem to oppress the worker more than anybody else.. and as existing rules are not enforced, why do they need other rules?

      Just enforcing current rules or making them possible to be enforced would be enough.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple fix to H1-b1 program. One they must pay prevailing wages in the area. Two they must pay $ $50,000 per person.Three lying on the h1-b1 visa is a five year felony. and finally percentiles can include up 10% of the companies income. Not profit but gross sales .

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      That has been tried:

      One they must pay prevailing wages in the area

      Add a requirement that they must know your own internal software, there are no local applicants so the prevailing wage is whatever you claim. Look on craigslist for job ads wanting php+cobol+matlab+VMS so they can get a market labor opinion that there are no local candidates.

      Two they must pay $ $50,000 per person

      Minus deductions for health care premiums, pension, flights home, housing costs, company store etc

      Three lying on the h1-b1 visa is a five year felony

      It is the candidate that applies and signs the visa. You actually want some low level of enforcement so you can hang a threat over the person.

      can include up 10% of the companies income

      Employee #12345 is employed by (and the sole employee of ) Tata services #12345 (Bermuda ), it has gross sales of that person's income.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hmm I was in a bit of an rush. When I said $50,000 per person I meant per applicant. That's the price the company would have to pay file. There use to be a requirement that the minimum pay was $100,000. Lets bring that back.

        Lying on the visa app would be a felony for the employee and if the employer signed off on it that person would face jail time. Also if an an employer falslye stated that they could not get an US applicant every one that signs off on it. When they tender a job that states you must know Oracle, sage, Sap, C++ ,F# C# , net , java, UNIX, linux, windows 3.11 98 xp OS/2, perl, python. THe person they higher must actually have those skills or the highering person and every one that signed off on the job description plus face jail time and that would be considered lying in the visa app.

        can include up 10% of the companies income

        Employee #12345 is employed by (and the sole employee of ) Tata services #12345 (Bermuda ), it has gross sales of that person's income. In my world h1 b1 visa workers could not be farmed out to third parties. IE if IBM needs an h1 b1 visa worker they have to higher them directly. no 3rd party recruiters

    2. AmyInNH

      "Simple fix to H1-b1 program"

      Scrap current definitions of H1B and OPT.

      OPT - prevailing wage - permanently barred from H1B, Green card, etc. - because it EXISTS for training _before_ _returning_ _home_.

      Enforce H1B "temporary", Six month to 1 year limit, no renewals.

      Unique skills? Prove it isn't available. Allocate part of annual 1 million - the EBs, to international qualified, and lottery their GCs - taking it out of employers' hands, and give them mobility from day 1.

      NO GOOD REASON EMPLOYERS ARE ENTITLED TO INDENTURED.

  23. Electricity_Guy

    I'm not sure how much this has changed. I had two consecutive H1Bs and had to do pretty much what it says, even to the extent of having someone from the Department of Labor turn up, unannounced, at my workplace to check I really was there working and doing the job I'd applied for. Also my employer had to advertise my position in multiple places. This looks like they are clamping down on the worst excesses that agencies cream up.

    1. AmyInNH

      Many bring H1Bs, and then shop their cheap labor around. That was NEVER the intention of the visa.

  24. Deltics

    You said `skilled` when you meant `cheaper`

    "the permit used by many-a-tech-company to bring SKILLED workers to the USA from abroad"

    "the permit used by many-a-tech-company to bring CHEAPER workers to the USA from abroad"

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you really want to get into the US....

    Get your daughter married to the president and you'll be in like Flynn.

  26. c1ue

    Here's how to really fix the problem

    Companies can hire however many H1Bs as they like, but they have to advertise all of their executive management positions the same way, with the same results.

  27. Someone Else Silver badge

    Yeah, right....

    Tech industry lobbyists have long argued that H-1Bs help the American economy by bringing in eager talent to an industry that's nearly always short of skilled people.

    Tech lobbyists, like lobbyists everywhere, are full of shit.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late to stop Nadella!

    Windows 10.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK IT Indian imports

    In the last 10 years I've worked with some real shit. Sadly, mainly imported Indian IT techies working for outsourcers like TCS (Tata Crap Services) or TechMahindra (other crap companies are available). People who clearly weren’t up to the job and, given the level of bribery and nepotism you get in India, probably paid a relative or friend to get them the position. I doubt many had the qualifications that were claimed – and, anyway, you can buy whatever qualification you want in India – but if you question it over here then you are marked as racist. The Indian management treated their UK based staff like shit. If the staff didn’t like the working conditions then they would be on the next plane home.

    Which is a shame because the good Indians that I've worked with over the years, frequently second or third generation UK citizens but also some in India, are now tarred with the same brush. And they are expected to work for the same money and are treated the same.

    And if you want to see how the UK equivalent of the H1-B works then visit a well know High St banks technical centre of incompetence in Knutsford, Cheshire. Count the busloads of Indians arriving and leaving each day - it's thousands of individuals. Even the local managers don’t know they are coming until they turn up…… And then someone dreams up a project for them. You have to wonder if it isn’t just a way for the bank to pay an Indian company which in turn pays the people who outsourced the contract…… on the quiet of course. Not that I, for one minute, would suggest that any bank would do anything wrong, well, apart from the £xxx billion's worth of fines and payouts over the last 10 years.

    The bank did outsource other work apart from India - 1000+ jobs that went to Lithuania, and the ones that went to the Ukraine, and Malaysia, and Singapore..... Funny, I hadn't realised it before but only the Indian jobs come to the UK.

  30. hardtop

    Making a case

    Wouldn't collecting evidence be need to make a case? As mentioned already he could be playing games with us, but he may not be.

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