back to article Salesforce boss Marc Benioff objects to US immigration policy so much, he makes millions from, er, US immigration

Almost five dozen CEOs at US tech giants and other big businesses this week denounced the White House's immigration policies in an open letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The corporate leaders, members of a chief executive club called the Business Roundtable, did not voice concern over the Trump …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unreasonable without reason

    They never explain why they don't employ these highly talented people in their own country.

    If the employment regulations are too restrictive in said country, why not campaign for that country to reform?

    If retention necessitates that these highly talented people be paid above the low pay grades you've allocated to said offshore location, maybe you need to reform your pay structure?

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Unreasonable without reason

      They never explain why they don't employ these highly talented people in their own country.

      Is that why we very, very rarely see US IT contractors working overseas? Certainly never once seen one in the UK.

    2. W@ldo

      Re: Unreasonable without reason

      This is exactly where folks are missing the boat. You won't get many likes as few have studied the history of labor abuses in the world. If you live in the US, go ahead and try to immigrate into Canada, Japan, Australia & the various parts of the UK. You will run into protectionist legislation that far exceeds what the US requires for entry. Much hay is made about this without comparing to the laws of other countries.

      The offshoring that is done is really just an exploitation in the home country that will eventually backfire. If you go back in time for US history, this smacks of the child labor abuses in the 1800s & 1900s. Large organizations profited on the backs of those workers while playing lip service to politicians and constituents. I worked at a large US company and left due to the domestic damage done by the offshoring and the abuse of those poor folks trying to make a sustainable living in foreign countries. Exploitation on both sides--US employees losing jobs, foreign employees not being paid fairly.

      Push for immigration that makes sense for all. There is much hype on both sides about the more emotional issues and that's what generates the furor. A question for non-US countries--Why don't you allow American citizens the same immigration reciprocity & work permitting?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Unreasonable without reason

        I'm a US based IT consultant, and once did a stint based in Canada, flying in every Monday morning and out Thursday afternoon (in 2000, I couldn't imagine doing that post 9/11) But while I was paid through a Canadian bank, the company I was working for was a joint venture between that bank and a US based IT firm, so it wasn't technically the same thing as working directly outside the US. I did a stint with a US company once that flew me to Reading for a week for some work there, that's the closest I've come to consulting in the UK.

        While I'm sure there are plenty of barriers I'm not aware of if I wanted to take a contract in the UK, the main reason I wouldn't is probably rates. I'm not sure if UK rates are as high as US rates, but they certainly aren't going to be higher. Since flying in every week isn't a practical option even from the east coast, it is going to disrupt your life more so any reasonable person is going to want higher pay to make it worth it. Why would the company want to pay me more and deal with all the extra hassle unless there was some VERY specialized knowledge at play - i.e. I could do something no one from the UK could.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: Unreasonable without reason

        " A question for non-US countries--Why don't you allow American citizens the same immigration reciprocity & work permitting?"

        Work permits and immigration procedures generally are reciprocal. If the US and country X don't have such an arrangement, it's because the two governments haven't agreed on it. And in reality if the two governments haven't agreed on it, it's probably because the US doesn't want to loosen restrictions on people from country X emigrating to the US - because let's be honest, for most countries in the world, the traffic would mostly be into the US rather than a balanced flow in both directions.

      4. Azerty

        Re: Unreasonable without reason

        > You will run into protectionist legislation that far exceeds what the US requires for entry

        source? I think you just suspect that but it isn't true. At least here in Belgium you would probably start without all the issues that workers from poorer countries have to wade through.

      5. Roboiii

        Re: Unreasonable without reason

        You're correct. Reciprocity is key. For all the mud slung at Trump he gets it.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Unreasonable without reason

      They do surely?

      Outsourcing to India is a thing that happens.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Scum

    They are complaining because someone decided to enforce the law. H-1B visas are intended to be a way to bring in highly skilled, international caliber workers; think Torvalds and van Rossum as examples. It is not to bring in low paid mediocrities from elsewhere (the precise country does not matter). The complaint they can not find US workers is disingenuous considering the way they treat workers, particularly older workers. They are reaping the whirlwind of the wind they sowed. Other industries and companies believe their employees are valuable. Some companies even have metrics about their retention rate and worry what they are doing wrong if the rate slips; mine does. So my question to the scum, why should anyone work for their companies when you are going to be badly treated?

    1. cd

      Re: Scum

      As an older guy, at least one sentence is true. Somehow I am magically incapable with grey hair.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Scum

        It's worse for EE's. They're old hat by the time they can grow a beard!

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Scum

        The odd part about this is the company were I work has a habit of hiring older workers with obvious gray hairs for many technical positions. But we are not IT.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's capitalism, folks!

    Best system ever existed on the planet so please move along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's capitalism, folks!

      Says the AC on welfare.

      1. Angry clown

        @AC - Re: That's capitalism, folks!

        Are you a filthy rich CEO to down vote the post ? If so, why are you posting as AC ?

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: That's capitalism, folks!

      Complains about the system, and makes millions from it - he must be a Republican.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Not talking about "Mexicans" here

    While strawberries are rotting in the fields, the tech barons basically are running an Indian Takeover racket: 900'000 people from India in the last 15 years:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/key-facts-about-the-u-s-h-1b-visa-program/

    Turns out that Indians are absolutely banging on the door to be let in and stay in. The Chinese, however, have a tendency to go back to their homeland (i.e. they turn "turtle") after some time.

    Also, "One-in-four H-1B visa requests in fiscal 2011 were for occupations commonly staffed by workers with an associate’s degree, despite a requirement that applicants work in jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or higher."

    Gee, I wonder what's going on.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Not talking about "Mexicans" here

      If they were Mexican engineers then they'd have a hard time getting an H1-B visa. They're effectively monopolized by a handful of Indian IT companies that specialize in outsourcing or, more accurately, replacing American workers by lower cost Indian workers. (....and there's a lawsuit about this:-

      https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/16/h-1b-indian-outsourcing-firm-discriminates-against-non-indian-workers-games-u-s-visa-system-lawsuit/ )

      The H1-B visa is a mess; instead of it giving people who are needed opportunities to work in the US the system has mostly got rigged and, to add insult to injury, renewal is now a lottery so there's absolutely no job security. (I personally know one person who had to let a worker go because she lost the renewal lottery -- and it wasn't an Indian IT worker, it was an Italian accountant.)

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: Not talking about "Mexicans" here

        "Mexican engineers" - they can get a NAFTA work visa on entry to the US or Canada.

  5. Vanir

    These rich CEOs pay

    themselves what they can get away with and pay the people they need to get rich with as little as they can get away with. Be they left or right in political terms they're the same in practice.

    That's what the American dream has come to: beggar thy fellow American.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: These rich CEOs pay

      then why not BECOME "the rich CEO" yourself? [you lack the talent and drive and risk taking to do it? not MY problem! nor the problem of the CEOs that become "rich"]

      Seriously, your particular argument sounds like it belongs at the last part of 'The Jungle'. [I had to read that for a class once - the last 1/3 of it is nothing but Communist propaganda from the 19th century]

      Marx and Engels would be proud!

  6. davenewman

    Salesforce could modify its HR software for the border patrol to automatically record abusive behaviour by staff, and highlight it in annual reviews. I realise they are not a bad as TSA goons, but I have only come across one country where the passport control people are more officious and uncaring - South Africa in the apartheid era.

  7. John Gamble

    I'd be more concerned about this if FftF hadn't confused the Border Patrol with ICE.

    Border Patrol does exactly what it says on the label, and while I'm sure it has its abuses (it is a law enforcement agency, this will always happen), it in no way should be confused with ICE, an organization that seems to have taken its rules from a translated copy of a Stasi handbook.

    .

  8. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Help from a broad

    Note that all of the president's wives (so far) have been "from abroad". There are some jobs U.S. citizens won't take.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Help from a broad

      Not quite - Trump's second wife is from Georgia. Georgia the US state with the fried chicken and baseball, that is, not Georgia the ancient Caucasian country with the khachipuri and chacha, mmmm....

    2. herman Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Help from a broad

      I think you mean 'a broad'.

    3. Roboiii

      Re: Help from a broad

      Fortunately for him there are some women who haven't been corrupted by 3rd wave western feminism. Smart man.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Help from a broad

      wives from abroad... in some ways, as an American Male, this makes sense.

      There is at least one web site out there dedicated to "no marriage" - without actually linking to it, which might force me to complete a captcha [difficult with scripting turned off].

      In summary web sites like these contrast 'american feminist women' with women from outside of the US, suggesting that un-Americanized women make better wives. [there's a lot of truth to that; radical feminism has DESTROYED women, in my opinion, often turning them into queen-B man-hating B.I.itches, and who'd want to be married to one of THOSE women, but I digress...]

  9. tekHedd

    Qualified workers

    These companies REALLY hate native qualified workers, don't they?

  10. aberglas

    Don't chain H1Bs to employers

    That is the key reason to employ a H1B instead of a local. They cannot leave. And with a bit of luck it will take decades to process there application for permanent residency. So you've got 'em.

    If someone comes in on a H1B, they should be free to move to any other employer, maybe having to compensate their first employer for legal costs if it is within 1 year. Then that advantage disappears.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Don't chain H1Bs to employers

      An new employer can get a new H1B if they really want the employee - I come over on an H1B based purely on my technical knowledge but they paid me crap too until I threatened to go home. The reality is that H1B's keep the local labor (sic, it's the US) market in check and the wages down.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Don't chain H1Bs to employers

      2 words: immigration reform. yeah, fix THAT too (the H1B 'lock in' thing - indentured servitude is SUPPOSED to be ILLEGAL).

  11. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Well -- H1B and whatnot notwithstanding.

    I've just handed in my resignation with my long term Canadian employer, and I'll be working for an American company now. From home. Remote. No visa needed. Although, having asked the question, I've been told I'd be greencarded without issue.

    First time I've needed a passport in a long time. (Have to visit head office for the initial Hi, howareya, this is how we do it meetings).

  12. prinz

    They left a part out...

    "All of this despite the Department of Labor having, in many cases, certified that no qualified US workers are available to do that person’s job." ... AT THE CURRENT PAY RATES.

    They leave that part out so they can lie by telling a half-truth: Sure, they cannot find the talent they want locally ---- because they will not pay for it.

    And, they won't pay for it because ultimately IT workers are not viewed as valuable.

    They're viewed by upper management as just more expensive versions of the people that clean the company toilets - the company **must** have them, but they're really not strategically valuable in their view.

    So, why not import cheap labor to replace all that expensive overhead and hide behind the "we cannot find anyone" lie?

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    US born workers. I only have one question for you.

    Are you an American or an American't?*

    And if you can, will you for the money they are offering?

    *With grateful thanks to Robert Rodriguez.

    1. herman Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: US born workers. I only have one question for you.

      ...or an Americunt...

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