Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Best and Brightest - How Companies Game the H-1B visa program and cost American jobs

Recurring theme here.

Many of the visas are given out through a lottery, and a small number of giant global outsourcing companies had flooded the system with applications, significantly increasing their chances of success. While he had one application in last year’s lottery and lost, one of the outsourcing companies applied for at least 14,000. The companies were squeezing out American employers like his boss.
Together the top five outsourcing companies had prepared as many as 55,000 H-1B applications. TCS, the company that had prepared applications for at least 14,000 visas, won 5,650 of them.
Applications cost $4,000 apiece so you have to have deep pockets to flood the system like that.
In addition this process by  drives down jobs and wages:
federal law requires global companies employing large numbers of H-1B workers to sign a declaration saying they will not displace Americans. But there is a loophole: An exemption in the fine print cancels that requirement if employers pay H-1B workers at least $60,000 a year — significantly less than an experienced technology worker’s salary in many parts of the United States.
Many of the outsourcing firms’ temporary workers earn $60,000 or just a little more, according to federal data compiled by Professor Hira.
The argument that companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google continually make is that they a) can't fill jobs because there aren't enough American graduates and b) they need the H-1B program in order to hire the "Best and Brightest".  Does anyone really believe they are hiring the best and brightest for $60,000 / year?

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