Skip to comments.H-1B is her No. 1 battle, Sona Shah has leaped head-first into fight over controversial visa
Posted on 10/05/2006 6:35:43 PM PDT by Coleus
Sona Shah didn't need flow charts or fancy diagrams to make her point during a U.S. Senate subcommittee briefing earlier this year. She just needed her cell phone. First, she dialed the number listed in a "Help Wanted" ad for a computer programmer. Then she let everyone listen to the ensuing conversation.
"I said, 'Hi. I'm an American citizen. I'm looking for a job,'" Shah recalled. "They said, 'No, that job's been set aside for an H-1B employee.'" The staffers at the legislative briefing were stunned. "There were audible gasps," Shah said. Those are the kind of tactics the 34-year-old Montclair woman has used in her crusade to reform the H-1B visa classification, which she says U.S. employers have used to turn Indian immigrants into underpaid indentured servants -- and to deny American citizens jobs.
"You have to stand up for the rights of both sets of workers as long as there's this degradation," said Shah, who was born in India but raised in the United States. "We love India. We want to see India prosper, but we don't want it to see it happen at the expense of the American middle class." Supporters of the visa program say it is people like Shah who stand in the way of progress, denying American universities, high-tech companies and others the best brains needed to keep the U.S. economy humming.
H-1B is reserved for temporary workers who come into the country to fill specialty occupations at the request of a U.S. employer, with about half of the 65,000 visas issued annually going to people in the computer industry. "There are an estimated 10 million people in the domestic IT work force," said Jeff Lande, senior vice president of the Information Technology Association of America. "So maybe 30,000 of those come from H-1B.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
Are there any AVAILABLE jobs willing to sponsor an H1-B? My boyfriend needs one!!!!
That depends on certain things. Like if he's French.
How could anyone be surprised? This has been reported over and again.
What happens much of the time is that a foreign graduating student is hired to do a job. He is a satisfactory employee, and the employer wants to hire him permanently so he does the advertising necessary to do that. It's not the way the system is supposed to work, but you can see why the employer wants to avoid the hassle and cost of interviewing an unknown from outside when he already has the right fit.
The libs who run American industry are a bunch of Euro-fascists.
Nope, he's Indian. He went to grad school here, got a job and an H1-B with a non-profit, and gets paid peanuts. He wants a better job. However, it's hard to get an H1-B job with a "for-profit" company because they (the jobs that give H1-Bs) are in such high demand.
His ultimate goal is to get a green card, and then become a citizen. He wants to be an American - he loves this country. (And he wants to get the green card BEFORE we get married, not as a result of it.) He's doing things the right way, not the illegal way. The whole idea of amnesty for border-jumpers depresses him to no end, because he feels his hard work is for nothing.
LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE.
What were the H1-B quotas in the earlier part of this decade? 250,000 per year?
Does this a**wipe think he can pull this lie off and we don't notice? I was one of the hundreds of thousands of IT workers looking for a job in 2002 as the H1-B program still brought in a quarter-million new workers. They can kiss my arse running before I agree to raising it back up without the old games they used to play about pretending to give American workers a chance while structuring the job requirements so that they excluded American IT workers.
My best friend growing up was from India. I spent more time with his family than I did with my own for a couple years. Wonderful people. I'd rather have an Indian immigrant for a neighbor (as long as they're Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Buddhist, not Muzzy) than any one else.
I engage people to do computer programming for a small company. American programmers who are available to small companies aren't very good and cost A LOT (I know, there are brilliant American programmers; but as far as I can tell, they all work for Microsoft, Intel etc. I've never actually found one that will work for a small company and believe me, I've tried).
Granted, the programming we required is very demanding--it's not just another web database or java application. So we need really good people. But we have had nightmares with programmers we have hired out of America. The last one almost took my company under.
At this point, we would just stop programming if the only option were American programmers because there is no return on that investment, even if they did the job they were hired to do.
Result, I am engaging Bulgarians who do a really professional job at spec'ing the job and writing the code for less than half the price charged by American programmers who don't finish their jobs or kludged them.
The reality is, world supply of programmers has outpaced demand and American programmers are overpriced. American programmers got used to $75,000 starting salaries and developed a sense of entitlement during the 90's. At those prices and with those attitudes they are uncompetitive.
I would suggest that, before whining, they go out and hone their skills, their attitudes, and their prices and they would find small businesses flocking back to them. I would love to employ someone local. It makes my life so much easier. But I'm not ready to risk another American programmer after the repeated bad experiences we have had.
I am a computer programmer and have worked at a number of small companies that developed complex software products. The people I worked with were, with maybe two exceptions (and one of those was H1-B), extremely intelligent, capable and professional developers who produced very high-quality products while being paid reasonable salaries. I'm sure that the companies that employed these developers felt they were getting their money's worth.
I guess what I'm getting at is, I think your story is perhaps atypical of the normal small company experience. Or perhaps your company is trying to get by on the cheap and not willing to pay a reasonable salary for quality personnel.
Hee hee, if you mean "over here" to the US, he already is (legally). He's one of the most brilliant, hard-working people I've ever met. And you're right, Indian people are generally awesome.
If an Indian business does a better job at the services I provide or is as good at a better price, then I'm out of business. I own a small business. I'm not a globalist--if I could eliminate foreign competition, I would. I'm like any capitalist, I would love to have a monopoly of some kind--against any competion, foreign or otherwise. But I don't.
I provide services internationally and have to be able to compete internationally. I have no choice. I have to be price competitive and I am.
Would my ox be gored if I went out of business? I hope I'm a bigger man than that. Nobody's entitled to a $75,000 a year job. Nobody's entitled to have their business stay in business. Nobody's entitled to have the world stay the same for their entire career and to have demand for their services increase steadily throughout their life.
Learning a skill for employment is risk taking just like going into business. It's just that businessmen are more honest with themselves about the risks they take. If you train to make swords, guns come along and make you obsolete. If you train in COBOL, along comes Java and C# and you are obsolete. You either adapt or whine.
Anyone who expects guarantees in life is a democrat or a foolish republican. Do I wish it worked another way? Sure. Does it? Nope. So no sense complaining. As my wife says when disappointment happens, "Suit up, show up, and shut up about it."
Maybe. But we were paying somewhat above average because we needed better than average programmers. In the US, we are 0-3. Overseas we are 3-3.
Your concept of a 'reasonable' salary is slippery, though. If I pay american programmers twice what my competitors are paying overseas, the american programmers have to be twice as productive as their overseas competition or I cannot stay cost competitive. If anything, American programmers are less productive than the overseas programmers and their attitudes have not been good. It's that simple.
Maybe I just got a bad sample. But I'm going with what has worked. I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
globalism presupposes the obsolesence of nationalism, ethnocentrism and many other political ideologies that ultimately cause people to align against abstract concepts like "free trade."
Moreover, how come Mexicans who come here illegally can buy property in the U.S., but Americans who LEGALLY emigrate to Mexico cannot (or at least not without significant restrictions). It's all hypocrisy, the same way the Saudis who act indigant about the treatment of Muslims abroad is ridiculous given the fact that Saudis don't allow Bibles into the country.
We live in bizarro world.
H-1B Visa is suppose to be used to help US companies get tech skills that are not available or in short supply within the US. It is not suppose to be a tool to displace US workers and depress wages. Otherwise why should US taxpayers fund a program that will destroy the middle class??????
You cavalierly insult hundreds of thousands of Americans based on a sample size of 3? Amazing.
Where's the proof of this conversation, besides her testimony?
Lou Dobbs, aired 9/4/06
There is shocking new evidence tonight that our nation's temporary worker visa program is woefully mismanaged. In fact, this new information shows that the government has little, if any, idea how many H1-B visas are being issued each year.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT : Attorney John Miano had a simple request. He wanted to know how many H1-B visas were issued in the years 2004,2005. The government would not tell him.
JOHN MIANO, CO-FOUNDER, PROGRAMMERS GUILD: I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get copies -- electronic copies of the records and applications for H1-B guest worker visas.
TUCKER: H1-B visas are temporary guest worker visas which allow foreign workers with specialized skills to work in the United States. Miano's reasons for wanting to know the information are basic.
MIANO: We do not know how many of H1-B visas are being issued each year. The second big question we would know is who is getting these visas?
TUCKER: So, what was the government's response to Miano's request?
"We have completed our search for records responsive to your request but did not locate any."
In other words, they've lost the records.
The response came from the person in charge of handling Freedom of Information Act requests. We asked the USCIS for a clarification, and a spokesman told us, "The response was a mistake, the letter was sent in error."
The mistake came to their attention after LOU DOBBS TONIGHT brought it to their attention. The agency tells us that the information Miano is looking for would be available for an additional fee of roughly $4,500 to $5,000.
The former director of the Office of Internal Affairs at USCIS is stunned.
MICHAEL MAXWELL, FORMER DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS, USCIS: I have never heard of a taxpayer being asked to flip the bill for publicly available information. In fact, USCIS is required to provide these H1-B statistics annually to both the Senate and the House Judiciary Committees and they have not done that.
TUCKER: That the USCIS does not have an immediate database as to who holds these visas or where these people are raises national security implications.
Problems with the program are well known. there have been a number of government reviews critical of its management. Yet the Senate, instead of fixing the problem, stands ready to double the size of the H1-B program and it its so-called immigration reform bill, it will add additional guest worker programs for USCIS to administer.
That's such a blatant lie. It is the Indian programmers that aren't very good, not because they're stupid, but because it's almost impossible to explain to them what is wanted, and they nod their heads, smile, and agree with you no matter what you ask them.
Bulgarians???? Give me a break. What, did they learn to program in their hovels after they finished shoveling the pig poop out of the living room?
I'm really surprised you had the audacity to post that claptrap.
No, we live in Socializt World.
I've got to agree 100% with Ichabod1 ,, I have worked in IT since the late 70's and can tell everyone here that the Dilbert cartoons depicting outsourcing to the "elbonians" exists and that Ichabod is correct in his assessment of why their code is substandard .. part of the problem is that where a rock solid cobol type app could be written for a CICS or IMS application in a month everyone wants the sexy (and supposedly cheaper) solution of re-inventing the wheel with open source servers and c++ ... it doesn't work in real life because the management and diagnostic tools SUX and they always rush things into production before they're ready for prime time (despite being quarters or years behind original estimates) ... I left the IT world 5 years ago after my department (IP/SNA related) was outsourced to India at 10% of our salaries (and our salaries weren't excessive) ... too bad it cost our company hundreds of millions in contracts because of bungled communications and repetitive errors...
Well said. Many US companies use the H-1B Visa program to keep their costs down - they simply don't want to pay the going rate for skilled professionals. As you point out, that is not the intent of the program.
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