Monday, March 23, 2015

American college graduates can't get jobs but foreign college graduates can.


Silenced workers who lost jobs to H-1B visa abuse (quietly) speak out

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing into abuses of the H-1B skilled guest worker visa program. Lawmakers heard experts describe how the use of foreign workers has come to dominate the IT industry, with many tech giants using the program to fire well-paid current workers and replace them with workers from abroad at significantly lower pay.
"The current system to bring in high-skill guest workers ... has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry," two experts who testified at the hearing, Howard University's Ron Hira and Rutgers' Hal Salzman, wrote recently. "Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the 'best and brightest,' most high-skill guest workers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages."
Exhibit A in the abuse of H-1Bs was the case of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of between 400 and 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, the committee heard; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.
"Simply put, the H-1B program has become a cheap labor program," Hira, author of the book Outsourcing America, testified. "To add insult to injury, Southern California Edison forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages."

1 comment:

Toby said...

This is an incredibly common occurrence. Having worked in High-Tech in Silicon Valley for the last 25 years in and around both large and small companies, it is quite common to see IT departments almost completely comprised of Indian nationals on work visas. I assume much of the rest of the country looks the same. The conflict for policy makers is do you want policy to support higher profits for U.S. companies, or do you want policy to support higher employment of U.S. nationals. Also, it you cut off the cheaper H1-B employees, more work IT would like be pushed offshore.

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