1. While lobbying Congress for more H-1B visas, industry claims H-1B workers are “the best and brightest”. Come payday, however, they’re entry-level workers.

    The GAO put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the Dept.of Labor as those who are “fully competent” [1]. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they’re experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

    So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing the “best and brightest” is meaningless), or they’re looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry level pay scale. In my opinion, companies are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35 [2], especially those at the Level I and Level II categories.

    Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (remember – the vast majority of H-1B visas are granted for computer related positions). In fact, according to their survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2% [3][4].

    The H-1B visa is a cancer on American society.


    [1] GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM – Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program
    [2] Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Fiscal Year 2014
    Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014
    [3] NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey
    [4] NACE Salary Survey – September 2014 Executive Summary

  2. I posted this comment yesterday but when I looked today it was gone. So I am posting again.

    Let me tell you about my experience with H-1B visas program. I am an American, last year I put in for a Microsoft Access Programmer job in Pittsburgh PA. Well a recruiter called me and told me that I had the job. The recruiter was from a company called JBS Technology (no I hadn’t heard of them either) but the jobs was at CVS Healthcare in Monroeville PA. I have been going to CVS stores all my life so I figured that if I was working at CVS then everything would be okay. Boy was I wrong!

    My first day at work I was asked to go introduce myself to my team. This surprised me because in all the years that I programmed in Microsoft Access I have never worked with a team. I got out my cubicle and went to the back to meet with them. First none of them has cubicles they were all sitting in the hallway (later they were moved into the conference room). Next all 13 of them were H-1B workers from India.

    After speaking with them I learn that they would be working on the Oracle system and working tier 1 tickets. This also surprised me because tier 1 was the lowest level of tickets. You don’t have to do any coding, all that you do is use the interface to look for missing records and resend files. I thought that H-1B workers were brought over here to do jobs that Americans can’t do. Here these people were doing things that any high school grad could do.

    Well, I went right to work. The only training that I received was a week of reading code for the 40 Microsoft Access Databases that I was responsible for. And unlike my H-1B coworkers, I had to do all tickets, tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    They were also given two months of on the job training. So I wondered why would CVS Healthcare go all the way to India to get some people to do the job that any high school grad with the same two months of training could do?

    Well it was because they worked those H-B1 workers like slaves. Since I was in their group I had go go to all of the meeting. After they completed training we had two meetings a day. And although I was hired by JBS Technology I also had a Genpact supervisor and a CVS manager and a CVS supervisor. Well the Genpact supervisor conducted the meeting twice a day. When he first spoke to us he reminded all the H-1B workers that no one in America wanted them there and that he was their only friend. Then he told them that they were going to have to work seven days a week because they were behind because of the training. He said that this would only last for two months just until they caught up. And you didn’t get paid for overtime.

    The Friday before the two months where we were working seven days a week was up it was just in time for “Welcome month”. And coincidently during “Welcome month” we are required to also work seven days a we. But the good news was that we could put in for comp time for working “Welcome month”. One lady made the mistake of asking the CVS manager when she could take her comp time. The CVS manager told the Genpact supervisor and in the next meeting that lady found out not to ever go behind the Genpact supervisor’s back again. Because, you know, he is the only person who wants us there. By the way, nobody ever go any comp time.

    We were also working 10 to 12 hours a day. You couldn’t put it on your timecard because all over time had to be approved a day in advance and just because they Genpact supervisor told everyone what we had to finish before we could leave each day and it always took four more hours to do does not mean that you were approved for overtime.

  3. I work with Indian programmers. They are doing mediocre SQL and VB jobs Americans can do. They are on H1-B visa. Don’t lie to me about how they are highly skilled. This is a way for American companies not to train and develop their own workforce. Its a disgrace politicians allow this to go on for so long.

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