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Wed Nov 12, 2014, 11:44 PM

Keystone XL "jobs" vs. H1B jobs

Just a quick rant here. Am I the only one struck by all the bubbling about "jobs" that supposedly will be created by Keystone XL, yet there seems total oblivion to all the REAL JOBS which we give to foreigners every day via H1B visas? My company can't seem to hire anyone for certain tech jobs unless they wait until they can get an H1B.

Where is all the discussion about those jobs? And why we can't seem to hire Americans for these positions?

There is something very wrong with this picture. IMHO.

(and just to be clear, I have no personal issue with the actual people who come in on H1B's. They are just people trying to better their lives and using the opportunities available to them. Most are good people, some are jerks, in approximately the same ratio as Americans I meet.)

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 12:27 AM

1. Ok not the only one but it looks like not many of us. nt

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Response to MH1 (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:00 AM

6. OH, give me a break, I talk about it all the time and keep writing my reps all the time.

Not the Keystone, I talk about that some time, but every day someone gets an earful about H1B visas and that they now want to expand the program because they can't get enough people in to "fill all the spots". Bull shit. I worked with them, this is nothing personal against them, I ended up befriending some of them, but mostly they were under qualified and not because they lied about it. When I complained about the people working for me, I was told I didn't understand economics, finally on division president just blurted out, they get tax breaks for hiring them - I told him I just did not understand why it would not pay better to get the damn job done! idjits. The people who worked for me also were pretty incensed. (anger is catching). The problem was we were an odd shop where ignorant upper management made random technical decisions as advised by those oh so untalented special consultants, and I say this as someone who was a consultant for 40 years. They would buy ridiculous unknown 4gls to speed wok and instead it would drop dead in it's tracks because no one knew these 4GL. They would them look around to staff these jobs and get H1Bs who had to learn this 4gl, instead of getting and keeping someone who would learn it and stick around for more than a year. The H1Bs were rotates so that we would have to teach the newbies over and over. Not to mention when you learn a 4GL you don't have time to develop deep knowledge of how it really works and use it very inefficiently. I change 1 letter in code and a program that ran for 4 hours suddenly ran in seconds. But I had been using that 4GL for over a year, something the H1Bs were not around to learn that well. They kept losing money with our division and blamed American workers for it, but no, it was the stupid decisions by upper management,

My blood pressure goes up just thinking about this,

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:27 AM

2. I was in grad school around Sillicon Vally in the mid-nineties. Knew lots of tech folks.

The H1B program was relatively small (compared to today's size). Folks didn't understand it. Plenty of employable folks (heck they were migrating from top schools to the area from across the country). But even though folks didn't understand it (per "dire need" - they understood they why... there was someone willing to work for quite a bit less for one of those visas. And the push worried many folks. Again - at that point, in the heart of the hi-tech boom, there was no visible need. No companies were withering on the vine because they could not find qualified workers. It was about reaching into cheaper labor markets and increasing profits.

15-20 years later... your post resonates. Even more than back then. How many older hi-tech workers, highly skilled and qualified, are available and capable of empty IT jobs that exist (no need for a pipeline to "create" the job), but are being unfilled while the company waits to get an H1B visa worker at lower price. Cannibal capitalism is very profitable for those at the top.

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Response to salin (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:18 AM

7. Yes. The purpose of the H1B visas is to hire lower cost employees.

There are plenty of American college graduates with tech degrees, and many more who would like to study for one but are limited by the number of slots in programs (again, because many are filled by foreign students who bring more tuition money to the universities.)

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:31 AM

3. The problem with H1Bs is it harms both sides

It features restrictions that they can't leave the company so a worker for Google can't take his talents to Apple if they offer a higher salary, in-effect bringing down the overall wages for all workers. Also, the American citizen worker can still leave the company so that is another reason why they prefer the H1B and why they lobby Congress for more.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:58 AM

4. The people with the skills americans don't have? They were given those skills in US colleges.

 

Most H1B visa holders have transitioned directly from student visas.

But I wish we'd spare some of that concern for blue collar workers who have been displaced by cheap imported labor for decades.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:20 AM

8. Many of those students were accepted to US universities because

they pay out-of-state tuition and don't require financial aid.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:05 AM

5. Would it be better if we handed out citizenship papers at college graduations?

That's the main pipeline for H1-B's. DU is kind of multiple-personality about immigration...

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:21 AM

9. It would be better if we didn't give a preference to these students

based on the fact that many of them pay out of state tuition rates and don't require financial aid.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:22 AM

10. I'd think so

That way companies could compete for their services bringing the overall salaries back up.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 07:09 AM

11. Something like that. Canada's immigration rate is more than double ours and high tech

workers are one of their immigration priorities. When they come to Canada, they are legal, permanent residents covered by Canadian labor laws like everyone else and on a path to become citizens. The potential for exploitation is much less than with any temporary work visa program.

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