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H-1B “Guest Worker” Admissions. George F. McClure Region 3 PACE. Why Guest Workers?. Useful when no resident engineers can be found to do the work H-1B visa process faster than 4 years to produce a college grad Guest workers are indentured, won’t complain. Nonimmigrant H-1B Dates to 1990.

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H 1b guest worker admissions

H-1B “Guest Worker” Admissions

George F. McClure

Region 3 PACE

Why guest workers
Why Guest Workers?

  • Useful when no resident engineers can be found to do the work

  • H-1B visa process faster than 4 years to produce a college grad

  • Guest workers are indentured, won’t complain

Nonimmigrant h 1b dates to 1990
Nonimmigrant H-1B Dates to 1990

  • 65,000 visas per year set by Immigration Act of 1990

  • Visa good for 3 years, renewable for another 3 years

  • Quota first reached in Sep. 1997, again in May 1998

  • Cap raised to 115,000/year for 1999 and 2000

  • To 195,000 for 2001 through FY2003

Our own workers should be hired first
“Our Own Workers Should Be Hired First”

  • In theory, no displacement of U.S. workers for H-1Bs

  • In practice, H-1Bs hired, often without looking very hard for citizen engineers first

  • Why? H-1Bs get the same benefits as other workers – can it be economic?

Ieee had 13 h 1bs
IEEE Had 13 H-1Bs

  • 10 IT engineers, two editors, and a translator

  • Terms expired for three

  • Now down to ten

  • General manager says pay was comparable; couldn’t get engineers when the H-1Bs were brought in

  • See the list at www.zazona.com

Prevailing wages the mantra
Prevailing Wages, the Mantra

  • Prevailing wages must be paid to H-1Bs, IF

    • It is a “H-1B dependent” company

    • Over 15% H-1Bs if over 50 total employees

    • Higher percent for smaller companies

  • On average, wages to 30% lower than U.S.

  • Savings through H-1B amount to subsidies to companies by U.S. taxpayers – Milton Freidman

Foreign students subsidized too
Foreign Students Subsidized, Too

  • Difference between tuition charged and actual cost of education at U.S. colleges = subsidy

  • Foreign students at many state colleges get in-state (lower) tuition = bigger subsidy by taxpayers

  • Even illegal alien students can benefit

  • Most engineering grad students are foreign

Why did the music stop
Why Did the Music Stop?

  • Dot-com collapse

  • September 11

  • Wall Street scandals

  • 163,000 H-1Bs came over in 2001

  • Estimate 90,000 in 2002

  • “Reverse brain drain” now the talk – offshore outsourcing grows (Fortune, Nov. 11, 2002, pp. 39-40)

528 000 it jobs lost in 2001 itaa
528,000 IT Jobs Lost in 2001 - ITAA

  • Information Technology Association of America, a pro-immigration group with 400 member firms and a global subsidiary, had been leading the charge for more H-1Bs

  • Demand forecast by hiring manager polls

  • This shrinkage tracks rise in engineering unemployment – a quarter million jobs lost

Record engineering unemployment
Record Engineering Unemployment

  • Second quarter 2002 unemployment for engineers rose from 3.6% (1Q) to 4.0%

  • EEs rose from 4.1% to 4.8%

  • Computer scientists/systems analysts from 4.8% to 5.3%

  • Overall unemployment rate declined a half percent while EE/CS unemployment rose

  • Third quarter only mgr/prof. up (to 3.4%); EEs down to 4.0%, CS down to 4.6%

Where are the students
Where Are the Students?

  • High unemployment discourages student entry

  • A 4-year transport lag – not in sync

  • Fewer students in pipeline = call for more H-1Bs

  • While jobs are scarce, we can have a million H-1Bs competing for them

  • Students don’t see opportunity for them; BS grads 22,911 in 1992, 24,524 in 2001

Are visas abused
Are Visas Abused?

  • Holders are not tracked

  • 3 million holders of expired visas stay as illegal aliens (National Review, Oct. 28, 2002, p. 34)

  • Dept. of Labor investigates only if a complaint is made: who is to complain?

    • The employer, who likes an uncomplaining hard worker?

    • The guest worker, who fears he may be ejected?

U s patriot act calls for visa tracking
U.S. Patriot Act Calls for Visa Tracking

  • Aftermath of 9-11

  • Linked database pilot system demonstrated

  • None fielded

  • Likely candidates lack interconnected databases

  • Visitor visas may be cut from 6 months to one month, but tourism industry opposes this

What should be done
What Should Be Done?

  • A new cry to raise the cap will be heard in 2003

  • Drop the cap back to 65,000 where it started

  • Eliminate the H-1B visa renewal for the second three years

  • Require all users of H-1Bs to recruit U.S. workers first, and not displace them with H-1Bs

  • Institute a visa tracking system for guest workers and students

How else can foreign tech workers apply
How Else Can Foreign Tech-Workers Apply?

  • B-1: Visitor for business

  • E: Treaty trader or investor

  • F: Academic student

  • J: Exchange visitor

  • L-1: Intra-company transfer - unlimited

  • O: Extraordinary ability

  • TN: NAFTA Professional

Business permanent immigration 120 000 year
Business Permanent Immigration: 120,000/Year

  • EB-1: Extraordinary ability – professors, researchers, multinational executives – 40K/yr

  • EB-2: Advanced degree professionals – 40K/yr

  • EB-3: Baccalaurate degree professionals, certain skilled and unskilled workers - 40K/yr

Visa funded training program
Visa-Funded Training Program

  • Starting in 2000, a $1,000 fee was charged for every H-1B visa ($500 earlier)

  • Law called for retraining of displaced U.S. workers with fees

  • All H-1Bs are degreed; no trainees were degreed

  • $138 million in training fund at last report (May 2002)

Omb recommendation
OMB Recommendation

  • Office of Management & Budget called training program ineffective;

  • Said to use the money for faster certification of foreign workers

  • CWA objected to moving the money

  • GAO did an investigation, issued report

  • IEEE-USA recommended direct grants to affected engineers for retraining, not done