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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
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