Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Senators Finally Realize That Getting Smart Foreigners To Work For US Companies Beats Having Them Work Against US Companies

from the was-it-really-that-hard? dept

We've never really understood the hatred towards the H1-B visa program by a very vocal group of engineers. The H1-B program is designed to have smart, highly skilled foreign workers fill jobs in American companies. While it's true that some companies abuse the system, the best way to deal with that is to fight the abuses -- not kill the entire program. Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job, so it shouldn't be possible to use it for "cheap" labor, as many imply. And, certainly, it looks like some politicians are looking to crack down on the abuses of the program. In the meantime, some other Senators have made a proposal that is sure to set off the folks who hate the H1-B program, especially because it makes a lot of sense. Rather than worry about the ridiculously low cap on such visas allowed each year, the Senators are proposing no cap at all on both H1-B visas and green cards for foreigners with graduate-level degrees from American universities or graduate-level degrees in certain key fields from foreign universities. In other words, it's about encouraging these highly trained, highly skilled people to come work in the US for American companies rather than having them go back to their home countries and work for companies that compete with American companies. Of course, for those who incorrectly view the world of tech jobs as a zero-sum game, they worry that jobs are being "taken away" from Americans. Of course, if they keep all these smart, skilled foreigners working at foreign companies, and those companies put the American companies out of business, it seems like there are a lot more jobs to lose. Instead, by realizing that a functioning tech industry tends to create more jobs, it's smart to encourage more skilled workers to work for American companies than to work against them.

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  1. identicon
    Steevo, 16 May 2007 @ 9:23am

    Re: Waiting for evidence.

    You want evidence?
    Take a look at this:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0420/p03s01-usec.html
    about programmer Michael Emmons, who worked for Siemens ICN in Florida.

    The company imported Indian workers to sit at the fired American's former desks, and do their jobs.

    Not as employees, but as contract employees hired through an Indian agency.

    The agency paid their salaries back in India, they made no money in the US, but were paid "expenses" which were then tax free.

    So here you have people living here in the US, using our roads, sewage system, police services, etc. Paying no taxes whatsoever since they made no money here.

    The company had to pay no social security or medicare taxes as they did for their American workers. They saved a bundle, even if the salary were the same (but I'm sure it's not).

    That's a distortion of the way the system is supposed to work. Outrageous.

    Admittedly these are seemingly another flavor of work visa, L1, but who really cares if the company can get rid of the Americans and replace them with foreigners that they save money on. And suck money out of the social security and medicare system so those of us that are left paying taxes have to make up the difference.

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