Default
Media Buzz on Increasing H-1B
Default author
August 03, 2010, 11:45 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

You can tell when our economy is doing really lousy — it`s when U.S. companies won`t even hire H-1Bs. Articles like this one are appearing all over the internet and in major newspapers.

The flagging U.S. economy is a major reason why nearly 40,000 H-1B visa application slots are currently unused, and an additional 9,000 slots in the Masters Exemption program are still open.
H-1B Visa Usage Declines Sharply Due to Economy, Bureaucracy, by Wayne Rash, eWeek, 2010-07-26

It might seem like good news that companies aren`t hiring as many H-1Bs as they used to but the problem is that they aren`t hiring Americans either. They just aren`t hiring.

That eWeek article by Wayne Rash is a two part stinker. First he whines and snivels that the numbers of H-1B visa holders that are being hired is diminishing and then he comes up with ridiculous reasons why, including the following:

  • Increased scrutiny of visas for fraud
  • Newark International Airport. The article perpetuated a myth that pervades the internet that Customs and Border Protection agents at Newark denied entry to planeloads full of Indians who had valid H-1B visas.
  • Growing anti foreigner attitudes in the U.S. that, "makes visitors fear for their freedom and for their livelihood."
  • Prince William County in Virginia that has a law similar to Arizona`s SB 1070.
  • SB 1070 — Arizona`s tough immigration law.

Demand for H-1Bs is hitting all time lows so it would be logical to conclude that the last thing anybody would need is to raise the yearly cap so that more visas could be issued — and yet that`s what high-tech employers are calling for!

This article in the Arizona Republic newspaper by John Yantis is another sad example of corporate press releases parading as news:

Obviously, when the economy is bad, it regulates itself as we see in the current environment," said Bob Sakaniwa of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, D.C. "But rest assured, as soon as we get out of this, because companies are expanding and business is gearing up again, we`ll need workers from wherever we can get them. And to artificially cut it off doesn`t seem to make sense."
Tech companies seek to increase cap on visas for foreign-born skilled workers, by John Yantis, Arizona Republic, Aug. 1, 2010

Bob Sakaniwa sounds just like a card shark that deals off the bottom of the deck (watch YouTube video of a real card hustler). Sakaniwa touts the wisdom of letting the economy regulate itself but then he turns right around and says that raising the cap to manipulate the labor market is OK. Sakaniwa wants suckers to believe that there are no alternatives to raising the H-1B cap. He deliberately avoids any mention that companies could raise wages in order to attract Americans that are either equal to or superior to most H-1B visa holders.

That Arizona Republic article has some real gems. Take this one for example.

"Whether it`s ON or any other members of the Semiconductor Industry Association, our use of visas are not an excuse to not hire U.S. citizens," said Colleen McKeown, senior vice president of human resources at Phoenix-based ON Semiconductor.

Apparently McKeown hasn`t been brushing up on her skills lately since for years immigration lawyers have been teaching HR flunkies how to avoid hiring U.S. citizens:

"Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker. ... In a sense it sounds funny, but that`s what we`re trying to do here."
Lawrence Lebowitz, director of marketing for the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby, immigration seminar, Pittsburg, 2007, watch Lebowitz on youtube

McKeown is quoted in the article as if she is an expert when in fact she is shilling for ON Semiconductor. This statement wasn`t challenged even though the notion that H-1Bs aren`t hired for cheap labor has been thoroughly discredited:

McKeown said wages are not the issue when it comes to H-1B hires.

"People get paid the same," she said. "It`s one of the requirements of how the law works. And in a lot of the foreign countries where we do have design centers, the engineers may make as much or more than some of our U.S. folks."

I have a challenge for the Arizona Republic, Sakaniwa, and all Arizona employers: every time you have a job opening offer a salary of $1 million a year, and then let`s see how many qualified Americans apply. If an impartial panel of experts agrees you can`t find qualified American candidates then you will be granted an automatic authorization to hire an H-1B visa holder.

The Arizona Republic rarely reports on the H-1B visa even though it`s a major cause of high-tech unemployment in Arizona. An inordinate amount of the space in that newspaper is devoted to promote open borders radicalism and to stigmatize Arizona leaders who are trying to clean up the immigration mess. Unfortunately most of the editorial staff at the newspaper were eliminated in the name of cost cutting so professional journalistic reviews of articles are done more in the interest of pushing globalist ideologies than in reporting news. This long article reads like it was written as a corporate press release and yet it dominates the front page of the Sunday business section.

Most the remainder of that Sunday edition was devoted to blasting Arizona SB 1070 and any and all people who support tougher immigration laws. The reporter seemed to have no problem finding H-1Bs to interview but couldn`t seem to find one person in the entire Phoenix metropolitan area that could give an alternative opinion on H-1B — like me for instance. More than likely the author of the article was fed material and the interviewees by AILA. Shilling like this usually occurs because reporters are just too damned lazy to find their own sources of information.

Despite the transparent propaganda pitch to push for more H-1B visas there were some interesting tidbits in the article that demonstrate the prevalence of H-1B workers are at some of Arizona`s major high-tech employers.

At Intel Corp., 6.5 percent of its U.S. employees have H-1B visas. The company employs more than 40,000 in the United States and more and 80,000 worldwide.

Judging by the number of Indians who live in apartments close to the Intel plant it`s probably fair to say that in the Chandler area of metro Phoenix the percentage is far higher than 6.5 percent. H-1B visas are not the entire story either since Intel, like most international companies, use large numbers of foreigners on EB green cards and L-1 and B-1 visas. Intel received major tax and environmental concessions from Chandler to build the plant there and in return promised to hire local residents to fill their jobs — of course what they failed to tell the City Council is that the "locals" they would hire would be foreigners from India and China that live near the plant.

At Chandler-based Microchip Technology Inc., 5.5 percent of the employees have H-1Bs. The company employs 5,100 people around the globe.

The following statement by Carr from Microchip is especially telling but only if you read it very closely:

When the H-1B cap was hit in 2007 and 2008, Microchip had to wait to hire the new college graduates in which it was interested.

"That was difficult because we could have hired them much sooner than we were allowed to because we couldn`t get the visa," Carr said. "You can apply as early as April for the October year. If you don`t get your application in before the cap is up, then you have to wait a whole year."

Notice that Microchip would rather wait a couple of years for their chosen foreign students to graduate than to hire Americans. What`s not said is that Microchip was probably employing these students by using Optional Practical Training (OPT) until they could get H-1B visas for them. American graduates or unemployed engineers never had a chance for these jobs.

"There are so many recruiters from different companies that are not willing to sponsor H-1B just because you`re a foreign national," said Angela Shao, who is from China, speaks several languages, and works in ON Semiconductor`s human-resources department. "That`s the most difficult part is to get an offer. Once you get an offer, the process works real well, I think."

Shao is one of 52 H-1B holders at ON Semiconductor.

You gotta give ON Semiconductor credit for ingenuity. They hire Chinese speaking H-1Bs in the HR department so that they can recruit Chinese H-1Bs in the engineering department.

ON`s connection with China is no coincidence. ON and Freescale are Motorola spinoffs that have been offshoring their semiconductor manufacturing and engineering to China for years. This is one more example where H-1B is a necessary component of offshoring because U.S. based companies need intermediaries who can go between both countries to enable knowledge transfer.