SAP Watch

Sep 13 2007   5:15PM GMT

Thought the H1B ruckus was over? Think again.

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

H1B visas, the golden ticket for foreign IT workers wishing to join the American workforce, has had a turbulent year. On one side, industry heavyweights like Bill Gates pushed hard to increase the number of H1B visas, while IT unions and local politicians pushed back to preserve jobs and decent salaries for U.S. citizens. We covered this quite a bit earlier this year, but as spring gave way to summer, it all seemed to fizzle out into the old status quo.

Well, not quite. You may have caught an eWeek article last week about how new legislation is set to bump up the cost of H1B visas significantly, from $3,500 to $5,000 per application, and a slew of new measures to protect American IT workers’ interests.

Today, InformationWeek reported that 13 state governors have banded together to lobby Congress and Senate for — you guessed it — increasing the number of H1B visas. This is a new level of escalation we have not seen before. Time will tell what impact, if any, this will have, but I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the last word on the issue has not been said yet. Whichever side you root for, stay tuned as we watch for the next move in this high-stakes chess game.

Matt Danielsson
Editor

10  Comments on this Post

 
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  • JackDanahy
    The phrase "protect American workers" seems a bit far fetched, and even mildly racist to me. Work should go to those most able to do it, that is the capitalist way. That means to people from New Jersey, California, Geneva, Paris, or Moscow. I don't think American workers need to be "protected". Considering that America is a country formed by immigrants, it seems to me quite a selfish point of view to assume that there shouldn't be any more. From the point of view of jobs and the US economy, it's better that jobs go to well qualified hard working professionals from over seas living in the US than for the job to be off-shored to another country. When a market sector is profitable, more firms will move in, and competition heats up. Competition and diversity is good in business, and it's good for the economy as well. With H1 visas, more of the money stays in the US, the taxes go to improving the US, and US firms can maintain more local superiority. (Also, it seems thought is never given to Americans who might want to work over seas and have to fight similar battles just to work in another country). The optimal situation is a free market where anyone can live and work where they please, and people are judged by ability rather than nationality.
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  • Mt
    If you want to do something about it, go to numberusa.com
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  • JackDanahy
    how possible is it to get the H1B visa? how can I try it. What are the criteria.
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  • JackDanahy
    Sale -- it's possible but not easy. First off, you have to have a solid education and preferably experience. Then you need to have an American company ready to hire you, pay steep application fees, wait through a tedious bureacracy -- and you have to be quick; H1B visas tend to run out within hours.
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  • JackDanahy
    Goto www.immigrationvoice.org to try and learn how you can help us to lobby and maintain a fair immigration system for Legal Immigration.
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  • JackDanahy
    I dont think is at all racist. To protect soil (and that is what UK and european countries should start doing as well) means that the people who are born in that country who are capable enough to do a job as any other foreigner, should not cut down their earning just because some asian country people with good skills would do the same job, half price. If there won't be any economic competitive factor i bet most of employers, including me, will go for american workers, just for the fact that you dont need to look after the troublesome visa procedures. On the other side, there are foreign companies who actually do not hire any national but, instead, they just bring their own workforce from home, to American Soil, producing earnings to them but nothing to the host country. That is the modus operandi nowadays from asian companies, particularly from India and they do really make good earnings. And they have become more than IT companies, people traders. The question here is, what is more important nation or private economic growth... As much as human beings, we have a bit nature of selfishness and i would keep hiring asian workforce for IT jobs as it really cuts down my costs, in spite of quality, which after long periods of time, it come back to my pocket. Is not easy and is frustrating, but money talks. Now, even with the raise on H1B cost, i can still make it worth. One hint to the law-makers: Some companies with asian origins usually just get a B1-B2 visa for their workers, which allows them to stay upto 6 months. Then they just rotate the people. Same fashion happens in europe (where they can stay for 3 months). That is unfair competition on the cheap labour market, i would keep much more an eye over that, instead of decreasing the number of H1B visas.
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  • JackDanahy
    We must put a stop to immigration now in order to safeguard the American way of life. All these third world people can return to their own countries and cultures any time they like but we have nowhere to go because they are rapidly colonizing our home towns. Its incredibly hypocritical because this would not be allowed to happen in their own countries - millions of American flooding into Brazil, Mexico, India or China. Third world countries have the strongest protectionist trade, labor and immigration laws. We must build our own Iron Curtain now if we are to save what's left of Western civilization.
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  • JackDanahy
    Not all H1B visa holders are SAP consultants. There are several H1B candidates with other trades / skill sets in IT field. I would presume that about 20-30 % may be SAP consultants, with varying level of experience. So, in an upswing job market, where the right SAP skills are really scarce, we need to encourage H1B visas to secure the right skills at right price. Thanks
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  • JackDanahy
    The H1B program was intended to provide employers with a choice that would allow them to hire people from other countries with skills that were either in short supply here or that required a large investment that would make it difficult for the company to fill a position. It was also a first step to citizenship for people from around the world who wanted to become americans and needed a chance to get here. It was never intended to be a program that would provide unlimited employment to the people of other countries or that would allow employers to bring in unlimited numbers of cheap laborers, and that is all the H1B visa is being used for now. It is not bringing in people with skills that are in short supply, but it is rather and excuse for employers to bring in cheap laborers. The american IT worker is at least as productive and capable as anyone being brought in, and any statement or belief that the foreigners are better trained and better skilled is just racist garbage. If we could compete strictly on productivity and skills, there is no doubt in my mind (or in any vetted statistical research) that the american worker would win most contests. But when the real contest is how cheap are you willing to sell yourself, that is where the people of other countries win. If you don't believe that, just look at the impediments other countries place in the way to try to prevent americans from working in their countries.
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  • JackDanahy
    Each nation has only a small percentage of sector that truly required foreign talents. Do not be fooled. But why are we seeing a flood of hire from other countries ? Simple. Government and corporate lust for quick profit and short term gain. Unfortunately we live in an era of "use and dispose" mentality with many short-sighted leaders on the rising. Many those that hit the promotion are those that can bring in "green" figures on their profit statement. I work as SAP consulting in Singapore and everyday i see bad busines decision made in system design setup. The only reason they get buy off from management is because it reduce cost ! In this era, Good leader are profit making leader, regardless of how destructive some of the decison are on long term health of the corporation. And the big boys at the top are all singing the same tune. Sad but unfortunately it is happening everywhere, not just in USA. So you are not alone And i am pessimistic that few Governments all over the world are doing much to turn this around.
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