As a senior U.S.-born database administrator, with the most in-demand skills (Oracle DBA, Java, JSP [Java server pages], SQL, PL/SQL, more) and no job for two years—not only worried about myself, but my son losing his house (he followed me into IT), I want to thank you. The one thing I think many people miss, is that the immigrant workers are "buying" green cards, the software company is selling access to the U.S., a public asset, being converted to private profit (just like the hog farms that pollute public water, the Texas refineries that pollute the air). It is welfare for billionaires, running companies that use options to avoid taxes, and invest profits in India or China. No one considers the engineers who actually build the software, and who are losing their jobs. It is like Congressman Tom Davis said of H-1B,
``This is not a popular bill with the public. Its popular with the CEOs. … This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money. As your article points out, after they get their green cards, even the immigrant programmers will be pushed aside.
Thanks for thinking about the public, especially those who paid, or are paying, to send their kids to college.
P. Harrison Picot II
Enterprise Systems Engineer
Id like to compliment you on your recent story on the L1 visa program. The subject does get little attention, but hopefully with articles such as yours, that will change.
As an information technology professional who has been displaced by foreign-born workers several times, I appreciate the investigative journalism of Lisa Vaas. I certainly wish that she had used the quote from Immigration Attorney Joel Stewart, who said in 2000, "When employers feel the need to legalize aliens, it may be due to a shortage of suitable U.S. workers, but even in a depressed economy, employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply."
Given that the U.S. is only about 4 percent of the worlds population and admits the most immigrants (more immigrants than the next five nations combined), essentially every U.S. citizen IT professionals position is imperiled by many employers preference for "fresh (inexpensive) young blood"—now mostly from overseas. Learn more about these "stealth" immigration programs at www.ZaZona.com and use the free citizen activism tools at www.NumbersUSA.com. The job you save may be your own.
Gene Nelson, Ph.D.
Congratulations on your excellent article, L1s Slip Past H-1B Curbs.
Thanks for bringing this issue out into the open!!!
I do hope you continue to expose the abuses of the various immigration programs such as H-1B and L1 visas.
There is also the issue of outsourcing.
I dont get it! In President Bushs economic stimulus package there was nary a mention of putting Americans back to work by reduction of the various visa programs that result in foreign workers taking jobs from Americans.
Also he never mentioned outsourcing and its detrimental effects on the American workforce.
Look forward to more of your writings.
Enjoyed your article—one area you might want to consider for a follow-up is the different way wages are treated under the H1-B and L1 visa programs. My experience is that the L1s are being paid their "native" salaries plus a monthly stipend to cover living expenses while the H1-Bs must be paid a "prevailing" wage—this is making it very difficult for companies to "just say no" to L1s due to the low costs compared to consultants or staff.
Richard J McGonegal
Good article that happens to hit close to home. My wife and I both work in IT; the company that employs her is pretty much importing offshore talent to replace local IT employees. My question, especially after reading your article, is this: what really can domestic IT people do? At this juncture, I almost feel as though the industry may not be worth all the effort, time, and expense that one must dedicate in order to even maintain competitiveness and competency.
A local article from January 6, 2003 in the Hartford Courant (Connecticut) pretty much confirms the point in your article: domestic businesses are importing less expensive IT workers from other areas and the local workers are going to suffer for it. Its just sad that in a global economy companies have forgotten about domestic loyalty...
Wish there was something to be done about it, but I cannot see government stepping in considering as Michael Emmons noted, "Congress...created to get cheap labor for their corporations." Hes probably more accurate than anyone really wants to believe...
Thank you for your article and time...