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Computerworld: Court Orders Three H1-B Sites Disabled


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The first thing you do is ask me for a source that says the numbers went down in the early 200x's.

You then point to a source that says that by 2006 they had recovered.

You then continue with "I am really just not seeing the total collapse of the domestic engineering market . . . "

Neither he nor I have said "total collapse". He has said that the employers were demanding huge increases in H1B quotas, claiming a nationwide shortage, at a time when the jobs were going down.

And I think that's true. The lobbying for increased quotas didn't predict the bubble bursting, so they ended up getting a lot of H-1B's when there was no need for them - it wouldn't be the first time government was too slow to react to economic change.
From that, what I pick up is that maybe employment was due to shrink a bit. But that it may have shrunk more than the previous shrinkages.
My point is that yes, the number of engineering jobs shrunk for two years, but then they went up again. I'm sure that really sucked for some people during those two years, but I think that maybe some of the blame should be on the dot-com bubble bursting rather than H-1B visa holders.

If this was all caused by H-1B visa holders, why wasn't the job market depressed for the entire six years of their tenure after 2000? The evidence shows that the layoffs had a lot more to do with the economy than with the H-1B's.

Actually since I'm the only one required to support his facts I'll again disagree with your claim.

see page 40 from the Michigan law review article on H1B's from 2003


Correlation does not mean direct proportion. Just because the number of CS students goes up doesn't mean that it goes up enough to fill all of the jobs available.
Couple of thoughts here...

First off a recent US government study I have already quoted showed that 20% of H1B applications lied about edication, experience and training. More than half of those were considered outright fraud.


Second thought... More than half of all H1B's who come here fall into labor catagories of entry level or barely qualified. Only 11% fall into catagories of fully experienced...

If about half are entry level, that means almost half are above entry level. And 11% is still a pretty significant number of people.

I agree with you that there is a lot of abuse going on in the H-1B system, and that a lot of the abuse occurs at the entry level, but your own statistics show that there are still large numbers of H-1B visa holders doing what the program was intended to do - fill positions that require high qualifications.

Sure it would. To quote one of my clients. I don't care if they have to do it ten times. Their still cheap keep giving them work. That quote actually was about offshoring, not H1B's but it shows the mind set.

If you can save huge money, Companies will make concessions quality.

Well, companies are free to make that choice. The law should do more to protect the labor market, but whether it is Americans or foreign workers, there will always be trade-offs between expenses and quality.
Used to be most H1B's desired to stay here. That all changed in 2000 (roughly)..... Today most H1B's don't stay here. They go home and take their jobs with them. Some still stay though. I have many friends who were former H1B Visa Holders.
That is really a numbers game. The H-1B quota was raised far too high for the green card quota to accommodate. When the quota is around 60k, it is pretty reasonable for half the H-1B's to find a green card before their visa expires. If the quota is 100k, they are not all going to find a legal way to stay in he country.

One thing about your Matloff article: http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Mich.pdf

In the end, he doesn't call the H-1B program evil, and he doesn't call for it to be scrapped. He wants more labor protections for the American worker, more mobility for the H-1B workers, and he wants automatic green cards for all H-1B holders at the end of their terms. I think that would be great reform that would help us get the right kinds of workers at the right numbers.

The huge explosion of H-1B's in the early 2000's was a mistake, but it is not the cause of the decline in U.S. science and engineering education, it's not going to lead India to surpass the U.S. software industry, and it doesn't mean we should scrap the H-1B program altogether. Professor Matloff and others have made some common-sense proposals for reform that we should definitely consider. Mend it; don't end it.

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