Senator Schumer: H-1B use undercuts pay, discourages tech enrollments
Committee chair says visa program will be 'dramatically restricted' in immigration bill
Computerworld - Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says that the H-1B program has created "multinational temp agencies" that undercut U.S. wages and discourage students from entering tech fields.
Schumer said the H-1B program has morphed into program used to hire foreign tech workers "willing to accept less pay than their American counterparts." He spoke on the Senate floor in advance of its approval Thursday of $600 million for border security that includes an H-1B visa fee increase.
Schumer broadly called these firms "body shops," correcting a characterization he made last week describing firms that use large numbers of H-1B visas as "chop shops."
The impact of the low-wage workers is also "discouraging many of our smartest students from entering the technology industry in the first place," said Schumer. "Students can see that paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for advanced schooling is not worth the cost when the market is being flooded with foreign temporary workers willing do to tech work for far less pay."
Schumer heads the Senate's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Committee and is spearheading work on a comprehensive immigration bill. A bill isn't expected until early next year, after the November elections, but Schumer warned on Thursday that the H-1B visa was "likely to be dramatically restricted" in the bill.
The border security bill imposes a $2,000 fee increase on those firms that have 50% or more of their U.S. employees on H-1B and L-1 visas. That bill, which funds 1,500 new border officers and drone aircraft, awaits the president's signature.
The Senate had previously approved the border security bill, but when it included the visa fee increase, further House action was needed and the Senate had to act again.
Regarding Schumer's point on enrollments, the number of computer science graduates bottomed out in the 2006-07 academic year, with only 8,021 students receiving bachelor's degrees in computer science at the 170 Ph.D.-granting institutions tracked by the Computer Research Association.
But in the past two years, enrollments have increased 14%. The enrollment declines have been blamed on many things, including the dot-com bubble bust and offshore outsourcing, but increasing enrollments may be helped by the growth of computer science in emerging fields such as computational biology.
It may also be seen as a safer choice today than finance.
Norman Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, a longtime visa opponent who testified in Congress on this issue, said in a newsletter this week that Schumer's fee increase is a "a setback for reformers, as well as scapegoating and worse."
"This has long been a tactic of the industry lobbyists and their allies in Congress: Blame the Indians," said Matloff, who argues that every company that uses the H-1B visa is abusing the program by "hiring visa workers instead of U.S. citizens and permanent residents in order to save money."
- GOP presses ahead on H-1B, green cards with vague, muddy statement
- 5 reasons why your IT job search is getting harder
- Professors warn that grads could face competition from H-1B workers
- Infosys ran 'unlawful' visa scheme, U.S. alleges in settlement
- U.S. set to disclose Infosys visa case resolution
- Infosys prepares U.S. settlement over visa use, as it faces new class action suit
- House Democrats push ahead on immigration, H-1B
- Utility cuts IT workforce, hires Indian outsourcers
- IBM settles with U.S. over alleged discrimination in job ads
- H-1B workers in line for Obamacare work
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts