Job ad for student visa stirs debate
Recruiting of Optional Practical Training workers directly for tech jobs is controversial because they are not paid prevailing wages
Computerworld - Monday marked the start of the 2013 federal fiscal year, and with it the release of a new batch of H-1B visas.
The 85,000 H-1B visa cap, including the 20,000 visas that are set aside for advanced degree graduates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees, was exhausted in less than two months this year. And some STEM students, who were unable to get an H-1B visa, may use the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program as a lifeline to the work visa.
The OPT program can function as internship vehicle, a chance to gain experience in the U.S. before returning home, as well as a bridge to an H-1B visa once more visas are available this time next year.
Unlike a work visa, employers are not obligated to pay OPT workers prevailing wages protections. Some employers are recruiting OPT workers directly, and this helps to make it controversial.
The OPT program was limited to 12 months until 2008. Congress, deadlocked over immigration reform, was not raising the H-1B cap, so the Bush administration expanded the OPT program from 12 months to 29 months for STEM graduates. The Obama administration has kept this extension in place and has even expanded the number of eligible degrees.
The OPT extension was challenged in federal court by a consortium of groups, which argued that it depressed wages and cost U.S. workers job opportunities.
John Miano, the founder of the Programmers Guild, is one of the plaintiffs and an attorney on the case. He continues to argue that OPT program is a problem for U.S. workers.
Miano, in a post he wrote recently for the Center for Immigration Studies, cited an IBM India job ad on Monster.com for a full-time software engineer with one to two years of experience and a master's degree.
The advertisement, which is no longer posted, sought someone with an OPT work permit, someone who could is "authorized to work both in India and in the U.S. on Optional Practical Training." The advertisement was part of a program, called GBS LEAD (Leadership, Excellence, and Accelerated Development) Program "to develop technical leaders to work for clients around the world."
But from Miano's perspective, the job ad was saying this: "You have to be a foreign worker from India to apply for this job in the United States."
Douglas Shelton, a spokesman for IBM, disputed the claim "that these are U.S. based jobs 'taken' by foreign workers," he said. "They're not."
He said that the contact information, including the telephone number, is from IBM India. "This is not a U.S.-based job," said Shelton. "IBM provides 'fast track' training in the U.S. and these grads then go to work in India."
- Court case offers a peek at how H-1B-fueled discrimination works
- Obama has big options for green card, H-1B reform without Congress
- An H-1B whistleblower tries again for justice
- If immigration reform is dead, so is raising the H-1B cap
- Many comments on new H-1B rule, but few are 'unique'
- Readers rant about IT worker who trained H1-B replacement
- Cantor, a reliable 'yes' vote for raising the H-1B visa cap, is unseated
- This IT worker had to train an H-1B replacement
- An H-1B cap hike would mean a grim future for workers
- Frustration, anger over new H-1B rule finds voice on U.S. site
- SIP Migration: Addressing CIOs' Concerns Recent data from IDG Research shows that many IT executives are counting on SIP to help them meet employee efficiency and customer experience...
- SBIC: Transforming Information Security This report combines perspectives on technologies with experience in strategy to help security teams navigate complex decisions regarding technology deployments while maximizing investments.
- InfoTech: Cloud File Sharing Organizations are increasingly turning to cloud file sharing solutions to meet end-user's needs for a lightweight and effective collaboration tool. In this report,...
- Rethinking Backup and Recovery As enterprises continue to transform their data centers, and virtualization plays an increasing role in their IT infrastructures, the way data is backed...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed in recent years, and it continues to escalate. All Education/Training White Papers | Webcasts