Thursday, April 23, 2009

an item recieved in the mail

I spent more than 20 years in the Information Systems world, computers. I have programmed computers, designed accounting systems for computers, written books about computers and managed hundreds of computers. For years most of my friends were also in computer systems. One by one they lost their jobs and wandered off onto the void. It became harder and harder to get jobs in information systems regardless of experience.

The last time I was in a large data center I was the only American citizen in the building. I'm not exaggerating. Everyone working in the data center was from South Asia. Every one working in the data center was working on an H1b visa. A visa that allows American companies to bring technical expertise from outside the U.S. if no such expertise can be found within the U.S. Of course, persons with H1b visas are supposed to be paid the same as their American counterparts which don't exist because if they did exist there would be no need for H1b visas holders.

I got this via email. My own opinion is that we should drop the H1b visa program altogether. It's clearly been abused. This is food for thought.

Durbin bill introduced today: takes discrimination of US workers head-on!
Legislation offered today by Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Grassley (R-IA) may finally remove the handcuffs that have long prevented effective federal policing of H-1b job outsourcing based on discrimination against US workers.
"Congress needs to put their "big-boy pants" on and fast-track this bill up to the President's desk," demanded Conroy. "IT professionals are now poised to join with the AFL-CIO and other national groups to make corporations play fair - now. No nation can remain strong when laws allow corporations to bypass its own citizens."
"We're thrilled that Senators Durbin and Grassley are requiring employers to seek local talent first. They recognize that American IT professionals have the talent, know-how and experience to push America’s economic recovery into high-gear," said Donna Conroy, a former IT professional and Director of Bright Futrue Jobs.

Here's a snippet of Durbin's press release:
Employers can legally discriminate against qualified Americans by firing them without cause and recruiting only H-1B guest-workers to replace them. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has said: “H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of a foreign worker.” Some companies that discriminate against American workers are so brazen that their job advertisements say “H-1B visa holders only.” And some companies in the United States have workforces that consist almost entirely of H-1B guest-workers.

To address these problems, the Durbin-Grassley bill would, among other things:

  • Require all employers who want to hire an H-1B guest-worker to first make a good-faith attempt to recruit a qualified American worker. Employers would be prohibited from using H-1B visa holders to displace qualified American workers.
  • Prohibit the blatantly discriminatory practice of “H-1B only” ads and prohibit employers from hiring additional H-1B and L-1 guest-workers if more than 50% of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

Here's the entire release:

Who We Are: is a grassroots lobbying campaign dedicated to counteracting claims that Americans can’t do science and technology. We lobby to require employers to seek local talent for US job openings before recruiting abroad.

Our exposure of federal government documents declaring that the H-1b law’s intention is to bypass the US workforce resulted in the introduction of the bipartisan Durbin-Grassley “"The H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007" (S. 1035). We were instrumental in securing the passage of a Cook County resolution urging passage of the Durbin reform bill in September, 2007.

Donna Conroy
Chicago, IL

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