San Diego’s Qualcomm is the fifth-largest user of H-1B talent

More than half of entrants are in computer-related fields, mostly from India

American engineers, scientists, and mathematicians can convincingly show that they are not in short supply, as corporations claim. But increasingly, politicians are siding with big business, which wants the government to loosen restrictions on the H-1B visa program, by which low- to mid-level technologists come to the United States each year from foreign countries.

The H-1B visa recipients, who must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, can stay for three years with an option to extend to six years. Now, the number permitted to enter is capped at 85,000 yearly. (This has changed through the years.) More than half of H-1B entrants are in computer-related fields, mostly from India.

San Diego’s Qualcomm is the fifth-largest user of H-1B talent among major U.S. multinational companies. The other four, beginning with the largest, are Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and Oracle, according to a study published last year by the Brookings Institution. In the 2010–2011 years, San Diego County was the nation’s 15th-largest user of H-1B employees.

The majority of H-1B visas are held by foreign technology workers and engineers working in computer-related fields.

The majority of H-1B visas are held by foreign technology workers and engineers working in computer-related fields.

Brookings interviewed numerous corporations for that study. The report stirred up a storm with such statements as “employers have a difficult time recruiting residents with the skills they need, largely blaming the weak foundation of secondary education in the United States…employers complain that there is a shortage of skilled workers…[some employers] mentioned that they must recruit at over 50 college campuses in the United States to find 100 [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] employees.”

Gene Nelson of San Luis Obispo, a PhD in radiation biophysics and an opponent of H-1B, calls the Brookings study “pathetic baloney.” He and fellow anti-H-1B activists make a good case that the program is basically a scheme to lower the overall wage level in the engineering/computer profession, thus jacking up corporate profits and paving the way for absurdly high top-management pay.

But the opponents’ point of view is coming against powerful obstacles. In the 2012 election, both President Obama and Mitt Romney favored a loosening of H-1B restrictions. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York wants to eliminate the H-1B caps altogether.

Last month, 25 chambers of commerce from across the country announced a coalition named Business for Skilled Worker Immigration, which is pushing to increase availability of H-1B workers. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is one of the 25 founding members. Ruben Barrales, former head of the local chamber, is a member of Partnership for a New American Economy, which is promoting similar goals. Co-chairs include Mayor Bloomberg, Microsoft chief executive Steven Ballmer, and publisher Rupert Murdoch. The partnership claims that 76 percent of all voters favor reform of the skilled worker visa laws, including 87 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Republicans, and 68 percent of Tea Party supporters.

“The status quo is not working,” laments the United States Chamber of Commerce. “The H-1B cap should be significantly raised…so that companies are able to respond adequately to real-world demands.”

At year end 2012, the House of Representatives passed the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Jobs Act of 2012, which would allocate 55,000 visas to high-skilled immigrants holding master’s or doctoral degrees from U.S. institutions. (This program, dealing with highly educated visa holders — not the kind generally admitted through H-1B — is not opposed by some anti–H-1B activists.)

Last August, a federal judge in Alabama threw out a lawsuit filed by an American employee of an India-based company providing H-1B services. The employee claimed that the Indian outsourcer broke the H-1B immigration rules; when the employee tried to complain, he was harassed. The judge said his grievances were not covered under Alabama law. However, a similar whistleblower case against the same company has been filed in California, and a criminal probe against the Indian company, based on the Alabama allegations, is still ongoing.

Despite all these setbacks, the H-1B foes continue battling what they believe are misconceptions. Nelson, for example, points out that under the law, H-1B workers are supposed to be paid a prevailing wage. But “the definition of ‘prevailing wage’ is so loophole-laden” that the H-1Bs’ pay is at least 20 percent lower than that of comparable Americans “and it may be closer to 50 percent,” he says.

That goes to the heart of the opponents’ arguments. “The underpayment of H-1Bs is well-established fact, not rumor, anecdote or ideology,” says the website of Professor Norman Matloff, who teaches computer science at the University of California at Davis. Such low wages bring down the overall salary level for American engineers and computer specialists, permitting companies to pile up profits, claiming there is a labor shortage. “There is no tech labor shortage,” says Matloff, and “no study, other than those sponsored by the industry, has ever shown a shortage.”

Says Matloff, “The world’s ‘best and brightest’ should be welcomed, but only a tiny percentage of H-1Bs are in that league.”

It appears that the companies that most enthusiastically utilize the H-1B program also take advantage of other profit-boosting opportunities that may hurt the nation as a whole. Ron Hira, professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, says that the biggest users of H-1B are also among the companies that outsource the most jobs offshore.

Also, the largest H-1B users tend to be the same companies that, when locating a new plant, squeeze fat subsidies out of financially ailing American cities. These include Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Oracle, and Google, although San Diego’s Qualcomm does not appear to fit neatly into that category. In some cases, the H-1B user, getting a subsidy to build or relocate a plant, “says it will create X number of jobs but consciously avoids saying it will hire locals,” says Nelson. The H-1Bs then use services provided by American governments. It’s another case of “privatization of the gain and socialization of the costs.”

But in the current political environment, the H-1B opponents are having a tough time getting their messages across. ■

Contact Don Bauder at 619-546-8529

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I appreciate this article, Don. Free-market advocate and Nobel economics laureate summed up the H-1B Visa program well in a 2002 ComputerWorld article. He identified the H-1B Visa program as a "government subsidy" program since employers obtained access to higher-skilled labor at below-market wages. Kamal Nath, Commerce Minister of India characterized the H-1B Visa program as the "outsourcing visa" in an April 15, 2007 New York Times article.

The cost avoidances for employers who use H-1B Visa holders instead of experienced U.S. citizen technical professionals are unprecedented. Search by title for the PDF version of my 2012 article, "How Record Immigration Levels Robbed American High-Tech Workers of $10 Trillion." The model that I developed estimates the employer benefit at approximately $150,000 per visa admission.

The challenge for middle-class American citizens being harmed by this form of class warfare is that they are being pitted against the world's poor in a contest that favors the economic elites, (since they designed the program.) I suggest the powerful, no-cost citizen activist tools at websites such as NumbersUSA dot com as a good place to start.

What ideas do you have?

DrGeneNelson: One problem is that the Federal Reserve, and probably the White House, want to keep tech salaries -- and other salaries -- low. When he headed the Fed, Alan Greenspan said as much. The reason is this: the Fed has unprecedentedly, wildly printed money, driving interest rates down to unheard of levels. The Fed intends to keep doing this as long as unemployment remains high. If the economy were to recover, and banks began lending the money from its enormous reserves (thanks to taxpayers' largesse), inflation would erupt. The Fed wants low pay for Americans (other than those at the top) so prices won't soar and/or financial bubbles arise. It's sad, but it is true. Best, Don Bauder

Gene Nelson of San Luis Obispo, a PhD in radiation biophysics and an opponent of H-1B, calls the Brookings study “pathetic baloney.”

I would have said pathetic bullshit myself, but if you know the history of Don and this site , then you know the H-1B VISA scam gets shot full of holes on a regular basis here and the scam of Bill Gtaes et al fools no one.

SurfPup: Take your pick: baloney or bullshit. I know which I would pick for lunch. Best, Don Bauder

  1. A creative and highly skilled engineer creates something innovative.
  2. A new manager/owner comes along, decides that this engineer earns "too much".
  3. The engineer is forced to document exactly how the technology works.
  4. A low-skilled engineer is brought in to learn the technology.
  5. The creative and highly skilled engineer is fired.

A few years later the company is sold because it's fallen behind. The managers get golden parachutes, and the remaining employees get the shaft.

Fred: Unfortunately, you have outlined exactly how it happens. There is no shortage of American engineering talent. In fact, there may be a surplus. But top management wants to drive wages lower so the CEO and his cronies can luxuriate in obscene pay. H-1B helps in that effort. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I admit I've been part of this ugly process too many times. I'm brought in to interview the creative engineer, and shortly thereafter the engineer is replaced.

Most recently this happened at KIT Digital, where I documented the technology created by the Cologne and Stockholm teams because the management decided to get rid of the "too expensive" engineers.

KIT Digital was a giant investment fraud. The CEO, Kaliel Tuzman, of "startup.com" infamy, lied to investors, employees, and the media...so much so that his monthly "All Hands" broadcasts were dubbed "All Hand Jobs" by the employees.

I told you about this confidentially at the time, Don, but since there was no San Diego angle you didn't want to write about it. Now the SEC is investigating, and law firms are jockeying to be the principle plaintiffs.


KIT was quite keen on moving as many jobs as possible to low cost locations, getting rid of expensive American and Western European talent. I would like to see the managers go to jail for their actions, destroying legitimate companies and looting them...but I'm confident they'll get a slap on the wrist at most.

Frankly, the investors who lost money deserve to have been defrauded...this was such an obvious scam, they must have known better and chose to put in money anyway.

I'd go further than Dr. Matloff. The only "reports" which claim "talent shortage" come from polls of STEM execs, but I've never seen an actual market or statistical study which examined supply and demand and price (compensation) that came to that conclusion.

MesaRunner: I was told of one study showing that every year, U.S. universities turn out more engineers than there are jobs for. The H-1B program exacerbates that, putting even more Americans out of work. Actually, if there were a shortage of engineers, their pay would rise. Best, Don Bauder

Very true, In fact government statistics on STEM employment has shown that employment in IT related fields has been relatively flat over the past 10 years.

I'd nominate Fred_Williams for dean of the business college... any business college, except that, if he taught them that, the reaction among the B-school students would be, "Wow! Great idea! Let's tell everyone we know and go do more of this!"

MesaRunner: Unfortunately, beginning in the 1980s, American schools of business actually taught their students lessons in greed. Business schools preached that the only constituency of a board of directors is the shareholder -- the bigger shareholder the better. Our own B schools were saying that company directors had no responsibility to communities, employees, vendors, customers -- just shareholders. Best, Don Bauder

"If the economy were to recover, and banks began lending the money from its enormous reserves (thanks to taxpayers' largesse), inflation would erupt." Don, doesn't inflation usually result from too much demand and too little supply? Why would lending from enormous reserves cause inflation? It would seem that an oversupply of available cash would only be inflationary if there were a larger demand for loans.

Dennis: There are numerous theories about inflation (demand-pull, cost-push, monetary), but in my judgment, all the money the Fed has created won't push up the CPI until the banks begin lending out that money. That would happen when the economy heats up. That's why I don't think the Fed or Wall Street WANTS the economy to heat up: tepid 2% GDP growth will be just fine for Wall Street. Unfortunately, that means Wall Street is living off Main Street's pain. Best, Don Bauder

The main cause of todays inflation is the printing of money, with nothing backing it, like toilet paper.

SurfPup: If inflation heats up, this time it will be monetary inflation -- given us by Bernanke and the Fed. But they are doing their best to make sure the economy does NOT heat up. The Fed is still telling the banks to be careful about lending money. The Fed knows that a strong recovery would be highly inflationary, so it is happy with extremely moderate growth. Out of the other side of his mouth, Bernanke bewails high unemployment and says he wants to fix it. Ha! Best, Don Bauder

But SP the point is that even though we keep hearing fears of inflation there is little evidence of it's existence.

are you crazy????????????? Food and energy prices are sky high, all in the lst 3-4 years.

SurfPup: Much depends on how much weight the statisticians put on food and energy. The Fed inordinately focuses on "core inflation," which excludes food and energy. Do you know anybody who doesn't use food or energy? Best, Don Bauder

Yes Don, they EXCLUDE FOOD, GASOLINE and electricity and natural gas for a reason, if they included it the CPI would be going up at 6% per year. Just like the unemployment rates uses the U-3 measurement rate, which does not include EVERYONE as the U-6 rate does.

SP: Core CPI excludes food and energy. The Fed likes that figure because it claims that food and energy prices are volatile and subject to unpredictable market forces. On the other hand, the Fed may just not want to look at the meaningful number. Best, Don Bauder

Dennis: If you believe the CPI statistics, that is true: inflation remains low. As I have discussed before, there are a lot of tricks to keep the reported CPI down. Still, I agree with you that, statistical manipulation aside, inflation is not a big danger as long as the economy remains weak. And that, unfortunately, is what the Fed and Wall Street want: a tepid economy. Best, Don Bauder

"Food and energy prices are sky high"

And the last several weeks. The weight or volume of containers go down but the price per container tends to stay the same for a while. Sometimes, price increases are masked by shifts to cheaper materials or cheaper workmanship (faster methods which aren't quite as good); this is more often seen in tools, clothing, automobiles, houses. Many measures of price levels fail to take these into account.

The BLS issued a statement that they hadn't been engaged in playing such games, yet, out here in the real world, our costs of living seem to be exploding.

And there's an odd divergence between CPI and PPI. In ye olden days, the WPI and PPI and CPI and the implicit GNP deflator and the implicit GDP deflator tracked each other very very closely. Over the last 30 years or so there has been a huge divergence of CPI from PPI.

MesaRunner: The tricks you mention are definitely vehicles the government uses to bring down the CPI. Incidentally, the Fed is fixated on the PPI, as well as the core CPI, which doesn't include food or energy. Best, Don Bauder

The weight or volume of containers go down but the price per container tends to stay the same for a while

This KILLS me on ice cream! No one makes a true half gallon anymore!

SP: Yes, one way to raise prices is to have clever packaging disguise a decrease in content. I don't know whether the CPI picks that up. Best, Don Bauder

"responsibility to communities, employees, vendors, customers"

That's a bit too hand-wavy, for me. I just want the message driven home that they should not initiate force or fraud and should not violate people's privacy (keeping info longer and/or abusing it for different purposes than those the customer or employee believed it was being used at the time of a transaction, for instance).

"I was told of one study..."

There have been dozens, but 3-4 in particular by B. Lindsay Lowell and Hal Salzman (separately and together) concluded that we've been producing 2-3 times as many DEGREED US citizen STEM workers as we've been employing to do STEM work. Search for econ01NoShortage which links to a recent article about it in a 2011 July Chronicle Higher Education, and EPI article in 2012 December, congressional testimony to the same effect... From that same page: "Lowell, [in 2009 October] noting that U.S. colleges and universities produce 3 times [as many] STEM graduates every year [as] the number of STEM jobs available." He repeated this in a recent panel discussion. Matloff used to have a long-posted and several times updated article which pointed to numerous earlier research reports which concluded there was no shortage, but has withdrawn it in favor of his newer work.

MesaRunner: These stats verify the fact that the U.S. colleges overproduce engineers. Then H-1B exacerbates the problem. Best, Don Bauder

"want to keep tech salaries -- and other salaries -- low."

In the 1930s, the government wanted to sustain excessive price levels, thinking that this would keep salaries/wages from falling, so they destroyed crops and livestock. They didn't understand that, if you want value/goods, they have to be produced, first. When you destroy the goods people are made worse off.

When it comes to supply and demand and price balancing, in this case, the government has increased the supply of currency, thus lowering its value relative to goods and services. People holding currency lose value when that is done, but not people holding other intellectual and physical assets.

I'm not sure how they're keeping the devaluation of the currency within a box, as it were, but they've been doing some of this since about 1980. The job markets have been noticeably weaker since then (with more bodyshopping, longer durations of unemployment...), whether because of it or coincidence from other law and reg changes. It may explain the divergence of CPI from PPI, or that may be just due to a change in definitions. What it boils down to, though, is that the pols have been having their cake and eating it, too, and want to go on doing so without limit, but the economic system inherently knows better, and naturally tries to re-establish sanity, which the pols resist ever more aggressively. The correction is and will continue to be devastating until they stop their fraudulent games.

MesaRunner: The Federal Reserve is certainly printing a vast oversupply of dollars. That knocks down the price of the dollar, and tends to run up stock and bond prices. The Fed has kept rates around zero for years. This has led to distortions in many markets. You are right: this whole thing could crumble. Best, Don Bauder

A lot of this is a self-fullfilling cycle.

When the supply of engineering labor increases the cost of engineering labor (i.e. salaries) goes down. Lower salaries make it less desirable for college students to choose enginnering as a major. This lowers the supply of engineers - seemingly justifying the original assumption.

ImJustABill. That would add up to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Best, Don Bauder

Don, thanks for highlighting this important issue. This is an important issue to all Americans and not just engineers. Why? Because outsourcing and insourcing via the H-1B and many other Visas is the blueprint that Corporations and Wall Street are using to marginalize the middle class. Regardless of income, anyone who collects a paycheck from a company can be replaced using either of these methods and are therefore middle class.

Definitely sad to see that the Democrats have been bought off as much as the Republicans when it comes to increasing the cap on insourcing visas.

This country is doomed. Chronically high unemployment rates during a time of historically low interest rates and record corporate profits should be a cause for Americans to riot in the streets.

Damn was that a good comment SD Engineer, on the money 100%.

Did you know they are now outsourcing legal work to India?????


SurfPup: I remember doing a column for the U-T back in the 1990s when some branch of city government -- it was computer-related -- was sending work to India. Best, Don Bauder

Yes Mumbai is a huge center for financial outsourcing. The work being outsourced is financial analysis, company research, etc.

Crushing the IT job market has worked so well that companies are targeting other industries. Rite-Aid and CVS are both large consumers of H-1Bs. They have discovered they can insource people in order to reduce pharmacy expenses for example.

Same with nursing and also preschool/daycare teachers, both from the Philippines.

SP: Yes, engineers are most affected, but many other kinds of jobs are affected. Best, Don Bauder

sd_engineer: You are right. By shipping jobs overseas, and through such programs as H-1B, American corporations are punishing their own customers, the middle class. Some day, corporations will wake up to what they have done. But now, they are grinning ear to ear over their excessive top management pay, which is the result of the outsourcing. There is no time to think about the long term, management believes. That is what has happened to us: long term thinking is very rare. Best, Don Bauder

Don, it slowly destroys the backbone/tax base of the country, if the work is not performed here no taxes come from it. Simple stuff, but the money the select few get at the expense for the entire country is what rules today. Your comments about corporations serving not just shareholders but the community at large (and how they do not adhere to this wisdom) is the best example of this short term detrimental problem..

sd_engineer: The extremely high profits are phony to a certain degree. The low interest rates permit companies to borrow money and buy back their own stock, thus boosting earnings per share artificially. The low rates also permit companies to make accretive acquisitions that also boost earnings artificially. Then, companies have learned to thrive without raising employment -- through automation and forcing existing employees to work harder. Best, Don Bauder

The corporate rationale for insourcing has been to reduce engineer compensation which has definitely been the case. The sad thing though is that the labor distortion has created a system of apartheid that prefers to hire foreigners (mostly Indians) rather than Americans. I've seen this happen at Qualcomm and most of the engineers that I know have experienced it first-hand. One ex-Qualcomm engineer who was himself a Chinese H-1B Visa holder referred to the "Indian Mafia" during his stint at Qualcomm.

Speaking of Qualcomm, the company has hired close to 10,000 foreign born workers (both H-1B and green card) for a staff of only about 11,000 to 12,000 workers in the US. Qualcomm has publicly stated that 70% of their H-1B hires are Indians. What a stunning statistic and why Qualcomm should be labeled for performing corporate treason.

A study came out today citing Qualcomm's economic benefits to the region. The study cited the local payroll numbers, tax numbers, etc. But how much of that payroll is directly going to Americans? How much of the payroll ends up going to mostly Indians and how much of that flows out of the US economy and back to India?

One other thing about Qualcomm -

Rather than being a consumer of local talent and a job creation engine for Americans, I think it's highly likely that Qualcomm is an exporter of engineering talent to the region. Young engineers are recruited directly overseas, come to the company and work for 10 years or so (waiting for their Green Card) and then leave and work elsewhere. This means that Qualcomm isn't hiring the young talent here and is also contributing to American worker displacement at other companies.

Think of that for a moment and reflect. The biggest employer in San Diego is likely not a net consumer of American workers, but a net sourcer of cheap foreign workers to the region.

sd-engineer: I couldn't say that Qualcomm is a net exporter of engineering talent from San Diego unless I saw figures. For this column, Qualcomm wasn't talking to me. Best, Don Bauder

SurfPup: Yes, it has commented on some other occasions, including previous columns on H-1B, but those times it didn't say much of substance. I keep trying. Best, Don Bauder

It is a hard thing to believe, but consider these points: - Dan Sullivan testified before congress (while lobbying for an increase in the H-1B Visa cap) before congress back ~1999 that foreign workers represented less than 5% of the company workforce. - Since then, Qualcomm total employment in the region has remained relatively flat at around 10,000 employees (give or take a few thousand).. - During that time the company has brought in about 10,000 foreigners into the region on H-1Bs and Green Cards.
- Presumably at least some Americans are also hired in the process.

The only way that these numbers make sense is if there is a net outflow of talent from the company along with massive displacement of American workers (most probably replaced through attrition).

If the company doubled in size while importing 10,000 foreigners I would say that you are probably right, but if you start with around 10,000 American employees, add 10,000 foreigners and end up with 10,000 employees, there hasn't been a net job creation in the area, but rather a net outflow of 10,000 people.

These are all rough numbers of course, but only because Qualcomm refuses to release more information about their hiring practices.

sd_engineer: Is there a way to force Qualcomm to release those numbers through a lawsuit or some legal maneuver? Best, Don Bauder

There is one way - Qualcomm and many other tech monopolies use foreign workers in their equal opportunity headcounts. This in itself should be grounds for someone to go to prison...

Some of the big tech companies in the bay area are being sued to divulge the actual numbers of foreigners because of lawsuits that they are discriminating against American minorities while distorting the equal opportunity headcounts.

I'd love to see that happen to Qualcomm, because I have no doubt that they have the highest percentage of foreign workers of any US tech company.

Don, I don't dispute that the CPI figures are misleading as they don't include fuel & food which are the things that concern most residents, I believe those two items were removed from the CPI some years back (under a republican administration I think), in order to make inflation seem lower than it was and to reduce Social Security COLA's, much the same as the attempt now to use a chained CPI to reduce payments to SS beneficiaries. Unfortunately the CPI is the only set of numbers we have to make an apples to apples comparison over time. Conservative economists have been raising the bogeyman of inflation for over 6 years now in between worrying about deflation. Unless the economy really heats up I see little chance of inflation in the near term.

Unfortunately the CPI is the only set of numbers we have to make an apples to apples comparison over time.

Dennis, the CPI may be the only set of official numbers, but if the numbers are bogus then it cannot be an apples to aples comparison. Food and energy prices were not jumpimg in double digits pre-2007. So comparing the CPI of today to 8- 10-20 years ago is not apples to apples.

SurfPup: Because CPI methodology undergoes minor changes regularly, you can compare CPI now with CPI in a past date. You just have to understand the changes. For example, housing prices some time ago were replaced with what's called a "rental equivalent." You can compare the data, but you have to understand the differences. Best, Don Bauder

Dennis: Food and fuel weren't removed from the CPI. The Fed prefers to look at what's called core CPI, which excludes food and fuel. But the CPI includes them. Best, Don Bauder

Dennis: Reducing COLAs is one reason the government cooks the books to lower the CPI. Another is to bolster consumer confidence. Best, Don Bauder

Inflation is already taking off not because of US consumer demand but foreigners with excess US dollars are starting to spend them.

Talk to any in the cattle and grain industry and they are talking about $10+ a pound for regular hamburger meat, $5 for a box of corn flakes because of the ever increasing demands by the Chinese for meat.

I can 100% confirm the Visas are a total betrayal of American educated citizens getting ripped off for a decent wage or job by bringing in cheap slave labor in the engineering sector. Been out of work for over a year now in Canada who's government has wiped out local engineers and designers. All East Indian and Asians that barely speak english have taken over and its a brutal work environment at the office now. That backstabber Harper has signed papers to crush real canadians that went to college for nothing now. Immigration levels are getting so huge its like an assualt. Half my past co workers and college mates are now unemployed engineers while new immigrants steal there job for half price. Total fraud going on. Thats a fact.

jknorth: I was not aware of the situation in Canada. If the visa program there is even looser than it is in the U.S., our tech companies may choose to move there, or at least open plants there. Best, Don Bauder

Half my past co workers and college mates are now unemployed engineers while new immigrants steal there job for half price. Total fraud going on. Thats a fact.

We all know the H-1B scam here, and I would bet most people outside of this blog know it just as well, it is no longer a secret. But the 1% or running the show, for their benefit and no one else's.

SP: The H-1B program is definitely a big plus for the upper 1% and a punch in the gut to those in the lower income and wealth ranks. H-1B is a contributor to one of our biggest economic problems: the horrifying wealth and income gap between the upper 2% and the rest of society. Best, Don Bauder

I traveled to Toronto many times in a previous job while interacting with Rogers TV. I was stunned to see exactly what you've described. Only in Canada it's not just STEM workers being replaced, it's also low wage jobs like Taxi drivers and fast food. In the US much of the unskilled jobs are being driven by illegal immigration, while in Canada it seems as though legal immigration from India is filling those jobs.

Indian presence is everywhere in Toronto. When I stepped off of the airplane into the lobby there was a huge banner proclaiming, "Celebrating India in Canada!". There was even a kids TV show where the main character was an Indian girl living in Canada, I think it was called "Mindy" or something like that.

sd_engineer: I don't want readers to think that I am opposed to immigration per se. I want a sensible immigration policy in the U.S., just as Obama and Bush wanted. I just have a big problem with H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I totally agree. I'm not anti-immigration or anti-Indian. Many of my friends are Indian and I don't begrudge them for wanting to come to this country for a better life. What I begrudge is the fact that Corporations and Wall Street have such leverage that they are able to bring in massive foreign labor and displace so many Americans in the process. It's not immigration per se that is the problem, it's the volume of immigration and how it's being so massively exploited by corporations. As bad as it is here, it's much worse in Canada.

Diversity has been a strength of this country and something that I liked about the engineering profession in past decades. Unfortunately what we have is anything but diversity. Engineering at companies such as Qualcomm has become monolithically Indian, most of the hiring managers are Indian and unfortunately it's an uphill battle for an American engineer to be hired into these new corporate environments.

One comment though, you mentioned that both Obama and Bush wanted sensible immigration policies. Both Obama and Bush's definition of "sensible" is a massive increase in skilled immigration. Neither president have recognized how badly the H-1B program has hurt innovation in this country (to say nothing of American STEM workers who have been sold out). Both presidents pushed for more of the same (Obama supports the staple a Green Card to diploma policy).

sd_engineer: One of the things I really dislike about H-1B is that it is based on false premises, and the companies using the program know it. 1. There is no shortage of American engineers, as the companies claim. 2. H-1Bs are not highly-educated foreigners who come to the U.S. to fill difficult tech jobs. Generally, they are middle management or below, and they are taking routine jobs. So companies' claims that they must have H-1B because they can't get brilliant, innovative engineers in the U.S. is bogus. Best, Don Bauder

I am 61 and near the end of my career - I have seen this going on since graduation in 1973. It affects ALL engineers!!! Undergrads who go into computer science saw a crash in salaries so dramatic that they went into other disciplines or left the profession: this happened in the late 70s, mid-80s, and 1998-2004. I would wager that an earnings comparison of 20 to 30 years (across GENERATIONS) would show that earnings are nowhere near keeping up with inflation. Don't leave Cisco out of this: they practice the same, and a manager told me that engineers have to meet the (distorted) market like anyone else. In my practice I pay a living wage for engineers and architects: others do not: they don't have to...... I could not live with myself if I did what they are doing. If Joe Public thinks it's only a bunch of whining college boys: think of this: the innovation and invention is done by the engineers and STEMs, more than any other field. Put them out to pasture AND show them a way to rip off their peers, and there is no future for this USA. One more example: John Thain, Mechanical Engineering undergrad at MIT -- went on to financial hijinks that earned a criminal prosecution -- he learned how this new game is played. How can engineers, who bring so much to the table, who will stay up and wrestle with complex problems and do such creative things, allow themselves to be mistreated this way? How can a nation mistreat such an essential source of intellectual creativity?

aecom: You make good points that can be validated with existing statistics. You ask why engineers let this happen: don't blame fellow engineers. It is the chief executives of the companies that shovel money to Congress who are responsible. The H-1B program is just another trick that permits the CEOs to rake in unconscionable pay. Wall Street shares responsibility; all it wants is higher quarterly earnings from companies. It cares not a whit about the social consequences. Best, Don Bauder

How can engineers, who bring so much to the table, who will stay up and wrestle with complex problems and do such creative things, allow themselves to be mistreated this way? How can a nation mistreat such an essential source of intellectual creativity?

Hey it isn't JUST ENGINEERS bub, it is EVERYONE.

SP: Yes, it's not just engineers. It's scientists, medical professionals, etc. Best, Don Bauder

The H-1B VISA scam is the quintessential benchmark of why the country is in the toilet, and basically failing.

SP: There are other equally deleterious benchmarks, but H-1B is certainly one of them. Best, Don Bauder

According to the White House 50% of job growth in the US after WW2 came from technology jobs. Technology is the goose that lays the golden egg. The H-1B Visa is killing the innovation machine and the corporate hacks claim that the reverse is true (that failing to issue more visas will kill innovation).

In the Silicon Valley, the mechanisms for innovation from start-ups is well known. Talented engineers get tired of working for larger staid companies and branch out on their own. That cycle is heavily impacted when the worker is chained to a company for 6 years waiting for a Green Card.

sd_engineer: Yes, technology is our future. But when home-grown engineers cannot reap the fruits of that technology, then we have a problem. Best, Don Bauder

sd_engineer: Yes, H-1B is harming tech. Best, Don Bauder

I think the higher education system is part of the problem. In fact, I think universities are much worse at exploiting foreign labor than the big companies. Let's put some rough numbers on this. The companies might pay an H1B engineer 100k whereas a similarly qualified American engineer might get 120k. At a university, as a grad student, that engineer is only getting paid about 20k (as a graduate student researcher and/or teaching assistant).

In theory, of course, a PhD student is there for an education and to do basic research. However, a lot of that research directly benefits corporate sponsors - or allows professors to launch startups and make millions. I think being a PhD student in engineering amounts to part education, part (very) low wage engineer.

Many engineering PhD programs now typically require 6 or more years of graduate study. The economics of a PhD degree in engineering are such that there is a greater incentive for a foreign national to get a PhD degree than an American citizen. For an American citizen the direct financial incentive is not all that great - it takes a lot of years of higher pay to make up for several years of very low wages. There are more advantages for a foreign national to attain an advanced degree than for an American. The difference between engineering pay vs. average worker pay is much much higher in India and China than the U.S. And if a foreign national wants to stay in the U.S. an advanced degree makes it easier to get a green card.

ImJustABill: You make some very sound points. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I noticed that you referenced the Greenspan comments. His claim was that the US pays the highest rates for skilled labor in the world. A claim that is not true as many industrialized countries are higher (notably Europe). What he really should have focused on was the executive compensation in the US vs the rest of the world which is insane.

Before becoming an engineer I realized that being unskilled in America is a bad place to be. There is too much competition for unskilled jobs from illegal immigration. Construction for example used to be a reasonable profession, but no longer. So I went to school on my own dime, worked my tail off in order to become successful in this field only to find that Wall Street hacks like Greenspan begrudge my earnings and want to take more of it for themselves.

Before becoming an engineer I realized that being unskilled in America is a bad place to be. There is too much competition for unskilled jobs from illegal immigration. Construction for example used to be a reasonable profession, but no longer.

sd_engineer, you are DEFINITELY one of US. Please comment more often.

SP: Agreed. We would like to hear more from sd_engineer, and not just on H-1B. He could contribute on other topics, too. Best, Don Bauder

Thanks guys, I'll definitely try to contribute more in the future. But as an increasingly marginalized engineer I have no time anymore. I work long days and often on weekends. I wish that I had seen this coming and that I studied something other than Computer Science.

Speaking of those college years in the '80s. It's hard to believe but Americans flocked to engineering and CS programs by the droves back then. Engineering programs at UCSD and all of the other colleges were heavily impacted by over enrollment by AMERICAN students. Mainly because of the viewpoint that engineering was a good career and represented good paying jobs. Have times ever changed...

sd_engineer: Greenspan has stated that the vast gap between the superrich and everybody else is a problem -- one that could possibly generate violence. Still, he favored lowering pay of U.S. tech engineers. That's because the Fed has been printing money frenetically, and a stout economic recovery could ignite serious inflation. So Greenspan and Bernanke both want to hold wages down. Best, Don Bauder

Interesting, I hadn't heard the Greenspan comment about the superrich being a problem. From what I'm seeing their policies of holding wages down have been distorted by companies seeking to completely marginalize the field and force everyone into serfdom.

sd_engineer: I believe Greenspan expressed his concern about the wealth/income gap in the book he wrote shortly after he retired. Best, Don Bauder

Below is a recent article that I thought I would share. I think most people remember Cringeley's articles in Computerworld and the other trade magazines during the PC go-go years. At that time he was in the know about the inner workings of most companies and he talked shop with many CEOs. His articles were always on the money and well thought out (as are Don's). He recently came out with a well researched H-1B article that is scathing about what is going on in this country -


He recently came out with a well researched H-1B article that is scathing about what is going on in this country -

BAM.................... da knock out punch!

SP: You read it -- yes, it is excellent. Best, Don Bauder

sd_engineer: Yes, Cringeley's article is superb, and I recommend people read it. Best, Don Bauder

I think in the long run there is a bigger problem with the H-1B programs than lower engineering salaries. The bigger problem is that America is transferring all our technical expertise to foreign nationals who can use that expertise to start overseas companies that compete with American companies. U.S. companies are directly training their competition. In the long run this will weaken America's technical leadership. But oh well, that won't affect this quarter's earnings so who cares?

ImJustABill: That is definitely one of the problems with H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

An even bigger problem is that the US is not the only game in town. If you are super bright then much more attractive opportunities exist OUTSIDE of the US.

We no longer get the "best and brightest" on H1Bs but the rejects that could not find a job in their own country.

Why should any Indian come to the US living 12+ in a 1BR apartment working 168 hours a week for under $800 ??

You come over ONLY IF you are not good enough to find a job in India.

Forbes says the Boeing Dreamliner has become the Nightmare Liner due to shoddy design and manufacturing by offshore contractors. The Dreamliner is a flying coffin and will bankrupt Boeing.


Burwell: Wow. That might be just the news we need to highlight the dangers of offshoring the manufacture of components. Slave wages may beget shoddy workmanship. I don't like to see Boeing be the scapegoat, but it has nobody to blame but itself if the Forbes report is true. Best, Don Bauder

wow is right. Here is an oldie but goodie article that gives some insight into what went on at Boeing. The amazing thing is that a white paper by one of their senior technical engineers told them not to outsource manufacturing because he had seen it kill McDonnell Douglas but they did it anyway. One of the chief execs that made that decision is now CEO of Ford. The new exec put the cost to cleanup the outsourcing mess at 2-3x what it would have cost to build the plane domestically and this was before the current fiasco and groundings. http://seattletimes.com/html/sundaybuzz/2014125414_sundaybuzz06.html#cb=f3924059a7e781c&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fseattletimes.nwsource.com%2Ff2b0ee958463a22&relation=parent.parent&transport=flash&type=resize&height=0

sd_engineer: So there were early warnings. Best, Don Bauder

I believe that the problem will be found to limited to a specific production run of the Li-ion batteries that are produced, yes, by a Japanese company. I believe that the FAA grounding will be lifted by the end of the month, if not sooner. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

tomjohnston: You may be right. Best, Don Bauder

Don, earlier we discussed the stunning possibility that Qualcomm is actually a net generator of tech labor into this region rather than a net consumer of American jobs. Here is one data point that backs up this claim:

According to money magazine, Qualcomm employment increased 6% in 2012 and the company added 794 new jobs. It further states that turnover also ran about 6% which equates to another ~800 new hires: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/2012/snapshots/23.html

H-1B statistics show that Qualcomm received 1600 H1B Visas in 2012: http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Sponsor/Qualcomm/441292.htm

In other words, 6% of the company left to take jobs elsewhere (probably most in San Diego) these openings along with the other 800 new jobs went largely to foreigners. Mathematically this means that Qualcomm was a net generator of ~800 workers into this region in 2012 rather than a consumer of labor.

As a side note, Money magazine also shows that the company received 82,000 job applications in 2012. This clearly shows how American workers are left to play on the companies career website while the jobs go to foreigners.

sd_engineer: Those data would suggest you are right on Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

Qualcomm is about to have a MAJOR layoff.

hoapres: A looming mayor layoff is news to me, but I don't follow the company on a regular basis. Best, Don Bauder

Don't forget Qualcomm is still under investigaion for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over accusations of overseas payoffs. With all the money Irwin Jacobs pumped into the presidential election, there's little likelihood that Qualcomm will be held accountable.

Burwell: A skeptic would see it that way. Best, Don Bauder

Unless and until US STEM workers stand up for ourselves, we do not have any one to blame but ourselves.

Before we can expect the politicians to support our cause, WE HAVE TO SUPPORT OUR CAUSE!!!

And we have just been sitting idly by like a bunch of spectators.

twinsfan: Yes, until American STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workers speak more loudly, those favoring the H-1B abuses will continue to triumph. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I lost the Thomas Jefferson LS thread, but if there was any doubt we are now a third world country that is crumbling, read this;

Law School Grad Robs Bank Because He Has Giant Debt and Can't Afford Diabetes Medicine -- Says He'll Do it Again

Can you imagine graduating from a fairly high-ranked law school only to find yourself a few years later working as a janitor with a $250,000 debt? http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/law-school-grad-robs-bank-because-he-has-giant-debt-and-cant-afford-diabetes

SP: I know a doctor with six children still paying off med school debt. Best, Don Bauder

Surfpuppy619 Yeah, I read about this too. But there's got to a little more to the story than we know at this time. The guy is 49 yrs old, he didn't get his BA until 1998, which took at least 6 yrs, when he 34 and it was another 6 yrs until he got his JD in 2004, when he was 40. Not the usual time line. I am curious as to what else has gone on in the 30 + yrs since he finished high school. 42% of the people with college loan debt are in the 30-50 age group. This guy was already in his mid 30's when he started law school, which is what, probably at least 10 yrs older the when most people start law school? Maybe he should have given that more thought at the time. And at this point, we have only his word that he is diabetic, slightly autistic and $250k in debt. Like I said, has to be more to the story.

tomjohnston: No doubt there is more to the story. We journalists get criticized for omitting key details in a story. But we only have a small amount of room, and if we threw everything in, nobody would read it. Best, Don Bauder

I advise young Americans to avoid STEM careers due to the extremely grim job prospects due to H1B infestation and offshoring.

hoapres: On the other hand, if your skills and life preferences lead you to a STEM career, I would pursue it. I always say that you will be happier being a very good school teacher than being a mediocre accountant, although the latter pays better. Do what you love and are good at. Best, Don Bauder

But most people are going into STEM not because they love it but rather they were lured into "the booming STEM field".

If you want to fight H1B infestation then


That means buy ABSOLUTELY NOTHING outside of basic necessities for a year.

If which won't happen everybody would start living like a North Korean then we shut the US down.

If nobody is buying then nobody will be working.

hoapres: A consumer strike in the U.S. would lead to some reforms in the U.S. -- there is absolutely no question about that. But there would be a lot of pain. Best, Don Bauder

So right you are.

But it is better than doing nothing at all.

hoapres: Trouble is, the pain would be felt by middle and lower income people, who would lose jobs. Those at the top would continue raking in preposterous pay, even as their companies collapsed. Best, Don Bauder

Don't bet on it.

I know of more than one at the top who are pretty upset with my idea. More than one said if everyone lived like you then everybody feels the pain.

You don't keep on raking in preposterous pay without any sales.

hoapres: I follow this a lot. Companies will claim they reimburse their top executives for performance. Then when the company goes to hell, the board decides that it reimburses the top folks for "retention" purposes -- to make sure they don't leave. Profits plunge but topside pay rises. Best, Don Bauder

The big shots get a buyout.

If you don't produce then you get fired.

You get enough money on the way out so you won't have to work again.

If you don't have any sales then you won't have profits and at some point even those at the top will feel the pain.

It won't happen overnight.

America says:

I want YOU to train YOUR Indian H1B replacement.

hoapres: I have heard that complaint from several engineers. Best, Don Bauder

This is 2000 all over again.

We had a MASSIVE increase in the number of H1Bs right before all the planned company layoffs.

We are going to have MASSIVE layoffs in 2013 along with lobbying for an H1B increase.

hoapres: If companies lobby for H-1B increases at the same time they are laying off employees massively, I would suggest these companies have a timing problem. Best, Don Bauder

The companies don't have a timing problem as they want to flood the market with H1Bs to have even lower wages.

It's what I call the "Best and Brightest Oranges!"

Oh know -- orange juice is $2.00/qt! There is a shortage!

We need to import more and more of these "best and brightest" oranges from venezuela, tangier, and whatever, no matter the quality, simply to drive the price down.

They are not best and brightest, they might not even be orange, but it's just a rallying cry to increase supply for the sole sake of driving prices down.

All they want is cheaper oranges, they call them best and brightest to make it seem like a win for everyone when in fact these are rotten fruit that just cost less.

SdTechy: That is a basic argument of those who see through H-1B: big companies bring in foreign workers to mid-level or lower jobs to manipulate downward the general wage level of engineers. Best, Don Bauder

hoapres: I mean political timing; there are good times to lobby and not so good times. Best, Don Bauder

Maybe but things are so blatant know they can lobby 24x7. They know, and congress knows, that "best and brightest" and "more h1b" means "cheaper and more indentured labor".

They can and do lobby 24x7 because they think americans who complain about it are just hillbillies with no skills -- patently untrue.

The H1b is not slavery -- it's indentured servitude -- the next best thing, and that's want the corps want above all.

The fact that H1b is indentured to an employer and cannot shift employment at will, it shows that it's anti-competitive -- something all parties should be against and just a way of not paying Cost of Living and other increases overtime, let alone the base pay which is half.

SdTechy: Many opponents of H-1B say that it is, in essence, indentured servitude. Best, Don Bauder

This is a great article but only touches on the discrimination that we are importing.

Indian (and Chinese) managers routinely discriminate against applicants who are not of their own race, and in some cases, particular region.

They can identify the race, caste, language, etc of the applicant by last name alone.

I know that when I go to interview at many companies in San Diego, as soon as the Indian can see that I'm white, for example, that I'm blackballed and am asked the most ridiculous of tech questions.

People who are discriminated against need to file legal action --- it would be best if whites, blacks or other americans who were discriminated against, by for example, qualcomm filed suit, and finally shine some light on this blatant discrimination.

I'm particularly talking about the harmful infestations, not the supposedly benign infestations.

These are things that are legally actionable now, we don't need to wait for new laws

SdTechy: If these are covered by existing laws, then be heard. Best, Don Bauder

hoapres: I have heard those terms used. Best, Don Bauder

SdTechy: I have heard about this kind of discrimination from others. Best, Don Bauder

25 years from now - when India and China have achieved technical superiority to the U.S. due all the Indian and Chinese engineers and scientists returning home after being educated and trained in the U.S. - they will say no one saw it coming.

Those are two different topics entirely -- H1bs are trained in their own country.

Technological superiority? 2/3 of India doesn't even have running water... FUD

25 years from now, when the only US jobs are working at McDonald's, there is no cheap chinese manufacturing because there is no manufacturing here, and so they decided to raise prices on all the manufactured goods, and all your medical diagnostics are outsourced to India, then, you'll say noone saw it coming.

I think you are missing my point.

The short term problem with H1B's is that they drive down engineering salaries. The long term problem is that a lot of engineers and scientists come over to the U.S. to work at U.S. companies - where they get valuable experience (and in some cases have access to a lot of valuable intellectual property). Some of these workers will eventually return to their native countries where they can take the experience, training, and intellectual property they received in the U.S. and start companies which compete with U.S. companies..

Here's an example - RDA Microelectronics in China. Look at the executive board - http://ir.rdamicro.com/management.cfm most of their leadership has U.S. work experience and/or education (and if rumors are true they're not shy about producing chips which um, borrow a bit of intellectual property here and there).

ImJustABill: We know that our technology has been pilfered. But was it a result of the H-1B program? Good question. After all, so much of our tech manufacturing is done in low- and slave-wage nations. And we wonder why our technology is stolen? Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: The short term problem is real and menacing. The long term problem as you describe it can hurt, too, but, again, I don't think H-1B will be the major villain on that one. Best, Don Bauder

SdTechy: I don't take the gloomy view that 25 years from now, the only US jobs will be working at McDonald's. We will still have a strong, innovative tech base 25 years from now, despite the negative effects of programs such as H-1B. Besides, if the only good jobs would be at McDonald's, McDonald's won't be doing so well, either. There won't be enough disposable income to support fast food companies. Best, Don Bauder

Never underestimate your opponent.

-Sun Tzu, Art of War

ImJustABill: You may be right. But we won't find out for 25 years. I will be 77 this year. I doubt that I will be around in 25 years. Ergo, you won't be able to collect your winnings. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: A high percentage of PhDs in STEM disciplines are foreigners graduating from U.S. universities. They might work in the U.S. and take the technologies back to their homeland. However, the H-1Bs are not high-level scientists or engineers; I don't know how many secrets they will carry home. Best, Don Bauder

Doesn't require much expertise to put a USB stick in a computer, download some important databases, and carry that data home. Just sayin.

Americans as a condition of receiving their severance working proudly together training their Indian H1B replacements to improve corporate profits by exporting jobs to India.

hoapres: You have put your finger on an even bigger problem. For the last several decades, American corporations have focused obsessively on short term profits, to the detriment of their own country and their own markets, because the sending of jobs overseas is a major reason that middle class incomes have barely budged for three decades. Best, Don Bauder

Right well that is a bigger problem with electronic stock trading.

In the old days people would buy and hold stocks (under a mattress) and so they were interested in LONG TERM value --- they want pepsi to be there 50 years from now.

Now people trade electronically, for SHORT TERM profits -- everything can and is a pump and dump scheme.

I'm not sure what the solution to that is however....maybe Gene Nelson might have some anlysis there?

A recent story - not directly related to H1B's but indicative of the mindset of management towards engineering - shows Steve Jobs thought engineers should be treated as indentured servants. Jobs wanted to make a deal with Palm to avoid hiring engineers away from each other (increasing engineer pay in the process)


ImJustABill: That is alarming, but not quite so alarming as Apple making products in Chinese factories that force workers to endure harmful conditions. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: But I believe both topics should be investigated. Best, Don Bauder

One report indicates Apple factory worker pay can be as low as around $1 / hr. In 2011, Cook reportedly made 378M - to round it off I'll say he worked long hours and put in 3780 hrs for the year. So that's about $100,000 / hr.

I'm not sure what legislative action can or should be taken but seriously something isn't right when there is a 100,000 to 1 ratio in hourly compensation from top to bottom.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/apple-ceo-salary-378-million-times-much-steve-154822390.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103798/Revealed-Inside-Apples-Chinese-sweatshop-factory-workers-paid-just-1-12-hour.html

ImJustABill: You are correct. U.S. companies sending jobs abroad to low- and slave-wage nations so CEOs can enjoy egregiously obscene pay will go down in history as one of the cruel (certainly self-destructive or insane) aspects of American culture today. Best, Don Bauder

Jacobs meets with Obama to push for more H-1B Visas: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/06/Qualcomm-Paul-Jacobs-meets-President-Obama/

You would think that being given 10,000 H-1B Visas in 10 years for a workforce of only 12,000 people would be enough. But Jacobs redefines corporate greed. It's kind of satisfying to see Qualcomm mentioned in the same breath as Goldman Sachs though as it makes it clear what Qualcomm is all about...

sd_engineer: Yes, Jacobs recently met with Obama for more H-1Bs. I found it repugnant, too. Best, Don Bauder

Went through the entire comment thread and saw nothing that reveals the behind the scenes, machinations at businesses or institutions that are H-1 B sponsors.

It's my understanding that Federal Grants (taxpayer funds) NIH and various other federal institutes are the source for paying the visa processing fees, the travel to the US for the H-1B holders, and their salaries.

The high instant loss on each tax dollar for the taxpayer, the long term losses with qualified unemployed US citizens, diminishing labor conditions/law standards/justice (H-1B holders are not going to argue 60 hr work weeks), societal and educational ruination to undermine the US as the 1-2% continue their insidious overtaking of the US and transform it into their personal mice colony. . . this is what's transpiring and the H-1B program and cap issue is one of 1-2%-ers keys.

So, it IS all of those STEM participants that are NOT speaking up at their organizations and at the national level that perpetuates and supports the US downfall.

They're reaping great benefits and taking advantage where/when they can with their $200K & up yearly salaries. Fed salary cap is ~$190K, but where there's a will there's a way to pay them more to do their part in this treasonous business.

Even at these salaries the taxpayer continues to pick up the tab for their domestic and foreign escapades to "conference and seminar" several times a year. THAT ADDS UP ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN RESEARCH DOLLARS, as their research staff (yes many H-1Bs too) are privy to travel costs. These are the 1-2%. Oh yes,they're "brilliant". They know this splurging cannot be sustained unless a vast majority is kept VERY poor, sick, medicated, despondent, starved of nutritional food, in need of "healthcare", entertained rather than educated, on & on.

So, let's talk about those wetbacks now and how they're ruining our country and raiding our tax chest by working their asses off for nearly nothing, doing what no high-schooler could or would do even at a decent wage. . . which is to labor at substandard conditions and wages. That's another of the 1-2%-ers keys: distraction and clouding of issues regarding immigration.

Irwin Jacobs chimes in about immigration reform - http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/08/qualcomm-irwin-jacobs-immigration-reform-business/

How convenient that what he wants just happens to reduce workers salaries and puts more money in the Jacobs family pockets....

This issue is about competition. Currently there is a glut of engineer and technology professionals in China and India see: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/06/million-engineers-struggling-to-find-job.html#COBlMVUQkW74vx0J.99 and businesses will find a way to access these people.

The cost of doing business in the USA is too expensive when it's cheaper somewhere else.

I reviewed Don's excellent article and the comment string over five years since the last comment. Even with the change of administrations, the controversial H-1B Visa program remains in the 2002 words of free-market advocate Dr. Milton Friedman a "government subsidy" program. Sadly, the corruption connected with this program remains almost unprecedented. Some key documentation regarding ex-Microsoft lobbyist (and felon) Jack A. Abramoff is found at Exhibit 40 in the case USA v. Abramoff, available at http://www.cwalocal4250.org/article.php?id=a_1220590800-173789&t=h1b&p=1 or via PACER for no cost for most PACER subscribers. The PDF file from a decade ago archived at the CWA 4250 website link includes very-incriminating lobbying disclosure documents that are no longer available from the U.S. government. These 112 pages contained in the file Abramoff.pdf are must-read documents

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