Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government United States News

Judge Rejects H-1B Visa Injunction 442

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-america dept.
theodp writes "Judge Faith Hochberg has denied a preliminary injunction sought by the Programmers Guild to put a hold on a controversial 'emergency' rule change by the Department of Homeland Security to permit foreign students to work continuously in the US for two-and-a-half years after graduation without an H-1B visa. Hochberg indicated she failed to see how an increased labor supply could result in wage depression for engineers and computer workers. That seems disingenuous, since in Andaya v. Citizens Mortgage Corporation, Judge Hochberg recently saw first-hand how a US employer got away with paying an H-1B computer engineer as little as $15,000 to do a job with a 'prevailing wage rate' of $41,000. In that case, Hochberg ruled against Filipino H-1B visa holder Almira Andaya, arguing that 'nonpayment of wages as listed on the H-1B visa petition ... does not raise a substantial question of federal law.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Judge Rejects H-1B Visa Injunction

Comments Filter:
  • by pimpimpim (811140) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:19AM (#24625777)

    Welcome to the country of unlimited possibilities ... ... to get ripped off!

    Really, both the H1-B Visa holders and US employees are at a loss here.

  • by yakiimo (1024339) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:22AM (#24625789)

    I find it interesting that Slashdotters and the posted articles tend to be quite libertarian on many issues, with one of the exceptions being protection of the tech jobs market. Isn't it a bit hypocritical or am I missing something?

    • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:28AM (#24625809) Homepage Journal

      I find it interesting that Slashdotters and the posted articles tend to be quite libertarian on many issues, with one of the exceptions being protection of the tech jobs market. Isn't it a bit hypocritical or am I missing something?

      What you're missing is that open borders are more libertarian than the H-1B system, which supposedly serves to create an underclass of workers with much less leverage to get reasonable (compared to other people here) pay.

      • by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:00AM (#24625979)

        I'd mod parent down, but I'd rather explain why I disagree. In what follows, "you" refers to "libertarian Slashdotters", not necessarily to the parent.

        You say "open borders are more libertarian than the H1-B system", which is true, but a generous H-1B program would mean a more open border than what we have now. The grandparent is correct, that it's hypocritical to oppose a step in what you claim is the "right" direction.

        You say a generous H-1B program would "create an underclass of workers" -- but a truly open border would be even worse in this respect, since it would drastically increase the number of U.S. resident programmers willing to work for bottom dollar.

        And the elephant in the room here is that visas are irrelevant in this case. I can't think of a job that can be more easily offshored than computer programming. If you tightly restrict immigration of programmers into the U.S., they'll all set up shop in their home countries, where they can charge even less due to lower cost of living.

        And if you as a programmer don't think you're going to be seriously competing against China- and India-resident programmers in a few years, you haven't been paying attention.

        I say, open the borders, let everybody in, in every profession. It'll depress our wages, but at least it'll keep immigrant workers spending their money in *our* economy, and hopefully some of them will decide to become citizens and come to expect our standards of living.

        • by strabes (1075839)
          Good comment. Free trade in people/labor is little different than free trade in goods and services. If the latter is good for everyone (except the domestic producers of that product) then how can the former be bad?
          • by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @10:44AM (#24626681)

            Or to put it another way: to make stuff, you can either bring the workers to where the factories are, or vice versa. US immigration policy prevents the labor from moving ... so the factories move to where the labor is.

            It's futile to restrict labor while allowing free flow of goods.

            Tech jobs are an extreme case: there are no raw materials, there is no factory, the products are nothing but data bits. Moving the jobs elsewhere is a piece of cake, so restricting immigration is utterly pointless.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Mr. Slippery (47854)

            If the latter is good for everyone (except the domestic producers of that product) then how can the former be bad?

            When "free trade" includes a race to the bottom in wages, working conditions, environmental standards, product quality, and the maximization of external costs, "free trade" is not good for everyone.

            When folks in Germany or Japan can build a better car for a lower price then U.S. automakers, while paying employees a good wage, giving them good working conditions, and keeping the environment r

        • You say "open borders are more libertarian than the H1-B system", which is true, but a generous H-1B program would mean a more open border than what we have now. The grandparent is correct, that it's hypocritical to oppose a step in what you claim is the "right" direction.

          IIRC, this particular change wasn't made "properly".

          You say a generous H-1B program would "create an underclass of workers" -- but a truly open border would be even worse in this respect, since it would drastically increase the number of U.S. resident programmers willing to work for bottom dollar.

          No, "underclass" as in "fewer legal options". My understanding is that a H-1B comes with requirements about always having a job (and maybe requirements that the employer fill out extra paperwork?), this makes it a bit harder to go to a different employer if you're being treated like crap.

          And if you as a programmer don't think you're going to be seriously competing against China- and India-resident programmers in a few years, you haven't been paying attention.

          I've heard that some companies are finding that the language and time-zone barriers involved often make this totally not worth it.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:36AM (#24626191)

            I've heard that some companies are finding that the language and time-zone barriers involved often make this totally not worth it.

            Because they're doing it wrong. You need to outsource the project management and a level of QA too, you can't go half-way.

            Once you've got enough that they can effectively run the project on their own time in their own language, all that's left to do in the States is a final QA check to make sure what was created matches the requirements.

            Programming isn't magic. There's nothing about it that makes US programmers better than foreign programmers. If you've been paying attention to the US school system, you'd notice that there is quite a lot that makes foreign programmers superior to US programmers. There's a reason most Linux programmers aren't from the US.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              I'm a Linux programmer from the US. I don't do programming anymore because the pay is crap, hours suck, no job security, and whimsical companies. The truth is, I make more now teaching English than as a programmer with 13 years in IT. Can you guess why? Because I suck at programming? Nope. Because I don't have experience? Nope. Because there are no jobs available? Nope. It's because any company can go get an H1-B worker who will work for beans, overtime without pay, etc. Of course, many of those companies
          • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @12:59PM (#24627585) Journal

            The problem with the H1-B is sh*t like this [wordpress.com]. The WHOLE POINT of the H1-B program was so that when the US had a SHORTAGE of skilled workers in an area of expertise the H1-B would be a CYA until our schools caught up with supply and demand. Instead it has been perverted into a way to turn jobs that require a college degree into McJobs that no American can afford thanks to our high cost of education.

            Actually,if you think about it,it is a lot like another popular slashdot subject,copyrights. The copyright laws were originally written to fill an important role: to allow the small playright or musician a LIMITED amount of time to earn money from his creation,in order to encourage him/her to create more and add to our public domain. Just like the H1-B,the corporations perverted it into an unlimited source of revenue creation.

            I have NO problem with bringing an Indian over here when we have a SHORTAGE in a field,just as I have no problem with a 15-25 year copyright to allow creators to profit from their creations. What I DO have a problem with is having to try to compete on my own soil with a guy who can live on $15K thanks to his low cost of education while mine will cost in the end nearly $100K,just as I have a problem with my great grandkids being dead before they'll ever see Steamboat Willie end up public domain. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by tftp (111690)

              I have NO problem with bringing an Indian over here when we have a SHORTAGE in a field

              You will ALWAYS have a shortage in the field when employers want to sift through 100,000 applicants and find just one who is absolutely best for this job (or so they think.) In other words, they want the 0.001% of Earth's geniuses gathered from the entire planet.

              This is a problem because there is no simple criteria of who is fit to do this and that. If you dig trenches, anyone who can dig a trench qualifies, and it's

              • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @02:27PM (#24628219) Journal

                Actually the problem is more and more companies are using "How NOT to hire an American" as a damned blueprint. Just looking in the want ads the other day I saw ad after ad like this "Ten years of Java exp required,MSCE required,C++ cert required,ten years exp required in GUI design." How much were they paying for all that experience? $19K. There is NO WAY in hell any American could live on 19K with the amount of debt required to get all those degrees and certs,and they know it. Which is of course why they do it. Then they can bring an indentured servant over from India and treat him like dirt for $19K because if he complains he is on a boat home.

                Again,I have NO PROBLEM competing on a fair and level playing field,but that isn't what we got. What we have is the pee wee football team(us) going up against the Denver broncos(them),and the Broncos are allowed to play without penalty. Our companies just can't dump toxins in the river and poison everyone,their companies can,so we can't compete. Likewise we have to pay 100K+ for our education,with the costs going up every day. They pay less than 1/15th what we do for an education,therefor we simply can't compete.

                My guess is after the economy collapses because there isn't enough money in the world to deal with the debt we Americans have to take on just to get ahead(I know I'm looking at 85-95K just for my education,not counting the certs I'll need to add) we will probably lock down the borders and go through another period of isolationism. because we simply can't sustain the giant black hole which is the product of all our money leaving this country with less than 1/100 of it ever coming back. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by molarmass192 (608071)
                  ... and therein lies the problem with the H1B, it's held by the company. If H1Bs were held by the petitioned, then they'd be free to move to the company willing to pay the highest wage. As it stands, the avenue to higher wages is closed under an H1B. I don't have a problem with people coming here to work. I *DO* have a problem with a system that effectively *FORCES* a people to accept below market wages for 6 years, knowing that they can petition for permanent residence once their "debt" to the company is p
          • by mjpaci (33725) * on Saturday August 16, 2008 @01:30PM (#24627817) Homepage Journal

            I've worked with offshore programmers in both China and India. Time zones make it difficult, but the Indian company moved their working hours so there'd be more overlap. China had swing shifts going. Getting someone to talk to wasn't hard.

            Understanding them was difficult. I found the Indians to have better English, both in terms of grammar AND accent.

            Both produced working code and very, very good technical documentation.

            --Mike

        • H1B's would not depress wages if they made the simple change that the H1B visa holder could change jobs at will. Right now, H1B wages are depressed precisely because the visa holder will be deported if they quit.

          "Hey boss! I found out that minimum wage pays more than you pay!

          Oh, sorry about that. Let me discuss your feelings with the IMS.

          Oh dear, where did my 'valued' employee get to?"

          The system right now pits the Visa holder

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:57AM (#24626321)

            As a H1B visa holder, let me just squash this myth right here: H1B visa holders can quit and change jobs at will. If you quit, you have 60 days to find a new job before you are asked to leave the country. Most people I know find a job first and then leave. And there are no binding contracts or such associated with the visa. And there's only minor paperwork involved when changing jobs. So yeah, your above-mentioned scenario is total hogwash.

            But hey, don't let me and my facts get into your way of perpetuating anti-immigration propaganda.

            • B.S. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2008 @10:26AM (#24626545)

              No, it's not hogwash.

              I've worked for employers who do this routinely.

              But let's talk about the process. If a visa holder wants to leave, he must first find another employer willing to accept (a) H1B's (which eliminates all but large businesses (b) H1B transfers (which eliminates even more companies).

              If you are an H1B, and you make noise about leaving, your employer simply calls the IMS and you have a few days to leave the country.

              Let's be real here... if H1B visa holders had freedom of movement, then their wages would be no different than prevailing wages. The fact that you have skilled professionals from overseas working for $25-50K (I made more than that out of college 30 years ago) either says that (a) the wage supply is too large (which undercuts the arguments for H1B's) (b) there is an economic barrier people with H1B's that prevents them from exercising their rights.

              I don't have an ax to grind here, and I think that there really should *not* be a barrier for skilled people to come into the United States, but I think it benefits everyone to eliminate the H1B and simply allow any highly skilled person to enter the United States. I don't see the downside, provided they have the same ability to negotiate wages as people who live here.

              • Re:B.S. (Score:5, Interesting)

                by vk2 (753291) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @12:06PM (#24627245) Journal
                As a manager who hires H1B on a regular basis, I can attest that its not as easy as you say to get INS/USCIS to deport an H1B. Once an H1B gets a job as an employee (not a contractor) his immigration status is kind of immaterial, its only important as an expense for visa renewals and green card application. Once a H1B is an employee he is/has to be treated in a similar way as any other employee - failing to do will be inviting discrimination lawsuits. Almost all midsize/large corporations do not go all the way up to USCIS/INS to get a visa cancelled just because of trivial work/life balance mismatch between employee and job requirements. Off course serious misconduct is always pursued to see that the employee returns to his home country. This is done to maintain good company image with the INS/USCIS. When the wheels in HR turn to get the visa canceled, its already being transferred to another employee.
            • And there are no binding contracts or such associated with the visa.

              In your case, perhaps. It's not universally true, however.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2008 @11:56AM (#24627179)

              H1B visa holders can quit and change jobs at will.

              Sounds like you are not applying for a green card. Most H1B visa holders are looking for green cards. The process takes at least 3 years - probably more now with all the DHS bullshit. In order to get a green card, your employer has to sponsor you. If you change jobs, that means you change employers which means starting the green card application process all over again. Since H1B visas (last I checked) can only be used for up to 6 years max, changing employers after the first year or two puts the green card at risk. Once the H1B visa expires, all green card application paperwork is terminated.

              • by GBuddha (1143771) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @03:41PM (#24628843)
                This is partly true. There are 3 stages in the Green Card process - PERM, I-140 and I-485 (a.k.a. Adjustment of Status). The day the PERM application is filed is called the priority date and roughly decides your place in the queue. Roughly because the USCIS frequently processes out of order.

                After the I-485 has been filed and pending for over 180 days and the I-140 has been approved, the employee can switch jobs as long as it's in a similar position. It's also possible to recapture the priority date by having another employer file for PERM and I-140 if the old I-140 has been approved and not been revoked by the previous employer.

                As long as you have an approved PERM and/or I-140 it's fairly easy to keep extending the H-1B indefinitely beyond the 6 year period till your I-485 gets approved. You can also choose to work on EAD instead of H-1B if the I-485 application is pending.

                The biggest hiccup in the Green Card process is the per country limit of 7% of the quota which keeps applicants from large countries like India and China waiting in line indefinitely while applicants from most other countries get approved a lot sooner because they are not affected by the per country quotas.
        • by Bombula (670389) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @10:14AM (#24626453)

          I say, open the borders, let everybody in, in every profession. It'll depress our wages, but at least it'll keep immigrant workers spending their money in *our* economy, and hopefully some of them will decide to become citizens and come to expect our standards of living.

          Caught between a rock and a hard place. If we employ protectionism, jobs will get offshored and that screws us by putting downward pressure on wages at home. If we open the borders, the downward wage pressure is the same and we're screwed. Either way, we're screwed. You're right that having people here keeps more money in our economy, but that's like saying, "well they put a boot in our ass but at least it wasn't a steel-toed boot."

          Basically, thanks to globalization and the world being 'flat' and all that, our standard of living is going to get reduced to the lowest common denominator worldwide one way or the other. So, we're fucked, because as long as we adhere to a growth-based economy and as long as population worldwide is growing, we're headed inexorably toward a standard of living like India and away from one like, say, Iceland. Viva la globalization!

          If there's any solution, it probably involves draconian protectionism. Protectionism usually hits rich people hardest because it fucks big companies (small companies serving local markets do OK without globalization), so as long as the rich and the big corporations control our politics it ain't happenin.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Your comments are very pessimistic, and I disagree with them.

            Yes, maybe we will have a standard of living like India, but not because we've gone down in our standard of living... it's because they will have come up. India has grown very well in the last 15 years, and so have we. I believe this illustrates that a rising tide can raise all ships. A prosperous India is in everyone's best interest, esp as a counter-balance to China.

            Also, you are incorrect, protectionism does NOT hit rich people the h
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheSync (5291)

            Basically, thanks to globalization and the world being 'flat' and all that, our standard of living is going to get reduced to the lowest common denominator worldwide one way or the other.

            Funny thing is that this isn't actually happening. Developed countries continue to grow their GDP, the entire world GDP is growing, while at the same time hundreds of millions of people are being lifted out of absolute poverty in developing countries.

        • Open the boarders - but require these truly need professionals be given Green Card. Improve the labor pool. Also hold the payscale up. Because now they are competing fairly.

          Today outsourcing is about coders not developers. In the US, we are more inline with developers - they think about the project and come up with their own ideas and improve the project. Coders just follow instruction and nothing more.

          In the last century, this conversation would be about craftsmen and assembly workers. The first work

        • by Tim C (15259) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @10:52AM (#24626725)

          I'd mod parent down, but I'd rather explain why I disagree.

          Good. Moderating a post down simply because you disagree with it is an abuse of the moderation system - you may notice that there are no "-1, Wrong" or "-1, I Disagree" options.

          • However... (Score:4, Funny)

            by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp&Gmail,com> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @12:53PM (#24627541) Homepage Journal

            I'd mod parent down, but I'd rather explain why I disagree.

            Good. Moderating a post down simply because you disagree with it is an abuse of the moderation system - you may notice that there are no "-1, Wrong" or "-1, I Disagree" options.

            However, there is the nebulous "Overrated" which is basically used the same way. Overrated is generally used by Slashdot mods as the "your opinion sucks and I'm modding you down for it" option.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by orasio (188021)

          As a former potential H1B inmigrant, I mostly agree with you.
          Everything you say _is_ true. You are only missing the part that it's too late now.

          In my case, now I have a much better job than what I could hope for in the US, but in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Of course, that is a plus, if you are a Latin American, because working in the US would imply being treated as a second class criminal periodically. I lie to think of me as a productive memberof society, though.

          For other peopl

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GBuddha (1143771)
        It's not as if the groups that oppose the H-1B program (Programmers Guild, NumbersUSA, etc.) by calling it "indentured servitude" are advocating for improvements in the Employment Based Immigration system (a.k.a. Green Card) where someone from India and China could have to wait for 6-10 years to get a Green Card. They've opposed all immigration reforms that would bring relief to the estimated 500K - 1 million people stuck in the backlog.

        It's nice to throw in terms like "open borders" to voice your opposi
    • by EdZ (755139) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:28AM (#24625811)
      Because, contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to fall somewhere between 'Pinko Commie' and 'Right-Wing Nutjob'.
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        it IS possible to fall somewhere between 'Pinko Commie' and 'Right-Wing Nutjob'.

        yeah, but don'tcha just hate those Pinko Nutjobs.

    • by rve (4436) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:32AM (#24625835)

      They took our jobs!!!

      Everyone on the pile!

    • by jcr (53032)

      Slashdotters are not monolithic. If you can find any individual who purports to be a libertarian but wants government interference in the market for their own industry, then yes, that person would by hypocritical.

      -jcr

    • by yfarren (159985)
      I find it fascinating that you wrote your comment 6 minutes after the article went up, making your comment, which I would hope at +5 insightful would have a factual basis, merely presumptive. I hope people mod your name-calling down to -1 flamebait, which before any conversation has actually taken place, is all it is.
    • I'm for low wages AND low prices.

      Right now the corporations have bought the government and we are legally prevented from purchasing inexpensive drugs ($.10 vs $5.00), clothing (+20-30%), sugar (+500%), computer products ($10 vs $500), movies ($2.49 vs $20). They want to *make* the products for $.50 and then have artificial laws passed putting american citizens in jail or subjecting them to financial ruin if they try to get around those artificial mutiliations of capitalism.

      The executives and corporations e

  • Don't complain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:31AM (#24625831) Homepage

    a controversial 'emergency' rule change by the Department of Homeland Security to permit foreign students to work continuously in the US for two-and-a-half years after graduation without an H-1B visa.

    A good percentage of you here on /. voted for those chuckleheads. So big surprise when they turn around and dick you by making it easier for your employer to replace you with someone making cardboard slum wages. And even if the next president cuts it off the day they take office, the people already here will be able to stay to middle of their term.

    Nice.

    Funny how the rules on the war on terror manage to line up with corporate interests, isn't it? Just hilarious.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tatheg (1134043)

      I don't remember ever voting for anyone in the Department of Homeland Security nor ever having the option of voting for anyone in the DHS.

  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Saturday August 16, 2008 @08:54AM (#24625947) Homepage Journal
    People like Judge Faith Hochberg ignore the obvious fact that Silicon Valley would not exist without the Midwestern middle class WASPs. As Tom Wolfe documents in his Forbes article: Robert Noyce and His Congregation [forbes.com],[August 25, 1997] virtually all of the essential inventions upon which Silicon Valley was founded were created by the much-derided, non-"vibrant", "white-bread", "middle class" of "fly-over country".

    Last month I asked the aging Bob Johnsonâ"former CTO of Burroughs Corporation when it was a leading mainframe company in Minneapolis where he developed the magnetic ink you see on the bottom of your checksâ"what he thought caused the loss of the Midwestern high tech leadership to the coasts, and he said it was the financial dominance of the coasts.

    That squares with what I observed while at Control Data Corporation/Cray Research, Inc.

    The reason Bill Norris and Seymour Cray were able to start CDC thence Cray Research was because they violated SEC regs and went around selling stock at PTA meetings, making a lot of middle class people retire very comfortably. My late father bought some Cray stock early on which helped greatly with his retirement.

    When I was at CDC in Arden Hills, MN attempting to deploy the mass market version of the PLATO network with Internet-like capabilities (the system that Ray Ozzie (Bill Gates' replacement at Microsoft) cut his teeth on) in 1980 the primary resistance was from a middle management that, due to the financial press' hostility toward Norris's vision of a society disintermediated by computer networking, small high-tech farms and locally produced and consumed essentialsâ"had itself grown hostile to Norris.

    My proposed solution is simple to state but will perhaps require a war to institute:

    Replace all taxes on economic activity with a tax on net-assets, assessed at their in-place liquidation value, at the risk free interest rate (which according to modern portfolio theory is the short-term US Treasury rate) so as to extract all economic rents from the private sector, and then, to prevent public sector rent-seeking in pork-barrel politics, disperse those funds evenly in a dividend to all citizens, as the beneficiaries of the land-trust called the United States.

    That will not only stop the vicious centralization of power in the private and public sectors, but it will clarify the role of immigrationâ"it is a dilution of the benefits intended for the Posterity of the Founders of the land trust called The United States of America.

  • The Judge's reasoning is based on the principle of "standing"-- whether someone is actually injured and therefore is a proper person to sue. Since the plaintiffs are by their own admission "unemployed or underemployed" they have no ACTUAL INJURY which gives them standing to sue. The case would probably have been decided the other way if the plaintiffs had been well-paid and lost their jobs to immigrants, because such facts would have let the judge *grant* them the standing required.

    I wonder whether it wa

  • FAIL! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danwesnor (896499) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:13AM (#24626069)
    People who pretend to be the media should be cautioned against editorializing new facts into existence. Show does not say:

    she failed to see how an increased labor supply could result in wage depression for engineers and computer workers.

    She says:

    in no sense could "wage depression through the economic forces of supply and demand" rise to the level of justiciable injury, rather than the "conjecture or hypothetical."

    Instead of assuming the judge is an idiot, why not favor the much more likely scenario that the suit failed to show how the plaintiffs would be harmed and to what degree. They are claiming they are would be harmed by having their salaries reduced, when in fact they are "employed" or "underemployed". You can't claim you'll be harmed by having you salary reduce if your salary is already zero. It is not the judges job to "see" how harm could be done. It is the plaintiff's job to demonstrate how harm will be done. If they cannot do that, the judge's hands are tied.

    • Re:FAIL! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:52AM (#24626295) Journal

      the suit failed to show how the plaintiffs would be harmed and to what degree

      More like, she rued that "they took our jobs" isn't a complaint on which relief can be granted under the law. The last time this kind of issue arose was when black laborers were competing for jobs with white laborers, and were willing to work for much less, and the upshot was that the unions demanded the minimum wage laws.

      -jcr

    • by nasor (690345)
      I would mod you up if I could. It's amazing how often slashdot readers go into long tirades about things that only exist in misleading slashdot summaries.

      To get this injunction they needed to show that they would suffer a "concrete and particularized" damage if the injunction wasn't issued. The judge in this case found that 1) "Now we have to compete against more people for jobs!" isn't a "concrete and particularized" injury and 2) Even if it was, it still wouldn't be something that you deserve an injunc
  • by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Saturday August 16, 2008 @09:16AM (#24626087)

    Instead of H-1B indentured servitude, gilded as it may be, we should fast track such people for citizenship. Any country that can make America's marginal tax rates look good or otherwise sufficiently pisses off their people DESERVES to lose their best and brightest. America has traditionally been the common meeting place of the world's best and brightest and I'd hate to see that change.

    But the big corporations that give $megabucks to the Democratic and Republican parties, slightly more to whichever is dominant at the time, really like the H-1B system so I don't expect much to change. The fast-track citizenship idea is from National Review.

    • by jcr (53032)

      Instead of H-1B indentured servitude, gilded as it may be, we should fast track such people for citizenship.

      Agreed. I see no benefit to the USA from raising the hurdles as high as we have, and the fact that H1B visa holders are unable to change jobs and remain in the country is damaging our economy.

      -jcr

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Justlook at the way unemployment is going. The last thing we need are more workers.

      The Programmers Guild has proposed a superb idea. Put the H1-B visa up for aution, rather than a lottery. This is a much more fair system, for a system that is supposed to bring in talent that isn't here in the U.S.. And it generates revenue for the U.S..

      It's funny that the so-called "Free Market" advocates are against such a free market idea.

  • Let's start accepting H1B's for lawyers and judges. I guarantee she will change her tune then.

  • This begs the question then of who has paid whom how much money (American currency)..?

  • Fuck. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grimbleton (1034446)

    I can't find a fucking job skilled or unskilled right now, how can this possibly help?

  • New Zealand solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by nasor (690345) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @10:18AM (#24626479)
    In New Zealand they have a pretty reasonable solution solution; the minimum salary for a foreign worker on their equivalent of an H-1B visa is $55,000. Since your salary is usually a pretty direct measure of how scarce people with your abilities/training are and how much demand there is, anyone who is coming into the county to fill a shortage in a particular field should almost by definition be getting a relatively high salary.
  • Some years ago the company I was working for at the time started outsourcing some of our work to Romania. At the time they were getting a pretty good deal on the programmers over there, but I was actually surprised at how much they were paying them -- it was in the same neighborhood as my first job out of college (Which was 5 times the average salary in Romania.)

    Just a couple years later someone dropped me an E-Mail asking me about my experiences with Romanians. The prices he had been quoted from the cont

  • Open US Borders Now (Score:4, Informative)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gm a i l.com> on Saturday August 16, 2008 @11:01AM (#24626793) Homepage Journal

    I seriously disaqgree with my conservative collegues and liberal union folks who argue against immigration to the United States. I am the descendant of immigrants, as is nearly everyone else in the USA, and our ancestors came when there were no rules to immigration.

    I would argue that people who are motivated enough to leave their homelands to come to the USA are motivated enough to work hard and succeed and I have 200 years of outstanding economic growth and opportunity to back me up. Every time this country has opened its borders, we have gotten increased opportunity, increased social dynamism, all pumping the engine of capitalism and driving the USA to ever greater success.

    Clamping down on Phds and graduate students from American universities is about the stupidest immigration policy that one could ever devise. If someone has come to this country to study and obtain a university degree, I would think that proves that they are the stuff we want our citizens to be.

    The issue of immigration has split the Republican Party right down the middle, but I for one think that Bush and McCain were on the right side of the issue and it is a shame that the odd coalition of labor activists and xenophobes combined to bring what would have been an outstanding immigration bill dead in its tracks. Regardless of who is elected, I hope that saner heads will prevail in both parties, this time around, and America will once again live up to the promise of the statue of liberty, "Give me your poor, tired huddled masses yearning to breath free."... or, in the very least, "give me all of your phds in mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering, in fact, just give me all of them and your undergrads too."

  • DHS? WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @01:31PM (#24627825)

    The Department of Homeland Security makes a rule change to allow additional foreign workers in the engineering and software fields. No doubt they see areas such as telecommunications, security, aviation and DoD work as being low risk. But try to get some Mexicans in here to pick lettuce and we have to build a wall to stop it.

    I understand US industries motivation in this area. But aside from the DHS reviewing proposed visa procedures, I can't understand why they should be the ones to sponsor such a regulation. This would seem to fall more within the charter of the Dept. of Commerce. If DHS has no security work to keep it busy, perhaps its time to pull the plug.

    • According this back-door legislation, the shortage of tech workers was so sever, that it constituted a national emergency.

      But, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

      August 06, 2008
      Almost 50,000 IT positions lost in last 12 months

      http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/08/06/Bureau-of-Labor-Statistics-reports-big-drop-in-tech-jobs_1.html [infoworld.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PPH (736903)

        So, its not an issue of labor supply. And, based on the Andaya case cited in the summary, its not an issue of pay.

        Hiring an employee for only two years, particularly one fresh out of college is pointless from a productivity point of view. It takes a year or two to get them up to speed. This is interesting. Bring in an employee fresh out of school, but with no guarantee that they can remain in country after 2 years. Essentially, what you are doing is spending money training them. But then, in two years, the

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @04:04PM (#24629053)

    Myth: H1-Bs are the "best and brightest"

    Reality: If that were true then the typical H1-B would a Nobel prize winning scientist. The truth is, the typical H1-B is an average student, hired right out of college with only a four year degree. The typical H1-B is no more qualified than the US graduates who are not getting jobs. The H1-Bs are just cheaper. And because of the lottery nature of the H1-B process, employers do not even know who they are getting. So how do employers know that they are getting the best and brightest?

    Also, isn't it funny that almost all of the "best and brightest" come from countries where people earn as little as $1 a day? If it's really about the "best and brightest" then why aren't there more European H1-Bs?

    ---

    Myth: H1-Bs are needed because of the critical shortage of US technology workers

    Reality: Serious academic studies clearly indicate that skills shortage is a myth.

    > These studies done at Duke aren't alone in their assessment that there is in fact no skills shortage. They're backed up by other studies conducted by RAND Corporation, The Urban Institute and Stanford University, among others, all of which settle upon the same conclusion: There is no shortage of educated IT workers.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1081923#PaperDownload [ssrn.com]

    This according to a well researched article at baselinemag.com:

    http://tinyurl.com/yoy2rw [tinyurl.com]

    ---

    Myth: H1-Bs do compete unfairly, because H1-Bs are paid the prevailing wage

    Reality:

    > According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) as the measurement of U.S. wages, and the H-1B LCA disclosure data to measure H-1B wages, 90% of H-1B employers' prevailing wage claims for programmers were below the median U.S. wage for that occupation and location, with 62% of them falling in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages, said Miano [founder of the Programmer's Guild].

    > Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology (currently on leave) and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, pointed to USCIS's most recent report to Congress, which shows that the medium wage in 2005 for new H-1B computing professionals was just $50,000 -- even lower than the entry-level wages that a newly graduated tech worker with a bachelor's degree and no experience would command.

    http://tinyurl.com/4bvwyh [tinyurl.com]

    According to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service's (USCIS) annual report to Congress in 2005, the aggregate data for computing professionals lend support to the argument that the practice of paying H-1Bs below-market wages is quite common.

    http://www.sharedprosperity.org/bp187.html [sharedprosperity.org]

    H1-Bs are hired at four different skill levels, "4" being the highest. But most H1-Bs are hired for the lowest "1" level jobs - regardless of what kind of work the H1-Bs actually do.

    ---

    Myth: In the USA enrollment in technical disciplines is declining. Proof the USA needs to hire more foreign workers

    Reality: This myth is designed to confuse cause and effect. Employers are not forced to hire offshore because enrollment is down. Rather, enrollment is down because of aggressive offshoring by employers. But even with enrollments down, there are still more than enough US workers.

    > Due to both outsourcing and insourcing, many young people are concluding that technology is a bad place to invest their time," said Mark Thoma, a professor of economics at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

    http://tinyurl.com/4bvwyh [tinyurl.com]

    ---

    Myth: Critics of the H1-B program are xenophobic

    Reality: This "argument" is nothing but name calling. These allegations are offered without any s

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @04:56PM (#24629437) Journal

    Of course an increase in supply will decrease demand. Duh and obviously this judge did not take Highschool economics 101 or use common sense.

    If she wants to argue its not the government's job to make competitive salaries then I would agree with her. Something doesn't seem right about this ruling and the fact that federal government already has dirt on her as another slashdotter pointed out might have something to do with it.

    Well I am about 100k in college debt and was told to expect to make 12/hr when I graduate! Why did I go back to school? The economic climate is not favorable to employees right now and I would not be surprised if alot of laid of I.T. workers banded together and become more pollitically involved. I majored in B.A. and gave up in I.T. An MCSE, A+ and 2 years experience is not enough to keep a job anymore and I do not want to keep getting outsourced and shafted.
    \

    CPAs and accountants are going to be outsourced next and lawyers. If you want a lawyer for new York state law you go to New Jersey. Why can't you fly to an Indian lawfirm where they are alot cheaper? All hell will break loose when this happens as most politicians were lawyers.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...