US H-1B Visas – US Protectionism or Excuse for Companies to Fire US Paid Workers?

Update 11-30-2017:

We conducted this audit to determine whether the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Administrative Site Visit and Verification
Program (ASVVP) and targeted site visits are safeguarding the integrity of the H-1B Program. The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in “specialty occupations”

USCIS site visits provide minimal assurance that H-1B visa participants are compliant and not engaged in fraudulent activity. These visits assess whether petitioners and beneficiaries comply with applicable immigration laws and regulations. USCIS can approve more than 330,000 H-1B petitions each year and, as of April 2017, reported more than 680,000 approved and valid H-1B petitions. USCIS conducts a limited number of visits and does not always ensure the officers are thorough and comprehensive in their approach. Further limiting the site visits’ effectiveness, USCIS does not always take proper action when immigration officers identify potential fraud or noncompliance. USCIS also uses targeted site visits to respond to indicators of fraud; however, the agency does not completely track the costs and analyze the results of these visits. .

Update 11-15-2017: More evidence requests slowing H-1B approvals . In the last 10 years, more than 2.5 million visas were approved, the majority of which went to recipients in India59% of petitions are for computer-related jobs. US OIG noted that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not always perform thorough applicant checks as potential fraud may have resulted.

My question: Why do we keep laying off skilled and capable US citizens for lower paying unskilled (but US trained) foreign workers?

Is the US that void of talent? Has Congress been manipulated into thinking we don’t have smart enough people in the US to learn any job? Is Congress just paying back political contributions from companies?

Now, I don’t mind companies seeking the best talent wherever they can and smart people exist all over the world, but I wish they would search only “after” their current capable employees are given the opportunity. So many times I’ve seen “very” capable individuals (willing to take a cut in pay to stay) released from companies and replaced with less skilled and cheaper employees who have to be trained by the overworked exiting employees. Why? It doesn’t improve bottom line as much as a company thinks it does.

For 2016, the US Government has received more than 236,000 (233,000 in 2015 and 172,500 in 2014) applications (for 85,000 available visas) from US companies for skilled worker (H1-B) visa. About 20,000 of the 85,000 applications are for foreign workers with advanced degrees from US universities. Source: WSJ,4-13-2016,A2.

The more we try to weave a web around the immigration and US citizen employment issues (including the lucrative almost $100 Billion outsourcing market), the more we stab ourselves in the back.

According to a 8-29-2013 article on Page B8 of the Wall Street Journal, the (noble) current legislative attempts by US Congress will prohibit H1B visas from companies employing lots (>75% of US based employees) of foreign computer science workers (i.e., India,China, South Korea,etc,.). Furthermore, the companies with >15% of US based employees on H1B visas can’t perform hardware or software services, and will further restrict use of H1B visas..unless…more US workers are employed (by telling Sally or Billy NO, you’re not going to be a liberal arts major) or….by US companies laying off US citizens and hiring H1B visa employees who fall far below the 75% threshold….or…

Several companies split up and spinoff and operate under different (i.e., non-Indian,non-Chinese, non-south Korean, etc,.) companies and game the system….which is what most companies do – find the loopholes around it.

Interesting side note: about 120,000 new computer science jobs will need to be filled in 2013 and roughly 52,000 (less than half) will be produced from US colleges. So there will be a shortage to be made up by whom – Martians?

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