July 7, 2008

Dear Karin Moore, DC Staff of Congressman Lungren, (202-225-5716)

Thank for you returning my call on Thursday July 3rd. I was driving south on I-5 and we lost cell signal. Or discussion stemmed from Congressman Lungren misrepresenting that H-1b are only used in cases when no qualified Americans are available. This is incorrect:

http://www.egcitizen.com/articles/2008/07/02/news/doc486bf792ab680411926603.txt 
Lungren told the editorial staff: "However, due to caps on H-1B visas, which allowed employers to recruit and hire non-residents when resident workers are not available, jobs are lost. Companies simply cannot get enough of these visas that create jobs," he said.

Furthermore, only in very rare cases to H-1b workers "create jobs." Mostly they are filling the same contracts and positions that many Americans are trying to fill. More commonly they displace qualified Americans out of their profession.

You had told me that Congressman Lungren supports increasing the H-1b cap because employers within the 3rd Congressional District claim that they have positions that they are unable to fill with Americans and  as a result are either hiring few Americans for support positions, or are being forced to relocate overseas.

I had asked that you check the upcoming Sunday Sacramento Bee classified ads to see if they suggested a "labor shortage." Here are the ads:

The only bona-fide ads are PUBLIC SECTOR. And even these are sometimes run to justify internal promotions rather than to hire new employees.

The two private sector ads are both PERM FAKE JOB ADS. I've been documenting these ads over the past two years in the Sacramento Bee at www.programmersguild.org/RIR/ .

The Revenue Solutions ad even mentions "immigration" within the ad and calls for "1+ year experience in the job offered." The DOL LCA Record indicates that they hired an H-1b for Roseville California for a salary of $53,000. That is way below market for a candidate with an MS degree and skilled in Java and Oracle. (The only reason that the "MS" requirement is added is to give a basis for excluding otherwise qualified Americans. None of the skills required are related to whether a candidate holds a BS or MS degree. EVIDENCE: The more senior "LEAD/IT Manager" position at Roseville accepts either BS or MS.)

The LexisNexis Examen ad has a vague description of one year experience. In the Sacramento Bee the standard is to preface computer jobs with "COMPUTER," but the LexisNexis ad was prefaced with "Information Tech," causing it to be hidden on another page. Drafting ads that will draw the least number of applications is on of the legal techniques of running PERM fake ads. The DOL LCA Record indicates that they had applied for an H-1b Database Engineer for a salary of $61,797.

Congressman Lungren seems to believe that H-1b workers are exceptionally skilled workers. Please see www.programmersguild.org/SFH1b/ for examples of the type of jobs and salaries that the H-1b program is used for.

Please see http://www.programmersguild.org/docs/rebuttal_to_bill_gates_congress_march2008.html for details of how Bill Gates and Microsoft have utilized the H-1b program to set up R&D centers overseas.

We have spelled out a reform that would allow Microsoft, and other employers, to have all of the H-1b that they need, without raising the cap: http://www.programmersguild.org/docs/pr_oppose_h1b_lotery_march2008.html - What action has Congressman Lungren taken to implement this reform?

On the phone I had explained that the H-1b cap is not the cause of either a "skill shortage" or the offshoring of jobs. Between 2001 and 2004 there was virtually no H-1b cap, because the cap of 195,000 was never reached. December 2002 Forbes: The New HP Way: World's Cheapest Consultants - reveals that HP was actively outsourcing, and what their motive was:

"We're trying to move everything we can offshore." - HP Services chief Ann Livermore ... HP figures a good high-end programmer in India costs about $20,000 a year, about a quarter the U.S. cost. And things could get even cheaper. "We see China gaining on India about three or four years from now."

Since then HP Roseville headcount has dropped from about 6000 to 3000 workers. Many highly qualified workers with many years of experience at the company were laid off. This was NOT because HP could not get enough qualified workers.

QUESTIONS

1. Since there are zero help wanted ads for computer/software professionals being run in this district, on what basis does Congressman Lungren believe that there are positions open? Can you please provide a few examples of specific job openings in this district that can only be filled by H-1b workers -- what skills they require, what salary they pay, and what recruitment efforts the employers are taken? Perhaps the Programmers Guild can help find them some qualified American candidates. We also need to gather this information to provide to CSU Sacramento and the local community colleges so that they can adjust their programs to better meet the needs of local employers.

2. Have you reviewed the "H-1b Harm Report" at www.HireAmericansFirst.org, where hundreds of U.S. tech workers have detailed their personal experiences? How does Congressman Lungren respond to these Americans who are being displaced by foreign consultants at foreign consulting firms under this program that Congress established?

Exult My husband lost his computer programming job when his company imported cheaper programmers from India.

Lucent Technologies I was displaced from my contract position in August 2001 while the H-1B guest workers were retained.

PG&E (San Francisco) My company was actively hiring Indian contractors through Tata and Infosys at the time I was let go.

Cognizant The company is phasing out American consultants, and later this year, American employees of that company.

MMO and SnapOn Replaced by H-1B. Spouse replaced by guest worker too.

General Electric Healthcare I am now retired from GE Healtcare, Milwaukee. I was forced into retirement at age 60, and eventually replaced by H-1B workers. Several American engineers have been replaced at GE by H-1B and green card workers.

AT&T/TATA In October 2001 our office was notified that come Jan 1, 2002 the office would be closed. Within days of the closing, foreign nations were being bused in to the vacated center.

The University of Chicago Laid off, lost valuable benefits while H-1b workers retained. Not interviewed for 81 positions while at same time U.S. Labor Dept. of Labor approved 208 foreign nationals to work at same employer

Lincoln Financial Applied for an Actuate Developer job at company and was turned down. However, they did hire a colleague of mine for the same position who was an H-1B worker and who I had trained and mentored at a previous employer.

Mastercard In 2001, lost contract as company moved away from Americans to H-1B contractors
McDonalds, Discover, and others The issue I am facing is L-1s now more than H-1b visas. L-1 are being used to bring a foreign workers over for training and then the company eliminates higher cost employees and consultants.

Phillips Semiconductor In 1998 I was replaced by an H-1b from India while working at Phillips Semiconductor in Mountain View California.

Cognizant Technologies Indian Consulting firms set up phony interviews with the objective of gaining salary information.

PERM FAKE ADS I applied for many positions listed in ads only to find out that the position listed were mostly ads to justify H-1B positions of people working for companies whose H-1B positions were being renewed.

IBS US (El Dorado Hills, California) H-1B workers never complained about working weekends without pay, as they were faced with losing their Visa if they lost their job. Laid off in 2001 while H-1B holders were retained.

IBM After 30 years as an IT professional, I cannot get so much as an interview.

Anthem Blue Cross California As a programmer at Anthem Blue Cross, I was among many who were coerced into taking early retirement in lieu of losing our retirement benefits. This made room for more H-1b visa programmers from India.

Fiserv Company laid off all American programmers and kept foreigners - H-1Bs and other visa holders.

WiPro & InfoSys I just finished my M.S. Degree in Computer Science. I continue to see U.S. Citizen's jobs outsourced or offshored or both to India and China. My current company employs Wipro & InfoSys. They are laying off U.S. workers and hiring "contractors" from these two companies to do their job in the U.S. (under visa program) or in India.
 

3. Why hasn't Congressman Lungren promoted basic U.S. worker protection reforms, such as mandating that employers first make a good faith, public, effort to fill jobs with American workers before DOL is mandated to approve the H-1b applications?

4. How does Congressman Lungren justify expanding a program whose largest users of H-1b are Indian consulting firms. They admit that their competitive advantage is that they pay 25% below what they would have to pay to American workers? These firms do not create U.S. jobs - they are the conduit that is moving U.S. tech infrastructure overseas.

5. What does Congressman Lungren say to my children from Citrus Heights who are obtaining tech degrees at USC and Cal Poly, and will be forced to compete as new grads against a flood of foreign H-1b workers who are willing to work for wages as low as $40,000 for the chance to become a U.S. citizen?

Sincerely,

Mr. Kim Berry

www.programmersguild.org