H-1B abuse in San Francisco

San Francisco H-1B LCA Data – FY 2004

H-1B – Displacing U.S. Workers

The H-1B visa allows employers to legally displace qualified U.S. workers. Immigrants from the middle-east, for example, can legally choose to ignore Americans and hire their fellow nationals – friends, classmates, and relatives. Congress mandates that DOL rubberstamp these visas. Employers challenged with abuse rightfully claim that they are “in full compliance with the law.”

20 CFR 655 Part H

The are only four requirements/attestations for hiring H-1B  workers:

655.731 state will pay a prevailing wage
655.732 working conditions
655.733 no strikes and lockouts
655.734 provide notice – post the LCA at the workplace

There is no requirement to advertise, recruit, hire, or claim that no qualified U.S. workers are available.  The “notice” provision of 655.734 is a due process sham, since adversely impacted U.S. workers have no remedy.

This data is the 3000 H-1B visas for FY 2004. The majority of these employers never advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle, never recruited at the local colleges, or such. DOL concealed these records from jobseekers until after October 1, 2004 – effectively holding U.S. positions open for foreign workers.

The bulk of the jobs are software-related – even though up to 28% of U.S. programmers and related tech workers are unemployed or have been displaced from their profession.  (Note: While some employers list an office outside of SF, all job locations are within San Francisco):


Macromedia, for example, applied for 51 LCAs for H-1Bs, mostly for software developers, as recently as September 24, 2004. Yet now their website lists only a few opening for managers – not one opening for a software developer. (They list many developer positions in India – but that’s another topic – or are they using the H-1B to import workers from India for training, to facilitate technology transfer to India?)

Does the Chronicle believe the industry liars, such as www.CompeteAmerica.org that there are no U.S. workers available to fill these positions?  The CEOs of Intel and HP signed theCOMPETE AMERICA LETTER.  Yet HP and Intel are laying off their skilled American workers, are not advertising any openings, and are not recruiting American graduates with advanced degrees.

We suspect that a small classified ad would generate dozens of qualified U.S. applicants:

Employer Position Salary
Nihonmachi Little Friends Preschool Teacher 11 hour
Infinite Power Productions, LLC Graphic Designer 14.24 hour
San Francisco Dream Tours, Inc. Content Writer 15 hour
Mabuhay Builders Industrial Engineer 16.26 hour
Dalwong Hotel Group dba The Stratford Hotel Assistant Hotel Manager 16.70 hour
Larson & Savage DBA Complete Business Services Accountant 17.20 hour
Zelle, Hofmann, Voelbel, Mason & Gette Paralegal 17.54 hour
Excel World, Inc. Technical Writer 18.90 hour
Starving Artist Designs Web Developer 23 hour
Rai & Associates, P.C., Law Clerk 31,000 year
Conard House, Inc. Social Worker/Counselor 31,634 year

Why is Congress opposed to requiring employers to consider qualified U.S. applicants before granting these H-1B visas? Americans are being defrauded out of their professions!  The jobs could appear on DOL’s database for 30 days, allowing U.S. workers to publicly view and apply for the positions – before the LCA is granted.

In this article, Indian National Xavier, conceding “times remain tough for IT workers looking for jobs across the U.S.,” explains that Indian consulting firms hire Indians on H-1Bs, bench them, then aggressively compete against American workers for the scant contracts available. Congress subjects 65,000 Americans to this abuse each year. We certainly dispute Xavier’s proposed solution of raising the cap to 200,000 per year.

SF Chronicle Editorial


SF Gate        www.sfgate.com        Return to regular view

Raise cap on H-1B visas

Monday, November 1, 2004

THE SYSTEM for granting H-1B visas — the six-year visas allowing U.S. companies to bring in skilled foreign workers who have played an essential role in building Silicon Valley and elsewhere — is broken.

The federal government announced on Oct. 1 — the first day of the fiscal year — that all 65,000 H-1B visas allocated for the year had already been given out.

How could this be? After several years of intense debate, the federal government raised the cap on visas from 65,000 to 195,000 in 2000. As a result of the dot-com collapse and the accompanying economic recession, U.S. companies didn’t use the entire 195,000 allocation, and Congress this year allowed the cap to drop back to its previous level of 65,000.

It should indicate that, when visas for the entire year are issued within 24 hours, 65,000 visas is too low a number. Employers should hire U.S. workers whenever possible. Some employers may have used the H-1B program to hire skilled foreign employees when they might have been able to find equally qualified U.S. workers.

At the same time, employers who can’t find skilled U.S. workers should not be barred from importing skilled labor here. When the new Congress is sworn in, one of its first orders of business should be to raise the cap on H- 1B visas to a level that more reasonably matches the actual demand.

Page B – 4
URL: http://sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/11/01/EDGD99EOL61.DTL

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Letter to Editor – Programmers Guild responds

Editors, SF Chronicle,

Your November 1, 2004 editorial “Raise cap on H-1B visas” is correct that the system for granting H-1B visas is broken – but not because the quota is too low.

The Department of Labor approved over 3000 H-1B applications in 2004 for San Francisco alone. DOL did not require these employers to advertise nor otherwise consider qualified U.S. workers. The bulk of these jobs, which we’ve listed at www.programmersguild.org/SFH1B/, could have and should have been filled by U.S. workers.

We agree that “employers should hire U.S. workers whenever possible.” But, rather than displacing more Americans by raising quotas, we implore Congress to require DOL to post H-1B positions on their website for 30 days, allow U.S. workers to apply via that website, and only granting the H-1B application in those cases where no qualified Americans are available.

Mr. Kim Berry
President, The Programmers Guild

Additional Info

The Changing Face of Labor Certification

Latest CFR Statues at findlaw.com

DOL Contacts:
Regional Office
Martin Rios
ALC Certifying Officer
U.S. Dept of Labor
Employment and Training Admin.
71 Stevenson Street,Suite 820
P.O. Box 193767
San Francisco, CA94119
(415) 975-4601
(415) 975-4660 FAX