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 the COMPETE 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:
|ZELLE, HOFMANN, VOELBEL, MASON & GETTE||Paralegal||17.86 hour|
|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.
Editors, SF Chronicle,