H1-B restriction: Silicon Valley to be hurt

H1-B restriction: Silicon Valley to be hurt

By Benny Thomas   |   Tuesday, 25 August 2009, 11:15 Hrs   |    24 Comments
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H1-B restriction: Silicon Valley to be hurt
Bangalore: Several bright minds outside America take that flight to the U.S. seeking better opportunities in places like Silicon Valley, which is often described as the Mecca for entrepreneurs. However, with the hue and cry surrounding the H-1B visas the flow of immigrants into U.S. may get affected, which may also diminish the tech prowess of the most technologically advanced nation in the world.

There was at least one immigrant founder in 25 percent of all engineering and technology companies established in the U.S. between 1995 and 2005, reveals a study by a group of Professors in Duke University and the University of California. These entities generated over $52 billion in 2005 sales, while creating over 450,000 jobs as of 2005. With these contributions by the immigrants in the U.S., any impediments in the issuance H1-B visa can have a huge impact on the American economy.

The U.S. administration under George W Bush had been pushing for immigration reforms, which failed to take shape last year. There are roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and the reforms are aimed at making a way for some of these immigrants to stay in the country legally. Now that Barack Obama has taken charge in the White House, are these reforms on his priority list?

Recently, Obama assured the pro-immigrant activists that the immigration reforms would not lose its importance over the health-care reform and the energy legislation. The President is likely to endorse the views of Senator Charles Schumer, Chairman of the Senate's Immigration Subcommittee, who has said that he will introduce new reform legislation this autumn.

However, there are some challenges that Schumer and team faces in order to make the legislation a reality. Senators Richard Durbin and Charles Grassley are sponsors of a bill to stop the alleged abuse of H-1B visas, which allow companies to employ workers from overseas for limited stays. They have introduced a legislation to restrict the number of H1-B visas to be issued, which was bombarded with criticisms outside U.S. These visas are popular among technology companies like Microsoft, Infosys and Wipro, which bring some of the brightest minds from around the world to work in the U.S.

The current situation can make U.S. less attractive to immigrants, who may eventually contribute to the country's growth. Take the examples of Vikram Pandit, Indra Nooyi or Sanjay Jha, who took that flight to the U.S. and have made it big by heading some of the largest companies on the planet.

Commentators like CNN's Lou Dobbs have often highlighted about a huge reverse brain drain in the U.S. - which has been his dream - that is closer to reality. Immigrants, who have received their education and work experience in U.S., are packing their bags to go back to their homeland. In addition, there is also a decline in the number of foreign students seeking admissions in the U.S. universities, for the first time in five years.

According to the latest report by the Council of Graduate Schools, the average decline in the admissions from students outside U.S. is three percent. The highest decline is seen from countries in Asia with India leading the pack with a 12 percent decline.

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Reader's comments(24)
1: My last post was censored by someone at Silicon India, yet all my information comes right out of Wikipedia?

You couldn't be more off-base with 3 example immigrants:

Again From Wikipedia:

Vikram Pandit: Vikram Pandit has been criticized[11] for being misogynistic and for having trouble working with female colleagues. He is known to have had personal and professional problems with Zoe Cruz, then acting president, when in Morgan Stanley, partly due to which he was fired from there. Pandit would antagonize Cruz in front of the other managing directors, causing her to shake with anger and frustration, wiping tears from her eyes[12]. At Citigroup, Vikram fired the popular Sallie Krawcheck who led Citigroup’s wealth-management group[13]. While at Citigroup, he has often publicly criticized FDIC Chairwoman Shelia Bair and has refused to cooperate with her or her agency despite Citigroup’s poor performance compared to its peers and its standing as one of the biggest users of taxpayer money as a bailout.

Indra Nooyi - Is CEO at PEPSI, is not an entrepenuer, she is just another fat-cat selling addiction to you children.

Sanjay Jha - (from wikipedia) made a $104,445,529. He took 100 million dollars from a failing company, how ridiculous.

The United States does not need to import more astronomically big mouths. These 3 are ridiculous examples and are actually damaging the country more than helping it.

You should highlight the work of people at the bottom, like researchers, doctors, engineers, and scientists. People who don't bake themselves mountain size pies by "sucking the #$%# of the U.S. Taxpayer" (quoting Senator Grassely on that one).
Posted by:jali - 26 Aug, 2009
2: Countries like India should be happy with reduction in H1B. If the argument is US is getting hurt, the inference is India is gaining because of reverse brain drain. Maybe the immediate effects are not good but the longer term effects are great talent availability in the country and innovation. That means if countries like India invest in building an innovation environment, all these great entreprenuers and inventors will live and work in India making us a superpower. We should support the reduction in H1.
Posted by:Sriram - 26 Aug, 2009

Thank you Ramshyam. I did not know that the 'SCAM ARTISTS' have invented this L1 and B1 Visas. They would let Indian workers be treated like their personal servants.
Posted by:Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
4: Actually they want to restrict H1B so they can bring people in L1 and B1 .. these L1 and B1 visas are more restrictive than H1 so the oppurtunity to exploit human resources is more with those visas. Have you seen an L1 visa holder? They will do exactly what they are told and they will stretch themselves to death so that they are not sent back home. At least h1-b visa holder could seek a new employment, L1 and B1 visa holders are 100% slave with no options at all. So I think less H1B visa is worse for American and Global workforce on the whole. Just my 2 cents.
Posted by:ramshyam - 25 Aug, 2009

American Companies, American Government had come together like a MAFIA to exploit human resources. They had conspired to lure talented young brains to come and work in the U.S. as their SLAVES. H1-B Visa holders should not accept the terms and conditions of their Visa Status. They should demand that they should be entitled to the status of a Temporary Resident with an option to adjust their status to Permanent Resident at the end of five years. An employee who had paid Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, Social Security Tax, Medicare Tax, and other Local Taxes should be entitled to adjust the status to that of Permanent Resident. The U.S. Government wants to exploit the foreign workers by not admitting them as Temporary Residents. I had worked in Sultanate of Oman as a Non-Immigrant. I had a free airline ticket to travel to Oman and my income was not Taxed. I did not pay a single Penny in taxes.My contract allowed free travel to home country twice in a year and also at the end of the contract. If I prefer not to travel on vacation, the vacation pay(airline fare, cabfare etc.,) was still paid. My family lived in Muscat and due to children's education I used to spend my vacation in Muscat but I got paid for my free trips to home country.
H1-B Visa is the biggest FRAUD in the modern day world.
Posted by:Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
Lets not forget its a free world and most of us have an option to select where to go and work. So if you dont like the laws for working and immigrating to the US then stay in India and keep your job(s) until American and European companies find India as a cheap labor pool. But China, Poland, Vietman, Philippines are on their way. After that it will be like the old times in India, that is, to get a technical job you need a bribe of Rs 1 Lakh and get paid Rs 5K/Mo. Of course you have to be an Indian citizen, cannot hold a dual citizenship, be a Hindu, and work like slave for the same employer.
Remember without the American and European giants we will be left with Reliance (blood suckers) and Tata. India has only progressed for the past 7 years because of the outsourcing so dont spit in the hand that feeds you!
And for the Omani friend, its a matter of quality of life that one decides to choose. I would rather pay taxes and live with dignity than be treated like shit by an Arab.
ajj Replied to: Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
i am agree with u and it is true so what ever other think true is true
deny Replied to: ajj - 26 Aug, 2009
Very true.
Nidhi Replied to: Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
Good this is an eye opener american govt has become nazi govt do not support americans they have got big head now refrain from buying their products and also do not use dollars for business transactions they are only supporting businesses and not the employee business do not realise employees are their pillars remove the support ans they will fall like pack of cards let them fall and feel the pain then we wil exploit them. Do not buy US products buy russian products and also refrain from using USA dollars they catch govts in other countries sell weapons promote wars and loot countries this is what USA stands for.
krishna Replied to: Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
BTW you should look at how foreigners are treated in India? I mean in terms of rights, job opportunities, owning real estate or simply getting permits to work in rural areas on humanitarian projects.
AAA Replied to: Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
If you don't like H1B terms don't come here. No one is forcing anybody to be "SLAVE". May be you should stay in Muscat.
AAA Replied to: Major(Retd)Rebbapragada,AMC/PC - 25 Aug, 2009
ya it is true dont come here and one more think i wanna say u do not think of USA we will think of us u first think of ur muscat it will help u
deny Replied to: AAA - 26 Aug, 2009
People come here voluntarily - nobody forces anybody. So if you don\'t like it here, rot in the Omani desert for all I care. The Major's (RETD) mindless tirade against the US is unnecessary
rahul Replied to: AAA - 25 Aug, 2009
14: The cited study by a "group of Professors in Duke University and the University of California" would itself have to be studied. I think that often these studies include H-1B bodyshops (aka agencies) among the "engineering and technology companies" that have been founded. I could be wrong but I believe this is the case.
Posted by:anon - 25 Aug, 2009
15: While Reader's comments(2) is too harsh, it is better to check its correctness. Further, recently I read that out of 65,000 H1.5 visas only 20,000 were taken by Indians. In that case, Indians themselves dont want to come to US and/or Indian companies dont want to send their employees to US, how this report(newsitem) can claim that silicon valley will suffer
Posted by:K.Srinivasan - 25 Aug, 2009
If your statistics are accurate, almost one third of the H1-B visas are granted to Indians. In my opinion, this is a huge percentage when compared with the number of other countries that also have great technological minds.
Linda R Replied to: K.Srinivasan - 25 Aug, 2009
Looks like all of the "Harsh" information was taken from Wikipedia. I would think that lawyers for the 3 "visionaries", would have checked the Wikipedia references over very carefully, and asked that anything incorrect be taken down.
joelam Replied to: K.Srinivasan - 25 Aug, 2009
US is doing what is best for itself and doing nobody a favor. On the other hand people in India do benefit from US, whether you call slavery or whatever. It is your personal choice to live as a servant in US and earn, then comeback to India live with the dignity which was ripped off working in the US.
Night Replied to: gaurav - 26 Aug, 2009
I am from bangalore and trying to find a gud agency for applying h1b. Heard that the allocations are not yet filled and they are accepting applications still. I am concerned about the agency. Can anyone provide me details on a credible agency through which I can apply H1b?
Anoop Replied to: Sun - 26 Aug, 2009
Very well said! I could have not done better.
ajj Replied to: gaurav - 25 Aug, 2009
I read all the responses but looks like everyone is trying to fight with each other instead of taking the discussion to a meaningful direction.

When a foreigner works on someone's motherland which means he should obey all the rules and regulations defined by their govt.

"When Rome, do as the Romans Do!"

so anyone should immediately go back if he is not comfortable with the rules of the foreign land.

With respect to H1B visas. I am Indian and I highly respect the US govt. for giving chance to individuals of such nations to come, work and learn and go back to the home country.

This way, we understand our position in the world and make our motherland a better place to live.

Why arguing on such a great nation.

We always forget the good part and fight on issues.

too much of everything is bad.

gaurav Replied to: Deepak - 25 Aug, 2009
I think first of all, the indian companies ought to be banned from employing only H1 VISA holders and let the employee work in US for an indefinite time. These companies not only exploit the loop hole but also cause job loss. The ideal situation is, for every 2 H1B applied, the India based companies must employ 1 Amerian Citizen. This will solve both arguments.
Deepak Replied to: Chander - 25 Aug, 2009
So what Pepsi was doing before Indira Nooyi got its CEO? Was it selling education to childeren? Or it was taking care of Orphans or it was giving healthy and nutrition food to childered in US and world? Fact is it was doing same, it is doing same and it will do same whether Nooyi is CEO or some one else as it is their business. Nooyi is just doing her duty as CEO and doing good enough for company growth. More Sales more jobs, more profit more corporate tax to US Govt. Dont look always to one side of coin..

Regarding Vikram Pandit, fight between him and FDIC chairmain is all visible in media reports though why Shiela has forgotten the blunders done by previous CEO and management of Citibank which has landed the this largest bank into trouble. May be she wants to fix every thing in one night. BoA also has got same trouble and has not profitable yet.Only thing she wants to remove Vikram Pandit as he has come from Investment banking background not consumer banking. Why Citibank has not thought this when making offer to him. Why FDIC chairmain whoever it was did not intervened. They gave the Job to Pandit in most difficult time of bank when the boat was sailing. That is correct, bank is using tax payer money but same money was given to AIG also who has given huge bonuses to its management. Why FDIC chairmain is not behind them?
Chander Replied to: Sun - 25 Aug, 2009
seems you have lost a lot due to Indians.
Sun Replied to: jali - 25 Aug, 2009