Open letter to Doyle regarding H-1B visas

Dear Jim Doyle,

I want to let you know I am against any increase in H-1B visas. The fact that you, as my governor, signed on to a letter to increase H-1B visas is a slap in the face to all IT workers seeking jobs.

To claim there is a critical shortage of highly skilled professionals in math and science is a lie. This myth has long ago been debunked by a Duke University study at

I hope you will listen to voters who have to live with the consequences of jobs being given to H-1B visa workers rather than the corporations who want to give our jobs away.

Joe Klein


Dave said...

Well Joe as an IT worker who's never had a problem getting a job and one who understands that immigrants (and yes H1Bs are often immigrants) actually create jobs, enhance our society and really are at the core of our history you've lost my vote.

mattress said...

Your last sentence doesn't make sense to me. Both options sound bad? jobs given to H1B workers or given to corporations who give the jobs away?

Might want to reword that.

mjonthemove said...

25% of US Patents come from immigrants. Are you basically saying that you want to fight an influx of legal, highly skilled immigrants?


Joe Klein said...

Read these for some background:

The rationale for the H-1B program is straightforward. The U.S. has a shortage of workers with specific skills, and the H-1B program allows firms to import the best and brightest to fill those gaps. Proponents claim the program prevents the outsourcing of jobs to low-cost countries and increases the U.S.’s competitiveness. Here’s why they are wrong.

The H-1B program has been corrupted by a large and growing share of firms that use it for cheap labor and to facilitate the outsourcing of jobs. Gaping loopholes make it very easy and legal to pay below-market wages. In fact, employers admitted to the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ watchdog agency, that they use the visas to hire less-expensive foreign workers. And examples of approved H-1B applications show how the program undercuts American workers. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor rubber-stamped HCL America’s bid to import 75 computer software engineers at $11.88 per hour.

The problems don’t stop with cheap labor. The H-1B visa is so critical to the offshore outsourcing industry that India’s Commerce Minister has dubbed it the "outsourcing visa." Seven of the top 10 H-1B employers are offshore outsourcing firms, none of whom hire many Americans, gobbling up tens of thousands of H-1B visas along the way. Rather than preventing it, the program speeds up the outsourcing of high-wage high-technology jobs.

None of this should be surprising given the raison d’etre of modern corporations, maximizing profits. Businesses do not exist to maximize their U.S. workforce or improve competitiveness in the U.S. If companies can lower costs by hiring cheaper foreign guest-workers, they will. If they can hire vendors who hire cheaper foreign guest-workers, they will. And who can blame them? If they don’t take advantage of blatant loopholes, their competitors surely will. Cheap labor and outsourcing explain why the H-1B program is oversubscribed.

A sizable share of the U.S. high-tech workforce understands this logic, and justifiably views the H-1B program as a threat and a scam. That’s the real danger to U.S. competitiveness. Young people considering a technology career see that industry prefers cheaper foreign guest-workers and that the government uses immigration policy to work against technology professionals.

Policymakers need to thoroughly reform these corrupted programs. Legislation introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) would accomplish this while still giving firms access to the best and brightest. Simply hoping, rather than requiring, corporations to shun the temptation of cheaper labor is not only naïve but also dangerous to the future of U.S. competitiveness.


Here is the smoking gun, according to Hira. The H-1B work visa has been used by many immigrants as a step to become a permanent resident. In the past, about fifty percent of all immigrants with an H-1B work visa eventually gain green cards. However, the outsourcing companies seeking thousands of H-1B work visas are requesting relatively few green cards, according to government figures. Thus, the ratio is suspiciously out of whack.

In fact, the ratio for the leading Indian outsourcing companies was less than 1 percent. In other cases, companies ask their U.S. employees to train H-1B workers who then replace them at lower pay. Hira says, “This is euphemistically called, ‘knowledge transfer.’ I call it, ‘knowledge extraction.’” Hira is not the only one. Kamal Nath, the commerce minister of India, says that the H-1B program has “become the outsourcing visa.”


Dave said...

I've read all that ist crap before and at one time it was the Irish, the Chinese, the Jews and now it's the Indians. Different target sane discussion.

If you afraid to compete in IT then you aren't good enough. The problem we have is not letting enough people in, it's called competition...

Is it possible less people are applying for Green Cards because we make the process so damn hard that we encourage people not to stay?

Something like 50% of students in U.S. Graduate programs are foreign born... so lets tell them all to go home and compete against us... Real smart.

Joe Klein said...

You want good technical help from India, recruit them and make them citizens. I not not against immigration. Immigrats can use the EB series visas.

HB-1s are designed for temporary workers, the type used by industry to suppress organized labor.