Update: We just learned federal law enforcement officers have arrested 11 people in the first crackdown on H-1B abuses we’ve ever seen. So maybe the new H-1B restrictions in the works will have an effect after all.
A victory for those opposed to the H-1B program.
The Grassley-Sanders Amendment to the $789 stimulus bill, which aims to make it significantly harder for any company taking TARP money to hire H-1B immigrant workers, has been added to the final version of the stimulus package and approved by the House-Senate conference committee. That makes the new restriction on immigrant tech workers highly to become law in the coming days.
People spew a lot of nonsense about the H-1B program, with various sides talking up either the historic place of immigration in American society or the plight of laid off tech workers. The debate is further muddied because the law is supposed to only be for jobs where no American workers can be found, which is, for lack of better word, bullsh*t.
IT Staffing companies — as standard operating procedure — regularly put out advertisements for tech jobs and then ignore all incoming resumes to “document” they “tried” to find an American for a slot that goes to an H-1B. After all, why even interview an American worker when someone has already been located in Hyderabad who will do it for a 35% less and never ever complain about work conditions?
Supporting the H-1B program: Most big companies, for whom IT is a cost centre to be reduced. Opposing: American-born tech workers, who see their salaries depressed by the program.
So score one for tech workers, and anticipate higher IT expenses (in the form of higher salaries for those workers) for banks taking bailout money. But consider one caveat: The original version of the amendment would ban TARP-takers from hiring any H-1Bs at all, this new bill only raises the regulatory hassle. There’s a convincing case that banks (or more to the point, staffing companies who find tech workers for the banks) will make an end-run around the new rules just like they made an end-run around the old rules.
So who’s not supposed to hiring H-1B’s? SAI has the full list below, from the US Treasury Dept: