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Silicon Valley Presses Obama, Congress On Immigration Reform 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the 9/10-corporations-agree dept.
walterbyrd sends this excerpt from the LA Times: "In a rare show of unity, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer were among a coalition of high-profile executives and venture capitalists to send a letter on Thursday to President Obama and congressional leaders pressing for a fix to restrictive immigration laws by year's end. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors and executives are also planning a virtual "march" on Washington in April. 'Because our current immigration system is outdated and inefficient, many high-skilled immigrants who want to stay in America are forced to leave because they are unable to obtain permanent visas,' the letter says. 'Some do not bother to come in the first place.'" The letter also offers these suggestions: "We believe that numerical levels and categories for high-skilled nonimmigrant and immigrant visas should be responsive to market needs and, where appropriate, include mechanisms to fluctuate based on objective standards. In addition, spouses and children should not be counted against the cap of high-skilled immigrant visas. There should not be a marriage or family penalty."
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Silicon Valley Presses Obama, Congress On Immigration Reform

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  • ageism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 16, 2013 @08:31AM (#43189945)

    If they didn't refuse to hire anyone over 40, they wouldn't have a problem...

  • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @09:23AM (#43190213)
    In the last three months, our company has hired THREE H1B employees, one being a programmer. They had to post the jobs, so I got to see the salary ranges.

    'Less restrictive' is code for 'lower paid'. There are plenty of out-of-work US citizens that could have done these jobs, but if they hire H1B, they can pay less and keep them longer because of the sponsorship requirement. I was able to review resumes for one position, and there were definitely capable US citizens to do these.

    I'm not against hiring talented, smart, folks. I'm not even against companies paying less and driving down wages if it makes products cheaper.

    I am against lying about why they are doing it. Just be honest, and admit Mr. Zuckerberg that you just want to hire people you can pay less money.
  • Re:At the same time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @09:32AM (#43190255)

    Why do employers insist on having a perfect fit? And do they really think that if they can't get an American that there is some Third Workd person who will know their breakthrough - bleeding edge technology? really?

    If you have trouble finding people, you really need to look at your hiring methods and get a reality check.

    You hit the nail on the head at the top of your post. They're simply not that desperate. What they want are all those skills for as close to nothing as they can get it. If they actually needed to hire people, then they'd just go ahead and do it and salaries would be going through the roof since it's hardly a cash-poor sector.

    Industries which desperately need people - say, oil geology - have had their salaries explode (though similarly it's precisely because they haven't been training anyone, just poaching off each other and yet the entire field is apparently aging pretty quickly now and will retiring soon - and they have no answer for who's going to replace them, because a whole bunch of industrial knowledge is going to retire with them).

  • by nukenerd (172703) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @10:37AM (#43190599)

    We should improve the education system and encourage our fine American youth to make use of it rather than importing immigrants from abroad. Why is the knee jerk reaction from these greedy corporate bastards always to import talent or export jobs rather than fix the what's wrong at home?

    Because training workers from scratch to do the job costs MONEY.

    Who said about "training from scratch"? Schools an universities should do much of the training. And if someone is going to be good at something it will have been a hobby too. I am a senior professional engineer and was model engineering from about the age of 8. My son was writing games programs from about that age too and is now an IT consultant.

    Once intelligent people have the basics of a subject it does not take them long to adapt to a particular applications.

    But bosses tend to look for exact matching previous experience. My wife sat on an interview panel for a book-keeper and favoured the obviously most intelligent candidate. But the company used Sage book-keeping software, and the bright candidate had previously used Quickbooks, not Sage, so the boss chose a duller candidate just because they had used Sage before.

    It turned out that the woman who got the job was absolutely f#@king useless . She just sat and moaned all day and had to be shown everything and even then could not do it (including using Sage). The boss pushed her out after 3 months, but no doubt, and this is the point, she would now be able to say that she had "experience" of Sage in two jobs - at her next interview with the next stupid boss who believes experience = capability.

    My wife's theory is that the boss (like many) was frightened/envious of employing someone more intelligent than himself.

  • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @11:21AM (#43190853)

    My understanding is that supposedly they do that. They advertise somewhere, rule out the locals, then hire the H1B.

    Trouble is, there's no objective demonstration that the H1B can do anything local hires can't. Elsewhere, I suggest objective *tests*. At least give locals a real chance to compete, instead of having their applications thrown out in a bogus "we're pretending we're looking for local hires" kabuki dance.

    But even if a company demonstrates that a H1B is more qualified, why should that put the company's needs for a worker ahead of the needs of everyone else who would like to use that immigration slot? Just more crony capitalism.

    The immigration slot is a valuable asset. Any slots set aside for economic reasons should go to the highest bidder.

  • Re:ageism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Saturday March 16, 2013 @11:59AM (#43191069)

    If they didn't refuse to hire anyone over 40, they wouldn't have a problem...

    The problem with "over 40" techies, is that they mostly fall into two groups. The first group have learned with experience, have continued to educate themselves, are good at passing on their knowledge through advice and mentoring, and are invaluable members of any team. The second group are grumpy curmudgeons with stale skills, but still think they should be paid extra for "seniority". The problem is that the first group rarely needs to find a new job, and when they do, they can tap into a deep network of contacts. So almost any "over 40" techie that responds to an web-ad for a job is going to belong to the second group.

  • Won't work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @12:18PM (#43191153)
    Unions only work when everyone is in one place and you can organize them. What we need is something more like the AARP but for tech workers. Focus on specific goals, send out political communications so you know when to bombard your reps, etc, etc. It's not a union because you're not negotiating, your lobbying.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 16, 2013 @03:22PM (#43192277)

    Coming from the greedballs like Melissa Mayer, Bill Gates, John Chambers and the rest of that crowd who PROFIT by encouraging this race to the bottom. It's disgusting, and a blatant betrayal of the American worker.

    Here are some references that *accurately* put the lie to the claims made by these lying SOBs. Does that sound harsh? It's meant to. These so-called "American leaders" are betraying the very workers who helped them make their unreal wealth. They need to be called out.

    http://www.epi.org/publication/bp356-foreign-students-best-brightest-immigration-policy/

    http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_23_2/tsc_23_2_nelson_printer.shtml

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/silicon-valley-h1b-visas-hurt-tech-workers

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/07/report-for-first-time-in-decades-us-is-bleeding-high-skilled-immigrants/

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