Matloff's Mystery H-1B Article Blames Obama—But Should Blame Republicans Too?
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Norm Matloff’s excellent discussion of Mark Kirkorian’s courageous National Review immigration article of yesterday had a peculiar ending:

Which brings me to the "mystery article," the third major piece that ran today. Sorry for sounding ornery, but I refuse to state where that piece ran and who wrote it. It actually has some excellent content, but its main theme is that the primary villains are the Indian-owned bodyshops. This simply distracts attention from the main issue, which is that H-1B and green cards are abused across the board, not just by the Indian-owned firms.

Well, I know I've got your curiosity up now. Where is that "mystery article"? Well, you figure it out.

I figure the answer is Obama's high-tech labor lies By David Sirota Salon Monday Feb 6, 2012

This does indeed focus on the H-1B/Indian outsourcing aspect of this catastrophe for the American middle class: I noted last week, despite the political rhetoric to the contrary, our universities are producing far more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workers than allegedly worker-starved tech companies are willing to employ. Indeed, a generation of jobless engineers exists not because, as tech CEOs insist, they don’t possess the skills to fill open jobs, but because those tech CEOs aren’t looking for domestic workers. On the contrary, they are looking for foreign workers who will simply accept lower wages and fewer workplace rights than Americans.

…we’re talking about Microsoft or HP hiring an entire foreign firm like Infosys or Satyam to help them subcontract huge parts of their existing American business to foreign locales where wages are way lower, workplace regulations are lax, and unions do not exist. Once such contracts are in hand, these foreign subcontractors acquire thousands of H-1B visas from the U.S. government and dole them out to their own employees working on a contract basis inside major American high-tech firms inside the United States. Those employees are charged with helping those American firms permanently shift so-called “back office” services to low-wage locales like India.

But Sirota also?quite rightly—holds the nation’s Chief Executive responsible:
Obama showed himself to be either wholly ignorant of the reality facing high-tech workers today, or simply willing to echo the self-serving lies of his high-tech CEO friends….it’s impossible to know if President Obama is simply ignorant of these facts, or merely doesn’t want to acknowledge them, for fear of alienating his campaign donors in the high-tech industry.

…those donors have a vested financial interest in answering Obama’s fundraising call if — and when — that president seems determined to preserve the status quo and oppose any proposed pro-worker reforms of a program like the H-1B visa. After all, no matter if they are replacing domestic American workers with imported H-1B workers, or using the H-1B program to shift huge parts of their businesses offshore, those high-tech executives have a very lucrative scam going, and clearly, they don’t care if American workers are the ultimate victims.

Whether the president cares remains an open question — but based on his comments about the H-1B program last week, his ultimate answer doesn’t look promising.

Maybe this was too much for Professor Matloff, who frequently reminds us he is a Democrat. As it happens, David Sirota himself has impeccable Democratic credentials.

As usual, this article has attracted voluminous informative and well-argued responses, such as this analysis of the H-1B process (link takes some moments) and, deplorably “DMichel’s”

I just left a company whose CEO constantly advocated hiring "indians" (lower case intentional) for programming resources over the internet (no H1B needed), and "mexicans" for menial labor. His wife refused to hire anybody over the age of 40. Here's the big surprise....

They are staunch, ideological republicans.

Alas, all too believable.
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