Comments on: Jump-start U.S. growth through immigration Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Peter Sat, 21 Mar 2009 21:41:18 +0000 I’ve worked in biotech for the past 15 years and it’s become obvious to me that the reason foreign workers are encouraged to come here is that they **they’ll do the job at a cut rate**, and there’s a plentiful supply of them. There’s nothing more to it. They’re not the brilliant scientists and engineers that the Furchgott-Roth types would have you believe. In fact, the best scientists I’ve worked with over my career have been almost exclusively American-born, despite that these people have been a numerical minority in the labs I’ve worked in.

The effects of the policies which Furchgott-Roth wants to have continued and expanded have been A) lowering of wages in science and engineering fields, and B) driving out of the native-born from them. It’s pretty funny how she points out that fewer Americans are getting PhDs, but doesn’t admit that the main reason for that is saturation of the fields with foreign labor. Another example of George Bush’s “jobs Americans won’t do.”

By: Anonymous Sat, 21 Mar 2009 03:03:27 +0000 @peaceboy:
Yes, I agree 200k approximation for a developer appears crazy. But, if you talk to a finance person in a big company, they do not think that way. Here is how “The cost of an employee” is calculated for an employee in big companies (I mean top 100).

– When an employee is paid 100K (for example) for an experienced IT guy, the company calculates the total expense for the employee as 200K based on his 401K, training, sickdays, vacation, pension (if exists), liability coverages such as medical insurance, accidental coverage, disability, etc.

The rule of thumb in most cases to calculate employee expense is (till 125k), twice the salary as total expense. remember, the scale is not linear for all salary ranges, and definitely not for CEO salaries ;-).

Another rule of thumb to rememer (if you ever start a staffing firm, it is very important ;-) ) is, your hourly rate multiplied by 2, is the approximate yearly salary in K). For example, your hourly rate is $50/hour then, you are making approximately 100K/year as salary.

Then a contracting house, convinces the hiring manager that, they can supply a contractor for just $75-$80/hour
for most decent developers. $75-$80/hour translates approximately to $150K-$160/year, which is cheaper than $100/hour ($200K/year) the company is paying the present employee.

Now, the H1/L1 company (contracting house) takes the $75/hour, gives the H1B candidate 65k-70k/year (minimum salary for H1 as per labor department in most states, which comes to about $35/hour), a medical insurance worth $10/hour (remember candidates are young and group insurance for a company, is much less than what you think), and pockets the rest (about 20-35$/hour), which amounts to anywhere from 30k to 60k.

Believe me, I am not exaggerating. My figures may be off by about 10% and not more that. These are the figures given by a very close friend who runs a consultancy company and he feels sad he is doing this unethical business ;-).

These figures are per candidate. This explains, why these guys (staffing firms) have the money to lobby the congress ;-)

By: peaceboy Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:08:18 +0000 @Anonymous
onemore thing 200k for programming is really crazy.
5 times the national average salary is little too much dont you think. Comming to quality I really learnt a lot from good American Architects and Managers they really are top of world cos a US has Computers before I was born and you get a whole generation of Architects. No offshore or Onshore company can make them nervous. Comming to new developers my team is half american and half rest of the world and you get good and bad coding examples from both.
There are flaws in every system and just dont take everything for face value those who cheat will reach there right place.Peace

By: peaceboy Fri, 20 Mar 2009 15:28:09 +0000 @Anonymous
I totally agree with you on one thing there is a problem with current H1 system. The requirements for the system were written long back and its quite easy for a company to cheat and get faulty candidates. Its not the best in India who get these anymore I know so many deserving friends who dont get chosen in the lottery. Even if a fake guy gets into this country its very tough for him to manage a position for long you need to understand that most H1’s are on very short contracts. The flaws in the Immigration have left the deserving candidates with no advantage at all this has really damaged our reputation here. The first time when i heard that someone got fired cos i started doing a good job as a offshore developer I felt very sad. Its not my decision to fire someone I just did what I was hired for. U were born in a country rich in resources poor in labor and its reverse for me. Its the recession now and we all are feeling the pinch but i still believe there are good opertunities for American programmers with all the bussiness here in US. Peace.

By: Anonymous Fri, 20 Mar 2009 05:37:34 +0000 @peaceboy:
You may be one of those deserved to be brought in on H1, but have you not seen the quality of the H1/L1/L2 around around you, brought in my the companies (both US and India) in the guise of non-availability of talent here?

I also work for a fortune 100 company(it is actually in top 20), with 20 years IT experience. Do you want me to tell you how many junk candidates are being dumped by the staffing firms weekly on a regular basis, convincing the immigration that they are all highly skilled and such talent is not available in USA?

Do you know, how many honest hard working US Citizens have lost jobs due to a cheaper replacement. You may be glaoting over the fact that, you are getting 100K on H1, but the fact is, your company hired you for 100k, and (possibly) laid off an US employee after showing his/her expense as 200K!!. Now, the company can tell the shareholders/higher management they saved 100K/candidate. In reality, we as a country are becoming more vulnerable.- An US Citizen is without work, unproductive, is on unemployment, his/her family may not have health insurance, mostly under foreclosure notice, etc …

The blame is not just on CEOs of US companies. Even Indian IT companies have to take blame for misusing the visa provisions. It is the entire system, including the immigration authorities for looking the other way, while they are expected to protect the jobs of US Citizens.

How many Europian countries, Asian countries allow massive inflow of immigrants and allow them to start influencing the “laws of land” to depreive the oppurtunities for the locals. Have you seen the web site,, where the immigrants are actively advising each other on how to beat the system, how their employers are harassing them?

No one is accusing you as fraud. Most of the comments are generic. It is a discussion and it is ok to disagree.

By: peaceboy Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:56:11 +0000 This is not the right time to discuss immigration. I am a H1 and I am not from an IIT that doesnt mean I am this “Unethical dumb Cheat” described by some of the commenters. I work for fortune 500 company get paid 100k for programming (I dont think i am cheap). I came to this country for two reasons 1 Money all the MNC’s exploit Indians Offshore developers (Its your fellow American Ceo who do that) . 2 Quality of Work The good architects and inventors hardly stay in India cos they mostly migrate to US and IT is still new India and no direct client interaction so the kind of work that gets offshored is boring.US still has the good stuff and its only insecure Americans who just dont want to compete and evolve complain. There will always be demand for good programmers.Lets think all we Indian Programmers are crapy then what motivates the big American companies to keep us year after year. I wont buy something which doesnt work cos its cheap again and again.There are few among us who realy are crappy and the market will kick them of in this recession. Bottom line is we provide more bang for the buck and believe me you will do the same if your ancestor didnt migrate to this country. If not for the visa restrictions i will start my own company and try something new.Its the greedy and Unethical practices from your fellow citizens that are dragging you to unnecessary wars ,deficits and bailouts we Immigrants just aspire for a better life and work hard . I just want to throw in a different prespective.

By: Mark Stockman Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:51:01 +0000 I agree that the US needs immigration to stay healthy. My long stated opinion is, lots of legal immigration and no illegal immigration. I would love to see the US strip the rest of the world bare of their best citizens. Send us your rebels, your freethinkers, your malcontents, your dreamers, your capitalists. More criminals and welfare cases? That we don’t need and can’t afford. As currently implemented and enforced, our immigration policy operates in reverse. Millions of unskilled, uneducated workers are allowed to stream into the country, while top people with valuable skills are prevented from coming here legally. Heaven forbid the Labor department set strict immigration quotas based on the labor supply in each job sector.
“Oh, you’re a systems engineer AND a CADD/CAM machinist? Here’s your work visa. Give us your fingerprints and a DNA sample on the way out. Welcome to America!”
“You’re a day laborer? Sorry, we have no jobs right now. Try back in a few months. Next!”

By: Jason P. Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:43:48 +0000 By the way I would like to point out that I have worked in the Biotech industry for almost 8 years now, and I can say from personal experience that the ‘need’ for more skilled labor from other countries is a lie. In the companies I have worked for, every time they open a new position, hundreds of people apply. Even assuming half that number are totally unqualified, it proves that this skilled labor shortage is a LIE designed to suppress worker wages and allow executives to collect bigger bonuses each year.

By: Jason P. Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:37:14 +0000 This article is such big business BS, and its the same kind of BS that got this country into the mess it is in.

Whenever visa patent attorneies and CEO’s of large corporations use their excessive amounts of money to buy the media into suggesting these ideas of letting more foreign labor in, its always about pointing to some abstract study which somehow proves that more labor from other countries is better and will bring in BILLIONS of dollars into the economy.

Its the same kind of magic mumbo-jumbo nonsense that the ‘invisible hand’ economists use to take the stance that letting corporations do whatever they want is the best economic sense. Well guess what, life aint that easy, and the truth is it takes national efforts to support national causes. The drain on the middle class is a direct result of these kinds of policies. We don’t need more labor, we need more investment in what we HAVE. TRAIN AMERICANS for a damn change instead of spending all our money on other nations.

By: Bert Thu, 19 Mar 2009 22:37:05 +0000 I can’t believe that with all of the IT people losing jobs in the US, that people are advocating importing more IT workers from foreign countries.
My firm belief is that those who are promoting the increase in H-1B visas, and those who want to increase the number of immigrant engineers have an agenda entirely different from what’s being expressed. e.g., more interested in stock prices of companies they own stock in, and don’t really care about the health of the American Economy, and can’t see further than the next quarter’s bottom line.
Listen folks! How can we strengthen the American Economy by taking the jobs away from the people who pay taxes (which supports the American Economy)? Why are we advocating firing the American worker and replacing them with cheap imported labor? We have so many people out of work, why don’t we instead of firing more people and replacing them with cheap labor, give them jobs and give them a chance to pay taxes?
Don’t you just love these people who advocate the increase of immigration, and taking away American Jobs, while their main objective is personal gain?