first dibs on jobs for U.S. citizens?

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first dibs on jobs for U.S. citizens?

Should U.S. Citizens get offered a job before any non citizen, on the basis of nationality over merit? I know some U.S. government jobs are set up like this (see note), but I don't 'believe' in the workforce otherwise there is this rule. So, if there is, pardon me, just never heard of it..and it there isn't this rule, do you think there should be?

Side note:
(my friend a Psychiatrist at a VA had to go to a job fair himself and search out a candidate for HIS position because that is the rule for some government jobs, if there is an American available (not sure about merit) then it has to be offered to that person first, before renewing his contract) The debate isn't about Government jobs as such, but overall.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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For clarification, are we talking about people who are in the US legally or not legally? I would think that if we were talking about someone who was a qualified legal resident of the US it would be discrimination to not hire them just because they were not born in America. If they were a non legal resident that would be different. If there was a legitimate reason, such as they did not speak good English and speaking English was a part of the job, than that is also different.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I agree with Bonita. I'm sensitive about this one because I am not an American citizen but I have a green card and I can legally work here. I would never, ever get a job if people had to hire American citizens before hiring me. How could the rest of us possibly earn a living? It also screws over the employers, if they have a candidate they like and then have to hire someone else instead.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

For clarification, are we talking about people who are in the US legally or not legally? I would think that if we were talking about someone who was a qualified legal resident of the US it would be discrimination to not hire them just because they were not born in America. If they were a non legal resident that would be different. If there was a legitimate reason, such as they did not speak good English and speaking English was a part of the job, than that is also different.

We are talking about U.S. citizens as the post says. U.S. citizens can't be illegal.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I agree with Bonita. I'm sensitive about this one because I am not an American citizen but I have a green card and I can legally work here. I would never, ever get a job if people had to hire American citizens before hiring me. How could the rest of us possibly earn a living? It also screws over the employers, if they have a candidate they like and then have to hire someone else instead.

I don't mean it to be a harmful debate or one that hurts anyone's feelings.

I'll tell you the background reason I'm asking. We are like you here, expats - but in a different country. We have legal residence status, work auth etc. similar to having a green card, but one that has to be renewed every 2 years or without valid employment is revoked - which is quite different than the green card but anyway, laws are slightly different. But they have to be too. People and culture is very different.

When I moved to Saudi Arabia I learned about the Saudization program, which is a big web of something which I should not say. And I started thinking about it and how would it even work in other countries or if it would be helpful, harmful, etc. That's why I brought it to the table. We have some ideas like Affirmative Action. It's what some people call "Positive Discrimination" for example in Universities. Would not this be similar but focused towards employment?

I was thinking that it's kind of cool for a country to protect its own citizens and try to take care of those first.

Am I the only one who sees the side of the American? 40% of tech jobs are for foreigners. (note, we're not talking illegal aliens taking these jobs here) We are talking intentional employment. This is in just ONE field. Here is an article that discusses this.

How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers | Mother Jones

https://cis.org/node/379

Top 10 Companies That Request the Most Visas for Foreign Workers - ABC News

Take a look at this for example:

US headquarters in Teaneck, N.J., and global headquarters in Chennai, India

Cognizant

H1-B Visas Received: 17,964

Headquarters: Mumbai, India

Tata Consultancy

H1-B Visas Received: 9,083

Headquarters: Bangalore, India

Wipro

H1-B Visas Received: 8,726

Headquarters: Bangalore, India

Infosys

H1-B Visas Received: 6,550

Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft (Microsoft suggests an unlimited number of Visas be available)

H1-B Visas Received: 4,766

Headquarters: Duplin, Ireland

Accenture

H1-B Visas Received: 5,799

Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.

IBM

H1-B Visas Received: 3,770

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I don't know that it's protecting your citizens to give them jobs when they aren't as qualified as other people who legally have the right to work. Let's look at the bigger picture.

1. American citizens, the ones who were born here, did nothing special to receive their status. They had the wonderful good luck to be born here. So how does it help them to automatically get a job instead of someone more qualified? Does this improve America? Don't we already have an entitlement problem?

2. Those of us with green cards had to go through a great deal to get them, many endured hardships and strain and difficulty. (I am lucky; it was easier for me being Canadian with a U.S. resident father.) So don't we want to encourage that attitude and drive here in the U.S.?

3. I think there's a huge difference between replacing existing workers (as in the Mother Jones article) and just making your hiring decisions based on citizenship. Separate issue.

4. I think -- and most Americans don't like me for this -- that the country is already chest-thumping enough without more of this. It's a great country in so many ways, but this idea that everyone who isn't a citizen is somehow "less than" is very disturbing. Immigration -- legal immigration -- helps our culture and our society in countless ways. Why make it even harder for people to get jobs and be part of society? How would anyone else EVER get a job? What would be the point?

If you want to look at large companies that import work forces, that's a little different from a law preventing Joe Foreign But Legal Schmo from getting work.

mom3girls's picture
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I think that whoever is most qualified for the job should get it. If more of our tech jobs are going to other nationalities then as a country we need to help our kids become more prepared for these jobs (banning technology is not going to help this)

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"myyams" wrote:

We are talking about U.S. citizens as the post says. U.S. citizens can't be illegal.

There absolutely should not be a distinction between a US citizen that is a citizen because they were born here or a US citizen who was born somewhere else for any job other than President of the USA. I do not see how you could possibly argue otherwise. In my opinion, it would be no different than reusing to hire someone who was qualified just because they were Black or Muslim.

Joined: 05/23/12
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I can see everyone's side, and I'm not really taking a hardcore side, but I am bothered by a few things nonetheless.

Take a minute and actually read the concern, which despite being written as it is, still demonstrates accurate concerns:

I, Cringely What Americans don't know about H-1B visas could hurt us all ~ I, Cringely

And for the record Bonita, your post doesn't make much sense in line with this debate.

My post isn't about where a U.S. citizen was born dear. It is about people who are not citizens here who are being brought over on for example Visas for work, particularly as I stated in just ONE example, in droves in so called high skilled areas where there is no real shortage as we need our citizens to get those jobs. Often it's truly coming down to salary. When a person gains experience in a job, their salary value increases, employers offer raises, etc and then after 10 years that same employee is likely earning 3 or 4 people's salaries. So employers try to hire off shore in order to lower salaries and bring home more profits to their company. Effectually, they are driving the salaries down and at the same time filling several hundred thousands of jobs. Almost 90K new visas are available each year, then there are some with no caps. Consider the duration each visa is for and you can see we have an issue to me. Multiply this out times and times again and that's how many citizens are not getting jobs.

For example:
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the mean wage for a programmer in Charlotte, NC is $73,965. But the level 1 prevailing wage is $50,170. Most prevailing wage claims on H-1B applications use the level 1 wage driving down the cost of labor in this instance by nearly a third.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

I think that whoever is most qualified for the job should get it. If more of our tech jobs are going to other nationalities then as a country we need to help our kids become more prepared for these jobs (banning technology is not going to help this)

While I get this, I don't think this is the exact issue. It doesn't mean our people are not qualified. You don't necessarily need a PhD to do a job if you have an awesome MS person. It's not about this at all. It's mostly about salary, less benefits etc. However some companies would like to have us believe our own tech people are not educated enough.

And mind you, this is truly NOT the only field of concern. I just cited one area to demonstrate the issue.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't know that it's protecting your citizens to give them jobs when they aren't as qualified as other people who legally have the right to work. Let's look at the bigger picture.

1. American citizens, the ones who were born here, did nothing special to receive their status. They had the wonderful good luck to be born here. So how does it help them to automatically get a job instead of someone more qualified? Does this improve America? Don't we already have an entitlement problem?

2. Those of us with green cards had to go through a great deal to get them, many endured hardships and strain and difficulty. (I am lucky; it was easier for me being Canadian with a U.S. resident father.) So don't we want to encourage that attitude and drive here in the U.S.?

3. I think there's a huge difference between replacing existing workers (as in the Mother Jones article) and just making your hiring decisions based on citizenship. Separate issue.

4. I think -- and most Americans don't like me for this -- that the country is already chest-thumping enough without more of this. It's a great country in so many ways, but this idea that everyone who isn't a citizen is somehow "less than" is very disturbing. Immigration -- legal immigration -- helps our culture and our society in countless ways. Why make it even harder for people to get jobs and be part of society? How would anyone else EVER get a job? What would be the point?

If you want to look at large companies that import work forces, that's a little different from a law preventing Joe Foreign But Legal Schmo from getting work.

It's not only about qualifications. We do not have that massive of an educational issue here. We do have the issue of for example, tons of Chinese run factories creating products for pennies on the dollar which make it nearly impossible for Americans to compete and still bring home a profit. It costs much less to live abroad in some other countries PLUS they are willing or forced to work in inhumane conditions often times, for inhumane hours, for inhumane wages in line with their local economy, etc etc.

I think yes I was lucky to be born in the U.S. I generally do hold an attitude though that before giving all of our U.S. money to other countries and getting involved so deeply, we have to do much more for our own country people. So I do think we are entitled to basic care which we are NOT getting. I see my parents suffering everyday and in crazy amounts of medical debt from not having insurance. I see her neighbors doing with basic things just so they can even get to the dr because gas prices are so expensive. I do feel like we are entitled to be thought of first before the rest of the world. YES I do. If that means that we can vamp up any training or offer special incentives then that's great. Perhaps that means NOT low balling salaries like in an example I gave.

As for 3. Yes I can see where this is a concern. Based on citizenship. Unlike my Saudization example, I don't find it objectionable to include in that anyone legally authorized to work in the U.S. The issue wasn't that I was personally decided and stuck on that, but that was what brought the debate, as I stated earlier, this is a different country and have different nuances.

4. I don't personally hold any opinion that someone is less than x due to nationality. Maybe some do. Not sure.

Article:
http://betanews.com/2012/10/25/h-1b-visa-abuse-limits-wages-and-steals-us-jobs/

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"myyams" wrote:

It's not only about qualifications. We do not have that massive of an educational issue here. We do have the issue of for example, tons of Chinese run factories creating products for pennies on the dollar which make it nearly impossible for Americans to compete and still bring home a profit. It costs much less to live abroad in some other countries PLUS they are willing or forced to work in inhumane conditions often times, for inhumane hours, for inhumane wages in line with their local economy, etc etc.

I think yes I was lucky to be born in the U.S. I generally do hold an attitude though that before giving all of our U.S. money to other countries and getting involved so deeply, we have to do much more for our own country people. So I do think we are entitled to basic care which we are NOT getting. I see my parents suffering everyday and in crazy amounts of medical debt from not having insurance. I see her neighbors doing with basic things just so they can even get to the dr because gas prices are so expensive. I do feel like we are entitled to be thought of first before the rest of the world. YES I do. If that means that we can vamp up any training or offer special incentives then that's great. Perhaps that means NOT low balling salaries like in an example I gave.

As for 3. Yes I can see where this is a concern. Based on citizenship. Unlike my Saudization example, I don't find it objectionable to include in that anyone legally authorized to work in the U.S. The issue wasn't that I was personally decided and stuck on that, but that was what brought the debate, as I stated earlier, this is a different country and have different nuances.

4. I don't personally hold any opinion that someone is less than x due to nationality. Maybe some do. Not sure.

Article:
H-1B visa abuse limits wages and steals US jobs

Wait, are we talking about people in America or outside of America? I am confused by the references to living abroad and inhumane conditions (although of course the inhuman conditions exist in the U.S. too). I think if we're talking about people working for American companies in a foreign land, that's a very different issue.

And yes, I do think a country should take care of its own first but I don't see what medical debt or gas prices have to do with this particular issue.

I am confused...I don't think these arguments are connected to the topic. Or did I miss the gist of the topic?

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"myyams" wrote:

We are talking about U.S. citizens as the post says. U.S. citizens can't be illegal.

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I am confused...I don't think these arguments are connected to the topic. Or did I miss the gist of the topic?

I am confused as well. Are we talking about US citizens would were not born in the US getting jobs over US citizens who were born in the US, or are we talking about Non US citizens with a green card getting jobs over US citizens?

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Or are we talking about US citizens (however they became them) getting jobs overseas?

KimPossible's picture
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There seems to be confusion as to what types of scenarios we are talking about here. I'll wait and see exactly what is meant.

I will say this, my father was a doctor and came to this country to do his residency. If all residencies were prioritized to go to US Citizens first, which he was not one at the time...well i wouldn't even exist.

I think it is a positive for our nation to draw international talent to our country. If they are better for the job, or can add something that someone else cannot, then I think they should be able to get the job.

If this is not the type of scenario we are trying to discuss, then nevermind. But if any policies were made around this, they would have to be well defined, with very specific criteria, you cant' just do it on a case by case basis.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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Regardless of which situation we are talking about, as long as someone is here legally the best person for the job should get hired. I don't know about you, but if I am in need of life saving surgery I want the most qualified person for the job regardless if they are black, white, purple, or blue and regardless of where they were born.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Regardless of which situation we are talking about, as long as someone is here legally the best person for the job should get hired. I don't know about you, but if I am in need of life saving surgery I want the most qualified person for the job regardless if they are black, white, purple, or blue and regardless of where they were born.

I agree with you but i do think in regards to the medical community that many hospitals get plenty of highly qualified candidates, none of which I would lack confidence in if they were chosen over another to take care of me. My concern is not that our quality of care would actually suffer....my concern is more with actually closing the doors to high quality, highly productive individuals from other countries.

Doing that would have all sorts of negative effects in my opinion.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

I agree with you but i do think in regards to the medical community that many hospitals get plenty of highly qualified candidates, none of which I would lack confidence in if they were chosen over another to take care of me. My concern is not that our quality of care would actually suffer....my concern is more with actually closing the doors to high quality, highly productive individuals from other countries.

Doing that would have all sorts of negative effects in my opinion.

In some situations I do believe the quality of care would suffer. There are some Specialists that there are only a few people that have the level of expertise needed in the country. Sometimes people travel hundreds of miles to go to a certain specialist that is the top in their field. Not all of these doctors were born in America. I know when DH had his Kidney Transplant, the doctor was from India. There are not so many transplant specialist that we can be picky about where they are born. Even if there were, I still believe it would be very racist and discriminatory to do so.

KimPossible's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In some situations I do believe the quality of care would suffer. There are some Specialists that there are only a few people that have the level of expertise needed in the country. Sometimes people travel hundreds of miles to go to a certain specialist that is the top in their field. Not all of these doctors were born in America. I know when DH had his Kidney Transplant, the doctor was from India. There are not so many transplant specialist that we can be picky about where they are born. Even if there were, I still believe it would be very racist and discriminatory to do so.

Let me put it this way...I dont' think that we should be hiring people who are not qualified no matter what and i don't think thats what the OP was suggesting.

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I am (not) speechless... I hope this will clear it up:

I am talking about U.S. Citizens (but am completely open to anyone legally authorized to work). I don't personally care where the U.S. Citizen was born Bonita or where they live. I care about legal status.

My main supporting example of my thought process "Leaning" (but I'm not a stubborn person if someone makes a case) toward thinking that there are WAY too many people being sponsored on Visas, which are NOT immigrant Visas. Please take some time and understand this: an H1B is NOT an immigrant Visa, however, it does not exclude someone from any path otherwise to citizenship but acquiring citizenship is nowhere close to this debate topic. Read Here to Learn what this entails.

You may be eligible for an H-1B visa if you are planning to work for the business you start in the United States in an occupation that normally requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field of study (e.g., engineers, scientists or mathematicians), and you have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a field related to the position.

Initial period of stay in the United States: Up to 3 years. Extensions possible in up to 3 year increments. Maximum period of stay generally 6 years (extensions beyond 6 years may be possible).

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT THE CAP

I don't want any position to go to anyone unqualified.

What is happening in this specific example in the Tech Industry is there are several hundred thousand foreigners here working in this particular industry.

However, we should ask ourselves WHY the high number for foreign workers. Is it because we have a shortage? No. We don't. If we had a shortage of employees, we would see the salary demand RISE not fall. Foreigners, non U.S. Citizens, being sponsored from outside of the U.S. are willing to work for significantly LESS money than our own people. It has little to do with foreigners being such geniuses that U.S. companies just are drooling to get them. No. It is about salary decrease for similar skill sets. Reference to the study: CLICK HERE

Our examination of the IT labor market, guestworker flows, and the STEM education pipeline finds consistent and clear trends suggesting that the United States has more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM occupations:
The flow of U.S. students (citizens and permanent residents) into STEM fields has been strong over the past decade, and the number of U.S. graduates with STEM majors appears to be responsive to changes in employment levels and wages.
For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.
In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry.

The tech industry has said that it needs more H-1B visas in order to hire the “best and the brightest,” regardless of their citizenship. Yet the IT industry seems to have a surprisingly low bar for education. The study found that among IT workers, 36 percent do not have a four-year college degree. Among the 64 percent who do have diplomas, only 38 percent have a computer science or math degree.

So, ultimately, again, what I am saying is that large numbers of foreign workers are making up the tech field, approximately 40% are foreigners. Is this a problem? I feel it is because our own people are not getting jobs because of it. Is it because they are not qualified enough? Apparently this is not the case. It is more in line with other corporate strategies such as cutting the salaries to save money and since those present in the U.S. with status are not willing to work at almost 30% LESS salary, ultimately, the foreigner gets the job. Just like the China deal with manufacturing.

The economy part Laurie... I guess that part wasn't understood. Foreigners tend to live differently in third world countries and they'd probably be thrilled to take an 80% pay cut from a U.S. salary in this field because when you convert it, still, it's a whole lotta money. So they are very used to a different lifestyle and are willing to take anything JUST TO GET to the U.S. and make a name. The details get worked out later as opportunities arise. I'm not upset but this is sort of part of the appeal, not blaming them at all. It's good for them..but it's bad for our own people who are thinking what the crp? You know? Why even try? Our education is much longer. Our education is much much much more expensive apples for apples in terms of esteem of institute. It's really demoralizing. Our people come out of school with crazy loads of debt to try to get their education.

So I tend to lean on the side that we should be taking care of our own people before bringing almost a hundred thousand NEW people EVERY year to the U.S. for jobs. Unless someone can convince me why this thinking is wrong this is my view.

Kim, the UK is actually limiting foreign doctors to a large degree. The U.S. also does in an unofficial way through individual programs by their own choice not ranking foreign medical graduates during matching season. There actually lots of difficulties for FMGs. I didn't mention the medical field though as the case point for this debate because it's a hairier and much more complicated case. Plus the Tech Industry, well, STEM, is technically the largest issue anyway.

wanted to add, as I stated before, Bill Gates has openly suggested NO CAP at all be on the number of visas issued. And if we really look into this, the caps is extremely loosely defined and not really defined ...for sure. I hope that makes sense. The language intentionally leaves the possibility for many other avenues open.

And I wanted to mention that some say that they use these to bring over geniuses from other parts of the world, and this is just not true. Some articles I posted earlier touches on this. So it's only a lot of fluff to justify the sponsorship of less paid people and not hiring our own.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In some situations I do believe the quality of care would suffer. There are some Specialists that there are only a few people that have the level of expertise needed in the country. Sometimes people travel hundreds of miles to go to a certain specialist that is the top in their field. Not all of these doctors were born in America. I know when DH had his Kidney Transplant, the doctor was from India. There are not so many transplant specialist that we can be picky about where they are born. Even if there were, I still believe it would be very racist and discriminatory to do so.

This is due to different reasons....

I wish for people to be qualified of course.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Regardless of which situation we are talking about, as long as someone is here legally the best person for the job should get hired. I don't know about you, but if I am in need of life saving surgery I want the most qualified person for the job regardless if they are black, white, purple, or blue and regardless of where they were born.

This isn't what I was saying...

GloriaInTX's picture
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I absolutely think that if there are 2 people equally qualified for the same job that a U.S. Citizen should get preferential treatment. I don't think that is racist or discriminatory at all. I don't care what color they are if you are a U.S. Citizen you should get the job over someone who is not a citizen. A citizen was either born here or went through the necessary steps to become a citizen, someone with a green card can go back to their home country and look for a job if they can't find one here. I work in the IT field so I do agree that sometimes non citizens are hired because they will work cheaper.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I absolutely think that if there are 2 people equally qualified for the same job that a U.S. Citizen should get preferential treatment. I don't think that is racist or discriminatory at all. I don't care what color they are if you are a U.S. Citizen you should get the job over someone who is not a citizen. A citizen was either born here or went through the necessary steps to become a citizen, someone with a green card can go back to their home country and look for a job if they can't find one here. I work in the IT field so I do agree that sometimes non citizens are hired because they will work cheaper.

As "someone with a green card", I don't like the sentiment that I should just move back to Canada. Leave my family? My life? I have two American children. My husband isn't Canadian; is he supposed to move back with me? I've been here for 25 years. I have no career credentials back home at all, I didn't even start my career until after I moved to the U.S.

I am qualified for many jobs but would be hard pressed to say I'm absolutely more qualified than everyone else applying. Often these decisions -- in my field at least -- come down to personality; when everyone is equally qualified, they try to find the best fit for the work environment/culture, personality-wise.

Right now, according to the law, you can only sponsor someone's work visa (for a specific job) if they are more qualified than U.S. citizens and legal residents. I don't know how the companies are getting around this but obviously they are. I just don't think the solution is an across-the-board preference for citizens. It can take up to ten years to get citizenship, you have to get a green card first and then live here for 5 years before you can even apply.

I don't like tiered societies. Once I can legally work here, then I should be just as entitled to a job I'm qualified for as anyone else.

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Laurie, side point sort of, but inhumane working conditions in the U.S. cannot ever compare with what's considered inhumane working conditions in some third world countries. I've seen it with my own eyes for the past 13 years. Every time I take my clothes to have them stitched, I see little kids, dishelved, dirty, stitching in neighboring tailor shops, under a small bulb dimly lit, HOT like crazy HOT weather, no fan..etc.etc. But if that little kid doesn't work, their family might not have food. I've seen small kids handmaking bricks in the scorching heat for houses under construction. So...what's someone to do?? take whatever you can get. The answer isn't that simple unfortunately. I've seen kids and adults completely and intentionally disfigured so that they could gain pity from people they begged from in their very professional business of begging. Their own parents twisted their legs backwards when they were little to set them up for what would be their given profession. I could go on, but it is all just very sick. Inhumane is relative. So whatever condition a person who is used to seeing in their third world country looks like a bed or roses in the U.S.

However, I can't justify saving people from their economy while putting our own people on the streets...

GloriaInTX's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

As "someone with a green card", I don't like the sentiment that I should just move back to Canada. Leave my family? My life? I have two American children. My husband isn't Canadian; is he supposed to move back with me? I've been here for 25 years. I have no career credentials back home at all, I didn't even start my career until after I moved to the U.S.

I am qualified for many jobs but would be hard pressed to say I'm absolutely more qualified than everyone else applying. Often these decisions -- in my field at least -- come down to personality; when everyone is equally qualified, they try to find the best fit for the work environment/culture, personality-wise.

Right now, according to the law, you can only sponsor someone's work visa (for a specific job) if they are more qualified than U.S. citizens and legal residents. I don't know how the companies are getting around this but obviously they are. I just don't think the solution is an across-the-board preference for citizens. It can take up to ten years to get citizenship, you have to get a green card first and then live here for 5 years before you can even apply.

I don't like tiered societies. Once I can legally work here, then I should be just as entitled to a job I'm qualified for as anyone else.

If you can get citizenship in 10 years and you have been here 25 years why aren't you a citizen already?

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I absolutely think that if there are 2 people equally qualified for the same job that a U.S. Citizen should get preferential treatment. I don't think that is racist or discriminatory at all. I don't care what color they are if you are a U.S. Citizen you should get the job over someone who is not a citizen. A citizen was either born here or went through the necessary steps to become a citizen, someone with a green card can go back to their home country and look for a job if they can't find one here. I work in the IT field so I do agree that sometimes non citizens are hired because they will work cheaper.

I strongly disagree. In my opinion there should only be two groups of people when it comes to getting a job. Those that are breaking the law by being here illegally, and those that are here legally. It would be morally wrong in my opinion to discriminate based on race when hiring. Every single American on this board at some point in their family history had a relative who was an immigrant. It should not matter who was here first, how wealthy of a family you come from, our anything else related to race. It should only matter if you are the most qualified for the job. That also good for not getting people just because they are minorities in my opinion.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I strongly disagree. In my opinion there should only be two groups of people when it comes to getting a job. Those that are breaking the law by being here illegally, and those that are here legally. It would be morally wrong in my opinion to discriminate based on race when hiring. Every single American on this board at some point in their family history had a relative who was an immigrant. It should not matter who was here first, how wealthy of a family you come from, our anything else related to race. It should only matter if you are the most qualified for the job. That also good for not getting people just because they are minorities in my opinion.

Bonita, I'm not really sure what the issue is with understanding:

No one is saying we should sacrifice qualifications. Qualifications hasn't been proven to be the issue with why foreigners are being sponsored. Lower salaries for example is very motivating for businesses to do AND also very harmful to U.S. people who are not here on supposedly temporary visas.

While I understand your political philosophy and its sentiments, this is just not practical when we have an economy where people are losing their house because they can't get a job because 40% of the job are foreigners who've been brought over to do these jobs despite having people here with adequate skill sets.

The H-1B program has caused a number of criticisms.

No labor shortages

Paul Donnelly, in a 2002 article in Computerworld, cited Milton Friedman as stating that the H-1B program acts as a subsidy for corporations.[44] Others holding this view include Dr. Norman Matloff, who testified to the US House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration on the H-1B subject. Matloff's paper for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform claims that there has been no shortage of qualified American citizens to fill American computer-related jobs, and that the data offered as evidence of American corporations needing H-1B visas to address labor shortages was erroneous.[45] The United States General Accounting Office found in a report in 2000 that controls on the H-1B program lacked effectiveness.[46] The GAO report's recommendations were subsequently implemented.

High-tech companies often cite a tech-worker shortage when asking Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, and have succeeded in getting various exemptions passed. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), described the situation as a crisis, and the situation was reported on by the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and Washington Post. Employers applied pressure on Congress.[47] Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testified in 2007 on behalf of the expanded visa program on Capitol Hill, "warning of dangers to the U.S. economy if employers can't import skilled workers to fill job gaps".[47] Congress considered a bill to address the claims of shortfall[48] but in the end did not revise the program.[49]

According to a study conducted by John Miano and the Center for Immigration Studies, there is no empirical data to support a claim of employee worker shortage.[50] Citing studies from Duke, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Georgetown University and others, critics have also argued that in some years, the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported outnumbered the number of jobs created by the industry.[51] Organizations have also posted hundreds of first hand accounts of H-1B Visa Harm reports directly from individuals negatively impacted by the program, many of whom are willing to speak with the media.[52]

Studies carried out from the 1990s through 2011 by researchers from Columbia U, Computing Research Association (CRA), Duke U, Georgetown U, Harvard U, National Research Council of the NAS, RAND Corporation, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rutgers U, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Stanford U, SUNY Buffalo, UC Davis, UPenn Wharton School, Urban Institute, and US Dept. of Education Office of Education Research & Improvement have reported that the USA has been producing sufficient numbers of able and willing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workers, while several studies from Hal Salzman, B. Lindsay Lowell, Daniel Kuehn, Michael Teitelbaum and others have concluded that the USA has been employing only 30% to 50% of its newly degreed able and willing STEM workers to work in STEM fields. A 2012 IEEE announcement of a conference on STEM education funding and job markets stated "only about half of those with under-graduate STEM degrees actually work in the STEM-related fields after college, and after 10 years, only some 8% still do".[53]

Wage depression

Wage depression is a chronic complaint critics have about the H-1B program: some studies have found that H-1B workers are paid significantly less than U.S. workers.[54][55] It is claimed[56][57][58][59][60][60] that the H-1B program is primarily used as a source of cheap labor. A paper by Harvard Professor George J. Borjas for the National Bureau of Economic Research found that "a 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 to 4 percent."[61]

The LCA included in the H-1B petition is supposed to ensure that H-1B workers are paid the prevailing wage in the labor market, or the employer's actual average wage (whichever is higher), but evidence exists that some employers do not abide by these provisions and avoid paying the actual prevailing wage despite stiff penalties for abusers.[62]

Theoretically, the LCA process appears to offer protection to both US and H-1B workers. However, according to the US General Accounting Office, enforcement limitations and procedural problems render these protections ineffective.[63] Ultimately, the employer, not the Department of Labor, determines what sources determine the prevailing wage for an offered position, and it may choose among a variety of competing surveys, including its own wage surveys, provided that such surveys follow certain defined rules and regulations.

The law specifically restricts the Department of Labor's approval process of LCAs to checking for "completeness and obvious inaccuracies".[64] In FY 2005, only about 800 LCAs were rejected out of over 300,000 submitted. Hire Americans First has posted several hundred first hand accounts of individuals negatively impacted by the program, many of whom are willing to speak with the media.[52]

DOL has split the prevailing wage into four levels, with Level One representing about the 17th percentile of wage average Americans earn. About 80 percent of LCAs are filed at this 17th percentile level[citation needed]. This four-level prevailing wage can be obtained from the DOL website,[65] and is generally far lower than average wages[citation needed].

The "prevailing wage" stipulation is allegedly vague and thus easy to manipulate[citation needed], resulting in employers underpaying visa workers. According to Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the median wage in 2005 for new H-1B information technology (IT) was just $50,000, which is even lower than starting wages for IT graduates with a B.S. degree. The US government OES office's data indicates that 90 percent of H-1B IT wages were below the median US wage for the same occupation.[66]

In 2002, the US government began an investigation into Sun Microsystems' hiring practices after an ex-employee, Guy Santiglia, filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Labor alleging that the Santa Clara firm discriminates against American citizens in favor of foreign workers on H-1B visas. Santiglia accused the company of bias against US citizens when it laid off 3,900 workers in late 2001 and at the same time applied for thousands of visas. In 2002, about 5 percent of Sun's 39,000 employees had temporary work visas, he said.[67] In 2005, it was decided that Sun violated only minor requirements and that neither of these violations was substantial or willful. Thus, the judge only ordered Sun to change its posting practices.[68]

Risks for employees[edit]

Historically, H-1B holders have sometimes been described as indentured servants,[69] and while the comparison is no longer as compelling, it had more validity prior to the passage of American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000. Although immigration generally requires short- and long-term visitors to disavow any ambition to seek the green card (permanent residency), H-1B visa holders are an important exception, in that the H-1B is legally acknowledged as a possible step towards a green card under what is called the doctrine of dual intent.

H-1B visa holders may be sponsored for their green cards by their employers through an Application for Alien Labor Certification, filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.[citation needed] In the past, the sponsorship process has taken several years, and for much of that time the H-1B visa holder was unable to change jobs without losing their place in line for the green card. This created an element of enforced loyalty to an employer by an H-1B visa holder. Critics[who?] alleged that employers benefit from this enforced loyalty because it reduced the risk that the H-1B employee might leave the job and go work for a competitor, and that it put citizen workers at a disadvantage in the job market, since the employer has less assurance that the citizen will stay at the job for an extended period of time, especially if the work conditions are tough, wages are lower or the work is difficult or complex. It has been argued that this makes the H-1B program extremely attractive to employers, and that labor legislation in this regard has been influenced by corporations seeking and benefiting from such advantages.[citation needed]

Some recent news reports suggest that the recession that started in 2008 will exacerbate the H-1B visa situation, both for supporters of the program and for those who oppose it.[70] The process to obtain the green card has become so long that during these recession years it has not been unusual that sponsoring companies fail and disappear, thus forcing the H-1B employee to find another sponsor, and lose their place in line for the green card. An H-1B employee could be just one month from obtaining their green card, but if the employee is laid off, he or she may have to leave the country, or go to the end of the line and start over the process to get the green card, and wait as much as 10 more years, depending on the nationality and visa category.[71]

The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 provides some relief for people waiting for a long time for a green card, by allowing H-1B extensions past the normal 6 years, as well as by making it easier to change the sponsoring employer.

The Out-Sourcing/Off-Shoring Visa[edit]

Further information: IT Body Shops

In his floor statement on H-1B Visa Reform, Senator **** Durbin stated "The H-1B job visa lasts for 3 years and can be renewed for 3 years. What happens to those workers after that? Well, they could stay. It is possible. But these new companies have a much better idea for making money. They send the engineers to America to fill spots--and get money to do it--and then after the 3 to 6 years, they bring them back to work for the companies that are competing with American companies. They call it their outsourcing visa. They are sending their talented engineers to learn how Americans do business and then bring them back and compete with those American companies."[72] Critics of H-1B use for outsourcing have also noted that more H-1B visas are granted to companies headquartered in India than companies headquartered in the United States.[73]

Of all Computer Systems Analysts and programmers on H-1B visas in the US, 74 percent were from Asia. This large scale migration of Asian IT professionals to the United States has been cited as a central cause for the quick emergence of the offshore outsourcing industry.[74]

In FY 2009, due to the worldwide recession, applications for H-1B visas by off-shore out-sourcing firms were significantly lower than in previous years,[75] yet 110,367 H-1B visas were issued, and 117,409 were issued in FY2010.

Social Security and Medicare taxes

H-1B employees have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as part of their payroll. Like US citizens, they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits even if they leave the United States, provided they have paid Social Security benefits for at least 10 years. Further, the US has bilateral agreements with several countries to ensure that the time paid into the US Social Security system, even if it is less than 10 years, is taken into account in the foreign country's comparable system and vice versa.[76]

Departure Requirement on Job Loss

If an employer lays off an H-1B worker, the employer is required to pay for the laid-off worker's transportation outside the United States.

If an H-1B worker is laid off for any reason, the H-1B program technically does not specify a time allowance or grace period to round up one's affairs irrespective of how long the H-1B worker might have lived in the United States. To round up one's affairs, filing an application to change to another non-immigrant status may therefore become a necessity.

If an H-1B worker is laid off and attempts to find a new H-1B employer to file a petition for him, the individual is considered out of status if there is even a one-day gap between the last day of employment and the date that the new H-1B petition is filed. While some attorneys claim that there is a grace period of 30 days, 60 days, or sometimes 10 days, that is not true according to the law. In practice, USCIS has accepted H-1B transfer applications even with a gap in employment up to 60 days, but that is by no means guaranteed.

Some of the confusion regarding the alleged grace period arose because there is a 10-day grace period for an H-1B worker to depart the United States at the end of his authorized period of stay (does not apply for laid-off workers). This grace period only applies if the worker works until the H-1B expiration date listed on his I-797 approval notice, or I-94 card. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(13)(i)(A).

Fraud prevention

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services "H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment" of September 2008 concluded 21% of H-1B visas granted originate from fraudulent applications or applications with technical violations.[77] Fraud was defined as a willful misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of a material fact. Technical violations, errors, omissions, and failures to comply that are not within the fraud definition were included in the 21% rate. Subsequently, USCIS has made procedural changes to reduce the number of fraud and technical violations on H-1B applications.

In 2009, federal authorities busted a nationwide H-1B Visa Scam.[78]

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"myyams" wrote:

Bonita, I'm not really sure what the issue is with understanding:

No one is saying we should sacrifice qualifications. Qualifications hasn't been proven to be the issue with why foreigners are being sponsored. Lower salaries for example is very motivating for businesses to do AND also very harmful to U.S. people who are not here on supposedly temporary visas.

While I understand your political philosophy and its sentiments, this is just not practical when we have an economy where people are losing their house because they can't get a job because 40% of the job are foreigners who've been brought over to do these jobs despite having people here with adequate skill sets.

The issue is not that I do not understand what you are saying. The issue is that I think it is wrong to hire based on race. The can of worms that you would open up if you said first preference in jobs always had to go to Americans is unbelievable. I go to a Deaf church that has a small Christian college for the Deaf. It is a very unique place and people come from across the world to go to college there. Right now there are students from Sudan, Jamaica, Nepal, and Mexico. They come to America because their country does not have anything similar. While they are here most need some kind of part time job to pay their school bill, buy deodorant and other personal items. They are good people. Why should they not be allowed to have a job because they are from somewhere else? My pastor is from Canada. He lives here because his wife and daughter live here. He is proud to be Canadian though and does not want to give up the Citizenship from where he was born. He has lived and worked in America for over 40 years. Why should he be treated as a second class person because he is from somewhere else?

I understand that you are talking about employers highering foreigners because they are willing to work for less than Americans. That said, we are talking about jobs that pay well over the minimum wage. We are not talking about employers breaking any employment laws. If we were, that would be different. If an employer has two equally qualified people he can hire whichever one he wants. Forcing him to hire the one who is more "American" is wrong. Again, if someone is here illegally, that is a different debate.

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Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I strongly disagree. In my opinion there should only be two groups of people when it comes to getting a job. Those that are breaking the law by being here illegally, and those that are here legally. It would be morally wrong in my opinion to discriminate based on race when hiring. Every single American on this board at some point in their family history had a relative who was an immigrant. It should not matter who was here first, how wealthy of a family you come from, our anything else related to race. It should only matter if you are the most qualified for the job. That also good for not getting people just because they are minorities in my opinion.

Who said ANYTHING about race? If you have 2 people who are applying for job and one is a black U.S. Citizen and the other is a white Canadian who are equally qualified, than I think the U.S. Citizen should get the job. Now tell me how that has ANYTHING to do with race?

ETA: Do you think only minorities get green cards?

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Posts: 6561

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Who said ANYTHING about race? If you have 2 people who are applying for job and one is a black U.S. Citizen and the other is a white Canadian who are equally qualified, than I think the U.S. Citizen should get the job. Now tell me how that has ANYTHING to do with race?

ETA: Do you think only minorities get green cards?

By race I was referring to ethnentisity. (Sorry I do not know how to spell that and spell check does not understand what I am trying to say.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"myyams" wrote:

Laurie, side point sort of, but inhumane working conditions in the U.S. cannot ever compare with what's considered inhumane working conditions in some third world countries. I've seen it with my own eyes for the past 13 years. Every time I take my clothes to have them stitched, I see little kids, dishelved, dirty, stitching in neighboring tailor shops, under a small bulb dimly lit, HOT like crazy HOT weather, no fan..etc.etc. But if that little kid doesn't work, their family might not have food. I've seen small kids handmaking bricks in the scorching heat for houses under construction. So...what's someone to do?? take whatever you can get. The answer isn't that simple unfortunately. I've seen kids and adults completely and intentionally disfigured so that they could gain pity from people they begged from in their very professional business of begging. Their own parents twisted their legs backwards when they were little to set them up for what would be their given profession. I could go on, but it is all just very sick. Inhumane is relative. So whatever condition a person who is used to seeing in their third world country looks like a bed or roses in the U.S.

However, I can't justify saving people from their economy while putting our own people on the streets...

I know...I wasn't saying they are the same. But I didn't want to pretend that we don't have some inhumane conditions here too. But yes, I know it's horrific in some places, in ways I can't even imagine.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

If you can get citizenship in 10 years and you have been here 25 years why aren't you a citizen already?

I got my green card in my 4th year here, and then had to wait at least 5 more to apply. I didn't do so at the time due to cost -- it was too much for a fledgling freelance production assistant. Then it just didn't seem like a big priority, until I had kids. But now the problem is that I am married and because of that, I need a piece of paperwork that I can't seem to get yet. Need to pressure my husband, because I need his divorce certificate from his first marriage, which he doesn't have anymore. It's a hard sell to get him to go stand in line for hours at some courthouse so I can get legal and cancel out all his votes! (ha)

I have asked him multiple times but it never seems terribly urgent. I can't vote, but I live in a place where I am more or less in the political majority (although I'm not particularly political) and I can work and live here indefinitely.

But I do plan to get it.

ADDED: I just looked it up; looks like it's now a lot easier to get the divorce decree! Thanks for the much-needed kick....he won't have to stand in line on a work day.

ADDING AGAIN: He now DOES have to go to the courthouse, because to get the certificate, you need to know the date of the divorce, which of course he doesn't....because it's on the certificate he doesn't have. Sigh.

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Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I got my green card in my 4th year here, and then had to wait at least 5 more to apply. I didn't do so at the time due to cost -- it was too much for a fledgling freelance production assistant. Then it just didn't seem like a big priority, until I had kids. But now the problem is that I am married and because of that, I need a piece of paperwork that I can't seem to get yet. Need to pressure my husband, because I need his divorce certificate from his first marriage, which he doesn't have anymore. It's a hard sell to get him to go stand in line for hours at some courthouse so I can get legal and cancel out all his votes! (ha)

I have asked him multiple times but it never seems terribly urgent. I can't vote, but I live in a place where I am more or less in the political majority (although I'm not particularly political) and I can work and live here indefinitely.

But I do plan to get it.

ADDED: I just looked it up; looks like it's now a lot easier to get the divorce decree! Thanks for the much-needed kick....he won't have to stand in line on a work day.

To me it does not matter whatsoever why you do not have it. You have just as much right to be here and have a job as anyone else. Why you do or do not become a citizen is no one else's business.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

To me it does not matter whatsoever why you do not have it. You have just as much right to be here and have a job as anyone else. Why you do or do not become a citizen is no one else's business.

It's a valid question, or at least an interesting one. I'm not offended.

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Posts: 4116

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

By race I was referring to ethnentisity. (Sorry I do not know how to spell that and spell check does not understand what I am trying to say.

It has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.
What is the difference between someone who comes from Germany who has a green card and someone who was born in Germany that is a U.S. citizen? Citizenship is the ONLY difference.
What is the difference between someone who comes from Nigeria who has a green card and someone who was born in Nigeria that is a U.S. citizen? Citizenship is the ONLY difference.

A U.S. Citizen with the same qualifications should have preference over a non citizen no matter what race/sex/ethnicity you are.

It has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I think the U.S. has a responsibility to put those who were born here or went through the process to get citizenship first.

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Posts: 6561

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

A U.S. Citizen with the same qualifications should have preference over a non citizen no matter what race/sex/ethnicity you are.

It has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I think the U.S. has a responsibility to put those who were born here or went through the process to get citizenship first.

I disagree. Businesses hands should not be tied telling them who they can hire based on if someone has a green card vs. a citizen.

As for from a business perspective pertaining to high paid technical jobs, (all numbers are made up) If all of the American's in a field ban together and say that we will not work for anything less than $50 or $60 an hour but Foreigners come in and say that they will work for $20/hr. I would much rather them hire the Foreigners in the US, then for the company to say they can not afford the unreasonably high labor costs and then move their entire company to China or Mexico.

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Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

ADDING AGAIN: He now DOES have to go to the courthouse, because to get the certificate, you need to know the date of the divorce, which of course he doesn't....because it's on the certificate he doesn't have. Sigh.

Try Googling the ex-wife. If she or anyone close to her has done any genealogy & put it online, you'll probably find the divorce date. You might also be able to do a public records search online if it was within the last X number of years that the county where the divorce was finalized has been digitizing records. Finally, try looking at your own marriage certificate to see if it's there; some states include that if one or both parties has been married before.

And if you're in the country legally, you should be entitled to any job. Citizenship is a completely different set of rights & responsibilities than employment. If it weren't, then there would be no green card system, no student work visas, nothing like that. You'd have to get immediate citizenship or go hungry, or go back home.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I disagree. Businesses hands should not be tied telling them who they can hire based on if someone has a green card vs. a citizen.

As for from a business perspective pertaining to high paid technical jobs, (all numbers are made up) If all of the American's in a field ban together and say that we will not work for anything less than $50 or $60 an hour but Foreigners come in and say that they will work for $20/hr. I would much rather them hire the Foreigners in the US, then for the company to say they can not afford the unreasonably high labor costs and then move their entire company to China or Mexico.

According to the rules,
1. There is supposed to be due search diligence done for finding a legally authorized person for the job and offered before sponsoring.
2. There is not supposed to be the salary difference in between what would be offered to a local person compared with a sponsored person.

We know though that these two things are not being complied with.

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"myyams" wrote:

According to the rules,
1. There is supposed to be due search diligence done for finding a legally authorized person for the job and offered before sponsoring.
2. There is not supposed to be the salary difference in between what would be offered to a local person compared with a sponsored person.

We know though that these two things are not being complied with.

Then in force those rules. Do not make it so that legally here people can not get a job. That anyone is actually arguing otherwise is a little mind blowing to me.