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New Debate on H-1B IT Workers

 
 
 
 
 
 

UPDATE:

Several readers took issue with the current state of the H-1B system.

A reader named "Tunnel Rat" says CIOs will pay the price for bringing in sub-par foreign workers. "We are no longer getting the best and brightest from abroad -- we are getting dull and the dumbest," Tunnel Rat writes.

"Nordonia" says companies hiring foreign workers ahead of U.S. IT pros should be penalized, but doesn't see that happening under the Obama administration.

"Pi_Anxiety" casts harsh judgment on the immigrant-labor system:

"Time and time again, the lobby and proponents of expanding the H-1B quota to bring more foreign workers into the United States have insisted that it is entirely the failings of our education system and therefore a lack of qualified workers exists here. They have "enslaved" H-1B laborers by creating a system that allows exploitation of this foreign workforce and have put continual downward pressure on a fair market wage system for the IT professionals here. That was the goal. It worked!"

Also, the Times finished it's package Sunday with this long piece on foreign workers in Silicon Valley. Good read.

ORIGINAL POST:

The New York Times just stepped into one of the nastiest fights in the IT arena.

As part of a series on immigration, the paper posted a "debate" among six experts about foreign tech workers, many of whom hold H-1B visas.

Those experts brought up many of the issues our readers did in a long--sometimes angry--debate over the controversial visas. (And then there's this story of a foreign worker being deported.)

It's clear that most readers--especially unemployed IT pros--are strongly opposed to the H-1B program. But as more CIOs are faced to cut staff in the recession, it'll be interesting to hear if their perceptions are changing.

I expect that IT pros will continue to complain about some of the core negatives of foreign workers--shoddy work, language barriers, etc.--but are these tough times making those problems a little easier to swallow?

See also: H-1B Visas to Get More Scrutiny