Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Trump Did on H-1B: Not Much At All

There will be lots of chatter from the under-informed today about how Trump 'ordered a repair of H-1B' so that US citizens would get more STEM jobs.

Sorry.  That's not really the case, although it is possible--later--maybe.

The best-informed and most useful blogger on the H-1B issue is Norm Matloff, a professor of Computer Science and Stats at the U of California.  Norm has been an active critic of H-1B for several years, has published peer-reviewed analyses of the effects, ....yada.

Here's a bit of his post on the Trump announcement:

...OPT is an extension of the F-1 student visa. Though it was intended to give foreign students a chance to work in one-year internships after earning their American degrees, it became an unofficial supplement to H-1B. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both extended it much beyond one year, and it now serves in essence as a backdoor way to expand the yearly cap on new H-1B visas. There is no cap on OPT.

So OPT is a major issue. However, it is not mentioned in the executive order. Why not? Once again, this is an “Intels Good, Infosyses Bad” issue. As always, by “Infosyses” I mean the outsourcing firms that “rent” H-1B programmers to U.S. firms, with the “Intels” meaning the companies that hire H-1Bs directly. I strongly disagree with this view, which has been vigorously promoted by the Intels, basically a scapegoating tactic to deflect attention away from themselves....

Think of "the Intels" as the NML/Disney/FP&L bunch who directly hire foreign programmers while shunning (or firing) American programmers.  OK?  Got it??

Trump's order gives "the Intels" a lot of running room and--as usual--it's in the fine print:

 ...(b) In order to promote the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries....

The little-bitty two-letter word:  OR....that's the key to continuing abuse of H-1B, continuing give-away of US jobs to non-US citizens and the erosion of US S.T.E.M. superiority in the next two decades.

Other than that, it was a nice day, eh?

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