IT Reshoring News

September 28, 2015

California Lawmakers (Finally) Take Action on H-1B Worker Replacements

It took 7 months, but the California State Assembly is moving on two bills protecting our state utilities. And American IT workers. Naturally, opposition comes from companies who want to replace those IT workers with cheaper foreign labor.
In July, the California State Assembly moved on an issue set before it months ago – H-1B visa use in replacing American IT workers with cheaper foreign workers.

A California Backlash Rises over Foreign IT Worker Replacements – ComputerWorld (7-1-15)

The Assembly has approved 2 proposals:
1. Assembly Bill 853 (submitted in February 2015) approved 50-to-25 (with 5 abstentions) 2.  Assembly Joint Resolution 12, approved 49 to 20 (with 11 abstentions) Assembly Bill 853 stands on powerful points:
“(4) The computer systems of California’s electrical corporations and gas corporations have information about the design, engineering, and operation of the nuclear, electrical, and natural gas utility infrastructure, as well as personal information about California ratepayers.  This information could be used to compromise the security of California’s utility infrastructure and the privacy of California’s ratepayers.”

“(6) The part of any computer system that is most vulnerable to being compromised is the personnel who operate that system.”

“(7) Electrical corporations and gas corporations should make every reasonable effort to protect their computer systems from unauthorized intrusions.”

Full text of the bill:  ASSEMBLY BILL No. 853 (February 26, 2015) – CA.Gov

If it passes the state Senate, the bill would prohibit state utilities – like Southern California Edison (SCE) – from outsourcing any work related to the “design, engineering and operation” or nuclear, electrical and gas infrastructure.

Naturally, SCE opposes the bill.

They claim it “has the potential to jeopardize the safe, reliable operation of electric service and thousands of California jobs.”

So does their practice of firing American IT workers & bringing in foreign replacements.

The pace of legislative change is frustratingly slow. It took 7 months for AB 853 to make its way to Assembly approval—and it’s not done yet.  But either way, we’re glad that there’s movement in our state capital in support of American IT workers!

ADDENDUM: PlanetMagpie supports the original intent of the H1-B visa program, which was to help supply U.S. companies with specialized skill sets that do not exist in the U.S. labor market.

We're saying this again because we came across a recent piece on FoxandHoundsDaily.com, which eloquently discusses immigration's value, what it's become, and what it could be again.  Well worth a read: Who Should Immigration Be Helping? – Fox & Hounds Daily (7-6-15)