IT Reshoring News

August 28, 2013

Critics Railing Against Tech Giants' H1B Lobbying

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on tech giants' self-serving H1B visa push. They cite a study saying the "tech skills shortage" doesn't really exist. A Silicon Valley leader refutes it, despite his public support for more H1B visas. Who's telling the truth?
When a story makes the San Francisco Chronicle, you know it’s important to a lot of people.

The current H1B immigration debate – tech giants lobbying for more H1B visas to use in place of domestic STEM workers – is one such story.  And it’s attracting more critics.
Silicon Valley self-serving in immigration debate, critics say –

The article quotes Hal Salzman, a Rutgers University professor, who’s studied the "tech skills shortage" and concluded that, in effect, there isn't one.  We have "no lack of domestic graduates or existing domestic STEM workers" according to Salzman.

The counterpoint in the article is a statement by Carl Guardino, President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.  He dismisses the Rutgers study as lacking real-world business experience.

"Don't these folks doing these studies realize that we would leap for joy if we could hire everybody we need in the United States?  The hassle and the expense of going through the H-1B and green card process is not something that employers want to pay for."

However, Mr. Guardino’s position is suspect.  He is one of the signatories on the letter lobbying Congress for more H1B visas.  And his dismissal does not explain why thousands of U.S. STEM graduates can't find jobs in their fields.  The Chronicle spoke with affected U.S. STEM workers, all of whom indicate that the job market is fierce and they have great difficulty finding work among the throng of unemployed.

"Employers are getting 400 and 500 applicants for a job."
"Hiring managers are being really choosy. I don't think that there's a talent shortage."

The tech giants like Facebook and Google want Congress to give them more H1B visas, to fill their vacant posts with cheaper labor.  While ignoring the thousands of qualified STEM workers right outside their door.