Hiring workers on H-1B visas equals to less women, minorities in Silicon Valley offices

Chapman University Fellow lambasts tech corporates.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: As the debate for comprehensive immigration reform rages on, some say that adding the controversial amnesty clause to the legislation could, in fact, have an adverse effect on the hiring of women and certain minorities in Silicon Valley.

The claim comes from Joel Kotkin, a writer with The Daily Beast who is also a “presidential fellow in urban futures” at Chapman University. In his piece, Kotkin lambasts the big Silicon Valley firms for decreasing the number of blacks, Hispanics, and women in management positions, and for sending work overseas or hiring cheaper foreign workers while using the excuse that they are more skilled that American

“[Of the] top managers and officials in the Silicon Valley offices of the 10 large companies in 2005, 296 were black or Hispanic, a 20% decline from 2000,” said Kotkin. Additionally, he said, the “share of managers and top officials who are female at those 10 big Silicon Valley firms slipped to 26% in 2005, from 28 percent in 2000.”

Other reports and studies back this up, particularly the part about women. In February of this year, law firm Fenwick & West released a study saying that a plurality of Silicon Valley firms don’t even have a single woman on their board of directors, while S&P companies tend to have at least two.

The comprehensive immigration reform bill, which may or may not allow amnesty, does include clauses to significantly boost the number of H-1B visas and other such documentation allowed each year. Kotkin argues that this would only permit big firms to hire more foreign workers, and would sideline a larger number of domestic Hispanics, black, and women.

“The tech giants claim that they hire cheap workers overseas because of a critical shortage of skilled computer workers but that doesn’t hold up to serious scrutiny,” wrote Kotkin. “[But] a 2013 report from the labor-aligned Economic Policy Institute found that the country is producing 50% more IT professionals per year than are being employed.

Kotkin essentially says that IT firms are hiring foreign “guest workers” to keep costs low and workforces “pliant.” The Economic Policy Institute numbers indicate that between 33% and 50% of all new IT jobholders in the US come from other nations.

Providing amnesty to the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the US, many of whom are Latino or Hispanic, would allow more of them to get jobs in the US. But Kotkin argues that the majority of them would be low-end, service industry jobs, and very few would have the opportunity to work for the increasingly less diverse Silicon Valley.

Regardless of Kotkin’s concerns, however, comprehensive immigration reform still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality. Amnesty is just one part of the incredibly multi-faceted debate going on between Democrats and Republicans, who are still trying to figure out the best way to solve the immigration problem while keeping America’s interests first and foremost.

Kotkin makes no overt reference to Indian Americans or other Asian demographics, as those clearly have not had too much trouble finding success in California’s IT haven. But women and other minority groups may be in trouble if widespread immigration laws come to pass in 2014.

One Comment

  1. RKsharma2012

    IT industry is controlled by Indians from only two states in India,
    Tamil Nadu and Andhra pradesh, as you know India is a diverse country
    with different languages and cultures with lot of discrimination and
    infighting among various sections.

    Coming back to point, people from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh working
    in IT field recruit people only from their region, villages etc. A mass
    trend is going on (in USA) where Managers from same community are being
    paid cut under the table (which is called bribe in US) to keep people
    from his/her community. There is no hiring whatsoever of any Americans,
    technical reason given are, person is not fit for team, or doesn’t have
    skill set, US CEOs are told that Indians will work for cheap than
    Americans but if you take into account; fixing, testing, delayed and
    shelved projects, there are negligible savings in the end for US
    businesses.

    Practices like slavery, disrespect, dirty politics,
    discrimination,exploitation are being ported from India in quantified
    magnitude to USA, look at any IT company what is reality, Indians can’t
    work with anybody except people from Tamil Nadu (Hyper sensitive
    managers with high end ego) and Andhra (people with fraud degrees,
    resumes and fake work experience), whatever America has progressed in
    200-300 years especially in fields like HR, social sciences will be
    lost. There won’t be any new Innovation because slowly and steadily
    culture of slavery, nepotism has become norm in last 15 yrs, right now
    it is at peak in US IT industry.

    If this goes on there will be complete elimination of all HR concepts
    taught in top B schools in USA like Harvard,Columbia, Stanford, MIT,
    Wharton etc, ground reality is Indians know only one thing, manage by
    threat, this style doesn’t work in knowledge era, so they won’t ever
    hire Americans or natives, technical suggestions or excuses may vary but
    this is ground reality. Lot of H1B from these states are working with
    fake degrees and by just paying bribes to managers of their own
    community.

    One way to tackle this mess is, don’t allow any H1Bs to work on third
    party site which is known in Industry as staffing/Client site, well if
    someone wants to hire an Einstein, let them keep Einstein inside the
    company.

    All recruiting activities in US IT industry are outsourced, people
    sitting in India in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are using magic
    jack/Vonage phones to call candidates in US, then they push profile of
    these candidates to American businesses, one company who is actual
    sponsor of H1B hands over resume to second company and so on till resume
    reaches desk of a Manager working with end client in USA like Citibank,
    all these middle men keep charging money every hour by claiming on
    paper that they are actual sponsor of H1B candidate.

    Nowhere in world is; this practice going on, people sitting in India are
    controlling US market and because of their own financial interest they
    make changes in resume to make it look like 100% fit with job
    requirements. Local Americans are not preferred as locals are aware of
    their rights and don’t want to get exploited.

    Indian companies especially in New Jersey/California area sponsor H1Bs,
    then approach is to exploit other Indians and make money, once cycle of
    one Indian gets completed, he/she starts same cycle again to exploit
    other Indians by opening a consulting company (which in reality does
    staffing services as explained), these companies, lie and lie, hire few
    Indians on H1 and continue cycle of exploitation for years. These
    companies take one apartment on rent and during bench period; put other
    Indians (whose H1B they sponsor)like animals in one apartment(so no
    expenditure either to boost US economy, rather there is burden on
    natural ecosystem).

    Finally I understand cases in US are decided based on facts and not
    emotions, I have brought few observations/facts into your notice and am
    praying before you to make a system which is fair to local Americans
    (Black,white,Women,Spanish etc), this way everybody will be happy and in
    my opinion giving EAD to H4 is not good, you are adding new people to
    work force (which will increase nepotism, favoritism, bribery etc)
    without fixing underlying issues.

    In my humble opinion, practically there should be two actions first; as part of legal immigration overhaul.

    Action 1.

    H1B candidates shouldn’t be allowed to work at third party, also
    referred as client site, example can be Citibank. Companies in US should
    be allowed to sponsor H1B with caveat that keep person in-house,
    Companies can’t market the H1B person to others. This clause may reduce
    lot of existing problems.

    Action 2.

    There should not be any layer involved between end client and H1 Sponsor
    company, I am sure with this; all fraudulent Indian companies in New
    Jersey/California who are gaming US immigration system will get closed,
    since these people don’t do hard work, they are just exploiting other
    Indians in name of H1 sponsorship. Also American CEOs should be
    requested to hire diverse people in IT teams across USA so that monopoly
    gets broken.

    I hope my observations and prayer can make difference to lives of all
    humans who are part of this great country known as America on planet
    earth. I was honest in bringing facts to your notice since due to
    political correctness nobody including media is thinking/stating about
    ground reality. South Indians and Indian monopoly in IT industry is root cause of all problems, break this monopoly

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