Many people are discussing about illegal immigration from all perspectives. But there is one legal immigration program that can actually solve a lot of problems that we are facing now in the country – Lack of productivity, Lack of growth,  Lack of prosperity. It is called H1B program. But it is in its sad state currently been abused as a tool to suck out technology jobs from America.

Yes, It is true that #H1B Visa program was created to suck the best brains from the world into the USA as a #immigration tool. But over a period of time, the program has become a strategy for the outsourcing companies to send in their engineers as Trojan Horses through this VISA (and also #L1B ) to learn about the projects and then start outsourcing the work to other foreign locations where 1000s of more engineers gets employed indirectly. Now, if the Americans think that they have lost just one job: they are wrong. This 1 job actually creates 1000s of more jobs that get shipped out over a period of time. So, should the program H1B be stopped? Well, the answer is, a big No. Rather, the meaning and the purpose of the original program should be restored. The program should focus on bringing the top brains into the country and let them work here for 6 years or beyond. When people are talking about opening the border for millions of illegal immigrants who are at the bottom of the feeder chain, not adding much to the growth of the country, why we are talking about stopping H1B visas which only brings 65K Engineering graduates to the country? They are not at the bottom of the feeder chain at least. They add value to the growth of the country rather. But, currently, the program is so poorly handled by its own hollow and improper laws & regulations that so many pathetic losers and hopeless engineers get sponsored by their companies and make their way into the system. Think for a while, if the corporations (both, US and foreign outsourcing companies) wants to outsource jobs to foreign destinations, do you think they will send their best guy always to the US? They will only send those guys who will come back with knowledge and transfer to 1000s #offshore and cause job losses for #PatrioticAmericans.

So, my suggestions: –> The government should develop a point based system to define the eligibility of the engineer to get an H1B visa. This system should be able to test, evaluate and rank the intellectual capabilities of individuals based on their educational qualification, mathematical and analytical skills (like GRE, GMAT etc), experience, scientific paper presentations and skills display etc. Once the ranking is done, use a particular cut-off qualification criteria, for example, those who rank in the top 2% should be considered qualified for H1B. Basically, bring in the top 2% of the cream of intellects. They can use #Mensa scores that guarantee the intelligence of the people at top 2%. Eliminate the numerical limit and enforce the limit of intelligence.

-> Companies should not be able to sponsor their employees anymore. Individuals should apply for the VISA (H1B, L1B etc) directly and pay nothing to DHS. Right now, the whole system is going for a toss because USCIS/DHS sees it as big revenue and has included it in funding many other programs in other departments. When you want to reap the top brains, you should pay for it. Otherwise, when companies pay for it, they use them for their own benefit, which is primarily outsourcing. So, H1B should be converted to a Direct-To-Candidate program, give engineers a permit to stay for 6 years and work for any company that hires them while competing with other #Americancitizens.


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-> The current DOL regulations are very keen on paying the #PrevailingWage which means, ‘a wage that prevails for the job in that location according to US statistics’. This does not give an opportunity for the small and start-up companies to grab these talents as they cannot afford to pay the prevailing wage. Helping the small entrepreneurs with small start-ups to hire any talent based on salary negotiations privately between the both, entrepreneur and candidate, is the best way to provide equal opportunities for all. When you are bringing the top 2% of the world’s best brains and you know that they are already adding value to the system then why should the government be worried about the salary negotiations as long as it is above federal minimum wage.

-> Develop a gratitude program that asks a worker on #H1Bvisa to devote 8 hours a week mandatorily. Under this program, the worker should impart training to students studying in colleges and universities and must also train the US citizens and permanent residents on the technologies that they work in.

-> Make them sign a loyalty pledge under oath that they will stay loyal to the US Citizens and government. They will report to the concerned authorities in case of any employer trying to utilize them for transporting knowledge to a foreign country.

-> Ban all #foreigncompanies and companies having foreign subsidiaries from hiring H1B workers in order to stop indirect abuse. I know it is hard to define and find out which company hires and all, but at least you will be able to impose some levels of control on the loyalty of these workers. Now, by doing this work of cleanup, H1B program will become a highly positive program. Each one of these H1B workers creates 100s and 1000s of more American citizens inside the US; create jobs for the foreign companies, employ bad engineers produced by the bad educational system. Some guys talk about the educational system in America has become bad, and in addition to that, it brings bad engineer from foreign countries. Still, the world needs free trade and outsourcing will continue to happen as long as there is a currency war going on in the world. But, at least these companies will need to hire best talents to get business from the USA, not by cheap labor.

– Suresh Kannan

Want to talk to me more on the subject? Write to me at suresh.kannan@transformationguild.org


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