Brain drain

America’s technological innovation in the past couple of years has sprung from Silicon Valley – home to the likes of Facebook, Google and Intel. Alongside these giants are the start-ups that are also pushing the field forward and creating jobs. And if you look at who’s running and working at these companies, many of them are foreign entrepreneurs educated right here in America.

But because of visa hurdles and an impossible road to getting permanent residency in the country, many are having to shut down their companies and take their business and jobs back home. It’s a reverse brain drain that could potentially cost the U.S. jobs and blunt its competitive edge. However, there is a large contingent of Americans in the tech and computer industry who want these foreigners to leave. They feel they’ve been forced to take lower wages and pushed out of their jobs because of the wave of foreign workers who’ve been allowed in on the same H-1B visas. Need to Know’s Rick Karr travels to Silicon Valley and New York City to investigate.

This project is made possible with the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

 

Comments

  • Mark

    The vast majority of these visas are used by outsourcing companies. Look it up. PBS is just shilling for more outsourcing visas.

  • Mark

    The vast majority of these visas are used by outsourcing companies. Look it up. PBS is just shilling for more outsourcing visas.

  • Unkerjay

    I find it interesting that decades ago, there was employment discrimination on the basis of ethnicity by temporary agencies, as shown by “60 Minutes” – “All American” – 1990 in which applications were tagged “AAG” for “All American Girl”, code for White.

    Fast forward and now, we’re exporting jobs to China, India, the Philippines, Mexico, people decidedly NOT White.

    When money was no object, discrimination was the order of the day.  Now that money is an object, discrimination is STILL the order of the day.

    Kind of makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?Not sure that democrat or republican applies to any of the aforementioned countries.They’ll take jobs from Obama.  They’ll probably accept them from Romney too.Nicer to know that your job didn’t go to an “AAG”.

    It went to China, India, the Philippines, Mexico …

  • Unkerjay

    Keep in mind, Romney’s fortune was made NOT by creating jobs, but by maximizing profits.

    He’s not paying taxes because of the jobs he’s created, but, because of his capital gains – the INTEREST earned.
    Will that understanding of business REALLY result in more employment opportunities or simplya fortification of wealth in the hands of those who need it the least? By methods not likely to help the middle class as much as to consolidate the earnings of those at the top?Some may say this is picking on the top 1%.  The bottom 99% have two choices, they can either accept the premise and take a hands off approach or maybe they can act on the premise that our system is SKEWED and imbalanced and growing moreso day by day.Still waiting on the evidence of what the 1% has done in the area of job creation.Or should I still be taking that on faith absent the evidence?

  • Paul137

     Capital gains aren’t the same thing as interest.

  • Unkerjay

    “Romney’s carried interest income stems from his tenure at Bain, which ended in 1999. “His position on carried interest is that it’s capital gain income and capital gains should be treated as capital gains,” Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters in Tampa today.”

    From:
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-03/romney-s-13-9-tax-rate-shows-power-of-investment-tax-preference.htmlNot saying you’re wrong.  But, fundamentally, his income has not come from creating jobs or producing something of widespread value.  It comes from engaging in activity that has generated wealth.  It seems a significant distinction from what he may like to claim he’s bringing to the table or that others would like to think he’s bringing to the table when it’s not.

  • Anonymous

    It’s disgusting that well funded organizations with an agenda continue to perpetuate the big lie – the lack of qualified Americans for jobs in our own country.  Look around, there’s absolutely no shortage of educated, skilled, talented, and motivated Americans ready, willing and way more than able to take on the challenges of our own country.

    Why can’t employers find qualified Americans?  Simple they don’t want to.  And, legally they do not have to.   Thanks to bottomless  funding from Bill Gates, a paid off Congress passed egregious H-1b legislation written by convicted felon Jack Abramoff .  The big lie agenda does not tell you the truth about these laws – it is 100% legal for employers to fire Americans and hire foreign visa replacements – and NEVER seeking qualified Americans. The laws for green cards are different.

    Sadly the Americans affected by these programs have lost everything (jobs, homes, healthcare, and more).  We need to decide between putting dinner on the table and healthcare – and have become invisible. We don’t have the dollars to fund media shows.. And, if you look beyond the cover page of these so called studies are, at best, flawed.  Creative statistics cannot be reproduced and references are non-existent. 

    PBS, please look beyond the surface – and take the time to expose the facts, not fiction of what’s really going on. 

    By telling a big, bold lie over and over, people begin to think its the truth.  This strategy, deployed widely by the Germans in WWII is highly effective.

  • AG hopu

    This is a fraud. The majority of H-1b visas are used by offshore outsourcing agencies. Despicable reporting without fact checking. Shameful journalistic failure.

  • http://us-voter.myopenid.com/ Sam

    Thought  Hannah Yi and PBS Need to Know might like to read Ralph Nader’s take on the same subject. Totally different that this PBS one-sided corporate-propaganda globalization-worshipping take on it:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/09/the-greediness-of-brain-drain/

  • Mjvan

    H1B visas are making it too easy for companies to fill their job openings while paying sub-par wages using disposable workers. These visa holders are willing to accept a lot less than their American peers in terms of earnings and working conditions. The costs to companies are decidedly lower because they can avoid payroll taxes including Social Security and other retirement plans.  Let’s take this opportunity to create a better pathway for young Americans to develop the skill sets, like Germany does, that are needed for the jobs that are said to be going unfilled (for example, by providing paid internships). H1B visas distort the labor market in the US and attract workers who really should stay at home. There’s a brain trust right here in this country which is bypassed in the scramble by companies to save money on domestic labor costs. There are no reciprocity agreements between the US and countries such as China, Russia and India in which Americans can participate, nor are there any likely to be created in the future.

  • http://us-voter.myopenid.com/ Sam

    Okay so after 5+ minutes of watching what I described above I eventually got to the part of the video attempting to tell the other side of the story. So I guess “one-sided” is not quite right: I’ll change it to “lopsided”. Lopsided because of the “bookends” effect (protagonist gets the first and last word), and because the real difference between the two sides is masked.

    It’s not just a “he said/she said” type of thing. The wages of U.S. tech professions have not been going up: if anything they’ve been going down adjusted to inflation. So obviously there is no shortage, unless one wants to overturn the law of supply and demand. There has been an unprecedented influx of foreign technical workers pouring into the U.S. over the past 12 years: many thousands being granted permanent residence.  Has the U.S. economy improved from it over that time? Why has the U.S. Department of Justice recommended that Congress re-write H-1B law, requiring companies to seek local talent first and “to hire any equally or better qualified US workers who apply.” Why are they are concerned that “US workers…have been impermissibly replaced by H-1B visa holders”?

    Sorry, look deeper and you’ll see that the facts are pretty much all on one side. On the other side are lots of anecdotes, lots of propaganda, and lots and lots and lots and lots of money.

  • Anonymous

    America evolved so rapidly in its high growth era 1870 – 1945 partly on the backs of immigrants whose education was paid for elsewhere. Maybe it’s time the USA took on the burden of educating its own workforce and stopped denuding other countries of their best and brightest?

  • SR

     I just want to know what was so innovative about this guys stuff to base a whole segment about how great he is.  The supermarkets have been doing reward cards for more than 20 years now.  He just stole the idea and now PBS builds up this phoney case of how innovative these foreigners are so valuable to us here that can only lose out if they where sent away. 

    I cannot believe PBS is shilling for the corporate state and the H-1B lobby but they are.  They are repeating the same lie that they always say which that these 3rd workers are some much better then we are.  I is just not true and this segment proves it.  If this is what one calls innovation it is all a lie.  The H-1B lobby tried pulling this same thing an Indian last year who had copied what Groupon was doing and how innovative it was.  It is not innovative if all you are doing is repackaging someone else ideas.

    In general these people do not think but copy.  They have a lot of rote knowledge which employers these days like to hire, but when it comes to design and thinking they cannot do it.

  • Milo Hinton

    Both perspectives
    have validity, and the big employers at the heart of this want to keep
    confusing them.  Foreigners who earn technical degrees should be allowed
    to stay here, whether entrepreneurs or not.  We need their skills. 
    But that’s not the real problem, despite this touching 9-minute commercial for
    Mr. Yu-Kai Chou.  People like him are being used as a phony front for the tens
    of thousands of low-level programmers who are being imported from India and
    elsewhere.  They come here on H1B visas, often working for foreign
    contract companies, without strong skills.  They get enough training to do
    a low-level software job and then gain experience on the job.  They are
    directly displacing American workers.  Why?  Because they are cheap
    and docile.  At the very least, H1B holders should be able to change
    employers like other workers.  They are effectively indentured servants
    and the tech-industry equivalent of union busters.  You might say, well
    don’t Indians deserve a right to use and advance their skills?  Yes, but
    not by systematically undercutting Americans while replacing them in the
    industry.  This is the equivalent of the deindustrialization of American
    manufacturing.  It’s just a higher-level version of moving factory jobs, and the associated know-how, to
    China.  Pretty soon, the US won’t have the skills to populate the tech
    industry.  Already, depressed wages discourage American students from
    studying computer science, thus accelerating the process.  “American” business is selling out America!  Google, Apple,
    Microsoft, etc make more money by paying lower wages.  They do not care
    about America.  Their allegiance is only to profit.  If you care
    about the US, this is not a good thing. 

  • Albert Leo

     PBS has now been acquired by corporate America.  Except out on the fringes, all media have become the mouthpiece of the 1%, who are making their fortunes by destroying the American economy.

  • Anonymous

    What about Americans with Advanced Degrees?  With 20k H-1b allowed every year, these are 20k less jobs available for Americans to compete.   And, 20k+ fewer seats in Universities, available housing and more.  Why should non-citizens be given preference over US citizens who have paid their dues and taxes for jobs in the USA.  Talent knows no borders, there are as many gifted Americans as citizens from other countries. 

  • Anonymous

    Sad but true.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate that this segment was more balanced than many H-1B news stories. Steven Schwartz and Kim Berry both had relevant messages. To learn why economic elites created work visa programs like H-1B, please read this just-released 6 page report, “How Record Immigration Levels Robbed American High-Tech Workers of $10 Trillion.”  http://tinyurl.com/74cc64p  Then, use the powerful no-cost citizen activism tools at NumbersUSA dot com to press for reforms that protect American citizen’s careers from such new onslaughts as the 14 pages of majors that qualify for the 29 – month OPT component of the J-1 Visa. There are no numerical caps and the employer sets the wages and working conditions. Just like all of the other work visa programs, the employer controls the future of the immigrant working under one of these corrupt programs. P.S. The idea behind the so-called innovation of “Reward Me” is called a loyalty card program – something that has been around for more than 2 decades. Most loyalty card programs allow you to use your phone number as an alternate ID.

  • Sherrysmith_2007

     Your words are SO TRUE, record immigration levels have robbed American High-Tech workers.
    They might also mention the fact that there is a surplus of tech workers already in this country, not a shortage.  Several university studies have confirmed that.

  • P Roman

    companies are bringing in workers on tourist visas. working them 12 hour days at the wages of their native country then shipping them back before the visa is over so they can come back again next year. This is taking away 2 american jobs for each one and the company is saving %60 in wages. Very hard to shake the CEO’s hand when he walks by and then takes a whopping paycheck home.

  • Palterboy1

    The problem I’m seeing is as I’m working for a major IT consulting company I’ll come into a cubicle area and there will be dozens of foreign nationals working for either my company, one or more of our competitors, and/or for the client directly all on some form of work visas. Some of these folks are here for very long term assignments. Yet I know there are many US workers with the right skills, many times much better skills, who can’t get those jobs. This isn’t about brain drain. This is about paying software developers $15 to $16 dollars an hour, and my hunch is its also about some sort of tax or investment incentive for the companies. An old adage that’s as true today as it was back in the ’70′s…follow the money.

  • Anonymous

    I recently took a new contract gig at a large
    local company.  I had originally applied for a team lead position, which
    was full-time, and then turned down that offer when I found out that
    ALL THE DEPELOPERS WERE IN INDIA.
    Evidently, this company had bought some sweatshop and was
    trying the “OFFSHORE MODEL.”  They were really trying to get me on and I
    went through three interviews before I told them that “I hope
    management here doesn’t confuse price with value.”
    I was shocked when they offered me a 12-month contract for a lot more
    than the FTE spot was paying.  I jumped at that offer and have been
    there for over three months.  They leave me alone, and some other poor guy has to deal with the inept coders on the other side of the world.
    There is one other contractor, oh, let’s just call him, uh, Sarvesh, probably
    an H-1B, that sits in the cube next to me.  I came in the other day, and
    he asked me if I’ve gotten paid since I’ve been there. He started a
    week after me.  I said of course, I’ve been here for 3 months and I have
    direct deposit.  I thought he was talking about his check being late
    this week, but he said  HE HASN’T BEEN PAID IN 3 MONTHS. 
    He said they’re escalating the issue and it has something to do with
    the PO getting approved.  I may have
    misunderstood him, because you know there is always that language
    problem, but I’m pretty sure I got it right.  What kind of idiot works
    without pay for 3 months?  No wonder the collaborators in the high-tech junta love them.

     

  • http://twitter.com/factchecker2000 Fluffy Mergatryod

    What a crock! For every good, smart foreigner who creates jobs here, there are litterally 999 foreign workers clamoring to take any and all American jobs. The 999 are infested with fictitious resumes, faked skill sets, and a hateful attitude towards American workers. The modern tech industry was pretty much invented by Americans in America. Our nation was the undisputed world leader in engineering, technology, and innovation before the H-1B and other guestworker visa floodgates were opened. It’s past time for a roll-back of foreigner-worship and the rehiring of Americans.

  • PM Mom

    Brain drain?  Yeah, like there are NO BRAINS in the heads of all the Americans standing in line trying to find jobs?  Big Corporations use these workers to reduce wages of American workers and even to replace them here for cheaper labor, until they figure out a way to outsource even more.  I have worked for a few big tech companies, and more and more people were being replaced with cheaper foriegn labor (they made about 1/3 – 1/2 less than we did).  I left to go on maternity leave, and my white collar college educated Project Management position was outsourced to Brazil – - to someone who would do it for $10 an hour.  PBS I expect to see this kind of reporting on Fox News, not on PBS.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

    BusinessWeek ran a cover story last year askign why innovation has been dead for the past 10 years. What innovation exactly are these people talking about? Can anyone name the innovations? Except for Apple there has been none. Oh wait…. Apple still hires mostly Americans and CLOSED their R&D in India in 2006. All these faking immigrant entrepreneurs come here and live of OUR VC money for years and then they all fail because they are all lazy. They are just looking to go where the $ is, and that used to be SV. Deport all these fakers now and send them hom and give all the jobs back to the people who created them – Americans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

     Every immigration wave to the U.S. since 1900 has led to recession or depression. The late 1998-2000 wave was the biggest in U.S. history – bigger than the one from 1906-1920. Historical facts do not lie. Here is the history of immigration and recession to America since 1900:

    1906-1920 – Huge wave from Europe – Great Depression in 1929.

    1965 – Ted Kennedy’s Immigration Reform Act – Big recession 1973-1981

    1990 – H-1B started – recession 1991-1993

    Oct. 1998 – H-1B caps raised form 65,000 to 115,000 per year – collapse in 2001.

    Apri 2000 – H-1B caps raised from 115,000 per year to 195,000 per year – collapse in 2008.

    The fake “recovery” in the mid 2000′s was no recovery – just cheap Fed credit making up for Americans losing their jobs.

    America was built by Americans. Every buildup leads to immigrant takers who come in when times are good, strip the economy, then leave when times are bad – as they are now.

    84% of the current U.S. population was born here. Do you seriously expect us to believe that 84% of the natives live off the work of the other 16% immigrants? Come on, stop being either a liar or delusional. Immigration is a disaster for America.

    China and India don’t have open borders. Did I mention they are booming.

    Free Trade caused WW2 – America in the 1920s sold its scrap steel to Japan and England’s Rolls Royce sold aircraft engines and factories to Hitler. We all know how that turned out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

     In the 2008 International Math Olympiad, Americans ranked second but Indians ranked 14th! Average Indian IQ is 81 – borderline handicapped. Average American IQ is 98. From 1978-1998 Silicon Valley was 98% white American males. It wasn’t until the dot com boom of 1998 that foreign workers suddenly wanted to flood in. And it has been nothing but downhill since then for America and America’s economy. These people are a disaster for the US – living off what Americans created. Last time I checked Facebook was created by an American (so was Twitter). Can anyone actually NAME a profitable, self-funded, US tech company started and made profitable ENTIRELY by foreigners? I bet you can’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

    From: “Rajesh Kumar Ramachandran
    
Subject: Listen to me A******!!

    Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 20:49:20 -0700 (PDT)

    Now listen carefully to me a******.. dont just bark around in the corner like a rabies stricken stray dog about your pathetic views about politics and jobs. If your insecure about your skills and abilities thats your f****** problem not Indians or any other politicians.. Well you want me to provoke you well then hear this, we are gonna take all your jobs away.. we gonna make sure that you dont even have money to buy s*** and eat, we gonna take evrything thatwas yours.. we gonna drape the Statue of Liberty with a saree (you dont know wahta saree iis, well its a dress which Indian women wear).. now get your f****** stinking face out of here A******!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

    Looks more like this video piece is just another NASSCOM paid-for PR piece trying to convince Americans that letting more job robbers into the US is good for our economy despite the depression proving otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Burnstagger/100003829224364 Chuck Burnstagger

    Romney is another shill globalist banker who fears high salaries because they create surpluses that eliminate debt. Remember the big surpluses of the 90s? That is why the greedy bankers flooded America – to drive down wages so surpluses cannot happen again. When Americans were running Silicon Valley the US economy was BOOMING. Now that the USA has been flooded with a massive oversupply of cheap labor, no one has any money to spend. Americans spend their $ here, foreign workers send it home via remittances. Get it?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_THRTOHC6TQN7UOHVBNF47ZZMHQ once I built a railroad

    Not a bad presentation overall, but Chow’s case is unusual – and there are several ways he could resolve it.  I would certainly support changing the immigration laws to support *existing* business principals.  Note that there are already long-standing visas for immigrants creating *new* businesses with at least $100,000 (or whatever the number is today) of capital.  Chow could start a new business and buy his old business and have a visa tomorrow, so wtf.

    Other than that, of course the H-1B system is at this point an absurd lie, used 99% of the time to bring in cheap and docile labor, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work and *significantly* reducing the wages of over a million.

    So, that might chase jobs offshore to Singapore or Chile?  Well, that’s only been true forever, and how’s that working out for them?  It’s a bit of a mystery, actually, why the Internet movement has been so centered in the US, but I guess there’s little reason to think that’s about to change.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_THRTOHC6TQN7UOHVBNF47ZZMHQ once I built a railroad

    That’s pretty horrible, if he’s been working for months and not been paid, but we’ve all seen the clusters of recruiters and sub-recruiters and sub-sub-recruiters that are out there.  What’s more, the company is probably paying $80/hr for him, and he’ll receive about $20/hr, if and when.

    I’ve also been the lone American on the big H-1B teams, and in my humble experience it’s often the one American who does 80% of the work while the other eleven team members fiddle around, but we all get about the same pay, plus or minus the recruiter/agency terms.

    Well, that’s perhaps not fair, I’ve seen a few Chinese, Russian, and other European H-1Bs who actually did good work, but the great mass of H-1Bs from India, well, I used to think a lot better of them, but experience in shop after shop teaches the same sad lessons.  To say that they have specialized knowledge, or that they pull their weight even at reduced wages, is simply not the case.  (Again this oversimplifies, as in ANY organization you tend to see some kind of 80/20 rule at work, but in this case it falsifies the claims that the H-1B guys were needed – if you want to pay eleven guys to sit around doing nothing, you should STILL hire Americans!)

  • H1BKiller

     These indians smell horrible. I had to quit my career just from the odor. I know for a fact most of them wipe with thier hand even after moving here.

  • H1BKiller

     These indians smell horrible. I had to quit my career just from the odor. I know for a fact most of them wipe with thier hand even after moving here.

  • H1BKiller

     These indians smell horrible. I had to quit my career just from the odor. I know for a fact most of them wipe with thier hand even after moving here.

  • guest

    And if you look at who’s running and working at these companies, many of them are foreign entrepreneurs educated right here in America. But because of visa hurdles and an impossible road to getting permanent residency in the country, many are having to shut down their companies and take their business and jobs back home.

    We have to approach this problem like a skillful anesthesialogist. An anesthetist should give the exact dosage in order to perform the procedure. He or she cannot give less dosage because the patient will experience the pain. If he or she gives more, the patient will go to the other world and no one can save

    Like a physician, we need to diagnose the problems first before recommdending a treatment.
    We must find out why we are in this mess today and work from there. We should not forget that our universities charge outrageous or enormous amount of fees when non-resident students study here. Naturally when they spend so much money and time here, they need to earn enough to pay off their tuition fees alone prior to doing business here. Our College Education, especially the tuition fees does not come cheap. That is one of the main reasons why many Americans cannot afford to go to college. But the non-residents pay almost six times the regular fees, that is outrageous. If you go to any University or College in the East Coast or West Coast, you will definitely come across a few Indian Professors/Faculty Members who are professionally qualified. Many of them studied in India and here  in United States too and are still helping the American Business and American students succeed. We cannot discount that. I know by experience since I attend most of the Alumni Meetings every year and I have come across several highly qualified Indian Engineers and Physicians. Many of them have Doctorate degree from India and from here too. They are the ones working in this country as Department Chair and Post-graduate Professors and Professors Emeriti.

    I don’t understand why they feel they’ve been forced to take lower wages and pushed out of their jobs because of the wave of foreign workers who’ve been allowed in on the same H-1B visas. Something is not right or entirely clear. Who is the middleman that makes most of the money here? If the American Software Engineer has the necessary qualifications and skills, why should they go looking for an engineer from Foreign Countries?

    We hear people talking about these in ‘Need to Know’.
    This matter is not discussed or shown on American Television News.
     ’Meet the Press’ has more important issues such as ‘Politics of the SameSex Marriage’ to talk about than worrying about the Economy and Immigration.

  • Kate_a

    No. I’m a mechanical engineer. I’ve been out of work for 2 years. The reason companies like Google want to import foreign labor is because they don’t want to pay Americans higher salaries. There are plenty of smart people in this country already.

  • SV

    I have read more than a few articles on the topic of hiring foreign workers in the technology field and I have resisted from responding till now to comments almost all echoing one same opinion. Disclosure: My spouse is a H1 B employee and I have seen him work hard every day and some days for more than 15 hours, here in the United States.I have seen several friends and colleagues of his who do the same. I am sure that there are some slackers out there but it is downright unfair to say no Indian works hard. I am positive that this will hold true for the Chinese and the others. India’s and China’s GDP are not growing over 5% every year not just because we are more than a billion in number each but because our workforce is productive as well.  

    I fully understand the sentiments of those Americans who think that their jobs have been taken away because of the presence of foreign workers.It is never easy to lose your job whatever be the circumstances. 

    My intention of writing a comment is neither to offer a solution to this problem nor to support more opportunities for high tech workers. This is your country and it is for you to decide what is best for you. Let me say this as a H1 B spouse: All these workers did not come here with the explicit intention to take away American jobs. They came here because they worked hard as students and later as professionals to become skilled in technology which lead organisations to evaluate that they can perform certain jobs well and were qualified to be  H1 B visa holders, a visa program a lot of your elected representatives at Congress and the current President support and is legal. They are people with same aspirations and hopes for a better future like you all do. They deserve to be treated with some dignity and respect. For a nation that is built on immigration, I would have thought that would come naturally. 

    I know I won’t convince every one of you or most of you with my opinion but I have been brought up in a country that also values freedom of speech and expression (a country called as India) and thus it is my fundamental right to say what I have said. 

  • Woody

    What is the real productivity in China or India. China seems good at pirating products and designs. What grates on me is that all the “hard” work has been done. R & D to product development right here in the United States. The Chinese then copy it and sell it back to us. Or they work thru Walmart who demands cheaper than cheap prices from suppliers. Those suppliers end up bankrupt and the sale of equipment starts……to the Chinese.

    In the case of India jobs in drafting are flooding their market. The result of lax oversight is now coming into play. Sections of drawings that are now copied and pasted into drawings for other unrelated buildings that cause cost over runs.

    We have the talent right here in the US for what we need. I have no problem with immigration so long as it is done legally. Frankly I do not want to see our way of life dwindle to a caste system such as in India. But I am afraid it is starting

  • No_H1

    Nothing will be changed until STEM professionals join in efforts to fight all this offshoring/inshoring schema.  Corporations  are killing the STEM field in US . They bring coruption from India and nothing else. All the stories about students that cannot have H1B visa are just a  cover . In reality 90 % of H1, b1, l1 holders have low skills level or no skills at all . 

  • guest

    Qualifications and Skills must be recognized wherever available regardless of the nationality.
    Earlier we had a service oriented industry. But today we have to deal with technology driven industry and those who do not have the necessary qualifications fall behind. Earlier we did not have online trasactions or home computers. Today, we deal with i-phones, iPod and all kinds of sophisticated technical gadgets. Today everyone has i-pods and i-phones from businessmen, teachers, professors to babysitters and janitors. We become so addicted to all these gadgets that we cannot function or survive without them. .That is sad.

  • guest

    I do not want to see our way of life dwindle to a caste system such as in India. Your fear is natural. We may not have caste system, instead we may end up having ethnic group mingling together. For example, hispanic will hire those who speak spanish, filipinos will hire their own group who speak their dialect tagalog, russians will hire only russians, and armenians wil hire armenians.. That might be a possibility. That is happening a lot under community reinvestment..

  • guest

    they don’t want to pay Americans higher salaries – that is true. I agree with Kate A
    I saw this tv news program sometime ago on CBS 60 minutes. It was about Income Tax Returns being prepared in another country. Why? American CPAs charge enormous amount of fees to prepare Tax Returns, which is outrageous. Why pay American CPA when they can get the Returns prepared for a fraction of cost – it makes sense.  Same thing happened with hospitals in El Paso, Texas. The hospital was looking for highly qualified and well trained doctors but not a single American doctor is willing to work in El Paso, Texas. The hospital chief doctor received about 500 job application forms from various doctors but not a single one of them was American. Many of the doctors from those 500 were Indians, Vietnamese, and Filipinos. That is an option for American doctor to work or not to work. So we cannot blame the Asians for American doctors unwillingness to work in El Paso, Texas.

  • guest

    You are talking about body odor. Everyone has body odors, why only Indians. Americans have strong body odor too. You should see when they sit next to you after eating Garlic Pasta or any garlic product. You wlll hate that odor.

  • Jerrykammer

    Here’s a reaction to Mr. Meacham’s commentary:
    http://www.cis.org/kammer/cliched-sentimentality-jon-meacham-pbs

  • guest

    Immigration is entirely different from H-1 or J-1 type of visas. H-1 is exclusively based on their educational qualification and experience. Just because they are immigrants does not mean they will get into high paying career without proper qualification and experience. We see lot of Hispanics coming from Mexico, El Salvadore, and Guatamala without speaking a word of English Those who came to this country to stay and work ,should learn how to speak English Language.
    But why should we learn Spanish here in USA. We don’t live or work in Guatemala, El Salvadore, and exico

  • AProf

     As a professor in Computer Science, I see H1B as a terrible policy for this country. It is a corporate give-away and far from helping the tech industry in this country, it is destroying it. If you want a a tech industry in this country FOR Americans, then allow the “invisible hand” of supply and demand raise the wages to something that is worth the effort to get a STEM degree, and allow the companies to attract workers by providing liveable working conditions (rather than forcing 60+ hour work weeks continually). I cannot in good conscience encourage students to do a STEM degree when I know what is waiting for them in industry. H1B is disastrous for this country.

  • Bridget

    This show equated two separate issues while ignoring others related to both.  Corporations head-hunting are after the most obvious juicy brains, often at the cheapest prices.  But anyone who creates businesses and jobs here should be instantly embraced, and treated separately.  There should be a distinction.  Meanwhile countless immigrants with degrees are not allowed to work in their fields of expertise because their schooling and experience aren’t recognized here.  Now THAT’s a brain drain.  For those who study here and want to stay, everything becomes more complex:  The grand idealism of your statement that this country was built and is invigorated by immigrants is too simplistic.  We have been stealing the best brains from other countries for a long time, favoring those who are already wealthy and educated.  But your own show pointed out that immigrant vigor is really derived from our poorer immigrants and their determination.  Many of them are thwarted at every turn, educated or not.  Since we are forced to live in a world with national boundaries, which is the true big picture problem, we should surely be focused on those already here, and enhancing opportunity for those who need it, new arrivals and all, with the idealism inscribed on the State of Liberty, while insisting that corporations find and nurture the talent we already have. 

  • JustSaying

    I work in the tech industry and most H-1bs are nice people, but they don’t have special skills.  They are usually contracting for an outsourcing company.  This creates a disposable work force for employers and allows them to avoid paying market rates. 

  • guest

    I appreciate Bridget’s comments. Part of the problem also comes from the American Colleges and Universities. There are many Foreign Nationals studying in this country, who pay enormous amount tuition fees as non-residents.  Local resident Americans cannot afford to pay that kind of money to go to college. As a result, college education for American students is beyond his or her scope. Further the software industry has taken control of most American Businesses from gas pumps, ATM machines to grocery stores and airport ticket counters. It is right to say that Americans have become the slaves of computers and i-Pods and iPhones today than they were  20 years ago and it appears that they cannot live without these gadgets which they need for day to day survival. .