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Let Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Work In US, Says White House

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the bring-your-spouse dept.

United States 566

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Carolyn Lochhead reports in the SF Chronicle that the White House has announced a plan allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States, a coup for Silicon Valley companies that have been calling for more lenient rules for immigrants who come to the United States to work in technology. 'The proposals announced today will encourage highly skilled, specially trained individuals to remain in the United States and continue to support U.S. businesses and the growth of the U.S. economy,' says Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. 'A concurrent goal is for the United States to maintain competitiveness with other countries that attract skilled foreign workers and offer employment authorization for spouses of skilled workers. American businesses continue to need skilled nonimmigrant and immigrant workers.'

Currently, spouses of H-1B visa holders are not allowed to work unless they obtain their own visa but tech companies have been calling for more H-1B visas, and supporters of the rule change argue that it will bring in more talented workers. Critics say they believe expanding the H-1B visa program will allow lower-paid foreign workers to take American jobs. The plan immediately drew fire from Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, accused the administration of acting unilaterally to change immigration law and bring in tens of thousands of potential competitors with Americans for jobs. 'Fifty million working-age Americans aren't working,' Sessions said in a statement, adding that as many as 'half of new technology jobs may be going to guest workers. This will help corporations by further flooding a slack labor market, pulling down wages.'"

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seems like a back door (5, Interesting)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 7 months ago | (#46944927)

To getting two H1Bs for the price of one!

These are already being abused by tech companies to force lower wages on those already legally in the USA, be they citizens or resident aliens, this will make it worse.

Re:seems like a back door (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945011)

I wonder if they'll start "encouraging" their H1Bs to marry other people they want to hire now?

Re:seems like a back door (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945221)

I wouldn't mind marrying a Chinese/Japanese/Korean girl fresh out of college.

Re:seems like a back door (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 months ago | (#46945479)

I wonder if they'll start "encouraging" their H1Bs to marry other people they want to hire now?

I'm wondering if the SF in SF Chronicle stands for "Science Fiction".

Re:seems like a back door (0, Troll)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 7 months ago | (#46945037)

You don't understand, these spouses are allowed to work already once the H1B has gone through a process to obtain a green card - so this is really just a relatively minor change to allow them to work 5 or 6 years earlier than they otherwise would have been able to. You talk as though these spouses don't currently exist and will come into existence once this change is made. This is a no-brainer, it makes no sense to legally force these people to be dependents on society; let them be productive and they don't have to leech anything from taxpayers, they can help grow the economy, and their productivity can be taxed. Slightly lower wages are a misleading concept when it also means cheaper goods and services in an economy.

Re:seems like a back door (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 7 months ago | (#46945097)

Only a small fraction of H1Bs ever get greencards though.

Re:seems like a back door (2)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 7 months ago | (#46945139)

RTFA - this proposed applies only to H1Bs already applying for a green card

Re:seems like a back door (2)

fractoid (1076465) | about 7 months ago | (#46945301)

How long does it take to go from "can apply for a green card" to "has a green card"? If you've just moved to a new country, a second income makes a huge difference.

Re: seems like a back door (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945105)

So h1-b is an immigration program?
That is not what the laws says.

Re: seems like a back door (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 7 months ago | (#46945149)

Actually, "the law" does allow a certain H1B to green card path, so yes, it's "what the law says". And RTFA: The proposed rule ... would - for the first time - allow work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers who have begun the process of applying for a green card through their employers ... this applies to H1Bs already applying for a green card.

Sounds like (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945265)

Suckerburg's fwd.us in action again, working hard to bring in their cruising international technocratic elite to move around from country to country sucking it dry with their free google transportation and housing etc. for their do nothing crappy Google "x" or MS research projects that dont do anything to improve society for all but the technocratic few.

Re: seems like a back door (2, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945407)

Actually, "the law" does allow a certain H1B to green card path, so yes, it's "what the law says".

We know what the law says. The reality, which often has little to do with legal details, is that the H-1B is primarily a guest worker program. That's how employer's use it, and if it wasn't primarily for guest workers, why have the H-1B visa at all? Get a green card and move on in. That's how other immigrants do it. Why should this case be any different? Oh, that's right, there is a critical shortage of technical workers. Also, I'm the Queen of England.

Re: seems like a back door (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46945241)

Cute. He considers what the law says relevant for corporations.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46945119)

Slightly lower wages are a misleading concept when it also means cheaper goods and services in an economy.

Well, that's the problem, isn't it? It doesn't mean cheaper goods and services, it only mean greater profit for those who benefit from cheap labor.

Personally, I say people have a right to work and live where they want, but all the borders have to come down, not just the US ones. Only then will the (wage) slave trade become less profitable.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 7 months ago | (#46945179)

have you seen how long that takes? many years in many cases

There are no cheaper goods and services

Re:seems like a back door (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945045)

To getting two H1Bs for the price of one!

These are already being abused by tech companies to force lower wages on those already legally in the USA, be they citizens or resident aliens, this will make it worse.

I don't understand this comment, for the majority of companies H1B's are NOT a way to get cheap labour, they are a VERY expensive way to fill positions. Where I work we have 3 people on H1B's they are without a doubt our most expensive technical resources as the costs of bringing them here + wages far and away exceeds the cost of hiring locally, but we couldn't find skilled locals for those positions.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 7 months ago | (#46945145)

for the wages you were willing to pay...

Re:seems like a back door (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945189)

I don't understand this comment, for the majority of companies H1B's are NOT a way to get cheap labour, they are a VERY expensive way to fill positions.

Then they wouldn't fucking do it.

The whole point of H1-B is to gut one of the few times supply-and-demand favors the worker instead of the employer. And that's in a tight economy, not one that's been depressed for 6 straight years.

Re:seems like a back door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945197)

"the costs of bringing them here + wages far and away exceeds the cost of hiring locally"

Seems to me this means you were offering a pittance to the local workers. I find it hard to believe that if you offered a higher wage, to the point of what it's costing you now for these H1Bs, that you wouldn't have found a citizen of your country to fill the position.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 7 months ago | (#46945129)

I guess unemployment in the U.S. is kind of trivial.

Re:seems like a back door (2, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46945249)

I guess unemployment in the U.S. is kind of trivial.

This is the Lump of Labor Fallacy [wikipedia.org] . Both theory and real world evidence show that immigrants, and especially skilled immigrants, expand the economy rather than "stealing jobs".

Re:seems like a back door (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945435)

immigrants, and especially skilled immigrants, expand the economy

Your grasp of the situation has led you to answer the wrong question. Why should I care what the US GDP is? What matters to me is the US GDP per capita, and the distribution of income from that.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#46945389)

I guess unemployment in the U.S. is kind of trivial.

. . .in related legislation, the White House has proposed deporting unemployed U.S. citizens, so it will all work out in the end . . .

Re:seems like a back door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945267)

No.... Think about it - You come to the US, and you get married to another foreigner who was a student (a common situation). Now your foreigner spouse graduates and should "go back home". You want them to stay, but maybe it's harder for them to get a visa for their job than for you. If they can't work, then they have to go home. Probably you break up. It might be the case that you are from different countries, so no matter which country you go, you have the same problem.

On the other hand, if you *don't* allow this law, then you are encouraging non-Americans to marry Americans for the purposes of obtaining work permission, which is bad for everyone.

Re:seems like a back door (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945447)

Easy solution: eliminate the H-1B program.

Re:seems like a back door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945339)

Am I the only one who sees the irony in this position coming from the Secretary of HOMELAND SECURITY?

You want skilled foreigners coming over and working in jobs that likely involve critical infrastructure, classified data, and trade secrets? Seriously? This should be the absolute last thing someone concerned with homeland security should be asking for. Unless of course, their goal is security for the profits of the 1%, and a means of crushing everyone else.

The amount of rank corruption in corporations and governments today would make even Al Capone blush.

Re:seems like a back door (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#46945467)

Yes, you are, since part of DHS's tactic is to stop those Evil Bad Nasty Tur'rists from getting their hands on American technology. That means making sure the brilliant foreign minds come to American companies, rather than going back and starting or supporting foreign think tanks.

While here they may have access to American technology, but it's more difficult for the foreign governments (and others) to get access to it.

Aaaaaaannd..... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944929)

3..2..1... oh wow... looks like there are way more gay H-1B people coming on in with STEM degrees. How convenient.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (1)

jayveekay (735967) | about 7 months ago | (#46945099)

I don't think that same sex marriage requires that one or both spouses be homosexual. Two heterosexual people of the same gender can choose to get married.

The government does not force married couples to have sex with each other, nor does it require that they have offspring.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 7 months ago | (#46945257)

The government does not force married couples to have sex with each other

Actually, at least for heterosexual marriages, in a lot of places it kind of does, at least once anyway. I've actually looked into this(long story short a Chinese woman was attempting to pay me $10k to marry her, I ultimately turned her down because you know, fraud) and at least in the state of Washington a marriage technically isn't legal until it has been consummated. Whether or not this statute is enforced or not is beyond me, but it's still on the books.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (1)

androidph (3631653) | about 7 months ago | (#46945295)

I think INS actually comes to the homes for a surprise visit and interview the husband or wife trying to check for fraud. i.e. what position one sleeps, does he/she snores, what the favorite stuff etc etc..

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 7 months ago | (#46945385)

Yeah, they call it "Operation Newlywed Game" You gotta give them credit on that one.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46945251)

Actually, funny as it may be, a lot of high quality IT people I know are gay. I have no idea where that correlation between homosexuality and mad math skills is, though.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945347)

Probably has something to do with bullying in high school.

Re:Aaaaaaannd..... (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945461)

a lot of high quality IT people I know are gay

A lot of them don't know what their sexual orientation is, because they're unfamiliar with sex.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944943)

Given the gender ratios in IT-related fields, does this mean there will be a much stronger push to legalize gay marriage in the US?

Vote UKIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944951)

lol

Good decision (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944953)

This is a good decision. The current rules are rather inhumane. Rather ironic that a country that prides itself on gender equality and human rights, forces H1B spouses (most of whom are women) to stay in the house and rot away, even when many of them are highly educated.

Re:Good decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945243)

Yes, it's interesting that there's so much opposition to something that's really just basic human decency.

The usual reason given is "taking jobs". But that doesn't hold up to careful thought. In the simplest reasonable model, the number of jobs is proportional to the population. So if you increase the population (either through births or immigratino) then you increase the number of jobs. And, in an efficient jobs market, wages would adjust until everyone who wants a job has a job. There shouldn't be any unemployment. And if you do attempt to manipulate the market by artificially constraining wages then you'll just create a shortage of jobs - or perhaps drive the jobs overseas (e.g. the Detroit auto industry).

There's a lot that the US government could do to reduce unemployment in the USA - but being mean to spouses of H1-B workers isn't one of them.

Re:Good decision (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945481)

in an efficient jobs market

You mean in fantasy land? "Efficient" markets rank right up there with frictionless surfaces.

Re:Good decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945487)

fuck em, if they do not like it they can go back to india and shit in a trench with their fellow countrymen

Re:Good decision (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945477)

This is a good decision. The current rules are rather inhumane.

Simple solution: eliminate the H-1B visa. A lot of whining and moaning about unfair or inhumane immigration policies (much of which I sympathize with) are the result of weird horse's ass visas like the H-1B. It's also not reasonable to say unemployed H-1B's have to leave the country. The fix is to return to the traditional approach to American immigration: get a green card. After that, and before becoming a naturalized citizen, about the only thing they can kick you out for is being convicted of a felony.

That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944965)

You really need to ask, who do these politicians really represent?

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (0, Troll)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 7 months ago | (#46945127)

Do you know that skilled programmers still continue to exist even if they don't migrate to the US? Which would you rather have, a skilled programmer competing with you in a globalized market inside the US getting paid ~$100K/yr and helping to create more local jobs (i.e. by spending his income in the local economy), or that same skilled programmer sitting in India still competing with you in a globalized market for your job, but at less than half the salary? Which do you think depresses your income more? And do you think that depresses your income more or less than the Apple wage fixing cartel that Steve Jobs had going for years?

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945217)

Why should it matter to him whether the skilled programmer who got the job he wanted lives down the street or across the world? Either way he's still unemployed... But that only matter for jobs that are cleanly exportable. Not all jobs are, some people do still prefer to hire locally, and those jobs are the ones that I assume GP is talking about. For that matter, if the job IS cleanly exportable, why would the employer hire an H1b for nearly twice the price of the same guy in india anyway? obviously it only matter for jobs that are hiring locally, and clearly having more competition locally is a bad thing if you're a job seeker.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46945279)

The main difference is that if the programmer is here and getting 100k, not only does the wage level stay up there but he may at least find a job somewhere else where that 100k programmer wants to buy something. A programmer abroad wastes your wage level AND creates no new domestic job.

Yes, in both cases he's not the one getting the job. But in one case he has a chance of not only getting another job, he has a chance to get it at a wage that allows him to survive here instead of being more suitable to sustaining him in the slums of Bangalore.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945333)

I do not follow your logic. please elaborate.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 7 months ago | (#46945433)

Exactly. In one case he has no job at all and in the other case the H1B worker might hire him to mow his lawn.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945483)

Zuck, is that you?

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945239)

Neither of these situations should be allowed, nor should the price fixing. If you want that job in another country, you apply for citizenship in that country and once you become a citizen, then get a job there. That's the only fair method.

Face it, these big companies are just siphoning off every last bit of profit, leaving the workers and the public with nothing. They have completely turned their backs on the country and people that made it possible for them to get where they were.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 7 months ago | (#46945291)

If you want that job in another country, you apply for citizenship in that country and once you become a citizen, then get a job there.

Do you know anything about living in a foreign country? You cannot just "apply for citizenship" in whatever country you want.* To be eligible for citizenship, you you first have to live there on a residency visa for a number of years. And how do you get into a foreign country and live there? One of the most common ways is being invited to work there. Pretty much all countries in the world have the concept of the work visa. One might wish to set higher or lower quotas, but every country is fine with some amount of skilled workers coming in.

* (Yes, there are countries like Malta that give you a passport if you invest a seven-figure amount, but we are talking here about ordinary workers, not oligarchs. And while Ireland gives citizenship on the basis of ancestry, that is not an option for e.g. IT workers in India.)

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46945493)

And how do you get into a foreign country and live there? One of the most common ways is being invited to work there.

And for many years the US prohibited work visas precisely because they can be used by employers to drive down wages in a particular area or field.

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945367)

That's the only fair method.

No, actually the opposite. The fair thing would be to allow everyone in the world to live and work and travel wherever they want without regard to arbitrary geopgraphical boundaries or ancestry. The fair thing would be for everyone in the world to have equal opportunity to succeed regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

What you want, by restricting immigration, is to maintain your unfair privilege. You got lucky and happened to get a bigger piece of the pie than most people born into this world. And now you don't want to share. Perhaps you even imagine that the purpose of life is to do as much as you can for yourself - as opposed to, for example, doing as much as you can for others. Lots of people in this world are selfish: you're hardly unique in that regard.

But don't pretend that restricting immigration is about fairness - that would make you dishonest (in addition to selfish).

Re:That's 100k jobs not going to unemployed Americ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945361)

The proper solution is to close off the border and bomb India back into the stone age.

throw them the fuck out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944975)

along with their spouses.

Re:throw them the fuck out (1, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 7 months ago | (#46945005)

along with their spouses.

This. Then aggressively pursue companies hiring illegals and fine the shit out of them.
US corporations will not hire US labor at fair rates unless they're forced to. Force them.

Re:throw them the fuck out (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46945323)

Well, maybe let's have a civil discussion about it. First of all, return H1Bs to what they were supposed to be: A way to get key personnel with unique skills. And sorry, but when I see how certain corporations carpet bomb the relevant fed offices with applications, I can't really believe that to be the reason for them. You really need dozen and dozen of key personnel with skills you can't find here, every single year? Who do you want to bullshit here?

H1Bs are something that should be the exception. It became the rule, though. And that's what's wrong about it. They should be a way to remove a roadblock, to avoid a shortage of people with unique and hard to find skill sets, or to import very specific people who are for some reason very, very important in a certain field. But for the latter to apply to you, if the field was Linux, you better be Linus Torvalds or else you're just not important enough (just to illustrate what I mean with "important in a specific field").

That's what H1Bs are about and that's what they should be used for.

And I could hardly think of anyone having a problem with this, except for some xenophobic hillbillies who fear the dilution of the true American blood.

In the future (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46944981)

Indian programmers coming to the US on H-1B visas will be gay married for immigration purposes so the second programmer doesn't absorb a visa quota. Win-win!

have a high H1B minwage / let them work anywhere (4, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46944995)

have a high H1B min-wage / let them work anywhere with them being tied to the job.

make the min wage say 100-150K + COL with payed OT. and or an H1B tax.

So if you want h1b you can use them to get cheap workers tied to the job. that can be payed low with forced OT.

Re:have a high H1B minwage / let them work anywher (5, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about 7 months ago | (#46945069)

This. If you set the minimum H1B wage at 120% of the average wage in that area for that type of work and experience, then we can have confidence that the purpose of H1B is to fill skill shortages. By allowing them to be employed for less than the going rate of a local, employers are just encouraged to find loopholes to enable them to employ lower wage workers. And by not tying them to a specific job, you remove the ability of employers to find other ways to abuse the system (such as paying them 120% of the average wage to work 150% of the average hours) since the employee can always go elsewhere.

As for spouses working - if someone is good enough to import for their labour skills, at least have the decency to treat them and their family like you would anyone else. If you think this will have an adverse impact on the local labor market, then you probably shouldn't be letting them in in the first place.

Re:have a high H1B minwage / let them work anywher (4, Insightful)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 7 months ago | (#46945191)

"And by not tying them to a specific job"

This. By tying H1B's to an employer, they effectively become chattel for the employer for the duration of their H1B work - beholden to the company, they have no real negotiating power and this is what really drives wages down (or more accurately, prevents them rising).

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945077)

That's the current state of affairs. If you are mad about something, check your facts first.

Re:have a high H1B minwage / let them work anywher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945489)

have a high H1B min-wage

The requirement is "prevailing wage" for that category of worker. In Silicon Valley, that translates to $80-$100k for many workers.

let them work anywhere with them being tied to the job.

H-1b's have been portable since around 2000.

Wow seriously? (4, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 7 months ago | (#46945001)

I'm surprised you guys haven't revolted over this entire thing yet. Up here in Canadaland we've had something similar happen with regards to the TFW program, similar to H-1B. Shit hit the fan about 3 months ago and ever since then it's been all over the news and at the rate it's going the entire program will be dead by years end.

Re:Wow seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945275)

I can only dream that this corrupt bit of robber barony known as the TFW program will be dead by year's end, but the way things have been going, harper and his cronies will manage to sweep it under the rug or morph it into something even more heinous. That blackguard has done more damage to this fine country during his time in power than all previous administrations combined, and that's even including mulroney!

Re:Wow seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945285)

It. Helps when your news syndicate isn't actively trying to screw middle class into the ground. Here when I read anything about canada it's either bieber and rob ford. Our national news is Miley virus and tomorrow's racist. You have to dig really deep to find out Canada just past US in middle class wealth. They don't like to advertise how bad we are being screwed.

No. (0, Flamebait)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#46945003)

Enough. No more anchor babies, no more 'spouses', no more bringing whole families over. This has to end now. Every time we do this, we make the immigrant countries' problems our problems. Right now there are americans living in the sewers because they can't get jobs. They get priority..or they should.

Re:No. (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 7 months ago | (#46945213)

Every time we do this, we make the immigrant countries' problems our problems.

[Citation needed] There is a huge difference historically between immigrants to the US, with a strong work ethic and likely to be educated, and the northern European experience where low-skilled refugees have to stay on the dole for at least a generation because they cannot or don't want to work.

There is some social tension in the latter case and the Far Right has often ran campaign that claim the local culture is being swamped by outsiders. In the US, however, immigrants always have and continue to assimilate very quickly, and while you can probably dredge up tabloid scandals to villify the immigrant from overseas demographic of your choice, it means little in the big picture.

I oppose the massive use of H1Bs myself, but if they are coming in anyway, it will only aid assimilation if the wife can go out and work everyday instead of just sitting at home.

Re:No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945381)

I oppose the massive use of H1Bs myself, but if they are coming in anyway, it will only aid assimilation if the wife can go out and work everyday instead of just sitting at home.

I say make the H1B a mandatory fast-track to a green card, then the spouse can work and both are more likely to actually settle here.

As it is now, the majority of H1B visas are used for off-shoring [computerworld.com] - they bring the person over, train them up for a year or so and then send them back. If these H1B holders really creme-de-la-creme, then we don't want them to go home. We want them to settle here and become full citizens as soon as possible.

Re:No. (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#46945497)

Your solution is just a false appeal to pragmatism: "oh well, they're coming, so now what?" like we don't have any choices here. We do. Mexico's mafia/drug drama is destabilizing that country fast, and we'd do well to wall ourselves off from it as best we can.

Citation? The whole south west is one giant 'citation' because we don't have the balls to defend our own borders anymore. You want a solution? How about this: Build that wall talked about a decade ago, except that each state along the border has a school attached to their segment of it. The mexicans (or whoever really) enter one side, and if they pass academic, health, and psychological rigor, they become american citizens who understand our system, can speak english literately, and who, most importantly, want to be american. They'll be more apt to respect our value of liberty, and pay taxes, such that they are willing to compete on equal turf with the rest of us. The others go home. The rate of influx is carefully controlled such that it basically shuts off when labor is plentiful. Anyone who tries to run the border for any reason is shot on sight. No excuses. No exceptions. Watch how quickly the mexican government reprioritizes its own revitalization when the USA isn't there to prop it up anymore.

Of course, this requires leadership that isn't afraid to make tough choices, but the current culture in washington is incapable of that. It only knows how to 'compromise' to the point of gridlock such that nothing of consequence is decided, except of course when it's time to chop out a sizable chunk of civil rights or citizens' income.

The point is that as long as we have americans who are out of work, we shouldn't be importing any labor. Until they are employed I don't want to hear about bringing more foreigners here who then have to be house broken on the taxpayer's back, and then immediately play the professional victim for a hand out to bring their half literate families over. That only bolsters the voting block of a particular group of politicians (I'll let you guess who), and few cents per share on the exchange for the fortune 500s who just want cheap slave labor. If the americans in question are not trained then at least use the taxpayers dollar to train them instead.

If these companies want to make money and host their headquarters in this country, then they gotta be a part of it, or else there will be no first world problems left to sell their first world solutions to (take a wild guess why). The fact that the president and his party care more about the plight of people who don't even live here over that of those who do, is another citation of evidence for just how disconnected washington is from reality and from the duties they're supposed to carry out.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945261)

Why do poor people in the US get priority over poor people in another country? Are they more valuable? This is coming from someone who is homeless (in the US) and almost every day I don't get enough to eat unless I steal it from Kroger. I have worked in remodeling (construction) and some IT. Both of those industries are hit hard by immigrant workers, legal or otherwise. I am young with a strong back though. I have told racist builders to their face that "I don't care if someone wants to sneak across the border to compete for jobs with me, I will gladly step out of the way" when they are "happy to hire a white man". I am happy that someone from a country with pandemic poverty can come here to work, legal or otherwise. If its a zero sum game, then I will conscientiously abstain from working.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945485)

Hmm no.. When US comes to my country, does a coup, overthrows the legitimately elected government in order for US companies to obtain concessions for gold, diamonds, uranium, etc, creates hyperinflation so people's saving are turned into toilet paper in a day, takes innovation and turned a mid developed European country into a 3rd world one, and all this in order to get Airforce bases in the place of the now extinct army of that country, and get for free the people who were educated with that nation's taxes in good technical schools and universities, to the point that the country is mocked as the US state in the EU, and the current puppet government silently pledges allegiance to US, what choice do I have than to work in the US, and for US, rather than for the shitter US turned my country into.
Yeah, you better understand that the US government wanted me here. The same way e.g. the Ukranian engineers from Antonov and other ex-military complexes would come to the US once US finishes putting their country in the shitter.

So yes, US bombs Germany in WWII, then brings all surviving engineers here to build NASA, you put a country down a shitter so you could drain it, especially for people like me, so you better think I am your problem, you have to take your responsibility for these people. Though I'm not (bringing problems) - I pay my taxes, perhaps twice as much as you, my local friends find me perfectly adapted and well behaving, I support my local community, give money to charity (such as the local food bank, Katrina and Sandy relief), I would go volunteer fire fighting or neighborhood watch if needed.

P.S. I also complain against a large part of my H1 colleagues, as their productivity is perhaps 3 times lower than mine, and they strangely happen to be from a particular subcontinent. I live in AZ, as a legal L1 and H1 alien, I support SB 1070, but I do not support these relaxations. I do not understand why I should be punished for being here legally, not establishing relationship or family because of the uncertainty if I would get to stay here long term, now they would start allowing amnesty and this.. come work for no requirements. There absolutely have to be more strict H1 and GC requirements, not further relaxation.

Double down? How about "No." (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945023)

How about no? Wages are already suppressed far enough as it is without doubling the number of foreigners these companies can bring in.

We don't have a workforce problem. We have a wage problem. Companies will do anything they can to pay people less. Just look how they've already latched on to this H1B BS.

I say end it. Revoke them and send folks home. We have plenty of workers available, just not at rates employers want to pay.

Pardon my single tear for them.

Re:Double down? How about "No." (1)

afgun (634001) | about 7 months ago | (#46945051)

My wife would gladly work for what they are paying H-1Bs. Except that they don't want Americans. She's had the damnedest time finding work. I'm completely opposed thttp://news.slashdot.org/story/14/05/07/2214225/let-spouses-of-h-1b-visa-holders-work-in-us-says-white-house#o more work visas. We should trim them or eliminate altogether and hire Americans.

Re:Double down? How about "No." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945115)

Have you considered the possibility that it has less to do with nationality and more to do with the person?

Re: Double down? How about "No." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945419)

Maybe your wife should start her company if she actually has mad skillz and is cheaper than the competition (mine did)...

work is survival (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945067)

I'm extremely liberal and want the best for everyone in the world. But here in the US, we have horrible social welfare. Work is survival for us. If you don't have a job, you fall fast and hard, and it's hard to get back up. Hell, it's hard to get a place to live without guarantors and evidence of an income, and having a place to sleep and eat safely is fundamental to being a biological being. So I call shenanigans on the government allowing more people in to take jobs. Until we've got a robust safety net in place so everyone has a safe place to sleep and can be confident of their next meal regardless of whether they have a job, our focus should be on getting jobs for all citizens that pay what is needed to have those things.

Re:work is survival (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46945237)

you are hitting home with me.

I'm living in the bay area, been here over 20 yrs and I'm a software (and sometimes hardware) engineer. I rent and my lease is up in a few months from now. I lost my job several months back (large layoff at work) and I've not found a job, yet. I have savings to last me a while, but the big fear for me right now: how the hell am I going to find a new place to live (I have to leave where I'm at right now, when the lease is over) if I don't have a job at the time? and enough income shown via 'paystubs' to make a landlord want to pick me for a renter?

in the bay area, things really can suck if you end up unemployed at the time that you choose (or are forced) to move. even with good savings and a great past history, landlords will simply pass you by! its absurd, but they all demand to see 3mos of income (at least) or they won't consider you.

you can be good - and just a bit unlucky for a short while - and end up nearly homeless or actually homeless. its frightening. as of right now, I don't have a job and while I'm trying my best, I don't know what's going to happen when the lease time is up.

I've lived in the US all my life and I've contributed (well, I think) to the companies I've worked for. but the past 10 years or so, I've found that its extremely hard to find jobs and everyone I'm being interviewed by is from another country. there are not a lot of americans being hired and working in the bay area and its not something that I'm imagining, either. its real. and its affecting me and my ability to keep a roof over my head; quite literally, in this case.

we owe more to our own people - ones that were born and raised here - than we do for others. I'm sorry, but that's just how I feel. every other country has a 'take care of our own, first' ethic. I don't know why we don't also prefer to take care of our own, first.

Re:work is survival (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945411)

Even if you do find a job, it will get worse in the US

so:
impeach Obama

Re:work is survival (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945449)

May I ask why you're not leaving the Bay Area now that you're not held here by a job? If my research weren't tied to a certain Bay Area uni, I'd be out of here so fast Instagram would look like Slomogram.

Sorry to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945453)

Sorry to hear all that, but... You were told this would happen. I understand, being from the "Bay Area" you probably thought everyone telling you that was a racists bigot idiot, but you were told. You now have a Federal Government more bent on taking everything it can from the middle class and youth and giving you nothing in return. Obama has had a "laser like focus" on job creation for 6 years now and you see the results. Instead of approving the Keystone pipeline, this week he is instead talking about additional EPA regulations that will kill even more jobs.

Sorry, but you all voted for this. Hope and change is here to stay. At least you have Obamacare. Oops, without income you don't qualify for subsidies but are still required to pay a tax for not having insurance.

This government's treatment of the middle class makes me sick, but it is what you asked for.

Simple corruption (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 7 months ago | (#46945071)

Americans like to talk smugly about how corrupt China and Mexico are. Well guess what, great U S of A is pretty goddamn corrupt.

Facebook and Microsoft want cheaper workers, they lobby the gov't (i.e. grease palms with money) for more H1B. Disney wants to milk more money out of Mickey Mouse, it lobbies the gov't until copyright laws extend for centuries. And please explain how this benefits the public (as opposed to benefitting Microsoft/Disney).

Re:Simple corruption (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46945125)

Time for the States to stand up and take back powers from the Federal Government because it has become the USSR, United States Socialist Republic.

Kick the bastards out!

In the future (1)

Scareduck (177470) | about 7 months ago | (#46945083)

H-1B visa holders will be gay married for immigration purposes, so their employers will only have to use one H-1B slot.

Sincerity? Green Cards (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 7 months ago | (#46945131)

Does the administration sincerely believe that bringing these people to America will make us stronger? I tend to agree. Give them green cards, so they can stay. H1B visas with little hope for a green card are indentured servitude.

CMDR_TACO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945271)

Please mod this troll in oblivion and IP ban him from the site. We have already decided that immigration of high tech workers into this country is a bad thing. No more discussion should be allowed. It is just trolling at this point.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945135)

As long as they halve the number of H1-B visas, too.

Ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945137)

cans Can become

How to fix H1B in four words... (1)

Rone (46994) | about 7 months ago | (#46945199)

Let. Them. Change. Companies.

If a foreign worker is important enough to the country that we'll give him or her a shortcut through our (admittedly ridiculous) immigration system, then it shouldn't matter WHICH company they're working for, as long as they're working for one of ours.

Locking them into one company only encourages the formation of sweatshops, and we're supposed to be better than that.

Re:How to fix H1B in four words... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46945373)

But ... but ... how should we compete with China?

It really does make sense, though fewer H1Bs might (3, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#46945233)

We might be granting too many H1Bs, I don't know. I haven't seen reliable, relevant numbers. That's a separate discussion.

    However, IF you're going to allow a couple to come into the country and IF you're going to allow one of them to work, it makes sense to allow the other to work legally. If you don't , they'll probably work illegally, but having them here and not working isn't helpful. As long as they are here, the best thing for America is that they are being productive. It's best that they be doing something useful and then paying taxes like other workers. The other options are that they aren't doing anything productive, in which case they are just an extra incremental load on the infrastructure, or they are working unlawfully and probably not paying their fair share of taxes.

Re:It really does make sense, though fewer H1Bs mi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945353)

When one half makes money and other half spends money works out well for local economy.

Read the proposed rule changes first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945283)

It requires that the H1B holder either have an approved I140 petition for immigrant visa or that they have been in the US for more than 6 years (with their H1B extension beyond that approved). This is *not* a blanket permission for EADs for H4 holders.

The reality is that the current rules are unfair to workers from India and China because of the super long wait for permanent residency. H1B holder from other countries will have their green cards approved much sooner and their spouses can work, but not those from India and China that are contributing a lot more to the American economy.

No. (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 7 months ago | (#46945311)

H1B visas are economic cancer and allowing their spouses to ride on the same application is doubly so.

why not just... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46945395)

Why not just educate Americans in the United States? Teach them how to read and write in school. Teach them mathematics. Teach them critical thinking. Give them access to universities. Let them work for a living. That would be nice. Instead we have ignorant/obedient workers and predictable voters who increasingly have no option but to join the military, go to prison, or collect wellfare. This isn't right. Regardless of how well it works in the short term it is not sustainable in the long term, and it is an abuse of power and humanity.

Silly americans, understand your own country... (0)

goruka (1721094) | about 7 months ago | (#46945405)

I had this argument plenty of times, as I visit USA often.
The fundamental problem is that Americans think they are the best at way they do, because they do something that no one (or at least they believe no one) else does outside America. Americans have a huge pride and pisses them off to no end that someone from the outside can come into the country and do a better job than them. Period. This is the root problem with H-1Bs and everything else is indirectly linked to this.

I always hear the same arguments coming from Americans regarding to H-1B or Outsourcing, like "They just bring those workers because they are cheaper, so it doesn't matter if they are worse!" or "They sent to India but those guys are terrible at doing their job!".

To understand why you already lost, you have to accept the fact that other people is as good as you or better outside America. I'm not talking about bringing Mexicans to do construction work, I'm taking about scientists, engineers, etc. There is PLENTY of birllant people outside, and guess who do they work for? Their local companies and governments? Some might, but they will work for the highest bidder and that includes American companies and American government (through companies). Most of that people is in countries where the standards of living are cheaper or much cheaper, and with an entry level American salary they are rich, have their whole family and they don't care about H-1Bs.

That is the people responsible of less jobs for the Americans, and you have no idea how many are there, probably more than americans themselves. Remember that I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I travel often to the USA? Guess why. America makes it very easy for foreigners to open an American company.

So, complaining that H-1Bs are responsible for the loss of jobs is like blaming a cold for the death of a patient with HIV.
In fact, if you were not short-sighted, you might even see the positive side of having foreigners come and work in american soil. One foreigner will take away at much one job, but one foreigner can also create many jobs, and they don't need to be Elon Musk or Satya Nadella.

But no blaming your problems on those inferior immigrants. Right. I can tell you that there is plenty of jobs and plenty of people willing to invest in endless amount of opportunities in America, Been in many countries and no other country compares to America in this regard, your country is the best.
Also met and have known of more foreigners living outside America taking these opportunities than there are individuals under H-1B.

So, if you are worried about your job or unemployment, it definitely is because you either are not qualified, relevant , or affordable enough. That's the hard truth. America is a free country and promotes free trade with every other country. Vote for the national socialists next time there are elections if you don't like this.

Wait a second.... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 7 months ago | (#46945437)

Critics say they believe expanding the H-1B visa program will allow lower-paid foreign workers to take American jobs. The plan immediately drew fire from Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, accused the administration of acting unilaterally to change immigration law and bring in tens of thousands of potential competitors with Americans for jobs.

I thought Republicans were supposed to support free markets. What could be less free market than limiting the number of immigrants to artificially keep the price of American labor high? Furthermore, I would have assumed some big companies that need H1B visas would have bribed all the politicians by now... What gives?

The new rule is compassionate (1)

PerlPunk (548551) | about 7 months ago | (#46945459)

I mean, please, let them do what reasonable people should be expected to do to make a life for themselves!

If you see the conditions some of the families of H1-B visa holders live in, through no fault of their own, you would agree to let spouses work if they can and are willing.

This is a question of decency, and dignity.

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