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  #1  
Old 01-27-2008, 04:41 AM
imm_pro imm_pro is offline
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Default SIIA:Without more foreign workers in U.S., jobs may go overseas

http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9058941


The U.S. software industry is larger than the food processing industry in terms of revenue, according to an IT trade group that wants Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, give permanent residency to foreign nationals who graduate from U.S. colleges and back trade policies that give companies unfettered access to global markets.

The Software & Information Industry Association today released a report (download PDF) that assembles a variety of economic data in an effort to give policy-makers a better understanding of the software industry's importance to the U.S. economy. For instance, the SIIA said that software vendors and digital content providers employed a combined total of 2.7 million people in 2006, a net gain of more than 400,000 jobs over the 1997 level. That's a 17% increase in head count, the group said.

SIIA president Ken Wasch acknowledged that the timing of the report's release was a little awkward, coming during a time when the stock market is falling, interest rates are being cut and Congress is working to craft an economic stimulus bill.

"Our industry is not going to be able to repeal the economic business cycle," Wasch said. If the U.S. economy goes into a recession, he added, "our industry will be impacted as well."

But Wasch claimed that the software industry has outpaced other economic sectors and the economy as a whole on growth over the past few years. "In an economic downturn, surely it's not going to be good news for our industry," he said. "But our industry ought to be performing better than industries that are fading in economic importance."

Nonetheless, Wasch contended that maintaining the industry's current level of growth in the U.S. will require immigration reform. Without the ability to add talented workers as needed, "we're creating an incentive for the industry to create knowledge centers outside the United States," he said.

The average annual wage paid in the software industry during 2006 was $75,400, according to the SIIA, which said that figure is about 78% higher than the median wage for all workers in the private sector.

The numbers cited by the SIIA are largely based on statistics from government reports and, consequently, tend to be one or two years old. But the intent of such reports from trade groups often is to add weight to their congressional policy initiatives.

For instance, the SIIA is calling for improvements to science, math and technology training overall in U.S. schools. That is a common argument made by tech industry groups, which also cite a shortage of skilled talent in the U.S. and the need to bring in qualified workers from overseas. Wasch said he thinks permanent-residency green cards should be "stapled" to the diplomas of U.S. college graduates from foreign countries.

But on the issue of math and science training, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy research and analysis group in Washington, concluded in a report released in November that "the U.S. is not at any particular disadvantage compared with most nations, and the supply of qualified [science and engineering] graduates is large and ranks among the best internationally."

Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, called the SIIA's report "a defensive document" in an e-mail response to questions about it.

Hira said he thinks that a better comparison than measuring the U.S. software industry against other sectors is to look at the growth rates of the large offshore outsourcing companies vs. the growth of software jobs in the U.S. "I think everyone will be taken aback," he wrote. "The growth of IT labor demand in the U.S. is a pittance compared to the explosive growth in India."

Another policy issue of importance to the SIIA is trade barriers. Wasch said that the European Union and countries in other regions are placing what amounts to a "patchwork quilt" of restrictions that impede the flow of data -- for instance, limiting the ability of companies to store information about overseas customers on systems in the U.S. The trade group would like to see some standardization of such restrictions, he added.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2008, 08:59 AM
subba subba is offline
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Default Let us not mix our issues up with H1B quota

While the core is trying hard to educate lawmakers about how our agenda is different from H1B quota, I feel some members themselves are not crystal clear about it.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2008, 11:09 AM
thomachan72 thomachan72 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by subba View Post
While the core is trying hard to educate lawmakers about how our agenda is different from H1B quota, I feel some members themselves are not crystal clear about it.
Hey, why dont you suggest changing the name "immigration voice" to "green card voice" to make the agenda crystal clear! Common friend, you are also an H1b holder right? Once you got on the boat dont forget the rest waiting on the shore to board. Thats what people have termed "selfishness"
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2008, 11:50 AM
vamsi_poondla vamsi_poondla is offline
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Default

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Originally Posted by thomachan72 View Post
Hey, why dont you suggest changing the name "immigration voice" to "green card voice" to make the agenda crystal clear! Common friend, you are also an H1b holder right? Once you got on the boat dont forget the rest waiting on the shore to board. Thats what people have termed "selfishness"
If we have any positions on these non-issues (for us), we can discuss on the forum without any issues. I know many of our member's spouses/ friends have a H1B dream. If they are eligible, but still have to go through lottery, it is pretty sad situation.

But, this is not selfishness my friend. H1B is a non issue for us for many reasons. H1B is non-immigrant visa while green card is immigrant visa. Unless this Orgn is named as Visa Voice, somebody can say let us not discuss about H1B.

H1B draws unnecessary controversy for no benefit of the majority of the community here. Someone will say increase numbers. Opponents will say dont. Both have strong reasons. Some folks like Ron Hira will tell some stats(while conveniently ignoring that the offshoring companies deal not only with AMERICA but also with Europe, Asia Pacific and rest of the world..even South Africa). Let us not go into the territory which doesnt benefit us.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2008, 04:19 PM
vamsi_poondla vamsi_poondla is offline
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Default

Late '90s the number of H1Bs are record high around 115K. Does that stop outsourcing? In fact it was when outsourcing became more acceptable. Hypothetically, if we increase H1Bs to 200K will it stop outsourcing? Not likely. More H1B will not automatically translate into more US Tech Jobs. It could be some off-shoring company's onsite team who may fill up that job.

We cannot have a secure IT job. Never ever. Nobody can keep a hand on their heart and feel that confident. Irrespective of the numbers, more jobs will keep getting outsourced. So, one should start keeping his/her skills up to date and be ready for any circumstances. More than offshoring, AFAIK, US based tech workers will be impacted more by economic slowdown.

I always tell this - offshore jobs are not cheap. With $ conversion, cost of employee retention and higher cost of operations, I can say that, it is as much as you get here, if you factor in all the parameters. It is always about risk, quality, predictability and consistency. As specialized service providers, with a large number of employees with variety of skills, offshore based software companies can provide faster team ramp up, predictable quality, process and deliver goods. On the grounds of innovation, may be they are not first class. But for most of the custom business software development, they pass the test. That is what businesses want and expect. This is what IBM, EDS, Perot systems provided 2 decades back. Now it is done by India based companies. That is the only diff.

Indirectly, we may be effected by H1B caps. But we are in a different bus altogether. So we can discuss as much as we want..but it is unrelated issue to our GC reforms agenda. It draws unnecessary attention to this non-issue.

I rest my case.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2008, 07:14 PM
mbartosik mbartosik is offline
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Default IV is not about H1B advocacey

The IV agenda is essentially, as I see it, to bring some common sense and justice to the path to EB green card system.

How many H1B the USA wishes to invite each year is a matter for US gov.
How many green cards it issues and to whom is also a moral issue once US gov has invited someone here. It is plain rude to keep people waiting so long.

Do not try to advance H1B quota, there are so many companies lobbying for that. Whether it is a good thing for the country or not, there are already many big players in that fight, and we are just ants in that picture. Do you see big corporations lobbying for green cards --- no not generally. So more H1B means more people trapped, or more people for them to recycle sometimes moving a job off shore too. More H1B means more profit for someone too, follow the money.

As for name change, name changes have been considered in the past like "legalimmigrationvoice.org". The name may be generic, but the purpose is not. We are specifically about getting the EB green card system working. We are not about lobbying for H1B.

We have tried to get a few technical fixes to H1B to reduce abuse, but certainly not increase the numbers.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2008, 05:47 PM
leoindiano leoindiano is offline
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Default

Our stand on H1B should be neutral. If government sees a need to increase/decrease H1B quota its up to them. Forget supporting it, going in combination with it itself hurt our chances twice. I hope everybody know that and understands it. Our organization is for greencard and related issues only. Lets stick to that.
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