3rd month of the 2nd quarter of the 8th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression

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updated: 2013-06-09
 

  "Mean peak life-time creativity was significantly higher in the index group than in the controls, with the highest levels of creativity being not in the manic-depressives but in the cyclo-thymes & in the normal relatives of people with mood disorders.   In interpreting the findings, Richards & her colleagues suggest that some of the normal relatives in question may have been hyper-thymic, or otherwise mildly affected with mood problems at the soft end of the bi-polar spectrum.   Not normalcy alone, but normalcy in the relatives of bi-polar patients, predicted greater creativity." --- Melvin Konner "Art of Darkness" _Why the Reckless Survive_  

 
 
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  "'Good story' means something worth telling that the world wants to hear.   Finding this is your lonely task.   It begins with talent.   You must be born with the creative power to put things together in a way no one has ever dreamed.   Then you must bring to the work a vision that's driven by fresh insights into human nature & society, coupled with in-depth knowledge of your characters & your world.   All that... and... a lot of love." --- Robert McKee 1997 _Story_ pp 20-21  

 
 

 

 


captain William Scott's flag for the Republic of Texas.

2007 June

3rd month of the 2nd quarter of the 8th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression


 

2007-06-01

2007-06-01
_News Max_
This man leads plan to set off nuclear devices in USA

2007-06-01 06:26PDT (09:26EDT) (13:26GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Core inflation increased 0.1% in April: Personal income fell 0.1% and real disposable income fell 0.4%

2007-06-01
Keith Regan _eCommerce Times_
Dell to cut 10% of its work-force
"Dell said Thursday it would cut some 8,800 workers from its pay-roll over the next year."

2007-06-01 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index changed from 87.1 in April to 88.7 in early May to 88.3 in late May

2007-06-01 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM manufacturing index rose from 54.7 in April to 55 in May
"The employment index fell to 51.9 from 53.1 in April."

2007-06-01
Susan Jones _CrossWalk_
Border Insecurity
"The New York Democrat wants the Government Accountability Office [GAO] to examine the training, recruitment and attrition rates of border guards, following a highly publicized lapse involving a tuberculosis patient who was mistakenly allowed to cross the U.S.-Canada border.   Although a check of the man's passport flagged him as someone who should be detained, a U.S. border guard waved him through, reportedly ignoring the warning message on his computer screen.   'Even though the agent was warned that the man should be detained at all costs -- the individual was still allowed to drive into this country no questions asked.', Schumer said in a news release.   The Associated Press said the guard thought the TB patient looked perfectly healthy, so he disregarded the warning as 'discretionary'.   The guard has been reassigned to administrative duties, pending the outcome of the investigation.   'It's high time we have a top to bottom investigation of our border control practices.', Schumer said.   'These agents are our nation's first line of defense and we need to make sure they get the support and training they deserve.', he added."

2007-06-01
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Good luck to US high school grads. They'll need it.
"Between 1965-1970, approximately 30K foreign college graduates came to California.   During the 5-year period between 2000-2005, the number increased to nearly 325K...   In 2006 alone, nearly 400K foreign-born college graduates entered the US workforce.   Since 2000, the total is 1.8M...   Harvard economist George Borjas discovered that even those Americans lucky enough to hold a job suffered a decline in their wages ranging from 3.2% to 5.9%, depending on years of experience, because of the increase in foreign labor."

2007-06-01
Paul Haynes _Tennessean_
In a radical departure from the norm Nashville Career Advencement Center used money from H-1B displacement fund to train US citizens for tech work

2007-06-01
Rush Limbaugh
RNC Faces Grass-Roots Revolt
"The Republican National Committee has been hit big time by a grass-roots donors rebellion over the immigration bill.   The Republican National Committee has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors.   Ralph Hallow has this today in the Washington Times: 'Faced with an estimated 40% fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update.'...   Well, something doesn't wash here.   Put the system in.   You realize how important this is, this is fund-raising!   The RNC fired the phone bank operators.   It's because they're not generating revenue.   It's because you people aren't donating, and I could imagine how these phone calls go.   'Hi.   I'm from the RNC, and I just want to confirm that your donation from last year you want to maintain.   Can we put you down for 75...'   'No, you can't put me down for anything.'   'Why not?'   'Well, because of the immigration bill.   Why should I continue to give money to people that are going to be reelected and do things that we don't want them to do?'...   'many former donors flatly refused to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call amnesty for illegal aliens.'   Meanwhile, John Derbyshire, National Review Online, has a good little piece here on temporary workers...   Derbyshire says, 'So the right question to ask is not, Do we need a temporary worker program?, but Why do we need another temporary worker program?...   there is nothing temporary about temporary workers.   Once you're in, you're in.   Case in point: me.   I came here in 1985 October as a temporary worker, on an H-1B visa [described in 8 USC 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)] -- good, in theory, for only 6 years.   I'm still here.'   Nobody's made a move to force him out.   '''Temporary worker program' is hog-wash.   There are no temporary workers, only settlers.   I'm here to tell you.''...   'employers don't want lawful, visa-ed temporary workers.   They want illegal immigrants, who are cheaper.'...   It's Ted Kennedy who's been wrong every time he's opened his mouth about this for 43 years..."

2007-06-01
Beryl Lieff Benderly _Science_
Who speaks for US scientists and tech workers?
"Despite these perceptions, tens of thousands of Ph.D.s, many of them American-born and American-educated, are stuck in dead-end positions, struggling to find careers commensurate with their training and experience.   Many others with technical expertise watch companies use H-1B visas to move their jobs off-shore."

2007-06-01 (5767 Sivan 15)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
For George W. Bush historical hind-sight is not 20/20

2007-06-01 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Jamie McIntyre _CNN_
Hillary Selling Out Middle Class?; Lindsay Graham Tries to Sell Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion to Home State
Lou Dobbs: And Senator Hillary Clinton tries to bolster her presidential campaign, trying to -- apparently, appease Silicon Valley executives on the issue of H1-B visas for foreign workers.   Is Senator Clinton selling out our middle class? We'll have that special report.
And the FDA issuing a warning about possibly contaminated tooth-paste from -- you guessed it -- communist China.   And you might be interested to know that this warning comes 2 weeks after other countries in this hemisphere told their people about the risk from Chinese tooth-paste.
Robert Gates, secretary of defense: At this conference the United States is not pressing the case that [Red China] is a growing threat.   Instead, it is taking the low key approach, hoping to encourage more Chinese cooperation.
Jamie McIntyre: One positive sign, said U.S. officials, is that [Red China] has sent the head of its military intelligence, Lieutenant General Zhang Qinsheng, to attend the gathering, something it hasn't done in recent years...
Lou Dobbs: Senator Hillary Clinton apparently selling out some interest in her battle to win the Democratic Party's nomination.   We'll have that story.   Pro-amnesty Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, well, they're having something of a hard time selling that grand compromise and their perspective to the constituents who put them in office...
Lou Dobbs: Senator Hillary Clinton is under fire for comments she made last night in California.   Appearing before a crowd of executives in Silicon Valley, Senator Clinton spoke out in support of bringing in even more cheap foreign labor.
Casey Wian: Senator Hillary Clinton told Silicon Valley executives she wants to create more high-tech jobs in the United States.   But for now, she's advocating more of those jobs go to immigrants from India and [Red China].   That remark was interrupted with the loudest applause heard during her campaign speech.
Hillary Clinton (D-NY): I am reaffirming my commitment to the H1-B visa and increasing the current cap.   So let's just face the fact that foreign skilled workers contribute greatly to what we have to do in being innovators.
Casey Wian: Already, corporate America has used up its allotment of H1-B visas for 2008, 65K high-tech workers and another 20K with advanced degrees.   Clinton did not specify how many more foreign workers she would allow, but she did propose ideas for creating more home-grown technology talent.
Hillary Clinton: We need to treat our young scientists and engineers with respect and provide real rewards.   They should know that our country needs them, because, in fact, we do.
Casey Wian: Those ideas included national standards for math and science education, more funding for National Science Foundation grants and even a reality television show to bring what she called sex appeal to science and math.
Casey Wian: But perhaps the Senator should begin with the basics, such as spelling.   On the same day a 13-year-old from nearby Danville, California, was crowned national spelling bee champion...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are correct for the championship.
Casey Wian: ...behind Senator Clinton, as she spoke of the need for more education, a slogan reading, "New Jobs for Tommorrow (sic)", but tomorrow is spelled incorrectly, with two "M's".   For the record, Senator, it's T-O-M-O-R-R-O-W.
Casey Wian: The Silicon Valley leadership group which hosted the speech says the graphic for that misspelled banner came from the Clinton campaign.   The campaign did not return our call seeking comment on the gaffe -- Lou.
Lou Dobbs: Well, maybe they could open up -- maybe they should use one of those H1-B visas, bring in a scholar for the senator.
Lou Dobbs: That's incredible.   The senator is certainly one of those most well-read and well-informed of the candidates.   She is -- and I don't know if you had the opportunity to talk with the campaign -- is she unaware that 7 out of 10 of those H1-B visas are going to Indian companies for [off-shore] out-sourcing?   Is she aware that 4 out of 5 of those jobs are level one, not level 4 -- high school jobs?
Casey Wian: We didn't get a chance to speak with the Clinton campaign.   They didn't return our phone calls.
Casey Wian: But what I can tell you is that one of the folks who was -- one of the executives in attendance at that speech says the group -- the executives in Silicon Valley are getting tired of candidates treating Silicon Valley like an ATM.   So perhaps Senator Clinton is giving them a hint of a return on their investment, Lou.
Lou Dobbs: Well, I'm sure the ATM aspect of it is not -- is not something she's given up on either.   But it looks like it is a straightforward swap.   But not one that makes a lot of sense for the American worker.   Thank you very much, Casey Wian...
Lou Dobbs: And a warning tonight about communist tooth-paste from [Red China].   The tooth-paste may contain toxic chemicals.   Just the latest in a long list of contaminated products originating in [Red China].   We'll have the story.   We'll tell you what your government is doing to protect you...
Lou Dobbs: The architects of this new grand compromise on illegal immigration legislation are having a tough time selling that bill to their constituents.   Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the handful of outspoken Republicans who helped in the efforts, spent the week defending that measure in his home state of South Carolina...
senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): What's in season?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strawberries.

Andrea Koppel: But Senator Lindsey Graham wasn't really looking to buy.   He'd come to the Greenville farmer's market to sell.
Lindsey Graham: The best thing I can do for South Carolina and this country is taking a broken immigration system that nobody can understand and rely upon and make it work.
Andrea Koppel: Work for many South Carolinians usually means farming, peanuts, vegetables or fruit.   Agriculture is the state's second largest industry.   It depends on cheap foreign labor.
Andrea Koppel: Just days before the Senate resumes debate on immigration reform, which could allow up to 200K temporary workers a year into the U.S.A.   Graham's pitch?   Passing the bill is critical to South Carolina's economy.
Lindsey Graham: It is in jeopardy if we do not act quickly to make sure that the farmers of the future can have the work force they need.
Andrea Koppel: A work face essential to farmers like Carlos Wingard, who says he supports Graham, even though the bill is far from perfect.
Carlos Wingard, vegetable farmer: We're willing to give up some of what we want so we can get a workable program to get -- for us to get affordable [i.e. cheap] labor into the country.
Andrea Koppel: But just down the street, truck driver Steve Zehr wasn't buying it.
Steve Zehr, truck driver: You can put all the spin on it you want, it's still amnesty and it still stinks.
Andrea Koppel: This may be Republican conservative country, but that didn't stop Republicans at the party state convention from booing Graham last month because he struck a deal on the immigration proposal with liberal Democrats like Senator Ted Kennedy.
Lindsey Graham: There are some people tell me, I'll never vote for you again if you do this.   Well, if I based every decision as a senator on that statement, I would do nothing.   So what I'm going to do is lead.
Andrea Koppel: Still, Graham confidently predicts that when the bill goes to a vote in the Senate this month, it will pass.   But between now and then, he and other lawmakers will have to do a lot more selling...
Lou Dobbs: Senator Graham's colleague from the state of South Carolina, Senator Jim DeMint, says that bill could be a disaster for the Republican Party.   He opposes the amnesty legislation, saying it undermines the rule of law in this country.  
Lou Dobbs: Up next here, President Bush intimates Americans are afraid of diversity.   Who in the world does he think he's talking to?   We are the most diverse nation on the planet.   We'll have that special report.
Lou Dobbs: And Democratic and Republican presidential candidates preparing for their election debates.   We'll preview the debates with three of the country's best political analysts.   And we'll try to figure out what in the world the president is thinking.
Lou Dobbs: And we'll tell you about that tooth-paste from communist China and why this country's consumers get a warning on it 2 weeks after a lot of the other folks in this hemisphere.
Lou Dobbs: The latest rhetoric from President Bush appears to be turning the debate on illegal immigration and his reform legislation into a debate over race and diversity.
Lou Dobbs: If that bill should become law, the nation's immigration bureaucracy may not be able to handle the demand.
Lou Dobbs: Bill Tucker reports on the president's taking of the fight personally, as he pressures his conservative base for support, after insulting them.   Lisa Sylvester reports on why -- the Customs and Immigration Service will be able to deal with an unexpected crush of visa applicants.
Lou Dobbs: But, first, we turn to Lisa Sylvester -- Lisa.
Lisa Sylvester: Lou, we have a situation here with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS], where they are just overwhelmed with applications.   They have managed to go through a backlog of past applications, but now they have the prospect of having to deal with a new immigration plan.   And many critics are wondering how they will manage it all.
Lisa Sylvester: If the Senate bill becomes law, as many as 20M illegal aliens would be given immediate probationary status.   And each would be eligible to apply for a new Z visa.
Lisa Sylvester: The federal government would have to check when those millions of illegal aliens enter the country their work histories, conduct background checks, and collect the appropriate fines and fees.   Sounds like a lot of work?   That's not all.
Lisa Sylvester: The federal government would also have to process tens of thousands of guest workers and their families, under the Y visa program, tracking when they entered, how long they can stay, and whether their visas can be extended.   Most of the work will fall on the federal agency the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Dr. Steven Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies: The immigration bureaucracy, if this bill goes through, is going to be hit with a tsunami of paper-work.   And there's no indication that they're able to handle it.
Lisa Sylvester: USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez, in an interview in March, admitted, they're working with antiquated computers and technology.
Emilio Gonzalez, USCIS director: We need to modernize.   We need better facilities.   We need better training.   We need better technology.   All that has a price tag.
Lisa Sylvester: USCIS is seeking a fee increase to handle its existing work-load, independent of the current immigration proposal.
Lisa Sylvester: On the Senate floor, Senator Jeff Sessions urged his colleagues last week not to pass legislation that is unworkable and will swamp the system.
senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), armed services committee: We have been passing bills.   They have had loop-hole after loop-hole, gimmick after gimmick, impossibility after impossibility.   And they have never worked.
Lisa Sylvester: Worst-case scenario, according to Sessions and other critics, will be if the applications are merely rubber-stamped, and a terrorist slips through the mountains of paper-work.
Lisa Sylvester: And that actually did happen after the 1986 amnesty.   An Egyptian illegal alien who was working as a New York taxi driver submitted an application for amnesty as an agricultural worker.
Lisa Sylvester: His application was approved, and he later was convicted for helping plan the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center -- Lou.
Lou Dobbs: The idea that the CIS, the -- the Citizenship and Immigration Service, can't handle this, why is there this apparent disregard for that fact in the executive branch?
Lou Dobbs: It's been -- by the way, we should take some count.   Over the past 6 years, this president, his administration has had the ability to fix this, and hasn't even come close.
Lisa Sylvester: There's a real disconnect between what members of the Senate are talking about and reality here.   And many people who watch and observe the process, we -- we all know that it's going to be very difficult for USCIS to be up and running and to process these applications.
Lisa Sylvester: And that's why many people fear that this will be a rubber- stamped process, and that there won't be the scrutiny that this really deserves.
Lou Dobbs: IOW, another part of a piece of legislation that now has 100 amendments already that is laughable on its face.
Lou Dobbs: Lisa, thank you very much -- Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Lou Dobbs: The debate on illegal immigration, border security and what to do about it all appears to be, in some quarters, turning in to be a debate over race.
Lou Dobbs: Thank you, Mr. President.
Lou Dobbs: Bill Tucker has our report.
Bill Tucker: The president is making it personal, even though he says he doesn't want to.
George W. Bush, president of the United States of America: I will do my best to make sure that this debate does not denigrate into name-calling.
Bill Tucker: President Bush has been striking a different tone in interviews with reporters, telling The Houston Chronicle -- quote -- "The truth of the matter is, a lot of this immigration debate is driven as a result of Latinos being in our country" -- in blunter words, if you oppose the immigration bill, you're a racist.
representative Ted Poe (R-TX): This bill has nothing to do with race.   It has everything to do with legalizing illegal conduct.   The whole word, key word, is people are in the United States illegally.
Bill Tucker: The issue of race was underscored again at a news conference on Friday.
George W. Bush: America must not fear diversity.   We ought to welcome diversity.
Bill Tucker: Perhaps someone should explain to the president, we are a diverse country.   1 in every 3 Americans is considered a minority.   Latinos make up 14.8%, followed by blacks at 13.4%, and Asians at almost 5%.
Bill Tucker: The United States issued almost half-a-million immigrant visas last year to people from literally every country, as well as another 5.8M non-immigrant visas, including students and guest workers; 1.25M people also became legal permanent residents last year, the majority of those from Mexico.
Bill Tucker: The founder of the group You Don't Speak For Me feels betrayed by the president's comments.
Albert Rodriguez of You Don't Speak For Me: He calls everyone that is opposed to the amnesty bill that he created a racist.   Well, let me tell you, Mr. President, I'm not a racist, as you can see.   I'm part of this great nation, a patriot of this nation.
Bill Tucker: Over 600K foreign nationals became naturalized U.S. citizens in 2005.
Bill Tucker: The simple, straightforward message is, race is not the issue.   Legality is -- Lou.
Lou Dobbs: Legality and a president who thinks he has to instruct.
Lou Dobbs: I mean, I -- I don't know how out of touch this president is.   But, for him to sit there before that group of people and say that Americans should even consider diversity as an issue -- this is the most diverse society on Earth.   And to speak in that patronizing, condescending, and, frankly, in my judgment, inarticulate fashion of his, whether it's studied or just a reflection of his own talent at speaking, it is, I think, just reprehensible.
Lou Dobbs: And I can't even imagine what this administration, this president is -- I can't imagine what they're thinking.   But it sure as heck isn't about anything that -- about a country that -- that I know.   And we're going to be dealing with that issue here later.
Lou Dobbs: Bill Tucker, thank you very much.   Appreciate it.
Lou Dobbs: That brings us to the subject of our poll: Do you believe the, as president intimated, that Americans fear diversity, yes or no? Cast your vote, please, at LouDobbs.com.   We will have the results here in just a few moments.
Lou Dobbs: One of the architects of the 1986 amnesty law is Senator Alan Simpson.   He joined me here last night.   And I asked him to take a look at the current legislation.   And he laid out the problem rather succinctly.
Lou Dobbs: Let's put this in the context of the 1986 immigration -- the amnesty.   I have said -- created just a straightforward syllogism.   I have said, you can't reform immigration laws in this country if you can't control immigration.
Lou Dobbs: And you can't control immigration if you don't control our borders and our ports.   And I have said that, if anyone will defeat the logic of that syllogism, I will sign on to whatever the heck they have got to offer.
Lou Dobbs: What do you think?
senator Alan Simpson: Well, I will buy the -- I will buy the drinks at Cassie's Supper Club, too... (LAUGHTER) ...because that is absolutely correct.
Lou Dobbs: That from one of the 2 principal architects of the 1986 amnesty legislation, and one of the finest and, I think, most respected senators to serve on Capitol Hill.
Lou Dobbs: One more consequence of our open-borders policy and illegal immigration crisis is garbage, lots of garbage.   You hear environmentalists talk about not wanting to build a fence along our southern border for environmental reasons.
Lou Dobbs: Well, get this.   Clean-up crews in southern Arizona have hauled about 250K pounds of trash -- that's a quarter-of-a-million pounds of garbage -- away from the border area.   But that figure, according to federal authorities, represents 1% of the estimated now 25M pounds of trash dropped by illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico.
Lou Dobbs: Environmentalists, BTW, who are concerned about the impact of that border fence might take a look at the reality on the ground as we face it now.
Lou Dobbs: The Food and Drug Administration tonight is warning consumers not to use toothpaste from communist China.   That toothpaste may contain a poisonous ingredient, DEG [diethylene glycol].   Its primary use is in anti-freeze and solvents.
Lou Dobbs: The FDA advises consumers to throw away all toothpaste that is labeled entitled "Made in China".   The FDA decided to examine the products two weeks after several other nations in this hemisphere banned the tooth-paste, seeking to protect their consumers.
Lou Dobbs: The FDA intercepted one shipment of tooth-paste entering this country that contained DEG.   Some retail sampling turned up products with the poison.
Lou Dobbs: Some of the brands in the FDA warning include Cooldent Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint, Dr. Cool, and Everfresh Toothpaste.   They're generally sold at discount retailers.
Lou Dobbs: For more on this alert, please go to our web site, LouDobbs.com.   And we have laid out the products that are suspected of containing this toxic ingredient.
 

2007-06-01
DJIA13,668.11
S&P 5001,536.34
NASDAQ2,613.92
10-year US T-Bond4.96%
crude oil65.08
gold676.90
silver13.74
platinum1,295.60
palladium377.45
copper0.2128
natgas7.878/MBTU
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading
reformulatedgasoline$2.2446/gal
heatingoil$1.9228/gal

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.
 
 

  "For great & creative men know what is best for every man is his own freedom so that his imagination (it can also be called the conscience or the Holy Ghost) can grow in its own way, even if that way, to you or to me, or to [others] seems very bad indeed." --- Brenda Ueland 1938, 1987 _If You Want to Write_ pg 30  

 

2007-06-02

2007-06-02
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
senator Clinton comes out with guns blazing for H-1B expansion
"Yesterday senator Hillary Clinton came out with her "innovation agenda."
As I've been reporting, the word "innovation" is the buzzword that the industry lobbyists have chosen this year to get Congress to expand H-1B and employer-sponsored green card programs, as well as to give the industry other goodies such as various tax breaks.
The actual proposals made by Clinton are not new and thus not surprising.   But even I was surprised by the blatancy of the way she delivered her message, totally and blatantly pandering to the industry and its political campaign money.
Indeed, the industry was blatant in basically admitting that politicians do the industry's bidding, due to the campaign money.   Consider this quote from today's San Francisco Chronicle:
Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said the appearance by Clinton -- and by the flurry of presidential hopefuls this week -- signaled a new pre-eminence of the region and its most critical issues in 2008 presidential politics.
"Silicon Valley is the traditional ATM machine for presidential candidates where they come solely for withdrawal.", Guardino said.   "But when they engage with the leadership on policy issues, in these visits, they are making a deposit as well."

And some politicians have in the past been even more explicit.   Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) remarked in 2000, "Once it's clear [the H-1B visa bill] is going to get through, everybody signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.   There were, in fact, a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public."   A major supporter of pending legislation which would increase the H-1B quota, representative Tom Davis (R-VA), said the same year, "This is not a popular bill with the public.   It's popular with the CEOs...   This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money."
Hillary Clinton has been especially supportive of Tata Consultancy Services and the other Indian-origin firms which are big users of H-1Bs and L-1s, and major players in the off-shoring business.   Yet most people don't realize just how tight the relationship is.   Note for instance this recent statement by USINPAC, the U.S. India Political Action Committee:
USINPAC is now involved in key planning and strategy sessions with Senator Hillary Clinton.   USINPAC had a large presence at the 100 Club dinner organized by the New Hampshire Democratic Party in honor of senator Clinton.   At the dinner she discussed her visit to India and trends in the political relationship between the US and India.   Senator Clinton commented, "I am impressed.   I see your members wherever I go."   USINPAC members also attended a private reception at senatorClinton's home.   At the meeting members engaged President and senator Clinton about the role of the Indian American community in her administration if she is elected.
The Indian firms have stated publicly that H-1B is key to their off-shoring operations, so much so that India's Minister of Finance recently called H-1B "the out-sourcing visa".
Now think about that very carefully, folks.   When senator Clinton gives the industry's favorite line -- we have a tech labor shortage now, so we need H-1Bs for the short term, but we need to fix American education so we don't need H-1Bs in the long term -- think about whether USINPAC wants that to happen.   Of course not.   They've said publicly they want that work done in India, or by Indian nationals in the U.S.A.   Do you think senator Clinton wants to cut down on their business, and jeopardize her close (and obviously well funded) relation with her?
Mind you, we don't have a tech labor shortage to begin with.   As I've often noted, the BusinessWeek study found that starting salaries for new graduates in computer science and electrical engineering, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999.   If there were a shortage, wages would be sky-rocketing.   Vivek Wadhwa's Duke University study also showed we don't have a shortage.   But my point is that even if Clinton believes we have [a talent shortage], it is in her interests to KEEP IT THAT WAY.
It's sad that the press has for the most part not been calling Clinton on this blatant conflict of (the national) interest, nothing less than selling out.
One more thing: That San Francisco Chronicle article also notes that John Edwards has come out for expanding the H-1B program too.   This is very disappointing to me, as he was the only major candidate in 2004 to take a critical view of H-1B.   This week he slammed the oil companies for their greed, but followed the tech industry party line on H-1B.   The oil companies, after all, don't have an ethnic hyphenated American constituency for the politicians to court.
That's sad in another way, because it is both insulting and inaccurate for these politicians to blindly accept USINPAC's message that the Indian-American community wants more H-1Bs.   The fact is that many more Indian-Americans are being hurt by the H-1B program than are helped by it.
Norm
the Hildebeast attacks US science and tech workers, again
Froma Harrop: Hillary needs classier friends
Hildebeast woos Sili Valley executives

2007-06-02
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Hatch pitches evil plan to expand H-1B visa program when it should be reduced

2007-06-02
_Chicago Tribune_
Durbin to push tougher rules on H-1B work visas
Durbin: H-1B visa reforms needed
Durbin's site
"Durbin's plan would put tougher requirements on employers who make use of visa programs for foreign high-skilled workers.   Durbin fears the current system lets foreign workers into the country for tech jobs that unemployed or newly trained American workers could fill.   'Our first obligation is to fill jobs with American workers.', Durbin said at a news conference.   He plans to offer amendments next week to require employers to pay the prevailing [market] wage and to advertise high-skilled jobs online before seeking a visa and to add staff at the Department of Labor to oversee the program."
 

  "If they had worked that hard for school it probably would have killed them.   They were working for nothing but fun, for that glorious inner excitement.   It was the creative power working in them.   It was hard, hard work but there was no pleasure or excitement like it & it was something never forgotten." --- Brenda Ueland 1938, 1987 _If You Want to Write_ pg 6  

 

2007-06-03

2007-06-03 14:46PDT (17:46EDT) (21:46GMT)
_CNN_
4 charged with plot to blow up JFK airport

2007-06-03
Hugh R. Morley _North Jersey Record_
Kline & Company have moved to the dark side
"While America worries about immigrants' taking U.S. jobs, ITRI International is moving in the other direction.   It's offering Americans work abroad.   The Taiwanese R&D company on June 9 will hold its first East Coast job fair in Newark, hoping to recruit American engineers and managers for its 6K-strong work-force in Taiwan.   The company has about 100 mostly high-level vacancies for well educated, experienced candidates, said Sean Wang, president of ITRI International, the California-based subsidiary of Industrial Technology Research Institute.   The non-profit organization was founded by the Taiwanese government in 1973.   It conducts research in electronics, biotechnology, chemicals and other areas.   Many discoveries are later licensed by private companies.   The career fair comes amid an immigration debate in Washington that includes discussion of the controversial H-1b program.   Critics say it allows [not-so-skilled] foreign workers into the U.S.A. to do jobs Americans otherwise would fill.   American corporations, however, say that they have to look to [Red China], India and other developing countries for talent because the U.S.A. doesn't produce enough trained workers, especially engineers.   Wang said ITRI also looks for workers in those countries.   But American workers have more high-level experience and corporate training than workers in developing countries, he said.   For hired Americans, the jobs offer the chance to work in an intense environment of innovation and discovery, he said.   The take-home salaries are comparable to those in the U.S.A., he said.   And to sweeten the offer, ITRI offers researchers 25% of the royalties earned on the patent of a product or technology they invent."

2007-06-03
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Losing the economy to mythology
Contre Info
Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel
 

  "When you're conjuring creative ideas & you make a correspondence with the hidden truth, you will get a confirmation.   It will give you goose flesh.   When you hit upon the right combinations, it will let you know.   If you create a character, an action, or a marvelous element that contains hidden truth, you will get a confirmation, a feeling that it 'works'.   The more conjuring you do, the more writing & rewriting you do, the more confirmations you will experience.   The more confirmations you experience, the more hidden truth you will incorporate into your story & the more power it will have.   This is how you tease the truth to the surface." --- James Bonnet 1999 _Stealing Fire from the Gods_ pp 190-191  

 

2007-06-04

2007-06-04
Jennifer Learn-Andes _NE PA Times Leader_
Rally to support Hazleton's laws against illegal aliens may draw bus-loads from CT and NJ

2007-06-04
Carolyn Lochhead _San Francisco Chronicle_
Temporary and permanent work visa programs
"The United States already invites 3 times as many guest-workers through existing programs as through permanent-job-based channels: more than half a million visas a year, compared with 140K permanent-job-based slots.   Each year, more than 320K of these temporary workers are estimated to stay permanently...   The proliferation of temporary visas...   Many of these visa categories are uncapped, many allow indefinite renewals and most have been rising sharply.   Temporary work programs have become the first choice of many employers...   The H-1B explicitly encourages adjustment to permanent residence by allowing applicants to state that they may abandon their homeland.   Many H-1B applicants and their employers see the visa as a byway to a green card...   'Guest-worker programs tend to get larger, and last longer, than originally anticipated.'..."

2007-06-04 08:17PDT (11:17EDT) (15:17GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Capital investment revised higher for April: Factory orders rose 0.3%: orders for core capital equipment rose 2.1%

2007-06-04
John Miano _Tucson Citizen_
Executives abuse H-1B visa pogram to import cheap labor and drive down compensation and opportunities for US citizens
"The H-1B is nearly exclusively used to import cheap labor.   The most offensive feature of the H-1B program is a well-known loop-hole in the law that allows employers to replace U.S. workers with H-1B guest workers...   The biggest use of the H-1B program is to support moving technology jobs to foreign countries.   India's commerce minister recently called H-1B 'the [off-shore] out-sourcing visa' and went on to explain why more H-1B visas were needed to increase the number of jobs moved from the U.S. to India.   More H-1B visas means more jobs being shipped over-seas.   H-1B workers are supposed to be paid at least the 'prevailing wage'.   However, the law allows the employer to determine the prevailing wage, and the law limits the approval process to checking whether the form is filled out correctly.   Employers can claim nearly anything as the prevailing wage, and it will be approved.   Employer prevailing wage claims for computer workers average $16K a year below the median U.S. wage for the same location and occupation.   With the huge discrepancy between U.S. and H-1B wages, it is no wonder employers are clamoring for more visas...   In 2005, employers using this system classified more than half of the workers as being at the lowest skill level, with just 5% at the highest.   When employers want more H-1B workers, they are 'highly skilled'.   But when it comes to determining their pay, these very same workers become 'low skilled'...   Since 2000, employers have imported enough H-1B computer workers to fill every computer job in America, and industry says this is still not enough.   H-1B needs to be cleaned up, not expanded."

2007-06-04
Sam Davis _Electronic Design_
IEEE joins in the engineer shortage propaganda

2007-06-04
_Wilmington News Journal_
Hundreds rally in Hazleton for enforcement of immigration laws
"Barletta called the Comprehensive Immigration Act, soon to be considered by the U.S. Senate, a 'bad piece of legislation'...   'We have nothing against immigrants.', Vento said. 'We just want them to be legal.'"

2007-06-04
Dale Powers _USA Today_
Don't waste more US brain-power by hiring more foreign workers for coveted jobs
"The truth is that there are fully qualified American job candidates, such as myself, who are trained right alongside foreign graduate students studying here.   To say that qualified candidates don't exist in the USA contradicts the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.   In this case, the 'Help Wanted' sign now reads, 'Americans Need Not Apply'.   Five years ago, I graduated with a master's degree in aerospace engineering from a U.S. university.   Back then, I heard about a fellow class-mate from Pakistan who was immediately assisted in getting an engineering job before his student visa expired.   To this day, I have yet to land a comparable engineering position, though my credentials declare me equally qualified.   Recently, since the quota for foreign employees has temporarily been filled, I've begun receiving more interest by engineering recruiters.   But if the cap on H-1B visas is further increased, I might never find a decent technology job in the USA.   It's regretful we are wasting our country's most important resource -- brain-power -- by farming out our highly honored jobs to cheap foreign labor.   If this continues, the rest of us might be settling for cut-rate, low-skill jobs."

2007-06-04
Ravi Mohan
Can we hire you: Body shopping
"Every single day, I get 3-5 emails from people trying to offer me a job.   The obvious form letters go into the trash can immediately, but I'm old fashioned enough to write a response to any mail that looks as if it has taken a human being some time to compose...   If your business model depends on bodyshopping (where bodyshopping is defined as 'we don't care what projects we work on or for whom and the business model is x number of developers farmed out to random clients for y $/hour'), no, I'll never work for you.   BTDT, got the T shirt.   There is nothing you can offer that I want.   I don't want to be an 'architect' who does 'high level design'.   I don't want 'extensive travel' or 'green card sponsorship'.   I don't want to be a Project Manager type and 'lead enterprise changing teams for Fortune 500 clients'.   I do not want to be an 'Agile Coach' (yuck!)."

2007-06-04
_Wheeling Intelligencer_
Reprehensible immigration law perversion bill is too flawed to pass
Jamestown Post-Journal
"No wonder Congress is rushing to approve massive 'immigration reform' legislation before its details become fully known.   With each passing day, yet another damning detail emerges to make one wonder if the measure wasn't written by P.T. Barnum."

2007-06-04
Jeff Sessions
20 loop-holes in Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill (S1348)

  1. Amnesty before enforcement
  2. US VISIT full operation not among triggers
  3. No more agents, detention space or fencing among triggers
  4. 3 years in which illegal aliens will get preferential treatment to legal filers
  5. Completion of background investigations not required for probationary amnesty
  6. Child molesters still eligible
  7. Connections with terrorists allowed, good moral character not required for amnesty
  8. Gangsters eligible for amnesty
  9. Those who ignored deportation orders are eligible for amnesty
  10. Facility with English is not required
  11. Earned income tax credit will be costly
  12. Affidavits from friends accpeted as evidence
  13. Tax-victims required to fund legal counsel & arbitration
  14. in-state tuition, fees, and government-backed student loans will be available to those on probation
  15. Inadequate merit system
  16. Family visas would encourage over-stays
  17. Will encourage chain-migration for several years
  18. Does not require payment of back taxes, a better deal than US tax-victims have
  19. Socialist Insecurity abomination credits for illegal aliens
  20. Criminal fines not proportional to conduct

2007-06-04
Scott Waymouth _Associated Content_
Tecumseh
 

  "The 1st things you put down on paper are liable to be very disappointing.   But don't get discouraged.   It's how the creative process works.   Visual images & feelings, especially those with real power, are complex, marvelous, & mysterious things.   So to find just the right words to express them is bound to be difficult, requiring a great deal of effort, a great deal of trial & error, a great deal of conjuring, a long creative dialogue with your creative unconscious self.   In any case, don't just stare at a blank page, put something down.   A bad idea on paper is much better than no idea, because a bad idea is an excellent reference point.   It can help you find what you're looking for.   Put 10 bad ideas on the page, & you'll know 10 things that are not what you're looking for.   And if you know 10 things it's not, then what it should be will soon reveal itself." --- James Bonnet 1999 _Stealing Fire from the Gods_ pg 189  

 

2007-06-05

2007-06-05
Jim Snyder _The Hill_
FINALLY, the Shrub is beginning to use veto, and merit requirement has tech executives worried
Orange county Register
San Jose Mercury News
"As the House committee wades into the spending debate, immigration reform will continue to dominate action on the Senate floor, with a possible vote later this week.   In a letter yesterday, a number of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Business Software Alliance and the Business Roundtable, urged support for an amendment authored by senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Cornyn (R-TX).   The amendment would increase employers' ability to identify the [cheap] foreign workers they want over the current structure of the merit-based system now in the bill."

2007-06-05
Ephraim Schwartz _Info World_
Reprehensible immigration law perversion bill's high-tech impact: S1348 gets worse
"'The measure would flood the job market and thus reduce job opportunities and wages for Americans.', says Norm Matloff, professor of computer science at University of California at Davis, zeroing in on the heart of the controversy, Section 419, which will increase the H-1B cap from its current [over 85K] visas to [over 135K] visas in 2008, and then to 180K [200K?] per year after that.   Perhaps not surprisingly, management takes a different perspective on the proposed H-1B hikes.   'There is an inadequate number of H-1B visas provided in the bill.   It raises it to 115K; that is not enough.', says Jenifer Verdery, director of work-force policy at Intel.   UC Davis' Matloff counters that the requested increase in H-1B visas assumes a shortage of workers in technology.   But a BusinessWeek study found that starting salaries for new graduates in computer science and electrical engineering, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999, he says [and BLS data shows employment is flat since 2001].   'You don't need a degree in economics to see that the flat salaries contradict the industry's claim of a labor shortage.', Matloff adds...   Matloff says the Cantwell Amendment would basically retain the current employer-sponsored green card system, while adding the point-based system to the mix.   'In other words, the industry would get even more green cards than under the previous immigration [2006] bill.', Matloff says.   And if approved, Section 530 of the bill, entitled 'Eliminating procedural delays in labor certification', will expedite the green-card process by shrinking the wage determination window to 20 calendar days.   According to the bill, 'If the Secretary of Labor fails to reply during such 20-day period, then the wage proposed by the employer shall be the valid prevailing wage rate.', leading some industry experts such as John Miano, past president of The Programmers Guild, to believe that Section 530 in effect 'undermines the prevailing wage requirement for green cards'...   Former Programmers Guild president Miano believes the current employer-sponsored green card process binds the employee to the employer.   'The industry has been consistent in their desire for indentured labor.', Miano says.   Under a merit system, he adds, workers would be free agents and would be able to change companies or to start their own companies...   'Now, even if unemployment exceeds 10% in some professions, Congress will continue to flood in workers with no labor market test.', Berry says.   Nevertheless, UC Davis' Matloff believes replacing the current employer-sponsored policy with a point system would reduce the de facto indentured servitude that foreign workers undergo as they wait years for a green card.   'Since this exploitability is 1 of the 2 main ways employers currently use to get cheap labor from the H-1B program, the proposal would benefit American programmers and engineers.', Matloff contends."

2007-06-05
Summer Harlow _Wilmington News Journal_
More than just Latinos wait for immigration law

2007-06-05
Arnold Schwarzenegger _All American Patriots_
Insane letter to critters

2007-06-05
Ronald Kessler _News Max_
Gupta's Info USA funds Clintons and Pelosi's son
"A data-base [privacy violation] company that has showered money on Bill and Hillary Clinton -- and is alleged to have aided scam artists -- now appears to have close links to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's family as well.   The firm InfoUSA, headed by major Clinton backer Vinod Gupta, has placed Pelosi's son, Paul Pelosi jr., on its pay-roll -- even though he has no experience in the company's main business activities..."

2007-06-05 11:12PDT (14:12EDT) (18:12GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 56 in April to 59.7 in May: Body shopping is still all the rage
ISM press release

2007-06-05
Lou Dobbs & Bill Tucker _CNN_
H-1B visa program hurts American college students

2007-06-05 (5767 Sivan 19)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
Muffling the Voice of America

2007-06-05 (5767 Sivan 19)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Adolescent intellectuals
"The truly dangerous period in life is the time when the child has learned the limits of his parents' control, and how to circumvent their control, but has not yet understood or accepted the under-lying reasons for doing and not doing things.   This adolescent period is one that some people -- intellectuals especially -- never out-grow."
 

  "So when the creative unconscious self wishes to express some aspect of itself, through stories created in an oral tradition, it takes a little bit of this real thing & a little bit of that real thing & artistically treats it using those curious tendencies of the mind... which are really the artistic tools of the imagination.   It idealizes this, exaggerates that, minimizes or vilifies something else, takes this apart & recombines it, keeps this & discards that, & so on." --- James Bonnet 1999 _Stealing Fire from the Gods_ pg 43  

 

2007-06-06

2007-06-05 20:30PDT (2007-06-05 23:30EDT) (2007-06-06 03:30GMT)
_Monsters & Critics_
Liberal arts may help grads more than tech
UPI
"'The more technical and specialized your degree is, the narrower your field of opportunities.', said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   'This is fine when the job market for these areas is strong, but when it is not, these individuals can have a very difficult time.   Those with degrees in liberal arts, history, English, etc., may be better able to move and adapt as conditions change.'   'Soft skills' are also growing in importance, as employers increasingly seek workers with enthusiasm, drive, creativity, critical thinking, initiative and oral communication, Challenger said.   'Employers [mistakenly believe] that if they find a worker with a solid foundation of soft skills, he or she can be taught the more technical aspects of the job.', he said.   'Soft skills, on the other hand, are much more difficult to teach.'"

2007-06-06
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
senator Evan Bayh's proposal
As the Cantonese say, "exploding cold door" (the horse in the slow lane surprises everyone by exploding out of the gate and winning the race).
To my knowledge, senator Bayh has generally been supportive of expanding the H-1B program.   See for example his comments at (PDF page 25).   So, Bayh's proposed legislation, described in the press release enclosed below, is surprising -- and very welcome.
Bayh's legislation would require an employer to advertise the job on a national government data-base before being allowed to hire an H-1B.   This proposal is also in the Durbin/Grassley bill, and was in my own proposal for H-1B reform in 2003.
To be sure, Bayh's proposal would appear to be circumventable.   An employer could simply ignore all American applicants.   But the key is that the job would be out there in the open, for all to see across the nation, which is not the case today.   With this national data-base, rejected American job seekers would be able to make life very uncomfortable for the employers of H-1Bs, by complaining that they were qualified but were passed over for an H-1B.   This could lead to lawsuits, embarrassing press conferences, constant bombardment of politicians with complaints, etc.   This would definitely deter employers from hiring as many H-1Bs as they do now.
Sadly, though, Bayh has mischaracterized current law.   Contrary to the press release, other than a minuscule exceptional category, H-1B employers do NOT have to try to find Americans to fill the job before turning to H-1Bs.
It is also unfortunate that Bayh includes a provision on EINs.   Undoubtedly some fraud like this does exist, but it is a very small problem when compared to the loop-holes in the law, which form the major source of abuse.   Just as with the Durbin/Grassley bill, and later the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion] bill, I'm concerned that the Senate may reject the Very Valuable part of Bayh's legislation and retain the Not Helpful part.
Norm
Inside Indiana Business
"The Department of Labor's own Inspector General has described the certification process as a rubber stamp, Senator Bayh said.   My plan would require quality assurance and quality control to make sure skilled foreign workers granted visas are being sponsored by legitimate U.S. firms.   Our H-1B visa program is critical to maintaining Americas competitive edge in the global marketplace, but qualified U.S. workers who possess the desired skills deserve the first bite at the apple."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Bayh, Cantwell and Grassley/Sanders proposals
It turns out that instead of proposing that employers announce their intentions to hire H-1Bs by posting jobs in a government data-base, as in the Durbin/Grassley bill, Bayh's legislation would merely require that employers advertise jobs in a national data-base like Dice or Monster.   That's not very useful.   Americans wouldn't know, generally, which of these jobs are going to H-1Bs [whereas what they should be doing is posting these jobs in a dozen major newspapers and on a dozen web sites because the government job site is defective].
Bottom line: In my book, Bayh's proposal is just like Lieberman's, designed to have the appearance of being helpful while actually doing very little.
Meanwhile, concerning the Cantwell amendment, eWeek very seriously misquoted me in an article that appeared yesterday.   It stated that I considered the amendment to have one good aspect, in that it would ban employers from hiring H-1Bs while laying off Americans.   Actually, it's just the opposite -- the amendment would REMOVE such a provision which is in the current version of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.   The article has now been corrected, but I did want to make sure everyone knows that I do not support ANY part of the Cantwell amendment.
I should note that Senators Grassley and Sanders are preparing another amendment to [the Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion act] which would institute an anti-lay-off provision, similar to but slightly different from the one in [the Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion act].   (The one currently in [the Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion act] is from the Durbin/Grassley bill.)
Norm

2007-06-06 01:38PDT (04:38EDT) (08:38GMT)
Justin Webb _BBC_
There are two types of presidential candidate: "authentic" and "inauthentic".
"There are two types of presidential candidate: 'authentic' and 'inauthentic'.   I think Hillary Clinton is inauthentic.   So is Mitt Romney.   By this I do not mean that they are insincere or untrustworthy, but that they have trouble communicating a sense of 'what you see is what you get'.   They look [memorized, coached and rehearsed]...   But it is Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, who has really caught my attention.   He is similarly authentic.   Mr. Paul got mugged by Rudy Giuliani in a recent debate: he pointed out that America's global foot-print (which he would like to reduce) was responsible for the conditions that led to the terror attacks of 2001.   He was not excusing the attacks, he was trying to explain them...   Mr. Paul has never wavered on his core beliefs...   Mr. Paul's beliefs are out of favour with the modern Republican party but they represent a very important strand of American political thought: Mr. Paul is a rational believer in freedom.   He is not, we may surmise, a social conservative, who wants the government to take an interest in what is going on in America's bed-rooms.   In fact he does not want the government to take an interest in anything much: he wants it gone from people's lives.   He does not want American power to be projected around the world because he does not want American power to be vested in Washington.   He prefers the notion that local control, local democracy, local power, is the genius of the American way...   Mr. Paul speaks, at least in part, for many Republicans who feel their party has been hi-jacked in recent years by two groups who do not really speak for them: the religious conservatives and the neo-conservatives.   As I say, Mr. Paul will not win and nor will Mr. Kucinich but to describe them as mavericks is to miss the point of these men: they are keepers of the consciences of their respective parties.   In the never-ending battle of ideas that shapes all human affairs, these 2 politicians are at least taking part...   the big beasts with the expensive coiffures kid themselves if they, or we in the media, believe that only they are relevant."

2007-06-06
K.C. Jones _Global Services_/_Information Week_/_CMP_
Cantwell amendment to Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill would give tech executives even more power over H-1B visa-holders and hence over US tech workers
eWeek Channel Insider
eWeek
EE Times/Information Week
"'The [Cantwell/Cornyn] amendment makes huge expansions of the H-1B program and employer-based green cards, but they're unwarranted because we don't have a shortage.', Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at UC Davis, in California, told eWEEK.   'Worse, it also removes one thing that was good about the immigration bill, a provision that an employer couldn't hire an H-1B worker within 180 days of a lay-off.', he said."

2007-06-06
Richard Lloyd Parry _Times of London_
US government stopped pro-American coup in Laos

2007-06-06 10:01PDT (13:01EDT) (17:01GMT)
_KRGV_
Challenger, Gray & Christmas says over 71K job cuts were announced in May
CNN/Money
Central Valley Business Times
Reuters
MarketWatch
composite: "The number of job reductions announced by big U.S. companies inched slightly higher in May to 71,115, up 32% compared with 53,716 in same month last year, according to an unscientific tally compiled by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas released on Wednesday.   May's job-cut total was virtually identical to April's 70,672.   Heavy downsizing in the computer industry dominated May job cuts.   Providers of software, hardware and technology services eliminated 13,631 jobs in May, nearly double the 7,161 job cuts announced by the second-ranked automotive industry.   May was the largest job-cut month in the CGC survey for the computer industry since 2006 August, when 17,371 cuts were announced.   These including 8,800 jobs announced on the last day of the month by Dell Inc.   The financial sector, which announced another 4,804 job cuts in May, is the leading job-cutting industry for the year.   More than one-fifth (22%) of the 55,025 job cuts announced by the sector since January are related to continued weakness in the housing market and the collapse of the sub-prime lending market.   The automotive followed with 34,731.   Computer companies have slashed 28,526 positions.   May is the second consecutive month with higher lay-offs than the corresponding month of 2006.   Through the first 5 months of the year, companies have announced 337,773 job cuts, 8.5% fewer than the 369,282 through the first 5 months of 2006.   'But the gap is rapidly closing.', Challenger said in a press release.   In all of 2006, Challenger tallied 839,822 job reductions.   The Challenger report covers only a tiny fraction of those who lose their jobs each month.   BLS estimates of mass lay-offs from large firms estimate that 1.3M workers were involuntariliy discharged in May, while 2.5M left jobs voluntarily.   A recent report by ChangeWave Research found that the percentage of companies planning to increase their spending has fallen to its lowest point in the last 4 years, dropping from 34% in November to 26% in May."

2007-06-06
Jane Norman _Des Moines Register_
Durbin and Grassley ask firms using H-1B visas questions, suspect jobs are being arbitrarily denied to US citizens
"Such visas are supposed to allow employers to offer jobs to foreign workers on a temporary basis, at prevailing wages, but Grassley and Durbin contend something else is happening.   'More and more, it appears that companies are using H-1B visas to displace qualified American workers.', Grassley said."

2007-06-06 10:28PDT (13:28EDT) (17:28GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
1% gain in productivity in Q1
"Revised data showed productivity growth in the U.S. work-place slowed sharply during the first quarter to 1% annual growth, down from the 1.7% estimated a month ago, as output throttled back in line with the slow-down in gross domestic product [GDP].   Productivity in the non-farm business sector is up just 1% over the past 4 quarters.   Meanwhile, first-quarter unit labor costs -- a key gauge of inflationary pressures from labor markets -- were revised higher to a 1.8% annualized rate, up from 0.6% earlier.   Unit labor costs are up 2.2% in the past year.   'That brings this trend into line with core inflation, which is 2% for the core [personal consumption expenditure] index and 2.3% for the core [consumer price index].', wrote economists for Goldman Sachs in a note."
BLS data release

2007-06-06
Bob Parks _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion act for dummies

2007-06-06
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Sanders/Grassley amendment to Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill would forbid mass lay-offs of 50 or more US workers while using H-1B
"A new immigration reform amendment that's being proposed by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) could make it a lot tougher for firms to plan mass layoffs of U.S. workers if those companies have also hired foreign workers on visas.   The bi-partisan Sanders-Grassley amendment, which the senators hope to have 'in the queue' for introduction before the Senate stops immigration reform debate, would require U.S. companies to certify to the Department of Labor that they haven't had any 'mass lay-offs' of American workers in the previous 12 months.   If so, those companies would need to file visa petitions with the U.S. government to hire any new foreign worker, according to Warren Gunnels, senior policy advisor to Sanders.   A company that does announce mass U.S. lay-offs after its received approval to hire new foreign workers must inform those foreign workers' that their visas will expire in 60 days.   So in essence, the amendment would require those companies to also cut their foreign workers if planning U.S. lay-offs...   While some observers are uncertain about how much support the Sanders-Grassley amendment will get from others in Congress, 'it sheds light on the dubiousness of the skills shortages being claimed by the high-tech industry', said Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy on leave from Rochester Institute of Technology."

2007-06-06
Saxon Burns _Tucson Weekly_
Epiphanous moments as Ron Paul speaks
"Diane Kreinbring's long slumber is finally over.   A self-styled libertarian who bolted the party proper, she had an epiphany when she heard congressman Ron Paul -- the rebel GOP presidential candidate and recently anointed media darling -- speak.   Paul, who ran for the presidency in 1988 on the Libertarian Party ticket, says logical, thoughtful things most politicians... don't, according to Kreinbring...   To show her support, she's founded a [Ron Paul meet-up] group...   'You ask somebody what a Libertarian is, and if they're conservative, they think they're a bunch of pot-smoking old hippies.   If you ask somebody who's liberal, they think they're über-conservative.   We're not either...   A Libertarian is somebody whose basic life philosophy is: As long as what you're doing doesn't hurt me, fine...   they're not hurting anybody else...   Then I went to the New Hampshire Liberty Forum in Concord, NH, in February, and Ron Paul was a speaker at one of our dinners.   I just couldn't believe it; I sat there and listened to this guy and thought, He's real.   He's a real human being...   government has grown so large and so corrupt.   When you ask the government to do things for you, you give it power.   No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much you want to promote this program that's going to help people, or save people, or make things more even or level -- every time you do that, you give the government more power.   And when it gets power, it abuses it...   [It] shows you how courageous and principled this man is, that he's not afraid of those guys.   He's been standing up to those guys for years; it's just that they've been able to ignore him.   Now they're forced to have to deal with him, because it's public.'"

2007-06-06
Brian Ross & Christopher Isham _abc_
Iran caught red-handed providing arms to taliban

2007-06-06
Paul West _Baltimore Sun_
Immigration gets attention of GOP hopefuls
"Representative Tom Tancredo, an immigration foe who is the closest thing to a single-issue candidate in the field of 10, said he is willing to do 'whatever is necessary' to defeat the immigration [increase] plan now before Congress.   'We're talking about something that goes to the very heart of this nation: whether or not we will actually survive as a nation.', said the Colorado congressman, who vowed to work for the defeat of any Republican who voted for the plan...   Tancredo said American forces should pull out if the current strategy fails, and representative Ron Paul of Texas said that 'it was a mistake to go, so it's a mistake to stay'...   Representative Duncan Hunter of California said he would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons 'if there was no other way' to keep Iran from using centrifuges to build its own nuclear bomb.   Other candidates declined to go that far but said they would not rule out any options."

2007-06-06 (5767 Sivan 20)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Compassion versus reality
"Politicians exploit public demands that government ought to do something about this or that problem by taking measures giving them greater control over our lives.   For the most part, whatever politicians do, whether it's rent controls to produce 'affordable' housing, or price controls to eliminate 'price-gouging', the result is a calamity worse than the original problem.   For example, two of the most costly housing markets are the rent-controlled cities of San Francisco and New York.   If you're over 40, you'll remember the chaos produced by the gasoline price controls of the 1970s.   Socialist agendas have considerable appeal, but they produce disaster, and the more socialist they are, the greater the disaster...   Free markets, characterized by peaceable, voluntary exchange, with respect for property rights and the rule of law, are more moral than any other system of resource allocation...   Say that I mow your lawn and you pay me $30, which we might think of as certificates of performance.   Having mowed your lawn, I visit my grocer and demand that my fellow men serve me by giving me 3 pounds of steak and a six-pack of beer.   In effect, the grocer asks, 'Williams, you're demanding that your fellow man, as ranchers and brewers, serve you; what did you do to serve your fellow man?'   I say, 'I mowed his lawn.'   The grocer says, 'Prove it!'   That's when I hand over my certificates of performance — the $30."

2007-06-06
Robert Reich _National Socialist Radio_
Market-Place Commentary
"A century ago, America's immigration policy was best summarized in Emma Goldman's famous lines on the Statue of Liberty: 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'
I'm afraid that under the immigration bill now pending in Congress, it will be: 'Give me your rich, your well-educated, your young high-tech moguls yearning to make even more money.'
Supporters of this fundamental change in immigration policy say we need to import more well-educated talent if we're to stay competitive.
But exactly whose competitiveness are we talking about?   Not the competitiveness of, say, American-born computer engineers.   Adjusted for inflation, their earnings haven't gone anywhere in years.
That's in part because American companies have been sending so much of their high-tech work abroad.   Bringing more foreign-born engineers here under an expanded H1-B visa program, or a point system for that matter, will just depress wages even further.
Some argue that even with all the out-sourcing, we still don't have enough well-educated high-tech workers here in America.   But this mixes short-term and long-term logic.
You'd expect any shortage of talent in America would force companies here to raise salaries sufficiently to induce enough Americans to get the skills in demand.   Yet if those companies are allowed to import more high-tech workers, they won't need to raise American salaries.   Which means fewer young Americans will be attracted into these careers, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of too few native-born Americans to fill them.
Taking the pressure off American companies like this also means taking the pressure off them to help fix America's broken educational system in which American kids now place last in math and science among young people in all advanced nations.
Now don't get me wrong: I'm all in favor of immigration.   Our country was built on it.   But I worry about bringing in well-educated people with high-tech skills when we've failed to give enough Americans a good education -- or pay those who have it what they deserve."

2007-06-06
_Christian Broadcasting Network News_
Tom Tancredo works for a pause in all immigration until the system is under control

2007-06-06
Robert Rector _Heritage Foundation_
Amnesty for illegal aliens will cost US tax-victims at least $2.6T

2007-06-06
Jon Greenberg _New Hampshire Socialist Radio_
View of GOP debate from Exeter
"Jay felt that Romney's sweeping statements did not make him sound presidential -- they made him sound political.   'Romney is artificial.'...   They liked Texas Congressman Ron Paul, especially his strong support for the separation of church and state."
Ron Paul interview (mp3) "it is wonderful to have a candidate that is true to his word."
Ron Paul interview (mp3)

2007-06-06
Michael Kraft _Charlotte Conservative_
Ron Paul interviewed by John Stewart
 

  "Whenever you try to step away from the main-stream, there will be conflict & resistance.   these consequences can lead to alienation & isolation, & you may find that your creative imagination will bridge the gap between the conscious & creative unconscious worlds (isolation, meditation, & fasting are well-known avenues to the creative unconscious).   Then if you have the courage to pursue these creative adventures, despite the difficulties, you can confront your ogres (negative energies) & one by one recover all of these lost treasuries, until finally in the end all of these negative energies have been transformed & you have filled up the lost & missing parts of your self." --- James Bonnet 1999 _Stealing Fire from the Gods_ pg 17  

 

2007-06-07

2007-06-06 19:00PDT (2007-06-06 22:00EDT) (2007-06-07 02:00GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau _PC World_/_Computer World_
Sanders & Grassley propose amendment to Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill to bar H-1B visas for firms that lay off US workers
Ars Technica
"'According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next decade, 2M jobs will be created in mathematics, engineering, computer science, and physical science.   That equates to about 200K jobs a year...', said Sanders on the Senate floor in May.   'Under this legislation, the number of H-1B visas would increase to as many as 180K a year.   That means virtually every job, about 90% that will be created in the high-tech sector over the next 10 years, could conceivably be taken by a H-1B visa holder.'"

2007-06-07 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 261,509 in the week ending June 2, a decrease of 12,407 from the previous week.   There were 260,263 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending May 26, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,259,000, an increase of 27,894 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,163,894.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending May 19."
graphs

2007-06-07 12:35PDT (15:35EDT) (19:35GMT)
David Sirota _Huffington Post_
Bernie Sanders proposed measure to discourage under-payment of guest-workers
"the legislation 'would prohibit companies that have announced mass layoffs from receiving any new [H-1B] visas unless they could prove that overall employment would not be reduced by these lay-offs.'...   A company that is laying off workers in the United States... should not be allowed to simultaneously use a program designed for labor shortages.   This legislation is just straight-up common sense.   It makes sure the H-1B program isn't being abused by companies who want to use as a quiet way to drive down wages -- which the data shows is exactly what at least some companies are doing.   And in the process, it makes sure more H-1Bs go to the companies that truly can't find workers here at home."

2007-06-07
David Sirota _Working Assets_
Chamber of Communists pushes Lieberman measure to gut Sanders measure
"As an update to my last post, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's top lobbyist has sent a letter to all U.S. Senators urging them to vote against the bipartisan Sanders-Grassley bill that would bar companies that are engaging in mass layoffs of American workers from using the H-1B visa program to hire lower-paid foreign workers.   They are specifically asking senators to vote for a 'secondary amendment' by senator Joe Lieberman of CT that would gut the Sanders-Grassley proposal.   Here are a few excerpts: 'I urge you to oppose the Sanders-Grassley amendment to S1348, the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion Act of 2007].   This amendment would prohibit companies from obtaining any H-1B workers if there has been a notice or a mass lay-off under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act in the past year, or if there will be a lay-off in the next 6 months.   Also, the Chamber urges you to support a side-by-side offered by Senator Lieberman.   The Sanders-Grassley amendment is unnecessary...   Further, this amendment sweeps too broadly, and is completely unworkable, as it would effectively bar an employer from using H-1B workers if it had a 'mass lay-off' in the past year or anticipated one in the near future.'   It's really unbelievable how shameless people are in Washington [DC] -- it is a city where it's just AOK to oppose legislation that would prevent abuse of the H-1B program by corporate executives who want to use it to lay off American workers and hire lower-paid foreign workers.   And I'm still amazed (though I know I shouldn't be) that Lieberman is carrying the bill to gut this common-sense proposal.   His corruption is now just so out there for everyone to see, bringing him down to a new level of shamelessness...   Chris V: 'a US company that wants to use H1-B labor can still do their lay-offs and then hire replacement H1-B workers by contracting through the Indian out-sourcing companies.'"

2007-06-07
_X-Tra Rant_
H-1B Visas, Lay-Offs and Gaming the Job Market

2007-06-07
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
India's Patni Computer Systems to pay $2.4M in back wages
IT Business Edge
CNET
CIO Insight/Ziff Davis
"Labor officials said that Patni failed to pay the prevailing wages due the employees between 2004 January and 2005 December.   The law requires H-1B employers to pay wages similar to what a U.S. worker would receive for the same kind of work...   This may be the largest H-1B wage settlement case ever reached by government, and it involves an investigation that spanned 32 states, according to John Chavez, a labor department spokesman.   In total, the settlement would amount to nearly $40K in back wages per employee if the money were split evenly among them, which it most likely is not.   'The main objective (of the settlement) is to make [employees] whole.', said Chavez...   Patni, which has its U.S. head-quarters in Cambridge, MA, and global head-quarters in Mumbai, received 1,391 H-1B visas in fiscal year 2006.   The company was 1 of 9 firms that last month received letters from U.S. senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) seeking additional information -- including wage data -- about its use of H-1B visas.   Patini has about 13K employees and reported $156M in revenue for the quarter that ended March 31...   For a company to be considered a willful violator it must meet a list of conditions that includes misrepresenting information on the Labor Condition Application, which is used by firms to indicate prevailing wage...   The settlement's timing could raise eye-brows, and Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York who has testified before Congress on the H-1B issue.   'Our focus should be on the fact that many companies are in compliance with the law but are able to pay lower wages' than those paid to U.S. workers."

2007-06-07
"an economist" _V Dare_
10 reasons the amnesty/immigration surge bill is appalling

2007-06-07 (5767 Sivan 21)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Making up time for doing nothing on the job and off
 

  "Transformation cannot be controlled or predicted.   When it happens, it may be pleasant.   It may even be ecstatic or awe-inspiring.   It may also be terrifying.   When the unity of the world clicks into focus, you may be put off balance...   When transformation happens, you may not even notice it...   Since you will be changed by it, you cannot even guarantee that you... will be there as it happens.   This is an ultimate paradox of creativity & art; you work to make the miracle happen, but cannot determine if it will happen, when it will happen, or what form it will take." --- Doug Lipman 1999 _Improving Your StoryTelling_ pp 208-209  

 

2007-06-08

2007-06-08
Julie Hirschfeld Davis _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill cloture vote failed
News Max
MarketWatch
"Supporters could muster only 45 votes to limit debate and speed the bill to final passage, 15 short of what was needed on the procedural maneuver.   Fifty senators voted against cutting off debate.   Most Republicans voted to block Democrats' efforts to advance the measure.   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, who had made no secret of his distaste for parts of the bill, quickly pulled it from the floor and moved on to other business, leaving its future uncertain."

2007-06-08 08:40PDT (11:40EDT) (15:40GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Record exports were insufficient to eliminate trade deficit
"The U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 6.2% in April to $58.5G as exports set a monthly record, the Commerce Department said Friday... exports increased 0.2% to a record $129.5G. A big decline in consumer goods helped push down imports by 1.9%, to $188.0G... The year-to-date deficit is down 6.7% to $235.3G. Last year, the deficit totaled a record $758.5G."
BEA press releases

2007-06-08
Grant Gross _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
Tech executives urge return of Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill

2007-06-08
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
National Socialist Radio commentary by Robert Reich
A couple of weeks ago, one of the readers of this e-news-letter told me that he had gotten into an e-mail argument on H-1B with Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's secretary of Labor (first term) and now a professor at UC Berkeley.   I replied, "Why are you bothering with Reich?   He's hopeless."   I went on to say that Reich has repeatedly changed his positions on H-1B and off-shoring, alternately taking the view of a critic and an apologist.   You can read the history of his flip flops here and here.
But I then added that one should not give up, so did e-mail Reich one of my articles, cc-ing my reader.   One point I emphasized is the BusinessWeek finding that starting salaries of new graduates in computer science and electrical engineering, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999.   Clearly we don't have a shortage, as salaries would be sky-rocketing.
Well, I suppose the [2007-06-06] radio commentary by Reich shows that my reader was correct not to give up on Reich.   Here Reich takes a stand that is more or less against expansion of the H-1B program, and cites stagnant salaries to buttress his argument.
However, his argument is still odd, and still at odds with what he has said at times in the past.
For example, although Reich notes the stagnant wages, he does not make the connection in terms of the implication that we do not have a tech worker shortage.   He says that the reason wages have been flat is that so much of the work has been off-shored.   That may be true, but the fact remains that the flat wages show that we have no shortage of workers to do the work performed here in the U.S.A.
He then in fact implies that we do have a shortage, given our apparently poor showing internationally in math and science at the K-12 level.   Actually those test scores are misleading (see below), but even if they were relevant, they would in the end simply be averages, with no implication that we don't have enough engineers.   A low average score does not imply that we have no high-scoring kids.
Those test scores are indeed misleading.   As I (and others) have explained before, the fact that American kids look only mediocre in international comparisons of math and science scores, relative to kids in Asia, is that the U.S.A. must deal with a large and neglected under-class.   The test scores in states like Utah, Iowa and Nebraska, which don't (yet) have a large under-class population are similar to those of the top Asian countries.   (See David Berliner, "Our Schools Versus Theirs" Washington Post 2001 January 28.)   And BTW, the biggest off-shoring countries, India and [Red China], refuse to participate in those international test comparisons.
It's also odd for Reich to blame off-shoring for the stagnant salaries, when he was defending off-shoring at a conference in 2005, as a key-note speaker (together with Newt Gingrich) in which he presumably was paid a hefty fee.
Granted, he kind of hedged his pro-off-shoring comments, but there is no doubt that the audience received them as his putting his imprimatur on off-shoring.
Reich is certainly correct in saying that the shortage shouters are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy, as H-1B and off-shoring drive college students away from majoring in tech areas.   Unfortunately, he is one of the shouters.
Norm

2007-06-08
Michael Mandel _Business Week_
Real cost of off-shoring
"The short explanation is that the growth of domestic manufacturing has been substantially over-stated in recent years.   That means productivity gains and overall economic growth have been over-stated as well.   And that raises questions about U.S. competitiveness and 'helps explain why wage growth for most American workers has been weak', says Susan N. Houseman, an economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research who identifies the distorting effects of off-shoring in a soon-to-be-published paper.   The under-lying problem is located in an obscure statistic: the import price data published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   Because of it, many of the cost cuts and product innovations being made over-seas by global companies and foreign suppliers aren't being counted properly.   And that spells trouble because, surprisingly, the government uses the erroneous import price data directly and indirectly as part of its calculation for many other major economic statistics, including productivity, the output of the manufacturing sector, and real gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to be the inflation-adjusted value of all the goods and services produced inside the U.S.A.   (For a detailed explanation of how import price data are calculated and why the methodology is suspect, see page 34.)   The result? BusinessWeek's analysis of the import price data reveals off-shoring to low-cost countries is in fact creating 'phantom GDP' -- reported gains in GDP that don't correspond to any actual domestic production...   off-shoring may have created about $66G in phantom GDP gains since 2003 (page 31).   That would lower real GDP today by about half of 1%, which is substantial but not huge.   But put another way, $66G would wipe out as much as 40% of the gains in manufacturing output over the same period.   It's important to emphasize the tenuousness of this calculation.   In particular, it required BusinessWeek to make assumptions about the size of the cost savings from off-shoring, information the government doesn't even collect.   As a result, the actual size of phantom GDP could be a lot larger, or perhaps smaller.   This estimate mainly focuses on the shift of manufacturing over-seas.   But phantom GDP can be created by the introduction of innovative new imported products or by the off-shoring of research and development, design, and services as well -- and there aren't enough data in those areas to take a stab at a calculation."

2007-06-08 (5767 Sivan 22)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
George W. Bush administration pressuring Israel to endanger itself

2007-06-08 (5767 Sivan 22)
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski _Jewish World Review_
Avoiding self-delusion

2007-06-08
DJIA13,424.39
S&P 5001,507.67
NASDAQ2,573.54
10-year US T-Bond5.12%
crude oil64.76
gold650.30
silver13.040
platinum1,286.80
palladium370.60
copper0.20359
natgas7.878/MBTU
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading
reformulatedgasoline$2.1271/gal
heatingoil$1.8988/gal

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.
 
 

  "Someone listening supportively can make you think better & communicate better; without him or her, you lose the benefit a listener gives to your creativity.   During a live telling, I often have new ideas pop into my head that I can incorporate into the story.   Afterward, I often have new, spontaneous insights about the story.   When someone listens to me describe or analyze my story, my thinking is usually sharpened & accelerated." --- Doug Lipman 1999 _Improving Your StoryTelling_ pg 85  

 

2007-06-09

2007-06-09
Mark Krikorian _National Review_/_CBS_
Overwhelming outrage against Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill: By reaching too far, amnesty bill was destined to fail
National Review
"Immigration is one of those areas where public and elite views differ widely (for instance, see here and here).   But most of the time that doesn't really matter, because immigration seldom ranks high enough in voter concerns for politicians to take much notice.   This gives law-makers and bureaucrats a relatively free hand to cater to the preferences of businesses and racial-identity groups and anti-borders activists in promoting ever-higher immigration levels and ever-looser enforcement.   But that only works when you're pushing bills or administrative measures that are relatively narrow and targeted.   Most people have no idea what H1b visas are, let alone whether they should be increased or decreased.   The attorney general's decision to extend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of Central American illegal aliens is something most reporters -- let alone ordinary readers -- don't understand, and thus receives little scrutiny in the media.   The accumulation of such small measures has a large effect, but it's hard for non-specialists to see, and so it continues, like the proverbial frog sitting still in a pot of water while the temperature approaches boiling...   The result has been an intense out-pouring of sentiment against the bill.   Senators Chambliss and Graham were actually booed at their own state Republican conventions.   Protesters gathered at the district offices of senators Lott and Kyl.   Senator Alexander made the mistake of holding a town meeting -- at which he got an earful about the bill.   Republicans in Arizona were tearing up their registration cards and the Republican National Committee saw a 40% drop in small-donor contributions.   And every Senate office was inundated by phone calls and faxes -- hundreds-to-one against the bill...   if the White House concludes that amnesty is unattainable, there will be a strong temptation to end the enforcement show that's been staged over the past 6 months or so, with work-place raids designed to bolster the administration's credibility on the issue.   A vigilant citizenry will be required to ensure that doesn't happen -- that enforcement is not only not discontinued, but that it's expanded, so we can end the Bush administration's 'silent amnesty' and get to work implementing a real strategy of attrition through enforcement."

2007-06-09
Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Corrupt executives continue to scheme to make H-1B program worse
 

  "My attitude about studios is that they are smart.   They are all bleeding-heart liberals, except when it comes to business, & then they are deathly dangerous.   The studio always comes out ahead.   With all but a few of the richest producer deals, the producer usually pays dearly for every dollar that they take from the studio.   The studio takes overhead & advance monies out of your producing fees, they may charge things against your film that shouldn't be, & so forth.   Also, it's the psychology of it.   I hear a lot of frustrated producers saying, 'God, I can't get an answer out of my studio, they won't set this project free so I can take it somewhere else.' As an independent, if people know that I could take my script anywhere, they all tend to want to know about it.   And they are more respectful, & we end up striking fair deals from an arms-length stance.   The good news is I live a healthier, simpler life, with no one to answer to other than myself.   For any creative person -- & this may well apply to agents or other 'non-creative' players -- the more you create about yourself a sense of competition, the better.   Hollywood or the film business is all about hope, expectation, & anticipation -- what's just around the corner." --- Brooke A. Wharton 1996 _The Writer Got Screwed_ pg 155  

 

2007-06-10

2007-06-10
Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
iTech abuse of H-1B visa program

2007-06-10
Michael Kraft _Charlotte Conservative_
Mel Martinez is on the anti-US-citizen list

2007-06-10
_California Job Journal_
Lay-offs were up in May

2007-06-10
Bonnie Harris _Des Moines Register_
Visa battle can strain US professionals
"Some officials have questioned whether H-1Bs are being misused by employers and displacing American workers.   Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), has pushed for a hard look at companies who employ large numbers of H-1B workers, and supports requiring businesses to make good-faith efforts to hire U.S. workers first, before they seek to sponsor a foreign-born worker.   Under the current system, employers don't have to advertise or recruit outside applicants for a position being held by an H-1B worker until that worker begins the process of applying for a green card.   At that point, companies must open up the job to other applicants for 30 days, and be able to show they couldn't find a qualified American worker to take the H-1B worker's place.   'It seems a little backwards to me.', said John McDonald, alien labor certification specialist for Iowa Workforce Development.   'Rarely will a U.S. worker get chosen over an H-1B worker who's been in the position potentially for 6 years, and has the institutional knowledge that's so imperative to a company.'   McDonald, who oversees employment-based immigration regulations for Iowa companies, said that if an employer has two equally qualified candidates and one is a foreign-born worker and one an American worker, he will always advise them to hire the latter.   'That's not only because they'll swim through shark-infested waters to get through the (H-1B application) process.', McDonald said.   'It's because the law says it should be that way, too.   These jobs should go to U.S. workers first.   They just should.'"

2007-06-10 09:13PDT (12:13EDT) (16:13GMT)
Richard Craver _NBC17_/_Winston-Salem Journal_
Jobs increasingly going abroad
"The shadow of out-sourcing is hanging over the information-technology department at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co...   Reynolds employees told the Winston-Salem Journal that as many as 100 IT jobs could be affected.   Reynolds is not alone among major area employers pursuing cost savings through out-sourcing and off-shoring IT services.   A short list includes Aon Corp., BB&T Corp., Dell Inc., GMAC Insurance and Wachovia Corp.   Employment officials said that thousands of jobs could be at stake, either locally or within companies' domestic operations...   According to a Princeton University study, released in March, IT jobs are among the top occupations most vulnerable to out-sourcing and off-shoring, with computer programmers ranked first and computer-systems analysts ranked third.   'Elements of IT jobs are just like factory jobs in that you do the same task over and over.', said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland.   'Jobs that are considered as commodity rather than expertise have been vulnerable for years to out-sourcing.   What's different is that the labor pool for knowledge jobs has built up enough in India and other countries that those jobs have become commoditized.'...   Alan Blinder, an economics professor at Princeton, ranked 800 occupations, as listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by how easy or hard it is to off-shore the work, either physically or electronically...   But Tourtellot said that the end result in some cases is a loss of jobs at the company doing the out-sourcing.   Some of them farm out that work to consultants from other countries here on a work H-1B visa or L-1 visa...   Morici's conclusion rings all too true to Matt Combs, a Lewisville resident who is struggling to find a full-time computer-programming job despite having 19 years as a software developer and consultant.   Combs said he made a good living serving as a self-employed consultant to two technology companies for several years.   But the work dried up in 2005, and one of his employers hired foreign consultants with U.S. work visas.   In 2005 November, Combs moved his family to Lynchburg, VA, for 2 IT jobs that lasted a combined 9 months.   Family illness led the Combses to move back to Lewisville last Fall.   Combs said that his family was fortunate that they hadn't sold their home and had savings.   'Searching for IT work in the Triad has been getting more difficult.', Combs said.   'More people are applying for a limited number of available positions because of lay-offs of IT staff at Triad area companies and the reduction of the IT work being done locally because of work being out-sourced or off-shored to India, [Red China], etc.'   Combs said that the lay-offs have reduced the networking opportunities for computer programmers, which he called 'a traditional means of acquiring an IT position'.   'There's also a lack of empathy by those who are not affected, as long as everything does OK and we reduce costs and make money.', he said.   Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that for most displaced IT workers, there is no special retraining program to help them.   'They aren't being told anything, so they simply enter the normal government-service programs that any unemployed worker does.', Hira said.   'No one has a good answer for them, even the proponents of off-shoring.   They generally blame the worker for not keeping his/her skills up-to-date.'..."

2007-06-10 14:03PDT (17:03EDT) (21:03GMT)
Tom Salonek _Minneapolis Star Tribune_
Off-shore work can bring off-target results
"world's information technology out-sourcing market topping $27G...   But the highly vaunted benefits of global out-sourcing -- lower labor costs and higher revenue -- are proving to be somewhat elusive.   The main culprit: Unexpected transaction costs that are being driven by communications difficulties, project delays and compromised development quality...   many IT projects being done off-shore are plagued by: Poor team cohesion between IT workers in the United States and their off-shore counterparts.   Non-standardized and incompatible development processes.   Issues over intellectual-property rights and control over development.   Incompatible project management and business management styles.   In short, 'the benefit of low-cost labor must be weighed against the risk of missed deadlines, dissatisfied users and failure to reduce development costs', the [CACM] journal article said...   [BGSU assistant professor] Sivagnanam Sakthivel concludes that 'team-work with a high degree of interdependent tasks for a diverse team warrants face-to-face interaction...   A bad fit among development task, team and communication technology reduces task effectiveness, increases time and cost, and jeopardizes development quality.'...   Research and my own company experience in helping clients recover from poorly executed off-shore projects points to challenges such as different cultures, languages and time zones, not to mention widely varying notions of quality, accountability and grossly lower technical skill levels by off-shore workers in many cases.   Requirements analysis and quality assurance of user requirements are a prime example of how things can go awry when key IT players are operating in different cultural and geographic time zones...   the fast-growing H-1B visa program -- which allows a person to work in the United States for up to 6 years [more, with extensions], traditionally a stepping-stone to becoming a permanent resident -- is now viewed as 'the out-sourcing visa', according to Kamal Nath, the commerce minister of India...   the H-1B visa program has become 'a vehicle for accelerating the pace of off-shore out-sourcing of computing work and sending more jobs abroad'.   Holders of H-1B visas do the on-site work of understanding a client's needs and specifications -- and then most of the software coding work is done back in India...   How can exporting more IT work to foreign competitors make America stronger?"

2007-06-10
David Washburn _San Diego Union-Tribune_
More American jobs may be headed off-shore
"'This is the reality of a start-up company.', said Naser Partovi, chief executive of Sky Mobilemedia.   He estimates that he can hire 3 -- even 4 -- software engineers in Bangalore, India, for the cost of 1 in San Diego.   'The cost structure is prohibitive if you have everyone here.', he said...   Nearly 400K, or 31%, of local jobs have the potential to be moved over-seas during the next 2 decades, according to the analysis, based on an index created by Princeton economist and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder.   Nationally, Blinder estimates that 37.7M jobs, or 29% of the current U.S. work force, could be out-sourced to other countries within the next 10 to 20 years...   The Union-Tribune analysis showed that 7.5% -- or 95,795 -- of the jobs in San Diego County are 'highly offshoreable'.   This compares with 6.3% of all U.S. jobs that Blinder puts in that category.   Among the highly threatened local workers are biochemists and biophysicists.   These are bread-and-butter jobs in the county's biotech sector, which employs more than 36K people and is the third-largest concentration of biotech jobs in the nation...   Over the past 2 years, locally based Accelrys, which develops drug-discovery software, has cut 100 employees from its San Diego operation and shifted more work to a facility in Bangalore.   Last year, San Diego's Immusol laid off about a dozen of its 50 employees -- most of them scientists working in drug discovery -- while continuing to contract out work to companies in Shanghai and Beijing...   Yet, Cox said, local politicians are choosing to spend public money on ballparks, cruise ship terminals and convention centers, which create relatively low-paying jobs, rather than funding infrastructure and services for high-tech industries.   'What about biotech, environmental tech and software engineering?', Cox asked.   'Where is the public investment in these industries?   A few things in front of us today show we are not serious about these industries.'...   Min Kim, a senior software engineer, said job insecurity has been a part of his life throughout his 15 years in high tech.   'Many companies don't care about the engineer; they care about profit.', the 38-year-old said."

2007-06-10
Dan Farber _Ziff Davis Net_
Privacy International reports severity of offenses of various firms
Privacy International interim report on internet services (pdf)
 

  I wanted to tell my stories.   I had over a hundred rejection slips by then.   Never even 1 scrawled note of encouragement from some kind editor.   It was getting harder for me to go to my desk.   Confidence is everything & mine was going, going so fast.   So -- & I don't know where the madness came from -- in despair, 24 years old, a total failure in life, I went back home to Highland Park &, in my small bed-room, on the 25th of June, 1956, I sat down at my desk & started typing.   I had no idea what I was about to write, but I knew I had to write something, & so, for 3 weeks, I wrote, just sitting there, & this thing burst out of me, & I cannot tell you know strange that was, since I had never in my life been even on a page 20 before... & what country I was visiting I had no idea, or how I got there, or was I going to get out alive." --- William Goldman 2000 _Which Lie Did I Tell?" pp 240-244 

 

2007-06-11

2007-06-11
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
why the tech industry's PR people are so good at what they do
I use Google every day -- because I like Google's cute logo, NOT as an issue of superior technology.   I could do the web searching for my work and personal life just fine with any of the other major search engines.
Keep this notion in mind when you read passages in the enclosed article like this one from a Google VP:
"It is no stretch to say that without these employees, we might not be able to develop future revolutionary products like the next GMail or the next Google Earth," Laszlo said in his testimony.
It IS a stretch.   I'll assume that none of you think that GMail is "revolutionary" -- talk about a STRETCH -- but presumably you enjoy using Google Earth.   Fine, but the point is that there is nothing technologically deep about it.   No one at Google is going to win the Nobel Prize (or the equivalent in computer science, the Turing Award) for developing Google Earth.
Accordingly, it is wrong to claim that there is no one in the U.S.A. who could have done the jobs filled by the H-1Bs on the Google Earth project.
Unfortunately, people in Congress, most of whom are technophobic, are easily convinced that only foreigners would be able to pull something like this off.
And here's the kicker: Google Earth was not even developed by Google.   It's core was developed by Keyhole Corp. -- later acquired by Google.
Norm
Business Week
Monsters and Critics

2007-06-11 06:26PDT (09:26EDT) (13:26GMT)
Ellen Simon, Vinnee Tong, Rachel Beck & Marcy Gordon _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Half of S&P CEOs received over $8.3M
"CEOs of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that filed proxy information in the first half of this year received a combined $4.16G in 2006, according to AP's formula...   Yahoo Inc.'s Terry Semel, whose Internet company has lagged behind Google Inc. in profit growth and stock performance, led the pack with total compensation last year of $71.7M, according to the AP formula used to analyze those filings...   Semel was followed on the AP list by two energy industry CEOs, Bob Simpson of XTO Energy Inc. at $59.5M and Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s Ray R. Irani at $52.8M.   Investment banks and energy companies were the sectors with the highest-paid leaders...   [Perks] range from multimillion dollar tax payments on behalf of executives to much smaller amounts for household bills, including home alarm monitoring...   Yahoo CEO Semel's total illustrates one of the most pronounced recent trends in executive pay: Salary and cash bonuses account for only a small portion of total compensation.   Almost all of his pay -- $71.4M -- came as stock grants and stock options, according to AP calculations.   His salary totaled only $250,001...   CEOs make, on average, 179 times as much as rank and file workers, double the 90-to-1 ratio in 1994, according to [Cngressional Research Service] calculations...   If the minimum wage had risen at the same pace as CEO pay since 1990, it would be worth $22.61 today, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.   Instead, the federal minimum wage will increase to $5.85 an hour on July 24, the first increase in a decade.   CEOs are also much richer than lower-level executives at their own companies.   The Hay Group, a compensation consulting company, estimates that the average CEO makes 2.5 times more than the average executive in base pay...   CEO pay isn't set by markets, [J. Richard Finlay] said in an e-mail interview.   Instead, it is 'determined by a small clique of like-minded directors, most of whom are themselves past and current CEOs with a vested interest in perpetuating a failed, but to them, remarkably generous, system'."

2007-06-11
Nate Viall _IT Jungle_
There is no gender pay gap

2007-06-11
Frank Hayes _Computer World_
It's all about jobs

2007-06-11
Randall Burns _V Dare_
We can attract the best and brightest immigrants without sacrificing US citizens
"Bill Gates, the world's richest man, and purveyor of buggy, insecure, unstable software, recently implored Congress to subsidize importing second-rate talent with low cost guest-worker visas.   Such policies only enrich Gates and his wealthy cohorts at the expense of what remains of US engineering talent.   (The Axis of Amnesty's Immigration Surge bill also provided expanded guest worker visas for nurses -- a move which will destroy nursing as a career for American citizens.   Next they'll be coming for the journalists!)   Self-serving, short-sighted, unpopular corporate H-1b/L-1 expansion has wounded America deeply.   Hundreds of thousands of American IT workers have been displaced, millions have had their incomes reduced—and American students have been directed out of occupations that have been debauched by legislative whims.   There is outrage over H-1b and L-1 visas by those impacted, but relatively few complain about the 'outstanding scientists' visas.   (One exception: VDARE.COM's Rob Sanchez [and some recent abuses to import sleazy 'actresses']).   Theoretically, these 'O' Visas might facilitate entry of the next Einstein or Fermi.   Even accepting my estimate that citizenship is worth at least $225K, the US should sometimes extend it...   If we offered cash prizes to Americans able to pass the professional engineer exams at a level of $225K per citizen, there would rapidly be a huge supply of engineers.   Granting of residency rights—which are of similar value—to foreign engineers is simply uneconomic...   we could award citizenship on the basis of demonstrating an IQ of 164 (1 in 10K).   If that were done, I'd offer equivalent level of cash rewards to US citizens (perhaps via scholarships, increased gifted education funding and prizes) that meet that criterion so that the buy vs. build decisions were rationalized and the lives of these gifted citizens were made no worse by increased economic competition for their specific economic and social niches.   High IQ visas would mean admitting only a few hundred additional immigrants each year. But there is a real difference between admitting a pool of 'really smart people' as equals in America rather than indentured servants willing to serve the current corporate elites -- which is what Gates really wants from H-1b expansion."

2007-06-11 (5767 Sivan 26)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Bi-partisan betrayal
"With immigration, as with other issues, the most important decision is: Who is to make the decision?   It should be too obvious for words that decisions about who is to come into the United States and live among Americans should be made in the United States by Americans.   In reality, however, for years that decision has been made in Mexico by Mexicans and by others who chose to cross the border from Mexico into the United States with impunity, knowing that even if they were caught, they would at worst be turned back -- and could try again.   Many would not even have to face that.   They would be released within the United States, with instructions to report back to the authorities for legal proceedings.   But why should they be expected to obey that legal requirement when they did not obey the law against crossing the border in the first place?...   The net result has been empty promises about controlling the border, paired with various schemes to legalize the illegal immigrants, and washed down with fraudulent statements that insult our intelligence.   The first of these frauds is the argument that the economy 'needs' illegal immigrants to fill 'jobs that Americans won't take'.   Both parts of this argument ignore the most obvious three-letter word that is left out: Pay...   Illegal immigrants can reunite with their families back where they came from...   It is a disgrace that they have tried but a healthy sign of the commonsense of the people that they have still not succeeded."
 

  "-- & then I started to fly.   For the only time, I was happy with what I was doing.   You can't know what that means if, most of your life, you haven't been stuck in your pit, locked forever with your own limitations, unable to tap the wonderful stuff that lurks there in your head but flattens out whenever it comes near paper.   The most startling creative moment of my life happened here.   I remember going to my office & [the hero] was the [place] of Death... & he was being tormented by the evil [villain] who got his Ph.D. in pain (or would have, but doctorates didn't exist then, this was after education but before educators realized the real money was in diplomas)... as I was going to work that morning I kind of wondered how I was going to get [the hero] out of it.   I sat at my desk & had coffee & read the papers & fiddled a while.   Then I realized, I wasn't going to get him out of it.   And I wrote these words: [the hero] lay dead by The Machine.   I think I must have looked at them for a long time...   You killed him, I thought... How could you do such a thing?   I stared at the words, & I stared at the words some more, & then I lost it, began to cry.   I was alone, you see, no one could help me get out of where I was & I was helpless." --- William Goldman 2000 _Which Lie Did I Tell?" pg 24  

 

2007-06-12

2007-06-12
_Public Citizen_
Off-Shoring and Professional Standards

2007-06-12
_Sierra Vista Herald Review_
IEEE-USA representative to address immigration at luncheon
"Harrison will outline IEEE-USA’s positions, which seek to advance U.S. competitiveness and enhance the benefits of immigration, while providing appropriate safeguards against potential harms.   He will present strategies that can be used by engineers and computer scientists to communicate their concerns to the legislators."

2007-06-12 05:41:13PDT (08:41:13EDT) (12:31:13GMT)
"Agent Smith" _Free Republic_
president@whitehouse.gov e-mail messages being returned as undeliverable this morning

2007-06-12
Patrick J. Buchanan _World Net Daily_
The regime against the nation
New Hampshire Union-Leader
"Last week...Middle America rose up and body-slammed the national establishment...   The Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty for 12M to 20M illegal aliens, and for the businesses that have hired them -- a bill backed by La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post -- went down to crushing defeat...   But opponents of this bill, which would reward mass criminality with mass amnesty and eventual U.S. citizenship, ought not rest...   The fundamental reason this bill is not dead is that its authors and backers will never quit.   For this legislation is part of a larger agenda of a large slice of America's economic and political elite.   What is that agenda?   They have a vision of a world where not only capital and goods but people move freely across borders.   Indeed, borders disappear...   It is about the merger of nations into larger transnational entitles and, ultimately, global governance...   What NAFTA did was enable U.S. companies to close their plants here, fire their American workers and move their factories and jobs to Mexico, while Mexico continued to export its poor to the United States."

2007-06-12 11:09PDT (14:09EDT) (18:09GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Federal budget deficit increased to $67.7G for May
"In May, receipts fell 14.8% to $164.2G, while outlays dropped 1.5% to $231.9G, the government said.   Receipts are up 9.3% year-to-date at $1.669T. Outlays are up 2.5% to $1.817T...   Through the first 8 months of the fiscal year, the deficit is down by about a third to $148.5G, compared with $227G at this time last year."

2007-06-12 14:06PDT (17:06EDT) (21:06GMT)
_KOMO_/_AP_
Raid on portland food processing plant uncovers hundreds of illegal alien employees
"Federal agents on Tuesday raided the offices of a food processing plant suspected of employing hundreds of illegal workers who used [Socialist Insecurity] numbers that belonged to other people or were made up, authorities said.   By Tuesday morning, approximately 100 workers had been placed under administrative arrest to be processed for possible deportation, an official with the Department of Homeland Security said.   More arrests were expected, the official said.   The raid at American Staffing Resources Inc. offices at the Fresh Del Monte Produce fruit and vegetable processing plant at 9243 N. Rivergate Boulevard near the Portland shipyards was based on an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Social Security Administration that began last January, officials told The Associated Press.   Authorities also raided the staffing company's office at 8926 N. Lombard St...   According to the affidavit, only 48 of nearly 600 employees at the plant had valid [Socialist Insecurity] numbers."

2007-06-12
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
House committee examining impact of off-shore out-sourcing
" A congressional committee hearing held Tuesday on the impact of IT off-shoring began with a stark warning from the panel's chairman, U.S. representative Bart Gordon (D-TN), that 'the best jobs may soon be found over-seas'.   'If current trends continue, for the first time in our nation's history, our children may grow up with a lower standard of living than their parents.', said Gordon, who heads the House Committee on Science and Technology. The hearing, which included testimony from a 4-member panel of policy analysts and industry representatives, was the first in a planned series of what Gordon called 'fact-finding explorations' on off-shore out-sourcing's impact on U.S. workers and the domestic economy. The focus of the initial hearing was on the off-shoring of work that often requires the highest level of skills: research and development... Gordon's concerns about off-shore out-sourcing were echoed by the science and technology committee's ranking Republican, representative Ralph Hall of Texas. Hall said that if the U.S. keeps out-sourcing its research and development work to foreign countries, 'we will have a very steep hill to climb to keep our economy growing'."

2007-06-12
Tom Starner _Human Resource Executive_
AJB to close: recruiters searching for alternatives to comply with EEO and OFCCP requirements
"A third, but much less appetizing alternative for demonstrating a good-faith effort for both OFCCP and EEOC compliance, is posting jobs on a variety of sites -- including each individual state site; main-stream employment sites, such as Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo! HotJobs; and 'diversity' sites that cater to candidates of a particular race, ethnic group or sexual orientation. All in all, the third option entails a massive amount of work for employers, large and small."

2007-06-12
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
The truth comes out about off-shoring
"Since 2004 I have written a number of articles pointing out that off-shoring is really labor arbitrage and that if off-shoring had the mutual economic benefits associated with free trade, there would be US employment growth in export and import-competitive industries.   Instead, employment in these industries has declined in the US but grown remarkably in Asia.   In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create net new jobs only in nontradable domestic services, such as waitresses and bar-tenders and health and social services.   Moreover, the growth in productivity and GDP attributed to the US economy were inconsistent with the stagnant real incomes of Americans.   Somehow productivity and GDP were growing strongly, but it wasn't showing up in the incomes of Americans...   Susan N. Houseman, a good but previously obscure economist with the Upjohn Institute, has discovered a problem in the statistical data that produces phantom US GDP.   Phantom GDP results when cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are miscounted as US GDP growth.   Phantom productivity increases occur when gains from moving design, research and development off-shore are counted as increases in US productivity.   Obviously, production and productivity that take place abroad are not part of our domestic economy...   estimates that 40% of the gain in US manufacturing output since 2003 is phantom GDP.   Most likely that estimate is low."

2007-06-12
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
Putin's ploy
 

  "Creation begins with the desire to change something, to make it better, to resolve a problem, to take care of a need.   Great creative work depends on the ability to define what it is you're looking for.   Solutions flow from clear problem definitions." --- Linda Seger 1999 _Making a Good Writer Great_ pg 24  

 

2007-06-13

2007-06-12 23:21PDT (2007-06-13 02:21EDT) (2007-06-13 06:21GMT)
_CNN_
India escaped list of worst human traffickers
"India, which advocacy groups say may have as many as 65M forced laborers, was spared the worst ranking on the State Department's new list of nations where humans are bought and sold...   as many as 800K people -- largely women and children -- are trafficked across borders each year.   Many are forced into prostitution, sweat-shops, domestic labor, farming and child armies...   The United States added Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar and Bahrain to Tier 3 as countries that are destinations for trafficking victims who are exposed to sexual exploitation and forced labor.   Saudi Arabia, a nation considered friendly toward the United States, also is a Tier 3 country.   The State Department also lists Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela as Tier 3 countries...   The State Department estimates 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year...   [Red China], the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia were among 32 on a Tier 2 watch list..."
Trafficking in Persons report (pdf)

2007-06-13 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Martin Crutsinger _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Retail sales up 1.4% in May, largest increase in 16 months
MarketWatch
CNN
"Sales would have been strong even without last month's big jump in gasoline prices, which saw prices top $3.20 per gallon.   Excluding sales at gasoline stations, overall retail sales would still have been up 1.2%... It left sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $377.9G in May."

2007-06-13
William F. Jasper _New American_
The trouble with our trade treaties

2007-06-13
Larry Greenley _New American_
Finding our way back

2007-06-13 09:56PDT (12:56EDT) (16:56GMT)
Jim Abrams _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
US House passed bill to have state governments pass more criminal data to federal government
"The legislation approved Wednesday would require states to automate and share disqualifying records with the FBI's NICS data-base.   The bill also provides $250M a year over the next 3 years to help states meet those goals and imposes penalties, including cuts in federal grants under an anti-crime law, to those states that fail to meet bench-marks for automating their systems and supplying information to the NICS...   Virginia was one of only 22 states reporting any mental health information to the NICS...   It would automatically restore the purchasing rights of veterans who were diagnosed with mental problems as part of the process of obtaining disability benefits.   LaPierre said the Clinton administration put about 80K such veterans into the background check system.   It also outlines an appeals process for those who feel they have been wrongfully included in the system and ensures that funds allocated to improve the NICS are not used for other gun control purposes...   The only dissenting vote in the short House debate on the bill was voiced by GOP presidential aspirant Ron Paul of Texas.   He described the bill as 'a flagrantly unconstitutional expansion of restriction on the exercise of the right to bear arms'."

2007-06-13
_Supply Chain Digest_
Distorted statistics have under-stated the negative impact of off-shoring
"Various statistical measures of the US economy may not be correctly interpreting the impact of imports and [off-shored] production; exactly how takes an economist to figure out, but it looks like there are some real issues.   As a result, US GDP growth may be reported at half a percent higher than it really is; with reported GDP growth in the 2%-3% range, this is actually a sizable error, if true.   The accounting is producing phantom GDP.   The impact on manufacturing data is much greater, however.   There, manufacturing output may be overstated by as much as 40% -- a huge discrepancy.   This, in turn, would say that the impact of imports on US manufacturing levels and competitiveness is much more severe than economic statistics have indicated -- and would explain why anecdotal evidence indicated a large impact on US production, but that it didn’t seem that way from overall statistics.   These discrepancies, in turn, also then overstate US productivity growth -- again, by a substantial amount."

2007-06-13 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
Steve Hamm _Business Week_
Back-lash has finally caused foreign bodyshops to hire a few US citizens

2007-06-13
Melissa Vargas & Mark Agee & e-mail _Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Illegal aliens are easy marks for scam artists

2007-06-13
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Tech executives already trying to bribe presidential candidates
EE Times
PC World

2007-06-13 (5767 Sivan 27)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_
Can the Israel Defence Force disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons program?

2007-06-13
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
The Bush betrayal by the numbers
"The post 2000 increase in illegals is 5.3M, an increase of 79% on the 2000 total of 6.7M...   The legal immigrant population increased to 27.2M, or by about 13%, during the Bush years...   Nearly 2M children were born to immigrants (legal and illegal) that entered the U.S.A. since Bush became president...   But significantly none of Bush's temporary worker proposals have addressed this problem.   Altogether, Bush era immigrants and their children (known to demographers as 'foreign stock') increased the U.S. population by an estimated 8.1M.   They accounted for 45% of U.S. population growth since 2000...   An estimated 7.2M illegal aliens worked for U.S. employers in 2005.   Total arrested on the job-site by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) agents: a mere 251.   Of those arrested, only 188 were actually convicted of violating immigration laws.   As recently as 1997, there were 17,554 work-place arrests.   [Homeland Security, 2005 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 2006 November. Table 37.]   Bottom line: Only 0.003% of illegal alien workers can expect to be arrested.   Employers face even less of a risk.   In 2004 only three (3!) were fined for hiring illegals...   Well over half of all new jobs created under Bush went to immigrants.   From 2000 to 2006 the foreign-born work-force grew by 5.3M, or 31%.   Over the same period the number of U.S.-born workers rose by 3.9M, or 3.3%.   So some 57 of every 100 jobs created during the first 6 Bush years went to an immigrant...   In 2006 immigrants accounted for 15.4% of total employment, up from 14.8% the prior year.   As recently as 2000, only 12.5% of total employment was foreign born...   illegals represent about 5% of all workers...   the fiscal deficit (benefits received less taxes paid) attributable to illegal immigrants equals $58.1G (3M times $19,588).   Bottom line: Deporting illegal alien workers would effectively cut taxes for natives by nearly $60G...   Since the third quarter of 2001 the share of GDP going to corporate profits has soared from 7.0% to 11.6%, while the share going to labor compensation declined by 2.4 percentage points.   Real median income actually declined in 2003 and 2004...   the foreign-born share of the labor force is also unprecedented.   Since 2001 illegals have accounted for most of immigrant labor force growth.   Until the mass influx of unskilled workers is controlled, the balance of power will continue to tip toward capital and away from labor...   If Borjas is right, immigrant workers reduce native wages by an average of 5.4% (15.4/10.0 X 3.5%).   This will amount to an astonishing $323G American wage loss in 2007 alone...   at the end of 2004 -- when the latest numbers are available—approximately 267K non-citizens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities...   Approximately 27% of all prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prison facilities are criminal aliens.   The majority (63%) are citizens of Mexico.   Other major nationalities include Colombia and the Dominican Republic (7% each); Jamaica 4%; Cuba 3%; El Salvador 2%; and Honduras, Haiti, and Guatemala (1% each).   The remaining 11% are from are 164 different countries.   The Bureau of Prisons budget request for Fiscal Year 2008 called for spending $5.4G.   Using 27% as an allocation factor, we estimate the costs of holding foreign-born, non-citizen inmates in BoP facilities will be $1.5G."

2007-06-13
Sheela Murthy
Back-logs being trimmed in EB2 and EB3 visas

2007-06-13
_Embassy Magazine_
Members of the "North American Competitiveness Council" and "Security & Prosperity Partnership" (SPP)

2007-06-13 (5767 Sivan 27)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Property owners won one
"Opponents of eminent domain finally have something to celebrate.   After a public campaign, Target Corp. has decided not to build a store on condemned property in Arlington Heights, IL.   Five years ago, the Village trustees declared the International Plaza shopping center and other properties blighted, setting the stage for condemnation under eminent domain.   The business owners who were to lose their stores fought the 'blight' designation in court but failed.   Yet they didn't give up.   They and their supporters held protests at trustee meetings.   They were aided by the Sam Adams Alliance and Foundation, which launched a letter, telephone and flyer campaign that threatened to boycott Target if the company went through with its plan to occupy property seized by the government.In late May, the Alliance triumphantly announced, 'Target backed out of their contract with the Village.   International Plaza tenants have saved the property from eminent domain abuse, at least for the time being.'...   It's only a reprieve.   The trustees smell big bucks, so they may try to find another major chain to be the principal retailer in the 35-acre development area.   In the past, several retailers have been more than willing to build on stolen property.   So the residents of Arlington Heights and the Sam Adams Alliance may need to launch another campaign...   In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court blessed this outrageous argument in the infamous Kelo v. New London case.   Fortunately, a public back-lash followed the ruling, and 41 states have put restrictions on eminent domain for private development.   But many of these laws have loop-holes for 'blighted' property.   Blight is in the eye of the beholder.   The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, says that 'the definition of blight has become so broad and unprincipled that governments regularly target perfectly fine homes in ordinary neighborhoods for the wrecking ball.'"

2007-06-13
Robert Curry _View from 1776_
The Scottish Enlightenment & America's Founding: The American Enlightenment

2007-06-13 (5767 Sivan 27)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Competition or Monopoly
"There's abundant evidence that suggests consumers are better off when providers of goods and services are driven by the profit motive where survival requires a constant effort to get and keep customers.   Under what conditions can businesses survive, providing shoddy services, fewer choices, at higher and higher costs, without pleasing customers?   If you said, 'Where there's restricted competition and a government-sanctioned monopoly', go to the head of the class.   There's no better example of this than in the case of government education...   The solution to America's education problems is not more money, despite the claims of the education establishment.   Instead, it's the introduction of competition that could be achieved through school choice."
 

  "Working hard sparks creative inspiration, & when it happens, it is magical." --- Robert A. Berman 1997 May _Fade In: The ScreenWriting Process_ pg 151  

 

2007-06-14

2007-06-14 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 299,331 in the week ending June 9, an increase of 35,885 from the previous week.   There were 285,892 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 2, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,270,327, an increase of 15,983 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,227,031.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending May 26."
graphs

2007-06-14
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
Body shopping the eBay way
"Increasingly, small and mid-size businesses are turning to eBay-like [bodyshops] to hire technical talent for projects -- both within the U.S. and off-shore."

2007-06-14
Joel S. Hirschhorn _Op Ed News_
Americans remain unprepared to revolt despite revolting conditions

2007-06-14 (5767 Sivan 28)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Home invader program
"People who are pushing for [another] 'guest-worker' program show not the slightest interest in what has been happening under guest worker programs in Europe.   Facts are apparently irrelevant.   So is logic.   Guests are people you invite to your home.   Gate crashers are people who come without being invited.   Home invaders are people who break in, despite doors that have been shut to keep them out.   If the discussion of immigration laws respected either logic or honesty, we would be talking about a program to legalize home invaders instead of a guest worker program.   As for facts, guest workers from Third World countries have created centers of crime and violence in Europe, and some guest worker communities have become breeding grounds for terrorists...   Here again, the media and the intelligentsia in France, as in the United States, tend to turn differences in achievement -- 'gaps', 'disparities' -- into social injustices rather than reflections of differences in the things that create achievement...   Today's illegal immigrants are too often analogized to early 20th century immigrants from Europe.   But their situation is far more similar to that of contemporary 'guest-workers' in Europe."

2007-06-14 07:04PDT (10:04EDT) (14:04GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI up 0.9% to 167.8 (base 1982=100)

2007-06-14
_WGAL_
Phony "Colgate" tooth-paste from South Africa contaminated with diethyl glycine
San Jose Mercury News
Seattle Post Intelligencer
"In 2006, U.S. agents increased their seizures of counterfeit goods by 83%, making more than 14K seizures worth at least $155M, the Homeland Security Department said earlier this year.   Even though many bogus goods, including the tooth-paste, have murky origins, signs point to over-seas -- and [Red China] in particular. That country was the source of 81% of all phony goods seized in 2006, according to federal statistics...   Chris Kim, manager of MS USA Trading Inc., the North Bergen, NJ, company that recalled the 100 cases of suspect tooth-paste.   A telephone message left for the source identified by Kim -- a man he knows only as 'Dialo' -- was not immediately returned Thursday...   The Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, has announced well more than a dozen recalls of children's jewelry this year because they contain lead, which is toxic if ingested.   The [Red Chinese-made] jewelry is predominantly sold through discount outlets, CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said."

2007-06-14
William F. Jasper _New American_
Behind the job loss

2007-06-14 08:49PDT (11:49EDT) (15:49GMT)
_Forbes_
Privacy violator, Oracle, hired lobbyist
"Server and software maker Oracle Corp. hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers LLC to lobby the federal government, according to a federal disclosure form.   The firm will lobby on immigration, intellectual property, trade and foreign investment, among other issues, according to the form filed Wednesday.   Robert D. Blackwill, who was the deputy national security adviser for strategic planning and deputy assistant to president Bush and also served as ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003, is among those registered to lobby on behalf of Redwood City, CA-based Oracle.   Walker Roberts, who is the former deputy staff director under representative Henry Hyde, R-IL, and Celeste Ward, who was the former special assistant to State Department Counselor Philip Zelikow from 2005 to 2006, are also registered to lobby for the company."

2007-06-14
_Right Wing News_
What's happening with the senate's reprehensible immigration law perversion bill?
"The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (in other words, 'vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do')...   the game has now been rigged.   McConnell is essentially promising to bring the amendments up in exchange for cloture votes, but he's publicly saying that they will strip any problematic amendments out in committee.   IOW, if the bill gets through the Senate and the House, the Democrats and the open borders Republicans will work together when the bills have to be reconciled in committee to strip out any amendments that the 'grand bargainers' don't like.   Therefore, at this point, it doesn't matter what amendments pass, because any tough enforcement provisions that slip through will be rendered toothless when the bills are reconciled...   if debate is closed off, the bill is sure to pass.   Then, what will happen is that the votes for the bill will be counted, and a few Senators who are afraid that their election prospects will be jeopardized by a 'yes' vote, will be allowed to vote against the bill.   This enables those Senators to tell their constituents that they voted against the bill, but it will still allow them to collect campaign contributions from lobbyists who have a better understanding of how things work, and know that the bill couldn't have been passed without their support.   Put another way, they get to reap the rewards of supporting amnesty while telling the voters in their home states that they opposed the bill...   a lot of these pro-amnesty senators seem to be more worried about getting the President or Trent Lott mad at them than enraging the voters in their states...   this bill could gin up so much outrage on the right that it could lead to the GOP having an even worse year in 2008 than they did in 2006..."

2007-06-14
_Chicagoland Construction_
Sub-contractor lobbying association praised Bush over Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill
"ASA [American Sub-contractors Association] supports immigration reform legislation that: Addresses both future economic needs for workers through the creation of a guest worker program..."

2007-06-14 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Illegal aliens
Lou Dobbs: Also, President Bush trying to buy off Republican opponents of his amnesty legislation.   He's now promising billions of dollars of extra spending on border security.   The problem is, he hasn't spent the money that's ready to be spent.   We'll have that report from the White House.   We'll be joined as well here by the national executive director of LULAC, one of the nation's most aggressive pro-amnesty groups.   And the president repeatedly saying there are jobs Americans aren't doing.   Well, it turns out one of those jobs happens to be the top Republican Party's strategy campaign position in the state of California...
Lou Dobbs: President Bush today making a new effort to win over opponents of his amnesty legislation.   President Bush now offering to spend an additional $4G to secure the border.   But one leading opponent of the president's amnesty plan, Congressman Duncan Hunter, a presidential candidate, blasting the offer.   Congressman Hunter said border security shouldn't be conditional on amnesty.
In a desperate effort to get immigration reform through Congress, President Bush is offering this compromise -- pass the bill, and immediately nearly $4.5G will go to strengthening the border.
George W. Bush: The need for reform is urgent.
Susanne Malveaux: The urgency in securing the border is a transparent effort by Mr. Bush to convince his critics, mostly conservatives of his own party, that the government is serious about border enforcement.   A senior administration official involved in negotiations says this compromise is meant to address the mistakes of the immigration bill signed in 1986.
George W. Bush: Most Americans agree that the 1986 immigration law failed, didn't work.   It failed because it did not secure our border.
Susanne Malveaux: White House aides say the money would initially come out of the U.S. Treasury to create this $4.5G account.   The account would be paid off using the fees and penalties collected from the nation's 12M illegal immigrants over a two-year period.
Tony Snow: Think of it as a direct deposit right now on border security.
Susanne Malveaux: But with no idea of how many illegal immigrants are really in the United States, or how many would comply with the law and pay penalties, even White House aides acknowledge they're not certain the numbers would add up.
Tony Snow: You're absolutely right, no 100% guarantee here.   But it is based on the best estimates.
Susanne Malveaux: But for some Republicans, any funds for border security that are tied to illegal immigrants becoming U.S. citizens is unacceptable.
representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA): The security of American borders should not be conditioned on amnesty.
Susanne Malveaux: Now, Lou, despite Congressman Hunter's reservations -- and he obviously says he is not in support of this plan -- those aides who I spoke with, White House aides, say they are confident that the president believes that this immigration reform bill will move forward.   And the one reason they say this is because the president addressed what most of Republicans who are concerned about -- when they met behind closed doors on Tuesday with the president, and that is whether or not this administration would commit the resources to enforce the immigration, the laws, the border there.
And they believe that this $4.5G will to add to what has already been requested, the $12G for border security, and that that will help in actually making this kind of support, building this support from the Republicans...
Lou Dobbs: I just have to ask you if the aides to this president are keeping a straight face as they are saying these things, because such an offer, particularly since there's already authorization to construct fence, to put up all sorts of barriers -- the last count I had was 11, perhaps as high as 13 miles of a fence had been constructed in just about seven months -- does this president think that the opponents of amnesty in the Senate are stupid, or does he just believe the American people are stupid?...
Lou Dobbs: Congressional approval ratings look like a roller-coaster, from 41% at the beginning of 2005, plunging to an all-time low of 16% last October.   And the latest Rasmussen poll shows 34% of Americans say President Bush is doing a good job, while 19% think Congress is doing a good job...
Kitty Pilgrim: Thomas the Tank Engine toys sold in the United States are popular with toddlers, who routinely put toys in their mouths.   The distributor tested the trains and found toxic paint.   For 2 years, from 2005 January to 2007 January, the [Red Chinese] manufacturer used lead paint, banned in the United States.
Don Mays of Consumer Reports: It is a very large recall.   We're talking about 1.5M Thomas and Friends train-type toys that contain lead paint.   And lead paint, as you may know, is hazardous to children if ingested.   So it's really important to get this out of the hands of consumers, out of the hands of children.
Kitty Pilgrim: [Red China] has generated two thirds of the product named in about 200 federal recalls over the last year.
Lori Wallach of Global Trade Watch: What's really scary is the amount of products coming from [Red China] and other countries, that their low standards, the standards that are in place are not enforced in these countries.   Then when it comes here, we don't inspect it.   It's like globalization Russian roulette for consumers.
Kitty Pilgrim: The FDA began inspecting toothpaste imports from [Red China] after [Red Chinese] tooth-paste laced with a poisonous chemical, diethylenglycol, a chemical used to make antifreeze, turned up in Panama.   Last week in Florida, the FDA found 12 brands of [Red Chinese] tooth-paste with the same problem.
They began routine screening of discount store tooth-paste and now a fake Colgate tooth-paste has turned up in 4 states.   The New Jersey distributor supplied Dollar, Dollar Power, and Super Dollar stores.   The FDA says one tube has tested positive for the poisonous chemical.   From the Dollar Power store in Silver Spring, MD.   It was labeled "from South Africa".
Medical News Today

2007-06-14
_Coast to Coast AM_
Elaine and Ed Brown update

2007-06-14
Thomas Sowell _Baltimore MD Sun_
Border Scheme Built on Fraud, Empty Promises: Home Invader Program
Jewish World Review
National Review
 

  "Any momentary change stimulates a fresh burst of energy.   This may sound silly, but I'll be working & I'll want to get into the shower for a creative sting...   I'll stand there in the steaming water for 30 or 40 minutes, just plotting a story & thinking out ideas." --- Woody Allen (quoted in Joel Saltzman 1993 _If You Can Talk, You Can Write_ pg 147)  

 

2007-06-15

2007-06-15 07:03PDT (10:03EDT) (14:03GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment dropped to 83.7 in June

2007-06-15
Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_Central Ohio_
Ohio leads large states in foreclosures as rates are up nationwide
San Francisco Chronicle
Toledo Blade
USA Today
Orlando Sentinel
Builder
WKYC
"The Mortgage Bankers Association, in its quarterly snap-shot of the mortgage market released Thursday, reported that the percentage of payments that were 30 or more days past due for 'sub-prime' adjustable-rate home mortgages jumped to 15.75% in the January-to-March quarter.   That was a sizable increase from the prior quarter's delinquency rate of 14.44% and was the highest on record, the association's chief economist Doug Duncan said in an interview with The Associated Press.   In Ohio, Duncan said, 'the percent of subprime ARM loans seriously delinquent in Ohio, those loans 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure, is 19.9%, twice the national average of 10.1%.   However, for prime fixed-rate loans the Ohio seriously delinquent rate of 1.9% is almost 3 times the national average.'...   The percentage of subprime adjustable-rate mortgages that started the foreclosure process in the first quarter of this year climbed to 3.23%.   That was up from 2.70% in the final quarter of 2006 and was the highest on record, Duncan said...   For all mortgages, the delinquency rate actually dipped to 4.84% in the first quarter, an improvement from the fourth quarter's rate of 4.95%, which had marked a 3.5 year high.   However, the number of all mortgages starting the foreclosure process in the first quarter rose to a record high of 0.58%.   That surpassed the previous high of 0.54% in the final quarter of 2006."

2007-06-15 10:23PDT (13:23EDT) (17:23GMT)
John C. Dvorak _MarketWatch_
Apple's Safari could reignite web wars

2007-06-15
Burt Prelutsky _Town Hall_
Why aren't we off-shoring our politicians?
"Because it's never the jobs of the executives that are being exiled, the only concern of these bottom-feeders is with their own bottom line."

2007-06-15
Stephen Majors _AP_/_Chillicothe Gazette_
64K Ohio government employee names and personal information stolen
"A first back-up storage device is kept at a temporary work site for a state office along with the computer system that holds all the employee information.   A second back-up device is given to employees on a rotating basis to take home for safe-keeping, officials said...   In 2006, Ohio University discovered breaches that had exposed 173K files containing Social Security numbers, names, medical records and home addresses to data theft of workers and alumni.   Someone hacked into an Ohio State University computer and stole the personal information of more than 14K current and former faculty and staff members in March.   Data theft also has been a problem with several corporations.   TJX Cos., the operator of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, disclosed in January that a data theft exposed at least 45M credit and debit cards to potential fraud.   In 2005 March, the parent company of Dayton, Ohio-based Lexis Nexis said hackers got access to personal information on as many as 32K U.S. citizens in a data-base owned by Lexis Nexis."

2007-06-15
Renee Boucher Ferguson _eWeek_/_Ziff Davis_
Oracle hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers to lobby the federal government on immigration, intellectual property, trade and foreign investment issues
alternate link
"Former national security advisor and deputy assistant to president Bush, Robert Blackwell, is one of the lobbyists registered to work on behalf of Oracle.   Blackwell also served as an ambassador to India, a post that could serve him well if Oracle indeed plans to lobby for more H-1B Visa slots...   Walker Roberts, a former staffer under Illinois Republican representative Henry Hyde and Celeste Ward, a former special assistant to a State Department Counselor, are also registered to lobby for Oracle."

2007-06-15
Rick Rothacker _Charlotte Observer_
Senators target H-1B visa abuse: Body shops' extremely high levels of use raises particular concern
"Charlotte's [Bank of India Corp., formerly called Bank of America] and Wachovia Corp. out-source work to 2 of the firms -- Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies, both based in India.   Under certain circumstances, companies that employ H-1B visa holders are prohibited from displacing American workers.   But Grassley and Durbin question how well this is enforced...   Charlotte's big banks are among many financial services companies looking to cut costs and tap skilled workers by shifting technology and processing work to India.   This has raised concerns about the loss of white-collar jobs in the U.S.A.   [Bank of India] has its own subsidiary in India, where about 2,500 employees handle technology and other tasks for the bank.   The Observer also reported last month that [Bank of India] had hired Tata, better known as TCS, to perform software work for its wealth and investment management unit."

2007-06-15
Chris Barge _Rocky Mountain News_
US House, in a moment of sanity, says no funding for "sanctuary cities"
"The U.S. House of Representatives this morning voted to withhold federal emergency services funding for sanctuary cities that protect illegal immigrants.   Anti-illegal immigration champion representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, sponsored the measure, which he says would apply to cities such as Denver and Boulder.   He was elated by its passage, which stunned critics and supporters alike...   The House passed the amendment, 234 to 189, with 50 Democrats voting in favor."

2007-06-15
Ilana Mercer _World Net Daily_
Libertarian Tibor Machan on the borders
"Tibor has expressed, in a column for the Orange County Register, doubts about the findings that, overall, immigrants cost [tax-victims] more than they contribute.   Jacoby just denies facts such as those released by the National Academy of Sciences and relayed by the Heritage Foundation.   Accordingly, 'each immigrant without a high school degree will cost U.S. [tax-victims], on average, $89K over the course of his or her life-time'.   Having tallied the number of illegal and legal low-skill, uneducated immigrants, the NAS has estimated 'in total, all immigrants without a high school education could impose a net cost on U.S. [tax-victims] of around $1T or more. If the cost of educating the immigrants' children is included, that figure could reach $2T.'   It's not clear why clever people consider these facts counterintuitive.   The immigration 'reforms' of the 1960s launched an era of egalitarian policies which gave preference to Third World immigrants, who were then selected not for their skill or education, but for their family ties to a principal sponsor.   Such a policy guaranteed the importation of masses of poor, less accomplished, dependent individuals.   A finding to the contrary would be newsworthy.   Missing from the current debate about illegal immigration, argues Machan, is a recognition that 'the welfare state is the under-lying fundamental problem.   Until that system is abolished, until a revolutionary change occurs and no Peter is looted for the sake of any Paul -- whether poor, rich, legal or illegal -- there will be no solution to the illegal immigration problem'.   In the column 'Welfare State and Illegal Immigration', Tibor repeats an uncontested, standard libertarian stance: 'The immorality begins not with putting illegal immigrants on the welfare rolls or transferring to them costly services at the expense of American citizens.   The immorality lies in the welfare state itself, in the government's policy of coercive wealth redistribution.'...   the reality is the American welfare state is accreting, not shrinking...   From the fact that [tax-victim-funded] welfare for nationals is morally wrong, as Machan rightly avers, why does it follow that extending it to millions of unviable non-nationals is economically and morally negligible?"

2007-06-15
Michael Reagan _Human Events_
Bush is sinking the GOP ship
GOP USA
Bowling Green Daily News
"I can understand his stubbornness in sticking with this insane program that doesn't do a damned thing to plug the leaking borders that are allowing the United States to be flooded with all manner and shapes of illegal aliens, some of them terrorists who want to kill large numbers of Americans -- he really has nothing to lose...   I'm amazed at how many of them appear to be choosing a watery grave.   After all, it should be more than obvious that standing firm behind this monstrosity of a bill carries with it the death penalty -- it's just plain suicidal...   Here you have a president with a dismal 30-something-percent approval rating rubbing elbows with a group -- Congress -- that has a more-dismal 27% approval rating being led by a guy with a horrendous 19% approval rating.   It doesn't get more comedic than that."

2007-06-15
Kent Hoover _Atlanta Business Journal_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill is worst risk that more visas and green cards will be authorized
San Jose Business Journal

2007-06-15
_World Net Daily_
Laura Ingraham melted Snow in dispute over illegal aliens
"What is the U.S. government doing to stop the invasion from Mexico?   '69% of Americans, 85% of the GOP, 55% of the Democrats want the border enforced.', said Ingraham.   'Does that affect you guys, or do you guys just blow it off?'...   She pointed out, when Snow noted that illegals probably are not creating a huge impact on job availability, that following a recent raid on a Del Monte plant in Oregon to arrest illegal aliens employed there, the plant was flooded with applicants seeking the jobs.   'Tony, why don't people believe you?', she asked.   'The majority of your party, people who voted for President Bush...   They see the conservative coalition dissolving before their eyes.'   Snow noted that another $4.4G is being tossed on the table to try and win back some of the support...   Those efforts, he said, would demonstrate a commitment to securing the border.   'You keep repeating that, but nobody believes you.', she said.   'Nobody buys that this administration is serious about the border.'...   Senator Jim DeMint, R-SC, say the legislation 'still unfairly burdens [tax-victims], doesn't ensure secure borders and guarantees amnesty' for illegal aliens."

2007-06-15
Roy Beck _Numbers USA_
Ted Kennedy has already pushed 7 amnesties for illegal aliens into law
1. In 1986, Ted Kennedy's blanket amnesty for 2.7M illegal aliens promised a lot more enforcement but did not set any requirments for actual reductions in illegal immigration.   The illegal flow continued.
2. In 1994, Ted Kennedy's Section 245(i) Amnesty gave legal residence and jobs to 578K illegal aliens.   It was a temporary rolling amnesty primarily for extended family members of immigrants who instead of waiting in line, come on to the country illegally.   The illegal flow continued.
3. In 1997, Ted Kennedy's extension of the Section 245(i) rolling amnesty was followed by an increasing flow of illegal immigration.
4. In 1997, Ted Kennedy also won an amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America. Illegal immigration sped up some more.
5. In 1998, Ted Kennedy won an amnesty for 125K illegal aliens from Haiti.   The illegal flow continued.
6. In 2000, Ted Kennedy got the so-called Late Amnesty, legalizing another 400K illegal aliens who claimed that they missed out on Kennedy's 1986 amnesty.   Illegal immigration continued unimpeded.
7. In 2000, Ted Kennedy also won the LIFE Act Amnesty for an estimated 900K illegal aliens.   It was another reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900K illegal aliens.   Illegal immigration accelerated."

2007-06-15
Eric Zorn _Chicago Tribune_
HRC (D-Punjab)
"The reference in the head-line is an allusion to an article found in the Nexis news data-base from the the 2006 March 17, issue of India Abroad.   Writer Aziz Haniffa was reporting from a fundraiser in which 'over 80 prominent Sikh professionals and entrepreneurs from the Washington metropolitan area paid $500 to $2K apiece' to boost Clinton's political war-chest:   'At the fund-raiser hosted by Dr Rajwant Singh at his Potomac, Maryland, home, and which raised nearly $50K for her re-election campaign, Clinton began by joking that, ''I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily.'', after being introduced by Singh as the Senator not only from New York but also Punjab.'"
Tribune India: Hillary Clinton Lauds Role of Sikhs

2007-06-15
DJIA13,639.48
S&P 5001,532.91
NASDAQ2,626.71
10-year US T-Bond5.17%
crude oil68.00
gold658.70
silver13.74
platinum1,286.00
palladium373.50
copper0.213875
natgas7.918/MBTU
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading
reformulatedgasoline$2.2601/gal
heatingoil2.0106/gal

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.
 
 

  "While it is true that the producer may take the under-lying material & treat it in a manner displeasing to the author, it must be understood that the producer needs that creative control.   Translating literary material into film carries the material into a new medium, & the expert in that medium is presumably the producer, not the author; thus, it is the producer who must have the necessary control." --- Paul A. Baumgarten, Donald C. Farber & Mark Fleischer 1992 _Producing, Financing & Distributing Film_ pg 33  

 

Best of 2007: Cohen & Grigsby seminar scandal coverage begins here.

2007-06-16

2007-06-16
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink": Phony talent shortage propaganda
"Google announced that they receive 1300 resumes per DAY, something that caused a stir among some H-1B activists.   I thought in that light I would re-run a posting of mine from 2005, commenting on an excellent article by Sharon Begley of the Wall Street Journal.   Think of this any time you hear the industry claim a labor shortage.   Note in particular the point that some applicants were rejected for being 'over-qualified'.   That's the age problem at work, folks, and as I always say, H-1B is fueling this.   When employers run out of young Americans to hire, they turn to hiring H-1Bs to avoid hiring the older Americans."

2007-06-16
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
gaming the immigration system: Cohen & Grigsby give a rare inside look
As many of you know, my constant message has been that the major problems with the H-1B work visa and employer-sponsored green cards is that the problem is NOT enforcement of the law, but rather LOOP-HOLES in the law.   I've stressed that for this reason, the anti-fraud legislation on H-1B currently being considered in Congress is missing the boat.   Yes, there are some fraudulent H-1B employers, but most of them use H-1Bs as cheap labor while being fully compliant with the law, due to the loop-holes.   The fact that the industry lobbyists are supporting the anti-fraud measures says it all; they know that those measures would not hurt the industry, because fraud is not an issue; by supporting anti-fraud, the industry lobbyists are trying to distract attention from the real problem, which is the huge, gaping loop-holes.
The law on employer-sponsored green cards is similarly riddled with loop-holes.   Though that law requires that American workers must be sought before the employer hires a foreign worker for a job, it is routinely circumvented.   I've mentioned the outrageous comments by a well-known immigration attorney: "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply" (Joel Stewart, "Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers" Immigration Daily 2000 April 24).
Now Rob Sanchez has found an even more blatant statement -- and on video!   I will give you an excerpt below, but I urge you to view the actual video yourselves, to get a feel as to how...   the first word that comes to mind is "dirty"...   these immigration lawyers actually are.   You've got to hear these people's tones of voice, see their body language, etc., and above all see their complete lack of scruples, all in front of a crowd of people.
This is actually a set of 20 videos from an immigration conference held by the firm of Cohen and Grigsby on May 15 of this year.   The firm was so proud of itself that they put the videos on the web, and they wound up on YouTube.   Conference description
Part 9 of the set (withdrawn, see links to reposted videos below)
Part 10 of the set (withdrawn, see links to reposted videos below)
Near the end, at about 7:55 minutes, the speaker makes the following remarks.   The discussion had been on the law's requirement that the employer who wants to hire a foreign worker must try to find an American first, by advertising the job.   Theme of the speakers is, how can the employer choose the places to advertise so as to NOT find American applicants!   Here is what he says:
Larry Lebowitz: And our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.   And, you know, that in a sense that sounds funny, ahh, but it's what we're trying to do here.   We are complying with the law fully, ahh, but our objective is to get this person a green card, and to get through the labor certification process.   So certainly we are not going to try to find a place [at which to advertise the job] where the applicants are going to be the most numerous.   We're going to try to find a place where, again, we're complying with the law, and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.   So that's the process that we will go through with you from the beginning onward...   what 3 options are we going to select...
Jan Barton: The employer is obligated to review all of the resumes that are received in response to all of the ads...   What we mean by if they're interested, if they don't like the salary, if they don't like the work location, they're not interested.   Or if they just don't like the job itself, they're not interested.   Um, those are ways we can disqualify them and get them out of the market, and focus on the ones who might be more qualified.   If it gets to the point where they're, somebody's looking like they're very qualified, we ask them to have the manager of that specific position step in and go over the qualifications with them.   If necessary schedule an interview, go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this particular position.   In most cases that doesn't seem to be a problem...   you can eliminate them...   The on the job training is a very gray area, there's no definitive term as to what is a reasonable period of time...   So, if you think somebody can be trained for a job within, I'm saying, 3 month window, I'm thinking that person's fairly qualified for that position...
Larry Lebowitz: In our recruitment summary we are stating that, even if, provided with a quote reasonable period of training this person would not be qualified for the job...
Alex Casterdale?/Castrodale?: That... is another incentive... 30 days of recruiting, 30 days of waiting... to get the thing final...   The longer you leave it out there waiting, the more you are exposed to people possibly seeing something from the paper 6 weeks ago and saying, "Wait a minute, I qualify".

Keep that in mind every time you see an immigration lawyer quoted in the press, saying that employers hire foreign workers only as a last resort when no Americans are available, that the law provides protection for American workers, etc.   I'm sorry to say this so bluntly, but those people are lying through their teeth.   And remember, the above example is only one example of many of the giant loop-holes in the law.
I urge you to down-load all of the videos, and spend time watching them.   Neither Rob nor I have watched them all yet, so if you find any good nuggets, please let us know.
If you do want to watch those videos (at least parts 9 and 10), you should do so now.   My guess is that they will be taken off of YouTube and the law firm's site very soon, once word reaches them that they have made a massive PR gaffe.   BTW, in general if you want to down-load something from YouTube, the cross-platform program youtube-dl is very handy.   Note, of course, that you must respect copyright laws in the case that material is copyrighted, and of course I am not providing legal advice.
Norm
Programmers Guild favorites (video clips)
alternate link (video clip)
discussion on Dice
American Renaissance: Cohen & Grigsby 7th annual immigration law update teaches how to shaft American workers

2007-06-16
Casey Tominack _Steubenville Herald Star_
Wheeling-LaBelle Nail stands up for steel
"Wheeling-LaBelle is joining an anti-dumping duty petition, which was recently filed by a group of American steel wire nail manufacturers, against imports from [Red China] and the United Arab Emirates, said John Osmianski, manager of the South Wheeling-based company...   Osmianski noted cheap cut nails from China sold for below LaBelle’s cost have consumed 70% of the U.S. market during the past 7 years."

2007-06-16
_One Floridian's Blatherings_
Out-Sourcing Legal Jobs

2007-06-16
Froma Harrop _Manteca Sun Post_/_Providence RI Journal_
President's clout is all used up
"The president's credibility is all used up by his conscious strategy to neglect immigration enforcement -- part of a shameful drive to cheapen American labor for the advantage of business.   Bush also pulled a bait-and-switch.   He always spoke of amnesty as something that would be extended to illegal aliens who've been here a long time and paid their back taxes.   But the bill he supports gives amnesty to people who crashed the border as recently as 6 months ago, and it drops the part about back taxes.   So, small wonder that Americans greet Bush's views on the immigration bill with either hostility or utter indifference.   They sense that the fix is in -- that illegal-alien advocates and big business have combined with lawmakers to sell them out.   And they don't want to fall for a repeat of the 1986 grand bargain, which promised amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in return for fines against employers who hire them.   The amnesty came off, while the employer sanctions were sabotaged.   The original proposal called for a computerized registry against which employers would have to verify the right of all job applicants to work in the United States.   It was ditched and replaced with an 'honor system' that let employers accept documents that looked OK to them.   Thus, a new era of counterfeiting was born."
 

  "The rolling break-even is that method of accounting by which the studios roll the profits of the money-making films into the ones that lose money, & somehow all the net-point profit due to writers & other creative types never leaves the studio's tight little financial wheel.   Triple-entry book-keeping is just what it sounds like: 3 different sets of books, depending upon who wants to see them." --- Christopher Keane 1998 _How to Write a Selling ScreenPlay_ pp 137-138  

 

2007-06-17

2007-06-17
Bill Pascrell _News Herald_
Reduce troubled H-1B visa program
"In 1962 President John F. Kennedy said, 'The vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we are first, and therefore, we intend to be first.   Our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort.'   President Kennedy inspired generations of young American scientists and engineers to grow into a work force with the will, imagination, and resources to lead the world in technological innovation.   And they have.   In recent years America's innovative brand has been overwhelmed by a corporate culture driven by dollars more than ideas.   Droves of American high-tech professionals who hold advanced degrees in one hand, now hold a pink slip in the other.   They have been replaced by foreign workers who are being 'in-sourced' to do American jobs at un-American wages.   It is only the latest blow to America's middle class...   has been reduced to a base form of corporate welfare.   Even renowned free-market thinker and Nobel economist Milton Friedman has characterized the H-1B program as a subsidy to employers, 'enabling them to get workers at a lower wage, and to that extent, it is a subsidy'.   In a recent study based on Department of Labor statistics, the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that actual wages reported for H-1B workers averaged $12K below the median wage for American workers in the same occupation and location.   The same report showed that 84% of H-1B workers fall below the median U.S. wage.   In addition, the H-1B program is not adequately policed.   It was created specifically to bring in foreign workers where no qualified American workers could be found.   But today many of the applications for H-1B visas are laughable...   America can't afford a brain drain.   Not in the 21st century.   Our world grows more technologically advanced by the day.   We will rely on our future generations to keep America's security and economy balanced on the cutting edge of technology.   Endless employment opportunities in the IT industry await America's tech savvy work force.   The U.S. government must make sure Americans have fair access to them.   That is why I introduced the bipartisan Defend the American Dream of 2007 in the House of Representatives.   Primarily, my legislation would take steps to ensure that employers pay the local prevailing wage to every worker.   This would remove any undue incentive an employer may have to hire an H-1B visa holder.   Second, it would force employers to actively recruit Americans before applying to sponsor an H-1B worker.   Third, it would strengthen the Department of Labor's ability to enforce H-1B visa abuse by granting the department greater investigatory responsibility.   Fourth, it would end the practice that certain employers have adopted of hoarding H-1B visas and farming them out to third party employers.   Finally, my legislation would create whistle-blower protections for employees who disclose information about potential violations of the H-1B requirements.   There is no doubt that America has the homegrown talent and educational resources to cultivate a world class high-tech work force.   I question whether we have the will to let them succeed.   Corporate executives cannot continue to claim the need to import foreign workers, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the need to educate and promote our American work force."

2007-06-17
Steve Sailer _V Dare_
The Axis of Amnesty Is Back, But So Is David Frum
 

  "A line producer is the person hired by the creative team & the studio to be fiscally in charge of the movie.   He approves the crew deals, over-sees the production manager, & is responsible to the studio for the physical production of the show." --- Lynda Obst 1996 _Hello, He Lied_ pg 203  

 

2007-06-18

2007-06-18
Burt Hubbard _Rocky Mountain News_
Feds fail to act on suspected illegal aliens reported by police
"Law-enforcement officials harbor doubts that their enhanced reporting of suspected illegal immigrants in criminal cases has led to any increase in deportations by the federal government.   Police agencies in Colorado turned over the names of at least 15K suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities during the second half of last year.   Their offenses ranged from minor infractions to first-degree felonies but each referral was in compliance with a new state law designed to get tough on illegal immigration...   'I still sense that there is simply no infrastructure in the federal system in place to actually do anything with these undocumented aliens beyond the occasional, token deportations.', said Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates.   The law, enacted by the legislature in 2006 as part of a statewide crackdown on illegal immigration, required all cities and counties to report any suspected illegal immigrants arrested or cited for crimes to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.   The only exceptions are citations for minor traffic tickets and for domestic violence defendants until their cases are prosecuted.   The law also required law enforcement agencies to report by March each year how many people they referred to ICE the previous year.   Reports on file with state agencies and a Rocky Mountain News survey of police agencies show more than 15K people arrested or cited in Colorado between 2006 June and December were referred to ICE for investigation.   The federal agency is responsible for determining the legal status of those arrested and whether to try to remove or deport them from the United States."

2007-06-18
Doug Powers _World Net Daily_
Free Elaine and Ed Brown
web log

2007-06-18
April M. Washington _Rocky Mountain News_
State law-makers denounce ICE's abject failure

2007-06-18
Alice LaPlante _Information Week_/_CMP_
Beneath the H-1B policies are the personal
"Although admittedly anecdotal, I keep hearing two things: first, that older IT workers, even those who have kept their skills up to date, or are clearly competent to acquire new ones, are getting the shaft in favor of younger workers.   And when employers run out of young U.S. citizens to hire, they turn to the (on average) very young H-1B visa holders before they'll look at the seasoned 45-year-old Americans.   Secondly, many foreign H-1B holders are feeling a vicious back-lash...   Actually, H-1B holders -- the majority of whom are Indian -- get hit with a double whammy: not only do they, on average, get paid less than their American citizen counterparts, they are often very personally blamed for keeping IT salaries artificially depressed due to what many claim is an over-saturated IT labor market."

2007-06-18
Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_/_UBM_
YouTube video of sheisters' seminar on avoiding US job applicants angers programmers
IT News
"In the original video, posted by the firm Cohen & Grigsby from a May 15 conference, an attorney is shown advising attendees on how to meet the minimum requirements of advertising a job to U.S. candidates so that a foreign worker can more easily be hired...   The PERM process requires that an employer post a job in at least 3 places and allow 30 days for job candidates to respond for the employer to review resume.   If no interested and qualified U.S. workers respond, an employer can instantly and electronically apply for a foreign worker's labor certification.   In the video, a Cohen & Grigsby attorney advises attendees that posting the job at an employer's web site and with a local newspaper is usually enough to fill the minimum requirement, if the newspaper also posts the job on-line.   Another attorney, Lawrence Lebowitz, adds, 'We're going to try to find a place [to advertise] where we are complying with the law and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.'   A different firm attorney mentions less desirable methods that are more likely to pull in qualified and interested workers, including job fairs, online job sites like Monster.com, campus recruitments, and job placement firms."

2007-06-18
Heide B. Malhotra _Epoch Times_
leveling the playing field
"It is a dream come true for American workers.   No longer can companies operating in the United States bring in cheaper foreign labor.   The U.S. senate approved a new immigration law called the Y-1 visa guest workers program and nicknamed 'Recruit Americans First'.   The law passed on June 5 with 71 senators for and 22 senator against.   Among those who voted against the Y-1 program were senators John W. Warner (R-VA), Wayne A. Allard (R-CO), and John Cornyn (R-TX).   This guest-workers program allows a total of 400K temporary workers into the country.   The fathers of this new law are U.S. senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).   This law [partially] closed a loop-hole that was extensively used to bring cheap, foreign labor into the United States.   Most importantly, the foreign worker may not be paid less than a U.S. worker would earn and must leave the U.S. after exactly 2 years, or may not be able to return to the United States under any other foreign workers programs in the future.   This new law also ties the hands of the U.S. secretary of labor, who can no longer waive the requirement to recruit an American worker first with the declaration that there is a labor shortage within a particular industry.   In the past, the secretary of labor could declare a 'labor shortage' in any kind of U.S. industry at will because this phrase was not clearly defined...   Senator Durbin found many loop-holes in U.S. immigration laws that favor hiring foreign nationals.   'Throughout this entire immigration bill, there are waivers, exceptions, and ways of ducking out of such requirements [of hiring Americans first].', testified senator Durbin during the Senate hearing, available on the senate web site.   'The authors of this [immigration] bill make it seem as though Americans will be recruited first.'   Senators Durbin and Grassley were also appalled by the abuses of two other immigration programs, the H-1B and L-1 Visa.   They introduced another bill onto the Senate floor, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007, which is currently being debated on the Senate floor...   Senator Durbin testified during recent Senate hearings that Indian companies use the H-1B visa to train Indian engineers in the United States for 3 to 6 years [with annual extensions possible after that].   These engineers then return to India and work for competitors of U.S. companies after having learned American know-how.   [These are] called 'out-sourcing visas', said senator Durbin during the Senate hearings published on the senate [commerce committee] web site [and by India's minister of commerce, Kamal Nath, in a candid moment]."

2007-06-18
Steve Sailer _American Conservative_
La Raza's lap-dogs: Why the elite press won't report seriously on immigration

2007-06-18
Michael Kraft _Charlotte Conservative_
White-collar jobs threatened: HR pro
"a recent comment posted by a reader [who] is also a professional in the human resources industry...   'In addition to legalizing the status of those who entered this country illegally, this bill also threatens the careers of American white collar workers because it would greatly increase the number of H-1B visas issued to foreign professional workers.   As a Human Resources professional, I see first hand how the H-1B visa and employment based green card programs actually work together to drive U.S. white collar workers from their jobs and even from their careers.   To begin with, there is virtually nothing in the law that prevents employers from hiring H-1Bers for open positions even if qualified Americans are available and willing to do the work.   Americans are routinely laid off and replaced with lower paid H-1Bers also.   In these cases, Americans have practically no legal recourse available under current law.   H-1B is also a dual intent visa, so an employer may sponsor an H-1Ber for an EB green card for legal permanent resident status.   When a company seeks to sponsor a foreign worker for an EB green card, they are required by law to demonstrate a good faith effort to recruit Americans first.   This process is called labor certification.   But employers routinely game the labor certification process for green card sponsorship to defraud even well qualified citizen job applicants in favor of low wage foreigners.   They use fake job ads and/or bad faith interviews of American citizens to convince the federal government that they tried to find American workers first.   These practices are common in high tech and even in some non-tech industries, but HR people are told to keep quiet about it or lose their jobs.   I would be in favor of a program that issues a small number of self-sponsoring green cards for truly innovative foreign nationals on a competitive basis.   But very few of the H-1Bers or green card applicants that I have seen in 10+ years even come close to being truly innovative.   Most are just practitioners with skills that are actually quite common among the domestic work-force.   The only thing special about these foreigners is that they will work for substantially less than Americans in order to have a chance to become legal permanent residents.   Thus they are used by management to sweeten corporate balance sheets...   Since my work allows me to have access to salary records, I can tell you that the labor cost savings for H-1Bers and green card applicants is substantially greater than the costs of filing the applications with the government.'"

2007-06-18
"Weaver"
Preferences in hiring
Lawrence M. Lebowitz: "Alright, prevailing wage, that was mentioned in Matt's presentation about H-1B visas, the same requirement applies in labor certification context, we need to make sure, that the person is being paid at or above, Uh-Hem, excuse me, the prevailing wage rate...   So Jen, what, how do we deal with that issue and where does it appear on the application form?"
Jen Pack (AKA Jennifer R. Pack?) responds: "Um, we submit a prevailing wage request to the State Department of Labor office, they will evaluate the job title, work location, job requirements and even supervisory duties and come back to us with a prevailing wage rate.   We will then compare that wage rate to the employee's salary, if the actual salary is higher that the prevailing wage, then we have no issues at all and we continue with the PERM process.   What do we do if the prevailing wage comes back and it is higher than the employees actual salary?   Well, there are several things we can do.   First, we have to remember that the wage offered to the employee is the wage that the employee will be earning when he gets, he or her gets his, he she get his green card.   Not the salary that they are making now.   So if the prevailing wage comes back three, or four thousand dollars higher than the employee's actual salary, and we can estimate that it will probably be 3, or 4 years, until he get his green card, then if it's reasonable for that employee's salary to be increased by that amount at the time he gets his green card, then we have no issues, we can proceed with the PERM application.   Um, Another, another option here is we can consider trying to locate an alternate wage survey, that meets the Department of Labor specific criteria, we can submit that to the Department of Labor and ask that they use that to interpret prevailing wage in place of their own prevailing wage survey.   If we still have not been able to meet the prevailing wage, um, let's say it is ten, fifteen thousand dollars higher than what the employee is going to be making, what can we do then?   Well we may want to consider reworking our minimum requirements, maybe scaling them back our requirements from master's degree to bachelor's degree, or going from 5 years experience to 2, and then asking the Department of Labor to evaluate that and they should come back with a lower prevailing wage.   This is one of the reasons why we normally like to get the prevailing wage survey before we even start any of the recruitment, in the event that we have to make these changes to the job PERM recruiting text, the job requirements, then we can do the recruitment afterwards."
 

  "You don't need to run away from here.   When you're smart, people need you.   You can use your mind creatively...   The 1st thing you should do is get even...   It's a moral imperative." --- Chris Knight (Val Kilmer) 1985 "Real Genius" screen-play by Neal Israel, Pat Proft & Peter Torokvei  

 

2007-06-19

2007-06-19
Damian Reece _Telegraph_
Terry Semel resignes as CEO of Yahoo!: Replaced by co-founder Jerry Yang

2007-06-19
James P. Pinkerton _NY NewsDay_
Clintons' ties to India have imperiled your job

2007-06-19
Eric Zorn _Chicago Tribune_
Obama was too fast to retreat from "Punjab" jab at Clintons
"I, too, am disappointed in Barack Obama over his handling of the 'Punjab' memo.   Obama, our junior U.S. senator and a strong candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has drawn fire from the political right and left for a sharp-elbowed piece of opposition research released by his campaign last week.   Under the provocative head-line, 'Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)'s personal financial and political ties to India', the 3-page document attacks his leading opponent point-by-point for her allegedly too-cozy ties with businesses and business leaders who are profiting from the [off-shore] out-sourcing of U.S. jobs to the Asian nation."

2007-06-19
Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Illegal aliens light fires near border to side-track US agents

2007-06-19
Peter Grant _Burlington Free Press_
H-1B visas under-bid US workers
"Wait till corporations discover that they can out-source corporate executive work.   Imagine saving a million dollars on just one position.   Who will scream then?   As more and more U.S. jobs go over-seas, young Americans see a bleaker future.   What job is safe?   And now we have companies importing workers to underbid Americans at home.   Imagine importing a worker for a CEO position.   That will save share-holders.   It is about time to recognize that H-1B visas are not what they seem.   They are ways to save companies more money by paying workers less and less...   Thanks to senator Bernie Sanders, someone is fighting for us.   He tried to get a resolution that companies that are laying U.S. workers off can't get foreign workers to replace them..."

2007-06-19
Paul McNamara _Network World_
Sheisters teach how to avoid hiring an American

2007-06-19
Dennis Behreandt _John Birch Society_
The Worker Shortage Fraud

2007-06-19
Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_
The power of web videos

2007-06-19
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
H-1B video shocker: "Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified... U.S. worker"
"But John Miano, the group's founder and treasurer, said via e-mail that he wasn't surprised by what he saw.   'There is nothing new here.', he wrote.   'We've known this has been going on for years.   There have been printed accounts in the past, but the video makes the point much better.'   Miano added that he hopes people take away the message that 'worker protections in the [H-1B] law are a joke.   Here we see how blatant people are about getting around them.'"

2007-06-19 12:06PDT (15:06EDT) (19:06GMT)
Nicole Gaouette _Los Angeles CA Times_
House Republicans introduce immigration bill that would bar amnesty for illegal aliens and require employers to check before hiring
"In a sharp rebuke to President Bush, House Republicans today introduced their own immigration reform and border security bill, a tough measure that would bar illegal immigrants from gaining legal status, require employers to check the legal status of all workers and make English the nation's official language.   The Secure Borders First Act stresses operational control over the border as one of its core principles.   The bill would reject amnesty and insist that the administration do more to enforce existing laws.   The law-makers behind the bill also introduced a 7-page resolution detailing the myriad ways in which they believe the Bush administration and its predecessors have not only failed to implement immigration laws, but made it easier for illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S.A...   House Republicans passed an immigration bill [in 2006 December] that focused solely on enforcement and included a controversial measure that would have made felons of all illegal immigrants and those who helped them...   The new bill addresses major issues in immigration but it also turns a microscope on smaller issues that particularly frustrate conservatives.   It would ban the use of matricula consular cards, identification cards issued by Mexican consulates and used by immigrants to open bank accounts or buy homes.   It would make 3 convictions for drunk driving grounds for deportation.   The bill would require the deployment of at least 18K more border patrol agents by 2008 Dec. 31.   It would also require the full implementation of US-VISIT, a long-troubled program that is meant to track entries and exits by land, sea and air...   [On the down side] Smith said the bill would also allow for greater information sharing among the Homeland Security Department, the Social Security Administration and the Treasury Department to identify illegal immigrants.   'One of the problems we have is that data-bases don't mix.', Smith said.   'We have to correct that... if you're going to have any kind of worker verification program.'   Another section would modify an existing guest worker program for agriculture alone, lowering current pay requirements and no longer obligating farmers to provide housing for foreign workers."

2007-06-19 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Christine Romans _CNN_
Big U.S. Offensive in Iraq; Baghdad Bomb Kills 78 People; Mideast Chaos: Bush-Olmert Summit Meeting; Guest-Worker Programs
video
Lou Dobbs: Tonight, rising anger among Hispanic and black Americans over efforts by the Bush White House and the Democratic leadership to impose amnesty on the U.S. Senate and American citizens...   Also tonight, new fears that unscrupulous employers could exploit gaping holes in the amnesty legislation to import even more cheap foreign labor to drive down wages and force more Americans out of work...
Lou Dobbs: The government has a guest-worker program.   In fact, several of them.   But you wouldn't know that listening to either President Bush or the Democratic leadership of the Senate.   In fact, the United States government issues some 80 different types of visas and administers a half-dozen guest worker programs right now.   As the Senate considers expanding the guest worker program, critics fear it will only offer employers even greater incentive to bypass American workers in favor of cheap, foreign labor.   Further driving down wages and working conditions for Americans...
Christine Romans: There are a half-dozen guest worker programs meant to fill U.S. labor shortages with foreign labor.   In this grainy seminar video posted on the file- sharing site YouTube, a Pittsburgh law firm on how to use loop-holes to ensure foreign workers can get the jobs instead of Americans.
Lawrence Lebowitz, VP of Marketing for Cohen & Grigsby: And our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.
Christine Romans: The Programmer's Guild, a high-tech worker advocacy group, spliced together several minutes of footage, including an apparent how-to for meeting minimum requirements for advertising a job.
Lawrence Lebowitz: So, certainly, we are not going to try to find a place where the applicants are going to be the most numerous.   We're going to try to find a place again where we're complying with the law and hoping -- and likely not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.
Christine Romans: The seminar has since been removed.   After repeated calls and e-mails, a spokes-woman for the law firm would only say the event was to educate their clients and would not confirm the substance of the seminar.   It all comes as the debate over guest-worker programs intensifies.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Quite frankly, we have evidence that a lot of companies are using H-1B skilled worker program for legal immigrants at the very same time that they could be hiring Americans.
Christine Romans: Senator Grassley has long been concerned about H-1B visa abuse, and recent congressional testimony highlighted humanitarian concerns in the H-2A and H-2B programs.
Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology: You try to control one set of misuse in one category, and employers will just adapt and go to another visa category and start to misuse those.
Christine Romans: He says employers are gaming the system.   But advocates of guest worker programs say they're essential for the economy, especially in agriculture, where more legal slots are needed.
James Holt, agriculture economist: We're talking about bringing the workers that are coming in now illegally into the United States in a legal, controlled program.   And I'm -- I think anybody and everybody would be in favor of that.
Christine Romans: Fraud and abuse can be stopped, he says, if Congress allocates more resources and personnel.   And now the Senate is considering revamping the entire system, giving Z visas for workers already in the country illegally and Y visas for those who want to come.   But worker advocates fear a new system will only mean a new generation of loop-holes...
Lou Dobbs: I don't even know if we can call them "loop-holes".   I mean that's a pretty startling, straightforward statement that business and those that support business, the law firms and everyone else, they're just basically trying to screw the American worker.   And to hear the Senate talking about its nonsense associated with this amnesty legislation.
Lou Dobbs: Couple of little facts that Bill Gates, wanting unlimited H-1B visas, the president saying you got to have a guest-worker -- the most tortured logic to come from the president's mouth, I think, is we can't secure our border without a guest-worker program.   No one can construct any kind of reason from that statement.
Lou Dobbs: There are two facts that people keep forgetting -- 7 out of 10 visa requests under the H-1B program come from Indian companies in the United States to provide employees to out-source to American companies and reduce wages.   And the other little minor item which is supposed to be high-skill jobs, 4 out of 5 jobs under the H-1B program are level-1 jobs, not level-4, i.e., low-skilled jobs, not high-skilled jobs.   These are Americans trying to screw American workers.   And it just is as plain, straightforward and can anyone convince any of us that the president of the United States and this Senate with this sham amnesty program isn't aware of these facts?
Christine Romans: Senators Grassley and Dick Durbin have actually sent a letter to the government.   They've been asking some hard questions about the H-1B program and fraud and trying to make sure that any kind of loop-holes are closed so we'll see how far they can get.
Lou Dobbs: Well, Durbin is supporting amnesty, Grassley is opposed to it.   So [there's a] 50% shot of some reason prevailing.   At least in that instance.   Perhaps higher if we see any kind of semblance of character and honesty in the days and weeks ahead.   Christine, thanks for the illuminating report.
 

2007-06-19
_Legal Blog Watch_
Watch What You Say at a Conference -- It Might Wind Up on YouTube

2007-06-19
_Science Blog_
American Employers Intentionally Cheating American Workers

2007-06-19 (5767 Tamuz 03)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
The irresponsible genie-stuffers
 

  "All that is left after an effective outline has been created is writing the scenes -- fleshing out the characters, determining their specific actions & short-term motivations, creating atmosphere & specific circumstances, &, of course, writing the dialogue...   [The writer] is able to focus all energy & creativity on the microcosm, 1 scene at a time." --- Edward Mabley & David Howard 1993 _The Tools of ScreenWriting_ pg 77  

 

2007-06-20

2007-06-20
Norm Matloff, PhD _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"gotcha": immigration law firm videos make a big splash
Recall that a set of videos was placed onto YouTube by a law firm that handles business immigration (and other) cases.   They also placed a link to the videos on their own web page.   Conference description.   Apparently they thought this would be good advertising, but it is turning out to be a major embarrassment to them, as they unintentionally showed the world just how dirty the system is.   It is also, as such, a major embarrassment to those who are pushing Congress for expanded H-1B and green card programs.
As most of you know, my constant message over the years has been that abuse of the H-1B work visa and employer-sponsored green cards stems NOT from lack of enforcement of the law, but rather from LOOP-HOLES in the law.   Some fraud exists, yes, but the vast majority of abuse comes in full compliance with the law, due to the gaping loop-holes.
This set of videos gave a dramatic inside look at some of the loop-holes, especially in the case of the employer-sponsored green cards.   Here you have lawyers openly stating that their goals are to (a) help employers avoid hiring Americans, and (b) help employers hire immigrants on the cheap -- and to do all this FULLY LEGALLY.

    In this posting:
  1. I'll report on the news that the videos have now been removed from YouTube.
  2. I'll give some more excerpts from the videos, so that you can get a close-up look at some of the loop-holes.
  3. I'll cite a quote from one of the firm's lawyers made to the press in one of the industry's many planted articles.   You'll find that the contrast between his public claims and what he and others from the firm said in the conference is striking, and shows rank hypocrisy.
  4. I will also [link] reports on the videos from InformationWeek, Computerworld (titled "H-1B Shocker") and Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Before I get to that material, let me reiterate the importance of loop-holes, which I regard as the central issue in H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.   Reform legislation currently being considered in Congress is missing the boat, as it deals mainly with anti-fraud measures, and addresses the loop-holes only to a limited degree.
OK, now to the videos.   The conference was held by the firm of Cohen and Grigsby.   One of the partners, Larry Lebowitz, is the moderator.   Other lawyers from the firm who speak include Jennifer Pack [Jen Peck?], Matthew Phillips, Jennifer Barton [Jan Barton?], and Alex Castrodale [Alex Casterdale?].
Let's start with some material near the end of video 9 of the set.   To explain what is involved there, note first that although the law requires that American workers must be sought before the employer resorts to hiring a foreign worker for a job (a requirement NOT in H-1B), this requirement is routinely circumvented.   Though Computerworld called the video set described below as a "shocker", readers of this e-news-letter know, for instance, the outrageous comments by a well-known immigration attorney: "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply" (Joel Stewart, "Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers" Immigration Daily 2000 April 24).   See also Stewart's "Dear Abby"-style help column for employers, in which he advises an employer how to hire a foreign worker instead of an American applicant, even though the American "appears qualified and has good references".
So when you read the material below, keep in mind that this is NOT a rogue law firm.   Indeed, one of the firm's lawyers, John Brendel (who also speaks in the videos), was formerly Chair of the Immigration Policy Committee of the ITAA, the prominent industry lobbying group.   What this firm is doing is LEGAL and STANDARD.
Now, here is the theme of video 9.   Lebowitz asks Pack to speak about the Dept. of Labor's PERM requirements for recruiting Americans for the job in question.   Again, remember that the law on employer-sponsored green cards requires that an employer who wants to sponsor a foreign national for a green card must first try to recruit qualified Americans for the job.   Lebowitz and Pack show how an employer can comply with the law while at the same time doing his best to NOT find a qualified American.   One way to do that is to advertise in obscure places.   Here's what Lebowitz says:
And our goal is clearly, not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.   And you know in a sense that sounds funny, but it's what we're trying to do here.   We are complying with the law fully, but ah, our objective is to get this person a green card, and get through the labor certification process.   So certainly we are not going to try to find a place [at which to advertise the job] where the applicants are the most numerous.   We're going to try to find a place where we can comply with the law, and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.
Those remarks immediately followed Pack's presentation on advertising venues, in which she said:
Fortunately, DoL gives 10 options, from which you can select 3.
As can be seen from Lebowitz's follow-up, Pack's meaning is that you select the 3 most obscure places you can find.   Pack also recommends,
You can also advertise in local and ethnic newspapers, such as the Pittsburgh Courier.
The Courier is a black newspaper.   While ordinarily placing ads there would be commendable minority outreach, here Pack obviously means that one should choose that venue because of the anticipated small number of American applications it will generate.
Yet they will receive some American applications, and in video 10, the firm then explains what to do with them -- i.e. how to reject them.   First, the employer can describe the applicant as not interested in the position!   Barton says:
If they [the American applicant] don't like the salary, don't like the work location, [we deem them to be] not interested...   Those are ways we can disqualify them, get them out of the market...
Note the "don't like the salary" part.   In the free market, employers would have to negotiate with applicants.   But having access to foreign workers changes that.   So here is one of many, many ways in which employers can hire foreign workers more cheaply than Americans -- and remember, it's all FULLY LEGAL.
Barton continues:
If it gets to the point where somebody's looking like they're very qualified, we ask [the employer] to have the manager of that specific position step in and go over the qualifications with them -- if necessary schedule an interview, go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position -- in most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem.
IOW, there is always a way to reject any American applicant, just as Stewart said.
In video 12, the key issue of prevailing wage is discussed in detail.   Remember, this applies to both employer-sponsored green cards and H-1B.   Since the hiring of foreign nationals in either case is fundamentally about acquiring cheap labor, the loop-holes here are especially important.
The law states that the employer must pay the foreign worker at least the prevailing wage.   This is defined in the law and regulations, and it is here where so many loop-holes reside.
Pack tells employers what to do if the prevailing wage they claim is deemed too low by the Dept. of Labor:
First, we have to remember that the wage offered to the [foreign] employee is the wage the the employee will be earning when he or she gets his or her green card, not the salary he'll be making now.   So if the prevailing wage comes back $3K or $4K higher than the employee's actual salary, then we can estimate that it will probably be 3 or 4 years until he gets his green card, then it is reasonable for that employee's salary to be increased by that amount at the time he gets his green card.   Then we have no issues...
This loop-hole is a new one to me, very interesting.   Workers normally get raises each year, but the prevailing wage law/regs allow the employer to UNDERPAY the person for a few years!
And there is an even more important subtlety here.   Did you notice that she is projecting only a $3K or $4K raise over the course of 3 to 4 years?   An American would get much higher raises than that.   But the foreign worker is captive, a de facto indentured servant, so the employer can get away with giving him smaller raises than Americans.
Pack then notes that the employer can try to find an alternate wage survey.   Many critics of H-1B mistakenly cite this as the major reason why the legally required "prevailing wage" is typically well under the market wage.   But actually, the next one cited by Pack can reap much larger savings for the employer.   (That "projected future wage" looks like it could be worked into a much larger bounty than $3K or $4K too.)
...let's say [the government prevailing wage] is $10K or $15K higher than the employee is going to be making, then we may want to consider reworking our requirements, maybe scaling back from a master's degree to a Bachelor's, or going from 5 years of prior experience to 2...
This is a loop-hole I've mentioned many times.   The key point is that the legal definition of prevailing wage is tied to the JOB, not to the WORKER.   So if the job requires only a Bachelor's degree and a master's would be just considered a plus, then prevailing wage is legally defined as the Bachelor's-level salary.   In other words, the employer gets to hire a foreign worker with a Master's degree but pay him only a Bachelor's-level salary, again FULLY LEGALLY.
As Pack mentions, the employer can then also hire a more-experienced foreign worker for the salary of a less-experienced American, again FULLY LEGALLY.
This is also related to the age issue, which central to H-1B.   Employers hire young H-1Bs (median age 27.4) instead of 40-year-old (i.e. more experienced) Americans.
Castrodale notes that you should put in all the technical skills ("UNIX, SQL, SAP") that the job requires, in order to disqualify many of the American applicants.   Now, he does not actually say that the employer should load up the job description with so many skills that the foreign national being sponsored is the only person in the world to qualify, but in practice this is often what is done.
Even more importantly, this goes to the prevailing wage issue.   Prevailing wage determination, either by government agency or by private wage survey, generally does NOT take into account "hot" technical skills.   So, the employer can hire a foreign worker with hot skills but not have to pay him the hefty premium that those skills would command on the open market.   Meanwhile, the employer can use that skill set to disqualify most or all of the American applicants.   A double win for the employer, and a double whammy for the U.S. worker.
And remember, the above examples are only a few of the many giant loop-holes in the law.
For those of you readers who are journalists, Hill staffers, academics and so on, I hope you keep these videos in mind every time you see an immigration lawyer quoted in the press, saying that employers hire foreign workers only as a last resort when no Americans are available.   Always keep in mind that, as you can see above, what they are really doing is helping employers AVOID finding American workers.
There is a perfect example of this gross duplicity with that same law firm, in a quote of attorney Phillips of that firm.   Here is an excerpt from "Crush of Applicants for Visas Has Firms Fearing Staff Losses", Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2007 April 5:
The visas are so essential, they say, because there just aren't qualified Americans to fill the jobs.   "If the numbers [of U.S. workers] were available in the economy, no one would pay us to do this [visa application process].", said Phillips, noting that in addition to legal costs, companies pay thousands of dollars to the government for each visa application.
I hate to use such a strong word as "lying", but what other conclusion can one come to?   Phillips and the others are claiming to the press and to Congress that employers really try hard to find Americans before hiring foreign workers, while the videos from Phillips' firm show exactly the opposite.
Concerning Phillips' citing of the legal costs, remember that employers are often saving $100K or more over the 6-year span of an H-1B.   (Green cards are often taking that long now too, an issue also discussed in the videos.)   So the legal costs are minor in comparison to the amount saved.
Unfortunately, the videos are no longer on YouTube.   I wrote last Friday that as soon as the law firm got wind of the fact that their videos were being viewed and used by critics of the H-1B program, they would remove the videos from YouTube.   As the enclosed article reports, that indeed happened yesterday afternoon.
However, as of the moment, the Programmers Guild has an annotated excerpt of Part 9 of the video.
This is well worth watching, to get a feel as to how slimy (sorry to put it that way) these immigration lawyers actually are.   You've got to hear these people's tones of voice, see their body language, etc., and above all see their complete lack of scruples, all in front of a crowd of people.
Note that [the articles] do not always distinguish between H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards, so you have to be a bit careful, but since almost all of the green card sponsorees are H-1Bs, it doesn't really matter that much.
Norm

2007-06-19 21:58PDT (2007-06-20 00:58EDT) (2007-06-20 04:58GMT)
Edward Sifuentes _North San Diego County CA Times_
Brian Bilbray offers alternative immigration bill
"The new House proposal would focus instead on enforcement measures, such as increasing the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents and immigration inspectors, Bilbray said. He is chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, a group of 105 members, that oppose the more wide-ranging Senate immigration bill, which includes a provision to legalize millions of illegal immigrants. 'There is no reason why Congress shouldn't take immediate action to secure our borders, strengthen our immigration laws, implement true interior enforcement and establish a working employer verification system.', Bilbray said... require hiring at least 18K Border Patrol agents by 2008 December; increase customs and border protection officers at ports of entry by 1K to 19K; implement an identification system for visitors that includes finger-printing, retinal scans or other bodily identification; create a grant program for state and local law enforcement agencies that assist arresting and detaining those who violate immigration laws. The bill would also would make changes to the agricultural worker visa program to allow for a "market-based number of temporary agricultural workers each year." It would also make mandatory within two years the use of the Basic Pilot Program, a voluntary system allowing employers to verify applicants' [Socialist Inecurity] number... He said if lawmakers pass a bill that legalizes millions of illegal immigrants, voters would show their disapproval in next year's elections."

2007-06-19 22:58PDT (2007-06-20 01:58EDT) (2007-06-20 95:58GMT)
Juliana Barbassa _North San Diego County Times_
Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association turns farm-workers into farm owners and fosters small businesses

2007-06-20
Rick Oltman _Californians for Population Stabilization_/_Yahoo!_/_US News Wire_/_PR News Wire_
Busted! A Video Captures What Working Americans Have Known All Along: Firms striving to avoid hiring Americans
Earth Times
As the Senate prepares to renew its push for the most sweeping mass amnesty in the history of nations, a group of lawyers from the Pennsylvanian law firm of Cohen & Grigsby committed a rather nasty faux pas in this Age of YouTube: it let the cat out of the immigration bag.   Caught on camera addressing a conference on immigration law last month, a lawyer blithely offered detailed descriptions of how the firm helps their business clients make sure that Americans are not hired for job openings -- all the while complying with the letter of the law that states such positions must first be offered to citizens...   The video shows Lawrence M. Lebowitz, vice president of marketing for the firm, repeatedly stressing that the goal of helping businesses comply with the Department of Labor's PERM process was to make sure Americans were disqualified for the particular job opening, thus allowing a foreign worker to qualify for an H-1b visa and be brought in to fill the position.   'Yeah, because our goal here of course is to meet the requirements, number one; but also do so as inexpensively as possible, keeping in mind our goal.', Lebowitz said.   'And our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.'...   Lebowitz's matter-of-fact description of how the American worker is targeted for elimination from the job market is stunning for its candor, but equally chilling (or enraging) is the blase reaction his words inspired among his colleagues assembled on stage with him.   Two of his female cohorts are emotionless as they describe the best tactics to employ when attempting to make sure that the fewest number of citizens possible will even see the job opening, and those that do apply will be disqualified for the job by virtually any means necessary.   One woman describes interviewing candidates for jobs not as a vetting process to find the right qualified worker, but as a necessary inconvenience employers sometimes face while finding 'a legal basis to disqualify' Americans seeking the job.   She adds reassuringly, 'In most cases that doesn't seem to be a problem.'   The footage delivers hard proof of what working Americans have known all along: businesses -- and not just big corporations -- are gaming immigration and employment laws in order to hire foreign workers that drive wages down and boost profits up.   But it also reveals something far darker, far more insidious that has been eating away at the American people like a cancer that slowly spreads.   Lebowitz and his colleagues discussed banishing the American worker in such casually arrogant tones that it's clear they didn't feel they were at any risk whatsoever.   There's certainly no risk of the government taking action, since the government has played along with this 'compliance' game with a wink and a grin for decades; and now seeks to actually expand the program.   Apparently they see no real threat of the villagers marching by torch-light onto the commons for a tar and feathering party either...   If the fall-out isn't grim for the businesses that use such tactics to deny Americans a chance to work and for the elected officials who continue to pander to them, then no one should be surprised if the next video we see on YouTube goes even further.   Perhaps then we'll see a clip featuring lawyers polishing their stand-up routine by riffing on the 'stupid Americans' standing in the unemployment line, or moving out of their foreclosed home."

2007-06-20 09:36PDT (12:36EDT) (16:36GMT)
Frank Newport _USA Today_
New Gallup data show confidence in congress is at an all-time low
"This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973.   The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994...   It's worth remembering that Congress is basically nothing more than a mechanism for the representation of the people's wishes.   We all can't go to Washington.   So we elect men and women and send them off in our stead.   It's not an optimal situation, it seems to me, when such a low percentage of average Americans have confidence in this system.   Generally speaking, Americans have been skeptical about Congress for decades now.   But the current 14% confidence rating for Congress is down from 19% last year and is the lowest in Gallup's history, surpassing the 18% confidence in Congress measured in 1991, 1993 and 1994."

2007-06-20
Steve Camarota _Center for Immigration Studies_
As Immigrant Workers Increased, Native Employment Declined in Georgia
"Between 2000 and 2006 the share of less-educated native-born adults (ages 18 to 64) in Georgia holding a job declined from 71% to 66%.   (Less-educated is defined as having no education beyond high school.)...   Less-educated blacks in Georgia have seen a somewhat larger decline in employment, from 66% holding a job in 2000 to just 60% in 2006...   Immigrants (legal and illegal) increased their share of all less-educated workers in Georgia, from 7% in 2000 to 19% by 2006.   Other research indicates that at least half of this growth was from illegal immigrants."

2007-06-20
Naomi Smoot _Martinsburg WV Journal_
Unemployment numbers take dip
"WorkForce West Virginia reported this week that the statewide unemployment rate stood at 4.4% in the month of May, down 0.2% from April, when the agency reported an unemployment rate of 4.6%...   Berkeley County's unemployment rate slid from 4.2% to 4.1%, while Jefferson County's unemployment numbers dipped from 3.4% to 3.3%.   Unemployment figures in Morgan County increased slightly from 4.3% to 4.6%."

2007-06-20
_Power Line_
Public's approval of government is sinking like a stone
"This is not what the Democrats had in mind: after 5 months in control of Congress, they have driven the institution's approval rating down to the lowest point ever measured by Gallup: only 14% of respondents expressed 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' of confidence in Congress.   In the current survey, Congress ranks last among the institutions measured, just below HMOs.   At the top, as usual, is the military, at 69%.   Harry Reid might want to be careful about whom he's calling incompetent."

2007-06-20
_Zogby_
UPI/Zogby Poll: Almost all Americans take dim view of Bush and Congressional actions on immigration reform
"The Zogby Interactive poll of 8,300 adults nationwide finds just 3% of Americans viewing Congress's handling of the immigration issue in favorable terms, while 9% say the same of the President -- even as respondents in the survey rated it the second most important issue facing the country, after the war in Iraq...   Nearly two in three Americans (64%) would prefer their Congressional representative worked to pass immigration reforms that were more restrictive, while just one in four (26%) would back making the U.S.'s borders more open.   Despite this, increasing border security ranks a distant second for Americans as a top immigration-related issue, with enforcing existing immigration laws among those already living in the U.S. the top issue for a 42% plurality."

2007-06-20 (5767 Tamuz 04)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Monopoly and government
"Monopoly is bad news, whether in the private marketplace or in government.   But it is easier for government bureaucrats to deal with a monopoly than with an ever-changing array of competing enterprises, such as are common in the private economy.   Yet the competition and turnover among businesses vying for the consumers' favor are what produce both greater efficiency at a given time and more progress over time...   Some may like that but others have no choice.   That is what monopoly means."

2007-06-20 (5767 Tamuz 04)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Law vs. Orders
"The fact that Americans have become ruled by orders and special privileges helps explain all the money and graft that we see in Washington.   We've moved away from a government with limited powers, as our Founders envisioned, to one with awesome powers.   Therefore, it pays people to spend huge amounts of money to influence Congress in their favor, that is, get Congress to grant them privileges denied to other Americans.   25 years ago, during a dinner conversation with Nobel Laureate economist/ philosopher Friedrich A. Hayek, I asked him if he could propose one law that would restore, promote and preserve liberty in our country, what would that law be?   Hayek answered that the law he'd propose would read: Congress shall enact no law that does not apply equally to all Americans."

2007-06-20
"Weaver"
Pattern of lay-off surges matches flows of guest-workers
 

  "[W]hen dialogue (or any other aspect of your writing) starts to flow, you are tapping directly into your creative source.   You want to facilitate that process as much as possible, so don't stop to decide whether the dialogue is good or not." --- Michael Hauge 1991 _Writing ScreenPlays that Sell_ pg 138  

 

2007-06-21

2007-06-20 19:08PDT (2007-06-20 22:08EDT) (2007-06-21 02:08GMT)
Michael Rubinkam _North San Diego County Times_
Federal agents arrested 81 suspected illegal aliens at Pennsylvania plastics plant
"All the workers arrested Tuesday at Iridium Industries Inc.'s Artube division have been placed in removal proceedings for eventual deportation, said Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [USCIS]...   The East Stroudsburg company on the New Jersey border about 70 miles north of Philadelphia makes plastic tubes for lotions and other consumer products, according to its web site.   The arrested immigrants, from Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and Ecuador, were taken to detention centers for processing, Fobbs said.   Iridium's plant manager, Wayne Migliaccio, said Wednesday the raid was focused on a temp agency [i.e. body shop] that supplied workers to the plant, not on Iridium itself."

2007-06-20 21:30PDT (2007-06-21 00:30EDT) (2007-06-21 04:30GMT)
Frank Norton & Susan Ebbs _Raleigh News & Observer_
Senators Grassley & Durbin look at out-sourcing
Red Orbit
"The out-sourcing practices of 9 foreign firms are being questioned by two U.S. senators who want to know whether foreign workers are being hired for jobs that could be filled by Americans...   These companies hire workers on H1-B visas, which allow technology specialists and other professionals to work in the United States.   At least 7 of the 9 companies queried name either IBM, Red Hat, SAS or some combination of the 3 among their 'strategic partners' -- companies for which they provide out-sourcing services...   Technology companies want more such visas, saying they can't find enough skilled U.S. workers.   Critics of the visas say they are used to hire foreign workers at lower wages than their American counterparts...   A number of firms have allegedly laid off American workers while continuing to employ H-1B visa holders, the senators wrote in the letter sent to each company.   The senators have asked each company whether visa holders displaced U.S. workers.   The senators have sent their findings to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services...   But out-sourcing work to lower-paid immigrants in the United States depresses salaries, critics argue.   Immigrant engineers with H-1B visas make about 23% less than American engineers in similar jobs, according to filings with the U.S. Department of Labor...   Wadhwa said IBM steers clear of the word out-sourcing since it rebranded itself as a global rather than an American company."

2007-06-21 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 288,962 in the week ending June 16, a decrease of 13,308 from the previous week.   There were 277,441 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 9, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,303,069, an increase of 35,330 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,226,057.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 2."
graphs

2007-06-21
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Cohen & Grigsby revelations result in inquiries from senators Charles Grassley and Lamar Smith (pdf)
"Note carefully that, unfortunately, the letters confuse H-1B with employer-sponsored green cards.   But the two are highly related, as it has typically been the case that H-1Bs are also sponsored by the employers for green cards, and BOTH visas are abused."

2007-06-21
Gail Russell Chaddock _Christian Science Monitor_
Senate makes a new push for Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill
"Drafted in secret, the once-derailed Senate immigration bill is making a comeback.   But because it is being redesigned with unusual restrictions on debate, the legislation is drawing protests from critics.   Not only will the resulting bill ignore broad concerns of immigration hard-liners, it may not even pass.   'The process has been orchestrated by a handful of people behind closed doors, and they are paying a price for that.', says senator John Thune (R-SD).   'People are feeling shut out.'...   The key criticism involves the unusual restrictions that supporters have put on amendments to the bill.   As a condition for giving the bill a second chance, Senate majority leader Harry Reid persuaded Republicans to whittle down scores of proposed amendments to a dozen.   Democrats will be allowed 10 to 12 amendments, too.   But a draft list of which amendments would be included, which was leaked to the press this week, did not include any from the bill's hard-core opponents."

2007-06-21
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
Internet and talk radio are saving the USA
"Senator Trent Lott this week erupted in front of the cameras, 'Talk radio is running America.', he said. 'We have to deal with that problem.'   If you're a burglar and someone shines a light on your activities, sure enough, you must deal with the 'problem' of being caught.   Lott suffers distress from being exposed by talk radio.   That illuminates his problems: lack of integrity and violation of his oath of office. Lott knows no one shined a light on the 1986 amnesty.   No one questioned the seven subsequent amnesties by Trent Lott, Teddy Kennedy, John McCain and the rest of those cockroaches running around the halls of Congress.   No one questioned these 'noble' men's disregard for enforcing those laws they created to serve a greater master -- U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations.   Today, we know Lott lies, McCain hides, Kennedy gorges and the rest of the Senate of the United States serves illegality over and above the U.S. Constitution...   If not for talk radio hosts like Denver's Peter Boyles and Gunny Bob Newman, George Putnam in Los Angeles, the John and Ken Show, Roger Hedgecock and dozens of others—Trent Lott and company would have shoved S1348 [and now S1639] down America's throat like a bar lizard drugging his victim for a date rape."

2007-06-21
Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
Contemplating Son of S1348: A Democrat broods about his party's symbol
"On June 7th, the US Senate voted AGAINST cloture for the horrible amnesty/ immigration surge bill.   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the bill.   We thought we had won a great victory.   But, as Barbara Coe, Chairman of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, puts it: 'It appears they have given old S1348 a new number: S1639.   New lipstick on the pig is still the same pig?   (Sorry, I don't mean to insult pigs whom I'm sure have more integrity than the corrupt traitors in the Senate.)'   My disgust with my own Democratic party grows more intense daily.   Son of S1348 is being revived!   Julie Hirschfeld Davis of AP [reported] in a June 18 article entitled 'Rare tactic may allow immigration votes' that, 'Only in the arcane world of the U.S. Senate could a quirky gambit known as a clay pigeon make the difference between passage of an important immigration measure and its death at the hands of opponents.   Democratic leaders hope the complex maneuver -- which makes use of the Senate's labyrinthine rules to insist on votes on amendments -- will frustrate conservatives' attempts to derail the embattled immigration bill, instead putting it on a fast track to passage next week.'...   This 'clay pigeon' tactic gets its name from the target used in skeet shooting, which explodes into bits as it is hit.   In the Senate, an amendment is the target, and any one senator can demand that it be divided into separate fragments to be voted on piece-meal [or several amendments be combined to make an easy target]...   'Under the tentative plan, Reid as early as Friday would launch his target -- an amendment encompassing all 22 proposals -- and shoot it into its component pieces.   The Senate would then vote on ending debate on the immigration measure, which would take 60 votes and limit discussion of the bill to 30 more hours.   After that interval, all 22 amendments would have to be voted on, with little opportunity for foes to interfere.   Ironically, the move is usually used by mavericks -- not leaders -- to slow down legislation, not free it from a procedural thicket...   risks, chief among them further inflaming the vocal conservative opponents who have vowed to do whatever they can to kill the immigration measure.'   Not just conservatives!   Folks, understand that those favoring passage of Son of S1348, controlled as they are by Americas corporate totalitarians, care nothing for our democracy, nothing for the rule of law, nothing for the morality of doing the people's work for the people and not for special interests...   Would it be worth quoting a Republican, the then-Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, at this point?   'Our country and state have a special obligation to work toward the stabilization of our own population, so as to credibly lead other parts of the world towards population stabilization.' [Hearings before Subcommittee on Census and Population, 1974.]   Yes, but first let's stop this mass invasion!   The bill we need passed into law is border and port security plus enforcing no hiring of illegal aliens and no citizenship for babies born to illegal mothers.   When such law has been in place for time enough to prove its effectiveness [a decade or two], then we can review what next steps are needed."

2007-06-21
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
H-1B vs. employer-sponsored green cards
There has been some confusion over the H-1B work visa and employer-sponsored green cards in various venues lately.   In addition, there are some critics of H-1B who, typically for political reasons, have been advocating the establishment of a fast-track green card program in lieu of H-1B.   In this posting, I will explain how H-1B and green cards are highly related yet are fundamentally different, and will explain why I disagree with the "green cards, not H-1Bs" call made by some people, much as I respect those people.
H-1B is a temporary visa, with the official term for the temporary nature being "non-immigrant".   By contrast, a green card confers permanent residency status.   It gives the bearer the [privilege] to live and work in the U.S.A. forever, and also makes him eligible to become a naturalized citizen later on.   A green card is considered a visa too, not surprisingly called an "immigrant visa".
Over the years in the tech industry, the typical pattern for hiring a foreign worker has been as follows:

  1. The employer sponsors the person for an H-1B visa first.   This allows the foreign national to start working for the employer immediately, as opposed to the several-years' wait involved with green card sponsorship.
  2. The employer then also files an application to sponsor this worker for a green card.   The employer may do this as soon as the person starts working, or may wait until the worker has proven himself for a year or 2, and then file for a green card.   The law allows H-1Bs to have "dual intent", which is just a technicality meaning that even though they are currently on a temporary visa, the employer is at the same time applying for permanent status for them.
  3. The green card process takes several years.   Since there is a separate cap for each country, the wait is nationality-dependent.   Since India and [Red China] are the 2 biggest sources of foreign workers, waits for those 2 nationalities are the longest.   During that time, they do not dare move to another employer, as it would mean starting the lengthy process all over again.   This makes them de facto indentured servants, highly exploitable in salary, raises, working conditions and so on.
  4. When the foreign worker's turn finally comes, after that wait, he then files for what is called "adjustment of status", and gets his green card.

In recent years, somewhat fewer employers have been sponsoring their H-1Bs for green cards than in the past, but it is still the case that most do so.   As I implied above and will detail below, I don't consider the employers that do sponsor their H-1Bs for green cards to be less harmful to American workers than those who don't.
In the late 1990s, the wait for green cards for Indians and Chinese reached, and sometimes exceeded, 6 years.   Since the H-1B visa is only good for 6 years, that created a problem for them.   They risked losing their [privilege] to work in the U.S.A. before their green card came through.   They formed an organization, the Immigrant Support Network, complete with hiring a high-priced DC lobbyist, to lobby Congress for relief.   In 2000, Congress did provide them with some relief, by allowing them to renew their H-1B visas past the 6-year time limit if they had a green card application pending.   Congress also allowed them to switch employers at the very last stage of the green card process, without jeopardizing their pending green card application.
Those were small gains, though, and the H-1Bs continued to be exploitable, and they continued to have long waits.   A couple of years ago the waits got up to 6 years or more again, so another H-1B organization was formed (ISN having faded away), called Immigrant Voice.   Again, they hired a slick DC lobbyist and have been extremely active.
An employer must file a Labor Condition Application with DoL when he wishes to sponsor a foreign national for a green card.   Note that here the employer is merely asking DoL for permission to hire SOME foreign national; he may not necessarily have someone in mind yet.   If the LCA is approved (almost all are), and if the employer does have someone to hire, he then asks USCIS (the old INS) to have the State Dept. issue the visa.
If an employer wishes to sponsor a [particular] foreign national for a green card, he must submit a Labor Certification Application to DoL.   Beware of the similar names!   (Even the DoL web site, www.doleta.gov, confuses the two in some places.)   This application IS for a specific foreign national.
Other than the minuscule "H-1B dependent" category, the H-1B visa does not require that the employer give employment priority to Americans (meaning U.S. citizens and permanent residents).   It does however have a requirement that the employer pay the H-1B at least the "prevailing wage"; keep in mind that this is a legal term, with tons of loop-holes, some of which are seen in the YouTube videos.
The employer-sponsored green card process does have a requirement that the employer give hiring priority to Americans, but as the YouTube videos so dramatically also show, there are tons of loop-holes in this requirement too.   And this process has the same prevailing wage requirement as H-1B, thus the same loop-holes.
The process DoL now has employers go through to show that they have tried to recruit Americans, and that the foreign national is qualified, has the acronym PERM.
Within the employer-sponsored green card law, there are several priority levels.   At the very top level, there is the National Interest Waiver, which allows "the best and the brightest" to self-sponsor, with no support from employers needed whatsoever, thus no exploitation.   Note that although the industry lobbyists like to say we need H-1Bs in order to get "the best and the brightest", only a tiny number of them qualify for this special category.   Most H-1Bs and green card sponsorees are ordinary people doing ordinary work -- NOT "the best and the brightest".
Now, what about the proposals made by some critics of H-1B to "give green cards, not temporary visas [H-1Bs]"?   I indicated that I oppose such proposals.
First of all, note that I said that these proposals are typically made for political reasons.   It is a way of being opposed to H-1B while reaffirming pro-immigrant views.   I consider myself pro-immigrant too (see my bio), but that doesn't mean that I think current immigration policy is good; it isn't.
The fact is that giving out green cards are just as bad as giving out H-1Bs.   The reason for this is that the dirty little secret is that one of the biggest reasons employers like the H-1B program is that it allows them to avoid hiring the older (age 40+) Americans.   Younger workers are cheaper than older workers.   When the employers run out of young Americans to hire, they turn to young H-1Bs, rather than hiring the older Americans.   The proposed fast track green card systems would be open to new foreign graduates, the vast majority of whom are, of course, young.   So whether it is H-1Bs or green cards, the employers still get the young foreign workers they want, and the older Americans are the losers.
I should add that, when the former H-1Bs get green cards and later become naturalized U.S. citizens, they are just as vulnerable to the age problem as the natives are.   IOW, they get displaced by young H-1Bs too.
Norm

2007-06-21
Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_
Law-makers request investigation into seminar depicted in YouTube video
Yahoo!
"Senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA, and representative Lamar Smith, R-TX, both proponents of immigration reform, requested Thursday that the U.S. Department of Labor investigate a law firm that published a YouTube video showing attorneys advising clients on how to avoid hiring U.S. workers.   InformationWeek obtained a copy of a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, dated Thursday, about video from a May 15 seminar on immigration law posted by the firm of Cohen & Grigsby.   The video exposes 'the blatant disregard for American workers and deliberate attempt to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the H-1B program...   We seek your assistance in this particular case by reviewing the video and investigating the law firm's unethical procedures and advice to clients.', the law-makers write.   The letter also cites concern over how much effort Chao's department has put forth in monitoring fraud of the H-1B visa program.   Details requested included amount of money earmarked for fraud monitoring, how much has been used, how the remaining amount will be spent, the number of complaints about the H-1B program received, and how many investigations into these complaints have been open and closed.   In a separate letter to Cohen & Grigsby, the politicians thank the law firm for providing video that documents abuse of loop-holes in immigration law.   They request that the firm provide them with the number of H-1B visa holders who have been petitioned for or hired by the firm in the past 5 years and add that they would 'also appreciate knowing' the number and names of clients assisted by the firm in bringing in H-1B workers.   While the lawmakers write extensively about H-1B visa abuse and fraud in their letters, the Grigsby & Cohen video was about expediting the labor certification process for getting a green card for a permanent job.   The labor certification process isn't required for H-1B visas.   However, some employers start the labor certification process toward green cards for foreign nationals while they're working here on H-1B visas...   A panel of lawyers is shown discussing an electronic labor certification process known as Program Electronic Review Management.   PERM requires that an employer post a job in at least 3 places and allow 30 days for job candidates to respond and for the employer to review resumes.   If no interested and qualified U.S. workers respond, an employer can instantly and electronically apply for a foreign worker's labor certification.   In the video, attorney Jennifer Pack advises attendees that posting the job at an employer's web site and with a local newspaper is usually enough to fill the minimum requirement, if the newspaper also posts the job on-line.   Another attorney, Lawrence Lebowitz, adds, 'We're going to try to find a place [to advertise] where we are complying with the law and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.'   Earlier, Pack mentions less desirable methods that are more likely to pull in qualified and interested workers, including job fairs, on-line job sites like Monster.com, campus recruitments, and job placement firms."

2007-06-21
Patrick Thibodeau
Labor Department probe of PERM video sought
InfoWorld
Washington DC Post
Addict 3D
"That explosive [PERM] YouTube video offering advice on how to hire foreign workers instead of Americans has gotten the attention of U.S. senator Charles Grassley, (R-IA), and representative Lamar Smith, (R-TX), who called it evidence of abuse of the visa program.   Both men want a federal investigation and are seeking answers from the law firm that posted the original video on YouTube.   In a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Grassley and Smith characterized the video as 'exposing the blatant disregard for American workers and deliberate attempt to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the [green card PERM process]'.   They also The want the labor secretary to review the video and investigate 'the law firm's unethical procedures and advice to clients'.   In the video, a person identified as Lawrence Lebowitz, an attorney at the firm Cohen & Grigsby PC in Pittsburgh, explains how U.S. companies can avoid hiring U.S. workers.   'Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', said Lebowitz in the video.   'And that, in a sense, sounds funny, but it's what we are trying to do here.'   Grassley and Smith also wrote Cohen & Grigsby, noting that 'your firm's video advises employers how to hire only foreign labor, while making it nearly impossible for a qualified American worker to get the job....   While many companies insist that they are not participating in fraud, many are finding loop-holes around government rules and regulations in order to bring in cheaper foreign workers.   These loop-holes lead to abuse that ultimately displace qualified Americans.   The abuse is evident thanks to a video produced by your firm...'"

2007-06-21
_Information Clearing House_
How fake job ads defraud Americans to secure green cards for immigrants
"Immigration attorneys from Cohen & Grigsby explains how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT finding any qualified applicants, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H-1b workers.   See what Bush and Congress really mean by a 'shortage of skilled U.S. workers'.   MSFT, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and thousands of other companies are running fake ads in Sunday newspapers across the country each week."

2007-06-21
_Computer Business Review_
broader horizons for CSC
"Realizing that its home territory of lengthy, full-service outsourcing deals with the world's biggest corporations and numerous governments was under imminent threat from market changes and increased competitive pressure, the company has executed a quick turn to broaden the markets that it can target, and to focus its resource levels more accurately.   For example, in Europe, the UK's National Health Service transformation program, NPfIT, has become one of CSC's biggest commitments, since it took over (after Accenture's failure) the main systems integrator role in the east and northeast regions, adding to its incumbency in the northwest and West Midlands areas...   Perhaps most marked is the change from a few years ago in CSC's position on providing its customers with access to the cost advantages of offshore locations.   Having seemed somewhat behind the competition, in having a smaller scale of offshore resources, and taking what some viewed as a legacy, 'body-shopping' approach, it is launching a fully-marketed solution in the form of India Direct [which is still bodyshopping]...   With the Covansys acquisition, CSC is catching up with similar moves made in the past few years by its major competitors, such as IBM (which acquired Daksh), EDS (with Mphasis), and Capgemini (with Kanbay).   The greatest difficulty evident in its results was lack of growth, and this must be seen as the major prospect with the scope that India Direct offers."

2007-06-21
Cushing Anderson & Lawrence Rust _InfoWorld_/_IDC_ & _Symantec_
The Value of Training: How Skill Level Affects IT Functions expires 2007 December
 

  "Part of the business is about good taste and letting talent soar and the joy of creativity and taking chances, but it's equally about hard-headedness, commercial necessity, bureaucracy, minimizing risks, protecting your back, ego, and power, and the arcane 'rules' that exist in an industry that will never have clear norms or a fully rationalized process of production." --- anonymous producer quoted in http://www.teleport.com/~cdeemer/sb-biz.html  

 

2007-06-22

2007-06-22
Moira Herbst _Business Week_
Want to hire cheaper foreign workers instead of Americans? A lawyer tells you how to game the immigration system -- and it's all on YouTube
KOCO
WXII
WLWT
"'[O]ur goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', says Lawrence Lebowitz, director of marketing for the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby, before an audience of employers at the firm's conference.   The seminar provides details on how employers can meet the government's requirements for the Permanent Labor Certificate program (PERM), which lets employers sponsor foreign workers for permanent residency if they can demonstrate no U.S. worker can fill a job.  The trick, according to Cohen & Grigsby attorneys, is to only go through the motions of hiring Americans without ever intending to...   'The idea that there's a labor shortage in the tech sector is a myth.', says Berry.   'Hundreds of thousands of qualified Americans can't find work as visa workers continue to fill positions.'...   BB, a computer programmer in Austin, TX, is one out-of-work American who is upset about the country's work policies.   He was laid off from a free-lance position at Raytheon last Fall and has since been unable to find work.   'I've been on 15 or 20 interviews in the past few months, and I can tell they're phony.', says Boyd.   'They ask overly simple questions and don't even ask me about my tech qualifications.   It's a sham.'"

2007-06-22
Michael Cooney _ComputerWorld_/_Network World_
How to scam the immigration rules video stokes immigration fires

2007-06-22
Anya Sostek _Pittsburgh PA Post-Gazette_
City law firm's immigration law seminar video sparks an Internet fire-storm
Times Record News
Knoxville TN News Sentinel
"The video features portions of Cohen & Grigsby's 'Seventh Annual Immigration Law Update', held May 15 at the Pittsburgh Hilton, Downtown.   The segment of the video drawing all the attention is one in which lawyers from Cohen & Grigsby's highly regarded immigration practice advocate methods to comply with a law requiring employers prove that they have tried to find qualified American workers before applying for a green card for a foreign worker.   The lawyers urge the audience, in so many words, to do exactly the opposite...   By the end of the weekend, political blogs of all stripes -- from DailyKos to National Review's The Corner -- had linked to the video, which just so happened to play nicely into issues raised in the immigration bill that the U.S. Senate is debating this week...   What made the video into such an Internet hit, said Mr. Berry, is that it validated long-held suspicions that he and others had been unable to substantiate.   'It's proof from the attorneys themselves that they are getting resumes from qualified Americans and they are going through all sorts of steps so that Americans don't get jobs.', he said.   'It shows what's really happening behind the curtain.'...   In the Cohen & Grigsby video, attorneys advocated placing advertisements in newspapers -- where they would be less likely to find qualified workers -- versus more fertile recruitment venues such as Monster.com or campus recruitments.   'Certainly we are not going to try to find a place where applicants would be most numerous.', said Mr. Lebowitz, who is also an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.   If a company does find an undeniably qualified American candidate through newspaper advertising, 'if necessary schedule an interview, go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this particular position', said attorney Jennifer L. Barton on the video."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Pittsburgh local angle about Cohen & Grigsby video
I must say, this statement, while certainly not new, tells the story in the most succinct manner I've seen yet:

The segment of the video drawing all the attention is one in which lawyers from Cohen & Grigsby's highly regarded immigration practice advocate methods to comply with a law requiring employers prove that they have tried to find qualified American workers before applying for a green card for a foreign worker.   The lawyers urge the audience, in so many words, to do exactly the opposite.
I should add, though, that there is a lot more there than just that one segment.   Unfortunately, what's on the web now is only part 9 of 20 parts, and in fact only a small excerpt.   There are in fact a number of other outrageous segments in the parts of the video that are no longer on the web.   The law firm's response (see below) cleverly exploits this, by giving the impression that the small part put on the web by the Programmers Guild is the only offensive part, which is not true.
Yesterday, Cohen & Grigsby put out a statement that while the firm stands by the substance of the seminar, "we regret the choice of words that was used during a small segment of the seminar.   It is unfortunate that these statements have been commandeered and misused, which runs contrary to our intent."
Again, it was not just "a small segment".   Even the article here shows some other segments showing the firm advising clients to use loop-holes to avoid hiring Americans.
And who do they think they're fooling when they say that the statemets are "contrary to our intent"?   Their intent was crystal clear -- to help their clients avoid hiring Americans [so that they can retain a foreign worker on a temporary visa by helping them get their status changed to permanent].   Note also that their intent, shown in another part of the video but not mentioned in this article, was clearly to help clients pay their foreign workers less than market wage.   See this and other points in my detailed analysis of the videos.
The article here notes:

Cohen & Grigsby, one of Pittsburgh's top 10 largest law firms...
This is very important.   As I mentioned before, this is not some rogue law firm.   EVERY IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM DOES THIS.   The use of loop-holes illustrated in the videos, in order to avoid hiring Americans and to use foreign workers as cheap labor, is standard practice.   An immigration lawyer can't afford to NOT do these things, just like a good tax accountant can't afford NOT to use every possible loop-hole.   The issue is always to save the client as much money as possible, whether it be taxes or pay-roll costs.
But the issue is slightly more complicated than it is being portrayed on the Internet, said Crystal Williams, deputy director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, DC.
When companies apply for a green card for a worker, she said, it's often for somebody that they already have brought over on a temporary visa and is working at the company.   But in order to fill the green card requirement that there are no qualified American candidates, the company needs to redo the job search -- even though they already have somebody working in that position.

Indeed!   And you know what?   This AILA representative Williams is being just as tricky here as this law firm is in the videos.   Let me explain:
That temporary visa she cited above, H-1B, does NOT require employers of H-1Bs to try to recruit Americans.   So, what Williams is referring to is that the employers bring the foreign worker on the temporary visa, without having to recruit Americans, and then when they sponsor that worker for permanent residence, Williams says they shouldn't have to recruit an American since they already have the foreign worker!   And note that the AILA has always opposed adding a requirement to H-1B under which Americans must be recruited.   This is real chutzpah.
Remember, this is the American Immigration Lawyers Association talking!   So if I didn't convince you above that all immigration lawyers do these things, this quote from the AILA should remove any remaining doubts you may have had.
Now get this:

In the Cohen & Grigsby video, attorneys advocated placing advertisements in newspapers -- where they would be less likely to find qualified workers -- versus more fertile recruitment venues such as Monster.com or campus recruitments.   "Certainly we are not going to try to find a place where applicants would be most numerous.", said Mr. Lebowitz, who is also an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
You already know about the first few lines here.   But I'm now referring to the last 2 lines, citing Lebowitz's status as an adjunct professor at Pitt.   There is more to this story -- much more.
Lebowitz and his firm have a very cozy relationship with the University of Pittsburgh.   The university's Katz Graduate School of Business has developed a program they call KATZPORT.   This program PAYS THE H-1B FEES for foreign students who get a job with a U.S. employer after graduation.   And guess who those fees go to?   They go to LEBOWITZ'S LAW FIRM, Cohen & Grigsby!   It's all explained on the Katz web page.
Norm

---30---

2007-06-22
_St. Louis Metropolitan Area Council of Conservative Citizens_
Pittsburgh Law Firm of Cohen & Grigsby Produces Video to Teach Employers How to Discriminate Against American Workers

2007-06-21 19:14PDT (2007-06-21 22:14EDT) (2007-06-22 02:14GMT)
Fred Maxwell _Moultrie GA Observer_
Should be about law
"Most of the recent letters written on the subject of illegal immigration indicate an awareness of the grave danger that this conspiracy presents to our country.   It is a conspiracy of collusion and subversion, extending from the lowest to the very highest levels of our so-called government -- the purpose of which is to change the faces, soul and future of America.   To please global big business and various central banks, everything else be damned.   A few still do not get it and are unable to see the big picture or choose to ignore it for self-serving reasons.   They try to put a philosophical or religious face on this issue and a guilt trip on those of us who oppose this invasion by propagating the heinous lie of the indispensable illegal alien.   This problem is not a matter of philosophy nor religion but instead is about whether or not the United States remains a nation of laws, whether or not it will even continue to exist as a sovereign nation and whether or not it will become just another borderless Third World polyglot boarding house for the world.   As described by Theodore Roosevelt, existing solely for the benefit of big business and its Medusa's head of co-conspirators, including chambers of commerce, lobbyists, corrupt politicians, corrupt courts, renegade law enforcement, foreign governments etc.   Roosevelt further stated: 'The one absolute certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.'   Concerns about the source of the cheapest labor pale in insignificance when compared to the legitimate, greater concern for saving our national identity, language, borders and culture.   The 'cult of economism' does not concern itself with such 'small' matters, but instead plunges headlong into it's perceived panacea of globalization, out-sourcing of American jobs, importation of voluntary slave labor, multi-culturism etc., all of which steadily widens the gap between the wealthy and the American poor.   Who is to pay the medical, social, education, law enforcement, legal and other costs incurred by this hostile invasion of indigent humanity?   I think you know the answer to that question.   The amnesty bill of Bush, Kennedy, McCain, Graham, Lott, and the rest of the quislings must be defeated.   Employers of illegals must be prosecuted.   Our borders must be secured now.   No more empty promises."

2007-06-22 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
Christopher Nickson _Digital Trends_
Video of lawyers teaching how to avoid hiring Americans raises senatorial questions
"Two senators have written to the Labor Secretary about a video shown on YouTube that points out loop-holes in the H-1B foreign worker visa program.   YouTube is a bystander in the immigration controversy.   A pair of senators have written to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding a video shown on the site that reportedly shows attorneys giving advice on how to avoid hiring American workers...   The video in question evidently centered on expediting the process by which temporary H-1B visas can be moved to permanent green card status.   The video also offered advice on how to meet the minimum requirements for advertising a job so it was easier to hire foreign workers.   Under current law, the onus is on an employer to show there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a particular job before it can be offered to a foreigner."

2007-06-22
_World Net Daily_
Texas governor Rick Perry, vetoed bills which would have stopped NAFTA super-high-way

2007-06-22
Rick Smith _Local Tech Wire_/_WRAL_
H-1B visa program used and abused by IBM and 3 RTP universities
"A list of companies utilizing H-1B workers makes for interesting reading with IBM and an IBM Global Services [bodyshopping] unit employing more than 1,300 people under the program.   Global Services, by the way, is the business unit that’s cutting U.S. workers in big numbers...   Duke University Medical Center hired 238.   UNC Chapel Hill has 173.   And North Carolina State hired 146.   Nortel, another high tech company that has cut U.S. workers, used 212 H-1B visa workers.   Cisco has 828. "

2007-06-22
Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Video raises concern about firms' visa abuses
"A video clip that teaches employers how not to hire Americans has prompted 2 law-makers to ask Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether U.S. companies may be abusing the H-1B visa program...   high-tech employers want to hire more of these... guest-workers while labor groups say these newcomers push Americans out of white-collar jobs.   Siding with the displaced Americans, senator Charles Grassley, R-IA, and representative Lamar Smith, R-TX, wrote Chao Thursday after seeing a... video in which the marketing director of a Pittsburgh law firm is shown telling employers how they can advertise a job so as to appear that the only qualified applicant is a foreign national.   'Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', says Lawrence Lebowitz of the Cohen & Grigsby law firm during a seminar taped in May.   'In a sense it sounds funny, but that's what we're trying to do here.'...   In their letter, Grassley and Smith said the seminar reveals 'the blatant disregard for American workers and deliberate attempts to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the H-1B program' and urged Chao to use her powers as labor secretary to investigate 'the law firm's unethical procedures'.   H-1B program opponent Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that in one respect, the flap is a misunderstanding because the seminar was aimed at companies that are sponsoring foreign workers for green cards rather than for temporary H-1B visas.   But, said Hira, by showing how to get around the [weak] requirements that exist -- on paper -- to ensure that green card applicants don't displace Americans, the video suggests how easy it must be for employers to hire foreign workers under the H-1B program, which has far weaker protections against job displacement."
video
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
concerning San Francisco Chronicle article on Cohen & Gribsby video
Some comments:
A spokeswoman for the [law firm that made the video] said the seminar was "compliant with all of the relevant laws governing the employment of foreign workers.", while... "The anti-fraud provisions in the Senate bill go right to the heart of what this video is about.", [industry lobbyist] Hoffman said.

Hoffman is of course dead wrong, and the law firm's spokeswoman was correct.   What the law firm was advocating IS compliant with the laws.   This is a point that long-time readers of this e-newsletter know that I've been stressing constantly over the years.   [It is a matter of both fraud and loop-holes: the fraud of a "labor shortage" having been used to create the H-1b program, and the fraud of attesting that no capable US citizens were able and willing to do the work, and the fraud that they're being paid prevailing local market compensation for the kind of work and the knowledge and skills and experience of the worker, and the loop-holes that are part of the fraud that claims to prevent the above while allowing them, just as the vast majority of newly proposed elements of the Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill do.]
Hoffman knows that too.   It has long been the tactic of the industry lobbyists to say loudly, "We need to clamp down on fraud," in order to distract attention from the real problem, which is the loop-holes.   That of course is what Hoffman deftly did above.
To be sure, there IS some fraud, some of it egregious, but it still is secondary.   Opponents of the H-1B program need to "keep their eyes on the prize", which is the loop-holes.   Otherwise they will continue to be manipulated by people like Hoffman; they ought to ask themselves why Hoffman is so enthusiastic about the anti-fraud provisions in the bill.
BTW, "the bill" is the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill S1639].   The anti-fraud provisions Hoffman is referring to were borrowed from the Durbin/Grassley bill.   That latter bill also had some provisions which would close some of the loop-holes, but unfortunately most of them did not make it into the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill] (and an amendment introduced by senator Cantwell, who is a former tech executive, would delete the few that did get into the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill]).   Word is that senator Grassley intends to introduce an amendment in the revived [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill].

expressing regret at "the choice of words that was used during a small segment" of a longer seminar that was boiled down by H-1B opponents.
The videos contained much more sleaze than the little bit seen in the excerpt put on the web by the Programmers Guild.   But if you want to see various other outrageous quotes in print form, see my analysis of the full video set.
H-1B program opponent Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that in one respect, the flap is a misunderstanding because the seminar was aimed at companies that are sponsoring foreign workers for green cards rather than for temporary H-1B visas.
This is not accurate.   Actually, the videos did discuss H-1B and various other visas.   And most importantly, video 12 discusses the issue of prevailing wage, which is a requirement held in common by both H-1B and the employer-sponsored green cards.   In other words, what the law firm said about prevailing wage in video 12 applies just as much to H-1B as it does to employer-sponsored green cards.
And what they said about prevailing wage was just as explosive, showing all kinds of ways that employers could take advantage of loop-holes the prevailing wage regulations to produce a result that could be, in the words of the lawyer in the video, "$10K to $15K" less than the market level.
Again, both H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards are about CHEAP LABOR.   That is their raison d'etre.   So the videos are indeed directly relevant to H-1B as well as employer-sponsored green cards.
More analyses to come, including the latest from InformationWeek and an article in a trade paper in the legal profession.
Norm

2007-06-22
David A. Utter _Web Pro News_
YouTube videos reveal anti-American attitudes of immigration lawyers
"A law firm that thought it was demonstrating its cleverness in posting videos of its conference on business immigration instead showed how they cynically stack the deck against American job seekers for their clients.   UC Davis professor Norm Matloff has long sounded the clarion call that the H-1B program and green cards have numerous loop-holes employers can exploit.   That exploitation allows them to easily avoid hiring more expensive American workers, particularly older ones, in favor of cheap foreign labor.   Videos from a Cohen & Grigsby event held in Pittsburgh on May 15th made it onto YouTube.   The series of videos as described by Dr. Matloff proved to be more than just a promotional effort for the law firm...   Meanwhile, readers who hear about companies asking for expansions of H-1B and green card programs, as MSFT and Google have done, should keep in mind just what the impact of such an expansion could be."

2007-06-22
Sue Kwon _KPIX_
Cohen & Grigsby video stirs debate
"A video posted on YouTube is stirring anger and debate in Silicon Valley.   It shows attorneys with Cohen & Grigsby telling their corporate clients how to get around Federal rules around hiring foreign workers...   'We estimate tens of thousands of Americans lose job opportunities to the tactics shown in that Cohen & Grigsby video.', said Kim Berry, President of the Programmers Guild."
KPIX video

2007-06-22
Ramit Plushnick-Masti _Philadelphia PA Inquirer_/_AP_
Pittsburgh lawyers' immigration talk hits YouTube, draws scorn
Houston TX Chronicle
Philly Burbs

2007-06-22
_Phoenix News_
VIDEO: Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker

2007-06-22
Tom Feeney _Orlando Sentinel_
Wake up, senate. No immigration amnesty sell-out
"Despite the fact that 3 votes to limit debate on the disastrous Kennedy amnesty proposal in the Senate have failed, like a bad penny, it has turned up again.   This week, the Senate will once again bring back this proposal to legalize millions of illegal immigrants who purposefully ignored our immigration laws to come here, yet now are asking for the full benefits and protections of all our other laws.   The problem of illegal immigration continues and grows because we are failing to enforce our current laws.   I will not consider any proposal that disregards the security concerns in overburdening our already-taxed immigration system as well as saddling our economy with new entitlement costs that will bankrupt our children...   Senator Edward Kennedy's amnesty proposal states that for each of the millions of illegal immigrants who apply for a Z Visa, they must be given probationary legal status after a mere 24-hour background check.   It's crazy to add millions of new background checks to an agency that is already 100K behind, especially when those eligible for amnesty include child molesters, gang members and alien fugitives who have ignored deportation notices."

2007-06-22
"pittgirl" _The Burgh Blog: Pittsburgh, only Cooler_
Cohen & Grigsby can kiss my a**
"I don’t know what’s more astounding, that Cohen & Grigsby put on this seminar or that Cohen & Grigsby put this seminar on YouTube voluntarily, never thinking that there was anything wrong with what they were saying."

2007-06-22
Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_
AILA responds to revealing video of lawyers teaching how to avoid hiring Americans
"The association is 'dedicated to the rule of law and to the good faith application of our laws, and condemns the use of charade or manipulation to achieve regulatory compliance', begins the statement...   The association's letter states that to 'protect U.S. workers from unfair employment practices and protect foreign workers from exploitation and abuse', employers seeking to hire foreign nationals for a permanent job should include the following steps in the labor certification process (which, by the way, is not a requirement for an H-1B visa): Six different forms of recruitment, including print ads in widely-circulated Sunday newspapers and 30-day job postings with state labor agencies.   A requirement that the employer obtain confirmation of the prevailing wage for the position and offer and pay at least that wage.   Compliance records that include the employer's review of applicants for the position."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Some comments:

The association is "dedicated to the rule of law and to the good faith application of our laws, and condemns the use of charade or manipulation to achieve regulatory compliance.", begins the statement. "The association is committed to the highest standards of excellence and ethics in immigration practice and does its utmost to educate its members about these standards."
This completely contradicts the statement made by AILA spokesperson Crystal Williams last week, in which she actually endorsed flouting of the law, as did prominent immigration attorney Klasko.
A requirement that the employer obtain confirmation of the prevailing wage for the position and offer and pay at least that wage.
The Cohen & Grigsby videos showed several ways to get a low prevailing wage, well below market wage, fully legally.
It's unfortunate that all of the attention on the videos has focused on the firm's instructions to employers as to how to avoid hiring hiring Americans.   The firm's instructions on how to under-pay H-1Bs and employer-sponsored green cards are just as egregious, and just as harmful.
Norm

2007-06-22
_San Antonio Business Journal_
Zoe Lofgren strives against US tech workers by expanding H-1B visas and making them permanent

2007-06-22
_Mike and Andrea_
How to retain foreign tech-workers and avoid US tech-workers

2007-06-22
DJIA13,360.26
S&P 5001,502.56
NASDAQ2,588.96
10-year US T-Bond5.14
crude oil69.14
gold657.00
silver13.02
platinum1,308.00
palladium381.85
copper0.211375
natgas7.13/MBTU
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading
reformulatedgasoline$2.2868/gal
heatingoil$2.038/gal

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.
 
 

  "Every artist holds a secret conception of what he has achieved or might achieve in the future.   Every 1 of them cradles some hidden notion that 1 day he might just do something perfect.   Every 1 of them feels that no 1 else can possibly understand what he or she has gone through.   All of them feel trapped inside some vision or impulse they can't quite see or understand.   Artists are self-involved people, whose passion is expressing something within themselves that wants to come out.   Anything that stands in the way of that expression is a potential enemy.   Anything that facilitates that expression is a great ally.   And every artist is prone to self-doubt.   If all artists feel these things, then actors & actresses probably feel them more deeply than others.   They display their talent on a stage or up on a screen, in which they are many times larger than normal people.   They are praised or attacked in public by critics who may not have any insight into what they are doing & certainly were not involved in the creative process; actors are often castigated for things they have no control over.   They are usually dependent on the work of writers, directors, & producers before they are even given the chance to be employed.   And their gifts are not well understood." --- Stephen Singular 1996 _Power to Burn_ pg 75  

 

2007-06-23

2007-06-23
Thomas E. Brewton _The View from 1776_
Krugman and Friedman part 4
"Mr. Krugman is a political propaganda columnist for the New York Times, where predictably he is a strident critic of individuals’ economic and political liberties when they conflict with Federal collectivism.   As an advocate of Neo-Keynesian economic theory, he believes that only intervention by the Federal government can effectively deal with changing economic conditions to insure full employment."

2007-06-23
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Cohen & Grigsby and the prevailing-wage scam
I've constantly harped on the fact that the reason employers are so anxious to hire foreign workers is that they use those workers as cheap labor.   I've also repeatedly stressed the fact that the crux of the abuse of the H-1B and employer-sponsored green card programs is the LEGAL LOOP-HOLES in the prevailing wage requirement which both of those programs have.   These loop-holes enable employers to pay their foreign workers well below what they would have to pay Americans.   In short, the legally-defined "prevailing wage" is typically well below the real market wage.
Here I will give readers a further look at how Cohen & Grigsby, the law firm in the YouTube scandal, makes use of these legal loop-holes.   You'll see some intriguing data, with big implications.   You'll also see another egregious example of public statements by the firm which are exactly the opposite of their private actions.
I looked at all the PERM (green card) applications filed in 2004 by Cohen & Grigsby for Software Engineer positions.   (This is from a Dept. of Labor [PERM web page].   Note that this is NOT the LCA data.   The salaries here are guaranteed to be the actual salaries for specific workers.)
Here are the results, showing the actual salary, claimed prevailing wage and employer name, sorted by salary:
actual salaryclaimed prevailing wageemployer
$45,000.00$42,390.00Algor Inc.
$45,150.00$44,762.00Bayer Corporate and Business Services LLC
$49,504.00$44,762.00Bayer Corporate and Business Services LLC
$60,980.00$64,189.00Hexware Technologies
$60,980.00$64,189.00Marconi Communications
$60,980.00$64,189.00Medrad Inc.
$61,000.00$64,189.00UBICS
$61,000.00$64,189.00UBICS
$64,189.00$64,189.00Marconi Communications
$64,240.00$67,621.00Bayer Corporate and Business Services LLC
$64,240.00$67,621.00CM Technologies Corporation
$64,240.00$67,621.00COMPUNETIX
$64,240.00$67,621.00KEMMA SOFTWARE
$64,240.00$67,621.00LogiXguru
$64,240.00$67,621.00LogiXguru
$64,240.00$67,621.00Marconi Communications
$64,240.00$67,621.00Marconi Communications
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00UBICS
$64,240.00$67,621.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$64,240.00$67,621.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$65,000.00$67,240.00FreeMarkets Inc.
$65,000.00$67,621.00ENTIGO
$66,730.00$70,242.00Ansoft Corporation
$66,730.00$70,242.00Ansoft Corporation
$66,730.00$70,242.00ANSYS Inc.
$66,730.00$70,242.00ASE Edge
$66,730.00$70,242.00ASE Edge
$66,730.00$70,242.00Bayer Corporate and Business Services LLC
$66,730.00$70,242.00Global Transcription Ltd.
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00UBICS
$66,730.00$70,242.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$66,731.00$70,034.00People.com Consultants
$66,731.00$70,034.00People.com Consultants
$66,731.00$70,034.00People.com Consultants
$66,903.00$70,242.00FreeMarkets Inc.
$67,000.00$70,242.00Algor Inc.
$68,905.00$72,530.00Westinghouse Electric Company
$69,378.00$59,940.00Marconi Communications
$70,000.00$64,189.00PrintCafe Systems
$70,000.00$67,621.00Ansoft Corporation
$72,000.00$51,355.00Marconi Communications
$72,000.00$67,621.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$73,448.30$77,314.00Emergent Systems Corporation
$75,000.00$67,621.00MultiModal Technologies
$75,524.00$67,621.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$75,524.00$70,242.00FreeMarkets Inc.
$75,524.00$79,498.00ASE Edge
$75,524.00$79,498.00ASE Edge
$75,524.00$79,498.00ASE Edge
$75,525.00$79,498.00PNC Financial Services Group
$76,000.00$79,798.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$76,471.20$77,667.00Hexaware Technologies
$77,250.00$67,621.00FreeMarkets Inc.
$77,308.00$79,498.00Union Switch & Signal Inc.
$78,100.00$70,242.00THE PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP
$78,111.00$82,222.00SolutionNET International Inc.
$78,114.00$54,542.00SolutionNET International Inc.
$78,942.00$83,096.00Global Knowlege Network Inc.
$78,945.00$83,096.00PNC Financial Services
$82,712.00$70,242.00PNC Financial Services Group
$85,000.00$71,032.00Sonic Foundry
$88,000.00$67,621.00Ansoft Corporation
$110,000.00$70,242.00Ansoft Corporation
Now, first of all, let's confirm what we already know.   Of the 83 entries, 74 are less than the OES mean for 2004, $77,330, for Software Engineers, Applications, and 79 are less in the case of Software Engineers, Systems Software.   Remember, this is perfectly legal, but it certainly shows that these people are hired as cheap labor.
But I want to call your attention to something different.   I sorted the data by salary in order to highlight the fact that there are a lot of DUPLICATE ODD-BALL SALARIES -- for different employers.   IOW, you have several employers offering exactly the same salary, in fact, the same non-round-number salary.
For instance, 8 different companies, ranging from Bayer Corporate and Business Services LLC to Union Switch & Signal Inc., ALL "coincidentally" were paying their Software Engineers the SAME salary of $64,420!
How come?   Well, prior to the law enacted in 2004 December, employers were allowed to pay 5% below "prevailing wage".   And if you look at the "prevailing wages", in the second column above, you will see that that $64,420 figure is exactly 5% below "prevailing wage"!   And if you look at the other applications listed above, you'll see that most are also exactly 5% below their "prevailing wage".
Now, don't jump to conclusions here.   THIS 5% IS NOT AN INTERESTING LOOP-HOLE in its own right.   I'm not pointing to the fact that Cohen & Grigsby was taking advantage of that extra 5%; that's nickel and dime stuff.   No, look a little deeper.
What this data shows is a lack of a competitive market, with 2 interesting implications:
1. We have a bizarre situation in which "the tail is wagging the dog".   The law firm is telling the employers how much to pay their workers!   And it's telling them all to pay the same amount.
2. The Americans hired by these companies undoubtedy vary from each other in their salaries, because they can negotiate.   IOW, you see that THE FOREIGN NATIONALS ARE IN NO POSITION TO NEGOTIATE.   This shows yet another way in which the employers can get away with paying foreign workers less than Americans.
Please recall that the prevailing wage is typically a low-ball figure to begin with, well below the market wage.   Though the press accounts have focused on the firm's comment in video 9 on how to avoid hiring Americans, video 12 is just as damning, as the law firm talked about how to get a prevailing wage that can be, in the Cohen & Grigsby attorney Jennifer Pack's own words, "$10K to $15K" below the market.   Yet the foreign nationals accept this low-ball salary, because in the deal they are getting a form of non-monetary compensation which is highly valuable to them -- a U.S. green card.
I love exposing hypocrisy.   Recall that in my original analysis of the videos I pointed to the rank hypocrisy of the Cohen & Grigsby firm.   One of the firm's attorneys, Matt Phillips, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that employers do their best to try to find Americans to fill a spot before resorting to hiring foreign workers -- when in the videos, in which Phillips speaks, the firm is telling employers how to AVOID finding Americans.   Well, I'm [examining] an even more outrageous example of the firm's hypocrisy..., this one on the prevailing wage issue.   This is an op-ed by Larry Lebowitz, a partner in the firm who served as the MC in the YouTube videos [published in the Post-Gazette 2000-05-21]...   here are the highlights:
First, Lebowitz again claims that employers do their best to find American workers:
U.S. companies that bring in foreign professionals usually do so as a last resort
By now you know that there are a number of statements in the videos which show that to be a lie.
Next, Lebowitz assures readers:
To hire H-1Bs, a company must: Guarantee the H-1B will be paid the prevailing wage or better...
Again, remember in the video, the firm shows how the prevailing wage is typically lower than the market wage.
And get this one!
These rules actually help U.S. workers, too, by keeping wages high, ensuring that U.S. workers are not displaced and keeping corporate productivity high.
I'm trying not to constantly use the word "chutzpah" in my series of postings on Cohen & Grigsby, but what other word fits?   I guess I can say, "unmitigated audacity".   :-)
Now, no lobbyist op-ed and planted article would be complete without examples of "poster child" companies that supposedly are desperate to hire, can't find American workers in spite of herculean efforts, and "must" hire H-1Bs.   Well, one of Lebowitz's poster children here is Marconi Communications, a major firm you may have noticed in my PERM data list above.   For instance, Marconi was one of the 8 firms that were all paying their Software Engineers exactly the same odd-ball figure of $64,240.   Some desperation, huh?
Norm

2007-06-23 07:08PDT (10:08EDT) (14:08GMT)
Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Fox News Live
"I'm back from live segment on FoxNews... Partial Summary: Showed clip: 'our goal is to NOT find qualified U.S. workers'"...
Q: "What should Americans get from this video?"
A: "The proposed immigration reform has a guest-worker program that supporters claim will only be used to fill jobs when no qualified Americans are available.   This video shows what that really means when implemented by lawyers.   These lawyers do not make any money when Americans are hired for American jobs."
Q: "I understand you have been tracking these jobs?"
A: "Yes, for the past 2 years I have documented these fake ads in the Sacramento Bee."
Q: "Law firm declined to appear but has statement 'we regret the some of the wording and the way our statements are being misrepresented in the video', how do you respond?"
A: "If the law firm claims that I have edited out the true intent, they should put the original video back on YouTube.   So far they have not done that."
Fox News video in some Windoze format
Fox News video snippet

2007-06-23
_AP_/_Washing PA Observer-Reporter_
Pittsburgh lawyers' immigration talk ignited controversy
"Attorneys for Cohen & Grigsby, one of the largest law firms in Pittsburgh, are seen in the video clip explaining to participants at a conference on immigration how to abide by laws that require Americans be given top priority for jobs while still ensuring foreigners are hired. &bsp; 'The goal here of course is to meet the requirements, number one, but also do so as inexpensively as possible, keeping in mind our goal and our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', Lawrence Lebowitz, the firm's vice president of marketing, told the audience in May...   Kim Berry, president of Programmers Guild, said: 'The attorneys aren't doing anything illegal. There is something wrong with the law.'...   The video clip appears to confirm the suspicions of many who accuse companies of placing want-ads in newspapers to show the Department of Labor it is recruiting Americans, while knowing all along that foreigners will be hired to fill the positions.   In the video, Lebowitz advises attorneys to advertise in newspapers and use recruitment methods that will not attract qualified applicants.   Usually, people can be disqualified on the basis of their resumes, he said.   Those who appear to be qualified should be called in for an interview, he said.   'Go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this particular position.', Jennifer Barton, another Cohen & Grigsby attorney, advised her colleagues.   'In most cases that doesn't seem to be a problem.'...   Palma Yanni, a Washington, DC-based immigration lawyer, said the Department of Labor requires a company to make a good-faith effort to hire an American before applying for a work visa for a foreigner.   'By encouraging employers not to make a good-faith effort, they are violating the rules, period.', Yanni said of Cohen & Grigsby's tactics...   Berry said the salaries set by the Department of Labor are far below American salaries.   'If these people are the best and the brightest... they should be paid at least what an average American would be making.', Berry said."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
  I've emphasized that the tactics of the Cohen & Grigsby law firm shown in their YouTube video are standard practice.   Recall for instance the remakrs of immigration attorney Joel Stewart, in a prominent publication for immigration lawyers: "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply" (Joel Stewart "Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers" Immigration Daily, 2000 April 24).
  This has been further dramatized in the last few days by a statement by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), saying that not only was Cohen & Grigsby complying with the law (true) but that a law firm actually has the right to ignore the law (FALSE!)   See my earlier article.
  Before continuing, let me remind readers that the subject at hand is employer-sponsored green cards, not H-1B.   Needless to say, both programs have a major adverse impact on American programmers and engineers.   But it is important to understand that other than an exceptional "H-1B-dependent employer" category, which affects only a tiny percentage of H-1B employers, H-1B does not require employers to recruit American workers before resorting to hiring a foreign national.
  The employer-sponsored green card process does have a recruitment requirement, but as the Cohen & Grigsby video and Joel Stewart's remarks showed, this requirement is easily circumvented, fully legally.
  In contrast to the official AILA statement referred to above, in the article enclosed below immigration attorney Palma Yanni, a former president of the AILA, says that Cohen & Grigsby were out of line:

  Palma Yanni, a Washington, DC-based immigration lawyer, said the department requires companies to make a good-faith effort to hire an American before applying for a work visa for a foreigner.
  "By encouraging employers not to make a good-faith effort, they are violating the rules, period.", Yanni said of Cohen & Grigsby's tactics.

  This is false.   The law and regulations regarding employer-sponsored green cards, do not use this "good faith effort" language or anything like it.   The law merely says that the Sec. of Labor, meaning DoL as her agent, must determine that no American was available for the job.   DoL does that by writing regulations that spell out just how much -- or, as we've seen -- how little an employer must look for American workers.   The law on H-1B-dependent employers does use the phrase "good faith effort", but again, that is just a miniscule category in one of the visas.   The law and regulations do NOT require this, contrary to what Ms. Yanni claims.
Norm

2007-06-23
Bob Cesca _Huffington Post_
Senator Grassley, you magnificent bastard
"A Pittsburgh law firm called Cohen & Grigsby was caught on YouTube detailing how they hire foreign employees through loop-holes in the H-1B visa law, rather than seeking American employees.   Why?   To save money, of course.   The Associated Press: 'The goal here of course is to meet the requirements, number one, but also do so as inexpensively as possible, keeping in mind our goal and our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', Lawrence Lebowitz, the firm's vice president of marketing, told the audience in May.   Dastardly and inexcusable, since this firm practically admits to abusing the H-1B visa program.   (Coincidentally, Senator Grassley introduced a bill in April which aims to close the loop-holes in the H-1B law.   If one chose to be conspiratorial about this, one might raise an eye-brow at the timing of this video leak story.)   But really, it's no different than the prevailing corporate mind-set here.   A mind-set which Senator Grassley has repeatedly voted to support.   More on that below.   The mind-set goes like so: hiring 'spensive, uppity American workers isn't good business sense when there exists a world of cheap, brown foreign labor to exploit; allowing wealthy CEOs to wade pantless in record profits... and Flomax.   It's happening everywhere, and it's been enabled by the passage of NAFTA, GATT, and most recently CAFTA.   America's borders are not unlike a gaping maw through which profitable corporations are encouraged to out-source their jobs over-seas, and they're subsidized by your government to do so.   This thing called over-seas out-sourcing -- and not illegal immigration -- is the real crisis at our borders.   It's not so much the people coming in, it's the jobs going out...   Boiled down, Senator Grassley pitched a fit over this story because it involved foreign workers taking the place of American workers... on American soil.   That last part is important.   After all, he's one of the top gunners in the anti-immigration debate, so when he spots any sign of ferrnerrs coming in and taking American jobs, he lets-fly the frothy bud nipping.   Ironically, however, he has no problem giving American jobs to ferrnerrs -- that is, when those ferrnerrs stay far, far away in their own labor lawless country.   I give you the Grassley voting record: Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (2005 Jul)   Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (2003 Jul)   Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (2003 Jul)   Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations. (2002 May)   Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to VietNam. (2001 Oct)   Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (2001 Sep)   Voted YES on permanent normal trade relations with [Red China]. (2000 Sep)   Rated 83% by CATO, indicating a pro-free trade voting record. (2002 Sep)   So while politically benefiting from his posture on the current anti-immigration debate, one could say he has -- how to be delicate about this -- a hard-on for sending American jobs over-seas...   Senator Grassley voted NO on repealing government subsidies for corporations who eliminate American jobs in favor of foreign out-sourcing...   the senator voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the country for farm jobs...   When you lose your job to over-seas out-sourcing, Senator Grassley helped to make your life a further waking nightmare by voting YES on the Bankruptcy Law."

2007-06-23
-WALB_/_AP_
Pennsylvania law firm's immigration talk hits YouTube; US senator demands investigation
Arizona Daily Star
WLBT
KRIS TV
Tampa Bay's 10
KTVZ
KOIN
WXIX
"The video shows attorneys for Cohen & Grigsby, 1 of the largest law firms in Pittsburgh, explaining how to obey provisions that require Americans be given top priority for jobs without actually having to hire any.   On the tape, a law firm executive tells an immigration conference that the goal is to obey the law but in his words is 'clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker'."

2007-06-23
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Good bye to the city upon a hill and to its fabled economy
"America is being destroyed.   Many Americans are unaware, others are indifferent, and some intend it.   The destruction is across the board: the political and constitutional system, the economy, social institutions including the family itself, citizenship, and the character and morality of the American people...   For years Americans have been told that work visas are only issued in cases where there are no Americans with the necessary skills to fill the jobs.   Americans have been reassured that safeguards are in place to prevent US companies from using the work visas to replace their American employees with foreigners paid below the prevailing US wage.   Now, thanks to a video placed on YouTube by a US law firm, Cohen & Grigsby, marketing its services, we now know that it is easy for US companies to legally evade the 'safeguards' and to replace their American employees with lower paid foreigners.   The video shows Lawrence Lebowitz, Vice President for Marketing for the law firm of Cohen & Grigsby, together with a panel of the law firm's attorneys, explaining to an audience of employers how to use loop-holes in the laws governing the work visas to hire foreign workers in place of Americans.   Lebowitz says, 'our goal is clearly, not to find a qualified and interested US worker'.   Cohen & Grigsby's legal experts describe the strategy for ensuring that no American firm has to hire an American.   The advertising requirements can be met by advertising the job in obscure or ethnic newspapers in locations where there are no likely job candidates.   If a qualified American candidate turns up, 'have the manager of that specific position step in and... go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position.   In most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem.'   The 'prevailing wage' requirement is evaded, for example, by making the offered salary and raises contingent on receipt of the green card, usually 3 or 4 years away, or by disguising the job by understating the job requirements.   For example, a job requiring an advanced degree can be listed as requiring a bachelor's degree, but filled with a foreigner with a higher degree.   As the higher degree is not listed as a job requirement, the employer is able to secure the foreign employee below the prevailing wage."

2007-06-23
Jane Norman _Des Moines IA Register_
Video tells ways to avoid hiring U.S. workers

2007-06-23
Michael Kraft _Charlotte Conservative News_
Time's lies about Haditha fire-fight

2007-06-23
"Zonk" _Slashdot_
How-Not-to-Hire-U.S.-Workers Law Firm Fires Back

2007-06-23
David M. Brown _Pittsburgh PA Tribune-Review_
Video clip on immigration law trouble for Pittsburgh law firm
"'After watching the video, I'm in a state of shock.', said Bill George, president of the AFL-CIO in Pennsylvania.   'It's a disgrace to the American Bar Association and a disgrace to the American flag that they have stooped this low for greed and money.'   Cohen & Grigsby, one of Pittsburgh's largest law firms, on Friday deferred all comment to Elias-Savion Advertising, Public Relations & Interactive.   Jeff Donaldson, of the public relations firm, responded by e-mail with a statement from the law firm that it stands by 'the substance of our recent Immigration Law Update Seminar'... Attorneys for Cohen & Grigsby are seen in the video explaining how to abide by laws that require Americans be given top priority for jobs while intending all along to hire immigrants. Jack Shea, president of the Allegheny County Labor Council, said the video shows 'Cohen & Grigsby getting caught with their pants down.' &nbnsp; 'It's the height of hypocrisy for attorneys who are Americans to do whatever they can do to circumvent the law to try not to hire Americans and do what they can to hire workers with green cards.', he said."
 

  "Creative people tend to under-value their services.   This may be because, for many of them, the creative process itself is reward enough.   We simply can't imagine getting paid for doing something we enjoy so much.   Unfortunately, there are those who are more than willing to exploit that self-effacing quality of the writer, & writers who allow themselves to be used this way really do a great disservice to the profession...   Put a price on your time.   Depending on your experience & publishing record, that might be anything from $10 an hour to $120 an hour." --- Hal Zina Bennett & Michael Larsen 1988 _How to Write with a Collaborator_ pg 101  

 

2007-06-24

2007-06-24
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Legal Intelligencer view of Cohen & Grigsby video
I've stressed that the outrageous practices described in the Cohen & Grigsby videos is STANDARD PRACTICE and FULLY LEGAL.   This illustrates my constant point that reform of foreign work visas must focus on fixing the loop-holes, not stepping up enforcement of current laws [alone].
But as if these practices are not bad enough already, we are seeing other immigration attorneys actually claim that they have the right to IGNORE THE LAW.   Attorney Klasko is saying so in the article enclosed below.   Here is the relevant excerpt:
Some have said that looking at the comments in context to the discussion might make a difference.
Ron Klasko of Philadelphia immigration boutique Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer said the only reason employers need to engage in a federally mandated search for American workers is if they already have a foreign national in place for the position.
"In almost every case there's already somebody in the job.", Klasko said.   "You don't initiate the process unless you have a really critical foreign national" in need of a green card.
It may be, he said, that the firm just didn't express that artfully enough...

Klasko says, correctly, that when an employer sponsors a foreign worker for a green card, that worker is typically already working for the employer, holding an H-1B visa.   Klasko concludes that "therefore" the employer has a right to ignore the law that says the employer must search for an American to fill the position.   Note that Klasko isn't claiming that the law has an exception for such a situation; on the contrary, he is agreeing that the law exists but claims that the employer and his attorney have the right to ignore the law!
Klasko's words echo those of American Immigration Lawyers Association spokesperson Crystal Williams last week.
The fact that even this AILA rep is making such comments dramatizes my point that Cohen & Grigsby is not some rogue law firm.   ALL firms engage in the practices shown in the videos.
Note too, as I mentioned before, that since the H-1B visa does not require the employer to recruit American workers, what Klasko and Williams are saying is that the employer should never have to recruit Americans, either at the H-1B stage or the green card sponsorship stage.
making the concept seem fraudulent.
Klasko then criticizes the law:
Employers have to create a list of criteria for the position in which they wish to place the foreign worker and submit it to the department, he said.   Companies aren't allowed to just look for the best candidate, but rather any American workers who meet the minimum requirements outlined by the firm.
"That's absurd.", Klasko said.
The problem is compounded, he said, because subjective criteria such as whether the person is articulate or whether he or she went to a top-tiered school can't be considered.
What he is saying is true but egregiously misleading.   As the videos showed, the loop-holes are so huge that the employer will exclude all the American appliants in the end.   Remember, as immigration attorney Joel Stewart infamously said, "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply" (Joel Stewart, "Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers" Immigration Daily, 2000 April 24).   But that's not all.
The employer can then ignore those same traits he thinks make the foreign worker valuable, since as graduating from a top school, when the employer figures prevailing wage!   On the open market, he'd have to pay more for a graduate from a top school, but he can hire a foreign national for the price of a graduate of a mediocre school.   IOW, these lawyers have got you coming and going.   :-)
Speaking of quality, note that I have always been strongly in favor of facilitating the immigration of "the best and the brightest".   But as I've pointed out before, there are separate immigration visa categories for them, both for temporary visas (O-1) and green cards (EB-1).   In fact, Klasko even has a tutorial on them.
Norm
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2007-06-24
Beth Fitzgerald _Star-Ledger_
What it takes to make happy workers
"Now, Conant talks about 'employee trust' as though this intangible and emotional quality were every bit as real as a new factory.   'Every day, you've got to be making deposits in the emotional bank account of your company.', he said.   'When people do something right, you have to celebrate it, and then you have to celebrate it again.   And if they do something wrong, you have to thoughtfully call them on it, because this isn't a patronizing culture, it's a performance culture.'...   A few decades of corporate down-sizings, right-sizings and flat-out mass firings have churned and demoralized much of the nation's work force, shattering the once-hallowed code of loyalty that bound them to their employers.   Experts say the days when a good worker was promised a job for life are long gone [because we say so!], swept away by such forces as the global market for cheap labor and the world's relentless quest for innovation...   Modern [inadequate] substitutes for life-time job security include challenging work assignments that light up the employee's resume for the next job search, and creating a work-place culture where employee satisfaction takes center stage...   Rutgers University management professor Charles Heckscher.   His book _White-Collar Blues_ (Basic, 1996) identified 'flaws' in the old tradition of life-time corporate loyalty and argued for a more flexible world where workers move easily from job to job without suffering crushing economic and career sacrifices...   John Challenger's Chicago out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has been clocking the corporate lay-off toll since 1989, and he said loyalty has been replaced by free agency [i.e. bodyshopping]."

2007-06-24
_ZeeNews India_
US law-makers initiating investigation of issues raised in Cohen & Grigsby video

2007-06-24
_Programmer's Guild_
List of Employers who utilize the Cohen & Grigsby American worker displacement services

2007-06-24
_Law Fuel_
How to hire cheap foreign workers -- a lawyer's guide on YouTube
 

  "To imagine is to envision, to see with the inward eye.   This ability to imagine is the basis of all creativity.   Creativity is being able to see beyond what is readily apparent.   It is seeing a new answer to an old problem." --- Robin Moore (quoted in Bill Mooney & David Holt 1996 _The StoryTeller's Guide_ pg 8  

 

2007-06-25

2007-06-25
Gina Passarella _Law.com_/_Legal Intelligencer_
Immigration Law Seminar Generates Negative Publicity for Firm
"The firm has seen a media and political firestorm regarding comments made by its attorneys at the May seminar regarding the ways employers can eliminate American job applicants in order to obtain green cards for foreign workers...   Ron Klasko of Philadelphia immigration boutique Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer said the only reason employers need to engage in a federally mandated search for American workers is if they already have a foreign national in place for the position.   'In almost every case there's already somebody in the job.', Klasko said.   'You don't initiate the process unless you have a really critical foreign national' in need of a green card.   It may be, he said, that the firm just didn't express that artfully enough, making the concept seem fraudulent.   [So, being artful in your fraudulence is better?]   The issue of backing a foreign worker for permanent residency status is not a new issue and one that is a real problem for employers, Klasko said.   'The recruiting system that has been set up by the Department of Labor does not allow employers to use normal recruitment procedures.', he said.   Employers have to create a list of criteria for the position in which they wish to place the foreign worker and submit it to the department, he said.   Companies aren't allowed to just look for the best candidate, but rather any American workers who meet the minimum requirements outlined by the firm.   'That's absurd.', Klasko said."

2007-06-25
Dean Baker _American Prospect_
Testing what the lobbyists say on H-1B visas
alternate link
"If you increase supply, you lower the price, in this case the wages of highly skilled workers...   [The New York Times] tells us, 'the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said that thousands of H-1B workers have been paid less than the prevailing wage.'...   The article also reports that some 'high-tech companies said that the wage standards in the Durbin-Grassley proposal would, in effect, require them to pay some H-1B employees more than some equally qualified American workers who are performing the same duties'.   That seems to invite the obvious -- put the measure into effect and see if the high-tech companies continue to hire people with H-1B visas.   If they are being truthful, then these high-tech companies would stop using H-1B visas."

2007-06-25
Robert Pear & Laurie J. Flynn _NY Times_
Tech executives don't get quite every one of their wishes in Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill
CNET
"The Senate bill would expand the number of work visas for skilled professionals, but high-tech companies say the proposed increase is not nearly enough.   Several provisions of the Senate bill are meant to enhance protections for American workers and to prevent visa fraud and abuse...   In the last 2 weeks, these businesses have quietly negotiated for changes to meet some of their [whims].   But the bill still falls far short of what they want, an outcome suggesting that their political clout does not match their economic strength...   'But that supposed influence has not translated into legislative results.', [Stephen W. Yale-Loehr], who teaches at Cornell Law School, continued.   'High-tech companies have been lobbying unsuccessfully since 2003 for more H-1B visas.   It's hard to get anything through Congress these days.   In addition, anti-immigrant groups are well organized. U.S. computer programmers are constantly arguing that H-1B workers under-cut their wages [and their employment].'

2007-06-25
Paul McNamara _Network World_
How to avoid hiring an American
"The objective, says Lawrence Lebowitz, vice president of marketing at Cohen & Grigsby, couldn't be more straightforward: 'Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker... our objective is to get this person a green card.', Lebowitz tells his conference audience. And how does an employer go about fulfilling that objective in light of its legal obligation to first search for a qualified American?   It's all about where you search, he says. 'Clearly we are not going to find a place where the applicants are most numerous, we're going to find a place where -- again we're complying with the law -- [we're] hoping and likely not to find qualified worker applicants.', Lebowitz says. And if despite looking in all the wrong places a gem of an American candidate pops up anyway?   This may be an unfortunate turn of events, but it, too, can be corrected. 'If someone looks like they are very qualified, if necessary schedule an interview; go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them.', he says... It sounds like it ought to be illegal. At the very least, it sounds like Congress should be tightening the screws on current law before increasing the number of H-1Bs."
video

2007-06-25
David Rogers _Wall Street Journal_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill II (S1639): Bush counting on extremely slightly tougher enforcement to carry revived piece of garbage
"'It's an uphill fight.', says Massachusetts Democratic senatr Edward Kennedy.   Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott of Mississippi, who worked to resurrect the package, told Fox News Sunday that 'the wheels may come off'.   'I haven't seen a lot of Lazaruses coming out of the Senate.', said former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican.   Law-makers describe a daily barrage of angry phone calls protesting plans to legalize millions of undocumented workers...   In this case, Mr. Bush is not only defying his past style, but doing it on an issue that especially riles his base.   The high-tech industry, which could help sway Republicans such as Mr. Gregg or his colleagues in Minnesota and Virginia, shares the same dilemma.   It has been promised a two-part amendment that would increase the number of visas to skilled workers by 40K a year and allow a 5-year period in which employers would continue to have greater say in selecting the employees they want.   In the first 2 years, employers would be able to petition to fill as many as 115,401 slots.   That would fall to about 87K in the third year, 58,467 in the fourth and 44,234 in the fifth.   With this commitment, the industry is supporting the larger bill, but it remains worried by a labor-backed amendment to the H-1B visa program crafted by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat.   Days of negotiation have failed to bring a breakthrough, and the administration is fearful that the industry is holding back its efforts to push the bill until the issue is resolved."

2007-06-25 04:53PDT (07:53EDT) (11:53GMT)
Rick Smith _Local Tech Wire_/_WRAL_
AP offers insightful view of Big Blue's "Lean" program
alternate link
"The focus of the story is on the 'LEAN' program that executives are using to slash U.S. workers who support clients over-seas.   Bergstein doesn't spell out any details on lay-offs associated with the program that is designed to make IBM more efficient.   However, he does note a couple of times why a lot of IBM workers are anxious about their jobs.   After all, to them, LEAN stands for Lay off every American now...   Alliance@IBM is on the record as saying thousands of IBMers who don't directly 'face' customers, such as in sales, are going to lose their jobs this year.   So far in 2007, the count is well above 3K.   Example: 'Engineers in India are several times less expensive.   Sudip Banerjee, president of the enterprise services division for India-based Wipro Ltd., said that even if a customer requires engineers to temporarily move from India to an office in the U.S. for a project, Wipro charges about half what U.S.-based competitors would bill.'   This point is an example of why the debate about whether to permit more foreign technical workers come to the U.S. under H-1B visas is so intense."

2007-06-25
Eric Chabrow _CIO Insight_
Only a few firms are big users/abusers of H-1B visas
"A survey of business technology executives by CIO Insight last year showed that very few employ H-1B visa holders.   Our research revealed that only 3% of a companies IT work-force consisted of foreign workers on visas; that figure rose to 7% among companies with revenue topping $1G.   'There's not much support among IT executives to boost H-1B quotas -- except at companies that already rely heavily on contractors and out-sourcers.', wrote my colleague Allan Alter, who analyzed the data."

2007-06-25
Carol Devine-Molin _Enter Stage Right_
Bush versus the American people
"Regarding the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion Act (RILP, S1639)], citizens are assiduously writing and phoning their elected representative to stop this legislation, but to no avail. President Bush is hell-bent on getting this legislation through, primarily with the assistance of the liberal Democrats although he's not above arm-twisting a few Republicans. Reportedly, Bush has convinced Senator Mitch McConnell to vote for this abomination. What's most troubling is that the president is side stepping the concerns of the American citizenry and the conservative base of his own party that have been his staunch supporters... hubris and grandiosity give rise to profoundly poor judgment. OK, that and the fact that Bush is in a crummy mood since he's had 6 and a half years of being pummeled by almost everybody. If only the president would take out his aggravation on the liberal Democrats (paging Senator Ted Kennedy and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) instead of playing footsies with them."

2007-06-25 07:59:57PDT (10:59:57EDT) (14:59:57GMT)
Brian Watson _Magic City News_
Indians steal American jobs

2007-06-25
Richard Burnett _Orlando Sentinel_
SEC's new transparency rules show CEOs continue to increase their take
"The pay figures for top corporate honchos, by comparison, are staggering: America's average chief executive officer today makes 411 times more annually than the average worker, a gap 10 times larger than 25 years ago, according to Northstar Asset Management, a money-management firm in suburban Philadelphia... The Sentinel's annual executive-compensation report, which ranks CEO pay by companies either based in Central Florida or having a strong presence here, revealed some provocative statistics: About two-thirds of the top 25 CEOs received double- or triple-digit increases in compensation, and one-third received hikes ranging from 150% to nearly 400%."

2007-06-25
Ernest Istook _National Review_
Senate math is fuzzy

2007-06-25
Mark Lowry _American Chronicle_
American Patriots, America's first hate group, are back again to preserve liberty, join us.

2007-06-25
Daneen G. Peterson _American Chronicle_
About the NAU -- What you don't know can hurt you

2007-06-25
Kath Kiely _USA Today_
Need for immigrant workers in dispute
"In the video, Pittsburgh lawyer Lawrence Leibowitz advises business owners how to qualify foreign employees on temporary work visas for permanent residence in the USA.   The law requires that employers show that no qualified American workers want the job.   'Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.', Leibowitz tells his audience.   'In a sense, that sounds funny, but that is what we're trying to do here.'"

2007-06-25
_Washington Times_
senator Lott's foot-in-mouth problem
"With his buffoonish complaints about talk radio and its role in educating the American public about the flaws in the Senate immigration bill, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott has done much to energize the conservative Republican base and jeopardize the chances of its passage.   Earlier this month, open-borders advocates came up 15 votes short when they attempted to shut off debate on the immigration bill, and nothing that has taken place since that time leads us to believe that the Bipartisan Alien Amnesty Caucus will fare much better on tomorrow's cloture vote — the most critical one on illegal immigration during the current Congress.   If open-borders advocates fail again tomorrow, don't be surprised if President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, their poll ratings already abysmal, conclude that this isn't the way to build their respective political legacies."

2007-06-25
Joyce Lane Kennedy _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Jobs of the future are hard to identify: Take in all projections you can find and season with a grain of salt
"The good-old-Yankee-ingenuity-to-the-rescue perspective is now endangered by a smudge on the nation's crystal ball.   The smudge is the growing job drain for U.S. workers -- a factor that makes practical career forecasting iffier than ever these days.   Why?   U.S. technology is being washed off-shore and awarded to cheaper labor at prices that wouldn't pay American workers' rent, much less mortgages.   A soon-to-be published paper by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research will report new evidence suggesting that moving jobs over-seas has hurt the U.S. economy considerably more than has been suggested by U.S. Department of Labor numbers.   On the high end, suppose that your child, having noted that health care is a prosperous career choice, wants to become a radiologist.   A number of U.S. hospitals now out-source the reading of CAT scans to radiologists in India and Australia, usually over-night.   Americans are also traveling outside the U.S for dentistry and surgery.   How will globalization affect future health-care worker demand in this country even as legions of Baby Boomers age and require health services?   And when jobs are not offshored, young, pliant and cheaper workers -- driving down American wages and working conditions -- are brought on-shore through a half-dozen visa programs, especially H1-B visas aimed at information technology professionals.   An uproar last week centered on grainy seminar videos posted on the file-sharing site YouTube by a Pittsburgh immigration law firm.   The seminar educated employers on the nitty-gritty of how to use legal loop-holes to ensure foreign workers get the jobs and Americans don't.   IOW, the legal eagles explained exactly how to beat the system protecting U.S. citizens -- Americans shafting American workers.   The shocker came when the seminar moderator, a partner in the law firm, admitted: 'Our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.'   One recommended tactic: Avoid advertising jobs in certain media that attract lots of qualified U.S. job seekers.   Even more disturbing was University of California, Davis, computer science professor Norm Matloff's observation that the seminar under fire was not produced by a rogue law firm: 'What this firm is doing is legal and standard.'   The law firm has pulled the offensive YouTube videos...   There are more scary wild cards in today's occupational stew than I have seen in my many years of covering careers."

2007-06-25
Deborah Perelman _eWeek_
Cohen & Grigsby's video showed "blatant disregard for American workers"
PC Magazine
"In a letter sent June 21 to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. senator Charles Grassley, R-IA, and representative Lamar Smith, R-TX, ask the Department of Labor to review the video and investigate the law firm's 'unethical procedures' and advice to clients...   The Programmers Guild, a tech industry interest group out of Summit, NJ, posted a video on YouTube June 16 featuring excerpts from a series of videos created by the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby and posted on YouTube.   Recorded May 15 as part of a half-day seminar focused on 'Hot Topics in Immigration Law', the videos were to provide free legal tips and practical solutions to hiring managers [wanting to retain] over-seas talent [by helping them convert from a temporary to a permanent visa].   In the video, however, an individual identified as Lawrence Lebowitz, vice president and director of marketing for Cohen & Grigsby, explains how employers can [retain] foreign workers under the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) process, which stipulates requirements for placing job ads to fill [the positions] by either hiring U.S. workers or evidencing that no qualified ones are available...   In one week, the video was viewed by more than 127K individuals and picked up by countless media outlets, which were near-universally outraged by the anti-U.S. worker tone, as well as the enthusiastic use of loop-holes, in the video.   Lebowitz states that other members of his team will help employers bypass U.S. workers by advertising in a regional publication with limited circulation while internally listing the job as slotted for a foreign worker.   Earlier this year, Grassley, along with senator Durbin, D-IL, introduced a bill that puts the onus on employers interested in hiring an H-1B worker to prove that they have [made a good-faith effort] to ensure that the visa holder would not be displacing a prospective U.S. employee."

2007-06-25
_Public Citizen_
Opposition grows as text of trade deal becomes public
"The legal text of changes to several Bush-negotiated NAFTA expansion agreements released today confirms that the essential changes listed by labor unions, environmental, consumer, faith and family farm groups as necessary to avoid their opposition to the free trade agreements were not made, said Public Citizen today.   'Today's text release confirms that Congress is about to face a vote on yet another Bush NAFTA expansion agreement, because now we can see that unfortunately none of the core NAFTA-CAFTA provisions linked to off-shoring and downward pressure on wages so strongly opposed by most congressional Democrats and the American public have been removed even as improved labor and environmental standards have been added on.', said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division...   Fails to alter the outrageous NAFTA 'Chapter 11' foreign investor privileges that create incentives for U.S. firms to move off-shore and expose our most basic environmental, health, zoning and other laws – policies strongly advocated for by Democrats -- to attack in foreign tribunals.   Does absolutely nothing to address bans on 'Buy America' and anti-offshoring policies that safeguard American jobs and that Democrats have continually fought to expand and preserve.   Does nothing to fix the Peru FTA terms that would allow Citibank or other U.S. investors providing 'private retirement accounts' to sue Peru if the country reverses its failed social security privatization.   This deal helps lock Peru into the same privatized social security system that Democrats have been fighting against in the United States.   Rolls back the most extreme CAFTA-style drug patent rules to NAFTA-era language.   However, the NAFTA language itself undermines rights available under World Trade Organization patent rules.   Thus, while the amended text is better than CAFTA, it limits developing country trade partners' rights relative to their status without the new limits that would be imposed by the FTAs, increasing the cost of medicine for our trading partners -- costs that Democrats are trying hard to contain for our own health care system.   Fails to change the food import standards as needed so that only food meeting U.S. standards would be allowed.   Does nothing to address the NAFTA-style farm rules that resulted in 1.3M Mexican peasant farmers losing their livelihoods."

2007-06-25
Robert E. Scott _EPI_
the WM effect: its imports from Red China hae displaced nearly 200K US jobs

2007-06-25 (5767 Tamuz 09)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Slander in the court
"As we have discussed many times, while Jewish law forbids idle slander, it permits accusing others when the following conditions are met:   The claims are accurate;   There is a constructive objective that cannot be obtained without speaking up;   The intention is constructive and not vindictive;   The constructive objective is not obtained at the expense of undeserved harm to the accused or anyone else."
 

  "When you finally do get some money, Uncle Sam will be standing next to you with his hand in your pocket.   There's nothing you can do about it initially except curse.   I highly recommend profanity when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service.   I wish I could figure out a way to starve the flaming lizards.   So far I have not been successful but I've learned to lessen the damage.   Like most of you, I don't mind paying taxes when they go for our nation's greater welfare...   If you come from a wealthy background, you know how to protect yourself from taxes.   You've had trust funds set up from a time before taxes became so punishing Most writers do not come from wealthy backgrounds.   I don't know what it is but great inherited wealth seems to vitiate creativity...   So chances are when you finally make money you will already be at a disadvantage because you won't be able to protect yourself from the IRS.   Our tax laws are making it harder to create new wealth.   Old wealth is in little danger.   The lower your beginnings on the class scale, the greater the disadvantage.   Here's what you do.   Shop around for a good lawyer.   As your friends.   Find a good lawyer before you find a good accountant.   Ask your lawyer for 5 names of accountants s/he recommends.   Interview these people & then make your choice." --- Rita Mae Brown 1989 April _Starting from Scratch_ pg 167  

 

2007-06-26

2007-06-26
Jim Geraghty _National Review_
Amendments to Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill

2007-06-26
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Corrupt senators bring back Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill with something for everyone to dislike
[A couple weeks ago, Dem leadership tabled the bill when a motion to limit debate, hence amendment, was turned down.]

2007-06-26
Patrick Thibodeau _PC World_/_Computer World_
Senators claim off-shore bodyshops are abusing the L visa program
Information Week/CMP
San Francisco Chronicle
more from SF Chronicle
InfoWorld
Business Week
Grassley/Durbin 2007-06-14 press release
"Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released a list of the top users of L visas as well as a companion list that they said points to a connection between use of those visas and the H-1B by off-shoring companies.   The L visas, which include the L-1 and other lesser-known cousins, can be used by multi-national companies to transfer employees from over-seas locations to offices in the U.S.A.   They don't have some of the restrictions that H-1B visas do, such as a requirement that workers be paid prevailing wages that are on par with the salaries of American workers...   In the federal government's 2006 fiscal year, which ended last September, applications for more than 53K L visas were approved.   That was up from about 49,400 visas in fiscal 2005 and about 47,700 the year before that...   Topping the list of L users for fiscal 2006 was India-based Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., which received 4,887 of the visas.   Tata, which also was awarded 3,046 H-1B visas last year, had been given 5,517 L visas in fiscal 2005, Durbin and Grassley said.   The 2 senators said that Teaneck, NJ-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., which has offshore facilities in India, received 2,226 H-1B visas and 3,520 L visas during fiscal 2006.   The latter figure was up from 1,888 visas the year before.   India-based Wipro Ltd. received 4,002 H-1B visas and 839 L visas last year, Durbin and Grassley said.   Infosys Technologies Ltd., the No. 1 user of H-1B visas in fiscal 2006 with 4,908, needed relatively few L visas by comparison: just 294 last year...   'The L visa is designed to give multi-national companies the freedom to transfer managers and specialists within the company to their U.S. offices.', Durbin said.   'But some of these companies have hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of L visa workers.   I find it hard to believe that any one company has that many individuals that are legitimately being transferred within a single year.'...   Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, said that among the steps Congress could take to better regulate the use of the L visas is to add prevailing wage requirements.   Other possible constraints include prohibiting the use of the visas to displace American workers, he said.   Hira said that based on his review of the data posted by Durbin and Grassley, 14 of the top 20 users of L visas during fiscal 2006 were off-shore out-sourcing firms."

2007-06-26 (5767 Tamuz 10)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Cultural heritages
"A culture is a tool for serving the many practical purposes of life, from making a living to curing diseases.   As a tool, it has to change with the ever changing tasks that confront every culture as time goes on...   No culture can stand still...   Unfortunately, in this age of 'multi-culturalism', there are too many outsiders who want all sorts of cultures to be frozen where they are, preserved like museum exhibits.   Worse yet, too many multi-culturalists want many groups to cling to their historic grievances, if not be defined by them.   But among the many ways that various groups around the world have advanced from poverty to prosperity, nursing historic grievances does not have a promising track record — except for those who make a career out of keeping grievances alive.   The youngsters we saw deserve better than that."

2007-06-26
_Programmers Guild_
Tech executives still demanding that H-1B remain a source of cheap labor through below-market compensation
"According to the Wall Street Journal, MSFT received resumes from about 100K graduating students in 2004, screened 15K of them, interviewed 3,500, and hired 1K.   MSFT receives about 60K resumes a month for its 2K open positions.   Working at Google is among the top choices of U.S. graduates, flooding Google with 1,300 resumes per DAY."

2007-06-26 (5767 Tamuz 10)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
Red China's double standard
"There is a special irony to [Red China's] adamance on the subject that successor governments are responsible for their predecessors' sovereign debts.   After all, American and other investors are estimated to be holding Chinese sovereign bonds issued by pre-Communist regimes worth roughly $260G -- bonds the PRC has, to date, refused to honor.   While British holders of such Chinese bonds were given a discriminatory settlement back in 1987, their American counterparts have been left holding the bag.   Now, though, U.S. legislators are considering a resolution that could induce China to be more forthcoming.   House Concurrent Resolution 160, introduced last month by representative Lincoln Davis (D-TN) and others on both sides of the aisle, would deny the PRC access to the U.S. capital markets until such time as, among other things, Communist China 'fully honors repayment of its outstanding defaulted public debts owed to United States citizens'."

2007-06-26
Bob McCarty
Lawyers Teach Employers How To Avoid Hiring Yanks

2007-06-26 (5767 Tamuz 10)
Barry Rubin _Jewish World Review_
The fall of the house of Yasser

2007-06-26 (5767 Tamuz 10)
Robert Mitchum _Jewish World Review_
Charity is good for the brain
"Using MRI, the investigators found that both mandatory and voluntary transfers increased activity in brain areas called the nucleus accumbens and the caudate nucleus.   These areas have previously been associated with the brain's response to rewarding stimuli, such as taking street drugs or viewing pictures of loved ones.   The reward reaction was more intense with the voluntary giving, which the authors argue supports the notion of a 'warm glow' phenomenon...   Test subjects whose reward centers reacted more strongly to receiving money were less willing to make donations."

2007-06-26
"ckelty" _Savage Minds_
Xiang Biao's Global Body Shopping Spree

2007-06-26
Glenn Beck _CNN_
on Cohen & Grigsby seminar

2007-06-26
_KPIX_
CBS on Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill & fake job ads
YouTube
 

  "Creating characters is enormous fun.   Non-creative people think that writers make up characters & then jerk them through the plot...   It's not like that.   If anything, the character winds up controlling the writer.   For genre fiction -- e.g. mystery, sf, Gothic romance -- this is not [always] true...   the reader is invited into what is basically a verbal puzzle;... the plot is the book.   That's the definition of genre fiction.   True fiction takes the writer places s/he has never been & calls forth deep emotions.   The people are vividly real." --- Rita Mae Brown 1989-04-?? _Starting from Scratch_ pp 95-96  

 

2007-06-27

2007-06-27 (5767 Tamuz 11)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
David Brooks, Hamiltonian
"Why are pundits and politicians so eager to use force against others?...   the last thing we need are champions of the statist Hamilton.   What we need now are champions of the libertarian Jefferson, who said in a very un-Hamiltonian way: 'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.'"

2007-06-27
Brian Miller _Seattle Weekly_
Moderately wealthy foreigners could get green cards through investment in hotel
"Two years ago, the city of Seattle sold off the historic Alaska Building at Second and Cherry to a developer that said it was going to turn the 1904 structure, previously full of bureaucrats' offices, into downtown housing...   Thanks to a 1990 act of Congress, rich foreigners can gain an 'EB-5 investor visa', jumping ahead of the huddled masses, by investing in purportedly job-creating businesses.   The program buys an affluent immigrant (plus spouse and unmarried children) 2 years' residency on a green card and, ideally, a glide path toward full citizenship.   The country's largest beneficiary of this program to date is a Seattle real-estate fund called American Life Inc., which has purchased numerous properties in SoDo with EB-5 money and is now looking to fund the $85M conversion of the Alaska Building in concert with the developer, Kauri Investments.   'It's probably the biggest EB-5 project in the country.', says Henry Liebman, an immigration attorney and head of American Life.   He estimates about 85 EB-5 investors would be involved.   The irony is that these investors will secure their own green cards by investing in an industry known for its reliance on [illegal aliens].   An investment can qualify for the EB-5 program if it's at least a half-million dollars and being made in a so-called Regional Center—defined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service [USCIS] as an area 'that has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate'.   The investment also must 'create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals'...   The feds don't track what kind of jobs are created via the EB-5 program.   Or even how many.   There really isn't a formal auditing mechanism, and Liebman says he basically just e-mails USCIS with periodic investor data and job estimates.   The Government Accounting Office [GAO] estimates that through 2004, immigrant entrepreneurs invested about $1G through the EB-5 program."

2007-06-27
Sarah Stuteville & Alex Stonehill _Seattle Weekly_
Guest-worker programs have many problems
"Kampilo once believed he'd earn enough in two years of hard work and steady American wages to help lift his family, left back home in the rice paddies of northern Thailand, out of subsistence farming.   Like 120K other 'unskilled' laborers temporarily brought into this country under H-2A (for agriculture) and H-2B (for other jobs) visas each year, Kampilo was romanced by the guest worker program, which provides a flexible, legalized foreign workforce to fill tough jobs...   The recruiter, working for a Thai company contracted by Global Horizons, demanded an $11K fee...   The workers would also be expected to pay an additional $3K fee when they began their second year of work...   With the money he thought would eventually come to him, Kampilo hoped to pay back the loan, buy some land, and send his two sons to school.   Three years later, that land is still in hock, with monthly interest payments of $150 bearing down on his family back in Lampang.   While in the States, Kampilo claims he was paid only $7 an hour and lived in substandard conditions, with his documents confiscated and movements strictly controlled."

2007-06-27
Daniel Downs _American Chronicle_
US Chamber of Communists still singing the glories of illegal aliens and excessive immigration

2007-06-27
Norm Matloff H-1B/L-1/offshoring e-newsletter
Durbin/Grassley amendment gutted
I [have received] outrageous news from one of senator Durbin's staffers.   'Modified Durbin Amendment: H-1B Visa Prevailing Wage -- 30% cap on Skill Level 1 H-1B non-immigrants employed by a single employer is converted to an audit trigger.'   As you can see, the senators caved.   To review: The Durbin/Grassley bill (not amendment) contained an excellent provision in which H-1Bs would have to be paid at least at Level 2 (out of 4 levels).   Yesterday, that was proposed as an amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (CIR [a.k.a. Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion]), albeit weakened to requiring that no more than 30% of the H-1Bs could be paid at Level 1.   Today that has been completely gutted, so that it now would merely trigger an audit.   What would be the point of the audit?   Just as before, it would be fully legal for an employer to pay 100% of his H-1Bs at level 1.   Since it would be legal, there would be nothing to audit.   Note that this change came at the explicit request/order of the industry lobbyists.   It was reported yesterday that Robert Hoffman, head of the lobbying group Compete America, had demanded this specific change to the amendment.   I am completely withdrawing my support for the amendment.   Furthermore, I AM GOING ON RECORD AS OPPOSING THE [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill] ITSELF.   (Yesterday I did not really take a stance on it.)   This is one of the most treacherous acts I've ever seen in politics.   If they had merely removed the prevailing wage provision, that would have been disappointing but tolerable.   But to try to fool the American public with an absolutely meaningless provision is more than I can take, I will work against the [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill], and I hope those of you readers who are programmers and engineers do so too."

2007-06-27
Carolyn Lochhead _San Francisco Chronicle_
As phony compromises pile up, evil cabal pushing Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill is falling apart
"Silicon Valley technology [executives] were fighting their own battles behind the scenes, spurning White House entreaties to help push the larger bill until they are assured passage of an [especially evil] amendment by senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, to increase H-1B visas and allow employers to continue to sponsor some permanent migrants for 5 years.   The industry was horrified when the bill emerged from closed-door talks not only without the big increase in H-1B temporary visas for skilled workers they have sought for 3 years, but also eliminating employer-sponsored green cards for permanent residence with a merit-based point system.   The administration called 30 tech lobbyists to the White House on Monday to solicit their support, but got a limp hand-shake."

2007-06-27 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Debate over Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill continues
Lou Dobbs: Tonight, the U.S. Senate seems hell-bent on giving citizenship to 12M to 28M illegal aliens while denying the rights and wishes of 280M American citizens.   Pro-amnesty senators rushing to appease the open borders lobby, corporate interests and socioethnocentric special interests.   We'll have complete coverage for you tonight.
Lou Dobbs: Also, rising outrage on Capitol Hill over a visa program that allows corporations to bring in as many foreign workers as they want, without any limits or controls.   The president says he needs a new guest worker program.   Oh, really?   We'll have that special report.   War on the middle class...
Lou Dobbs: Pro-amnesty senators today attempting to sweep aside all opposition and objections to their grand bargain for amnesty.   Amnesty supporters defeated amendments from Democratic and Republican senators designed to blunt the impact of that amnesty legislation or perhaps even improve it.
Lou Dobbs: Opponents of so-called comprehensive immigration reform say pro- amnesty senators have simply rigged the debate and are railroading the legislation.   Those critics say illegal alien supporters, open borders advocates are trampling on our democratic republic to ram that legislation through the Senate.
Dana Bash: so far today, advocates of the immigration legislation have beat back 5 of the 26 amendments set for votes to change this bill.   But that belies the still uncertain future of this legislation.   They may have revived debate, but authors of the Senate immigration "compromise" know its fate is still very unclear.
Arlen Specter (R-PA): We're in trench warfare, and it's going to be tough, but we're going to see the will of the senate work one way or another.
Dana Bash: The bill's supporters won their first big battle, voting to kill a proposal to make it harder for illegal immigrants to gain legal status by requiring them to return home within two years.   The proposal's Republicans sponsor argued this new hurdle for illegal immigrants would calm critics who call it amnesty.
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): This is the amendment that will take the amnesty out of this bill and say, today's standards will be enforced....
Dana Bash: A measure from Democrat Jim Webb to allow only illegal immigrants in the U.S. for at least 4 years to qualify for U.S. citizenship.
Ted Kennedy (D-MA): Two of those amendments of those that wanted to undermine this proposal have been defeated.   Others will be.   But today is the time.   Now is the place.   This is the hour.
Dana Bash: Senators also fended off a significant challenge from the left: an amendment from Democrat Bob Menendez to make it easier for family members of legal immigrants to come to the U.S.A...   In order to get around staunch opponents determined to block the bill, leaders took advantage of rarely used Senate rules to limit amendments from the left and the right.   Now these votes are going to continue through the evening.   They're going on as we speak, Lou.   But the next make-or-break vote for this bill is going to be 09:00 tomorrow morning.   That is a procedural vote that takes 60 in order to pass, and right now, no one can say whether or not it will.
Lou Dobbs: we heard a number of references today and, including in your report from senator Specter, expressions of the will of the senate.   The will of the American people seems to be no part of the rhetoric of this debate, if you can call it that, in the senate.
Dana Bash: ...we heard a lot of opponents of this bill go onto the floor today and express their frustration about the fact that they were not able to not just debate this but actually offer their particular amendments to change it, that definitely was heard loud and clear on the floor today.
Lou Dobbs: ...a very important procedural vote tomorrow on cloture that could either send this bill forward for a vote or kill it.
Lou Dobbs: Senators whose amendments are defeated today will have no opportunity to reintroduce those proposals.   And one of those senators, senator Jim Webb (D-VA), told us he is now inclined to vote against the amnesty legislation.
Lou Dobbs: Opponents of that legislation today blasted Senate majority leader, senator Harry Reid, for restricting the debate.   Those critics say senator Reid and the other pro-amnesty, open border senators are ignoring their rights as elected senators and ignoring the rights of the American people they represent...
Jim DeMint (R-SC): Mr. President, I ask for 5 minutes under the same time agreement.   For any purpose.
Harry Reid (D-NV), majority leader: I can't do that.   I would have to object to that.
Jim DeMint: A parliamentary inquiry.   Do I not have the right to reserve the right to object?
Harry Reid: No.
Jim DeMint: How many rules are we going to change?

Lisa Sylvester: Senate leader Harry Reid, using an arcane procedural device, controlled the debate.   The discussion is limited to only 27 amendments.   As the senate debates to give new [privileges] to illegal aliens, GOP members complain their [rights and privileges] as senators are being curtailed.
David Vitter (R-LA): Yes, there's unlimited debate as long as you agree not to exercise any of your rights as a United States senator.   You can talk only.   You can't make a motion.   You can't try to bring up your amendments.
Lisa Sylvester: Reid defended the process.
Harry Reid: I have tried to make these as family friendly as possible.   That is, senate family friendly.   I say to my friend during the early days of this legislation, amendments were offered by him and others, some of which got votes.   Some didn't.   That's the way the [corrupt] senate operates.
Lisa Sylvester: But critics say the Senate has not fully vetted this legislation.   The bill introduced without committee hearings, 400 pages of amendments offered early this afternoon without senators having time to read any of them.   And votes to kill some of those amendments without any debate.   Now, because of that procedural device known as the clay pigeon, Senator Reid has moved the debate along quickly.   The Senate leadership hopes to have that crucial cloture vote on this bill tomorrow morning...
Lou Dobbs: President Bush, in defending his grand compromise and call for comprehensive immigration reform, frequently says we need a guest worker program in order to secure our borders.   Not only is that tortured logic, but we already have a guest-worker program...
Lou Dobbs: We have at least eight guest worker programs already, together allowing more than a half million people to come here and work every year on visas.
Lou Dobbs: According to the State Department, the biggest of these programs is the H visa program.   More than 300K H visas, in fact, were issued last year (including H-1B visas) that allow American companies to replace American workers with cheaper paid foreigners.   H visas are also used for nurses, farm workers and other so-called unskilled workers, if you can call a nurse unskilled.
Lou Dobbs: Last year our so-called free trade deals with other nations required the United States to allow more than 40K foreign workers to enter the United States to work on special E visas.
Lou Dobbs: There are more than 15K so-called I visas for foreign journalists working here.   More than 130K L visas.   Those are given to workers of foreign companies who then come to the United States to work here.
Lou Dobbs: 12,500 [far too many] O visas granted for what the government calls workers of extraordinary ability, including actors and academic leaders.   Nearly 34K P visas for athletes and other entertainers and artists.
Lou Dobbs: 12K R visas for religious workers, priests, rabbis and -- and imams.   And finally, more than 5,500 visas are issued for Canadian and Mexican workers, courtesy of our agreement, NAFTA.   More than 600K so-called temporary guest worker visas issued just last year alone.
Lou Dobbs: And you should know, no one can tell us how many of those people working here under those visa programs have overstayed their visas.
Lou Dobbs: So you wonder why the president thinks we need [yet another] guest worker program.
Lou Dobbs: One of the eight guest worker programs that already exists, the L visa program, is exploited to provide cheap foreign labor at the expense of American workers.
Lou Dobbs: And as Bill Tucker now reports, the biggest users and abusers of the program are also the biggest users of the H-1B visa program.
Bill Tucker: The L visa is much more dangerous to the American worker than the better known H-1B visa.   L visas have no wage requirements.   An American can be replaced by an L visa worker, and there is no cap on how many can be issued.
Bill Tucker: So who uses the most L visas, a visa designed for managers, executives and workers with specialized knowledge?   Nearly half of the top 20 users are companies whose business is out-sourcing work.   Tata Consultancy, Cognizant Tech Solutions, Satyam Computer Services, WIPRO, HCL, PATNI Computer Systems, Infosys, Caritor, Syntel.
Bill Tucker: All of those companies are also top users of H-1B visas.   And when those are compared to the Department of Labor's own projections, it reveals a frightening future for America's technology producers.
Paul Almeida of the AFL-CIO: This sector of the economy, the high-tech area, is only going to grow by approximately 120K jobs a year.   Unlimited L-1s, it's a definite threat to the U.S. work force.
Bill Tucker: In January of last year, the Office of Inspector General for Homeland Security found several reasons to be concerned about how the visas are being used.   The report noted that the term "specialized knowledge" is so broadly defined, it could be applied to anyone.   And that companies can claim to be bringing in workers as managers and executives, but there's no follow-up once they arrive.   That angers some senate leaders.
Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Whatever it takes to just minimally meet the requirements of the law, do it.   Forget about the spirit of the law.   To heck with the American workers.   Just get your workers wherever you can around the world for the lowest price you can and think last about helping America.
Chuck Grassley (R-IA): It's those corporations that I would say to them, either get your heart into America or get your rear end out.

Bill Tucker: There is little doubt about where the L visa workers are coming from.   In 2002, only 10% of the specialized knowledge workers came from India.   By 2005, almost half of the visas that were issued for specialized knowledge came from workers who came from India.
Bill Tucker: Now, Lou, critics of the L visa program are just warning that we're seeing the beginning of the exploitation of this program and that the use is only going to increase.
Lou Dobbs: Well, it is natural.   Certainly, no one can blame the Indian workers, because they are simply being exploited by the Indian companies who have been permitted here, through the policies of corporate America, in order to drive down wages and to hire cheaper than American labor.
Bill Tucker: Exactly.
Lou Dobbs: The idea that the number is -- give us the number again in both the L visa and the H-1B visa, the percentage that are going to Indian companies.
Bill Tucker: Roughly -- what is it -- 5 out of the top 6, 14 out of top 20.   5 of the top 6 for H-1B visas.   14 out of the top 20 go to Indian companies for the L-1 visa.
Bill Tucker: Last year, Lou, people think we really give out 65K H-1B visas.   It's not true.   Last year they did 118K of the H-1B visas alone, which Lou, almost exceeds the projected job growths, again, of the tech world.
Lou Dobbs: And you know, it's too much to ask for, and I know you -- at least most of you, I believe, at home would agree with me -- it's too much to ask for that the United States Senate be watching this broadcast tonight as we report the facts.
Lou Dobbs: And it's too much to ask that the White House staff be watching this broadcast and remind the president when he says that we can secure the border if we just have a guest worker program.
Lou Dobbs: What we have just reported to you is, in point of fact.   This is not emotional.   It's not ideological.   It's not partisan.   In point of fact, all this president and all this Congress had to do, at any time, if indeed this president truly believes what he is articulating in tortured logic, that a guest worker program is the way in which to secure the border, the border could be secured eight times over.
Lou Dobbs: The president and this Congress could raise the levels of those H-1B, H-1a, the H visa program, with a very simple initiative in either house of our great Congress.   Amazing.
Lou Dobbs: All right.   Thank you, Bill Tucker.   Very illuminating, as usual.   Now our poll.   Do you believe the senate leadership and the president are just simply outright selling out the interests of American citizens?   Yes, no.   Those are the only two choices we've got for you tonight.   Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com.   We'll have the results upcoming.
Lou Dobbs: Up next, new evidence that the U.S. law enforcement effort to fight terrorism is being bungled.   We'll have that special report.   What a government!
Lou Dobbs: And a new threat from communist China.   Now it's defective automobile tires.   The U.S. government is aware of the danger and have been for some time now.   Why no recall?   Why no concern about American consumers?...   the company says it can't afford to conduct a recall...
Lou Dobbs: One of the greatest criticisms of the so-called grand compromise on illegal immigration is that it doesn't protect our borders.   That is the view certainly held by one of the bill's most vigorous opponents, Senator Jeff Sessions who says the $4.4G included in that measure now fails to do anything...
Lou Dobbs: you brought up, that illegal immigration at the border, as the Congressional Budget Office points out, would be reduced by 25%, one can then get into the issue of Z visa holders later and interior enforcement.
Lou Dobbs: But the fact that the bill would, in fact, double, most people, I am afraid, may not be aware of this -- and as you suggested, I'm afraid many of your colleagues in the United States Senate may not be aware that the bill would actually double legal immigration when we're bringing in more than 2M people legally into this country and that it would cost $30G over the first decade.
Lou Dobbs: Senator, do you have the feeling that your colleagues in the Senate really care about those facts?
Jeff Sessions (R-AL): I think they didn't really fully comprehend them.   I've been pounding away at just those messages.   And Lou, its 25% reduction of illegal immigration at the border according to CBO.   But they also found that there would be an increase in visa over-stays and there would only be a net reduction of 13%.   In fact, 20 years from now, we'd have another 8.7M people illegally in our country.
Jeff Sessions (R-AL): Now how is that fixing the situation?   It's just unbelievable to me that we would promise that this legislation is going to fix the system when our own budget office says it won't.

Lou Dobbs: The Congressional Budget Office and Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation pointing out that the retirement costs, which you highlighted in some of your comments today, would add $2.6T in costs as a result of the retirement costs for those illegal immigrants who receive amnesty.   Somewhere between 11M and 12M is the estimate that he used.   And as everyone knows, no one knows how many are going to receive amnesty should they receive it.   Because the estimates range, as typical in government work, a range of 12M to 20M illegal aliens in the country.
Jeff Sessions: No doubt about it.   This is going to be a tremendous burden on the [tax-victim].   In the next 10 years, CBO said it would cost I believe $25G.   That is -- but they admit that the cost will increase substantially in the out years and then the Heritage Foundation did that study that said through retirement and through the life-time of those who would be given legal status, it would be $2T which is just a thunderous amount of money.   And nobody's even discussed that as they put this bill together.
Lou Dobbs: ...Border security is a nonevent in this legislation and as you recounted the number of people who talked about this legislation would secure the borders in doing so, with great enthusiasm, even ebullience.
Lou Dobbs: Beginning with a press conference about a month ago now where the grand bargainers came together.   How can U.S. senators stand in front of the American people, how can a president of the united states stand in front of the American people and I'm going to say this as gently as I can, misrepresent reality and the facts?
Jeff Sessions: ...I believe there is an erosion of support for this legislation.   The grand bargainers and Majority Leader Harry Reid lost a motion to the table the Baucus amendment which was a major defeat for them.   It knocked this train off the track and knocked them a loop.
Lou Dobbs: I was unaware of what you just told us on the Real I.D. -- the co-sponsor with Senator Baucus, Senator Tester.   It was not tabled?
Jeff Sessions: It was not tabled so that amendment remained pending.   It changed completely and really it was a reaction to the heavy-handed tactics, the steamroller tactics that have never been used before in the history of this Senate.   That's another reason we should not give cloture tomorrow because it would validate the procedure that's been used here that allowed the majority leader to allow no single amendment that he didn't personally approve.
Jeff Sessions: But I don't know that they will be voting for cloture tomorrow.   In fact, I think some of them have already made up their mind not to.   So it's going to be a cliff-hanger.   And if the people -- one of the things that's happening, people's phones are ringing off the hooks.   People's voices are being heard.   The clarity that -- and people learning that the bill is not a good piece of legislation, also.

Lou Dobbs: ...I found it appalling to see U.S. senators reduced to the level of schoolchildren without the right to debate or to vote and to proceed with the absolute blessing and at the insistence of the leadership of both the minority and the majority.
Byron Dorgan: Well, the procedures of the United States Senate are very Byzantine, to say the least.   But I was sitting on the floor of the Senate today thinking about some information I had unearthed yesterday.   I was curious, how many people in the year of 2005 is the last full year I have information for, how many people came into the country legally in 2005?   It was 3.8M.   That's not visitors.   These are people that came in under programs.   Green card programs, H-1B visas.   Unbelievable, 3.8M.
Byron Dorgan: And now we have a bill on the floor of the Senate that says, oh, that's not enough.   We need more to come in here who aren't yet here.   The bill makes no sense to me.

Lou Dobbs: And as Senator Sessions pointed out to all of you in the Senate, this legislation would double the level of legal immigration over the course of the next decade while, as the Congressional Budget Office analyzed and then reported to the Senate, reducing illegal immigration at the border by only 25%.
Lou Dobbs: This is utter madness and these facts are present and clear and before your colleagues.   How could any responsible representative of the people in this democratic republic even consider moving ahead with such nonsense?
Byron Dorgan: I'm the wrong one to ask that.   But let me tell you, I'm interested in solving problems.   Do we have an illegal immigration problem?   You bet your life.   How do we solve it?   Well, the first step obviously is to decide you're going to get control of the borders of this country.   This is not rocket science.
Byron Dorgan: All of the terms and all the conditions that are necessary to get control of the borders, to have employers sanctioned and so on, all of that exists in current law.
Byron Dorgan: I went back and looked, in 1986 right after the bill was passed, the last bill that created amnesty and so on, they took 3,500 actions against employers.   Fast forward to 2004, the entire federal government took three actions against employers in the entire United States.   And that describes the lack of will to do something about illegal immigration.

Lou Dobbs: And that, of course, rests squarely with George W. Bush, the president of the United States and his administration, which, since 2001, had permitted, simply accelerated illegal immigration while we're fighting a war on terror, not securing our borders or ports.
Lou Dobbs: Senator, I've got to ask you, you're co-sponsor with senator Webb of the so-called Webb amendment that would have rolled back the date of entry into the United States to 4 years ago [to be eligible for amnesty]...   It was tabled...
Byron Dorgan: ...Now, President Bush yesterday, as you know in apparently an unguarded moment, described what he was doing as amnesty.   And it, in fact, is amnesty.   Why would we give amnesty to people who came across last December 28?   It makes no sense to me.   And that was the intent of the Webb Amendment and I was glad to cosponsor it because it just made a lot of sense.
Lou Dobbs: And senator, of course, it is amnesty, the real question to me is why in the world would anyone deny what it is aside from the political implications, denying the truth and not recognizing the facts seems to be the direction that our government is headed.   And I'm proud to say that you are an exception to those who are herding up in that fashion.   We appreciate you -- your independence, we appreciate your being with us and tomorrow, you get to vote on cloture.
Byron Dorgan: Well, Lou, one more thing.   There's no discussion on the floor of the United States senate about the impact on the American worker.   That's what bothers me a lot as well.   Thank you very much, Lou.
Lou Dobbs: Three Republican congressmen introducing their own immigration reform legislation.   Congressman Pete King, Lamar Smith and Brian Bilbray.   Their legislation calling for securing our border first, enforcing existing immigration laws a priority.   Congressman Bilbray joins us now, Republican, California.
Lou Dobbs: Congressman, good to have you here.   Border security first, what are you people thinking about?
Brian Bilbray (R-CA): Well, the Immigration Caucus has decided that we'll show the Senate and the White House what a true immigration-controlled bill looks like and basically say that it's time we fulfill our promises and our commitments of the past, show the American people that we can be trusted to enforce the law and that's something that doesn't exist now, for good reason.   Washington hasn't earned the trust of the American people.
Lou Dobbs: Now, I was talking with Congressman Pete King, your colleague and co-sponsor, yesterday in Washington.   And he referred to the Senate as the House of Lords.   There is sort of airy other-world attachment on the part of those folks that I don't detect at least in the House of Representatives.
Lou Dobbs: You took a vote also condemning that legislation by a huge margin.   Do you think, should it pass the Senate, that it has the prospect of success in the House?
Brian Bilbray: ...We had a huge vote.   23 to 114.   The Republicans in the House of Representatives says the senate bill is wrong and they're against it.   I think that the challenge is to make sure that it doesn't get to the House to where Ms. Pelosi and her newly found majority can manipulate the process and try to sneak this thing through.
Brian Bilbray: And the House of Lords gets its name for a very big reason.   They are insulated from the public.   They're not up for election every two years and I think that the overwhelming majority of senators who are looking at re-election are going to be very sensitive to the fact it's not just an issue that people are going to forget about.

Lou Dobbs: A couple of salient facts, there's no disputation, the fact is most Americans oppose the legislation in the Senate.   The fact is the Congressional Budget Office who works for you all, non-partisan, says this is going to reduce illegal immigration by 25%.   It's going to cost $30G.
Lou Dobbs: The fact is that it is a disaster.   How in the world can your president, the head of your party, George W. Bush, sit there with a straight face and tell people when we have eight existing guest worker programs that we have to have another in order to secure the border?
Brian Bilbray: Look, the guest worker concept isn't so bad as they're saying flat out that neither the congressional offices or the White House or the Senate is recognizing the huge impact of proposing another amnesty.   This is as logical as drilling a hole in the middle of a boat and expecting the water to go out and not in...
Brian Bilbray: Thank you, Lou.   Keep calling your senators.   Keep the fight going.   The American people are being heard.   Just not as loud as they will be.

 

2007-06-27 (5767 Tamuz 11)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Straight Thinking
"economic theory, and for that matter any scientific theory, is positive or non-normative...   Positive statements deal with what was, what is or what will be.   Normative, or subjective, statements deal with what's good or bad, or what ought to be or should be.   Confusing the 2 leads to considerable mischief...   Normative statements are excellent tools for tricking others into doing what you want them to do.   I simply caution that in the process of tricking others, there's no need to trick oneself into believing that one normative statement is better or more righteous than another.   A related term that doesn't make much economic sense is the term 'need'...   if we wish to be compassionate with our fellow man, we must learn to engage in dispassionate analysis."

2007-06-27 (5767 Tamuz 11)
Rabbi Avi Shafran _Jewish World Review_
Recognizing the good. Relating with others. Reflecting. Redemption.

2007-06-27 (5767 Tamuz 11)
Youssef M. Ibrahim _Jewish World Review_
"A Mighty Heart" gives a free pass to terror: And what it could have been

2007-06-27 (5767 Tamuz 11)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Attention-Getters
"When you achieve something, you don't need gimmicks...   The more fundamental problem is that the society around them pays its attention to such superficial and often childish stuff."
 

  "A creative artist makes something new.   Literally creates.   You are a synthesizer.   A re-creative artist takes what you have done & refines it or presents it to the public.   An actor, director, or editor is a re-creative artist.   The composer is the giant.   The conductor is the hired help, no matter how brilliant...   The university can't even assist the re-creative artist.   It's poison to the creative one." --- Rita Mae Brown 1989 April _Starting from Scratch_ pp 44-45  

 

2007-06-28

2007-06-28
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
keeping the riffraff out of the political process
I of course receive tons of e-mail messages each day.   Among the ones arriving today, there were 2 in stark contrast to each other:
In the morning, an engineer who feels he has been displaced by foreign workers, and who feels that Congress cares nothing for people like him, said he had come to the conclusion that we have a "secret government", impenetrable by ordinary folks.
In the afternoon, a consummate DC insider chastised me for having the audacity to publish the actual name of a staffer for Senator Durbin, in plain sight of all those aforementioned ordinary folks.
The DC insider's message was tantamount to saying to me, "We do indeed have a secret government, and as someone with a [tiny] bit of access, it is your responsibility to keep it secret."   Keep the riffraff out.   I guess we've come a long way since Andrew Jackson invited the public, muddy boots and all, to come to the White House.

Those who donate the big bucks, meaning industry lobbyists such as Compete America, AElA, ITAA, AILA (the immigration lawyers association), [and the top executives of] MSFT, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Google, etc. etc. can meet with Senator Durbin any time they want.   But as to the populace being even informed of an aide's name, well naturally that's verboten.   The great unwashed are not supposed to gain access.   Anyone knows that, right?
And remarkably, even the few who present the views of H-1B critics -- and they are indeed very few in comparision to those who represent the tech and immigration law industries -- often have agendas that are unknown to, and/or contrary to the views of, their putative "constituents".   A good example of this is IEEE-USA, which criticizes the H-1B program but promotes fast-track green cards for tech foreign students.   The latter policy would be almost as harmful as H-1B, for reasons I've given many times, and in any case are directly contrary to the wishes of most concerned programmers and engineers that I know.   Yet the message people on the Hill get is that America's programmers and engineers support fast-track green cards for foreign students.
Once in a blue moon, the little guy gets at least fleeting attention from our secret government, if not direct access.   The [Cohen & Grigsby immigration law seminar] videos, I'm told, were first discovered by a person whose name almost none of you would recognize, and who is far from DC both geographically and in degrees of separation.   But this of course is rare.
Something is dreadfully wrong with this picture.   DC Insider, and a couple of other people who implicitly sent me similar messages are so wrapped up in the DC milieu that they are missing the ongoing demise of our democracy.   Indeed, they are hastening it.
On the bright side, after I posted this heinous breach of protocol, 2 earnest Durbin staffers called me, endured my rants and offered me some background on what led to the gutting of Durbin's amendment.   None of this cancels the substance of my remarks, and I must say that I think these 2 ought to watch that Cohen & Grigsby video excerpt again (or better, all 20 full videos), but I do appreciate their call, and maybe there could be a ray of hope there.
Norm

2007-06-28
_Pittsburgh PA Tribune-Review_
Legal weasel words
"Cohen & Grigsby might know the letter of immigration law but its spirit is an alien concept to the Pittsburgh law firm.   A notorious video on YouTube.com features advice to clients about using U.S. visa law loop-holes to hire cheap foreign labor such as computer programmers.   Lawrence Lebowitz, the firm's vice president of marketing, says, '(O)ur goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker...   In a sense that sounds funny, but it's what we're trying to do here.'   Begging the Department of Labor for H-1B visas to hire foreigners -- after skirting the law to create the perception that there are simply not enough U.S. workers to fill the positions -- is hardly a good-faith effort.   It's also reprehensible...   Any loop-hole must be closed.   Cohen & Grigsby's web site includes this from 2002: 'The top priority is changing the public's perception that hiring H-1B workers results in the displacement of U.S. workers.   As employers (particularly those in the information technology industry) are aware, there are simply not enough U.S. workers...'   In a sense, that sounds funny.

2007-06-28 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 289,020 in the week ending June 23, a decrease of 1,863 from the previous week.   There were 287,503 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 16, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,283,315, a decrease of 14,745 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,219,876.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 9."
graphs

2007-06-28
Dean Takahashi _San Jose CA Mercury News_
More views on H-1B column
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Dean Takahashi expanded column on H-1B

As San Jose Mercury News columnist Dean Takahashi says below, a few weeks ago he ran a very pro-H-1B column, which I then posted to this e-newsletter.   Some of my readers then sent him angry messages in protest.   Some of those messages were cc-ed to me, so Dean called me and we chatted for a half hour or so.
H-1B, like lots of issues, is a topic on which people of good intentions may disagree with each other after carefully investigating the facts.   But I do think Dean's readers should expect him to be consistent, which he is not.   Here is what he says:
A video that surfaced on YouTube on Tuesday showed that some over-eager immigration lawyers have been encouraging companies to exploit the H-1B loop-holes in order to hire low-cost immigrant labor...   I'm in favor of improving enforcement so that the H-1B program isn't simply an instrument for those seeking low-cost labor.
The [Cohen & Grigsby seminar] vidoes showed how employers LEGALLY circumvent the law requiring employers to recruit Americans (for green cards) and LEGALLY circumvent the law requiring employers to pay prevailing wage (for H-1B visas and green cards).   Dean himself phrases it above as "exploit the loop-holes", i.e. FULLY LEGAL.   So it is NOT [only] an enforcment issue.
Now, why would Dean not realize that he so badly contradicted himself?   Sorry for playing amateur psychologist :-) but in my long experience I believe the answer lies in something else he said:
Convinced that immigrants have been key to Silicon Valley's success, I suggested we expand the program.
This is a mantra for these people, especially at the Mercury News.   It's not conscious, but rather just taken for granted, and is powerful enough to suppress any power of critical thinking.   Here's an example:
I did get a couple of responses that favored the program.   Vinod Dham said he came to the U.S.A. on a student visa in 1975 with $20 in his pocket.   He later led the development of Intel's Pentium microprocessor
Indian-American engineers proudly call Dham "the father of the Pentium".   Well, guess what!   The Israelis think that THEY developed the Pentium.   :-)
Good for Dham and good for the Israelis.   But the fact is that the Pentium was a project involving hundreds of engineers.   NO ONE was indispensable.   The Pentium would have been built even if Dham had never been born, and even if Intel had never established a branch in Israel.
[As if the kludgey Pentium were anything worth praise...jgo]
As I explained to Dean, I have actively supported rolling out the red carpet immigrationwise for "the best and the brightest".   My own department has 2 faculty members, 1 from India and another from [Red China], who would not be with us had I not stridently pushed my colleagues to agree to hire them.   But such outstanding people comprise only a tiny percentage of foreign workers.   Meanwhile the H-1B program is causing an internal brain drain, in which the older (age 40 or even 35) workers are forced out.   I've mentioned, for instance, my former student, who was so talented and innovative that he was written up in the Wall Street Journal, yet last year had to leave the field at age 37.   We are LOSING a lot more good people than we're gaining.   So for Dean to conclude that without immigrants the Valley would not be as strong or as innovative etc. is just plain wrong.
Back to [the Cohen & Grigsby seminar]: Dean dismisses those lawyers as "over-eager", implying that their practices are not the norm.   He offers no evidence for that -- he could have called 2 or 3 immigration lawyers and asked if they themselves ever make use of loop-holes -- and he should know better.   I sent him the Joel Stewart statement, "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply", published in a prominent news-letter for immigration lawyers.   (BTW, Stewart's bio describes him as "a nationally recognized authority on employment-based immigration matters as well as a popular speaker at immigration seminars for national and local bar associations throughout the United States.   Mr. Stewart is the editor of _The Perm Book_, the definitive authority on the subject of PERM processing of labor certifications, and the editor/author of The Perm Quarterly, a professional journal that compiles and develops updated information on PERM for attorneys and employers.   Mr. Stewart has been writing the BALCA Case Summaries for AILA and Immigration Law Today since 1987...")
I sent Dean the information that the law firm in the video is one of the largest in the U.S.A., that one of the lawyers in the video is a former chair of the Immigration Committee of the ITAA, the mighty industry lobbying group, etc.   I sent Dean a partial list of the firm's clients, including major companies like Marconi Communications.   I cited the GAO study in which the GAO had surveyed employers, and that many employers had told the GAO "that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage" -- directly illustrating the role of loop-holes, right from the horse's mouth.
I don't think Dean intentionally ignored any of this when he dismissed the firm in the video as "over-eager", but the "immigrants made Silicon Valley" mantra is so powerful that he just didn't see it.
Once again, the problem is the inability to notice that the emperor has no clothes.   There is nowhere in which this illness is more acute than at Dean's employer, the San Jose Mercury News.   At least Dean is a nice guy who is trying to be fair, unlike some who've been at the Merc.   I'll leave names out here, but one Merc reporter used to brow-beat and argue with some of the H-1B critics she interviewed (and for news pieces, not opinion columns), a breach of journalistic ethics.   A Merc columnist repeatedly used industry talking points without attribution, and eventually admitted that her "family connections" to the industry were influencing her writings.   The one reporter who wrote a number of good pieces on H-1B left the paper, insisting that it was for personal reasons, but one must wonder.
Dean is also a former writer for the Red Herring.   That publication made its views crystal clear in their editorial in 1998 July:
Companies have a fiduciary responsibility to keep labor costs low...   And if companies say they want to hire more skilled foreign workers because those workers are cheaper, we should believe them --- and increase the number of visas issued.
Dean says:
In addition, Matloff says, "If there really is a shortage of tech workers, why have wages in computer science and electrical engineering been flat since 1999."
Robert Hoffman, vice president of [lobbying] at Oracle, says wages in the electrical engineering category rose 34% from 1997 to 2005.   And he says Department of Labor data shows that the unemployment rate for software engineers is 1.7%...

I gave Dean a citation for my claim, a BusinessWeek study.   I also emphasized that in that study the salaries were adjusted for inflation.   I'm willing to bet Dean a dozen doughnuts that
(a) Hoffman offered no evidence for his claim,
(b) Dean didn't ask him for any evidence, and
(c) Hoffman's data did not adjust for inflation and were otherwise misleading.
As to the unemployment data, I reminded Dean that people do have to pay the mortgage or rent.   When engineers can't find engineering work, most leave the field and count as EMPLOYED people in some other line of work.   Thus the unemployment data are meaningless for this discussion.
As to the Meebo issue, I've gone over that thoroughly before but I do want to address this:
Sternberg insists that he pays his 2 H-1B workers exactly the same as his other workers.
If so, then he's under-paying them, because Sternberg claimed that these 2 are "absolutely exceptional".   In the free market, you pay more for geniuses.
Lose the mantra, Dean.
 

2007-06-28
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
Video of Cohen & Grigsby immigration law seminar puts focus on tech job ads: Companies are placing ads for jobs not open to Americans
"Cisco Systems Inc. placed a help-wanted ad for a network consulting engineer in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, June 3, and David Huber, a networking professional who lives in Chicago, was interested in the job.   The ad copy read, 'No phone calls please.'   But Huber, a University of Chicago graduate whose prior work included being the lead LAN/WAN network engineer for NASA's aborted X-33 rocket plane project, called Cisco and asked for the person named in the ad.   'Before I send my resume into a black hole, I always like to talk to the recruiter first.', he said this week.   A Cisco telephone operator gave Huber the phone number of an immigration law firm in Santa Clara, CA.   'Why would I be talking with somebody at an immigration law firm about this?', he wondered.   Huber said his question was answered a couple of weeks later when he saw the controversial YouTube video that shows an attorney from a Pittsburgh law firm providing advice to employers on how to deal with government requirements for seeking U.S. workers to fill jobs before hiring foreign workers.   'It seems obvious to me after that video what's going on.', Huber said...   The video has clearly resonated with opponents of the H-1B visa program -- including Huber, who testified last year at a congressional hearing in Washington, where he claimed that the H-1B program was the reason a utility company laid him off in 2003 May in favor of using less expensive foreign workers...   the Programmers Guild last year filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice claiming that about 300 IT employers were placing help-wanted ads that specifically sought foreign workers with visas...   Jennifer Greeson, a spokeswoman for Cisco, acknowledged that the ad for the network consulting engineer that Huber spotted was placed to meet U.S. Department of Labor requirements for hiring foreign workers...   Elizabeth Charnock, CEO of Cataphora Inc., in Redwood City, CA, said the attorneys were stupid -- but honest -- in explaining the visa requirements."

2007-06-28
Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_
Who's holding the H-1B bag?

2007-06-28
Roy Mark _Internet News_
Effort to decrease numbers of H-1B visas energized by rejection of Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill
'Our immigration policy should seek to complement our U.S. work-force, not replace it.', Durbin said in a joint statement with Grassley.   'Some employers have abused the H-1B [program]... to bypass qualified American job applicants.   This bill will set up safeguards for American workers.'   The [feeble] legislation would require all employers seeking to hire an H1-B worker to certify they have made a good faith effort to hire American workers first and that the H1-B visa holder would not displace an American worker.   Under the bill, employers must first advertise the job opening for 30 days on a Department of Labor web site before applying for H1-B workers...   Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amended the now dormant immigration bill to increase H1-B visa fees for employers to $5K per application, $3,500 more than the current fee.   Proceeds from the fee hike would be used to fund scholarships for Americans seeking degrees in math, technology and health-related fields...   'What many of us have come to understand is that these H-1B visas are not being used to supplement the American work-force where we have shortages but, rather, H1-B visas are being used to replace American workers with lower cost foreign workers.', Sanders said during the floor debate on the amendment."

2007-06-28
_Human Resource Executive_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion efforts and recently disclosed evidence of under-handed tactics in recruiting and under-paying have energized those who wish to trim back tech visas

2007-06-28
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Peversion bill is dead for now, but the struggle over H-1B (and E-1 and E-3 and F and J and L) visas lives on
"It looks like nothing will change any time soon with the annual cap or regulations related to H-1B or L-1 visas, the temporary visas most commonly [abused] to bring foreign-born tech workers into the United States.   Or will it?...   Washington, DC, insiders say it's unlikely that legislators will try to revive the controversial bill another time before the presidential elections in 2008...   some H-1B proponents and opponents still hold out hope that their standalone bills that have been introduced in recent months will resurface -- including bills that raise the [caps or lower them] and others that aim to crack down on H-1B employers...   Max Gleischman, an immigration policy adviser to senator Richard Durbin, D-IL, said that a stand-alone bipartisan H-1B and L-1 anti-fraud bill introduced in April by Durbin and senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA, is 'still in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which could bring the bill up again'...   Said Hira: 'There are plenty of standalone bills that have been introduced -- they don't need to be reintroduced.   The question is whether Congress wants to take them up and put them on the agenda.'"
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Information Week update on the Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill and the prospects for reform or more such perversions

The bill [to add the 20K exemptions for those with master's and doctor's degrees] was passed in 2004 December, AFTER the election, and with very little publicity.
The H-1B cap was also increased in 2000, another election year, but with even less publicity -- so much that THE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE didn't even know!   Here is the report from Cox News Service, 2000 October 3:
The speed -- and stealth -- with which the House voted Tuesday to increase visas for skilled foreign workers left one law-maker shaking his head.   "Incredible.", said representative Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, a major supporter of increased visas...
Doggett, who had co-sponsored a bill to increase the so-called H-1B visas for foreign workers, gave this account of the evening:
"At about 3:30, it was announced that there would be no further votes" on important issues in the House, he said.   Because many lawmakers wanted to get home early to watch the presidential debates, nearly everyone left, he said.
"But at about 5:30, an e-mail was sent over here" announcing that an H-1B debate would begin shortly.   "I didn't see the e-mail until about 6.", he said.
Doggett said he scurried to the House floor, while other major supporters of the legislation also rushed back to Capitol Hill.   Using various procedural moves, the GOP leaders ended the debate quickly and called for a voice vote, even though the House was nearly empty.

Add this to my point about "secret government" that I made yesterday.
These guys are sharks, folks.
Note that I strongly support the Durbin/Grassley bill.
Norm

2007-06-28
Tom Elias _Daily Breeze_
Government ignores immigration cheats
"Corporations are getting cheaper labor by providing an opportunity for foreign nationals to gain entry to the U.S.A.   Despite claims to the contrary, these workers' credentials often don't exceed the qualifications of U.S. citizens seeking work in the same field.   When agents of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) stage round-ups of undocumented immigrants illegally employed around America, they almost never visit the likes of Cisco Systems, Intel, Qualcomm and other high-technology giants.   Rather, they usually hit relatively small shops and factories with fewer than 300 workers, places where they've been tipped off to illegal employment.   They also don't usually raid churches, mosques, ashrams and other religious organizations often operated by and for immigrants, legal or not.   There's one big reason for this: Most of the recent immigrants employed by technology corporations and religious institutions have visas...   H1-Bs are supposed to go only to foreign workers whose employers sign sworn statements asserting that they cannot find any American citizen workers to do the same work.   Organizations of American engineers and computer programmers have claimed for decades those declarations are lies.   They say the H1-B visas are used by big companies as a way to get skilled labor more cheaply than they can by hiring Americans.   Out of 132,182 applications received on the first day they were accepted this year for the [85K] available H1-B visas, just 12,989 were from workers with master's degrees or higher.   So the vast bulk of the applications came from workers with bachelor's degrees or less.   No one has ever claimed there is a shortage of American workers with those academic qualifications...   Applicants with master's degrees or doctorates amounted to less than 10% of the workers seeking legal jobs in America...   This scene bothered H1-B critic Kim Berry, president of the national Programmer's Guild, who noted the small ratio of applicants with advanced degrees puts the lie to the notion that the visas are only for the most highly skilled of workers, whose abilities cannot be duplicated from the domestic work force.   What's obvious is that the high-tech industry isn't necessarily seeking better workers from abroad than it can hire domestically, but rather is looking for workers who will accept lower salaries for the same work just to get their foot in the immigration door...   the real reason the authorities remain willing to accept the word of large companies, but not the word of religious organizations, is that the big employers have more effective lobbying."

2007-06-28
_Programmers Guild_
NASSCOM's claim that only "small Indian companies" abuse H-1b visa is absurd
"We have already reported that TCS has boasted that it pays its H-1b workers 25% below market wages, and this this under-payment was its competitive advantage against American firms and U.S. workers.   While about half of TCS business is in the U.S.A., only about 1K of their 90K employees are Americans.   (Meanwhile TCS is planning to hire 5K workers in Mexico...)"

2007-06-28 (5767 Tamuz 12)
Cal Thomas _Jewish World Review_
Good Will? Good Grief!: More reciprocity needed in concessions
 

  "Art is presented as something that happens from the neck up.   But creativity is not an isolated mental process.   Your body is involved.   You're working when you're writing, & work means sweat.   The muscle effort isn't as obvious as for an athlete.   However, the concentration on your task is so total that your muscles must obey as well as your mind.   The better your physical condition, the easier it is to write." --- Rita Mae Brown 1989 April _Starting from Scratch_ pg 25  

 

2007-06-29

2007-06-29
Randall Burns _Immigration Daily_
We can attract the best and brightest without sacrificing US citizens
"Bill Gates, the world's richest man, and purveyor of buggy, insecure, unstable software, recently implored Congress to subsidize importing second-rate talent with low cost guest-worker visas.   Such policies only enrich Gates and his wealthy cohorts at the expense of what remains of US engineering talent.   (The Axis of Amnesty's Immigration Surge bill also provided expanded guest-worker visas for nurses -- a move which will destroy nursing as a career for American citizens.   Next they'll be coming for the journalists!)   Self-serving, short-sighted, unpopular corporate H-1b/L-1 expansion has wounded America deeply.   Hundreds of thousands of American IT workers have been displaced, millions have had their incomes reduced and American students have been directed out of occupations that have been debauched by legislative whims.   There is outrage over H-1b and L-1 visas by those impacted, but relatively few complain about the 'outstanding scientists' visas.   (One exception: VDARE.COM's Rob Sanchez.)   Theoretically, these 'O' Visas might facilitate entry of the next Einstein or Fermi.   Even accepting my estimate that citizenship is worth at least $225K, the US should sometimes extend it.   Early in WWII, the military extended a substantial cash prize -- and offered US citizenship -- to anyone presenting a functioning Zero aircraft.   After Pearl Harbor, few doubted the value offered by the enterprising German Jewish engineer, who scavenged enough parts from crashed Zeroes in China to win that prize."

2007-06-29
_Dice_
Dice Report: 101,438 job ads

Total101,438
UNIX15,109
Windoze16,999
Java14,015
C/C++18,122
body shop38,561
permanent70,409

 
graph of job ads by OS and language
graph of job ads by perm vs. temp

2007-06-29
Shajia Ahmad _Daily Iowan_
Bill proposed to increase scrutiny on H-1B and L-1 visas, employers and applicants
"Grassley introduced the H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007, along with senator Richard Durbin, D-IL, in April to overhaul the current program, which provides a non-immigration classification for highly skilled foreign workers.   Now that the latest immigration bill is off the table, Grassley may push his bill, which has been forwarded to the Judiciary Committee, said Beth Levine, the senator's press secretary...   In his bill, Grassley would require private companies to make a 'good-faith effort' to hire an American worker before hiring a foreign skilled worker -- something that's not [currently] required for H-1B authorization, Ney said.   The senator also proposes the Department of Labor should have more authority to conduct investigations into employers who hire foreign workers."

2007-06-29
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_ Ill-Begotten Monstrosities challenges numbers USCIS gave to senators
"According to a list of the top 20 L-1 visa employers in fiscal 2006 released by senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), IBM ranked third, with 1,237 L-1 visas.   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided the senators' offices with the data, said Max Gleischman, an immigration policy advisor to Durbin."

2007-06-29
Brad Reese _Network World_
Cisco caught in maelstrom over fake job ads to hire H-1B visa holders

2007-06-29
Matt Hawk _Tuscaloosa AL News_
$100K grant from H-1B fees to pay for "industrial training"

2007-06-29
Ken Gagne & Angela Gunn _Computer World_
Security goes to the movies: "Live Free or Die Hard": in which artsy reviewers look at the film and nerds look at the tech
"Opening just a week shy of Independence Day, 'Live Free or Die Hard' (take that, New Hampshire!) follows the familiar formula of John McClane (Bruce Willis) being in the wrong place at the wrong time.   He wisely adopts a sidekick (Justin Long -- the cool, hip avatar of the Macintosh in those commercials), who returns McClane's confidence by supplying vital information needed to rescue a family member, beat the bad guys, and save the day.   The minor distinction in this 21st century update is that the villains aren't just terrorists -- they're Internet terrorists! McClane can hardly figure out how to turn his cell phone on; can he rise to the challenge and save not Nakatomi Plaza, not New York City, but all of America?   (Duh.   Of course.)   The terrorist's assault du jour is a 'firesale', defined in the movie by Long's character as 'a 3-step systematic attack of the country's infrastructure'.   [AG here -- attack on the infrastructure, or just on the language?   what is the Hollywood obsession with using the word 'fire' in a crowded computer lab?]"
 

  "The fusion of elements into a unified pattern is the nature of creativity, a word devalued in latter years to the extent that [it] has come to mean a random gush of self-expression.   God, perhaps, created out of the void; but in the world as we know it, all creativity... is a matter of selection & arrangement." --- Janet Burroway 1992 _Writing Fiction_ pg 305  

 

2007-06-30
 

  "Anyway, the early pages [of 'The Princess Bride'] disappeared.   As did the notion of writing something for my ladies.   At least consciously.   I don't understand the creative process.   Actually, I make more than a concerted effort not to understand it.   I don't know what it is or how it works, but I am terrified that one green morning it will decide not to work anymore, so I have always given it as wide a bypass as possible." --- William Goldman 1995 _William Goldman: 4 ScreenPlays_ pg 270  

 
 

2007 June
James R. Edwards _Center for Immigration Studies_
The Security and Prosperity Partnership: Its Immigration Implications

2007 academic year
Todd H. Goodsell _Brigham Young University_
On the Continued Need for H-1B Reform: A Partial, Statutory Suggestion to Protect Foreign & US Workers (pdf)

2007 June
_Top 500_
top 500 fastest super computers LinPack bench-mark
 

  "For the psychotic or creative individual, the concept of relevance is itself broadened.   For a writer, such looseness is an amazing asset." --- Susan K. Perry 1999 _Writing in Flow_ pg 89  

 



Proposed Bills 2007


  "the creative impulse is quiet, quiet.   It sees, it feels, it quietly hears; & now, in the present...   It is when you are really living in the present that you are living spiritually, with the imagination." --- Brenda Ueland 1938, 1987 _If You Want to Write_ pg 52  

Movies Coming Soon
 

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