President Trump’s next immigration move to hit closer to home for Silicon Valley

“President Donald Trump’s clash with Silicon Valley over immigration is about to become even more contentious,” Peter Elstrom and Saritha Rai report for Bloomberg Technology. “After the new president banned refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft and others railed against the move, saying it violated the country’s principles and risked disrupting its engine of innovation. Trump’s next steps could strike even closer to home: His administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs technology companies depend on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. ”

“If implemented, the reforms could shift the way American companies like Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. recruit talent and force wholesale changes at Indian companies such as Infosys Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. Businesses would have to try to hire American first and if they recruit foreign workers, priority would be given to the most highly paid,” Elstrom and Rai report. “‘Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,’ the draft proposal reads, according to a copy reviewed by Bloomberg. ‘Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.'”

“There have been allegations the programs have been abused to bring in cheaper workers from overseas to fill jobs that otherwise may go to Americans. The top recipients of the H-1B visas are outsourcers, primarily from India, who run the technology departments of large corporations with largely imported staff,” Elstrom and Rai report. “The proposed Trump order is also aimed at bringing more transparency to the program. It calls for publishing reports with basic statistics on who uses the immigration programs within one month of the end of the government’s fiscal year. The Obama administration had scaled back the information available on the programs and required Freedom of Information Act requests for some data.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The following editorial was published by The New York Times‘ Editorial Board, June 16, 2016, prior to the U.S. Presidential election:

Visa Abuses Harm American Workers

There is no doubt that H-1B visas — temporary work permits for specially talented foreign professionals — are instead being used by American employers to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. Abbott Laboratories, the health care conglomerate based in Illinois, recently became the latest large American company to use the visas in this way, following the lead of other employers, including Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities (now Eversource Energy), Disney, Toys “R” Us and New York Life.

The visas are supposed to be used only to hire college-educated foreigners in “specialty occupations” requiring “highly specialized knowledge,” and only when such hiring will not depress prevailing wages. But in many cases, laid-off American workers have been required to train their lower-paid replacements.

Lawmakers from both parties have denounced the visa abuse, but it is increasingly widespread, mainly because of loopholes in the law. For example, in most instances, companies that hire H-1B workers are not required to recruit Americans before hiring from overseas. Similarly, companies are able to skirt the rules for using H-1B workers by outsourcing the actual hiring of those workers to Tata, Infosys and other temporary staffing firms, mostly based in India.

riticism of the visa process has been muted, and reform has moved slowly, partly because laid-off American workers — mostly tech employees replaced by Indian guest workers — have not loudly protested. Their reticence does not mean acceptance or even resignation. As explained in The Times on Sunday by Julia Preston, most of the displaced workers had to sign agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers as a condition of receiving severance pay. The gag orders have largely silenced the laid-off employees, while allowing the employers to publicly defend their actions as legal, which is technically accurate, given the loopholes in the law.

The conversation, however, is changing. Fourteen former tech workers at Abbott, including one who forfeited a chunk of severance pay rather than sign a so-called nondisparagement agreement, have filed federal claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying they were discriminated against because of their ages and American citizenship. Tech workers from Disney have filed federal lawsuits accusing the company and two global outsourcing firms of colluding to supplant Americans with H-1B workers. Former employees of Eversource Energy have also begun to challenge their severance-related gag orders by publicly discussing their dismissals and replacement by foreign workers on H-1B and other visas.

Congressional leaders of both parties have questioned the nondisparagement agreements. Bipartisan legislation in the Senate would revise visa laws to allow former employees to protest their layoffs. Beyond that, what Congress really needs to do is close the loopholes that allow H-1B abuses.

The New York Times‘ Editorial Board, June 16, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Tech industry frets over possible H-1B visa program changes under President Trump – January 28, 2017
President Trump eyes an H-1B visa aimed at ‘best and brightest’ – January 27, 2017
Silicon Valley chiefs frozen out of President Trump’s White House – December 3, 2016
Silicon Valley uncertain after Donald Trump wins U.S. presidency – November 10, 2016
Silicon Valley donated 60 times more to Clinton than to Trump – November 7, 2016
99% of Silicon Valley’s political dollars are going to Hillary Clinton – October 25, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Silicon Valley throw big money at Clinton and pretty much bupkis at Trump – August 23, 2016
Donald Trump’s most unlikely supporter: Silicon Valley billionaire Pete Thiel – July 21, 2016
Tech investor Peter Thiel’s embrace of Donald Trump for U.S. President has Silicon Valley squirming – July 20, 2016
An open letter from Apple co-founder Woz, other techies on Donald Trump’s candidacy for U.S. President – July 14, 2016
Apple refuses to aid 2016 GOP presidential convention over Trump comments – June 18, 2016
Apple and Silicon Valley employees love Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump? Not so much – May 6, 2016
Trump: We’ll get Apple to manufacture ‘their damn computers and things’ in the U.S.A. – January 18, 2016

45 Comments

      1. I thought New York Times was “fake news” or “liberal bullshit”… I guess when they agree with you it’s ok? You are the worst kind of hypocrite.

        1. You comment utterly fails to negate the Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.

          Real Americans had it with your liberal bullshit. Fake crying. Paid protests. Infiltrated media. If you don’t like President Trump’s executive orders, I wholeheartedly invite you to shove them one by one up your ass… sideways.

          1. Yeah? Well I have the right to protest and call him names just like you did for the last 8 years so cut the bullshit… and btw America voted for the woman, by 3,000,000 more votes, and the black guy won far more electoral votes than your guy did in both of his elections… just because you choose to believe obvious false information doesn’t mean I have to. You can take your narrow (73,000 votes in 4 states) win and shove it up your ass sideways. Look it’s an orange man with small dick! Maybe he was born on the sun, we won’t know unless we see his birth certificate! You and your ilk have peddled false and bigoted nonsense for 8 fucking years in an effort to scare people, and get them to do what you want. Well congratulations, you got a small sliver of the American electorate to buy your bullshit in Michigan, Wisconsin, NC, and PA to elect a president with 3,000,000 less popular votes that spews deliberate falsehoods over 90% of the time,… I hope you’re proud of yourselves… but now, those of us in the reality base community get to push back…. just like you idiots did. Either deal with my first a,mend,net right to call you an asshole and protest or shut the fuck up.

          2. My comment perfectly adresses it… you say the nyt is not to be paid attention to, but when they have an article agreeing with you it’s fine? You and your ilk are hypocritical assholes of the highest order and I will continue to point out your hypocrisy and stupidity even after we move to Canada.

            1. Your comment did not address the issue reported on in the article. You chose to deflect and draw attention solely to the validity of NYT’s reporting, based (it appears) on the fact that someone you vehemently disagree with politically, agrees with the article.

              Listen… I don’t disagree with your assessment of Trump (but probably not much else), nor do I agree with First 2014 (on probably anything), but this sort of discourse is not addressing the issue at hand.

              There is (like it or not) an issue with the H-1B visa program and has been for years. I’ve been reading about it for at least a decade. It has, on rare occasion, made TV primetime news shows.

              While there is a supposed 65,000+ yearly cap and there is a 3 year limit to the visas, there are some loopholes in the program. I say “supposed” because, according to Wikipedia, for the 3 year period from 2010 to 2012 there were over 350,000 people in this country with H-1B visas.

              I think that’s too many by some order of magnitude.

            2. The point of my comment was to draw attention to how these types argue their points by cherry picking articles and dismissing publications out of hand because of a perceived political bent that disagrees with their own. I support the times as the paper of record no matter what they print, and when they’re wrong I say so. In this case I’m not disagreeing with substance of the article, merely the incredible hypocrisy of using it as a source when it is convienvent for their arguments. That was the context of my remark.

            3. Voice of reason.. you have none. You just don’t want to face the truth. I know it hurts a little. Your more interested in the times than you are the words written on the page.

            4. Didn’t comprehend what I wrote did you? If you focus on the third linem I think you’all understand my point if you passed 12th grade….

          3. Okay, I really have a hard time finding common ground with you, but I’ll try…

            You’re not a real American first of all. I don’t even think you give a crap about anyone’s freedom but those who agree with you. That makes you a hypocrite and a misanthrope.

            I wish I could just dismiss you, but you’re intelligent. Your position is evil, which makes you competently evil. The worst kind.

            That having been said. There is some merit to the argument of setting immigration policy. I would be more comfortable if it were done by a wise, humane and just leader, not a raging, impulsive, narcissistic lunatic like your boy.

            1. Big points for that comment. I’ve long since given up trying to find common ground, he doesn’t ever argue actual data and he’s not intelligent. All he does is regurgitate what he hears on right wing radio, and/or reads on like minded websites. Try having Ana coula policy debate with him and try to make him use his own thinking without copy and pasting from someone else…. it’s impossible. So I’ve resorted to calling him a hypocrite (which he is) and a deluded person who believes blatantly false information.

        2. Don’t listen to the biased liberal liars in the mainstream media. Do not be swayed by George Soros-funded “protesters.” Both are a sham and not indicative of ideas and support of the majority of U.S. voters.

          Most voters approve of President Trump’s temporary halt to refugees and visitors from several Middle Eastern and African countries until the government can do a better job of keeping out individuals who are terrorist threats.

          A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Just 33% are opposed, while 10% are undecided.

          Similarly, 56% favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the government approves its ability to screen for likely terrorists. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose this temporary ban, and 11% are undecided.

          Source: Rasmussen Reports, Jan. 30, 2017

          1. Yeah? Well I have the right to protest and call him names just like you did for the last 8 years so cut the bullshit… and btw America voted for the woman, by 3,000,000 more votes, and the black guy won far more electoral votes than your guy did in both of his elections… just because you choose to believe obvious false information doesn’t mean I have to. You can take your narrow (73,000 votes in 4 states) win and shove it up your ass sideways. Look it’s an orange man with small dick! Maybe he was born on the sun, we won’t know unless we see his birth certificate! You and your ilk have peddled false and bigoted nonsense for 8 fucking years in an effort to scare people, and get them to do what you want. Well congratulations, you got a small sliver of the American electorate to buy your bullshit in Michigan, Wisconsin, NC, and PA to elect a president with 3,000,000 less popular votes that spews deliberate falsehoods over 90% of the time,… I hope you’re proud of yourselves… but now, those of us in the reality base community get to push back…. just like you idiots did. Either deal with my first a,mend,net right to call you an asshole and protest or shut the fuck up.

            1. And I will continue for every bit as long and as frequently as you called président Obama some kind of racist and/or false epithet. Except my information has the added benefit of being true instead of made up by Alex Jones. Where’s the FEMA camps? Do you still have your guns? Did the antichrist (people called him that) take over the world and enslave it in one world government? Etc…

              Orange face, obviously small penis that he tries to over compensate for, completely incompetent business man who has bankrupted every public company he’s ever run + 17 private businesses, can’t even talk to his department heads about executive orders which have the wrong laws cited in them and have been blobked in court 5 times already (8 days in), says deliberately and demonstrably false things constantly… etc… the list is literally endless but for some reason you’d rather believe fake conspiracy theories that if you went to school longer than 7th grade can obviously see it’s bullshit, just because you don’t like brown people and/or democrats and have an irrational “Obama deraingement syndrome”…. just, for the love of god, stop believing nonsense? Facts are not liberally biased, they’re just facts…. believing things doesn’t make them true, just stop it. Good job in using the times btw, I was just needling before, but maybe read it more often? And the post? Real papers with real information. Stay off drudge and Breitbart for a couple weeks and see how the s up to you, and no fox or rush, they say demonstrably false things a dozen times a day….. no it’s not a “globalist conspiracy”…. just get away from the hysterical right wing crap and read stuff down the middle (which you may view as liberal, but it’s not) the liberal media consists of Huffington post, mother Jones, salon, and daily kos… that’s about it. The rest of it is pretty down the middle with maybe slightly left social views. Just expand, BBC is excellent and will give you a very good view of how we are perceived around the world, and what those outside our collective bubbles think.

            2. And you committed treason for 8 years, if insulting the president is treason? Which it isn’t. It’s our right to dissent. If insulting the dear leader ever does become treason then we are no longer America.

              You know what is treason though? Owning tons of money to foreign entities and not disclosing those investments and divesting in accord with the emoluments clause of the constitution….

  1. They don’t go outside unless they have to. American kids do get first preference. Problem is they are not good enough because, mostly, your education system sucks.

  2. look at US math scores and understand why H-1Bs are needed in tech, aerospace, energy, advanced materials, etc. The US needs to put a whole lot of money into math education before they would ban people essential to keeping the US globally competitive.

    1. You’re talking about what may be coming in the future, but not dressing the main current issue… competent U.S. workers (who clearly demonstrate their competency by being used to train their replacements) being replaced by cheaper foreign labor here in the U.S.

  3. This is an interesting battle between laissez faire capitalism and protectionism, and it represents a split between the GOP establishment and Trump. There is never a perfect answer in these cases – the options are not binary. And it is not unusual to encounter unintended consequences. For instance, U.S. businesses might open offshore divisions to hire international workers.

    I certainly favor full employment at home, to the extent practical. But I also recognize that top talent is not always resident within our borders. We have a great post-K12 educational system in this country, but it often appears that foreign students make better use of it than our own kids, many of whom are overly indulged and lazy with an entitlement mentality. Before you start, Fwhatever, these kids span all socioeconomic and political divisions.

          1. I just count myself lucky to be in the presence of such a mind. In these remarks (bullshit, your cocoa is getting cold and more) I think we may be witnessing a renaissance of American literature.

            1. That’s really sad.

              But maybe you are like other psychopaths… the kind whose neighbors say, “I can’t believe he was such as nasty violent prick; he always seemed like a good family man.”

  4. Not an american but this abuse has gone on to long. Big corporations, first outsourcing to India Ect., now insourcing the jobs but outsourcing the labour force. Soon the only jobs left will be getting tofu for the H1-B workers at minimum wage.
    Not sure an executive order is the way to go maybe the law should be changed by the lawmakers.

      1. Funny… until last week you kept telling us that Executive Orders were dictatorial interventions with the sole authority of Congress to legislate. I don’t like them either, but sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

        1. When the GOP is in charge, the rules change to whatever happens to be expedient to force through their agenda. Executive Orders? A-OK! Congressional points of procedure to switch to simple majority vote on critical issues? Check!

          In general terms, I share some common ground with the GOP. But the hypocrisy of the GOP and their anointed representatives on this forum is what is so galling along with the willingness to invent and twist information and rewrite history, cherry pick articles and data, and attempt to verbally bully everyone into submission. If your fear honest debate, then you have something to hide.

          Classic tactic of the GOP — accuse your opponent of all of the underhanded tricks that the GOP has been using for the past couple of decades.

  5. If we don’t have the talent at home, it’s our own fault, as the desire to invest in education and trickle – down, good parentling at home, is less than accepable.

    With that said. The restructuring of the H1-B1 visa should have been prioritized first. Then look at who can or can’t come into the country legally. Additionally take at look at who has killed the most Americans at home. That would lead to Saudi Arabia. But no they can still come.

    American safety isn’t happening, not by the current EOs.

  6. Part of the problem is that, while this policy may have some merit, Trump has lost the trust of the majority of the American people.

    He has so screwed up already that no one trusts him to get this right. And it has to be drafted correctly, or else it could lead to a brain drain among these US tech firms and keep the most talented out. After Trump’s last fiasco who wants to bet he and his awful team can draft this correctly?

  7. Silicon Valley could be anywhere in the world. Most of it is software and design which isn’t bound my physical borders. I’d imagine most of the companies could shift to 100% off-shored in a matter of years. There are actually several “Silicon Valley’s” all over the country in places like NC and TX. I could see many of them shifting their workforce allocation.

    In business, you do what’s good for business. If the conditions aren’t right for your business, you take your business elsewhere.

  8. Generally speaking, the wealthy have always resented the poor and doubly resentful of the educated poor who are an affront to the privileged rich who don’t want to share in the stolen pie. So the wealthy have been defunding schools and funding private schools instead which the poor can’t afford. The goal is to bring back the uneducated poor who are unable to assert their American rights to suitable pay and safe workplace conditions.

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