Re: h1b racket in jersey city about to crash

Posted by MDM on 2017/4/19 17:01:09
I Cringely has been covering the H1B Visa issues for a long time. A tidbit:

Now to the H-1B observations of my old friend and longtime reader who has been a CTO at several companies:

My first exposure to H1B was when I was consulting to multiple VC’s back in the dot-com era. Several VC’s I did work for, the portfolio managers would instruct/demand their portfolio companies hire H1B’s instead of Americans for ‘common’ jobs such as programmers, DBA’s (database administrators), network admins and even IT help desk people.

The reason of course was $$$. The H1B’s cost approx. 1/3rd or 1/4th the cost of the comparable American in same job.

I remember this one VC board meeting where the CEO of a portfolio company said the H1B’s in his company were complaining about their sub-standard pay, and one of the VC partners said, “Fuck them. Tell them if they don’t like it, we’ll toss their ass out, get another H1B to replace you and you’ll be on your way back to India.”

Fast forward to mid- to late-2000s:

I learned (while working) at (an unnamed public technology company) a LOT about H1B. We had contracted with several of the Indian firms such as Infosys, Wipro, Tata, Impetus, TechMahindra for ‘outsourcing’ and ‘offshoring’ ordinary tech work like programming, dba’s, documentation, etc.

The rates were very enticing to any corporation: we were paying anywhere from $15/hour to a *max* of $28/hour for H1B folks from those Indian firms (which btw, had set up US subsidiaries as ‘consulting/contractor firms’ so that American companies were hiring “American workers”).

The jobs we were hiring from TechMahindra, Wipro, etc., were jobs that American workers of same skillset and experience would be paid in the range of $80k-$170k (annual, which translates to $52-110/hour when you factor in benefits, medical, etc.). Quite a considerable difference in cost to the corporation.

At one point we had ~800 staff in India that worked for Infosys/Wipro/etc.) but had H1B ‘project managers’ onsite in the US from Infosys/Wipro/etc. to manage those armies of people in India (i.e. – deal with language issues, scheduling, etc.).

I got to know some of the H1B’s that were in the US working for us. I asked them, “How can you afford to live here on $15/hour?” The answer was they were living in group homes (e.g. – 8 guys would rent a townhouse and pool their money for food, etc.), plus had “no life” outside of work.

To which I’d ask, “why are you doing this?”. The answer was “it’s better than what we can get at home (India)” and they would manage to save some money. But more importantly, they were getting valuable experience for when they would return to India, they were highly sought after due to their experience in the US.

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