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Archive for the ‘H1B’ Category

Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? Debugging Indian Computer Programmers

This book is N. Sivakumar’s attempt at caricaturing the stereotypical Indian software programmer. He talks about a lot of things where you go, “oh boy, this is so true”. Examples are Indians buying only Japanese cars (Toyota, Honda, Nissan), bringing lunch in grocery bags etc.

But to say that this is all what the book does is an injustice to the author. He gives compelling arguments supporting the H1B programme (and immigration in general) and  provides a well balanced presentation of facts. Sivakumar brings light to a lot of issues dealing with H1, outsourcing, racial discrimination etc. He does justice to the topics in his analysis of controversial issues related to immigration and post 9/11 hatred.

Irrespective of the positive points, this books has a few shortcomings. It could do with a lot more editing. I even suspect there was no editor for this book. The layout of the text is ugly – the spacing between the lines is too much (a trick we used in college to make our project report appear larger than what it really was). What pissed me off most was the apologetic tone of writing. He always seems so unsure and lacking confidence, as if afraid of rubbing somebody the wrong way with his opinions. Some things are repeated over and over again which persuades the reader to close the book and reach for another. I so disappointed with this book that I quit reading it halfway through and returned the book to the library. After a couple of months, while browsing the library I saw the book again. This time I took it and read the other half.

What makes me so sad is that this could have been a brilliant book. The author is definitely a sharp guy and he has his facts and compelling arguments but the book did not deliver. Despite all the shortcomings this book is still worth a read.

3 stars.

P.S.
Sivakumar has written another book titled America Misunderstood: What A Second Bush Victory Meant To The Rest Of The World. This seems to be a far better effort.

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Quotes from an article on Information Week:

Google executives on Wednesday called on the U.S. government to raise the number of foreign worker visas — or H-1B status — by illustrating the plight of one of its founders.

In congressional testimony, Google VP of people operations Laszlo Bock cited the emigration of the parents of company co-founder Sergey Brin from the Soviet Union to the United States in 1979 as evidence that admitting foreign workers into the country benefits the U.S. economy.

Bock said that Google is not the only Silicon Valley company to benefit from immigration. “Intel, eBay, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, and many other companies were all founded by immigrants who were welcomed by America,” said Bock.

According to Bock, some 8% of Google’s U.S. employees are in this country on a six-year H-1B visa…

The current annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas isn’t enough, according to Bock, who urged Congress to increase the cap.

Over the last year alone, the artificially low cap on H-1B visas has prevented more than 70 Google candidates from receiving H-1B visas.

The full article can be read here.

There is a related post on the Official Google Blog  – What U.S. immigration policies mean to Google.

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From InternetNews,

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to increase H1-B visa fees for employers to $5,000 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.

The 59-35 vote came on an amendment to the current immigration bill being debated in the Senate. The new fee would be imposed on new applications and renewals.

Read the full article here.

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Interesting article on Information Week.

Excerpt :

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators next week is expected to introduce to the immigration reform bill an amendment that proposes to retain a pool of 140,000 employer-sponsored green cards for foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the United States.

…..

The revised legislation also proposes the United States establish no limit on H-1B visas for foreign professionals with master’s or doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields.

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The Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership (SKIL) bill has been re-introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday. This bill was introduced in the Senate last year and aims at increasing both H1-B and Green card caps.

From InformationWeek:

Among the SKIL bill’s proposals are raising the annual H-1B cap from 65,000 today to 115,000, with the ability to automatically increase the cap in subsequent years by 20%, or up to 180,000. The bill also proposes to apply the current 20,000 cap exemption to those with a master’s degree or higher from an institution of higher education in a foreign country, not just for those foreigners who have advanced degrees from U.S. schools.

The bill also looks to create a new visa category — the F-1 — for foreign students looking to pursue a bachelor’s or advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from a U.S. school.

As for changes to “employment-based visas,” or green cards, the bill proposes to raise the limit from 140,000 to 290,000 per year.

Read more here.

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This year’s H1-B quota getting over in one day has fired up a lot of arguments in favor of increasing the quota of H1-B visa program and there are people against doing it. The Newyork Times has an interesting article on this here.

As an interesting side point, the largest H1-B visa seekers are Infosys, Wipro and TCS.

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Interesting article on CNET News.

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