In March 2003, the American Engineering Association reported
that the U.S. high-tech sector lost 560,000 jobs--a 10 percent
decline--between January 2001 and December 2002. During the
same period, companies sponsored more than this number of
high-tech workers on H-1B and other temporary visas.
The Immigration Act of 1990 established an annual quota of
65,000 H-1B visas. The stated purpose was to bring "the
best and the brightest" to American shores. This number
of available visas became a fixed requirement under the World
During the late 1990s, the Information Technology Association
of America (ITAA), whose members include the major US technology
companies and the India outsourcing companies, lobbied both
Congressional Democrats and Republicans with high campaign
contributions to raise the H-1B cap to 195,000 workers annually.
They succeeded once in 1998 to raise the cap temporarily to
115,000, but that wasn't enough for ITAA. They lobbied again
in 2000 and the following is what happened.
On Tuesday, October 3, 2000, at 3:45 PM, a House of Representatives
clerk announced the Senate passage of S. 2045. An act to amend
the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to H-1B nonimmigrant
aliens (ironically named the "American Competitiveness
in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000"). Immediately
following, the Speaker pro tempore announced that she would
postpone further proceedings on the remaining motions and
that any record votes on postponed questions would be taken
on October 4th.
On the evening of October 3rd, a presidential debate between
Bush and Gore was occurring and the majority of Representatives,
as well as the press, were preparing for the debate. As it
had been announced that no further votes would be taken, most
But at around 5:30 PM an email was sent announcing that an
H-1B debate would begin shortly. Major supporters of the increased
H-1B cap came to the House for the vote. Only approximately
40 out of the 435 members were present.
A bit prior to 6:30 PM, Cannon (R-UT) made a motion to suspend
the rules and pass Senate bill S2045 (which had been passed
that morning) instead of voting on the House bills, one of
which (introduced by Smith (R-TX)) included worker protections
and had properly gone through the Judiciary committee-however,
it was known that the tech companies opposed those worker
There were only two copies of the Senate bill in the House
that night, in non-compliance with House Rules. Mr. Cannon
had one, the Speaker had the other, although it is interesting
to note that the Speaker's copy of S. 2045 that the House
clerk read into the congressional record (which is the only
knowledge of the bill for the other Representatives there
that night) was not the bill that was ultimately enacted.
The numbers entered into the record (on page H8699 under "Sec.
2. Temporary Increase in Visa Allotments") were (1) 80,000
for fiscal year 2000; (2) 87,500 for fiscal year 2001; and
(3) 130,000 for fiscal year 2002.
The Speaker allotted control of 20 minutes each to Cannon
and Conyers (D-MI), leaving little opportunity for debate.
Rorabacher (R-CA) stated, "This legislation is nothing
more than a betrayal of American working people." Owens
(D-NY) said, "What we are doing here is steamrolling
through a cap. We will have a cap which amounts to almost
600,000 people over a 3-year period."
Smith (R-TX) was vocal in the issues he had with the Senate
bill and his upset with it being railroaded through the House
that night by Cannon, Conyers and Lofgren (D-CA). In the record,
Smith detailed the polls of the American public that were
overwhelmingly against raising the labor importation cap.
In addition, he noted, "The goals of preventing abuse
of the program and providing efficient services to employers
and workers are not being achieved. Evidence suggests that
program noncompliance or abuse by employers may be more prevalent
than under other laws."
Using various procedural moves, the GOP leaders ended the
debate quickly and called for a voice vote, even though the
House was nearly empty. Needless to say, the H-1B increase
was passed with no vote record, and only Cox News Service
reported on it.
Since the day this passed, the new annual maximum of 195,000
H-1B visas have been issued in spite of the economic downturn,
and the majority of these H-1B visas were used in Information
The official cap is not the actual number of H-1Bs admitted
to the US each year as some are exempt from the cap. As a
result, during 2002 there were a total of 312,000 new H-1B
visas issued, in spite of record unemployment. (The cap of
195,000 is set to expire in October 2003 and return to the
65,000 annual cap as established in the Immigration Act of
1990. ITAA has been lobbying to maintain the high cap permanently.)
The result of this labor glut is that US citizen IT workers
aren't even obtaining job interviews. This is especially true
for older, more experienced American IT workers. US students
graduating with engineering degrees are also being shut out
of the job market.
These workers, often rejected on the employer claim of "over-qualification,"
have state-of-the-art skills far in excess of the majority
of their H-1B replacements, many of whom have little or no
experience. (IT education is a recent phenomena in India,
as it began about ten years ago in a Catholic school in Bangalore.
INA ACT 203 [8 U.S.C. 1182] (the result of the 10/3/00 legislation)
contains subsection B2 --Aliens who are members of the professions
holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability.
The vast majority of H-1B visa holders do not have advanced
degrees and have limited skills, yet obtain their visas through
In many cases, American workers have been forced to train
their H-1B replacements in order to obtain severance packages
when they are laid off. Since the H-1B cap was raised in 2000,
9 out of 10 new jobs in IT have been awarded to H-1Bs. By
the end of December 2001 more than 890,000 H-1B workers were
employed in the United States. Add to this the 312,000 from
2002 and you have a total of 1,202,000 H-1Bs replacing US
citizens and green card holders by year end 2002. Special
interests have imported more than 17 million non-citizens
to glut the labor market between the years 1985-2002.
In addition, there has been a recognized bias among H-1B
(and L-1) hiring managers to hire only those of the same sex,
age and ethnic origin as themselves, in direct non-compliance
with US labor laws. Few of these activities have been reported.
As bad as this is, companies are also using L-1 visas to
go beyond the H-1B cap. L-1s are intra-company transfers used
to transfer aliens to work for a US firm or subsidiary of
a company which already employs them outside of the US. There
are over 325,000 L-1 visa holders in the US and that number
is growing rapidly, as there is no cap on L-1s.
As an example of this practice, Microsoft in November 2002
announced plans to build a half-billion dollar complex in
Hyderabad, India. With this new development center, Microsoft
can use L-1 visas to displace further US citizen employees
and will not be subject to H-1B caps. Other major companies
in the US are doing the same. This is why reform is needed
across all US visa types and not just for H-1B visas alone.
It was through the use of these "special" visas
that all of the September 11th terrorists secured admittance
to the United States. There is virtually no security or monitoring
of these special visa holders.
Further compounding the already gloomy economic condition,
recent research from Forrester Research indicates that the
percentage of offshore outsourcing for US IT budgets took
a leap from 12 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2003. META
Group, Inc. predicted that offshore outsourcing overall would
grow more than 20 percent annually.
Special visas and offshore outsourcing go hand-in-hand, as
many companies import H-1B and L1 workers, force US citizens
to train them, then offshore the work and lay off their US
staff. Also, offshore development contracts usually have a
US presence of H-1Bs and L1s to perform "face-time"
with their US clients and to lobby for further offshore work.
This tactic has been highly successful for the major Indian
offshore outsourcing companies like Infosys, Cognizant, MphasIS,
Wipro, Tata (all members of ITAA) and other companies who
have gotten into this profitable game.
Record State Budget Deficits Follow Guest Worker Employment
The downstream result of all this is the current massive
state budget deficits that now threaten our educational system,
social services, public safety and the public infrastructure.
These special visas and offshore contracts are outside the
federal and state tax systems, with payments transferred to
offshore accounts. They usually do not pay taxes. Meanwhile,
they are replacing taxpaying US citizen workers. In addition,
when H-1Bs and L1s are in the US, they are using US services,
paid for by US citizens.
As previously noted, there are over 1,202,000 H-1B visa holders
and over 325,000 L-1 visa holders in the U.S. This does not
include the H-4 and L-2 visa holders who are immediate family
members of the H-1Bs and L-1s. Any fees generated by the admittance
of these visa holders goes to the federal government, yet
the total cost impact of services to support these visa holders
falls to the states. In addition, it has been recognized that
some visa holders do not leave the U.S. when their visas expire
or are revoked, but remain in the U.S. as illegal aliens.
Therefore, the numbers quoted above for valid visa holders
are known to be less than the actual number of aliens who
at one time were admitted to the U.S. under the H-1B and L-1
programs and legally or illegally have remained here. And,
those valid H-1B and L-1 visa holder numbers are woefully
inadequate to show the total U.S. state support impact.
When looking at the number of imported workers and offshore
contracts per state, the highest numbers are in those states
with the highest tax deficits. As an example, California employs
by far the highest number of special visa holders at approximately
30% of all H-1B workers in the US and, at an estimated FY2004
deficit of $18-26 billion, has by far the highest tax deficit
of any state.
Other states with the highest employment of special visa
holders include: New York (estimated FY2004 deficit $10-12
billion), Texas (estimated FY2004 deficit of $4-7.8 billion),
New Jersey (FY2004 deficit of $4 billion), and Illinois (FY2004
deficit of 3.6 billion). Rounding out the top seven states
employing H-1Bs (whose H-1B numbers are more than double the
states lower on the list) are Pennsylvania and Michigan with
FY2004 deficits of approximately $2 billion each.
The bottom line in all of this is that when corporations
import H-1B and L-1 visa holders, they are being subsidized
heavily by the taxpayers of their state.
Meanwhile, the reduced US citizen spending has begun its
ripple effect throughout the economy, forcing further job
losses in all sectors.
Long Term US Technology Leadership In Danger
Couple the economic issues with the long term impact on the
US technology sector (in which technology workers, who must
constantly upgrade their skills, can no longer afford these
costs) and you will find a society unraveling. Observers have
noted the practice of replacing American workers with foreign
visa holders and offshore outsourcing will soon erode the
United States' position as a technology leader, and will bring
further economic and security woes.
Although IT professionals have been the primary victims thus
far, the practice of labor importation and its offshore outsourcing
outcome applies across increasing numbers of job categories.
Architects, designers, and Wall Street analysts are joining
displaced US call center employees as offshore casualties.
US patent attorneys have been axed as their work is sent
to India-a country with one of the worst intellectual property
theft records in the world- and personal financial information
is accessed by call centers and tax preparers in India. This
trend adds the risks of personal financial information theft
to the intellectual property theft threat already discussed.
In addition, wholesale worker importation is starting to
occur in the teaching and nursing professions. In India H-1B
"nurses training" companies have been training recruits
they will sell to the US market; but they are not trained
in modern medical techniques, but in American slang and "culture."
Why is this occurring?
The goal is to flood the labor market with not just cheap
labor, in defiance of the "prevailing wage" stipulation
of the immigration law which permits their entry in the first
place (according to the INS, the median salary for an H-1B
worker is 25 percent less than that for an American), but
also so they will be non-unionizable labor. They are in effect
Under the immigration rules, H-1B workers can be fired and
deported immediately if the employer is unhappy with them.
They cannot seek another position at another company unless
the employer agrees to it and a lengthy process is undertaken
to which both companies agree.
Additionally, the mere presence of that much more labor depresses
wages and sends more people into the "working poor"
category of those without healthcare, security or opportunity.
We are witnessing the attempted destruction of the middle
This recession will continue and will get deeper, reducing
the size of the US middle class and ultimately resulting in
a weakened America with poor education, no technology leadership
and few opportunities for our children if action is not taken
Ask yourself: "Who is America For?" Is its purpose
to support short-term corporate profits for a few very rich
individuals, or for the long term viability of American citizens?
Please help us end this travesty and end this recession.
Actions You Can Take NOW!
Send Free Faxes to Congress and the White House
provides a free fax service to send messages to US senators
and representatives, to the White House and to other governmental
officials. Register in their "Join Action Network"
section and your messages will automatically go to your elected
officials. You do not need to worry about registering with
them as they will not send you spam or share your information.
In addition, check out the record for your elected officials
and keep track of how they vote through the "Immigration
Report Card" section of the numbersusa
Report Illegal Hiring and Firing Practices and Employment
Discrimination Against US Citizens and Green Card Holders
For illegal employment practices involving private sector
companies and organizations contact the Division of Foreign
Labor Certification within the Employment Training Administration
of the U.S. Department of Labor. Their regulations state that
"complaints alleging failure to offer employment to an
equally or better qualified U.S. worker, or an employer's
misrepresentation regarding such offer(s) of employment, may
be filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special
Counsel, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington,
DC 20530." You may also contact this office by telephone
at (202) 514-2000 and ask for the Office of Civil Rights.
This and other useful information may be obtained at www.ows.doleta.gov
For illegal employment activity involving federal subcontractors,
the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
administers and enforces three equal employment opportunity
laws: Executive Order 11246, as amended (EO); Section 503
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (503); and the
Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended,
38 U.S.C. 4212 (VEVRAA). These laws prohibit Federal contractors
and subcontractors from discriminating on the bases of race,
color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and veteran
status. They also require affirmative action in employment
by Federal contractors and subcontractors. For issues involving
Federal contracts contact OFCCP at http://www.dol.gov/esa/ofccp/index.htm
Call Your U.S. Senators and Representative and Demand
Nothing is more effective than phone calls on a regular monthly
basis to let them know you care. Tell them that you are aware
of the irregular passage of the "American Competitiveness
in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000" that created
this loss of US jobs and offshore outsourcing, that you know
the major campaign contributions of the ITAA greased its passage,
and that you will be watching. (96 out of the 100 US Senators
voted for the bill and one of the non-voting members (Feinstein
D-CA) was one of its sponsors).
If you visit your legislators, prepare before you visit.
Present facts, not supposition and take materials as handouts
on which you have based your arguments.
provides congressional phone, mail and email contact information
for local and Washington D.C. offices of your Senators and
Representative, as well as offering the free fax service for
If you don't know the names of your Senators and Representative,
you can find them by entering your zip code on www.congress.org
. This congressional site also includes current status of
pending legislation by topic and is a good place to check
The Thomas site at http://thomas.loc.gov
also covers the current status of bills which have been introduced
for Congressional action. It contains what committee a bill
is in, the text of the bill at each stage of the process,
the archive of the congressional record and contains links
to congressional databases for committee members and individual
Check on who is funding members of Congress or Congressional
and Presidential campaigns at www.opensecrets.org
The site was created by the Center for Responsive Politics,
a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington,
D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections
and public policy.
Let Your State Senate and Assembly Know That You Expect
Them To Act
Actions against offshoring jobs and illegal hiring and firing
practices have been initiated in Washington, New Jersey and
Connecticut. Tell your State Senator and Assembly official
that your state needs to follow that lead, successfully and
immediately, and that you will be watching for lobbyist interference.
New Jersey Sen. Shirley Turner (D) Ewing, NJ introduced
bill 1349 on March 2, 2003 to ban offshore outsourcing of
IT and other state contracts. But by March 6, 2003, the day
the bill was scheduled to be heard by the New Jersey Legislature's
State Government Committee, technology lobbying groups such
as the National Association of Software and Services Companies
(NASSCOM), an association of Indian technology companies,
were ready to water it down. They proposed an amendment stating
that outsourcing could occur if the work cost less to do offshore
or promised improved quality offshore. The lobbyists succeeded
in getting the bill tabled. But they didn't succeed in persuading
Turner to give up. If you are a New Jersey resident, consider
Washington The legislature in the US state of Washington
(home of Microsoft, which is building a development center
in Hyderabad, India and already has the highest rate of unemployed
engineers in the US due to prior layoffs) may soon consider
a bill that will make outsourcing difficult. The bill's basic
objective is to reduce layoffs, relocation and termination
of employees. Admitted by the India press (in their reporting
on this bill), this is because a large number of layoffs in
the US can be traced to companies sending these jobs to other
countries. Unlike the New Jersey bill, which specifically
barred outsourcing by state enterprises, the Washington layoff
bill lays down a strict procedure which will slow down the
outsourcing process for any company in the state with more
than 75 employees. The Washington bill defines layoffs, mass
layoffs, relocations and terminations. Most importantly, the
bill covers outsourcing of work, which it defines as 'relocation.'
Connecticut After an investigation by NBC30 on H-1B
abuse, U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) is asking the chief
executives of five Connecticut insurance companies (Aetna
Inc., CIGNA Corp., The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.,
The Phoenix Cos. Inc., and Travelers Property Casualty Corp)
to reveal how many Indian citizens they employ on H-1B visas
in information technology now, whether that number has grown
during the past two years and how many American IT workers
the companies have laid off. To see the report that initiated
this, go to http://www.nbc30.com/nbc30/2190071/detail.html
and in the feedroom box click the little camera.
Know the Enemy and Obtain Media Coverage to Expose Them
Gaining coverage to allow the American public to understand
the issues facing them on the economy has been difficult.
ITAA and the Indian NASSCOM lobbying organizations have spent
enormous amounts on PR and disinformation, in addition to
their purchase of Congressional favors. It is encouraging
to see the recent excellent investigation by Lou Dobbs of
CNN and the Feburary 3, 2003 Business Week issue on exporting
US jobs. We must encourage more. Contact national television
network news, local news, radio and television magazine programs
describing the issues as noted above or in local stories that
you uncover and ask them to investigate. Contact major newspapers
across the nation and write articles to be submitted to the
business sections of these papers. Public awareness is the
only tool we have. We have the high moral ground. We need
to publicize it.
Know the Architects of The Problem
According to estimates made by the American Engineering Association
(AEA) the Information Technology Association of America and
its members have spent over $100 million to finance this "business
The ITAA is a powerful lobbying organization headed by Harris
Miller. Their campaign financing efforts have produced exceptional
success for their agenda, and the members are the deepest
pocket corporations in the world. To view their huge member
roster, go to http://www.itaa.org/about/members.cfm.
Indian NASSCOM is also active in the influence purchasing
arena. And, when you read or hear news items about the economy
or the technology sector where Harris Miller, the ITAA, its
members or NASSCOM are quoted, read between the lines.
Know Which Senators and Representatives are On-the-Take,
and Get Rid of Them
On March 10, 2003, TATA Consultancy Services (TCS), one of
the largest India H-1B bodyshops and offshore outsourcing
companies, announced that it opened its newest North American
office in Buffalo, New York. As stated in TATA's press release,
the deal was the brainchild of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
(D-NY), and was facilitated by the Confederation of Indian
Industry. TATA does not hire US citizens or green card holders
and actively lobbies clients for offshore contracts. New Yorkers
need to act now or their esteemed senator will sell them all.
She is not the only one, however, nor is one party the sole
villain. The corruption crosses party lines. As Deep Throat
advised, "Follow the money."
To obtain an in-depth and chilling understanding of the corruption,
read Dr. Norm Matloff's (Computer Science Professor, UC Davis)
congressional testimony and commentary "Debunking the
Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage" at http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.html.
Remember, what has happened in the tech sector is the model
for what will happen in the rest of the US economy unless
we stop it now.
Know Which Companies are Abusing the H-1B Program and
We have all heard about massive layoffs, but what most American's
don't know is that these layoffs are happening to US citizens
and green card holders while the same company is retaining
and, in a majority of cases, adding H-1B and L-1 workers.
Rob Sanchez at www.zazona.com
has created the Labor Condition Application (LCA) database
in which users can do an advanced search entering the company
name and city, to see the number of LCAs that have been approved.
An LCA must be filed by a company hiring H-1Bs. You will find
that many are hired in "batches" of 25 or 50 at
a time, laying bare the lie that H-1B was for hiring "the
best and the brightest." Instead it is used for bodycounts.
Also, you will likely not find all the H-1Bs that a company
has hired, as often the company will subcontract with H-1B
bodyshops like Infosys, Tata, Wipro or with US based H-1B
bodyshops like Rapidigm. If you do an advanced LCA database
search on the city and find the names of these and other bodyshops,
you know that they have been placed at a client's site.
In addition, www.zazona.com/ShameH1B/
has a remarkable archive of information on H-1B legislation
and history as well as on corporate and organizational corruption.
You can stay abreast of legislative action, congressional
corruption and job destruction news by subscribing to Rob
Sanchez' free "H-1B News and Job Destruction Newsletter."
Send an email to H1BNews@ZaZona.com
and place SUBSCRIBE in the Subject line.
www.h1b.info also has
an LCA database. Although it has fewer records, it has the
ability to drill down into the LCA filing. There is also a
rich archive of articles and news.
Pete Bennett at www.nomoreh1b.com
has H-1B and L-1 totals and has created a breakdown of
H-1B placement by US state that is fascinating and very useful
in assessing the impact of the state budget deficits. Nomoreh1b
also has a vast array of news articles, research and links.
Learn as Much as You Can About Globalization Issues, and
Tell Your Friends
Learn the truth about globalization and its impact on the
US economy. A superb source is "The
Race to the Bottom: Why a Worldwide Worker Surplus and
Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards"
by economist Alan Tonelson.
There are a number of organizations that have compiled information
on the issues and are active in trying to notify the public.
Join their effort if you can but, most of all, tell your friends.
Please copy, mail, email or distribute this brochure freely.
That is what it was designed for. If we all work together,
we can set the economy back on track and keep America strong.
The American Engineering Association at www.aea.org
is trying to educate the public about the ITAAs impending
push to increase the H-1B limit permanently.
The Programmer's Guild at www.programmersguild.org/american.htm
is an organization of systems professionals fighting to stop
the loss of systems jobs from H-1Bs, L-1s and offshore outsourcing.