90 Miles From Tyranny : U.S. grads settle for lower pay amid influx of foreign tech workers...

Friday, August 28, 2015

U.S. grads settle for lower pay amid influx of foreign tech workers...


San Diegans already know full well that foreigners are competing for their jobs. They don’t need national politicians from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders telling them to worry.


Consider the recent blowback from layoff decisions of two prominent regional companies, Qualcomm and Southern California Edison.

The layoffs highlighted a controversial corner of immigration policy occupied by H-1B visas, which allow companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years in “specialty” occupations such as software, engineering, biotech or even fashion modeling.

Early this year, Edison began displacing about 500 information technology workers, about 100 voluntarily and 400 through layoffs. But their functions were outsourced to Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two giant firms based in India.

Before they left, some workers were compelled to train their replacements, and some of them were foreign nationals working in the U.S.

The H-1B program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” one Edison worker told Computerworld, an IT news magazine. “But we’re doing our job. It’s not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill. Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing.”

In response, 10 federal lawmakers asked the Department of Labor to investigate whether the H-1B program can be used to directly replace American workers. As of June, that probe was...
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