90 Miles From Tyranny : Microsoft "Bait and Switch" Could Mean a Huge Increase in Foreign Tech Workers

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Microsoft "Bait and Switch" Could Mean a Huge Increase in Foreign Tech Workers

The software giant's modest proposal on H1-B visas won over labor and education allies—until they saw the actual legislation.

A member of a powerful DC-based coalition of education and labor groups says Microsoft tricked him and others into opening the door to the Immigration Innovation Act, a federal bill that would promote the offshore outsourcing of American jobs.

"It was a classic bait and switch," says the source, a member of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education Coalition, an umbrella organization of some 500 corporate, labor, and education groups that was cofounded by Microsoft. The source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of jeopardizing his relationships with allies on Capitol Hill, described Microsoft's approach to the bill as "lobbying malpractice."

Though Microsoft did nothing illegal, it appears to have run afoul of its would-be allies by making the bill a vehicle for for significantly looser immigration restrictions—thereby putting its own interests ahead of those of the education and labor groups it had seduced by promising something more palatable.

For more than a decade, Microsoft has supplemented its American-born workforce with foreigners who come to the US on temporary H-1B work visas. The federal government offers just 65,000 H-1B visas each year, however, and in prosperous years the cap quickly maxes out. In September, the software giant claimed it couldn't fill some 6,000 domestic jobs due to a shortage of qualified Americans and a lack of available visas.

The company proposed a novel workaround: If the federal government would raise the H1-B cap by 20,000 additional visas and make available an equal number of additional green cards, Microsoft said it would be willing to pay nearly four times the usual fees, handing over $10,000 per H-1B visa and $15,000 per green card. It called its proposal the National Talent Strategy because the...
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1 comment:

  1. How many of those workers voted for an outlaw government which would do as it pleased, because they agreed with what it was doing, until they found out what it is going to do? I wonder how many of these sharp stick-in-the muds will wise up? Not betting on it. Now they "need" longer unemployment money, food stamps, and the rest. Never learn. Can't tell them. They are too smart to be told, or even shown, anything. I can see why outsourcing is nearly required, even if I don't like it. But it's been a trap being built for them since they were young, heck, since I was young. It's just reaching it's climax. Not that it matters. The world economy is in uncharted territory and being kept going by printing presses and "borrowing" that is so far past sustainable that it doesn't make any kind of sense. Gotta crash.


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