Immigration Blog

Immigrants top native born in U.S. job hunt

By Bill at October 30, 2010 21:17
Filed Under: Immigration News

A recent CNN report drawn a conclusion similar to what made half a year ago: 2010 will become the best year for foreigners to get H1B Visa jobs! 

According to the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS), there were 38.5 million foreign-born residents, representing 12.5 percent of the total population. This has has been increated from 9.6 million or 4.7 percent in 1970, to 14.1 million or 6.2 percent in 1980, 19.8 million or 7.9 percent in 1990, and 31.1 million or 11.1 percent in 2000. As of 2009,  53 percent of all foreign born were from Latin America, 28 percent were from Asia, 13 percent from Europe, 4 percent from Africa, 3 percent from other regions, including Oceania and Northern America.

CNN reported on Oct 29,2010 that, immigrants have gained hundreds of thousands of jobs since the Great Recession is said to have ended, while U.S.-born workers lost more than a million jobs, according to a study released Friday.

Native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs in the year following June 2009, when economists say the recession officially ended, reported the Pew Hispanic Center, a division of the Pew Research Center. In that same period of time, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs, according to the center, which based its analysis on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor.

The disparity is even more extreme for the two-year period ending June 2010. During that time, foreign-born workers lost 400,000 jobs, while U.S.-born workers lost 5.7 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. As a result, immigrants outperformed native-born workers on unemployment rates. The unemployment rate for immigrants was 8.7% in June, the most recent month cited in the study, compared to 9.7% for U.S.-born citizens. During the one-year period ended in June, the immigrant unemployment dropped by 0.6 percentage point, but it gained 0.5 point for native-born workers.

"[Immigrants] started taking an earlier and harder hit during this recession and it could be now that things could be turning up for them sooner," said Rakesh Kochhar, association director of research at the Pew Hispanic Center and co-author of the study. "Native-born workers should soon catch up with them."

One of the reasons why immigrants tend to outperform native-born Americans is because they're willing to take less desirable jobs, said Kochhar.

"They're generally more flexible," he said. "They come here to work. They don't care necessarily whether it's in New York or L.A. or Dallas or Atlanta. They also tend to be more flexible in regards to the wages and the hours they put in."

Please visit CNN Money for the full article

Cisco praised for not abusing H1B visas

By Bill at September 09, 2010 01:49
Filed Under: Immigration News

By Julie Bort

As part of the ongoing debate about doubling fees for H1B visas, New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) has called out Cisco, among other U.S. IT firms, as examples of companies using the H1B visa correctly. But being praised by Schumer is a bit of a mixed blessing. He's had a rough time pulling his foot out of his mouth over his comments about Indian outsourcers while trying win support for his proposal.

Last week Schumer, chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, proposed a $600 million "emergency package" to improve security along the U.S.-Mexican border. He wants to pay for it by steeply raising fees for H1B and L visas for companies that use a lot of them. Fees are typically $2,000 to $2,500 each and the proposal would tack on about another $2,000 for companies with a U.S. workforce composed of 50% visa workers or those using more than 50 visas. Schumer says the fee hike is intended to target foreign outsourcers' U.S. operations. Schumer's office has gone so far as to name Wipro, Tata, Infosys and Satyam as the targets.

Schumer at first called Indian outsourcers "chop shops" ... oops. The comment caused an uproar among India's media. The senator this week "clarified" saying he meant to call them "body shops." I'm sure they like the new characterization much better.

As for Cisco, Schumer is quoted in his August 12, 2010, speech arguing for passage of the legislation as saying:

"Every day, companies like Oracle, Cisco, Apple and others use the H-1B visa program in the exact way I have just described—and their use of the program has greatly benefited this country."

But in that same speech he also said,

"Many of the companies that use this program today are using the program in the exact way Congress intended. That is, these companies (like Microsoft, IBM, and Intel) are hiring bright foreign students educated in our American universities to work in the U.S. for 6 or 7 years to invent new product lines and technologies so that Microsoft, IBM, and Intel can sell more products to the American public. Then—at the expiration of the H-1B visa period—these companies apply for these talented workers to earn green cards and stay with the company."

What? Since 2001, Microsoft has used more H1B visas than any other company -- Indian outsourcers included, according to statistics published on Microsoft applied for 33,396 visas over the past ten years and more than 4,100 in 2009 alone (a year it had layoffs). IBM lands as the No. 3 user of visas both over the past 10 years and in 2009, with almost 1,700 applications (though not all applications are approved). Cisco is way down the list with a comparatively mere 394 applications, although it still ranks in the top 50. But, hey, so does Yale University with its 445 applications.

Schumer's press release innocently says that the 50% rule won't hurt U.S. tech companies -- and that's true. But the rule that hits those that hire more than 50 visa workers is another story, according to an editorial against the scheme from

That potential pain seems to already be having an effect. With half the year gone, Cisco (and Microsoft's) visa applications are sharply down. So far in 2010, MyVisaJobs has tallied only 11 applications -- and for Microsoft only 13. (I contacted Cisco to ask for verification of these stats, and is typical, haven't gotten a response. I'll update this post if I hear back.)

Over the years, Cisco's requests for H1B talent have fallen off altogether, the site says.

Cisco pays these workers pretty well. The average salary has been about $110K, with some positions paying about $60K. But this is in line with the salaries being spent by other networking companies on foreign workers. Juniper's pays, on average, almost $130K.

One final item to note: Cisco Systems has contributed $7500 to Senator Charles Schumer 2010 reelection campaign since 2009. It was part of $197,000 the company has spent on campaign contributions, says