April 15, 2013

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **

Guild Response to H-1b increases proposed by Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us

Programmers Guild asks its members to become active on the FWD.us Facebook page and respectfully refute Mark Zuckerberg’s www.FWD.us agenda with facts and personal accounts – seems appropriate to use FB against him: https://www.facebook.com/fwdus Facts can be found in the January 2013 press release at www.programmersguild.org – and in the yellow box below. 

FWD.us Double Standard 

Zuckerberg essentially advocates open border anyone who wants to come to USA and work in STEM should be admitted. Fair enough – as long as Facebook institutes a policy “any American with a STEM degree and at least a 3.5 GPA that wants to work at Facebook shall be hired.” You would find a double-standard – Facebook wants to remain exclusive who it lets into its borders: You would find blatant age discrimination. You would find favoritism given to “friends of insiders.”

Until key STEM employers agree to hire all qualified U.S. applicants that apply, Congress should reject their calls for increasing the quota foreign workers coming to the USA. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others are rejecting tens of thousands of highly qualified U.S. applicants each year without even conducting an interview - often without a hiring manager or even a human - reviewing the qualifications.

Analysis of FWD.us

FWD.us is an organization founded by several multi-millionaires that advocates for a wide range of CIR objectives, including Amnesty, the DREAM act, and H-1b liberalization.

The website includes a statement by Mark Zuckerberg – bemoaning that the U.S. offers “so few H-1b visas” Mark does not suggest what the H-1b quota should be and ignores BLS data on the number of STEM jobs being created each year. Mark doesn’t address any of the substantive H-1b issues: That most are “entry level skill”; That H-1b are being hired for a lower salary even when more qualified Americans apply; That the top users of H-1b are foreign outsourcing firms; That DOL and USCIS are currently conspiring to reserve 85,000 U.S. job openings for foreign workers until October 2013 without disclosing those openings or ever allowing qualified Americans to apply for them.

Mark fails to think outside of the box to fully grasp the problem and consider alternative solutions other than “raise the cap.” He states that “each H-1b creates two or three American jobs” – failing to explain why hiring American STEM workers would not have the same effect. (Very few H-1b are doing the “innovative” work that creates any jobs – “H-1bs create jobs” is an industry PR myth.) A letter signed by 100 CEOs including Zuckerberg has the same failing – they call for “more visas” rather than for reforms that would increase the percent of exceptional workers within the current cap.

Mark fails to explain why U.S. taxpayers are funding the education of foreign nationals in the first place:

http://www.fwd.us/blog

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on April 11 2013

To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best. We need those middle school students to be tomorrow's leaders.

Given all this, why do we kick out the more than 40% of math and science graduate students who are not US citizens after paying to educate them? Why do we offer so few H1B visas for talented specialists that the supply runs out within days of becoming available each year, even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return? Why don't we let entrepreneurs move here even when they have what it takes to start new companies that will create even more jobs?

We need a new approach, including:

- Comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest working people, no matter where they were born

The website doesn’t call for any specific H-1b reforms – just general priniple:

·   Comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest.

That could be achieved by implementing the Programmers Guild proposal of setting H-1b minimum wage at $100,000 – consistent with what Microsoft claims to pay a “typical new hire for a Microsoft programmer or software-engineer position.” But I suspect that’s not what Zuckerberg has in mind (not as if he cannot afford to pay a fair wage.)

400,000 Americans get STEM degrees each year - Already H-1b are filling most of the new STEM jobs being created in the USA!

  • 400,000 Americans graduate with a STEM degree each year

  • 77,830 "Computer and Mathematical Occupations" jobs are projected to be created each year

  • 85,000 H-1b enter the job market each year

Where is the "shortage" of STEM workers?

In calling for “more STEM graduates” FWD.us ignores that 400,000 Americans graduate each year with STEM degrees – far more than the job market needs.

REFERENCE: http://dashboard.ed.gov/statedetail.aspx?i=m&id=0&wt=0 (380,000 BS STEM) and http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf10324/ (showing that of the 380,000 BS STEM grads, only about 20,000 are foreign students.) Add the Americans in graduate and PhD programs, and the number is close to 400,000 Americans each year.

Meanwhile BLS projects that only about 77,830 “Computer and Mathematical Occupations” and 25,280 “Architecture and Engineering Occupations” jobs will be created each year between 2010 and 2020. There is nothing exceptional about this increase: Healthcare, Community and Social Services and Construction sectors are projected to have a higher rate to growth:

REFERENCE: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t05.htm

Congress is currently giving away most new American STEM jobs to foreign workers!

Zuckerberg's vision of using his wealth and power to undermine democracy leaked to Politico

Money should not buy legislation in DC. But Industry has the money, and Congress continues to pass bills beneficial to Industry without the impacted U.S. Citizens having a voice in the matter.

Zuckerberg Exposed

Quoting from Politico - April 4, 2013:

 . . . That plan, sent to board members and staff, was written by Joe Green — one of Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommates and the man the young billionaire tapped to lead his group. But before the group’s unveiling, Green has apologized for the plan’s phrasing and several claims which he now says aren’t right.

The prospectus, obtained Thursday by POLITICO, states that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen are founding members of a group named “Human Capital” and details how the technology executives would use their companies to “control the avenues of distribution” for a political message in support of their efforts.

Under a section called “our tactical assets,” the prospectus lists three reasons why “people in tech” can be organized into “one of the most powerful political forces.”

“1: We control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals. We saw the tip of the iceberg with SOPA/PIPA.

“2: “Our voice carries a lot of weight because we are broadly popular with Americans.

“3. We have individuals with a lot of money. If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment.”

. . . After being told the plan had leaked Thursday, Green issued a statement to POLITICO apologizing for the language and inaccuracies in the prospectus.

Why Zuckerberg favors granting Amnesty to 10 million predominately unskilled illegal workers without first giving unemployed Americans a chance to fill this jobs escapes me. Very few illegals are doing "farm labor" - very few are doing jobs that "Americans cannot or will not do."

Zuckerberg and FWD.us in the news:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/tech-industry-poised-to-win-in-immigration-debate/2013/04/12/c735d758-a38c-11e2-82bc-511538ae90a4_story.html

CIR is not "Comprehensive” unless it ends "anchor baby"

My personal view regarding CIR is that any comprehensive reform should end “anchor baby” and the practice of pregnant Chinese tourists arriving with the primary intent of having a “U.S. Citizen baby”  – but this doesn’t seem to be on the gang-of-eight’s table: CIR is being driven by industry lobbyists who are pushing to maximize the guest-worker low wage workers that will be available to further enrich themselves.

Mr. Kim Berry
www.programmersguild.org
kim@programmersguild.org
Private Cell: 916-769-4170 (
Media only please)

ABOUT US

The Programmers Guild advocates for the interests of U.S. computer programmers and other tech professionals. The Guild is advocating for some basic U.S. worker protections within the current Industry push to expand the H-1b program. See http://www.programmersguild.org for more information.
 

Programmers Guild Platform
Comprehensive H-1b Reforms that FWD.us Failed to Suggest

a) Fix the flawed prevailing wage that allows wages 25% below what average-skilled American would earn. [3] Programmers Guild advocates for minimum wage of $100,000 for H-1b workers - this is a fair wage for "best and brightest innovators with skills beyond what Americans possess." It's absurd that H-1b quota is being filled to bring in $5/hour kitchen help. [1]

b) Add requirement to first transparently recruit Americans before a position could be filled by an H-1b, L-1, or OPT foreign worker.

c) Programmers Guild opposes the "lottery" [4] which gives equal preference to $12/hour pharmacy technicians as $70/hour genetic researchers. Instead USCIS should accept applications for 60 days and then give priority to the most highly skilled (determined by salary).

d) Oppose stapling green cards. Roughly 400,000 Americans graduate with STEM degrees each year, but they find a difficult job market for "entry level" skills. "stapled green card" foreigners possess no special skills. They have no work experience. The current proposal does not distinguish between a truly exceptional candidate and a "C-" student that few employers would hire - Congress makes the false presumption "because they are foreigners they must be brilliant - because they muddled through an MS program they must be brilliant."

e) End the financial incentive for employers to hire OPT foreign grads over Americans: Currently employers are exempted from contributing Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax on these foreign workers, creating an unfair advantage against Americans.

f) Getting a green card should be decoupled from employer sponsorship: Employers are not deciding who to sponsor based on whether the person is an "exceptional innovative" candidate, but rather on a desire to keep that worker indentured in their current job. It has created the absurd situation of foreigners working at foreign corporations sponsoring each other for U.S. citizenship. Instead expand the "extraordinary green card" process - not perfect, but better than the current sham of PERM recruiting abuse and indenturing workers at wages and conditions that Americans would not accept:

REFERENCES

  1. DOL approving H-1b for a low as $5 per hour
  2. NBC News article on Extraordinary Green Card Process
  3. Large H-1b user acknowledging in 2006 that ability to pay H-1b 25% below market wages was their "competitive advantage" against firms that hire American workers
  4. Programmers Guild alternative to Lottery proposal in 2007
  5. Hire Americans First – Hundreds of H-1b Harm Testimonials by American workers
  6. Lawmakers hear from CEO opponents of H-1Bs

STATEMENTS BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS CRITICAL OF H-1B INCREASE

 

http://www.fwd.us/about_us

[Profiles/Photos of the dozen FWD.us founders]

About Us

FWD.us is an organization started by key leaders in the tech community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy—including comprehensive immigration reform and education reform.

Improving Our Future

FWD.us believes the global economy is changing and America must make significant changes to stay ahead. We will work to encourage Congress to focus on policies that maximize the potential of our country’s workforce to contribute to the knowledge economy.

This campaign will harness the best of new and old organizing tactics. We will use online social organizing, which many of our founders pioneered, to build a movement in the tech community, while engaging in direct advocacy at the state and district level to support members of Congress, regardless of party.

Our Principles

·                           Comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest.

·                           Education reforms that produce more graduates in the science, technology and math fields and ensure all children receive a high quality education from effective teachers and accountable schools.

·                           Support for scientific research, which seeds the future innovation of our knowledge economy, and breakthrough developments.