[linux-elitists] Re: H1-B

Bulent Murtezaoglu bm@acm.org
Wed Feb 19 06:03:43 PST 2003

>>>>> "KMS" == Karsten M Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:
    KMS> When you pick an area to do work in, you're buying a package
    KMS> deal: the local infrastructure, prevailing working
    KMS> conditions, employment laws, labor rates.  Not to mention
    KMS> tarrif, import, tax, and regulatory issues.

Ideed, that's part of my point.  International competition is not on
equal terms.

    KMS> That's also part of what I'm shooting for.  H-1B was a way
    KMS> for business to argue for increased inmigration without
    KMS> taking full accountability for consequences.  

Yes.  But overall I doubt it is as horrible on its own as the web
sites you used to cite indicate.  You take a 3-yr position somehwre
abroad and come back or stay for another 3-yrs is basically what an
H-1b is.  What makes it nasty is that the place you travel to is a
very desirable place to live in!  So, now the 3-yr assignment turns
into a 'how the hell do I not return' problem.  I think this is a
fairly accurate characterization of the majority of H-1b's POV.  
    KMS> Add the
    KMS> consequences to the equation, and the relative merits of
    KMS> looking after your own first tend to ramp up.  I see that as
    KMS> a more balanced accounting for issues.

Yes, they do ramp up.  So you punt the temporary workers, end of the
story.  Is it not?  

    KMS> ...  Getting full information on labor,
    KMS> working, and living conditions when you're half a planet away
    KMS> is difficult at best.

How so?  You cannot figure out how you will feel, but getting a sense
of the numbers and the legality of your status is pretty easy.  I am
talking about information like 'budget $X for rent, $Y for food, $Z for
a car, etc.  What the H-1b status actually means is partly spelled out
on the form you receive (that it is temporary) and a web search reveals
the rest.  It is possible that unscrupulous people will lie to people
who come from similar ethnic backgrounds and create sweatshops, but
some of the ways in which they do it are illegal anyway (holding on to
people's passports, or documents that can be used for H-1b portability

I understand part of what you want, but I think it is a very hard
problem to solve especially when you want to cover all the
eventualities.  That is why some of the suggestions on the sites you
pointed to seem ridiculous when one thinks about them a bit.  Given
all that I don't think H-1b was a gravely flawed program.  The general
immigration policy is somewhat flawed (esp the GC process) but before
that there's the question of non-uniform enforcement.  

Are the elitists bored of this yet?  I suppose we could shut up or
take it offline.



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