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Thursday April 28, 2005

Vermont Senator agrees with Gates

According to an article in InformationWeek, there are lawmakers who want to drop the cap on H-1B visas.

The article shows that while Gates claims anyone with experience and IT skills can't possibly be jobless, he is complaining that there aren't enough new IT grads for his company to assimilate hire.

Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University, is convinced that our nation's K-12 system makes our kids "math-phobic".

Sen. Patrick Leahy (from Vermont) says the lack of visas is the reason that the number of computer science students has dropped 39% since 2000:

"The post-9/11 effort to cut down visas was a bad mistake. I think we should have increased them."

Uh, the reason for the drop in CS students couldn't possibly be because American CS students can't find jobs, could it?

Here is the contact page for Senator Leahy.

05:50 am
Thursday April 28, 2005
posted by gmminks

Another Reason to hate Microsoft*

Bill Gates wants to eliminate H1B visa limits:

Gates doesn't encounter a lot of unemployed IT workers, he said. "I think there must be a categorization problem," Gates added. "Anybody who's got some computer science skills is not looking for work."

So, if you are an umemployed somebody with computer science skills, maybe you should give Bill Gates a call.

*FULL DISCLAIMER: I am a UNIX weenie, specifically working with Linux right now, so I don't have warm fuzzy feelings about Microsoft

05:39 am

posted by gmminks

Monday April 11, 2005

Reporters finally starting to get it

This MSNBC article is the second I have seen where reporters have actually looked at the LCA data for their communities when doing a story on outsourcing.

The story starts by quoting a hospital director, exposing his undying thirst for H1B visa workers....

We're talking about jobs that require specialized education and skills," McKinley said. "There just aren't enough Americans coming out to fill these jobs. They may be available to people on the East or West Coast, but they're less available to people in this part of the country. It's harder to get people to move here. Our view is that there ought to be more H-1B visas available. They ought to be easier to get."

And ends explaing how the University of Cinncinati was twice declined a visa for an assistant ticket manager (DOL didn't think a sports management degree was required for that job!), quoting UC's Director of International Students, who expounds the same ole party line:

We want to hire the best person for the job, no matter where they're from," Cushing said. "Without (foreign workers) our research mission would be highly compromised. We need them to do business."

The moral of the story is that reporters need to understand and use the tools available to fully understand this objectively report on this issue they need to look beyond charges of racism from people who want to continue to abuse our immigration system.

This reporter interviewed the folks at TORAW and used the database Rob Sanchez maintains at, along with info from

What I think this reporter did a great job of doing is that he focused on a local issue, he took quotes from the folks who use H1B visa workers, and fact-checked them against the LCA database.

We need more of that!

05:23 am
Monday April 11, 2005
posted by gmminks

Wednesday April 6, 2005

Do you bank with Citibank?

If so, you may want to be sure all of your money is accounted for. According to this article, some call center workers in India stole about $350K from customer accounts. Citibank customer accounts to be exact.

The company running the call center in India is reportably Msource. Msource doesn't admit to this, but the guy who masterminded the thefts used to work there.

And of course, Msource cannot say which end user company in the US suffered the losses because they have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Another article explains how the call center workers pulled off the scam:

the trio came in contact with the US customers of the bank — while working with the BPO — and gained their confidence, while interacting with them. Since they were part of the customer services team, they were in constant touch with people who called up the call centre to clarify their doubts.

The police said having built a good rapport with the US customers, they were able to get their PIN numbers. Having got the PIN numbers, they accessed the bank account of these people and transferred the money to accounts opened by the other gang members. Later, they would withdraw the money. All this was done via the Internet, the police said.

Check your balances!!!

10:35 pm
Wednesday April 6, 2005
posted by gmminks

"Florida isn't exactly a hub for software technology...."

This according to Michael Stodja, president and chief executive of Splinex Technologies. This is a company in Florida who is desperate for software engineers.

What was Mr. Stodja talking about? Well, he is foaming at the mouth at the prospect of being able to bring in more foreign workers to work on his imaging software. According to The (reg req, bugmenot blah blah), he imports workers from Russia because "There's always a limited pool of talent -- we want to hire the best, U.S. citizens or not".

Strangely enough, as search of the company's website ( does not provide job information. Nothing about Splinex on Ditto for

I have an email in to, requesting information about the positions. The company is located in Ft. Lauderdale. Who knows, maybe it could help someone out.

The other weird quote in the article was from an immigration attorney:

``There's a dire shortage of workers in construction across the board, from master's degrees to day workers. We have to keep lobbying Congress for a more appropriate number'' of visas.

Since when do you need a degree to get a day worker job?

05:04 am

posted by gmminks

Monday April 4, 2005

visa abuse in NH

Did you ever wonder just how many L-1 visas are being awarded?
A New Hampshire journalist wondered just that, especially about a Salem company named Celestica Inc. Celestica announced it was closing the plant in Salem and laying off 420 workers because it could manufacture more competitively on foreign soil. The journalist found it odd that the company is the biggest user of L-1 visas in the state.

The reporter, Bob Sanders, filed a freedom of information act to see the visas that Celestica had applied for. And Rob Sanchez (a la"> has made the NH database">available online.

There's not alot there, aside from the number of visas and the company name.

I did love a quote from an Indian software company executive explaining why they cannot hire Americans:

It has been difficult to hire locally, Surapaneni said, because U.S.
workers "don’t want to wake up at midnight" to talk to company
officials back in India. It has even recruited at local campuses, and
has hired some engineers.

"We sincerely want to higher locally," he said, "But many local people
wouldn’t like the jobs, and they don’t always give quality work."

gimme a break.

09:36 pm
Monday April 4, 2005
posted by gmminks

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