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10/10/2011
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NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent

Michael Bloomberg calls for an end to H-1B visa caps and wants automatic green cards for grad students in advanced STEM programs.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the U.S. is committing "national suicide" by limiting the number of green cards and visas available to hi-tech talent from overseas.

"In today's global marketplace, we cannot afford to keep turning away those with skills that our country needs to grow and to succeed," said Bloomberg, at a speech sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for a New American Economy. "I've called it national suicide--and I really think it is."

Bloomberg cited a number of studies that he said showed that immigrants working in hi-tech fields help to create jobs for Americans through investments, entrepreneurship, and by helping U.S. companies become more competitive globally. "These high-skill workers will not only help create thousands of jobs, they'll also give us knowledge of foreign markets that will help U.S. businesses increase their exports."

Bloomberg, who made his own fortune by developing systems that feed key financial data to Wall Street traders, said Congress should pass legislation that increases the number of green cards available to foreign born workers in fields like computer science, math, and engineering. He also called on lawmakers to pass bills that would eliminate the numerical cap on temporary, H-1B visas and that would make Ph.D students in STEM programs immediately eligible for permanent resident status upon graduation.

[ Groups that represent tech workers oppose easing visa rules. Read Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers. ]

"Turning these students out of the country is, to put it bluntly, about the dumbest thing we could possibly do," said Bloomberg, who delivered the speech Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C. "Other countries are bending over backwards to attract these students--and we're helping them to do it. We've become the laughing stock of the world with this policy."

Bloomberg said the U.S. risks losing top global talent to countries like China, India, Canada, and Chile, all of which have instituted programs designed to make it easier for hi-tech professionals to immigrate. His comments echo calls for immigration reform by executives at major U.S. tech firms, including Microsoft. The software maker says it has thousands of open positions it can't fill because it's unable to find workers with the right skills.

Such comments are sure to provoke controversy, as they come at a time when the nation's high-unemployment rate, in excess of 9%, has helped spark protests like the Occupy Wall Street movement. On Monday, Bloomberg, in his capacity as mayor, said he would allow the protesters to occupy parts of lower Manhattan indefinitely.

Some groups that represent U.S.-born IT professionals say the H-1B program, which allows foreign tech workers to remain in the country for a maximum of six years, gives employers the means to replace them with cheap labor.

Bloomberg said he doesn't buy such arguments. "As the data clearly show, immigrants don't take away jobs; they make jobs--and that is especially true for high-skilled immigrants."

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twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/12/2011 | 1:03:07 AM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
This story is laughable. This story was not written by a reporter. It was reproduced by a stenographer. This writer is a total shill, reciting Bloomberg propaganda and lies. This is a story totally devoid of any rational discussion of Bloomberg's propaganda.

Any qualified journalist would have done a little research on H1B projects managed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and discover that Bloomberg, as Mayor of NYC, managed a project that was estimated to cost $60 billion to the NYC taxpayers, but has grown to over $700 billion and is still growing.

That project was CityTime. As I mentioned, the project was projected to cost $60 billion and has so far grown to over $700 billion. The software was developed by TechnoDyne, an Indian H1B body shop, owned by Padma and Reddy Allen, who have left the country with $90 billion of taxpayer money to escape the reach of Federal authorities. http://articles.businessinside... All of this fraud occurred under Mayor Bloomberg's watch, requiring Bloomberg's cooperation.

Sometimes hiring cheap labor is the most expensive option, and this project offers a clear example of that philosophy, but does Paul McDougall bother to notify the readers of that principle?

Of course he doesn't. McDougall is not a reporter. McDougall is a stenographer.
tzimmerman191
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tzimmerman191,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2011 | 2:27:20 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
DISGRACEFUL! With all of the talented U.S. Citizens in technology that are out of work or have had their companies close and their pension plans revoked, etc...is this BILLIONAIRE really going to tell us that we need more foreigners that do not pay taxes, do not contribute to the economy over the long term and are willing to leave any company high and dry even when the company sponsored their VISA?

Coupled with the unemployment numbers -- what is needed is serious TRAINING for our highly talented work force members who may not have been techies but have serious business skills that are needed desperately in I.T. these days....

What is this guy thinking? He is thinking, "how cheaply can I get a worker" that I don't have to make any long term commitments to....by the way this is why some of the serious technologists have moved over to Academia -- they are Sick and Tired of being exploited and then replaced by foreigners...

I wonder how Mr. Bloomberg will like it when TECHIES take to the streets instead of the "wall street group" that is now protesting...will he listen more if they are U.S. citizens that are wearing Business Suits and have unemployment checks in their back pockets? I doubt it...he will view all of this from his limosine and then call one of his off shore techie company "friends" to hire more foreign workers...!
ANON1238090450922
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ANON1238090450922,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 10:35:40 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
Bloomberg is pathetic. We have hundreds of thousands of unemployed AMERICAN software engineers. We have kids who don't want to go into technology because they don't see a future in it. We have universities undercutting the salaries of post-docs with cheap foreign students. We have businesses off-shoring, outsourcing, importing foreign tech labor because it's CHEAP. It certainly isn't an issue of higher skill levels. Would you rather go to India or the US for an operation? Would you rather fly in an airplane built in the US or in a 3rd world country?

The objective by academia and industry was to keep salaries down.

It worked. Software engineers don't make any more than they did 10 years ago.

The static wages indicate there's no huge, unsatisfied demand. What it does indicate is that businesses and even our universities will undercut American workers.

There are plenty of Americans with the "right" skills. Corporations just don't want to pay American wages for those skills when they can import cheap foreign labor. People think it's illegal to underpay H-1Bs, but in fact it's very easy to work around any restrictions.

Generally I've had a lot of respect for Bloomberg on some issues. But when he talks like this he sounds like the top 1% he is, and he shows he's no friend of the other 99%. He's just one more example of corporate power undermining the American people, and ultimately, the country. God save us from people like Bloomberg, because the Democrats are ineffectual and can't do it, and the Republicans are actively selling us down the globalization river.

mking117
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mking117,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 9:39:58 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
Um no Mayor Bloomie Butt we do not NEED any more foreign tech people right now. We already have a surplus of unemployed home grown tech people. I suppose this is why the #OccupyWallStreet movement has grown so my in NYC because you Mr. Mayor are clearly out of touch.

Regarding Microsoft whining perhaps they should stop looking for the perfect candidates and hire the most trainable local ones. So few companies are will to train anyone these days.

Finally keep in mind that the 9% unemployment is only the unemployed that qualify for unemployment. The actual true unemployed rate is closer to 17%. It has become so band that hobo town err I mean tent cities are popping up all over the country.

The good news is that the recession is over;

Because we are now in a Depression...

think about it.

Mikel King
http://jafdip.com
John80224
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John80224,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 9:03:41 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
Please note that I believe you make some valid points and there are gray areas in most things. And agreed, referring to success as stupid rarely is accurate, but may be intended to make a point more than state a fact.

That said, IG«÷m intrigued by the comment that salaries are G«£artificially highG«•. Are they subsidized? Are developers being stockpiled in reserves far away or forced into other careers to diminish their availability? ThereG«÷s already moderately more access to them worldwide than most other talents. Or is this more of a communist ideal where this group already in a better than average situation should become a public utility to be stripped of its advantages and regulated for the common good?

Attorneys are paid 2-3 times what a typical developer might make and salespeople often expect to be paid extra every time they succeed in doing their job. Yet a part of the workforce that could be argued as one of the most cost effective (try running a business today on filing cabinets, calculators and rows of clerks) and performed by a skillset that is supposedly in great demand, possessed by relatively few and requires a higher than average level of continual evolution is not afforded this consideration.

I might as well argue that itG«÷s ludicrous that with moderately decent looks and personality and an above average income that I donG«÷t have the same access to starlets and supermodels as Ashton Kutcher and George Clooney.

Hyperbole and kidding aside there may be some validity to the need today, but the push has been too steady, enforcement too reactionary, downturns too frequent and stories of abuse too common for me to not have serious reservations about how any expansion of the program might be handled.
deming
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deming,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 12:50:24 AM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
If Bloomberg gets his way, I predict that he'll need to hire more white shirt wearing, pepper spray wielding policeman with which to quell the unruly masses.
ajones320
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ajones320,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2011 | 11:03:04 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
The US industry needs more tech talent. That I somewhat believe, although there are plenty of folks out there eager to start working. The focus should be on well-trained talent, regardless from where it is. I rather see incentives to moving within the US than moving folks in from overseas. But the Indian and Pakistani engineers work for less. So the only way to counter this is to jack up the prices for H1-B visa that companies have to pay.
BrainiacV
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BrainiacV,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2011 | 9:19:45 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
You're missing the unstated point, it is technological warfare. If there is no limit on the number of talented people that can come to the US, that means less are available to the rest of the world and we can maintain our technological advantage. :-)

And they'll work cheap. We really need to stop whining and adjust downward our standard of living and get in tune with our inner sweatshop worker.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2011 | 7:21:22 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
Making it harder/easier for new Ph.D. graduates to stay and work in the US != outsourcing, and also is not the same as H1-B abuses. We run the risk of conflating a number of immigration-related issues.

Why are Cisco and other US companies laying off tech workers, and then turning around and complaining that they cannot find the right technical people? If it were truly a skills question, then it would seem that the affected companies would be better served by spending some $$$ to re-train or re-tool their existing tech workers. On-boarding a new employee is expensive, especially in time. If it is mostly a cost question -- laying off a US worker who makes 110K$ + benefits, to be replaced by an H1-B worker at 80K$ or an off-shored worker at 60K$ -- then the crying about Ph.D. graduates and high-tech immigrants is a red herring.
ANON1241706814244
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ANON1241706814244,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2011 | 6:43:44 PM
re: NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent
The speech was made at the US Chamber of Commerce. That is like their rallying cry to eliminate good paying jobs in the tech sector. Talk about an organized crime syndicate. They are to the American worker that the American Family Association is to gay marriage. A hate group.
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