The federal H1b program is intended to allow foreign workers into the US to do high-skill jobs for which employers can’t find qualified domestic workers. In reality, it’s a way for US employers to lower their labor costs, ignoring the large pool of fully qualified (but more expensive) US workers in favor of cheap foreign labor.
This isn’t a small program, either; in 2014 there were 124,326 new applications approved and 191,531 renewed. Since this is a three-year program with one possible renewal, the total number of H1b foreign workers in the US is triple that, or close to a million lower-wage workers in positions that should otherwise go to US workers at much higher wages.
Where are those workers coming from? According to a recent report to Congress, in 2012 most – 64% – come from India, with no other country sending anywhere close to that many (China came closest at 7.6%).
Given that so many come from India, and that they’re coming under the pretense that they are significantly more qualified than their American counterparts, you may be stunned to learn just how poor the Indian training system when it comes to computer programming.
According to a 2017 skills assessment of graduating Indian software engineers conducted by Aspiring Minds, an Indian skills assessment company:
- Out of the 2 problems given per candidate, only 14% engineers are able to write compilable codes for both and only 22% write compilable code for exactly one problem.
- Only 14.67% of engineers are employable for IT Services company, while a worryingly low percentage of 2.47% are observed to be employable in IT Product company.
- Amazingly, just 2.21% of candidates are able to write functionally and logically correct code.
This is the labor pool from which we’re pulling the majority of overseas workers, who our US staff supposedly cannot compete with.
If you want to learn more about how we’re being played by the H1b program, see this recent 60 Minutes story, or spend some time on the Protect US Workers site. It’s an outrage, and it needs to be stopped.