Supposedly, America's biggest shill for the slumdog industry, Professor Vivek Wadhwa, is getting death threats.
I can neither confirm not deny that I have been making death threats to this vile propagandist for the H[indu]-1B lobby.
But I have been chatting with this creep, using the alias of Kevin Flanagan.
Here's how it started:
The DOJ is investigating numerous companies for L-1 fraud, and the DOL is auditing all H-1B dependent companies.
The H-1B and L-1 Visas are modern day Jim Crow laws, subjecting American hi-tech professionals to abuse at the hands of India, Inc.
Here's my letter to David Boies (famed attorney):
I am reaching out to you for some advice.
I am programmer and have been working in I.T. for about 15 years. Recently I started having a hard time finding new contract gigs, and the contract rates have been cut drastically to the point that they are about the same as a full time employee, minus the benefits.
I know my industry has been impacted by offshoring, but even more stunning is the massive influx of low-wage, mostly low-skill workers from India. These workers come over under the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to fill a mythical programmer shortage. This is a canard created by the hi-tech companies so that they can suppress wages and displace American I.T. professionals.
Recently, I was forced to start looking for work all over California because I couldn’t find anything in O.C. I even flew to Sacramento to interview for a contract in Modesto, and was prepared to leave my family for a few months. I never got the offer, which was good.
Instead, I spent three weeks contracting at an Indian software company that develops systems for the pharmaceutical industry, and worked on programs for Amgen. The experience was a nightmare. I was the only white male on a team of 15, with four being non-Indians. The staff spoke Hindi all the time, and it was a sweatshop. The company had flown in seven coders and QA people from New Delhi and they lived in a motel around the corner.
Fortunately, I found another contract and was able to walk out of the place. I didn’t give notice and enjoyed departing. One of my contractor buddies had interviewed for one of the two programming positions, and he was rejected. He is a really sharp guy and could run circles around the folks they brought from India.
I was so disgusted with the whole situation that I reported the company to the Dept. of Labor for H-1B fraud. They should have hired locals and instead flew in a crew from India. A DOL agent in S.F. took the case, and I talked to him yesterday. He said very few cases are prosecuted because there are so many loopholes. He is filing a report but said that their preliminary investigation determined that the case was out of their jurisdiction. He urged me to contact the Civil Rights department of the DOJ that handles L-1 fraud.
Companies like the one I worked for bring in millions of workers under intra-company transfers through the L-1 program, and they are supposed to prove that no local worker can fill the spot. The system is so corrupt and full of loopholes that any company can be technically compliant and still avoid hiring Americans. An immigration lawyer even gives seminars on how to avoid hiring U.S. citizens:
The reason I am contacting you is because I feel that there is rampant discrimination against American workers in the I.T. industry at the hands of the Indian software lobby. If you walk into some of the I.T. departments, you will see 80-90% Indian staffs. They have a monopoly, and exploit workers from India by confiscating their passports and forcing them to work unpaid overtime. These workers show up in big companies and American workers are forced to train them, and then the citizens are fired. IBM just laid off 5,000 U.S. employees, and many were forced to train their Indian replacements. There is massive fraud and corruption in the system, and American programmers are being decimated. Many are leaving the field.
With the bad economy, displaced I.T. professionals are starting to organize and agitate to abolish these guest worker visas. It is becoming evident that offshoring software development doesn’t save companies any money, so they are trying to use these visas to ship in programmers who can be onsite and compliant. The infrastructure is horrific in India, and there are so many obstacles to creating and running corporate computer systems that it has become a fiscal liability to do all work offshore. But the big companies like Wells Fargo, State Farm – anybody that needs massive I.T. manpower, are now bringing the cheap labor here.
The net result is that guys like me see their wages declining and work scarce. I know people that have been looking for jobs for months. They can’t get interviews because the Indian lobby has cornered the market and staff only their own people.
I think there is a potential for a large class action lawsuit against American tech companies, the Indian bodyshops, and the Indian offshoring consulting companies like Infosys and WiPro. You may have heard about the Satyam scandal. There is plenty of anecdotal and statistical evidence that Americans are getting forced out of the global I.T. industry. For example 55,000 of the 65,000 allotted H-1B visas in 2007 went to Indian workers, who are essentially indentured servants, forced to work for one company and frequently abused. The companies have pitted the foreign workers against the local employees and the industry is in chaos; the imported workers lack the skills to do the work, and the Americans are forced to train them or get fired.
I suggest that the time is ripe for a civil rights battle. American I.T. professionals are getting displaced in large numbers, and the H-1B lobby and India, Inc. want to lift ALL visa caps. This is nothing more than an attempt to arbitrage employee wages.
What say you?
Low and behold, he had the balls to respond to an American. That was mighty kind of an upper-caste Desi to chat with a cracker:
From: Prof. Vivek Wadhwa [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 11:52 AM
To: 'Tunnel Rat'
Subject: RE: H-1B and L-1 Visas Now a Civil Rights Issue
Kevin, it is nice to get an intelligent and respectful message from you.
I understand the issue you are raising. There are a lot of third-rate body shops who bring in unqualified workers. And the H1B visa is flawed. It is clear that you have seen the worst of the immigration system. But there are also many skilled immigrants who have contributed in a big way to the U.S. economy. I know hundreds of these people and was a tech CEO myself. You can ask Norm Matloff about my background. My first company employed 1000 AMERICAN workers at its peak and the second had about 150 Americans and 50 Russians.
You may also have read my research which showed that more than half of Silicon Valley’s startups from 1995-2005 had immigrant CEO’s or CTO’s (I believe that both of these are equally critical positions). They employed 450,000 workers in 2005 – which is more than all of the H1B’s visas issued to tech workers in that period. So at the macro level, skilled immigrants added to employment.
But you are right that the H1B lends itself to abuse and you have seen this first-hand. My solution is to abolish this visa altogether and require companies to bring workers in only on permanent resident visas. No, this won’t create a flood of workers because permanent residents have the right to leave a job if they are being underpaid or abused. And companies won’t risk bringing in third-rate talent when this costs them as much as first-rate American talent plus $10-20K in visa and relocation costs. You would have far fewer skilled workers coming here under the approach I am suggesting. And we would probably see the benefits which top –tier immigrants can provide by fueling innovation and starting companies.
I wish you the best and would be glad to help you if I can.
I told you folks that Wadhwa want's to ban the H-1B visa. Of course, he wants to floodgates open to bring in a few million more slumdogs so that he can have another startup that pimps them out to corporate America. I let him know I was on to the game that is being played by the Desi Mafia:
From: Tunnel Rat [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 5:05 PM
To: 'Prof. Vivek Wadhwa'
Subject: RE: H-1B and L-1 Visas Now a Civil Rights Issue
Thanks for your response. I look forward to seeing the entire H-1B and L-1 programs abolished. But I dread a new poorly written law that will be immediately enacted to take their place, because then my career will truly be over.
And just between me and you, your community has been less than humble as they displace Americans. While I limit my outrage to blogging and online rants, I get messages from many unemployed programmers who are on the verge of suicide and violence because of the arrogance displayed by the foreign workers sent here to displace them. It does not help your cause to have our guest workers disparage Americans as lazy and stupid, which is the common theme in the cyber salons and corporate I.T. departments.
I suggest that you spread the word and let the latest wave of guest workers and their advocates know that their reputation in the I.T. industry is not very impressive and that they are breeding a lot of animosity with their insular and nepotistic behavior.
You may also suggest to them that they start hiring some Americans.
Then the scumbag really creeped me out. HE WANTED TO MEET ME. Probably to have one of his Sikh buddies stab with a kirpan:
From: Prof. Vivek Wadhwa
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 7:28 PM
Subject: RE: H-1B and L-1 Visas Now a Civil Rights Issue
Kevin, there are fools on both sides who make dumb claims. My own research has shown that American workers have excellent skills and it is not shortages or skill deficiencies which are driving companies abroad – it is cost considerations. If there are Indian programmers who come here with a sense of superiority, they are fooling no one but themselves. They should be the first to be fired and thrown out.
The real problem here is age. Companies prefer younger workers because they are cheaper. Older programmers no matter how skilled they are aren’t cost competitive with new recruits from school or new hires from abroad. The sad reality is that we can’t stop globalization. My research has focused on how the U.S. can benefit rather than suffer.
My first recommendation is that we invest heavily in workforce training. American companies stopped doing this about 20 years ago and they expect workers to keep themselves current. Some tech workers do, but the vast majority don’t. And companies readily find excuses to let them go. If we made it mandatory for companies to provide 1 to 2 weeks of education leave – just like they are required to provide vacation, and we subsidized education, we would have a stronger and more adaptable workforce. This has been the secret of India’s success. Despite a weak education system, top Indian companies started investing heavily in workforce training and education. I am not talking about the body-shops, I am talking about the top companies like Infosys.
Do a search on www.businessweek.com for my articles about these issues. I know you won’t like the ones in which I advocate skilled immigration, but read the ones about why companies are going offshore, skills of Americans vs. Indians and Chinese, age discrimination in tech, and some on entrepreneurship. I don’t have time to respond to Mike and won’t respond to messages which reflect racial bias as his does, but he can read the report on the contribution of skilled immigrants by downloading this report -- http://ssrn.com/abstract=990152. Let him know that you can’t generalize about Indians as you can’t generalize about Americans or Europeans. Everyone is different. There are bad people in every community and there are more good people.
By the way, where are you based? If you are in San Francisco, I would be glad to meet you for a cup of coffee.
Here's the take away from that response:
My own research has shown that American workers have excellent skills and it is not shortages or skill deficiencies which are driving companies abroad – it is cost considerations.
I closed with this salvo:
I agree that the issues are complex. I am an I.T contractor and technically a resource that companies turn to when they can’t find skills from within their own staff.
But I am focusing on one issue – the onshoring of low-wage and generally low[er]-skill guest workers. When companies do so, they perpetuate a cycle that is destructive to the professionals in I.T. The pattern is such:
1. Find low-wage and low-skill junior workers to do the jobs of higher paid senior developers (disregarding the intangibles that decades of real-life experience bring), or even mid-career professionals who, because of their talent and efforts to keep current in the field, command a premium wage.
2. Implicitly or explicitly force the senior tech professionals to train their junior replacements.
3. Suppress the wages of the I.T. workers by keeping a steady stream of imported guest workers that serve to corrupt the natural forces of supply and demand that determine prevailing wages.
4. Discourage young people to enter the industry by keeping compensation flat or declining.
5. Demand more guest workers because the academic institutions are not supplying enough skilled workers, who have shunned the profession because they have witnessed points 1 and 2.
It is all rather unseemly. The agents of irrational globalization are pitting one group against another in an effort to arbitrage wages and maximize profit. Folks like me are left as gladiators, forced to fight an ever increasing wave of guest workers for good positions in tech, even though we bring more to the table.
Going offshore is one thing, but now these companies want it both ways.
After seeing the failures of so many offshore I.T. initiatives, they want the workers on site, but don’t want to pay local rates. So they create legal structures that amount to modern day Jim Crow laws, where they can legally exclude higher-paid local talent.
I welcome the companies to go offshore. Let them deal with the time zone issues, the calls in the middle of the night, the power outages. If they can still make money, fine. But software development is a highly collaborative process and requires human capital of diverse disciplines. To import the foreign coders and make them live out of suitcases while an American with a family to feed is displaced, all for convenience and profit, smacks of avarice and greed.
Finally, I agree with you that there are more good people than bad in all communities. By boss is an Indian chap and a U.S. citizen and we get along great. He too feels the impact that the guest workers have on his wages and he is not pleased.
Sorry, no coffee until the H-1B and L-1 visas are abolished.
I hear that Professor Wadhwa is mobilizing the Desis on http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=25094 to respond the tsunami of anti-slumdog sentiment. Expect a flood of Hinglish comments on Dice, here, and anywhere else in cyber-space where the topic of the slumdog invasion of I.T. comes up. It's so funny when the real racists -- the Hinduvistas and Goltis -- show up and start calling Americans racist.