Seth’s Story

After witnessing abuses for the past three years, I thought I would provide a “complete picture” of grand scam that is the H1B visa program. I am myself of Indian origin and have been a US Citizen for 15 years. I’m an insider who knows how H-1B is wiping out the hopes of young kids and grads future and motivation to pursue technology careers.

I was shocked to see proposal from Senators Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake this week on this issue to “increase this visa cap”. This is a long letter but please read it fully and patiently. I apologize for my poor English.

I am naturalized US Citizen for 12 years now. I was originally born in India and I felt I could shed light on some areas of the H1B scam which American elected officials and typical Americans may not easily grasp. I believe the foreign “takeover” of this high salaried IT sector has strategic ramifications for the country if not contained. It has already changed demographics of IT work culture in 99% of corporate sector and the negative impact it has on my fellow US citizen’s who work in IT.

First of all, I am not against H1B program per se. I am against what it has become now i.e. exploiting loop holes and vetting/hiring process in this H1B Visa system. The abuse is so rampant and now 70-80% of visa holders in last decade were average programmers (and lot of even below average skilled workers) primarily here to replace Americans due to their “smooth operators” i.e. H1B firm managers support (who were Indian origin H1Bs themselves a decade ago and have been planted in all US corporate sector to push for hiring for these less skilled but cheaper foreigners). I can say that only about 20% to 30% H1Bs are genuinely filling the “skill shortage” in the US.  The rest are here to up the “business profits” of foreign outsourcing firms as well as US Silicon Valley giants who lie about the skill shortage as they have become habitual of exploiters of Americans as their top brass makes 500 times more that software developers.

It is good at last we have a political leader (10 years late though) who has the will to change this rotten system. I worked for a Wall Street bank in Technology. It was an Indian Sweatshop. Every week in some team or other a fresh batch of so called cheap India workers with some type of visa comes in and in a few weeks/months a US citizen who may have been there 10 to 20 years is fired.

The offshore consulting firms like TCS, Cognizant, Accenture, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, and TechMahindra, have deep roots in the tech divisions of Fortune 1000 US companies. And worse is they have even planted their people in key positions in those companies who openly promote offshoring and H-1B folks. They make note of jobs held native US employees that they will  eliminate to make room for h-1B visa holders from Cognizant. The US citizens who are former loyal employees lose their livelihood and find difficulty getting another job.

The whole concept of EEO is eyewash with these offshore firms. They have made it a sport to set up Americans to perform poorly in interviews by taking things to a level not justified and asking irrelevant, non-job related questions. Way they demonstrate they can’t not find a local person and hence make space for an Indian average programmer who is willing to do 14 hours a day work for 8 hr. pay. This is what they are doing at Walmart, Citibank, Bank of America + all fortune 2000 firms and more. It is not at all about making America competitive if you get Americans replaced by cheap labor. If middle class gets wiped out, how can America be competitive?

I grew up in capital of India New Delhi and schools/universities standards are pretty high end. In India, unless one made it to premier IITs (Indian Institute of Technology which is somewhat equivalent of MIT in US but even tougher to get in) or probably 20 top other colleges like IITs, you are considered an “average Joe” in India. So, getting an exceptional job in India would be not easy.

80% of IIT’s graduates justifiably ends up in US either in Silicon Valley, or professors, or in recent times in Wall Street as “quants” or “financial engineers”. These IIT folks are really best in world in their fields as there are only 2000 students who get admitted to IIT from approximately 1MM students who go through IIT admission tests at high school. These people do make America better. But these are not the people coming over on the H-1B visa and being used to exploit the system by outsourcing firms like Infosys.  I have been surprise din my personal experience since 2002. I have worked with H1B visa colleagues in fortune 100 companies like Deloitte, PwC, Bank of America, Exelon as well as State of Maryland. 8 out the 10 of these H1B folks were “Average Joes” from India and they actually would not find job in Indian market where expectations are higher than US.

There was a revelation last year that the biggest IT outsourcing companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Cognizant, HCL, NIIT and few more were flooding H1B lottery system for years, by filing more visa applications than they actually needed to get more visas and sadly it took 10 years for US authorities to capture this. These are billion-dollar revenue Indian IT companies by the way, who broke rules for years.

All these years I have seen what was going on and I was really surprised that how US is giving away its critical industry AND its own kids’ future to the bad policies of extreme capitalism (in extreme everything is bad). However, the scale of damage is even more alarming than I could have imagined a few years ago, when I could not see the full extent of the actual damage of H1B. These folks are capturing future hiring of internal US positons, also staffing business of IT and all their recruiters are in India calls centers who make sometimes 500 calls to US candidates by using fake US phone #. So the “ancillary US jobs (like staffing, administration/accounting of IT contracts” are also getting stolen from Americans as on surface it seems one H1B person took US jobs, but he/she end up stealing 3-4 more US jobs or even more (if she/he get to management level or win trust of US client). This is very alarming (I am again and again trying to give you picture that one H1B steals 5 or more jobs in 1 year). It is a kind of war going on economical side.

Thanks and very respectfully,