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more on Letter to Nancy Pelosi on Skill Bill
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 12:27:10 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: "W. Craig Trader" <craig () trader name>
Date: November 21, 2006 12:22:15 PM EST
To: dave () farber net
Cc: Anthony Watson <atrigueiro () yahoo com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Letter to Nancy Pelosi on Skill Bill

Dave ...

I, too, object to an increase in the H1B visa program, but from a very
different perspective.  Like Anthony Watson, I have been a computer
programmer for over twenty years.  On the other hand, the damage that I
see being done by the H1B visa program is very different.

Currently the H1B program allows a company to bring in temporary tech
workers as below market prices, but it does very little to encourage these
workers to emigrate to our country.  Instead it forces these 'best and
brightest' workers to slave for long hours at under-market wages, for
companies who mistreat them, and who will not assist these workers in
getting green cards (because then the workers could go work for someone
else).  These guest workers will send most of their wages back home, and
when they've slaved as long as allowed, will eventually take all of the
skills that they learned here, back home, where they will proceed to
compete against us.

Instead of increasing the size of the H1B program, we should be slashing
it and increasing the number of green cards available to foreigners, to
encourage them to emigrate to the USA, so as to be a permanent boon to the
US economy, instead of training future competitors.

- Craig -

W. Craig Trader, Software Engineer

Begin forwarded message:

From: Anthony Watson <atrigueiro () yahoo com>
Date: November 21, 2006 11:26:47 AM EST
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Letter to Nancy Pelosi on Skill Bill

Good Morning Doctor Farber:

Have not heard much about this bill that is floating through Congress
on the IP list.  I could see where it might be a very touchy issue
for your list to discuss, but nonetheless I am forwarding the text of
a letter I just sent to Nancy Pelosi regarding the proposed H1B visa


Dear Madam Speaker:

It has come to my attention that there is a bill in Congress to raise
the H1B visa limit…AGAIN!!!

The SKILL Act of 2006 has been designed to devastate the careers of
professionals all across America.  The legislation will:

A) Immediately double the number of H1B visas, which are allowed each
year to bring in low paid computer professionals from other countries.

B) Increase the number of H1B visas allowed by 20% each year
indefinitely into the future.

The SKILL Act of 2006 is actually two bills.  One in the House of
Representatives (HR5744) and one in the Senate (S-2691).

In my opinion, this legislation is a direct assault on the American
middle class by the wealthy corporate gentry who have been buying and
selling legislation for generations using men like Jack Abramoff.

I have been a computer programmer in the United States for over
twenty years.   I am greatly concerned by these bills.  Right after
the Internet flameout at the turn of the century burned up tons of
programming jobs, the H1B visa limit remained at 150,000.  There just
were no jobs for programmers anywhere in the United States.  At least
not domestic coders, because all those H1B visas kept getting gobbled
up even when there were literally hundreds of thousands of
programmers out of work!  Those were tough times for American
programmers looking for jobs.  I felt great relief when the H1B visa
limit was returned to the 65,000 level.

Corporate America wants these changes for obvious reasons.  After
all, it is very tough to balance work and family with deadlines and
overtime. Sometimes those darn uppity American workers want to be
with their families.  The more unpaid overtime that can be squeezed
out of a worker, the greater those profits and productivity numbers.
We all know the realities that those H1B workers face.  If the boss
says to work 50 or 60 hours for 75% of the normal salary, you do it
or you could be back in the homeland, right quick.  Am I
exaggerating?  I don’t think so, because there could be no other
reason for those H1B visas being applied for when hundreds of
thousands of American programmers were out of work between 2001-2003.

Additionally, many of these high tech H1B workers become steeped in
the corporate culture here in America.  Some of them are purposely
groomed by corporations to go back and open outsourcing firms.
Computers run everything so once you have IT staff steeped in the
corporate culture running outsourcing firms; every single job under
the sun is vulnerable to outsourcing.  I understand the needs of free
markets, but I do not think it is fair to accelerate the pace of
globalization on the backs of America’s middle class taxpayers.

I cannot express my dismay at the Congress now raising the visa limit
just when the job market has finally recovered a little.  The
Congress is putting Americans out of work and this is very, very
unfair.  I am very, very worried.  This would not be the first time
that the government put me out of business and threatened my family
with the poor house. I am no stranger to being legislated into poverty.

Back in 1993, there was this great cry from the masses that somehow
cable companies were charging too much for remote controls and
converters, etc.  My opinion was that if you did not want to pay
$5.00 for a remote then get up and change the channel, but that is
another argument entirely, since now they do not even give you the
ability to type in a specific channel on the converter boxes.
Anyway, I guess the Democrats saw it as an opportunity to appease the
masses and stay in power, so they passed a massive cable rate
regulation bill.

Unfortunately for me, I did data conversions for a cable billing
company.  I had lined up contracts for conversions well into the
future, but overnight they all canceled.  Nobody wants to go through
a data conversion of his or her billing system and rates to a new
computerized system in the midst of a massive rate change like that.
Overnight I was out of business.  I became a hardcore Libertarian at
that point.  I mean it is hard enough to make a living to feed your
family and pay your mortgage without the federal government in
Washington, DC legislating your business into oblivion.

The Skill Bill will spell disaster for many middle class
families.     I have no choice, but to make as much noise about this
one as I possibly can. It is a pocketbook issue of the first magnitude!

I just got done reading about how you have vowed to fight for the
middle class.  Well here is your chance!  Kill the Skill Bill!

Yours very truly,

Anthony Watson

Anthony () neo-liberalism org

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