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posted by martyb on Wednesday May 07 2014, @05:55PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the so-highly-skilled-we-need-second-jobs dept.

The Obama administration announced plans to permit the spouses of certain, "highly-skilled" H1B visa holders the right to work too. The backlog of green-card applications for H1B holders can be as much as 11 years. If the goal is to attract and keep more high-quality talent within the USA (rather than H1B off-shoring), it seems like streamlining the "green card" permanent residence process would be more effective. Making the H1B visa a mandatory path to a green card within a very short period, such as 2 years might be a much better way to encourage highly talented individuals to stay in the country compared to requiring more than a decade of uncertainty.

Some claim that this will actually have the perverse effect of enabling IT salaries to fall even further. The New York Times article notes there are representatives who question the wisdom of the proposal and that there is a 60-day comment window.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by snick on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:07PM

    by snick (1408) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:07PM (#40607)

    Some claim that this will actually have the perverse effect of enabling IT salaries to fall even further.

    You misspelled "planned"

    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:17PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:17PM (#40610)

      great idea, for the rich and powerful. better to keep TWO people in fear than just 1, of deportation.

      fear is the new normal. more can be done with fear than any other emotion.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:37PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:37PM (#40621)

        > great idea, for the rich and powerful. better to keep TWO people in fear than just 1, of deportation.

        You don't seem to understand that currently the spouse is already in the country, just sitting at home unable to legally work. The chance of deportation for both is unchanged by this proposal because their residency still depends completely on the H1B holder's employment status.

        • (Score: 1) by fadrian on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:46PM

          by fadrian (3194) on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:46PM (#40910) Homepage

          Yeah, so? They did the calculus with the rules and decided they would be better off, even with the rules as the are. Why change them midway, especially when the effect on wages would be downward? Besides, I'm sure there are a lot of citizen spouses "just sitting at home" because they still can't find employment. Wake me up when the employment issues for people of color and the long-term unemployed are solved. Then we can talk about expansion of the workforce.

          --
          That is all.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:58PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:58PM (#40633)

        Is you think that fear is the NEW normal, I've got a few commies to sell to you.
        I'm out of stock on the Indians, the Englishmen, blacks and terrorists are backordered, but there's a fresh shipment of illegals on its way.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday May 07 2014, @07:12PM

      Simple solution then: don't live off of a salary. I quit my job 15 years or so ago and created my own job because my boss was a stupid dick. I did this with zero capital aside from enough savings to keep myself in a roof and ramen for half a year. Now my boss is still a dick but at least now he knows as much as I do.
      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
  • (Score: 1) by albert on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:16PM

    by albert (276) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:16PM (#40609)

    We earn more than the median. That is a pretty strong indicator of a shortage. The economy would do better if most people able to reliably earn significantly above the median were allowed in.

    I'm not saying it would be good for me personally, but yes it would be good for the country.

    Even better for the economy, but impossible due to offensiveness, would be to get people far below the median to go somewhere else. We have an oversupply of such people.

    There is a truth, even if we don't like it very much.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:21PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:21PM (#40612)

      if 'we' means 'the 1%' then yes, they are EXTREMELY overpaid. banksters, lawyers, ceo's - all worth much less than they get paid.

      workers, otoh, have had shrinking incomes ove the last 10 years or more. I'm actually backwards compared to where I was just 10 or 15 yrs ago! my savings is mostly hand to mouth with very little saved each month. I cannot change the cost of rent, food, gas, insurance (health included), etc.

      the real problem is the collusion of all the corp's getting together and doing ALL THEY CAN to lower wages, put people out of work and rehire them as contractors (with NO benefits) and still ask them to work far more than most of the rest of the world works, hours per week wise.

      no, americans are not overpaid. we're underpaid. not by accident, either.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday May 07 2014, @07:26PM

        Yeah, they're horribly overpaid. Right up until you need one; then they're worth every penny. Or are your freedom, custody of your kids, that loan you desperately need, or having your job not disappear because your company went bankrupt not worth much to you?
        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday May 07 2014, @07:52PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @07:52PM (#40661)

        workers, otoh, have had shrinking incomes ove the last 10 years or more. I'm actually backwards compared to where I was just 10 or 15 yrs ago! my savings is mostly hand to mouth with very little saved each month. I cannot change the cost of rent, food, gas, insurance (health included), etc.

        The median worker has actually gained, over the last 35 years, approximately nothing in terms of income. The median American has had negative income for about 25 years, and now has a negative net worth. But for some reason, this situation only became a "crisis" when it started affecting rich people in 2008.

        The Reagan-era argument that "a rising tide lifts all boats" is demonstrably hogwash.

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Thursday May 08 2014, @12:30AM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday May 08 2014, @12:30AM (#40762)

          > The Reagan-era argument that "a rising tide lifts all boats" is demonstrably hogwash.

          More like a tidal wave crushes all boats except the yachts out in deep water.

    • (Score: 2) by snick on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:23PM

      by snick (1408) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:23PM (#40613)

      You do realize that the result would be to drive the median down, resulting in importing lower paid workers, which would drive the median down, resulting in importing lower paid workers ...

      Yeah, I know. Feature, not bug.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:23PM (#40733)

        If we add people above our median, the median goes up. If we eliminate people below our median, the median goes up.

        The only way the median could go down would be if things happened too suddenly and severely, shocking the economy into collapse. Well, OK then, don't be so sudden or severe.

        If "importing lower paid workers" means people below the median, then just NO. That is the opposite of the idea. If you mean to bring in people at $123456 per year to replace those earning $543210 per year, then yeah that would be fine. It's an excellent idea in fact, because $123456 is still way above the median. We need more of pretty much anybody earning above the median.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:28PM (#40616)

      It is not good for the country. That is if you consider more than just the ultra wealthy.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:34PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:34PM (#40618)

      If by "we" you mean technical workers like engineers, have you forgotten the high barrier-to-entry posed by the necessary education and training? Why do you think people with advanced degrees should work for the same salaries as people with high school diplomas?

    • (Score: 1) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:55PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:55PM (#40680) Journal

      Who is "we"?

      You do realize the buying power of "median income" varies from place to place, right? The median income in the USA is 44k/yr*. In many places 44k is nearly hand to mouth. If you live in a major metropolitan area or suburb you better be making 80k/yr or more to afford a house. If you want to afford a house and support a family you better be earning around 100k/yr. If you rent you need 50k/yr just to live a decent life with a few, small luxuries (going out for a weekend, vacations, trips, gadgets, etc.).

      In my neck of the woods (Queens, NYC) the comfort zone for a single person renting an apartment starts at 50k/yr (gross). It used to be you wanted your rent to be one weeks pay. Now its around 2 weeks pay at 50k (after taxes) for a cheaper apartment. The second two weeks go toward everything else including utilities, auto and food. You can start to save at that point but not much. If you want to be real comfortable you want to be earning 60k+/yr. Average rent is 1200 to 1600 for a small two bedroom depending on the area and apartment size. Apartments in fancy areas like Williamsburg and Park Slope fetch well over 2000/month, in some cases as high as 4000/month. Many people do the roommate thing, it cuts rent in half and allows one to save more. The high cost of living is why many people stay single or wait until their early/mid 30's to start families.

      Sure there are places where 800/month will rent you a whole house. But those are small towns and suburbs in areas where you are less likely to find a decent paying job.

      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_ the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:27PM

    by GlennC (3656) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:27PM (#40614)

    Between this and the trend to place support centers in more rural areas, this looks like a way for IBM, Wipro and Tata to create enclaves of H1-B workers and their spouses.

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:35PM (#40619)

    So the gay marriage push is just to get 2 software developers into the USA on a single H-1B visa. Clever.

    • (Score: 1) by middlemen on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:00PM

      by middlemen (504) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:00PM (#40667) Homepage

      Mod Parent + 1 funny

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday May 08 2014, @06:01AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 08 2014, @06:01AM (#40825) Journal
      I don't remember to have seen a more trollish (than the parent post) in ages - pushing the "women in SW", immigration/jobs and gay rights buttons at once in a shot 25-ish words post (title included). *hat trick* - congrats
      (I reckon improvements are still possible, but it stands already impressive as it is)
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 2) by emg on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:36PM

    by emg (3464) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:36PM (#40620)

    I believe Canada does something similar, where spouses of those on work permits can get an open work permit themselves.

    However, progressing from there to a permanent resident visa doesn't take eleven years. Someone who moves to Canada on a work permit and wants to stay could be a citizen within eleven years.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @10:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @10:25PM (#40721)

    I spent my decade in the total chaos "system". My wife gave up her career and your USA made it hard to even get a driving license. After a decade of stress and emotional roller coaster, we moved countries and will never look back. A lot of the experience was good and we made some amazing friends for life. But the bureaucracy killed it for us completely. The employer had to shell out $10,000 a year to keep renewing paperwork, the govt refused to process anything to exit this 'system'. At this point I would not even consider a holiday in the USA. Now free of the "Land of Freedom" (ha ha ha ha ha) my health is better and I am enjoying life again.

    • (Score: 1) by fadrian on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:52PM

      by fadrian (3194) on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:52PM (#40914) Homepage

      At this point I would not even consider a holiday in the USA.

      Well, we're sorry you didn't like our laws and we're glad you're happy elsewhere. But, frankly, there are a lot more people who are happy to take your place, so I figure we aren't that bad.

      --
      That is all.
      • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Thursday May 08 2014, @03:27PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday May 08 2014, @03:27PM (#40928)

        > frankly, there are a lot more people who are happy to take your place, so I figure we aren't that bad.

        USA!
        USA!
        USA!

  • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Thursday May 08 2014, @12:14AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Thursday May 08 2014, @12:14AM (#40751) Journal

    Being the spouse of an H1B worker was always intensely frustrating and dangerous.

    Yes, you could reside in the US with your partner, but you couldn't work, and depending on whose advice you believed, couldn't even do volunteer work. Being permanently unemployed is a big deal for most people.

    Many couples opt to live in different countries for several years - really not a good thing for any marriage. And insanely expensive since one or both will wind up making multiple trips each year back and forth.

    The real danger though is to the unemployable spouse who finds themselves abandoned by a jerk ex-partner. More than few people - usually women of course - found themselves stranded in the US with no money, no job, and no way to get either.

    And no government on either side of the border willing to foot the bill for them to get home.

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Thursday May 08 2014, @01:08AM

      by tftp (806) on Thursday May 08 2014, @01:08AM (#40772) Homepage

      The real danger though is to the unemployable spouse who finds themselves abandoned by a jerk ex-partner. More than few people - usually women of course - found themselves stranded in the US with no money, no job, and no way to get either.

      With 20+ million "undocumented immigrants," it's not exactly "no way" to get a job. However if the person prefers to return to their country, a consulate may help in contacting someone in the country of citizenship to pay for transportation. Otherwise nobody has an obligation to be your guardian angel.

      And no government on either side of the border willing to foot the bill for them to get home.

      The government of the destination country may be required by law to assist. But if the leaving party has to fly far away (say, from the USA to India) then they need to find a few thousand dollars. It may require working for a year illegally in an Indian restaurant, washing dishes. It's not pleasant, but life is not guaranteed to be pleasant.

      • (Score: 1) by fadrian on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:57PM

        by fadrian (3194) on Thursday May 08 2014, @02:57PM (#40916) Homepage

        With 20+ million "undocumented immigrants," it's not exactly "no way" to get a job.

        This. Besides, isn't this what the "sharing economy" supposed to facilitate? Why doesn't the spouse go on Task Rabbit for odd jobs or rent their car out as a cab - last I checked no one was asking folks they hire on TR for I-9 information? Or are those jobs "beneath" the spouse of an H1-B holder? After all, those "jobs" are good enough for American twenty-somethings, they must be fine for H1-B spouses, too.

        --
        That is all.
    • (Score: 1) by albert on Thursday May 08 2014, @07:59AM

      by albert (276) on Thursday May 08 2014, @07:59AM (#40841)

      Your marriage will be stronger if the two of you depend on each other. If you both work, then you are like roommates with benefits. Feelings of duty and obligation are weakened.

      Splitting housework is trouble. Normally each does what they assume to be their portion, but somebody (usually the man) has lower standards. This leads the other person doing more than a fair share and thus becoming resentful. Both people expect to be cared for, but nobody has time to do the caring.

      If you don't have somebody staying home (normally but not necessarily the woman) then there is nobody to love the children. Child care providers don't love children, and you wouldn't want that anyway. It'd be creepy, and the children wouldn't be fully yours anymore.