A number of the largest tech corporations in Silicon Valley hide their hiring of foreign workers through the H-1B visa by contracting them through India-based outsourcing firms, a report states.
In a revealing report by Bloomberg News, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others are using outsourcing firms to obtain hundreds, and sometimes thousands of H-1B staff, often replacing Americans.
For instance, when outsourcing firms applied for foreign H-1B workers on Cisco’s behalf, the average salary for those jobs being outsourced were about 25 percent lower than the average salary for foreign worker that the company had directly requested.
In other words, Cisco hides its usage of the H-1B visa by contracting foreign workers through an outsourcing firm and pays them less than when they hire foreign workers directly. The revelation is in-step with critics’ frustration with the H-1B visa, which they describe as a cheap labor avenue:
Cisco’s use of the visa program has been the subject of public attention over the years, as its executives have lobbied for its expansion even while conducting multiple rounds of layoffs. The company eliminated 940 jobs at its headquarters in 2016, and 390 more so far this year.
Not every application resulted in a new job at Cisco — fewer than a third of the applications for all industries in 2016 were accepted. Still, taken as a whole, the applications show that Cisco is both more reliant on the H-1B program than previously acknowledged, and that the company uses it in a way that has not been fully understood. The contractors were not applying for visas covering the type of senior-level positions that Cisco sought for itself. Instead, almost all of these visa requests were for jobs requiring little or no specialized knowledge. The average salaries for those positions were about 25 percent lower than the jobs Cisco applied for directly.
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa. Most recently, that number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often fired and forced to their foreign replacement.
Additionally, other giant American tech companies are using the same model as Cisco. PayPal, for example, partnered with an outsourcing firm between 2015 and 2016 that applied for half of the foreign H-1B staff the tech giant was requesting. The other half were applied for directly by PayPal.
At the Microsoft Corporation’s headquarters, 43 percent of the foreign H-1B workers were applied for through an outsourcing outfit, as well as 29 percent at eBay and 12 percent at Facebook’s respective home bases.
In the past, critics of the H-1B visa told Breitbart Texas that tech corporations, as well as other industries, have for years been using various foreign guest worker visas, like the H-1B, to save on labor costs.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.