India’s government and companies are openly pushing for the U.S. Senate passage of a bipartisan “country caps” bill that would reward 100,000 Indian graduates per year with green cards if they take technology jobs in America.
“I must compliment the U.S. House of Representatives for adopting the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants bill which removes country caps on the H1B visas,” Indian ambassador Harsh Shringla told a D.C. meeting of lobbyists and advocates on Tuesday.
He continued: “I think this is an important initiative. We have worked with congressmen across the board, and we’re happy this is a bipartisan initiative in Congress, and we’re hopeful the Senate would follow course and also adopt the bill.”
The meeting at the Wilson Center in D.C. was arranged by NASSCOM, an Indian trade association, which includes many companies that use the H-1B visa program to place Indian software programmers in U.S. jobs. NASSCOM’s chairman, Keshav Murugesh, told the group at the Wilson Center:
The whole idea of these [executive] fly-ins, and NASSCOM coming in, and interacting with people on this side of the pond, is to make sure that we are continuously enabling the availability of skilled talent, and also working with the powers that be, and the government, to ensure that bad policy does not impact the great progress that we have made.
Ambassador Shringla endorsed NASSCOM’s lobbying for the green cards, saying:
So let me once again congratulate NASSCOM and its members for their efforts to engage, not only U.S. industry, but also U.S. society, of the advantages of this very important cooperation. Your efforts will aso be given greater value by the cooperation you have with the Wilson Center — it will provide you with the intellectual heft and backing of a major U.S. think tank.
Shringla also thanked two former GOP politicians — former Sen. Spencer Abraham and former Michigan Gov. John Engler — for “supporting the effort.”
The push to remove “country caps” on green cards is part of a broader lobbying push to expand the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy, estimated by Murugesh to include $78 billion of work each year. That total is greater than the economy of Maine or Delaware.
The outsourcing economy is built on the various visa programs that allow U.S. companies and Indian subcontractors to keep several hundred thousand Indian college graduates in U.S. jobs. These workers are not immigrants but are contract workers. At least one million non-immigrant, foreign graduates hold U.S. jobs, including at least 800,000 Indians.
The U.S.-based Indian workers in the H-1B, H4EAD, L-1, and OPT programs also help move large segments of the United States’ information-technology infrastructure back into lower-wage workers throughout India.
This outsourcing economy has absorbed large slices of the U.S. software business as well as large segments of the technology infrastructure in the banking, health insurance, telecommunications, and retail sectors. For example, lower-wage Indian software workers helped write software for Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft and President Barack Obama’s Obamacare website. They have moved software jobs for Disney’s office in Florida to India, and they run large offices in many companies, such as Anthem, Deloitte, and AT&T.
Many the outsourced jobs in 2017 are displayed here at SAITJ.org.
The country cap bill would dramatically increase the incentive for Indians to take lower-wage jobs in the United States by quadrupling the Indian share of the green cards awarded via companies. The bill would spike the Indians’ share of green cards from roughly 23,000 in 2017 to perhaps 100,000 in 2023.
The current level of 23,000 green cards per year encourages at least 600,000 Indian workers to accept U.S. jobs with low wages and long hours. Many of those jobs are in Indian-run firms that lease Indian workers to other U.S.-based companies at low wages.
The huge export of white-collar jobs to Indians in the United States and to Indians in India has boosted stock values on Wall Street, partly by compressing salaries for American graduates.
For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.
In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT [information technology] workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry.
Many U.S. software professionals have told Breitbart News that they are excluded from jobs whenever major U.S. companies hire Indian subcontractors to manage recruitment, partly because many Indian firms have incentives to fill the job with cheaper Indians instead of young American graduates. Some Indian-born CEOs in the lower tier of companies have been arrested by the Department of Justice on charges of breaking U.S. laws and cheating their Indian employees.
Qualified American applicants from prestige universities who are seeking jobs in major U.S. companies are routinely passed over, say professionals in the software sector. This is possible because Indian recruiters, applicants, and managers can fill jobs after trading stolen resumes, fake interviews, under-the-table payments with underqualified Indians from favored caste or regional groups, in the United States and in India, the Indian and American workers tell Breitbart News.
The binational, multi-lingual U.S. Indian Outsourcing Economy largely escapes normal U.S. regulation, such as employment rules to prevent discrimination against Americans, rules to protect medical privacy, and rules to ensure computer security.
The House version of the expansion bill — H.R.1044 — was pushed by California Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Colorado GOP Rep. Ken Buck. It passed by 365 to 65 on July 10, aided by the industry’s argument that the dramatic changes in the bill are so unimportant that the bill is not worth a debate or any media coverage. Partly deceived by media silence, 140 GOP legislators accepted this business claim, and many were surprised by the public reaction to their pro-outsourcing vote.
The limited coverage of the lobbying campaign by the establishment media spotlights a group of Indian visa workers who claim to be waiting up to 150 years for green cards.
But the campaign is being led by U.S. investors and companies that rely on Indian workers to lower salaries nationwide, including in California, Utah, and Colorado.
The demand by investors for endless migrant labor has created a new thing: The US-India Outsourcing Economy. This no-regulation zone redirects new wealth into a few cities & a small elite. Elites want to expand it, so US college-grads get #HR1044. https://t.co/4lWHtI3sUk
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 19, 2019
The Senate version of the outsourcing expansion bill is co-sponsored by Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee and California Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris. Lee’s S.386 bill was blocked June 2017 by GOP Sen. Rand Paul as Lee tried to slip it through the Senate via “unanimous consent.” Lee’s bill is based by Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate’s judiciary committee.
Many business groups — including Amazon and Facebook — are now trying to persuade Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to push the S.386 bill through the Senate.
The Indian government strongly supports expanding the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy and says it benefits both countries. “The movement of high-skilled individuals, personnel, Indian professionals in the U.S., through such programs as H-1B … has been a mutually beneficial partnership,” Shringla told the Wilson Center.
India’s economic strategy seeks to grow the economy by exporting many workers. In February 2019, the Forsyth County News reported:
Ani Agnihotri, program chair of the USA-India Business Summit … said India has a massive and young population that could provide skilled, English-speaking workers ready to relocate “even at a seven-day notice” and said the majority of doctors in the United Kingdom and about 15 percent in America are of Indian descent.
“India has the youngest population in the world. About 25 percent of the population of India, which is 1.25 billion, is below the age of 25,” he said. “We will be the provider of the workforce of the world in about 15 years, after 2035.”
The outsourcing bill is very popular in India. An Indian news site reported the debate with this headline: “Immigration To US Likely To Become Easy As US Passes Bill Removing Cap On Issuing Green Cards: The present move, if it turns into law, will benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals who aspire to live and work permanently in the US.”
Another Indian website suggested that Indian H-1B workers could push the bill by donating to American politicians: “An individual including a H-1B employee can contribute $5,600 per senator for primary and general count elections and senators to be sympathetic to the per country quota issue.”
Indian software companies employ 170,000 people in the United States and pay $16.3 billion in U.S. wages, said Murugesh.
The conference featured a hired research group that claimed Indian companies pay high wages, despite much evidence that Indian workers in the United States work long hours at low wages.
NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh applauded the paid study, saying:
We are really glad that the facts are finally coming out, the data is coming out. I am really hoping the right people take notice of the data, so we can get the right rhetoric, the right narration built for the IT services … we are really hoping the facts will start speaking instead of the false rhetoric.
However, the study ignored the majority of outsourcing jobs in the United States, including many H-1B, L-1 and OPT jobs at low-status, Indian-run firms that specialize in leasing their employees to other firms, including the major Indian outsourcing firms. Those subcontracted Indian employees often work indirectly for brand-name American firms, often at meager wages.
It is always inspiring to meet the Honorable Jane Harman, CEO @TheWilsonCenter .. an amazing leader n role model! Great discussion the US-India tech partnership potential with her, Indian Amb to US @HarshShringla n @nasscom chair @keshav_murugesh pic.twitter.com/cK9USsDToF
— debjani ghosh (@debjani_ghosh_) July 24, 2019
Shringla also tied growth in the outsourcing economy to other trade deals with U.S. companies. “India is consciously buying more American products,” including oil and gas, aircraft and jet engines, as well a defense technology, he said.
“Our focus in these meetings and fly-ins, is to make sure we are able to present the right messages … and why we must all work together,” said Murugesh.
Shortly after the event, Shringla and Murugesh met with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and other officials:
A great set of meetings in Washington DC on forwarding the India-US tech partnership… very encouraging to see the increasing appreciation for the contribution Indian IT cos r making in US and the changing narrative! @Nasscom pic.twitter.com/Ts9BLRccsp
— debjani ghosh (@debjani_ghosh_) July 23, 2019
— debjani ghosh (@debjani_ghosh_) July 23, 2019
White House officials want to expand trade with India — but are also facing pressure from a new wave of groups formed by American professionals who are seeking their salaries and careers being wrecked by U.S-India Outsourcing Economy
Trump is pressuring India to drop tariffs against American exports. At the same time, Democrats (& some GOP) are pushing a bill to reward Indian graduates who take US jobs from American grads – at low wages. GOP leaders & media are silent on jobs giveaway. https://t.co/j6ewgStl7B
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 10, 2019
The new American groups include the American Workers Coalition, Doctorswithoutjobs.com, ProUSworkers, No on H.R. 1044, and The Multinational Coalition Against H.R. 1044/S. 386. In 2019, these groups helped persuade roughly 11 GOP co-sponsors of HR.1044 to vote against the legislation. In 2018, the groups helped defeat GOP Re. Kevin Yoder.
“Our message to Senators and staffers is first and foremost to block S.386,” said Barbara Birch, a technology professional in New York who lobbied Senate offices July 23. “We’re not investing in our kids, our people … [legislators should] create legislation that will protect U.S. professionals from being displaced by foreign labor because of American subsidies,” such as the award of green cards to foreign workers who will take Americans’ jobs, said Birch.
Birch told Breitbart News that she must hide her real name to avoid discrimination from Indian companies and managers: “It is absolutely appalling that we should be so afraid that we have to hide [our identity] to protect our jobs.”
You're racist for opposing US corps hiring cheap Indian contract-workers to fill jobs sought by American grads & millennials, says lobbyist working with Sen. Mike Lee & Kamala Harris. Group is very close to passing a green-cards-for-Indian-grads giveaway https://t.co/SU4Ds0gP4J
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 3, 2019