U.S. Department of Labor Reserving 65,000 U.S. Jobs for Foreign H-1B Workers

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The U.S. Department of Labor has approved applications for 65,000 H-1B visas. Since the H-1B workers cannot fill the positions until after October 1st, all of these represent open U.S. jobs, Throughout August groups have called upon DOL to publicize these openings to qualified U.S. workers. To date DOL has declined.

DOL has approved U.S. employers to import 65,000 foreign tech workers on H-1B visas in the next fiscal year. The DOL does not require that these employers first try to fill jobs with U.S. workers. Because these foreign workers cannot start work until after October 1, 2005, groups such as the Programmers Guild have pleaded with DOL to publicize these openings so that U.S. workers could receive equal consideration.

Over the past month U.S. tech workers have phoned the Department of Labor, Foreign Labor Division at 202-693-3010, leaving messages for Leddy Sierra and for Monica who answers by default, stating their interest is the list of these U.S. job openings. The DOL has not returned these phone calls.

DOL’s Website states their mission as ensuring “that all American workers have as fulfilling and financially rewarding a career as they aspire to have and to make sure that no worker gets left behind in the limitless potential of the dynamic, global economy of this new millennium.” Ignoring the phone calls of U.S. workers asking for equal consideration for U.S. jobs seems inconsistent with this mission.

A substantial percentage of the foreign workers are hired by body shops that have no direct need for the employees. Instead the body shops aggressively shop their H-1B workers on the open market, directly competing with U.S. workers for the limited job openings. The widespread use of the H-1B visa does indicate a labor or skill shortage. Many employers, including the State of California, are deluged with U.S. workers possessing the same skills as the H-1B workers.

DOL is funded by U.S. taxpayers and thus should place the interests of U.S. workers above those of foreign workers. The DOL website provides on-line application for employers to apply for foreign worker certifications. Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild asks, “Why doesn’t DOL make those openings searchable in real-time by U.S. job seekers?”

The Programmers Guild is seeking Congressional sponsors for a bill that would simply require that employers seek and consider qualified Americans in good faith before DOL would approve applications to fill U.S. tech jobs with foreign workers.

So far no Congressmen have sponsored the bill.

About Us

The Programmers Guild advocates for the interests of U.S. computer programmers and other tech workers. The Guild is seeking sponsors for a bill that would amend the H-1B legislation to require that employers first attempt to recruit from the 250,000 unemployed skilled tech workers in the U.S. before DOL would approve the positions for H-1B workers. See http://www.programmersguild.org for more information.


DOL 21st Century Workforce Mission


Lou Dobbs report of this issue August 26th:



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Kim Berry
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