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Trump administration cracks down on H-1B visa abuse (cnn.com)
315 points by molecule on Feb 24, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 394 comments



The title is a bit misleading. This directive seems to target 3rd party H-1B contractors such as Tata and Infosys, rather than 'High Tech' companies that directly hire engineers such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Companies that hire H-1Bs directly and employ them onsite shouldn't be affected by this policy change.

I think the linked CNN Money article provides a better explanation of the motives behind this change http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/23/technology/h1b-visa-abuse/in...


I think it targets the small consultancies that operate in US. This is where I have seen all the scams happening. These consultancies don't bring people from India, they hire Indians who did MS in US (I am Indian, so only know about them), mostly those on OPT. Those people are desperate for a job (if they don't get H1B within I think 18 months, they have to go back) and are willing to do anything. Most of them come to study in US after taking big bank loans and it would be a lose for them to go back if they can't work for at least 2-3 years in US.

>That's when firms bring on H-1B visa holders but don't give them work and don't pay them the required wages while they wait for jobs.

I can 100% guarantee that the top Indian companies do not engage in this practice. Every single one of them have a policy that if the H1B employee doesn't have a project for 2 weeks to 1 month, they must go back to India. And they get paid the full amount mentioned in their offer letter for the duration they are in US. And they are also paid for expenses that arise from having to go back to India. This includes lease breakage, air fare for the H1B holder and their family and a few other expenses. For "benching", the only exception I have seen is the Indians they hire from US. Those people get to stay on bench until the company can find a new project for them. But they are still paid in full.

>if an employer can't prove the H-1B holder is "more likely than not" needed for the full three years, the government might issue the visa for fewer than three years.

This has already been the case. I have seen many H1Bs getting visa approved only for 1 year.


Precisely! Anyone familiar with this issue would know this is actually helping major high tech companies. But to most Americans who don't really know what is the deal with immigration, why let a chance to attack Trump administration go? :)


This isn't going to help high tech companies.

EB1-C is a Green Card category for multinational managers. It is supposed to be used to move job creating foreign nationals to US.

Till 2010, the body shop and consulting companies didn't use it much. However as rule tightened since 2010, these companies started using EB1-C to most low cost labor to US and delaying Green Card for everyone else.

With EB1-C you can get Green Card within an year, cutting in line in front of everyone else from India.

With this ruling, these companies are going to double down on EB1-C.


This is like criticizing cracking down on bank robbing by saying that now the criminals are going to rob restaurants instead.


This isn't criticizing bank robbing. It's just saying that cracking down on the bank robbing, might not make restaurants any safer. Only claim was that restaurants (hitech companies might benefit).


Just one more thing to fix then.

Even if these companies wants to double down on EB-1C, it’d still be much harder to bring in low skill tech workers as “multi-national managers”


I understand companies like Tata have job-titles like “Account executive” for (relatively) low-level employees which meets the “Executive-level employment” critter and rule for EB-1 classification - even though the term “executive” is clearly overloaded and inappropriate in this context.


USCIS aren't fooled by job title inflation. Applications for these sorts of visas require substantial supporting documentation - typically org charts, detailed descriptions of responsibilities, resumes of people who report to the visa applicant, evidence of compensation commensurate with the claimed responsibilities, etc.


‘Cracks down on abuse’ doesn’t really sound like an attack.


Not just this but I've seen this in general last year. Reminds me of the media in a communist country: they better insert "glory to people's party" somewhere in the piece to increase the chance of passing the censorship filter. Here they have to somehow mention Trump. They could be talking about interior decorating, but unless they bring up Trump they won't get it approved by the censors.


In my experience attempting to get an entry-level programming job at Microsoft (while I lived in the area), they get a lot of hires through hiring agencies, all of whom ask you what your legal residence status is as their first question (which I have to say is highly discouraging when being unable to score an entry-level CS job in one's own country).


The question employers are supposed to ask is whether you are legally authorized to work; 'residence status' is not relevant (and indeed you could get into trouble for refusing to hire someone who is authorized to work on the basis of their visa/residence status).


Well, I guess it depends on the actual wording that was used, and I'm by no expert on the subject (by any stretch of the imagination). However, some visa's require sponsorship, and as far as I know it is perfectly legal to not hire someone if they are in the process of getting (or are planning to get) a visa that requires a sponsor -- in other words, they are expecting your company to sponsor them.

There are financial and legal reasons why a company might not hire you if you were in this situation. There is more hassle for the company, and additional expense. They may or may not think any particular candidate is worth the additional hassle and expense. So it is a perfectly legitimate question to ask ( again, assuming it is asked in an appropritate manner ).


Right - if you need a sponsored visa to work then, until you have that sponsorship, you are not authorized to work in the US. So if you ask someone this question, and they answer ‘no’, then if you really want to hire them anyway you can look into sponsoring them for a visa. But if they answer ‘yes’ (and provide the necessary documentation to prove it), you aren’t then supposed to care how they acquired that authorization.

This is complicated a little for transferable sponsored visas like the H1B. Someone already on an H1B might reply ‘yes’ to the work authorization question, but with the caveat that you would need to take on their sponsorship. Technically, their answer should be ‘no’. They aren’t authorized to work for anyone other than their sponsoring employer, in a specific location, with a specific job title. As I say, the point is that if the answer is ‘yes’, not ‘yes but’, or ‘no’, then you’re not permitted to discriminate. Asking someone with work authorization questions about their visa type should be as much of an interview no-no as asking a candidate if she’s pregnant.

Only exception is certain jobs can place citizenship requirements because of security clearance requirements.


I'm not sure what's supposed to be notable about that? The only company I've ever interviewed with that didn't ask what my legal residence status was very early on in the process was a startup with a poor understanding of employment law. You can't assume that people who can't actually legally work for you won't apply for jobs anyway and asking it later would just waste your time.


That's pretty much standard for all recruitment agencies in the USA and EU as they want to avoid being fined heavily.

I am not sure but in the UK employing some one without the legal right to work has no defence even if they had perfectly forged passports/documents.

I had to (as some one with all 4 grandparents being natural born uk citizens) have had to take my birth certificate to register at a local high street agency.


I've never not been asked my residence status, ever, in direct or agency hires, in my entire career.

It's most likely (almost certainly) a legal obligation. Each time I had to furnish a SS card as well. A non-citizen SS card has a disclaimer on it saying it's not valid for work authorization alone.


I've never not been asked my residence status, ever, in direct or agency hires, in my entire career

You probably have been asked for documentation that gives you permission to work. The Department of Labor has a list somewhere (can't find it right now) of what constitutes a work permit, and the employer has to accept anything that conforms.

My wife ran into a particularly obstinate HR drone once who wouldn't accept what she had. She asked company counsel if her documentation was in order and received a phonecall from HR to please come in and sign paperwork before the day was over. Yes, federal law has teeth.


It's not the Department of Labor, it's the Department of Homeland Security.

https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/acceptable-documents/list-...


lucky you


Would you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News?

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Ok, we've changed the URL and title to that from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/23/588469561.... Thanks!


The current title, implying abuse by Infosys, Tata et all is hyperbolic borderline xenophobic.

If the way Infosys and Tata use the H-1B visa is abuse then so is how Microsoft, Google and Facebook use it.


"Trump Administration Restricts H-1B Worker Visas Coveted By High Tech" is the title.

> If the way Infosys and Tata use the H-1B visa is abuse then so is how Microsoft, Google and Facebook use it.

Infosys and Tata enable companies to abuse H-1B laws. Disney use them.

Your statement also imply that Microsoft, Google, and Facebook is abusing too and no difference between Infosys and Tata. There is a small difference that I've stated but all of them are abusing it.

The point of contention is not that the Indians are stealing our job. The point is the people who are using H-1B visa are unable to negotiate wages which depresses their American counterpart wages.


> The point is the people who are using H-1B visa are unable to negotiate wages which depresses their American counterpart wages.

That's just a rephrasing of "they're taking our jobs": rejecting foreign competition of similar qualification because it's cheaper.

I don't think there is nothing wrong per se with this position; it would be impossible to maintain any decent standard of living for the middle class citizenry with an open border policy where everyone from Afghanistan or Centrafrican Republic can freely enter the country and claim any low level job available. Many of such jobs, the result of government spending specifically aimed at economic development and creation of opportunity, so in limited supply in the short run.

Where this policy backfires and turns to rent seeking is protecting very well paid professionals from foreign competition simply because they have the adequate lobbying power. The economic progress is retarded and consumers pay much more for the services of those professionals - doctors are a good example.

Ideally, the visas should be granted simply to anyone making a high enough paycheck (with criminal liability for anyone artificially inflating it). If you are making more than $100.000 net per year, you are in absolutely no need of protection from unfair foreign competition, as such a measure pushes the increased price of your work onto the rest of citizens who earn less, possibly much less.


Mass labor being paid to much is somewher around #837 in the list of problems we need to solve.


Don't generalize that Indians are stealing your jobs. Google has 1000+ eng roles open at this time - if Americans are qualified, then they can totally get all of them. The fact of the matter is that America does have talent shortage for high end tech roles. Also, this misconception that Indians are paid less for high end roles is purely that - if you are able to crack Google eng role, you will get paid $200k+ or more depending on your level.

Note that I am making a distinction between Google eng roles and those tech roles which Infosys and TCS hire for. For the latter the play is cost arbitrage such as replacing Disney engineers with Indian eng who can do the same work for lower cost.

However, I want you to be aware of the real talent shortage which is present there on the high end tech side.


I agree with the general gist of what you are saying. But specifically with respect to Google, should a company that openly admits it optimizes for a low false positive rate even though it knows that means a high false negative rate really be sympathized with when they say they can't find enough people?


WHat are you talking about? If you have ever worked in top tier companies (which it seems you haven't), you will notice how much time, energy and money they spend on recruiting good engineers and still come well short of their targets. Be real, open your eyes and stop diverting.


Did you even bother reading and understanding before responding? You didn’t say anything at all about false negatives vs false positives. You gave no indication that even understand those concepts. Instead you choose to brag about your work experience and tried to put me down based on a wild guess about me.

Did you really think this response was going to convince anyone of anything? If you are so smart maybe try applying that intellect to your reading comprehension and communication skills.


I don't care what you think and whether I can convince you of anything.

Your response about false positives and false negatives is a strawman argument. Why does a low false positive single out non Indians and not Indians? Also, this is not only a phenomenon with Google - the same is true for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix etc. All have 100s (if not thousands) of eng roles open right now and is up for grabs whoever is qualified.


> Infosys and Tata enable companies to abuse H-1B laws

How is helping all people of the world compete fairly abusing the law? Aren't we all free people of the world? Why should anybody be privileged just because he was born in a certain country?


>>Your statement also imply that Microsoft, Google, and Facebook is abusing too and no difference between Infosys and Tata.

This is largely true. These days Microsoft and Google do not outsource to Infosys and Tata. They set up their own centers in Bangalore, that way they can even quality control at many levels and the net result is the same.

The fact that Infosys and Tata aren't involved is just a minor detail here. Practices as a net do not change.


Microsoft, Apple, and Google, among other big tech companies, are some of Tata and Infosys’ largest clients, so it’s not as clear cut as it might seem. They get to avoid hiring more “expensive” FTEs by using these body shops.


Large software companies pay premiums. Tata, Infosys, Cognizant, et cetera are the bad actors. https://www.economist.com/news/business/21714994-it-firms-ne...


Is this about stopping more non-white people from coming to the US?


Moving to temp account for this comment.

I have been in US for 15 yrs now. Came here for my masters and still on H-1B today. I’m one layoff away from having to uproot my family and moving back. My girls have only known this as their country.

I earn way above market and have paid plenty in taxes over the years. Because for tax purposes you are considered a permanent resident after 1 yr. Someone brilliant came up with this.

I never complained about my situation because I always have a choice to leave US and it is my decision to stay. Most in my situation feel that we deserve to be bumped up over random lottery and unskilled immigrants. I don’t because I don’t feel this entitlement. Maybe the current generation is unskilled but their future generations could go on to create a lot of value. Some even become President.

Finally this year I’m considering moving out of US. In media it sounds like an awesome place but a glance at the indexes show a different story (education, social security, health care, even freedom). Every time I drop my kids at school I’m worried about them. It all seems not worth it anymore.


>Finally this year I’m considering moving out of US. In media it sounds like an awesome place but a glance at the indexes show a different story (education, social security, health care, even freedom). Every time I drop my kids at school I’m worried about them. It all seems not worth it anymore.

I left after being in the US for 5 years. I pretty much felt the same way.


It's still, also by many indexes, one of the safest countries in the world, despite the objectively isolated issues you see in the media... Unless you come from another top OECD, coming back doesn't sound like a great deal.


Which, realsitically, should be your comparison set.


What's your definition of "isolated issue"? Most people use it to mean a random one-off that isn't part of a pattern, which can't reasonably be applied to mass shootings in the US at this point.


Mass shooting and terrorist atacks are still extremely rare events, very much like plane crashes, compared to the many other ways one could get killed or injured.


So your definition of "isolated issue" is an extremely rare event and not an event that isn't part of a larger pattern?


Call it isolated issue, call it extremely rare, whatever it is, it’s not worth taking into account when deciding to live in the US or not.


I agree that mass shootings aren't a large statistical risk for an individual. I'm only objecting to the use of language that suggests they aren't a systemic issue.


This is exactly why H1B should be ended. It's very unfair to people. Replace the diversity lottery with an immigration policy that prefers admitting skilled people.



Why not send the kids to a private school?

Probably even a cheap one is better than any public school?


This is a good thing.

And I say this as an Indian H1B worker who's actually left the US because of the broken immigration system.

I spent 8 years working for a big tech firm, and left the country when I realized that I was essentially never going to get a green card, despite my application being approved 4 years ago. The queue is now decades-long.

I worked directly for a giant tech company that you all know, and was paid a very good salary, easily at par with a US Citizen. I know of so many people who gamed the system, working in cahoots with consulting companies that exist solely to scam people.

Now I live in Canada, working for the same company, making the same amount of money, but as a Permanent Resident here. Life is so much simpler because I don't need to worry about capricious immigration policy, and being treated with suspicion at the border every time I fly back home.

Your system is broken and needs to be fixed. Now, I don't think your current administration is going to fix it, but who knows.


> Your system is broken and needs to be fixed.

I couldn't agree more. The solution here should be to lift the per country cap on each visa category, which is a remnant of the pre-1965 overtly racist national origin system, and increase the overall number of employment based permanent visas. EB-2 and EB-3 (not including other workers), which are the main categories for high skilled workers, are only allocated around 70,000 visas per year. Compare that to the lottery system at 50,000 or siblings of US citizens at 65,000 per year.

While I am totally in favor of permanent resident visa programs being fixed, and am in general in favor of increased immigration including of high tech workers, the H1B is being abused. Not just by the Indian BPO companies like Infosys and Tata but also by multinational consulting companies like IBM and Accenture. If and when the EB2 and EB3 backlogs were cleared, I'd support: 1) eliminating the exemption rules for determining H1B dependent employers, 2) barring H1B dependent employers from filing any further H1B petitions until they were no longer dependent, and 3) apply the attestation requirements to any employer regardless of size that files at least 1000 petitions in a visa year.


"lift the per country cap on each visa category, which is a remnant of the pre-1965 overtly racist national origin system"

I understand that pre-1965 it was used in a racist way, but isn't a per country cap a good way maintain a diverse group of immigrants today? I'd keep that, and add a gender cap, forcing a relatively equal distribution. I'd also greatly increase skilled immigration overall.


No, it isn't. Under the current system, there are no per-country limits on who can come to this country to work for a sponsoring employer.

The per-country caps only have the effect that some people need to wait longer than others for their rights, while still living here and paying the same taxes as you do, but not being easily able to switch jobs, not being eligible for certain jobs (eg. SpaceX), or certain research grants (eg. NIH), and being one layoff away from having to sell their house, sell their car, take their kids out of school, and leave on short notice.

If diversity is the goal, then the entire pipeline (H1/L1, potentially F1) should have per-country caps - that way, nobody living here is denied their rights based on where they were born. Raising the per-country caps on green cards to 100% to match the H-1B caps (aka eliminating them) is one way of achieving this, and arguably the most egalitarian - but it isn't the only way.

At this point now, I suspect some companies prefer hiring people from India/China because they know they'd be indentured. That aspect should be removed.


Exactly, if we got rid of the per country caps, the only thing it would do (beyond help the OP, surprise!) would ensure immigrants would be 80% Chinese and Indian.

I for one prefer the diversity of immigrants we get with the cap.


How are arguments like this any different than arguments for Jewish quotas back in the day? What happened to judging people for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin?

Making Indians wait for up to 70 years (a de facto Indian exclusion act) is extremely racist.


Are you against diversity? Because that's what the quota is there for.

Plenty of Indians can come to the US, we just want to leave room for others as well.


(1) If India hypothetically broke into 50 nations (at independence there were 556 states), this problem would not arise. Suddenly, India's diversity index would "shoot up".

(2) India itself is very diverse: ~30% speak the same language (Hindi) with different dialects. Rest speak over 16+ regional languages with distinct scripts and a 1000+ dialects. Someone speaking Tamil won't understand a Punjabi speaker and vice versa.

(3) If someone was born just 5 kms from say Gorakhpur in India , across the border in Nepal, they suddenly meet the diversity bar.

(4) Not sure why two immigrants from Austria and Germany are 'diverse' but two immigrants from India's Nagaland and Gujarat, who have different religions, cultures, languages (even facial features, if those count) are clubbed together.

(5) Logically extending your argument, you'd also agree with a quota system in all jobs classifications. For example, we should have a 12% quota for African Americans in Google's engineering team.

This is an asinine argument.

Merit, fit and an ability to contribute to the society should determine America's immigration policy not some racist concept determined by the accident of birth.


> Not sure why two immigrants from Austria and Germany are 'diverse' but two immigrants from India's Nagaland and Gujarat, who have different religions, cultures, languages (even facial features, if those count) are clubbed together.

That's an interesting point. When asked by others where I am from I normally respond with "I am from India" - but it would be more appropriate to say "I am from Tamil Nadu" (an Indian State north of Sri Lanka).


If someone was born just 5 kms from say Gorakhpur in India , across the border in Nepal, they suddenly meet the diversity bar.

And if they were born 9000 miles away in the US, they'd already be a citizen, so what's your point.

Listen, no system is ever going to be "fair" for every person.

And considering how often people talk shit about the US on HN, I'm surprised people don't just go to Canada or Australia instead.


What's so good about diversity?

Arbitrary country lines don't count for diversity, as somebody else pointed out. China and India have huge populations, and China at least has a huge land mass.

Why wouldn't we not "leave room" for others, especially if they weren't as skilled?


Isn't this just unfair to say bright young people from Africa who don't have an industry turning out graduates


How are they any worse off under what I propose than the status quo?


Quite a few of my friends are now applying for Canadian PR. Having suffered under H1B, its amazing how employee friendly the Canadian system is. I can be in India, apply for PR, get a decision in 3 months or less. Then I can go there, find a job. Never have to depend on an employer, never at the mercy of customer or some random visa officer or a CBP agent or lottery. I get to be in control of my life.

If Americans don't want H1Bs, its all fine. Kick all Indians out. But why a nation that claims itself to be the land of freedom, who routinely criticizes other nations including India for human rights violations, allow such a visa system to exist all these years, I don't know.


> But why a nation that claims itself to be the land of freedom, who routinely criticizes other nations including India for human rights violations, allow such a visa system to exist all these years, I don't know.

I think going to Canada is the most rational thing for tech workers and people without papers too. I keep wondering why it hasn't been happening more.

We've lost our collective shit over immigration in the us. Trump is a temporary aberration, either that or our country will have to fall apart eventually, and we'll split up into different countries, and a lot of us would immigrate to Canada or something.

Our years of easy economic growth and high salaried and widespread middle class jobs is ending (even before we lose most trucking jobs) and we are worried collectively about the future. A more rational approach would be improve education, figure out how to get better paying jobs and help industries-its more than cutting taxes on rich people and re-train people that don't have good jobs. We are stuck in a different direction, blaming others, with backwards policies that are supposed to increase employment opportunities in many decaying industries that are mostly or completely pointless.

Our visa policy has been screwed up and we've had this insane split about immigration for years - fears of people coming in from 'outside' and taking our limited number of new jobs, but needing at least lots of farm workers and low skilled workers. Never mind that when my forebears came to the us that was 'good immigration' from today's view, even though we've always had mixed feelings about it.

So as our lack of good jobs becomes more acute, the pressure against immigration planning just increases. And since we failed to do much to help the people who have lost their jobs for whatever reasons the last 40 years, all those people are feeling ever more desperate and subject to huckster political claims.

I think unless there is an amazing massive failure of our current political leadership, and probably even if that happens, we will have a really hard time changing our immigration "strategy". I mean we already had the iraq war 2 debacle, destruction of that country, thousands of americans died, the economy crashed, and we still ended up where we are now politically.


>I think going to Canada is the most rational thing for tech workers and people without papers too. I keep wondering why it hasn't been happening more.

Because you can easily double your salary working in the US. That and the fact that Canadian winter can be brutal for months out of the year.


What's the point if you live under a threat of deportation all your life!

Do you know how much paper work has to be done to file a petition. I have around 20 pounds in weight of past paperwork!. Every petition is 100s of pages. Even if you have an approved petition, you have to go for Visa stamping where there is a 8-10 page questionnaire, waiting in line on 2 separate days and answer questions.

It's all really fucked it. You can do it for maybe 1-2 years. Not for decades.

There are many Indians in US, who would be screwed if they lost their jobs in US. They work for the outsourcing companies and if they have to move to to India - their quality of life will take a big dive. There if they make 80k USD, they will make 20-30k USD in India and have a much worse quality of life. These people wouldn't go back unless they are forced to. And they save every penny they can, because they are trying to be ready for the worst case scenario.

However, anyone who is highly skilled - they can get a job anywhere.

Being in US is like being in a decades long dating relationship where you counterpart raises questions on the relationship and threatens to throw you out every few years. However, some people want to get married and settle and it makes sense for them to move on!


This is not Trump. This bullshit with regards to legal immigration at least has been going on for 15-20 years under Democratic and Republican administrations.


> I think going to Canada is the most rational thing for tech workers and people without papers too. I keep wondering why it hasn't been happening more.

Because the US still has the vast majority of prestigious tech companies and still has the edge in innovation. That may be changing long term, but at least on the short term, this is the truth. The opportunities you get at Microsoft or Amazon are unmatched.

People will gladly prioritize wealth and career at a Big 4 company vs a nice stable life at some not well know Canadian company.


you talk like there are no big tech companies in Canada. Every US tech company that's a household name (and many more than that) has offices in Canada with engineers in them.


> Having suffered under H1B, its amazing how employee friendly the Canadian system is.

> If Americans don't want H1Bs, its all fine. Kick all Indians out.

If you like the Canadian system then you should love Trump. That's exactly the direction he wants to take the US.


So far, the only news I have seen about H1B reform is articles such as these, where they are supposedly making it harder for companies who game the system to get the visa. I hope he will change it to a merit based system and free the people from employer dependency completely.


H1B is not about the employee, it is about the employer.

I am 100% for more immigration, hell I favor open borders completely. However as much as I am in favor of more immigration, and I am staunchly opposed to the H1B program.


Isn't this an oxymoron. Open borders completely, but against H1B program.


Not at all, H1B allows employers to hold immigration status over the head of their employers, threatening them with possible deportation or other effects if they do not accept working conditions, pay or other items that would be unacceptable to a person that did not have their immigration status tied to their employment.

I am for individuals, not corporations. Ever wonder why large companies are always pushing for more H1B but never for Full Immigration reform.

They like the power in balance H1B creates


Yeah, but you already got hundreds of thousands individuals here in H-1 status, and thousands more wanting to join them, for lack of any other options. Then what?


Seems quite logical to me: completely open borders make H1B obsolete.


H1B is an awful visa as far as work visas around the world go.


Same here man. I'm getting sick and tired of immigration in this country. The whole country is worried about illegal aliens and no one cares about us.

And this is not new with trump. Been on h1b for years. It just got worse over time under obama. Americans dont care about indians. Either we don't get our voices heard too much, or we are just a slightly wrong shade of brown ("people of color" - ha!). Go care about illegals.... I'm just tired of dealing with immigration and then getting shat on by "pro immigration" people who dont care about Indians (and frankly Chinese).

To my american friends, you dont realize how racist the immigration system is currently. Forget refugees and "muslim bans". Those are really nothing compared to how Indians and Chinese are treated. I'll show you: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/v...

Do a search for "FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES"

See that table. There are a few salient points:

1. That table shows where the queue pointer is right now. "C" means at the head of the queue (no entries, everything being processed). If it is a date, that is the date that is currently being processed (for all intents and purposes).

2. Notice the special columns for the different nationalities. So they discriminate based on national origin. But, only 5 to 7 countries are special cased. Everyone else (including all refugee countries, muslim countries, etc) fall under "Rest of World" ("All chargeability areas..").

3. Now notice the INDIA column. The date is 01Jan07 for EB3. This means, for someone with a Bachelors degree, they have to process people who applied 11 years ago. Let that sink in. No other race has to face this discrimination. EB2 (masters or phd) is not much better either. You have to be a genius (EB1) to get a greencard 'now' without a queue ... at the same level as a Bachelors graduate from Iran, Saudi, Somalia, whereever. .

Anyway, hopefully you can empathize a little bit with Indians and Chinese who did things by the book and stop focussing so much on illegals.


If there was zero discrimination no-one from any other country would stand a chance due to the sheer population size of India & China.

Would have thought this was obvious.

It’s fairer to the rest of us.


> If there was zero discrimination no-one from any other country would stand a chance due to the sheer population size of India & China.

If there was zero discrimination on country of origin, each qualified individual applicant within a given VISA category would be situated equivalently regardless of nation of origin.

India, China, Mexico, and the Philippines (I may be missing one or two other countries) would see an increased number of total immigrants to the US and other countries less, but that's because the per country of origin limits currently put individuals of those countries in a worse position, not because the present system is fair and removing the per country limits would be unfair.


I think we'd see more from Brazil peh Argentina, Indonesia, fewer from Mexico [unless undocumenteds don't count as immigrants]


India & China make up 35% of the entire worlds population. A fair system will admit a lot more people from those countries than others simply because there have more people.


The goal of the caps is diversity of immigrants. Making the system "fair" for countries like India and China is not the goal.


Do you know that India is more than in languages, cuisine, culture and history than whole of Western Europe. Just because they have common passport, doesn't mean that they are any less diverse.

If whole of Europe gets a single EU passport, does it suddenly make them any less diverse?


Its hilarious how "diversity" is supposed to be about thinking beyond race/nationality/skin color, yet the measure of diversity is how many different races/nationalities/skin colors you can collect.

If race does not matter, then why does "diverse" mean as many races as possible. Shouldn't it mean diversity of thought instead? If nationality does not affect personality, then why should diversity be about diversity of nations?


That’s why the system can’t be “fair”. Someone in the system is always going to be slighted.


That's not true. People from every country would have the same chance. Petitions would be processed in the order they were received regardless of nationality. How would that be unfair to anyone?


There is no "order they are received" for H-1B. You have to apply on the first of April and literally win a lottery.

If you remove the national origin quotas (it has little to do with race and everything to do with where you were born), then it would be the exact same process for green cards except you only have a limited number of chances before you cap out the time on your visa and get sent back. How is that a better, less capricious system than the current one for anyone who isn't Indian or Chinese?

The US political system gives disproportionate power to states with smaller population. The US immigration system is disproportionately more difficult for countries with lots of applicants. That's what the US looks at as fair - giving each state or country a fair shot, not each individual.


> If you remove the national origin quotas (it has little to do with race and everything to do with where you were born)

Yeah, those things aren't correlated at all. Come on.

> then it would be the exact same process for green cards except you only have a limited number of chances before you cap out the time on your visa and get sent back.

No it wouldn't. There's a different system in place for permanent visas than for temporary ones. Viz. a waiting list. The grandparent post linked the visa bulletin which explains how it works. You have the tools at hand to educate yourself, there's no excuse for ignorance.

> How is that a better, less capricious system than the current one for anyone who isn't Indian or Chinese?

Because human being are human beings, not 1 billionth of India or China. It is a bedrock principle of contemporary liberalism (small l) that people ought be to treated as individuals. The remnant of the pre-1965 racist national origin system is a disgusting anomaly of a worse time.

> The US political system gives disproportionate power to states with smaller population. The US immigration system is disproportionately more difficult for countries with lots of applicants. That's what the US looks at as fair - giving each state or country a fair shot, not each individual.

One terribly unjust system originally put in place to protect slavery doesn't define the United States' entire notion of fairness.

In any event it is nonsensical to talk about giving a country a shot. Countries aren't going to immigrate to the US, people are.


Yes, I am aware that there is currently a different system, for green cards. I am aware that your proposal is to process each application in the order that it is received. What exactly do you think is going to happen to go from here to there? On one hand, you need to deal with the backlog. On the other hand, if you are going to "fix" the system, you should fix it in such a way that, in the future, there will be no backlog. How would such a system be different than what I described? The alternative is to turn the green card backlog into a problem for immigrants of all nationalities rather than a problem for immigrants of some nationalities.

You should perhaps learn a bit more about the history of the country which you want to immigrate to. Slavery had nothing to do with representation in the senate. It had everything to do with protecting Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey from New York, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

The green card diversity lottery is based on exactly the premise I mention. Applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US have a great chance of winning. Applicants from countries with high rates of immigration to the US are ineligible to apply.


> The green card diversity lottery is based on exactly the premise I mention. Applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US have a great chance of winning. Applicants from countries with high rates of immigration to the US are ineligible to apply.

Sure. But that has nothing to do with employment-based green cards.

By all means, choose for diversity when it comes to other types of immigrants (extended family, lottery, etc). But it makes no sense to consider country of birth for skilled worker green cards, where employers hire based on talent - and especially so when the beneficiaries already live here and pay taxes here.

> The alternative is to turn the green card backlog into a problem for immigrants of all nationalities rather than a problem for immigrants of some nationalities.

Sure, but a 3-4 year wait for everyone (while living here) is literally an order of magnitude lower than the current 60-year wait for those born in India. Problems like not being able to switch jobs, kids having to leave when they turn 21, etc, are just less likely to occur when the wait is shorter and more transparent.

In order to prevent a shock to the system, per-country caps should be phased-in over 2-3 years. That way, those currently in the system will all get their green cards in the expected 1-1.5 year timeframe, while future applicants will know, prior to applying, that the wait will be 4 years for everyone. HR392 does this.

Think a 4-year wait would be too long? First, let me point out the hypocrisy. Second, a solution then is simply to increase the employment-based numbers, from 140K currently, to around 220K (these numbers include immediate family: spouses and minor kids). This is hard politically, because Democrats would also want to increase chain migration and other categories.


If the backlog is truly 60 years, then it will take 4.2 years of giving every single employment based greencard to Indians to clear that backlog. This ignores the backlog that exists for Chinese applicants.

The fact is that the backlog will get longer in every year that more foreign temporary workers apply for green cards than there are green cards available. So what might start out as a 4 year backlog in (say) 2020 will get longer each year by as long as 1 year (if there are, say, 280,000 H-1B petitions every year and the worst case of 100% of them applying for greencards occurs).

If it really is a matter of going from <2 year wait for non-Chinese, non-Indians and a multi-decade wait for Chinese and Indians to a <4 year wait for everyone, forever, because there will no longer be an accumulation of a backlog, then it is a no brainer for the US to make that change in policy. I believe that that scenario is a fantasy and the actual result of HR 392 will be a multi-decade wait for everyone. The solution to that will, IMO, turn into a lottery similar to today's H-1B process.


> You should perhaps learn a bit more about the history of the country which you want to immigrate to.

Because no one could possibly be opposed to per country caps unless he were a disgruntled Indian.

I was born in New York. My parents were born in New York. Three of four of my grandparents were born in New York. The fourth grandparent was born in Germany. His parents died in a concentration camp because they couldn't come to the US with their teen children. You see they had be been born in Eastern Europe and the racist national origin system was designed to prevent too many people born in Eastern Europe from coming to the US. Kind of like how you don't want too many people born in India or China to come to the US.

> The green card diversity lottery is based on exactly the premise I mention.

With your encyclopedic knowledge of American history I'm sure you are aware of the political origins of that program.


> except you only have a limited number of chances before you cap out the time on your visa

That's not true - anyone with a submitted I-140 can renew their H-1 or L-1 visa indefinitely in yearly increments. See sections 104 and 106 of AC21.


Trust me man, you haven't seen the ugly side of many liberal "pro immigration" folks. At least the guy you are responding to is being honest.


It is unfair because it doesn't allow someone to jump the line. A totally unfair system (sarcasm).


Hang on, why should someone from India have less of a chance just because they were born in India? They can't help where they were born, or that their country has a high population.

If there weren't country caps, then someone born in India would have an equal chance as someone from Sweden.

I argue what you're proposing isn't fair at all - it's clear that limiting by country is discrimination, not the other way around.

Now what I will grant you is that it'll skew population statistics for immigrants to the more populous countries. But that's just a function of global population distribution by nation.

Which again, isn't the fault of the applicant.

Or to put all this another way, should someone born in Vatican City have an extremely high chance to get in, versus someone from a country with several million in population? No.


[flagged]


> why not leave?

That trope is uncivil, shallow, and predictable, so please don't haul it out here.


> Everyone seems to think they have an implicit right to live in the United States.

I disagree with this statement, or at least your belief around the sentiment. To me, the angst seems to come from the United States putting out a welcome mat saying "please, come here and enrich our economy" but then, once someone does arrive, he or she is treated with near-contempt, especially if the person is from the "wrong" country like India or China or Russia or basically anywhere not western Europe, Australia, or Japan.

Debate the number of arrivals or permissions to be given all we want. That's fine and reasonable. But once someone has taken up the United States on its offer to have the person relocate halfway across the globe, TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT. My spouse is a green card holder and has been for many years (and is not a green card holder by virtue of being married to me). If any US citizen had to regularly deal with the USCIS, it would be disbanded within a week. The IRS is more warm and inviting and has better understood rules and processes. And my spouse has the benefit of not being from the "wrong" country but, still, even doing something as simple as renewing a green card involves a trek to the most depressing-looking office building on the planet, a bag and person search that rivals going to an airport, and meeting with a dour clerk who wants my spouse to be in the country almost as little as the clerk wants to be at work that day.

That's just for someone who's already made it through almost all of the hurdles of the U.S. immigration system. To be here on a "temporary" visa like H1B or on TN status is even worse since one wrong word from an immigration officer means you have ten days to self-deport or ICE is coming for you.

It's one thing to say "potential immigrants keep out." It's quite another to abuse the immigrants who have arrived until they give up and quit the country.

(To establish that I'm not ranting because I'm caught by this: I am a natural-born citizen of the United States who, through one parent, has a line of ancestry that traces back to the Mayflower. And I think our immigration system is obnoxious.)


> ...especially if the person is from the "wrong" country like India or China or Russia or basically anywhere not western Europe, Australia, or Japan.

To be fair we like New Zealanders too...


That's a common attitude in my country too whenever an immigrant complains about anything. "If you don't like it, go back to where you came from". But in fact they do want to be there while at the same time not liking some parts of it. Just like everyone really.

I think locals should follow the same advice. Don't like political lobbying, high house prices, the president, etc? Move to Canada. I personally moved to a country that suited me better. Americans are very reluctant to emigrate for some reason though.


Have been thinking about it, honestly.

I came to this country for about 13 years. I know I dont have a right to live here. But after paying college fees, taxes, various visa fees, etc, I feel some entitlement. I have lived here longer than any other country in my life. Definitely consider is a home, but it is clear most people dont want us here.

Ah well, thats life.


Can we send you back to the lawless borderlands between England and Scotland?


You've been reading the book by Thomas Sowell. Though I don't understand why you bring up a reference that's about 300 years old. None of the people in the southern States have any ties to that place


Benefits still outweigh the disadvantages. The comparison is being a slave here or having a poor quality of life back home. Both are not desirable.


+1

I'm writing this form a throw away for obvious reasons. The H1-B system or the green card system does not distinguish between TCS/Infosys/etc.. and bay area engineers making a lot of money.

I made over $300k+/year at one of the large tech firms. Because the US limits green cards from people born in a single country to 7% (same upper limits to India / China and Montenegro), me and many of my friends have to wait 70+ years. (https://www.cato.org/blog/no-one-knows-how-long-legal-immigr...)

I paid a lot of money in taxes for a long time. Over a decade, this was taxation without representation.

Many of my american friends could not believe how bad the system was. It took several beer chats with hours of question answering before they realized that you had no way around this if you were born in India. Before anyone says EB-1, remember that EB-1 was meant for nobel laureates and requires a lot of luck to work out. It's ridiculous - a person I used to lead in my job who was born in Spain got their green card in under 2 years because of where they were born, while I had already waited a decade.

Life is short and there's no point waiting for 70+ years paying taxes without representation.

I'm back in India starting a company. The access to venture capital here is improving, and it's so much easier to be creative without having to worry about immigration status. If I hadn't move back to India, I would have moved to Canada. They have really got their immigration system right.


> the US limits green cards from people born in a single country to 7% (same upper limits to India / China and Montenegro)

As someone who doesn't know a lot about american immigration laws, that sounds surprisingly insane. Probably a stupid idea, but might it be preferable to become a citizen of another country - let's say Estonia, which seems to embrace immigration - just to use that citizenship to apply for a US green card?


You can't. The Green card quotas are based upon country of birth, not country of citizenship.


> This is a good thing. […] I was essentially never going to get a green card, despite my application being approved 4 years ago

Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I understand the greencard path for H1B workers seems unrelated to the number of H1Bs issued but more to which nationality H1Bs go to. Since Indians are more likely to apply in the first place the wait time will stay ridiculously high unless the actual quota for greencards is increased.


Yes, you're right.The country based quotas are the real issue.

However, this issue stems from the fact that the US has no real high-skills immigration path the way Canada, Australia and a bunch of other countries have.

Because of this, an H1 worker from a body shop is equal to a rocket scientist from MIT if they're both Indian.

Look, I have nothing against the body shop H1 worker who's only trying to make a better life for himself - what I don't like is companies that exploit Indians (and other nationalities) and the American public alike.

We all get screwed together, and the US should have sensible immigration policy that works to improve the lives of its citizens.

Of course Americans shouldn't be exploited.

Of course you should be trying to attract the best and brightest - but also lower skilled workers who can fill jobs that have a low supply of labor (all the illegal immigrants are working away in this space).

Immigration is an important aspect of public policy, and by having a broken system, your government is not doing its job.


+1 I absolutely agree with you. I've been on H1-B and saw a lot of abuse from both big tech and startups (most abused were people from countries like India because a lot of them will do anything just not to go back). In big tech I saw people being indirectly threatened by not proceeding with their green card so that they work on weekends etc. I wouldn't take that crap so I kept leaving and transferring H1N but others were too scared and it really affected my view of H1B. Startups are also a problem, but more because of ignorance rather than malice. Once I transferred my H1B to a startup who really sold me on everything from being stable and funded to growing fast etc, so I moved my family across the country and on my first day CEO said they have 1 month of money left in the bank...


As a sibling comment has mentioned, there are high-skills immigration paths in the US, they just aren't very well known, and have a very high bar to clear. It's not great, but it does exist. I personally know 2 Indians who got their green card in a matter of months.

That said, the Canadian system, while definitely better than the US system, still isn't that great, and not something to model after. Specifically, it gives too much weight to credentialing, which is unfair in its own right, and still very much subject to gaming.

I personally believe in complete free movement of labor (which totally existed before, the current state of things is relatively young), but that seems politically infeasible around the world right now. Brexit is an example of even taking a step back from it. Maybe this will someday happen in my lifetime.


The rocket scientist does have a different path to immigration, as a 'person of exceptional ability'. This is, granted, a higher bar and more limited than the typical 'high skills'-promoting immigration policies of some other countries.


I'm in the same boat as you were. 16 years of being in the US and no green card in sight even though I've been approved thrice over. I could potentially become a permanent resident in 2022 but even that's not guaranteed at the rate the process is going. If I may ask, what was the tipping point that made you decide to move?


I think this is the problem in the USA. If someone wants to come here to work, pay taxes and be a reasonable citizen why not allow it?

The system is definitely broken, I want to see change immediately.


You won't have a green card until 2022, but you will have permission to stay in the country.


Yes, except that I won't be able to switch jobs easily or grow in my career as fast as I want to. Every time I go to India, I have to do this elaborate dance to get my Visa stamped. I haven't traveled out of the country enough just for this reason. It's very stressful. I have a child who was born here and doesn't want to go back. I'm really stuck here for no other reason than the fact that the immigration system is horribly broken. Every American (white person) in my management chain thinks I'm skilled enough to be here in the country and pay me north of $400k. Terrible state of affairs. I'm a well-paid slave or at least feel like one.


>>I know of so many people who gamed the system, working in cahoots with consulting companies that exist solely to scam people.

It's sort of strange you even write this. Almost all engineers from India 'gamed the system' in some way both back home and in the US to do anything they have done in the US.

The only thing not surprising to me is the way you talk. All Indians/ex-Indians I met while I was in US believed they deserved to be there and others do not. Therefore they should go back, giving them a chance. And of course everybody thought, everybody else should go back and only they deserved to stay. Not surprising, because Indians live the crab mentality day in and out.

Also the 'consulting company' bogey is so broken to repeated in these situations. Why do you think you deserved to be there and they don't?


You felt untrusted as a foreigner but imagine being born here and feeling the same way and vise versa. Luckily we sell this place well enough people still think the American dream is more than a dream.


<From throwaway account to avoid leaking personal info>

I feel so great for you! Finally, I am moving out. Enough dealing with the immigration crap here!

I waited for 8 years too. Didn't let immigration stall my career. Built a company, sold it to one of the top tech companies in Bay Area. Building another company to solve a really tough problem. But man it has been stressful! USCIS keeps getting hung up on technicality and makes it as difficult as possible to live here.

Meanwhile I have paid millions in taxes in US.

People who are in the lowest part of the value chain, will always find a loophole - there is too much money at stake and they don't have any other choice!

Accomplished people will move out or stop coming! US, keep doing this and eventually H1B will be just be a tool for cheap labor! Best talent from India, doesn't come to US anymore! And most of who are still here will move out!

I applied for EB-1. They need 3 criteria. Accepted 2 criteria (extra ordinary contribution to my field and leading role in organizations). They rejected the media and press criteria because most of the press about my company's acquisition, while mentioned me by name, was about the company and not me. And BTW I was Founder of the company and built it from scratch.

In any other country, one of the criteria that they accepted would have been enough.

If you are talented and from India, don't waste your life in US. Where ever you go, jobs will follow you. Move out as soon as you can!

Good bye US!


It’s funny how people are criticizing USCIS here (not that it is not to be blamed for lacking) and not their fellow Indian men for running such consultancies in the first place and exploiting talent backhome and luring them here in hopes for green cards before they realize it’s close to impossible and by that time these consulatancies middle-men would have already milked them enough. Creating awareness among Indian backhome is first step in discouraging consultancies abusing them. US has always been an open market for anyone to come here, take advantage of it and make ones dreams come true. US educated Indians stuck in green card queue is not entirely because of USCIS ineptness but also Indian “consultants” clogging up the queue. It feels there should have been a separate visa category for these “consultants” altogether.


It's the system which is enabling people to take advantage, and only system can fix it through changes in law!

When the system allowed segregation, whom do you blame more - the system which allowed it or the general people who were taking advantage of it.


> When the system allowed segregation, whom do you blame more

That is easy - the people who were taking advantage of it.

E.g. I have the right to be a racist dirtbag - but if I act like a racist dirtbag that is on me and not on the system.


>I applied EB-1. They need 3 criteria. Accepted 2 criteria (extra ordinary contribution to my field and leading role in organizations). They rejected the media and press criteria because most of the press about my company's acquisition, while mentioned me by name, was about the company and not me. And BTW I was Founder of the company and built it from scratch.

That is such BS. I was gonna try (I have some publications and stuff) but that's about it. Now I feel like I am rotting away here.


Going for EB-1 has been one of the worst decisions of my life. I wasted 2 years collecting paper work, getting letters, wasting money and waiting!

It really a luck thing. And if you have to go premium. You will find out sooner!


Lawyer adviced the same. Told me it was almost impossible for me to do EB-1 and it was all about luck. I don't really want to do that. It's just frustrating seeing people I went to school with years ago from other countries become greencard holders so quickly without even doing grad school or STEM.


It's not luck as in buying a lottery ticket. If the case is not strong and not well prepared - it will definitely get rejected.

But if the case is really strong, and the petition is really strong - it's possible that you might get lucky and they might approve it.

It depends on which officer did you get, which side of the bed they woke up and did they have a fight with their spouse recently!

It really sucks!


>>Going for EB-1 has been one of the worst decisions of my life. I wasted 2 years collecting paper work, getting letters, wasting money and waiting!

Also depends on the company and the leverage you have with the manager in the company. Plenty of people from India have gotten GCs in that category in months after arriving to US.

So yeah, Its luck by most means. Life is unfair, if its any consolation, think about this aspect of luck. There are likely more merit people in India who haven't even gotten as far as you. Is it unfair for them and their lives to be compared to you.


> That is such BS. I was gonna try (I have some publications and stuff) but that's about it. Now I feel like I am rotting away here.

Don't get too disparaged by this example. It depends a lot on the individual reviewer. Yes, that sucks, but it also means that in many cases it's not as hard as the in the quoted case.


I'm not nearly as successful as you but have similar frustrations with the US immigration system. I'm a co-founder of a company that has employed a couple dozen Americans for a few years now and decided to leave the US when it became clear there was basically no path for me to get a green card. Oh well.


This sounds great! Congrats on cutting your losses!


If you paid millions in taxes personally, then you have sufficient funds to qualify for investor/job creator visa (which in turn leads to a green card as well). I have family that were able to accomplish this with as little as 500K and 2 years, but depending on the scenario it can take as much as a couple million dollars (depending on location and nature of business). I am sure this is stuff your attorney must have explained to you so probably there is context I am missing here.


The process is non-definitive. A few years after you invest the money, you get a provisional green card and if the 10 permanent jobs are created after 2 years from that point, you get a permanent Green Card. Too many ifs and buts.

I thought EB-1 was more definitive and I felt that I was the right fit for it.

However at this point I am kind of done!


Notably, people who do not come from India or China can apply under EB-2 NIW instead of EB-1, so the requirements are lower. The spirit of the Chinese Exclusion Act lives on!


EB-2 works under same priority order, whether NIW or not. Only benefit of NIW is that you don't need to do PERM (which is labor certification).

So, EB-2 NIW - doesn't help people from India - because it is really easy to get a EB-2. I have 2 approved ones which are useless!


It sounds like you might be in a position where EB-5 is an option. It does take a long time though (I just got my conditional green card and filed my I-526 3 years ago). It sucks that they wouldn't count your media mentions, sounds like you had bad luck with the reviewer.


Does it take so long! When were you able to file your I-485 - so that you have EAD and AP


Which country would you recommend a skilled immigrant go to in present day ?


>I applied for EB-1.

Did you use an immigration lawyer for that?


[flagged]


The comment you're replying to was arguably uncivil on a divisive topic, which breaks the site guidelines. But you replied by crossing into personal attack, which is much worse. We ban accounts that do that, so please read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and don't do this again.


What part of my reply seems like a personal attack to you? Pointing out his unbecoming opinion of immigrants who follow the rules, or asking why he felt he needed to come here to begin with?


[flagged]


I tried unbanning you the other day, as we often do with banned accounts that seem like they may have stopped breaking the site guidelines. Usually this works out. In this case, unfortunately, it led straight to the kind of flamewar we precisely don't want here: nasty, brutish, and long. So I've rebanned the account.

If you (or anyone) don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.


Not making it super difficult for high skilled, shouldn't mean restricting immigration to them. Your first line seems like an useless argument. I am not sure how you arrived at it.

I want to prioritize being in the place, where I can be most effective as a human being and contribute back to the humanity.

As a side effect of this I contribute back to the places, I care about. I donated to a school in my hometown (which as my as I love I can't move back to because it has power cuts for 22 hours a day in 120F summers). Send decent amount of USD to India and advise startup in Indian ecosystem.

If at some point I feel that I can be most effective being in India, I would definitely go back!


Ok so Canada makes it easy for high-skilled while US makes it easy for low skilled. What’s the problem? Should we deport and restrict immigration unless you’re high skilled?

The point is that the US is very forgiving and easy going with respect to immigration and everybody acts like we’re a bunch of Nazis. Newsflash, we have the most liberal immigration policy in the world. Try getting permanent residency in Japan, or Switzerland, or China and let me know how that goes. It’s only difficult because we have too many people that want to move here.

And while I trust that you think you’re “giving back” to India, it’s easy to say you are while enjoying a nice cushy life in Canada.

I don’t mean this to be personal but I’m really sick and tired of hearing people complain that the US is shitty wrt to immigration when we are not. Does any other country have Dreamers? Will Canada allow 11 million undocumented kids to become permanent citizens? Hell no. Would India? Japan? China? Korea? Germany? Brasil? Nope nope nope - you would be deported in a heartbeat. Why does Canada even make you fill out paperwork or have a point-based system if they are so liberal?


I agree US is great with immigration (if you are not from India).

Most people can get a Green Card within a year (even with moderate skills) and citizenship at 5 years without language test.

This is great! But doesn't work for Indians. Which is what Indians in this thread are complaining about!

Many times things have a lagging indicator. West Europeans don't have strong reasons to move to US. Neither do Chinese to a large extent - because of vibrant local opportunities in China now.

Till 2010, best from India wanted to move to US. Not anymore! The problem is self solving. If Hackernews would be around in 10 years, and US immigration stays the same - there wouldn't be Indians complaining here about this - because they wouldn't be in US

You don't need to restrict immigration for low skilled to remove crazy restrictions for high skilled immigrants. I don't know how and where you are making this connection!


> Most people can get a Green Card within a year (even with moderate skills) and citizenship at 5 years without language test.

You are hilariously misinformed. I am 3.5 years and waiting on an EB2 and I am British, I know Caltech professors who took 3 years to get on EB1.

Part of the issue isn't entirely the government but also the cottage industry of legal firms. These firms (at least in my experience) can take _longer_ than some of the government steps.


The system is designed to give a Green Card in around an year. You can file for an EB1-3 as soon as you move to US.

Process is:

PERM - 3-4 months (EB1 and EB2-NIW don't need it)

I-140 - premium - 14 days

I-485 - can be filed concurrently with I-140 - Takes around 5-6 months

Green Card - 1-2 months within approval of I-485.

Of course this is the best case scenario, which doesn't involve company delaying, bad law firm and RFEs from USCIS. But the system is designed to be done within an year!

I know colleagues who have gotten their Green Cards within an year.

And unfortunately, I know more about the immigration system that I should be knowing :(


You’re implying we should just welcome every Indian to the country. Sorry I’m more concerned with making sure Africans and Hispanics can make it here.

Maybe Canada should do the same? Instead of increasing brain-drain on the rest of the world by providing an easy avenue for immigration to highly skilled people (and increasing their interest in loving) Canada should allow millions of people from Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere without much education to immigrate to Canada? Why not?


> I’m more concerned with making sure Africans and Hispanics can make it here

Indians are an ethnicity. Africans are geographically-defined and Hispanics culturally. Did you mean to say “low income”?


No. I mean people who are African from Africa and Hispanics as colloquially defined. Should Indian engineers get precedence over them?


Ceteris paribus, no. From a utilitarian perspective, engineers are on average more valuable than non-engineers. Doesn’t matter what ethnicity or continent or culture they come from. Biasing that measure with an arbitrary ethno-socio-geographic filter feels like backing into a rationale over thinking from first principles.


So you’re advocating for the US to restrict immigration to only highly-skilled migrants? Would you be ok deporting non-engineer Dreamers?


Seriously, I don't know how do you draw such conclusions.

The main point was: It is really difficult for highly skilled people from India to immigrate from India. And because of this many highly skilled Indians want to leave.

First, you insinuated that letting highly skilled Indians in means not letting in low-skilled immigrations. No it doesn't!

Second, you insinuated that this means allowing every Indian. No it doesn't.

Seriously, which part of Highly skilled do you not understand!

The amount of flagging your post has seen, indicates that others agree with me.

Troll, Please go away and do not pollute HN!


Ok so stay in India and build businesses in India. What’s so difficult about this for you? You’re not entitled to move to another country nor am I. If we have too many people from one place how can we build a multicultural society? If you’re truly high-skilled then you should be advocating for the US to restrict immigration like Canada and others do to a points-based system. Do you advocate for this or do you prefer a liberal immigration system like the US now has? You can’t have both.

And if you spent any time in the West you would know that just because a few people (even many) hold a wrong opinion (I.e. downvoting) doesn’t make them right.

And next time instead of making a throwaway and calling people trolls I think you should post under your real username and spend more time discussing the merits of their arguments.


Yes. You can have both! You can have some Green Cards allocated to the points based and some allocated to the current system.

The current system was designed for situations which existed in the past. It wasn't perfect but served the job then. Times have changed and ground realities have changed - so time to tweak it!

As far as where I have to go - it's my prerogative! If US doesn't work, will find what works best for me!

Don't need your suggestions! Apart from not getting the birthplace lottery - am ahead on everything else!


Read the first paragraph and thought"come to Canada!". You delivered.

Are you paid/employed in cad or usd? If the latter is it hard with PR?


I'm paid in CAD.

I'm lucky - my employer was sympathetic to my situation, I had built good relationships with senior management, and what I do (I'm not an engineer) is a skill that they don't have in abundance, and I had a global role in any case.

All these factors contributed to them moving me to Canada without a major hit to my salary.

There is a difference (I get paid about USD 10K less), but that's more than made up in the lack of healthcare costs (I pay absolutely nothing for healthcare coverage in Canada), and most importantly for me, peace of mind.

Also, I couldn't realistically switch jobs in the US without tons of paperwork. As a PR, I am treated exactly like a citizen and could easily switch if I got a better offer.


Agree ! I was 3 years into my H1B and I called BS on that. Moved out of US sometime back with a Canadian PR. Living happily thereafter. Gets paid more than US, because no more visa or greencard shackles.

My spouse started working too unlike in the US where she was not "authorized" to work on H4. We are well ahead economically than was in the US and planning to buy a home soon and settle.

Seriously, what kind of country says that just because someone is on a work visa that their spouse cannot work !! Why cant ACLU take this up because DACA gives more PR for them ? Take cue from Canada, they too have temporary work visa, but the dependent spouses are free to work. The plight of H4 spouses..sigh.

The right to work is a basic human right. And they say other nations violate human rights because they block social media !! but wont allow my wife to work because she was married to me and on an H4 visa. Hypocrisy at its best.

So I left all those bullshit behind.


Agreed. I'm about to get PR, same boat. Thanks for the info and enjoy canada!


If you are earning good money then you arent paying zero for healthcare. Perhaps your employer is covering it, but canadas health system isnt totally free. In BC i paid a monthly fee, not much but something. Prescriptions and such also arent totally free.


Well, if you want to pedantic, sure. I know I pay taxes, and the taxes fund healthcare. Obviously it's not "free".

However, my out of pocket costs are zero. My employer pays for prescription drug coverage and dental care, but that isn't deducted from my pay check. It's over and above my salary.

In the US, I was paying nearly $600 a month from _my_ paycheck for equivalent healthcare.


>>However, my out of pocket costs are zero.

No your out of pocket costs are hidden, abstracted away, and hard to quantify so you never know if you are actually getting a better value, it only seems that way because you lack the proper levels of information to make an informed opinion.

Similar to how the True cost of National Defense is abstracted away and shifted to the US by virtue of your proximity to the US... Canada has a much much smaller national defense cost (which they can use that saving for national healthcare) because they know the US would never allow an invasion/attack to the Continent of the North America,


Why is this a good thing? Wouldn’t the good thing to be able to get a work visa if you want to work?


A lot of the reason for the difference between the US and Canada is simply demand. Both target an immigration rate of about ~1% of the population.

The demand to immigrate into the US far exceeds that limit while in Canada there are many years where they don't even hit the limit.


Hah, no.

The USA typically allows about 0.3% per year. Canada is around 0.8%. Per capita, Canada allows many more immigrants than the USA. (Since the USA's population is so much larger, USA allows more in absolute numbers.)

About 21-22% of Canadian residents are immigrants. About 14% of American residents are.


  The USA typically allows about 0.3% per year. 
That statistic omits those who enter/overstay illegally.


Good point. There are ~20 millions people in the US illegally, so that adds another 6-7% to those numbers.


20 million is an estimate of the total number currently present, not the number that immigrate illegally each year. There are about 400k new illegal immigrants per year[1] joining a population of about 320 million so that is about 0.1% joining the population each year.

[1] https://cis.org/Report/25-Million-Join-Illegal-Population-un...


The Pew numbers conflate completely different sources to deliberately underestimate the net count. For entrants, they count only working head-of-household adults. For exits, they count every single person leaving, even children. They then just subtract the latter from the former. This process understates the net entrants by a factor of at least three. Keep that in mind when quoting Pew, which is an interest group. On their "5 Facts" page, they even say, "the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. was lower in 2015 than it was at the end of the Great Recession in 2009", which contradicts even their own data, let alone the CIS reference you cite.


Where did your numbers come from? Did you pick peak years? Canada is higher but slightly. It still stands that the waitlist is way longer for the US than Canada.


I was a beneficiary of an H1B in 99 from Switzerland (easily confused with Sweden that Trump wants qualified candidates from). After months of waiting I moved to the US, and got a green card five years later.

I’m grateful. I made my life here. But I think it’s not worth it, the America we all romanticized is long gone.


I think that that America actually never existed, it was all just propaganda.


I think that America existed for a short time after WW2 and maybe the time before 9/11.

That's when all that Suburban sprawl started and we all think of maybe when we think of "great USA." Nevertheless, I do think that propaganda (mainly Hollywood) is adding to that positive image.


Sounds like it started and ended with Bretton Woods


I lived with my parents in the US over 2 decades ago. It was definitely a nice place back then. It's a place of extremes, with a lot of extreme bad and good.


Mr. Trump would like more immigrants from Norway, not Sweden (easily confused with Norway).


Why would someone from Switzerland - a country that seems superior to the US in every relevant aspect for quality of life - move to the US?


I completely feels the same. I am grateful for the education and opportunity that is offered, but I am losing purpose as time goes.

The America that I was dreaming of, might never exist in the first place. However, it is painful, now even a little bit enthralling to see it disintegrate at this speed.


We all romanticized?

If you asked Trump supporters, he turning the US back to what many people romanticized.

And if you don't like the direction of the country, vote with your feet.


A lot of people are doing that, they’re calling it “marching”


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You obviously don't know much about immigration laws, either in the US or other places. Otherwise, you'd know that some countries allow folks to move there as long as they have a bit of income or a bit of money in the bank. Some countries don't have such confusing regulations about getting permanent residency nor citizenship and have them clearly laid out. You'd know a lot of countries have family immigration policies for close families, much like the US yet easier to navigate. Heck, Norway's civics exam was a reasonable thing to pass after a 6 week course (50 hours of classroom time), unlike the american exam. Sure, it is required for permanent residency, but that doesn't seem like an unfair requirement either.

You are also unaware of how the refugee program works. Otherwise you'd know some of the things that qualifies folks to be a refugee. You'd know that folks can't really choose their country. Most refugees I've met would have rather stayed in their home country, by the way, if it weren't for things like war and starvation. Some are saddened that they will never be able to go back home because they think they'll get killed. Tends to happen after getting tortured by the cops and taken by ISIS - or your family getting this done to them.

I'd put links up for you, but that is seriously too much work for this comment.


That's a lazy comment! You wrote so many words but didn't answer the basic query.

How can an unskilled person get permanent residency in Switzerland if the only connection they have to the country is:

- they have family in Switzerland

- they are a refugee

? It's ok if you don't know. But bullshitting is not ok.


Just because one can't go to that particular country doesn't mean anything, including that the US has the most liberal laws on the planet, which is what this comment focused on.

You might not be able to go to Switzerland, but other countries aren't so bent out of shape about it so long as you have some income. And if I remember correctly, if you are rich enough, you can go. Even technically unskilled.


Incredibly poor rebuttal.

1. Saying “you’re unaware and I’m too lazy to post links” means you don’t know enough (and no I don’t care if you’ve immigrated before) to discuss the point.

2. Yes some countries allow people who secure jobs to work in those countries - that doesn’t mean they allow them to become citizens.

3. All countries have confusing immigration systems and tests - boohoo. I have friends from Somalia who live in the United States right now as permanent residents who have not taken any exam. Even so - not a big deal.

4. I didn’t say much about refugees, so for you to suggest that I’m not knowledgeable about the process is a naive assumption you’ve made to argue some silly point.

5. Yes most folks can’t choose their country. Too bad. If every country on the planet opens its borders than fine, if not we are just arguing over arbitrary numbers. Can I without restriction move to Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, or New Zealand? No? Ok then discussion over. I don’t want to hear one single criticism about liberal US immigration policies while the rest of the world is ass-backwards.

6. Yes it’s sad and tragic that some people are born in war-torn countries or countries that become involved in war. Life goes on for the rest of us. I didn’t choose to be not born a billionaire or not born in glorious Germany. You get the hand your dealt and make the best of it. And if the West keeps letting all the best people from these war-torn countries in, there won’t be any good people left to seek justice. It’s amazing the backflips that people will do to justify their racist, imperialist policies while pretending the U.S. is yet again some big bad boogeyman. It makes me sick.


You didn’t have to say much about refugees, even a few words can be completely wrong.


> Otherwise, you'd know that some countries allow folks to move there as long as they have a bit of income or a bit of money in the bank.

Which first world countries and what is a bit of money in the bank?

Many countries allow you to migrate if you invest $500k+ in the country.

Is that what you meant?


A relative of mine just got PR in Slovakia and the "money in the bank" requirement is 2400 EUR. While there's a bit more to it and he'll have to meet some visa conditions over the next 5 years if he wants to stay on, the detail was handled swiftly and quite cheaply by a visa agent. Nothing like the US or AU PR experience.


> A relative of mine just got PR in Slovakia and the "money in the bank" requirement is 2400 EUR

Is that the only requirement?

I just checked and Slovakia has a tiny immigrant population - <2% of total population. Compared to ~28% AU and ~14% US.

What am I missing? Have they drastically changed policies in the last 2-3 years?


iirc, to move to Switzerland basically all you need is a net worth high enough to convince them you won't ever become a public burden. (Also iirc, this is likely to change soon.) Becoming a citizen otoh takes a long time.


It takes 12 years to become eligible for citizenship.


If this actually does target the outsourcing firms, eg: Tata, Infosys, Cognizant, then this is good for tech. We need more experienced foreigners and not spaghetti code shops.

But really, the system is broken. A lottery is a horrible way to decide value or qualifications. Let in the people who truly deserve it, not the ones who flood the system with applications.

Point system, please.


Why not award the visas to the companies bidding for the highest salaries? This aligns incentives better for everyone I think. It would improve the talent pool and prevent the body shops from using the program to staff project managers who send work offshore.


With this approach wouldn't you help established companies against startups which provide compensation with more stock options and less salary?


Have a separate startup visa for complies below a fixed size?


And that's how you get Infosys/TCS to start/acquire a thousand consulting startups


This can have its own set of criteria, it’s much easier to protect a special purpose visa. For example just outright ban consulting on the startup visa.


Yes, startups can source americans until they grow to a certain size. Not a big deal.


Why involve companies at all? The visa should be tied to the individual, not the company. The goal should be to enable immigration of skilled/motivated people to the US.

The only role that appears to make sense for corporate involvement is that perhaps a company could select from individuals who have applied and are awaiting entry.


That would be a completely different visa program, and there are alternatives already. The purported goal of the H1B program is to enable companies to bring in foreign labor when they can establish that there is a labor shortage in certain specialized occupations. That was the legislation that was passed by congress. Of course we've found the actual administration of this program does little to meet those goals.


But that gets gamed look at all the people who do a Bsc and the immediately a MBA to game points systems.

MBA's her originally designed for high flying corporate types in their mid 30's who where tapped for advancement.


So, account for that in the points system?

Why does the system have to be simple or even fixed?


"Let's compare the number of H-1B recipients with the 1.1 million green cards that are issued every year. Why are we quibbling over 65,000 people that corporations are trying to recruit? And the government is trying to micromanage this? It makes no sense."

https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/the-incredible-s...


I wonder how many people who say "Oh God yes, please run Trump, please run" because they thought he'd lose badly now regret that attitude. Telling people to stop looking at the tech visa issue because the number of green cards dwarf it just invites a push towards a return to pre 1960s immigration policies.


If I understand it correctly the Trump admin wants to institute something more akin to the AU and CA visa systems --preferring people who fill skills voids in the US. It's not a return to pre-60's policies.

I think this aligns with most other modern economies out there. If anything, we're the outlier allowing randoms to come in without regard to skills or means.


Why is this controversial? Why would Americans prefer immigrants chosen at random through a lottery vs. those who are skilled and vetted? Or worse, giving illegal immigrants immunity?


> Why is this controversial? Why would Americans prefer immigrants chosen at random through a lottery vs. those who are skilled and vetted

FYI: the immigrants who are chosen at random by the lottery are thoroughly vetted. They go through criminal and medical screening. All they win is the opportunity to be interviewed at a US consulate/embassy after the screenings; the interviewing officer (a US diplomat) considers skills and resources and decides whether or not to grant a visa. It's not as if they win today and buy a ticket tomorrow.


Not entirely true. For the diversity visa (green card lottery), there are (extensive) medical and background checks, but the US consulate does not consider skills and resources beyond verifying that you meet the minimum requirements (high school diploma). The consulate interview for this category is basically a rubber stamp.

However, as others pointed out, the DV is a small fraction of green cards granted, and the process for family based immigration may differ.

Source: I went through this process.


> the US consulate does not consider skills and resources beyond verifying that you meet the minimum requirements (high school diploma).

This is wrong; they use their judgement to gauge the likelihood of you ending up being a "public charge". Even if you meet the bare minimum (high school), but have no/inadequate skills and/or you are broke, I guarantee that you will not get a visa. This is what I meant by "skills and resources". It's most certainly not a "rubber-stamp", but might have seemed like it to you because you met the requirements.


Source?

Also, even if they verify you meet some minimum bar of being able to support yourself (which I was not asked about in my interview, other than turning up looking generally presentable), this is still a far cry from a more rigorous points-based immigration system. Per GP, DV immigrants are still basically chosen "at random".


You can look it up if you'd like, the above poster is correct. UCIS determines whether a green card applicant is likely to be a public charge.

They only ask you about in the interview if it looks like a problem. Otherwise they use the signficant amount of documentation you've already provided to make that determination.


I don't think it's controversial. Any country I've been to that can control ingress does control ingress and will promptly deport people who didn't enter the proper way.

Japan, S Korea, China, Singapore, etc., would be extremely hard for anyone to work off the books without having to resort to the underworld. Otherwise you may last a month or two, but most people will get kicked out without a visa. What's more regular police have the authority and responsibility to make sure anyone without a visa gets expelled.


Does that work even if the visa-less person can't remember which country they came from ?


This would be so rare that it'd be of little impact. That said, they would likely investigate who this person was, who originally employed them, and use those records along with any other trails left at points of entry and use that info to return the overstayer.


What do you mean randoms without regard to skills or means?

You need either a family based justification (spouse or parent, mainly) or labor certification to apply for a green card. It's not a government defined point system, but an employer has to deem you worth the trouble to sponsor. Indirectly, at least, that measures the need for the applicants skills.

Means are also examined. E.g. to get a student visa you have to prove you can pay for tuition and living expenses without relying on working in the US.


> What do you mean randoms without regard to skills or means?

Perhaps mc32 means the diversity visa program?

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrat...


This is a tiny fraction of new visas, but significantly opens up the possibility for genuine diversity immigration


At 50,000 Diversity visas per year, it is comparable to the number of new H1B visas issues per year (65,000).


Which is itself a tiny fraction of the number of yearly immigrants.

It's only a big deal because most of them are coming to work for 1 industry.


We don't allow people to come in without means. You can't even bring your spouse in unless you make a certain multiple over the federal poverty level.


People (relatives) sponsored by lawful immigrants are not means tested.


That's not correct.

1st, the citizen who is sponsoring an immigrant is means tested.

2nd, UCIS must use their judgment to determine the immigrant has the means to support themselves and won't become a public charge.

This applies for all immigrants applying for permanent residency.

Also I'm not just talking about relatives sponsored by lawful immigrants, I'm also talking about relatives sponsored by citizens.

Btw unless a permanent resident is sponsoring their minor child, sponsoring another immigrant is generally a multi decade process.

Even the spouses of green card holders aren't considered immediate family and the average wait time when sponsoring is over a decade.


The sponsoring immigrant is means tested on their behalf.


At some point those people will be responsible for themselves and the sponsor's responsibility expires.


Only after the person either becomes a US citizen or has done 10 years of qualifying work.


What were the pre 1960 immigration policies? That was means-tested immigration right? That would align us with most of Europe as far as I can tell.


It was a system of quotas based on national origin, explicitly designed to maintain the "ethnic character" of the country, and either de jure or de facto banned Asian and African immigration.


There is still a quota based on national origin which leads to wait times of up to 70 years for people from India for employment based GCs and up to 130 years in the family based category for people from Mexico. The immigration system is a joke.


Unless I am very much mistaken no one thought about immigration from Africa at the time because there was a trivial amount. Same reason as there were almost no restrictions on migration within the Western Hemisphere, it didn’t happen much.


This is an accurate statement.

The reason why it is still brought up is because Teddy Kennedy and others assured the public that the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act (the real name of the immigration act) would not change the ethnic makeup of the country.

Clearly something in the law did change something...


Yes, there are still white supremacists who are angry about non-white people being allowed to live in the country and treated as equal citizens, that is also accurate.


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sigh

Enough will of the people? Don't tell me a simple majority of the popular vote, which in the end means nothing selecting a president, means you can ignore the will of the people that put Trump in power.


All: please don't do garden-variety partisan flamewars on HN. It's at best off topic and typically leads to much worse.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Well if minority rule is cool with you then why don't you just give up and submit to the "globalists" desires. I mean why not? Majorities don't matter when selecting a president right? May as well ignore them.


Something that might take a little explaining:

The US system is set up such that each state has a say in how we elect a President. The whole thing is specified by the Constitution.

If you subtract out the votes of the people who live in ONLY the major cities like San Francisco and New York, the idea that a majority of people in the US wanted Trump to lose falls away. Another way to look at this is that the people in this country who were being left behind by policies that favored urban areas turned their back on HRC.

And then you have the fact that African-Americans in large part didn't come out and vote to support HRC.

When you voluntarily enter a race set up according to rules that have existed for a couple of hundred years and lose, you don't get to complain that the rules are unfair.


I take offense to this often repeated lie that black america did not support HRC. The numbers were the same in 2012 as they were for 2016. And just slightly down from 2008. 93%

Middle and upper middle class white women overwhelmingly favored Trump.

Black voters are tired of being blamed for the HRC campaign cockup. I believe liberal media is uncomfortable with the fact that their sisters, wives, and mothers may have supported a racist troll for president.


The main problem here was the lack of turnout not that those who voted tended to vote for HRC. Black voter turnout dropped significantly from 2012 to 2016.

"The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012."

Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/black-voter-...


I'm seeing a decline from 93% in 2012 [0] to 88% in 2016 [1], which isn't insignificant. And black voter turnout also fell by 7 percentage points from 2012 to 2016 [2]. Combining those figures, Obama got 620 votes per 1,000 eligible black voters in 2012, while HRC got 525 per 1,000 in 2016. Compare the margin of victory in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to 9.5% of the black population of each of those states.

To be clear, my point is that it's disingenuous to claim that black voters supported HRC in 2016 at the same rate that they supported Obama in 2012. I'm not trying to argue that black America is the reason Trump won, since I don't believe that to be the case for a number of reasons. For one, it's obviously stupid to attribute that much voting power to a demographic that makes up ~12% of the population. And that's made even stupider by the fact that black voters are probably the most Democrat-leaning demographic there is. Like, yeah, there's a chance the result would have been different if black America voted for HRC in 2016 at the same rate that they voted for Obama in 2012. But if white people voted for HRC in 2016 at the same rate that black people voted for Obama in 2012, she'd have won every state.

Also, I'm not sure why you're calling out women in particular, when women favored Clinton by a 12-point margin while men favored Trump by a 12-point margin [3]. I've personally lost a great deal of respect for a lot of people since the beginning of 2016 because they supported a racist troll for president, but in my case those people have predominantly been men, and the numbers tell a similar story in general.

[0] https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-group...

[1] https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-group...

[2] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/black-voter-...

[3] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trump...


I called out white, middle-class women. A demographic that Hillary is a member of and probably assumed she had a sort of rapport with. Women, in general choose her by 12 points. Her own demographic chose Trump by a 10 point margin and it was even worse with non-college educated women.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/clinton-couldnt-win-ove...


>If you subtract out the votes of the people who live in ONLY the major cities like San Francisco and New York

So what you're saying is that your vote should matter more than mine because of where you were born v.s were I was born?

Let's turn that around. IF you subtract out the votes of the people who live ONLY in flyover country like the part of Pennsylvania in between Pittsburgh and Philly and the part of Michigan which isn't Detroit etc HRC wins by an overwhelming margin.

Actually lets take it a step further. New York and California pay the bills vis a vis the national budget. They subsidize the rest of the country. Therefore they're vote should count for more not less.

I know what the electoral college is and I've read the constitution probably more times than you. Just because its codified in law doesn't invalidate my point, which is that you're ok with minority rule so long as you're the minority. With all due respect, fuck you.


BORN has nothing to do with it. Where you LIVE determines where your vote counts.

And I highly doubt you've read the Constitution more times than I have.

What we have in this country isn't minority rule, it's basic fairness. If you want to live in a different country you're free to lobby for a Constitutional Convention and/or move to a country with a political system that matches your idea of what a government should look like.

I'm fine with the system as it is. That's MY vote. And I live in a solidly blue state where MY vote doesn't even come close to moving the needle.

*their

And with all due respect, the feeling is mutual.


Oh, great. We just have to lobby for the people privileged with extra political power by the current system to voluntarily give up the extra power that they are given. That sounds like a very workable plan.

It will probably work about as well as it worked when Americans in 1776 asked the people with geographical-based privilege in their political system to voluntarily give it up.


I'm not the person you're originally responding to, nor am I supporting their position, but your bit about minority control is something that strikes me as odd. The big cities you named have all the money and control all the media. Big bankers from those cities control the fed. I think even with the rebalancing that comes from the electoral college system the big cities still have outsized power.


This is litterally dehumanization. "Big cities" don't have money or control the media or have outsize power. They have none of those things. They aren't the type of entities capable of having those things. Some people within them might, but so what? Why should other people have their votes devalued because they happen to share a geographic area with the rich and influential? That entire notion is at odds with the fundamental precept of individualism. You can throw a lot of obscuring chaff up to try to avoid that, but the system we have is no different than if people got disproportionate political representation on the basis of the color of their skin or the profession they worked in. That's corporatism, not democracy.

We have the system have. It's old. It was a great leap forward in a time when much of the world still had monarchies, but is no longer state of the art. It's not unpatriotic to acknowledge that. Love of one's country doesn't require being blind to its flaws.


It's amazing to me that you could deny the outsized power that the people in cities have in our national conversation. The culture in the big cities is what drives all of our media. The people in the cities get to decide what topics are even discussable via the media.

Further, if you look at the actual impact of the flyover votes, where do you really see that showing up in national politics? The flyover states have been demolished by the financialization of our country coupled with our economic and trade policies. If the flyover states have outsized power, it certainly isn't helping them. You talk as if the flyover states are steamrolling the cities when in fact it's quite the opposite. And you want to further empower the big cities to steamroll over the rest of the country.

If that's not enough to convince you, just look at who tends to vote to increase the size and scope of the federal government vs who tends to vote to minimize it. If the federal power structure isn't in your favor, then why in the world would you want to make it even more powerful? Because it's NOT actually balanced against the big coastal cities.


You're still treating people as collectives rather than individuals. As I said, that's a fundamentally corporatist ideology.

If regions and states and cities are the appropriate level of analysis rather than individual human beings, then why not professions? Shouldn't we worry about the limited number of actuaries having their voices drowned out by the many more retail workers? Why not give actuaries disproportionate political power to prevent them from being "steamrolled"? And how about race? Aren't you worried about African-Americans being steamrolled by the many more Caucasian people? Shouldn't they be given disproportionate legislative power too? Also, religious minorities. Why not have disproportionate political power for Jews and atheists so as to insure that they aren't steamrolled by all the Christians?

Lest you think this is some argumentum ad absurdum, such as a system does exist. In Hong Kong:

> The legislature is a semi-democratically elected body comprising 70 members, 35 of whom are directly elected through five geographical constituencies (GCs) under the proportional representation system with largest remainder method and Hare quota, while the other 35 are indirectly elected through trade-based functional constituencies (FCs) with limited electorates.

> In the political systems of Hong Kong, a functional constituency is a professional or special interest group involved in the electoral process. Eligible voters in a functional constituency may include natural persons as well as other designated legal entities such as organisations and corporations.

If you want to argue for that, go ahead. But don't pretend that there's something special about geography minorities that means that liberal democracy and corporatism are compatible. They aren't. Rotten boroughs are as undemocratic in the US as they were in the UK. The problem for us in getting rid of them is a combination of self interest and blind worship of the founding fathers.


The collective matters. The culture of the people surrounding all the money on the coasts is what drives economic policy, fiscal policy, trade policy, immigration policy, and largely social policy. You're concerned about the mathematical tally of a person's vote and I'm concerned with the actual power they have. I think you're mistaken to conflate the two and that differential is exactly why our electoral college and senate were designed the way they are.

You seriously sound like a white person denying white privilege. Sure, the entire nation is designed to maximize your benefit, but the system is rigged in such a way that minorities sometimes get something they want. Meh, you'll be fine.


Different concerns.


The proportion of H1Bs that are employed by actual tech companies, rather than technical consulting companies, is stark[1]. Having dealt with a number of the latter batch of outfits, through our customers that have outsourced their IT work to them, I would not be sad to see their business model go away. Neither would most of our customers, who tend to be regretting the experiment and trying to bring their IT back in-house, as soon as their contracts are up.

I think the H1B system is dumb. Educated, highly effective workers in in-demand fields are exactly the kind of immigrants you would want to fast-track in for real citizenship, rather than exploiting them in quasi-indentured servitude. The other category I found somewhat mind-blowing was the situation of a lot of my international classmates upon graduation; educate them for four years or more at a prestigious US university, and once they graduate, kick them back home and make it difficult for them to come back.

[1] http://fortune.com/2017/08/03/companies-h1b-visa-holders/


I agree but usa does not need to do this now because of over supply. They can play the carrot and stick game because h1bs are willing to wait 15+ year for green card. Even after that much wait, you are not guerenuteed to get green card.


Well some of that is universities charge more for international students and see them as a revenue stream.


What universities charge more for international students than for random, unaffiliated students from other US states?

Some state systems "discount" fees for state residents, but that's based on the premise that those families have been paying into the system.


It's not that they charge more (though I don't have evidence they don't), it's just that international students almost always pay full price.

American students may receive financial aid either from the government, or the university itself (scholarship or other aid). International students on the other hand usually don't. They pay full price. They make universities, particularly private ones, a lot of money.

I went to a good but not top private college on scholarship. Some undergrad majors such as business and the graduate business school were overwhelmingly international students. The law school is approaching 50% international students.


UW Madison charges a little bit more for international cs out of state. https://mbo.wiscweb.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/194/20...

The additional surcharge is based on additional staff for the additional paperwork and programs (e.g. ESL) used by students from abroad. https://iss.wisc.edu/international-student-fee-increase/


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