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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Exclamation Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

This is a very good article and it makes sense! But successive administrations have only been worried and pandered to the Hispanic/Latino immigration and not to those who are here legally but in an endless queue to get their rightful right to stay here as permanent residents.

Quote:
Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

This is a guest post by Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur turned academic. He is a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School and Executive in Residence at Duke University. Follow him on Twitter at @vwadhwa.

I have a suggestion for our President on how to boost economic growth without spending a penny: Free the H-1B’s.

More than a million doctors, engineers, scientists, researchers, and other skilled workers and their families in the U.S. are stuck in “immigration limbo.” They entered the country legally and have contributed disproportionately to our nation’s competitiveness. They paid our high taxes and have been model citizens. All they want to do is to share the American dream and help us grow our economy.

They could be starting companies, buying houses, building community centers, and splurging like Americans. But because we don’t have enough permanent-resident visas (green cards) for them, they’re stuck in the same old jobs they had maybe a decade ago when they entered this country. They are getting really frustrated and many are returning to their home countries to become unwilling competitors. And they are taking our economic recovery with them.

Xenophobes will claim that immigrants take jobs away and blame them for everything that is wrong in their lives and in America. But as TechCrunch wrote last week, skilled immigrants create more jobs than they take away. That is a fact. My research team documented that one quarter of all technology and engineering startups nationwide from 1995 to 2005 were started by immigrants. In Boston, it was 31%, in New York, 44%, and in Silicon Valley an astonishing 52%. In 2005, these immigrant founded companies employed 450,000 workers. Add it up. That’s far more than all the tech workers we gave green cards to in that period.

It’s not only jobs that they’ve created. In 2006, more than 25% of U.S. global patents had authors who were born abroad — and this doesn’t even count people like me, who came here, became citizens, and then filed multiple patents. Of Qualcomm’s global patents, 72% had foreign-born authors, as did 65% of Merck’s, 64% of GE’s, and 60% of Cisco’s. I’m not talking about silly patents filed with the U.S. Patent Office here, I’m talking about WIPO PCT applications — the patents that help our companies compete globally.

Why does Silicon Valley need a foreign-born workforce? Because these immigrants are able come to a foreign land where they face hardship and discrimination and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s best technical minds and most successful entrepreneurs. They are able motivate Silicon Valley’s top guns to work even harder and think smarter. They add a global perspective and enrich America.

The largest immigrant founding groups are Indian, British, and Chinese. Indian-born immigrants, for example, founded 6.7% of America’s tech companies and 15.5% of those in Silicon Valley — but, according to the U.S. census, constitute way less than 1% of the U.S. population. So do the Chinese, but they contribute to 16.8% of our global patents. It doesn’t take a statistician to figure that these are pretty impressive numbers.

Yes, I know that H-1B’s don’t start companies. And that is the problem. We don’t let them.

Hundreds of thousands of mostly very smart and highly educated workers who could be starting companies are not. While they wait for their green cards, they can’t even change jobs or accept a promotion, for fear of losing their turn in line. If they lose their job, they have zero days to find another one — or get booted out of the country. Their employers know that these workers aren’t going anywhere, so they can go easy on the salary increases and bonuses. Some unscrupulous employers do take advantage of them. And their spouses usually can’t work, and in some states can’t even get drivers licenses, because they don’t have social-security numbers. Does this sound like America?

Unlike the daunting economic problems facing the country, this problem is easy to fix. Just increase the number of green cards for skilled workers. Maybe let them cut the line if they buy a house or start a company that employs a bunch of Americans. My guess is that we’ll get tens of thousands of startups and a couple of hundred thousand houses sold. That is a bigger economic boost than the clunkers program we’ve just thrown $2 billion dollars at.

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  #2  
Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
This is a very good article and it makes sense! But successive administrations have only been worried and pandered to the Hispanic/Latino immigration and not to those who are here legally but in an endless queue to get their rightful right to stay here as permanent residents.
Wadhwa has written sense but alas all this has been falling on deaf ears. It sometimes feels like legal and law abiding H1Bs are biggest fools in US.
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  #3  
Old September 3rd, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by sarv_shaktimaan View Post
It sometimes feels like legal and law abiding H1Bs are biggest fools in US.
absolutely correct and even bigger fools are the ones who buy houses on H1B's ( or/and non GC's)
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by DesiBaba View Post
absolutely correct and even bigger fools are the ones who buy houses on H1B's ( or/and non GC's)
those are highest degree of morons.
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  #5  
Old September 6th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by DesiBaba View Post
absolutely correct and even bigger fools are the ones who buy houses on H1B's ( or/and non GC's)
I do not understand that. Maybe in today's world, with all the delays and uncertainty... maybe yeah, they are moron's to buy a house with no certainty of future. But in my time, I regretted not buying a house while on H1 right away. In fact, I did buy... right at the end. GC came about half a year afterwards. But regrets that I lost on the cost benefit as house prices had steeply risen by that time.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by DesiBaba View Post
absolutely correct and even bigger fools are the ones who buy houses on H1B's ( or/and non GC's)
well most H1Bs I know of buy homes usually when they have their green card process started. once your i140 is approved and you think you have a dependable employer (or your spouse is working too), i don't think there is anything wrong with buying a home. for the same money that you spend every month on your rent, you can get a home almost twice the size of an apt. if i look back at my stay in the united states now, i feel i have lost so much money on rent. not much changed as far as employment went and not much will change either but only because i was on an H1b, I felt my stay in this country was temporary. im glad that we bought a home finally. the pride of ownership is simply awesome.

with interest rates at historic lows and home prices hitting rock bottom, there is no better time to invest in a home than now. my 2c
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by chacha View Post
well most H1Bs I know of buy homes usually when they have their green card process started. once your i140 is approved and you think you have a dependable employer (or your spouse is working too), i don't think there is anything wrong with buying a home. for the same money that you spend every month on your rent, you can get a home almost twice the size of an apt.

with interest rates at historic lows and home prices hitting rock bottom, there is no better time to invest in a home than now. my 2c
happy for you that you have had a stable job all through your career and everything happened as planned

terms like dependable employer, stable job, smooth GC process are now distant dreams..imagine a scenario where such things do not go as planned or expected and the havoc in can then wreak in ones life..but let me not launch myself into explaining all this..everyone is blessed with his or her own destiny..

but yes, completely agree with your last line..this is the best time to buy..
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by DesiBaba View Post
happy for you that you have had a stable job all through your career and everything happened as planned
sahi bola... esp in today's world where a secure job is a rare commodity.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

Quote:
Originally Posted by chacha View Post
well most H1Bs I know of buy homes usually when they have their green card process started. once your i140 is approved and you think you have a dependable employer (or your spouse is working too), i don't think there is anything wrong with buying a home. for the same money that you spend every month on your rent, you can get a home almost twice the size of an apt. if i look back at my stay in the united states now, i feel i have lost so much money on rent. not much changed as far as employment went and not much will change either but only because i was on an H1b, I felt my stay in this country was temporary. im glad that we bought a home finally. the pride of ownership is simply awesome.

with interest rates at historic lows and home prices hitting rock bottom, there is no better time to invest in a home than now. my 2c



Hmmmmmmm............you remind me of an old friend.

Are you? If, yes, then welcome back dude.
If, not, then also welcome.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Are you? If, yes, then welcome back dude.
If, not, then also welcome.
aapke if-then-else format se lagta hai ki kaafi coding kar chuke hain.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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aapke if-then-else format se lagta hai ki kaafi coding kar chuke hain.
Nope. But I can catch the ID's with lingo, style, and interested topics and references in their posts.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by chacha View Post
well most H1Bs I know of buy homes usually when they have their green card process started. once your i140 is approved and you think you have a dependable employer (or your spouse is working too), i don't think there is anything wrong with buying a home. for the same money that you spend every month on your rent, you can get a home almost twice the size of an apt. if i look back at my stay in the united states now, i feel i have lost so much money on rent. not much changed as far as employment went and not much will change either but only because i was on an H1b, I felt my stay in this country was temporary. im glad that we bought a home finally. the pride of ownership is simply awesome.

with interest rates at historic lows and home prices hitting rock bottom, there is no better time to invest in a home than now. my 2c
Lucky that you have not been in Bay Area. Here even a double income family has to stretch a lot to get a good home. Its so sad that despite being California - a very rich state - and Bay Area - so full of technically skilled and intelligent people - the schools suck. So people all flock to certain zip codes in Bay Area for sake of a good school. Then the real estate prices go real high here. Despite the downturn, the prices in places like Cupertino, which boasts the best schools, has the most expensive homes. The homes themselves are not spectacular mansions but the schools make the prices very high.

I can understand places outside Bay Area where you can get a decent home for a realistic price. But Bay Area is pathetic where it comes to the housing market.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Hmmmmmmm............you remind me of an old friend.

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i think amthalall you are mistaking me for someone else. thank you for the welcome but.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:51 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
Lucky that you have not been in Bay Area. Here even a double income family has to stretch a lot to get a good home. Its so sad that despite being California - a very rich state - and Bay Area - so full of technically skilled and intelligent people - the schools suck. So people all flock to certain zip codes in Bay Area for sake of a good school. Then the real estate prices go real high here. Despite the downturn, the prices in places like Cupertino, which boasts the best schools, has the most expensive homes. The homes themselves are not spectacular mansions but the schools make the prices very high.

I can understand places outside Bay Area where you can get a decent home for a realistic price. But Bay Area is pathetic where it comes to the housing market.
i completely agree with you echarcha. the school districts in cali are not that great. you can easily figure that from the governor's english
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Old September 11th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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Re: Free the H-1Bs, Free the Economy

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Originally Posted by DesiBaba View Post
happy for you that you have had a stable job all through your career and everything happened as planned

terms like dependable employer, stable job, smooth GC process are now distant dreams..imagine a scenario where such things do not go as planned or expected and the havoc in can then wreak in ones life..but let me not launch myself into explaining all this..everyone is blessed with his or her own destiny..

but yes, completely agree with your last line..this is the best time to buy..
rightly said baba. you can either pick immigration or you can pick a career in this country. people who get both are the lucky ones. the day i got a job on my h1, i realized how temporary our stay could be in this country. it was a fulltime position and every time we complained about something, asked for a raise, didn't show up over the weekend, the employer threatened to fire us. a year later, i resigned and took up a consulting position. my thinking was, i will never have to worry again about immigration. and touchwood, i have not had to worry about it for the last 5 years. clients come and go, projects get over, you travel to every nook and corner of the country but at the end of the day, you can sleep peacefully.

i know a lot of friends who took full time positions thinking they were gonna make the best careers in the best companies. they are all regretting their decisions now. many employers have started to cut budgets and are right-sizing teams and you never know when the axe is gonna land on you. worse, nobody wants to do any new H1s anymore. i spoke to an immigration lawyer last month. she said there have been absolutely no employment-based GC petitions through her firm this year. companies don't want to spend nor do they like the uncertainty associated with an immigrant employee.
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