John Miano's blog

More Details on Campus H-1B Abuse

By John Miano, April 10, 2017

I have frequently remarked that the paradox of immigration reform is that fixing the system has to be done by the same folks that screwed it up in the first place.

It seems in these days of lobbyist-written legislation that any time Congress tries to fix anything they end up making the situation even worse.

Congress displayed spectacular legislative incompetence in the Immigration Act of 1990 that created H-1B. Each and every time Congress has addressed H-1B again it has only screwed up the system more. Read more...

Is the H-4 Rule on Its Way Out?

By John Miano, April 6, 2017

An update is in order on the H-4 (spouses and children under 21 years of age of H-1B visa holders) work authorization case: Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Security. While the case got little attention initially, over the past few weeks there has been a surge of coverage, consisting largely of misleading plant pieces and mindless hysteria.

A little bit of history is in order first. Administrative abuse has been a constant problem with the immigration system. Congress authorizes the executive to do certain things and then the president does whatever he wants. One recurring problem has been the executive authorizing alien employment on improper visas. In fact, the H-1B program was created in response to such abuse. Read more...

H-1B Disclosure Data Show Employer's Wage Savings

By John Miano, April 5, 2017

CNBC just posted a story in which the CEO of Vectra Networks promotes the H-1B visa program. He states that the company seeks to hire the "best and brightest" and the H-1B is a "crucial program".

This is where the H-1B disclosure data ought to be the reporter's best friend. Sadly very few in the media do such a check. Read more...

Big Missed Opportunity, but Don't Panic on H-1B - Yet

By John Miano, April 3, 2017

Today is the start of this year's H-1B season. Many groups that supported President Trump have been urging him to replace the purely random visa lottery with one that emphasizes wages and skills. A change in the lottery process could easily have been implemented before this year's H-1B season and it would have demonstrated that the president intends to take action on the H-1B cesspool.

It is not clear that President Trump will do anything about the allocation of H-1B visas this year. This is a great disappointment. This is an issue the president campaigned on. It is an issue he won on. Doing something about the H-1B lottery would have been an easy win for the president. And the press is already mocking the president over this failure.

But I am not panicking — yet. Read more...

Better Data on H-1B's Effects Needed

By John Miano, March 28, 2017

A number of people have asked my why I have not commented on the recent Wall Street Journal article about a study that found H-1B drives down computer worker wages. Apparently many people think I should be pointing out that H-1B has driven down IT wages by 2.5 percent.

The reason I have not promoted this study is the same reason I have not promoted similar studies: I do not believe the data supports the result. Read more...

H-1B Allows Companies to Create Software Disasters for Less

By John Miano, March 28, 2017

I recently wrote about the huge failure rate in software projects. Currently only about a quarter of software projects are successful, another quarter are complete disasters, and the rest fall somewhere in between.

Considering the high rate of failure, lawsuits against vendors that produce such disasters are rare. So it was surprising for me to see that MillerCoors has filed a lawsuit against the Indian H-1B bodyshop HCL. HCL is the company that supplied Disney with H-1B replacements when the "Most Miserable Place on Earth" got rid of its American programmers. MillerCoors seeks $100 million in compensatory damages in its lawsuit. Read more...

Last-Minute Obama Regulation Exempts Universities from H-1B Limits

By John Miano, March 22, 2017

"60 Minutes" Reported this Sunday on how American workers at the University of California-San Francisco were replaced by foreign workers on H-1B visas.

One of Barack Obama's parting gifts to American workers was to exempt such replacements from the H-1B quota. Read more...

Solving the H-1B Green Card Backlog: It's Easy If You Try

By John Miano, March 21, 2017

I recently posted about the paradox that fixing the immigration system requires the action of those who broke it in the first place. I did so in the context of the disastrous Immigration Act of 1990.

The Immigration Act of 1990 was a giant screw up. Worse than that, it set in motion chains of screws ups that continue to this day. In aviation, this is called the graveyard spiral. Read more...

Tonight's '60 Minutes' Segment on H-1B: The Fruit of Disastrous 1990 Immigration Act

By John Miano, March 19, 2017

Tonight "60 Minutes" is running a segment on the H-1B visa cesspool. Before that airs, I thought it would be worthwhile to describe how we got to the point where we are.

The paradox of immigration reform is that the people who have to fix what is broken are the same ones that screwed the system up in the first place. Read more...

End of Premium Processing for H-1Bs Portends Major Change at USCIS

By John Miano, March 6, 2017

The recent news that the Trump administration is suspending premium processing for H-1B petitions has hit the mainstream media with force. Even massive replacements of Americans by H-1B workers never get this volume of coverage.

This particular action is not in itself significant. However, it portends major change at USICS. (My colleague David North has been thinking along similar lines.) Read more...

How Employers Game H-1B for Cheap Labor

By John Miano, February 21, 2017

The Dallas Morning News provides a good example of how employers game the H-1B program for cheap foreign labor. The authors wrote:

But critics of the visa program point to examples of how IT consulting firms use the visas to find cheaper labor: Outsourcing firms

The reality is the Dallas Morning News provided a typical example of how companies other than "outsourcing firms" use H-1B for cheap labor but the newspaper missed the significance of what they had. Read more...

Some Things Trump Can Do on H-1B

By John Miano, February 20, 2017

I previously posted a somewhat tongue-in-cheek statement of what Donald Trump could do on H-1B. That proposal was an Obama-Lite. Where Obama claimed authority that did not exist, my example illustrated what was possible using ambiguities in the statute and Chevron deference.

It is becoming clear that President Trump only intends to do things administratively that are explicitly authorized by Congress. Here is a sample of things President Trump can do administratively to address the H-1B visa cesspool. Read more...

Update on Challenge to H-4 Employment Rule

By John Miano, February 16, 2017

A couple of people have asked about the status of the challenge to the rule giving employment authorization to H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders. There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about it.

The brief schedule and oral argument date had been set in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. All that has happened is that the government requested and was granted a delay in the case. The government has been doing the same for a number of immigration-related cases. Read more...

H-1B Opiate Has Thwarted Advancement in Software Engineering

By John Miano, February 16, 2017

Over the weekend I did an interview with blogger Stefan Molyneux. Like myself, Stefan worked in software development. So we got to talk shop.

After that interview, I thought that I might try to explain the why of H-1B. That requires a look at the state of the software industry. Read more...

Ninth Circuit Ignores Statutes and Precedent

By John Miano, February 13, 2017

For those of you returning from UFO abductions, President Trump issued an executive order that included a provision that temporarily banned the admission of aliens from seven countries lacking functional governments or, in the case of Iran, is a state sponsor of terrorism. This sparked numerous legal challenges. American law is in such chaos that, if you sue enough times, you can get any outcome. Read more...

Where Does the Buck Stop?

By John Miano, February 8, 2017

Normally when an illegal garbage dump catches fire and causes serious damage to public property, the blame falls on the various government agencies responsible for public health and safety. In 1989, agencies in the State of New Jersey tried to close down an illegal dump in Newark that was underneath I-78 near the airport. They were blocked by a state court judge who held it was a "legitimate enterprise 'that should be encouraged.'" Shortly thereafter, the garbage pile caught fire and caused the bridges above to buckle and the federal government had to spend millions of dollars to repair the damage. New Jersey's chief justice described the episode as a "serious judicial error". Here, the court, not the agencies, suffered the public wrath for causing a disaster that inflicted a traffic nightmare on the state. Read more...

Trump Can Fix H-1B Cesspool by Shortening Visas and Eliminating Renewals

By John Miano, January 30, 2017

There are many things that President Trump can do to tweak the H-1B cesspool. Real reform would have to come from Congress. However, Obama demonstrated that a president may take extreme measures, not even authorized by statute, that many members of Congress approved of.

Fortunately, President Trump does not have to venture outside of the statutes to do a little cleanup to the H-1B problem. I have described other such potential actions previously. Read more...

Politicized Reporting Parrots Party Line on Trump Executive Order

By John Miano, January 30, 2017

My ancestors had a saying: Quos deus vult perdere, prius dementat—whom the gods wish to destroy, they first deprive of reason.

The American news media has been putting on a demonstration of that principle. Read more...

Wage-Based Selection of H-1B Visas Could Cut Out the Lowest-Paid Positions

By John Miano, January 18, 2017

Congress has directed that H-1B visa petitions should be processed in the order in which they are received. But what happens when 236,000 visa petitions show up at USCIS processing centers around the country on one day for 85,000 visas? In that situation it is impossible to identify the order in which the petitions were received.

Congress has not enacted a statute to address this situation so that leaves it up to the agency to decide how to handle it. Over the years USCIS has used a random process to select them – a lottery. Read more...

Toothless H-1B Bill Is Back

By John Miano, January 17, 2017

Representative Darrell Issa has reintroduced his H-1B "reform" bill from last session. As I described last fall, this bill is carefully crafted to do absolutely nothing.

Rep. Issa's press release describes the bill this way: Read more...

H-1Bs: High-Skilled for Politicians, Low-Skilled on Payday

By John Miano, December 23, 2016

Every day from the election until the day before Thanksgiving, someone in the media called and asked me if the Trump team had contacted me. The answer was and still is "no." I have no idea what is going on in the Trump transition.

On the flip side, I do keep in touch with many technology workers. My sense of their post-election mood is guarded optimism. There is still great hope that President Trump will do right. Read more...

Investigative TV Show Focuses on EB-5 Scandal

By John Miano, December 13, 2016

The latest edition of Michelle Malkin Investigates addresses the EB-5 investor-visa cesspool. It also features my colleague David North, who has written extensively about this immigration scam. Read more...

President Trump's H-1B Nuclear Bomb

By John Miano, November 29, 2016

Massive replacements of American workers by foreign workers using the H-1B and other guestworker programs have been going on since at least 1994. Congress's response to these outrages over the decades has been to hold hearings on the subject and then do nothing. In a February 2016 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing I made the prediction that the only thing that would fix this problem is executive action by a President Trump. Read more...

Replacement of Americans by Foreign Workers Doesn't Fit Media Narrative

By John Miano, November 18, 2016

Throughout the 2016 election, most of the American media exhibited TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome. After the election was over, the media discovered what most Americans knew already: that they existed in a bubble isolating them from reality.

Immigration is one of the great divides between the media ordinary Americans. For example, if I put forth the proposition “The government should encourage employers to replace Americans with foreign workers," 90 percent or more of Americans would disagree. Read more...

The Coming End of DACA and DAPA

By John Miano, November 10, 2016

Four years ago I pointed out the fundamental problem with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: Anyone who signed up for DACA would be adding their names to a list of self-identified illegal aliens. Should a future administration decide that it would start enforcing the law, the DACA program would provide list of prime candidates for deportation.

At the time, this was so obvious that I was surprised anyone would be stupid enough to sign up for DACA and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). Yet apparently hundreds of thousands of people did so anyway. Read more...

Congress Does Nothing to Protect American Jobs

By John Miano, September 29, 2016

In 1996, a couple of clowns embarked on a publicity stunt that ended tragically. They would have a seven-year-old girl set the record for the youngest person to fly a plane across country. (Bear with me – it's a metaphor relating to immigration policy.)

Because most airplanes have dual controls (allowing them to be flown equally well from either seat), it would be a simple matter to set the record for the youngest cocker spaniel to fly across the country. Read more...

Darrell Issa Continues to Fail U.S. Workers

By John Miano, September 17, 2016

Last week I wrote about Rep. Darrell Issa's do-nothing "reform" bill for the H-1B program. The purpose of Issa's bill is to head off other bills (such as those from Sen. Sessions and Sen. Grassley) that would fix some of the problems in H-1B. It is no wonder that Issa's bill has the support of industry groups.

Yesterday there was a markup session for Issa's do-nothing bill in the House immigration subcommittee, where the bill ended up being pulled. Read more...

Melania Trump Attorney Letter Shows She Came to U.S. Legally

By John Miano, September 14, 2016

There was a slight flare up last month when Politico raised questions about Melania Trump's immigration status. I wrote in response: "The Politico article is a shoddy piece of journalism, where the authors have raised theories, but have done no research to confirm their theories."

The apparently inconsistent data were: Read more...

Darrell Issa's H-1B Bill Does Nothing for U.S. Workers

By John Miano, September 7, 2016

I have analyzed provisions of other H-1B reform bills, But Rep. Darrell Issa's H.R. 5801 is the easiest yet to analyze: Issa's H-1B reform bill does absolutely nothing.

It does take a little effort to explain what is going on in the bill. Read more...

Melania Trump's Immigration Status: Without Facts, Speculation Is Irresponsible

By John Miano, August 8, 2016

I have received quite a few inquiries about Melania Trump's immigration status. These started after Politico published an article questioning Mrs. Trump's immigration status.

There is not a whole lot to say on Mrs. Trump's immigration history. The Politico article is a shoddy piece of journalism, where the authors have raised theories but have done no research to confirm their theories. Mrs. Trump claims to have received an H-1B visa in 1996. However, she did a photo shoot in the United States in 1995. Therefore, according to Politico, Mrs. Trump could have been working in the United State illegally. Read more...