Stapling H-1B Visas to Foreign Students' Diplomas Still a Bad Idea

A recent policy memo from USCIS has generated some news coverage. It was, as my colleague David North has noted, a small step in the right direction, but many people have missed important implications of the memo.The memo in question adopts as USCIS formal policy the ruling in Matter of A-T-Inc. In that proceeding the employer sought an H-1B visa for a 2010 graduate of International Technological University (ITU).

More Details on Campus H-1B Abuse

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.

Is the H-4 Rule on Its Way Out?

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.

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

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.

Better Data on H-1B's Effects Needed

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.

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

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.

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

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.