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Friday, August 05, 2005

The Right to (Apply for) Work?

Do American programmers have the right to work in America?

The answer may surprise you. Or not, in our new plutocracy.

Update: Someone commented...

US Constitution does not garantee employment opportunity for any specific type of job.
And of course this comment is correct. So I clarified the title of this entry. See the parenthesis.

This comment really misses the point of the referenced article. The visas are intended to bring in temporary skills from outside the US where those skills are in short supply.

If US citizens are unable to even *apply* for the more than 50,000 open positions, how can anyone tell that these positions cannot be filled by Americans? That is the point... the powers that be are circumventing the purpose of the visas (i.e. fill a temporary labor shortage) in order to gain an advantage over American workers (i.e. bring in more labor and lower the demand for salaries) that is unintended by the visa laws.

Is that more clearly stated? This is not about a right to work. It is about a law and the circumvention of that law for anti-competitive purposes at a time when many Americans are losing careers and only replacing them with lower paying jobs. That may well be a trend of the emerging global economy, but that does not excuse the practices by the US department of anti-labor in these 50,000 plus positions. There is no right to work, but neither is there a right to exclude Americans from applying for jobs in America, for crying out loud. Get real.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

US Constitution does not garantee employment opportunity for any specific type of job.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I think you're missing something here. The process most companies take is:

1. Advertise the job opening (monster.com, classifieds, etc).
2. Interview many programmers.
3. Find the right one (skill, best fit, etc).
4. If immigrant, then apply for visa.

It's at step 4 that the paperwork is sent to DOL for review.

I think the DOL requires evidence that the position was advertised, and applicants were interviewed, vetted etc, and the prevailing wage will be paid. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Now, like any system, one can abuse it and find some loophole or other. But that's not what you're addressing -- I don't see how anyone was prevented from *applying* based on the rules.

-ars

Patrick Logan said...

Read the article.

ars said...

I did read the article. It's pretty one sided - the author is still waiting to hear from the other side (DOL).

I certainly don't consider an Infoworld blog to be the sole authority on anything.

Your premise:

"If US citizens are unable to even *apply* for the more than 50,000 open positions [..]"

is faulty.

Read up on the rules.

Chui Tey said...

Migrant engineers to Australia suffer worse fate. The US is remarkably open-minded about taking overseas workers who do not have any US experience.

In Australia, on one hand is encouraging professionals to migrate to Australia, but on the other hand employers are extremely reluctant to hire these people, not because they necessarily feel that they want to give the job to an Australian, but tend to over worry that these people from distant lands can't cope with the language or socialize.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.