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Google Calls for Boost in Work Visas

American technology companies will lose highly skilled foreign workers to Indian and Chinese rivals if the country's work-visa program is not fixed, a Google executive warned Congress on Wednesday.

"Simply put, if U.S. employers are unable to hire those who are graduating from our universities, foreign competitors will," Laszlo Bock, a Google vice president, said in testimony prepared for a House hearing.

Bock urged Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, which allows companies to hire skilled foreign professionals for up to six years. The cap is currently set at 65,000.

Bock, one of four witnesses scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, said 8 percent of Google's 8,000-person U.S. work force hold H-1B visas, and that they have been instrumental in developing key products, including Google News and orkut, a social networking Web site.

While Mountainview, Calif.-based Google is adding 500 new employees every month, Bock said it is still in a "fierce worldwide competition" with Indian and Chinese companies for top engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

Technology companies have long pushed for increasing the H-1B visa cap, which has stayed relatively the same since 1990. In April, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received 150,000 applications for the 2008 H-1B visas in a single day.

According to Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich, it's the first time a Google executive has testified before Congress on immigration issues.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Jun 6, 2007 Steve Anonymous

We to cut the H-1B visas down to about 1,000 a year or less and put an end to this nonsense.

Wed, Jun 6, 2007 Jake Leone Anonymous

Google: splendid case of friends hiring friends

The 8% h-1b workforce at Google, is gearing up to increase to 30% and then massively offshore.

It took while for me to piece this together, but you really have to know someone at Google to get hired into Google. Of the 4 people I have know who have gone to Google, all had contacts inside the company that they said landed them an interview.

I have interviewed several candidates coming to my company from Google, at least three claimed to be Unix gurus but couldn't use (some not even aware) that there was a Unix "ps" command.

I have also know several people who have applied to Google, some with more than 10 years of experience, earning well into six figures at their company. These are excellent workers, top-notch people, and Google wouldn't consider them. Google's a nice company, but you need contacts to be hired their. That is the reason for the big h-1b push at Google. Indian nationals stick together (can you blame them), they hire eachother into positions, Google works for them.

Additionally, it's clear that Google uses h-1b body-shops right and left. Of the Google candidates 3 were working for a 3rd party recruitment agency and were here on an h-1b.

As for success, well Google is Wall Streets darling. And I attribute much of their success to basically this:

- Very thin and quick load time
- Exploiting Usenet posts to get 60-minutes (and other news org-time) focused on them. (Reminds me a lot of the early body-part sales on Ebay)
- Now moving into the exploitation of copyrighted material (which could be a big mistake if content-provider lawsuits are successful)

You cannot discriminate in the hiring by race, creed, or NATIONALITY.

When Indian companies only consider h-1b candidates (and then only from from India), for jobs based in the United

States, it is a clear case of discrimination.

Prejudice in hiring decisions is a crime in the United States, it violates Federal Civil Rights laws. When

companies are found to have violated such laws the punishment can include criminal sentences.

The main question is, if there is a job in the United States, do Indian IT companies (that are h-1b dependent)

even consider a non-Indian candidate?

So far all evidence, and all the numbers point to a the startling fact, U.S. engineering candidates are barred

from applying for U.S. jobs created by Indian IT companies.

Some of these Indian IT companies have U.S. staff that is 90% or more Indian, and almost all here on h-1b visas.

In open testimony before congress, a U.S. Citizen and job applicant tried to get an interview with for an open

position in the United States. She was told that she could not apply for the job, just (and only because)

because she could not be hired under an h-1b Visa.

Congress is merely asking questions, and India is protesting way-to-loudly. Something aweful (a complete

disregard for Civil Rights) is being coverd up by the whole Indian IT industry and the Indian government.

There is no equality in the hiring practices of these h-1b dependent Indian IT companies, either you are Indian

or you are not, that is the hiring criteria for an Engineer at an h-1b dependent Indian IT company for a job

based in the United States.

This clearly is discrimination, this is prejudice, this is wrong, and against U.S. law.

The american people have the right to know when companies are destroying the very fabric of our society, by

planting the seeds of racism, prejudice, and discrimination.

India threatens us with trade sanctions unless allow their companies to continue to discrimate. Call their

bluff, India needs trade with the U.S. more than the reverse. Further what good is trade, if it leads to riots,

protest, and civil unrest. Discrimination, more than any other, is something that we all agree needs to be

eliminated.

The Senators are merely asking questions. Clearly though, we need to subpoena these companies. This is the

biggest case of open-discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice in the United States today.

Karmal Nath (the Indian Commerce Minister) and NASSCOM (the Indian Service Companies group) knows Indian IT

companies discriminate against U.S. citizens. They know that that Indian IT companies practice discrimination in

the United States. And they are trying to black-mail the U.S. into letting it continue.

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