Here we go again: Outsourcers snap up H-1B visas at a record pace

The tech industry continues to push hard to raise the cap on H-1B visas to import even more lower-paid foreign workers

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"The offshore outsourcing firms are once again getting the majority of the visas," said Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "The program continues to promote the offshoring of high-wage American jobs."

Big domestic users were IBM at 1,624, Microsoft at 1,048, Qualcomm at 909, and at 881.

Although some companies are obviously having difficulties attracting top-flight engineering talent, particularly in Silicon Valley, there's simply no evidence to prove that there's really a significant shortage of skilled IT employees, much less evidence to support the claim that there's a shortage of STEM grads. In fact, the opposite is true. What's more, as I reported last month, companies are getting around the cap by bringing students to the United States under a separate program that specifically exempts their employers from having to pay the prevailing wage.

It's not only tech companies that are involved in this charade. Cargill, a food and agricultural company, is outsourcing IT jobs to Tata Consulting Services, which has been one of the top five users of H-1Bs for at least three years running. The move by Cargill will affect some 900 IT jobs worldwide, including 300 in the United States, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last week.

Cargill spokeswoman Lena Michoud said, "We have been looking at whether we should do it internally or choose a partner who could do it more efficiently and better." Interestingly, Cargill is based in Minnesota, the home of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a sponsor of the bipartisan I-Squared Act of 2013, which would allow H-1B visa caps to rise to a maximum of 300,000 annually. Klobuchar, a generally liberal voice, seems to have forgotten about people like the IT employees at Cargill who will lose their jobs.

Maybe if we explained it in French she'd get the point.

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This article, "Here we go again: Outsourcers snap up H-1B visas at a record pace," was originally published by Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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