this from an Indian writer…
H-1B Visa Usage Declines Sharply in America – What is the reason? Economy, Bureaucracy, Intimidation by Law Enforcement, or just disinterest in America?
Aug. 4, 2010
H1B and foreign born high tech immigrants were the spearhead of American technology. Today America is not the most desirable country for learning or practicing high tech. People in Indian Universities no longer dream to come to US and get eventually abused. Why?
What went on for the last fifty years is the second episode of India’s freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi and others brought Indian independence in 1947. Independent India found itself poorest of all nations. British were skillful thieves. They conquered Mughal India, the richest nation ever in the world with Tajmahal in Agra, even richer than the Romans. They sucked all its wealth and transferred the same into London’s treasure chest. When Nehru became Prime Minister of India, he understood what British did. It was the heinous crime against any nation ever. They not only stole all the Indian wealth, created the Hindu Muslim divide with Pakistan formation and left with the hope that South Asian people will kill each other and eventually become the slave of the west. Something went wrong in their plans.
First, America in late forties told the British after the end of second world war to quit India and provide independence to India. British did! But they left India poorest in the middle of a nasty civil war between Hindus and Muslims.
Second, slowly United Kingdom realized that America is the new superpower. Britain became a satellite nation to be eventually used in a coalition in Iraq invasion by people like George Bush. During Second World War, Europe destroyed itself. But someone became rich! And that was the vibrant, free, jubilant America. Wealth that was stolen from India and other countries eventually landed into America from Britain. Britain had to pay its war debt back to America. But America realized that to maintain superiority over the Soviets they needed plenty of high tech “secondaries” from India and other places to do the work that is not so important. A silent immigration system was created called student visa to H1B to green card. The door was opened slowly in 1960s and 70s and Indian students started coming in to learn and provide high tech help. The floodgate of hightech smart secondaries opened even more in 1980s. The flow was amazing. Remember all these happened because of one smart individual who really beat the West in their own game. That was Pundit Nehru, Indian’s first PM. In 1950s he assembled patriotic hightech Indians who came back educated from Europe and US. He initiated the hightech universities like IITs, Benaras Hindu University, Roorkee, Jadavpur Universities, and so on. These institutions became the high tech learning temples of India that will topple the West in its own game. These institutions provided quality high tech brains to America between 1960 and 1989. Some of these students eventually went back to India to teach or work in high tech industries. 95% of them stayed back in US. Those who went back were further instrumental in creating huge pull of high tech human resource.
Something interesting happened just after the first Gulf war in America. Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi, and some influential Indian high tech immigrants met the CEOs of some high tech core technology US companies like GE, IBM and so on. A mew model evolved. There was no need to bring Indians as students. Indian universities were good enough. Bachelors degree is more than enough! The information technology floodgate was opened to accommodate huge number of Indian H1Bs. Many of them will eventually settle with green cards. The model got further refined after year 2000 IT recession. US companies took another bold step to turn the wheel further. They started shipping high tech jobs to India while utilizing H1Bs for essential support work force.
In first ten years of the new millennium something cataclysmic happened that was unthinkable in 1947 when poorest of the poor India became independent. India and China started growing at 10% while America suffered a nasty stagflation with unemployment eventually reaching 10% and underemployment reaching 45%. The rich America lost its buying power!
Indian outsourcing companies realized that they are dealing with an average America and not that rich America. American dollar fell, gold and oil prices rose. The economic decline of the super power was silent but catastrophic.
Today the flagging U.S. economy is the major reason why nearly 40,000 H-1B visa application slots are currently unused, and an additional 9,000 slots in the Masters Exemption program are still open. It is not just the economy. Lots of factors are playing their part.
According to Wayne Rash at eweek.com, the economy is party responsible. India’s talented youth today can enjoy American dream right in their own country. A high tech Bangalore IT job is far more lucrative than coming to US, getting abused by Immigration, law enforcement, face burocracy, racism, lose freedom, family and friends, good food, culture and just “home sweet home!”
These youth of India are vibrant, independent, and free. They come to US for vacation and not for high tech slavery like their previous generation did. India has finally toppled the West in its own game.
The reason why H1B is so unpopular is because America economy is weak and America is no longer a desirable place for immigrants to achieve American dream.
The American dream is in India today. Sooner or later Americans will travel to India and work there to find what their ancestors once used to call American dream and prosperity.