- The H1-B lobby will normally deny that the H1-B visa program has any effect on wages.
- In reality, and the negative effect on wages is multidimensional.
It is critical to analyze the multiple ways that H1-B workers depress wages. We have found without enumerating the different ways, it becomes very easy to overlook them. This article is in part, so we can use this for reference whenever we are asked.
Our References for This Article
If at any time you want to see our references for this article and also other Brightwork articles see this link.
Indian Workers and Income Inequality
The jobs taken from the domestic worker not only transfer wealth from the domestic worker to the Indian worker, and make the work environment hostile for the other domestic workers, they also increase income inequality in the domestic location. Through the H1-B program, US companies have booked far more profits than they would have if they had not had the H1-B program, and that is what is undiscussed in the Indian media that this leads to higher income inequality in the US and the other primary IT markets.
Negative Wage Impact #1: Increased Supply and The Replacement Effect
Each H1-B visa holder takes a job from a US worker.
Because the number of H1-B workers is so numerous, and because there are so many previous H1-B workers who now have Green Cards or are US citizens because of H1-B, this infusion of workers into the US IT market has significantly increase supply.
Negative Wage Impact #2: Indian Discrimination (Hiring)
There is now so much Indians dominance of US IT, and Indians are so aggressively discriminatory against non-Indians and out-group Indians (Indians who are not the right caste, non-Hindu, not Tegulu speaking, etc..) that Indians now function as gatekeepers, preferencing Indians while stopping non-Indians or out-group Indians from being successful in the interview process. We cover this in the article Things to Watch Out for When with Interviewing with Indians for IT Positions.
Negative Wage Impact #3: Indian Discrimination (Recruiting)
Indians have come to dominate recruiting.
These Indians often came in not under the H1-B visa program, but as in some cases being married to H1-B visa holders, etc.. (This again is why the H1-B visa cap underestimates Indian immigration, as spouses often gain work under the H4 visa).
Indians also not only discriminate against non-Indians and out-group Indians; they steal the experience of US workers to place it on Indian resumes. In India, this is considered entirely normal, and it goes along with the rampant credential fraud that we cover in the article How Indians Coordinate to Falsify IT Certifications and Credentials. This, for example, is why many domestic workers have begun stripping the detail from their LinkedIn profiles.
One example of this is covered in the following quotation.
I removed all of the detail from my LinkedIn resume, because I was getting more Indians that wanted learn my skills and inviting me to be in their circle. I truely beleive that many Indians copied/pasted my resume from Linkedin onto their own resumes.
I was also getting more copy/paste people than recruitiers in last months. The thing is – in some point I reealized 60% of my visitors were Indians juniors or developers wanted to be (skill redacted).
Furthermore, the way that Indians became so dominant in IT recruiting is another story of Indian corruption, which we cover in the article How Indian Recruiters Gain Access to Unpublished Roles.
Negative Wage Impact #4: Outsourcing
The wage impact of IT outsourcing to India usually is only considered from the perspective of the people that lose their jobs from outsourcing, and an Indian worker is replacing them in the US. However, most outsourcing projects only have a small percentage of the workers kept in the US.
What is left out is what is the ability to bring over Indians to have skills and domain expertise transferred to them, which means that outsourcing can drive wages down and transfer the jobs to Indians in India while using their H1-B visa to rotate Indians in and out of the US.
Non-Wage Employment Reduction
Everything mentioned here is only related to wages. However, Indians are widely known to degrade the work environments for US domestic workers. Therefore, Indians not only reduce the wages of US domestic workers but their working satisfaction. It is virtually impossible to find US workers, who, when free to speak, will say they enjoy Indianized work environments. Women in particular face far more discrimination by Indians than by domestic men, as we cover in the article How H1-B Indians Create a Hostile Work Environment for Women.
The H1-B visa program both depresses US wages and increases income inequality. In the example fo outsourcing, the US wage earner loses their job, and the job is, in many cases, transferred to India. The Indian worker, in that scenario, captures only a portion of the salary of the laid-off US IT worker — and the outsourcing company captures much more of the total money paid. It is impossible to find scenarios where a single H1-B visa worker does anything but depress the wages of US workers and beyond the loss of the individual US IT worker.