A Day Without American Tech Workers
by Michelle Malkin
Last month, there was a national “Day Without a Latino.” This week, the demonstration du jour shutting down schools and shops is a “Day Without Women.” Here’s my question for all the virtue-signaling protesters who pay lip service to better jobs and wages:
Where’s your awareness-raising event for untold thousands of our country’s high-skilled men and women victimized by H-1B visa havoc? Thanks to cheap labor-hungry big businesses and money-grubbing politicians in both parties, every day has become a “Day Without American Tech Workers.”
Our own best and brightest are vanishing in plain sight. It has been going on for decades — and it’s all legal. Several court challenges to the corporate abuse of the program have failed.
So last week, the same workplace nightmare that befell American tech employees at Disney, New York Life, Southern California Edison, and countless other U.S. companies struck the University of California, San Francisco.
That’s right: H-1B hell has engulfed a taxpayer-subsidized institution smack dab in the middle of the West Coast’s liberal paradise. Forty-nine information technology workers at the UC system’s health care and research nerve center officially got the boot last week.
I interviewed a group of those workers last fall at a protest organized by American workers’ advocate and lawyer Sara Blackwell after they got wind of the impending pink slips. Like the Disney workers and thousands of others before them, UCSF’s loyal employees were coerced to dig their own graves: No severance packages unless and until they trained their inexperienced, cheap foreign replacements from India-based HCL Technologies Ltd. by Feb. 28.
Raymond Dy, a UCSF systems administrator, called the severance arrangement a “a big slap in the face.” Married with two young kids, and the family’s sole breadwinner, he felt he had no choice but to comply. He described the “knowledge transfer” process of helping less qualified H-1B workers compile “run books (systems manuals) so they can provide that run book to the people back in India on how to run the operations.”
Assisting the offshore outsourcing of his own job was, Dy put it, “insulting.”
It’s also a privacy and security threat. Kurt Ho, a 57-year-old systems administrator and lifelong Democrat who voted for Donald Trump, recounted his dealings with “very young” H-1B foreign workers who had trouble comprehending basic instructions on how to operate a premiere university’s “mission critical systems.” Dedicated to his job and country, Ho voiced concern about giving away the keys to Americans’ health data to unsupervised foreign visa holders and their counterparts overseas.
“This troubles me a lot when I train them. We have to comply with the HIPAA (federal health privacy regulations). As foreigners, they don’t have those requirements.”
Oh, and you know that precious, left-wing San Francisco value of “diversity”? It got thrown out the window at UCSF thanks to the H-1B visa replacement racket. Diversity doesn’t mean jack if a bleeding heart liberal, Trump-bashing university can avoid paying high-skilled American workers’ pensions and benefits.
Audrey Hatten-Milholin, a 53-year-old senior systems architect at UCSF who is black, pierced the university progressives’ hypocrisy. “After the election” last November, she told me, the school sent out emails to employees “reassuring people that the university would remain diverse” and committed to “inclusion” as an anti-Trump statement.
Yet, Hatten-Milholin (who served 17 years at UCSF) and many of her female colleagues lost their jobs despite “excellent performance reviews” as part of the school system’s short-sighted attempt to “cut costs.” She appreciated the post-election political gesture of supporting diversity, “but on the other hand, it was like, but what are you doing to us? There are not that many women in IT and they’re getting rid of them, the few that are there. Half of them are going to be gone.”
She recounted walking into an office suite to train the HCL foreigners to absorb her knowledge and eliminate her job, “and it seemed like everyone at their desk had a young male Indian worker there. I didn’t see any women.”
The laid-off UCSF workers are casualties of another Big Government bad idea: Obamacare. Using Indian outsourcer HCL will allegedly save $30 million over 5 years—which university officials say is critical in the face of a $42 million deficit last year. That black hole was created by Obamacare’s massive expansion of Medicaid, whose low reimbursements to UCSF (40 cents on the dollar, according to the Los Angeles Times) don’t cover the costs of care.
President Trump vowed to stop the sabotage of American tech workers and has already put a halt to “fast-tracking” of the visa that an Indian commerce official once dubbed “the outsourcing visa.” But you know the high-dollar H-1B lobbies both here and abroad aren’t going to down without a fight.
If only Bay Area liberals and Beltway Democrats weren’t so acutely addled by Trump Derangement Syndrome, they might actually do something to help the American women and workers they pretend to champion — instead of enabling their sellout.
“H-1B Hell: The Sellout of America’s Best and Brightest Workers” airs on CRTV.com’s “Michelle Malkin Investigates” beginning March 8.