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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Governor Abbott’s Immigration Paradox

    Governor Abbott’s Immigration Paradox

    Kevin Lynn

    January 26, 2024

    In 2018, a San Antonio newspaper reporter asked me why so many H-1B visa labor condition applications originate in Texas. I answered that it’s because the U.S. operations of several of the largest Indian IT consulting firms are headquartered there.
    Prior to the Biden administration’s open border policies, Indians were one of America’s fastest-growing immigrant communities. According to the Texas India Forum, when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Houston in 2019, 50,000 people attended an event where he shared the stage with President Donald Trump.

    Revenues for Indian IT consulting firms in the “consulting and implementation” marketplace are projected to reach $1.21 billion in 2024, and a large portion of that revenue will come from U.S. outsourcing and offshoring operations managed by Infosys, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
    These firms can and do exert a lot of political influence, and that was firmly on display last Saturday when Texas Governor Greg Abbott led a nine-day economic development mission to India to ostensibly “foster ties between the country and the state of Texas.”

    The Governor’s meeting with Indian IT consulting firm leaders contrasts sharply with his position to further trade and investment in Texas. Why? What’s good for Indian IT consulting firms is often very bad for American workers.

    For the record, none of the companies Governor Abbott met with were the innovative kind of “tech” companies you might find in Silicon Valley. They were simply ‘IT outsourcing’ companies.

    During a congressional hearing, Ron Hira, an expert on the IT outsourcing industry and professor of public policy at Howard University, testified, “These companies exploit the H-1B program’s weaknesses to facilitate the transfer of U.S. jobs offshore as a lower cost alternative to hiring U.S. workers, and sometimes to replace incumbent U.S. workers with H-1B workers who are paid wages that are far below market wage rates.”

    Is Governor Abbott unaware of just how bad these IT consulting firms and programs like the H-1B visa have been for Texas? When we look at how American STEM workers have been pushed out of the state’s workplace, it’s startling, to say the least.
    Since January 2021, Texas has added 236,000 net new computer jobs. Of that number, the U.S.-born share grew by 110,000 workers, and the Indian-born share increased by 146,000. (The remainder comes from countries other than India.)

    In Texas, between September and December 2023, the number of Indian-born software developers increased by 71,000, and they now comprise 38% of the Texas software developer workforce. At the same time, the number of U.S.-born software developers in Texas remained stagnant.

    A big share of the non-citizen workforce in Texas comes from India. Back in 2000, U.S. citizens made up 90% of the state’s software developers. In 2021, that number fell to 56%. Meanwhile, between 1990 and 2021, the non-citizen share grew from 1% to 25%.

    For added perspective, the overall number of Indians living in North Texas is small. In 2020, they represented roughly 8% of the population in Collin County and 2% in Dallas County. But their representation in software development jobs is outsized in comparison.

    For instance, in Dallas County, the U.S.-born software developer workforce fell from nine in ten workers in 1990 to four in ten by 2021. Over the same time, the Indian-born share rose from nonexistent to matching the U.S.-born share, and today stands at 42%.

    In 2021, just north of Dallas, in Collin County, the Indian-born share of software developers rose ten points to reach 50% and surpass the U.S.-born share, which fell 14 points.
    Infosys is deeply embedded with major telecommunications and technology companies in North Texas, and in 2019, Verizon outsourced its Richardson, Texas, 5G center operations to Infosys, resulting in 2,500 employees being “rebadged.”
    The Verizon deal was worth $700 million to Infosys, and the transferred workers experienced an 18% higher attrition rate, higher than the industry average. While the deal may have been great for profits, how might it impact innovation and reliability?

    Governor Abbott’s economic mission to India stands in stark contrast to his fight along the Mexican border. Of note, while Abbott was on his way, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration’s request to allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to remove the razor wire barrier Abbott had erected to deter illegal crossings.

    On the one hand, Abbott is trying to keep foreigners and their accompanying negative impacts out of Texas. Yet on the other, he’s being wined and dined by Indian companies that profit from the outsourcing and offshoring of good-paying American jobs. As Miguel de Cervantes wrote in The Adventures of Don Quixote, “Whether the pitcher hits the stone or the ston hits the pitcher, it goes ill with the pitcher.” In this case, it goes ill for the American worker.

    Some Texas politicians have learned their lesson. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) changed his tune on H-1B visas. In 2013, he proposed increasing the H-1B visa cap to 325,000, a 500% increase. By 2015, Senator Cruz did an about-face on the H-1B visa program and called for a temporary suspension, “In order to strengthen our immigration system, protect national security, and better serve American workers, we must suspend the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program.”

    And last year, Cruz signed on to a Supreme Court amicus brief that had the case been heard, would have ended the Optional Practical Training program that grants a three-year work permit for foreign students who graduate with STEM degrees.
    What’s happening on our southern border is an emergency that must be dealt with. At the same time, the displacement of American STEM workers for the last 30 years is a long-running emergency that also must be dealt with. We can only hope Governor Abbott will experience a “road to Damascus” moment and ween himself off the influence of Indian IT consulting firms.

    Kevin Lynn is the Executive Director of the Institute for Sound Public Policy and Founder of U.S. Tech Workers. Since 2007, he has been an activist in the movement to restrict and better regulate immigration. Over a multi-faceted career, Kevin worked for start-up technology companies, served as an Army officer in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and worked in business development for some of the world’s largest tax and accounting firms. Raised on a small farm in Pennsylvania, Kevin is committed to the preservation of farmlands and historic buildings.

    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 01-27-2024 at 03:47 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    United States Tech Workers
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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