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David's Fisher's 1 time use of an H1-B visa is totally appropriate from
my point of view. If he had several employees with this status or even 1
with a low salary, then I would think differently, especially in today's

My experience with H1-B visa employees came at the last two places I
worked for before going into business for myself. The first experience
was when I worked in San Francisco for a premier firm with extremely
large developments on their resume. They had done high rise structures
in California, Indonesia, and China. When I first started (about Dec of
2000), there were several foreign born engineers working there
(including myself). I'd venture to guess that maybe half of them were
citizens. About two months after I began working there, they hired an
H1-B engineer from Eastern Europe. He sat next to me and I helped him
adjust to the new code and the transition to imperial units. He had a
PHD and spoke very good English. He turned out to be one of the smartest
individuals I've ever met. He was an extremely fast learner, hard
worker, and became a good friend. About 6 months later, we started to
notice that some of our huge projects were being put back in the shelf.
A few engineers were laid off. Then about 3 months later, more engineers
were laid off. Then another 3 months later, I left due to personal
reasons (long commute and fear of getting laid off soon). But my H1-B
friend was never laid off and he continues to work there. Based on job
performance, skill, and talent I have no doubt that he rightfully
deserves his current position. Yet, several people, who were American
citizens, were laid off who probably could have done his job, but maybe
not as well or as cheaply (I say this because they were licensed SE &
PE's while he was not (although now he is a PE).

At my new job, I was a "manager type" overseeing 5 design engineers. 2
of them were H1-B visas... long story short, my boss couldn't bring in
enough steady work for all of us and axed the 2 H1-b engineers, a senior
engineer, and myself. Keeping only his two non-licensed EIT's, his
sister (the drafter), and his son (the IT guy). Here, although I was
pissed off, I think my boss acted appropriately by also letting go the
H1-B engineers (who were extremely poor engineers) as well as his
"high-priced talented manager"... yet his nepotism was troubling to me
(his sister was a horribly inefficient draftsperson).

So, the dilemma, that I think David has expressed, is when you find a
diamond in the rough (like my friend), how do you let them go from a
productivity/quality point of view, when the American talent is not
quite as good yet they are a permanent resident?

If it is wage busting, then it's wrong. If the compensation is
equivalent, what is someone like David or my former company to do? Our
economy went from backlogs of work for two years to "yeah, I'll design
your outhouse for you" so suddenly, that it made for some unfortunate
choices to have to be made.
Luckily for me, It was a blessing in disguise to be laid off.

Let's also remember how many of our colleagues are not from this country
as we try to keep a level headed view of the situation. How many of your
co-workers, peers, professors, plan checkers, and mentors were from
other countries?? For me, a lot... Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and
Russian to name a few for me. To those men and women, I am grateful to
have known them, worked with them, and learned from them. 

>From Belfast, Northern Ireland and an American Citizen.

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