Merit based sorting algorithm

Salesforce y23SaL
Aug 26, 2018 58 Comments

The current GC queue is optimized for diversity (country cap) and a bit of merit (EB1,2,3), however there’s much to be desired since country based queues are imbalanced and abuse by consulting companies is rampant. Since everyone generally agrees that employee based immigration ought to be merit based, how would you define “merit” and sort the GC queue in the most effective way?

I would assume a score can be derived by normalizing all the different components - compensation, cost of living, field of work, college degree, school ranking, perf reviews (!!), and perhaps non-merit based components as well if truly needed such as country, language and gender! I’m not saying a new solution won’t be abused, but I think we have more data than before at our disposal to come up with a smarter solution.

TC: 🌲fiddy, SF, 8 yoe

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TOP 58 Comments
  • Google tahrirshah
    Posted it elsewhere, but here it is - we have so many folks who will complain, but when it is time to fly to DC to talk to reps, everyone has more important pani Puri parties to attend. We are great keyboard warriors, but we rarely actually do anything for our cause (to be clear - includes me).

    Political system won't change for you. It is like molasses. You have to take effort to change. 'Someone else will do - I don't have to do' - is our attitude.

    Daca is in rocks, but majority in the hill is okay to pass - mainly because of their advocacy. Deep pockets - lots of congressional offices behind the cause. Oh and DACA kids are non citizens just like you. They have no special previleges. However, their awareness of the system and ability to navigate is impressive.

    This article sums up how well advocacy funded daca is:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/26/14398660/trump-daca-dreamers

    Folks on the hill care because they have been well oiled by lobbyist to sing the way daca kids want - not because one day someone woke up and thought this is a great idea to do. Daca advocacy has been going on for 17 years - no kidding. They haven't got anything yet. But they didn't give up. They continued to push when things didn't go their way. At this point, they are reasonably on autopilot, because of all the advocacy they have done. Even so, every day - a bunch of DACA folks show up in Hill knocking congressional offices and Senate offices seeking support. (How do I know? I was in DC several months back and I saw some DACA kids in Rayburn office. I asked them how often they come and they said everyday we have some folks come from different parts of the country).

    In the last RNC - there were close to 1000 DACA receipents who attended. There were less than a million who received DACA EAD - indicates 0.1% of them are politically active enough to attend an event in person.

    H1 folks usually have this argument that I can't vote, why would they hear me - also falls flat. Daca kids infact aren't even legal on paper and often have a family member who could be deported anytime. If anything they should be 100 times more scared and they show up in every political event.

    Folks on h1 won't bother contributing donations - forget about flying to DC. And of course there is one group that blindly follows lawyers and goes around spewing wrong info about the bill (392). This hurts the cause.

    Another partisan bunch is a branch of itserve, the same bunch of crony consultant companies. These were the same folks about whom there were leaked videos of them worried about i140 EAD taking away the leverage they have with employees. These are also folks who go around saying 392 won't help and promise a pie in the sky that serves to undermine the cause.

    To be honest, there is only one group (Immigration voice) that does this advocacy and they only focus on one thing (hr392) for a good reason - nothing gets done if you don't have focus.

    It's easy to be naysayer in Hill and be right , the system optimizes for status quo.

    We of course have folks who will come up with 20 different ideas, without doing anything on the ground. In their pani Puri parties, they will go around saying - 'man you know, I had this perfect vision of how this system should work. It sad that US won't do anything like what I have in mind'. (If you wonder why I am quoting it, I had this experience in person and I am pretty sure if you spoke this issue to 5 people, you can find one such person in your circle).
    Aug 26, 2018 5
    • Capital One / Other Krshfi
      Well said
      Aug 26, 2018
    • Tango Health / Eng WaterColor
      Excellent post!
      Aug 26, 2018
    • Toptal bvRJ58
      Agree, everyone has ideas and it is cheap to complain. The daca kids went to DC every day... I have not seen similar action on work visa GCs
      Aug 26, 2018
    • Oath / Eng nine inchs
      Wait, DACA situation is way different than skilled labor from India and China looking for green cards
      1. DACA kids didn’t come by their own choice ( you did)
      2. DACA kids are not legal immigrants, you are at least on legal non immigrant ion visa
      3. Because you are legal you do have access to high paying jobs. DACA kids I am not sure.

      I don’t think you guys will get kind of support and empathy that DACA kids gets in DC.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Oath / Eng nine inchs
      GC long wait from India and China is more like rich people’s problem compare to DACA.

      Don’t worry our current government loves to solve problems of rich people, so I am very confident GC long wait problem for Indians and Chinese will be solved first before poor DACA kids.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Cisco Grd30
    Nothing’s gonna change the fact that US hates such a huge desi population. No matter which rule you put in,.. at the end - unless you don’t become part of US society you are alway an outsider.
    Though I see few issues with immigration system, I find fault with Indians at large. The moment more number of Indians started migrating, we have almost alienated ourselves out of American society. Which is bad for local culture. So, either learn the lesson and be a better a citizen of some other country which is still encouraging immigration, or go back to India! No point in finding faults with what Americans want for their country.
    Aug 26, 2018 3
    • Google tahrirshah
      Dude, you don't assimilate, but please don't say everyone. This self blaming and generalizing your mistakes will go nowhere
      Aug 26, 2018
    • Cisco Grd30
      I told what have I seen in others and heard from American counterparts. What made you believe that I won’t assimilate? Lol!!
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Google tahrirshah
      You made many statements with 'we' in it.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Google tahrirshah
    Again, I am fairly sure thinking 10 minutes someone can get better ideas. As far as changing laws is concerned, it's not about the smartest, it is about what can pass.

    There are so many actors/entities here, to whom your solution should be agreeable, else your intellectual orgasm is as good as mine.

    Here are the actors:
    Business - why would they move from current to new one.
    Anti immigrant groups - cis, fair and others
    Immigrant groups - there isn't any here which has presence in hill other than immigration voice as far as high skilled immigration is concerned.
    Republican - why would they support your idea.
    Democrats - will this make it impossible for them to further undocumented immigration? Likely yes.
    Effectively this is computing highest common factor in terms of what is palatable to each group.

    Again, this is just the ideation phase. Now you need to bankroll and then push your agenda to all the parties above and make them agree. You also hire lobbyist and push the agenda around. Immigrants, especially those in backlog, will expect someone else to solve their problem and are mostly noactioners, who think they can't have a voice, so let someone else do (to be clear - you can still talk to reps and ask for support).

    As you can see, ideas are cheap as far as hill is concerned. It has dearth of ideas that can pass - because the system is optimized for status quo.

    HR 392 is a first step. Everyone agrees it's not the ultimate version (that would be a comprehensive reform, but no one knows if one is possible in current Trump term nor to get a veto proof cir out of house), but the first baby step. Even this bill, which is relatively non controversial has so much struggle to pass. Heck 75% of house reps have promised (via cosponsorship) that they agree. But yes, it hasn't passed. A previous version of this exact bill passed house in 2012 (with 380+ yes). As you understand how the political system works, you will start to realize how there is a huge disconnect between 'intellectual orgasms' and reality.

    If coming up with ideas can get your bad feelings about the broken system out of your system, do it to flush it out of your body. But realize that that didn't help you and most of your smart ideas won't ever live to see being as a text in a bill, forget about getting passed.
    Aug 26, 2018 5
    • Amazon liste
      Hr392 will make things WORSE.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Google tahrirshah
      It will not. Where is your math coming from?
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      More i140 than i485 is the root problem. Until we put caps and quotes on i140 applications the problem remains.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Google tahrirshah
      Companies will not. In fact, companies went out of their way to water down i140 EAD.
      They are also generally against transparency in the GC line.

      There is another way to fix this - cap on h1, but that's when companies remember that merit is important (!) and country caps is wrong. They will fight to death to not have caps.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      So I get told to shut up by hr392 fan boys whenever I bring up that is a terrible thing and suggest better.

      But here's better:

      Eliminate the h1 and l1 visa categories completely. Only have i140/i485 and the EAD/AP during i485 processing. Make people wait 3yrs on the EAD/AP as a try-out before issuing the GC to make sure they are good people who don't commit crime, pay their taxes, and can hold down a job with the expected level of comp at the sponsoring company. But no queue at all. Have the country caps but make them automatically adjust to be always proportional to the population of each country so that it's fair. That means reducing the cap for most countries so that it's meaningful for them, and increasing it for India and China.

      Then for each country stack rank people using methods that are specific to that country. If the country has a standardized test, use it to select the smartest people. If it has some well respected employers use comp at those companies stack ranked in local currency. And so on. Don't try and compare comp in India to comp in Japan, just stack rank within each country to take the Japanese with the highest comp in Japan, the Indians with the highest comp in India, etc.

      Then I think we'll actually get the best. We will have country specific ways to find the best in each country and we'll get the best from every country.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • I would rather take all the uncertainty out of it. Earn a Ph.D. or MD at an accredited US institution, get a green card. Earn a Master’s in STEM, get a green card. No quota.
    Aug 27, 2018 22
    • Grad school needs people who go into industry. Only about 10% of PhD students can go on to be professors, and that is just math, since professors create more PhD grads faster than they retire. There is no talent going to waste in the US because of international students. It’s a silly idea with no basis in reality. Yes, people go to grad school for bad reasons, including US students often enough. It does not matter. More students don’t kill the research being done by those with both talent and passion. And grad school admission committees already know the game better than the applicants and will get the best students they can attract.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Foreign immigrants going to US universities benefits the US.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      Again, there is no value in forcing a foreigner to take unnecessary schooling to get a visa. That actually lowers the quality of immigrant by biasing in favor of people actually willing to spend years getting immigration status (ie, the most desperate people). Better to use the standardized test scores / grades that they used to gain admission to give them a visa directly and save them a few years.

      It also absolutely does result in some US kids not getting a spot in the program of their choice. Don't believe me? How do you feel if we make a rule that no foreigner can be admitted to a US school if there is any qualified American being denied admission for lack of space. In other words if schools stack rank applications they must always rank foreigners after Americans.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • My opinion is that the university experience is a good way to introduce people to the US, get them interacting with people of different backgrounds, making sure they have a somewhat standard caliber of education, and allowing the whole thing to happen out in the open in order to curb abuse. Getting people who are invested in being able to immigrate to the US and willing to make sacrifices to do it sounds like a plus to me. The standardized test thing also sounds interesting; it’s not a terrible idea imo.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      The education system in the US is not intended to introduce immigrants, it's intended to provide educations for Americans.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • PayPal Jimk
    HR 392
    Aug 26, 2018 3
    • Amazon liste
      Except it's not an actual solution. The math doesn't work. It still leaves a growing years long queue.

      You need to cut the number of applicants. There's more people applying than there are visas and just slicing it in a different way, like hr392 does, doesn't solve anything.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Google tahrirshah
      Nope hr392 actually will stabilize the current line to a position where it will not be as terrible as it is today.

      140k outflow will have 85k h1 inflow and l1 inflow. L1 inflow is unknown, but not expected to be high (although I am willing to hear better numbers). So you should definitely see the line stabilize.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      We need to cap i140 applications. L1 is not small, it is already large today. The queue is the result of putting a limit on the output rather than a limit on the input.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Amazon liste
    Not a popular opinion but: I don't think it can be done. I don't think there is any fair way to compare people from different countries using a single scale.

    Even within the same country is not easy. A bachelor's from MIT is with more than a master's from University of Phoenix. Between countries it becomes impossible. GPA means different things, countries have different standardized tests, education systems are very different, yet all these factors matter.

    So I think a single scale won't work.

    Instead I think you need many scales and take the top people from each scale in each country, possibly using a lottery to hit a quota from among the best people in each scale.

    For every country make the following lists:

    - top school
    - highest GPA
    - highest education completed
    - experience at top employers
    - highest compensation

    Then have a quota for each country+category and make it proportional to population If necessary hold lotteries to pick from the top people if they can't be strictly ranked. This way you get the top nth percentile from every country in each category.

    This solves the problem of a GPA in one country not bring comparable to another, to different countries having different standardized tests, to different education systems: make lists unique to each country and take the best from each list in each country.

    I think that works better than trying to merge into it list when it's impossible to fairly compare between different countries.
    Aug 27, 2018 2
    • Google tahrirshah
      Again, let the intellectual orgasm flow. Ideas are cheap, actionable ones arent. Your idea will never see light of day in any bill, since none of this will fly with any of the stakeholders who need to agree to pass the bill.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      Ok here is an idea but you won't like it: the current system is better than hr392 because it limits the problem to one country. It's a fucking disaster for that one country, and it's insanely unfair, and screaming out for a solution, but that's better than being a disaster for everyone.

      Give me a solution that actually doesn't make things worse.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Facebook / Eng Wurrrrrr
    I think you meant @trump. G/F and even more so Salesforce can’t do shit.
    Aug 26, 2018 0
  • VMware BobbleHat
    I would just charge a 100k fee to get to the front of the line. If you are actually good(merit based) and you are committed to this country, then it should be simple thing to pay 100k. People who can’t get good TC or aren’t really committed to the US will always be at the back and never get admitted.

    There should be other queues for humanitarian purposes.
    Aug 27, 2018 3
    • PayPal Jimk
      EB-5. 500k minimum.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      That will discriminate based on national origin. It's a lot harder to get 100k together in Vietnam than it is in South Korea.

      It will also mean that from some countries we will mostly get corrupt officials and their families. In Russia it is easy to get that money together if you are politically connected and stealing from the state and hard if you are trying to work for it.

      Comp in your job offer from a trusted American employer is a much better indication of your worth than whether you can come up with money to pay a large fee.
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Facebook / Eng
      mahmoney

      Facebook Eng

      BIO
      Just surviving!
      mahmoneymore
      You've just described EB-5 immigration. 500k though
      Aug 27, 2018
  • New / Eng
    country96

    New Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    country96more
    How about an AI based algorithm that reads a person's profile and chooses whom to select. Immigration can decide how many people is needed.
    Aug 26, 2018 1
    • Amazon liste
      Who gets to be the training data?
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Microsoft cXAU02
    On side note since when does sales force give that kind of TC.
    Aug 26, 2018 0
  • New / Eng Stfuah
    America wasn’t founded upon entirely merit. There are also people who need 2nd chance in life, who was treated unfairly in their previous countries, refugees, etc. To measure human beings on their degrees is just sad.
    Aug 27, 2018 2
    • Google tahrirshah
      Just as much as messing human beings on their country of origin and telling them - oh you are good enough to work with me but not so to live with me.

      Do you know the whole country caps came into being only because they didn't want US to lose its whiteness?
      Aug 27, 2018
    • Amazon liste
      I don't believe that's why Tahir. I believe it's because we had a bad experience with excessive migrations in the past and we want to avoid it happening again.

      You get these cultural ghettos where people don't assimilate into American culture, or it takes multiple generations.

      Indians are great immigrants but concentrating entire cities to be only Indian isn't great. That's not just true of Indians. It's not great if it's all Chinese, all Italian, or all Mexican.

      Immigration should result in the immigrant being surrounded by Americans so they will quickly adapt to their new country.
      Aug 27, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng Blissey
    They can raise raise the minimum TC for H1B higher? Are the consulting companies lobbying to prevent this? I’m surprised they haven’t done this yet.
    Aug 26, 2018 0