RAISE Act is not merit and would cause problems

Amazon / Other yety
Jul 8, 2018 26 Comments

People are already enrolling in graduate degrees they don't need or want just to tick a box on an immigration form and get themselves classified EB1 or EB2. These are people who have no interest in becoming researchers and are primarily only interested in an immigration benefit. They wind up in jobs that don't really need the credential they obtained, such as software development engineer.

This is harmful to the education system, to the economy, and really to people's lives. It takes spots in graduate programs away from people who actually wanted to do research, it results in a loss of productivity as people who could be working stay in school they don't need, and it delays people's careers by making them spend years getting degrees they don't otherwise need.

This is already happening under the existing immigration system but it's going to get MUCH worse if the Raise act is passed and the US starts limiting greencards to people with advanced degrees due to "points inflation". Suddenly everyone who wants to immigrate will spend years getting these extra credentials. This will clog up graduate programs without providing any net benefit to research.

Worse, it will result in lower quality immigration by mixing up merit with credentials. A master's doesn't make you a better software engineer, particularly if you got it from a second rate college. We will end up getting more second rate immigrants who were desperate enough to waste years chasing immigration points, and fewer solid, highly meritorious engineers with great skills learned through experience at top companies.

Mediocre people from poor countries will be more willing to spend years collecting points towards a greencard than successful and capable people from rich countries, who will prefer to get a job with their bachelor's degree in CS and not see the need to waste years collecting immigration points.

The Raise Act purports to measure merit with its point system, but it does not. It just creates yet another game that will be abused by low quality immigrants from countries with high rates of fraud.


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TOP 26 Comments
  • Juniper / Product SkankHnt42
    leetcode hard for GC or GTFO.
    Jul 8, 2018 4
    • Amazon yety
      It highlights the problem. What we all know is the best standardized measure of merit isn't covered by the Raise Act.

      Maybe some testing firm should be hired to interview candidates, giving them leetcode problems to solve in a controlled environment if they are applying as software development people.

      Similar testing could be done for other fields, though it's harder to know what would be a good test for managers, business people, etc.

      One solution would be to have two paths: a test based approach for new grads, testing fundamental knowledge in their field, eg, leetcode, or whatever problem set fits their job. Should work for any STEM job.

      For people with 10+ years experience (managers, business people) we would instead take people with the highest comp, adjusted for age and location (ie, take the top 20% for their age in their geography). But we would have to limit this to people working for trusted employers in the US to avoid fraud (where people boost their own wage by giving cash under the table to their employer that they receive back as salary less a kickback).

      So you either come fresh out of school by getting a high score on a good test, or you come after working 10 years based on the comp you have achieved in industry. Then limit h1b to put with 5yrs experience so they can use h1b to get the remaining 5 then apply for GC in the sixth year if they earned a spot based on comp. No more h1b renewal: GC or go home in that case.
      Jul 9, 2018
    • Juniper / Product SkankHnt42
      I think HR loves leetcode because it is PC way of implementing ageism.
      Jul 9, 2018
  • Amazon xAWC68
    Liberals are funny they can’t even come to an agreement on the grounds on which to oppose a bill. First, they opposed the raise act as racist saying that it is designed to only attract/encourage Caucasian white immigrants. Now they oppose it because it is giving an unfair advantage to folks from poor third world country. Next - they’ll oppose it because the raise act attracts illegal immigration.
    Jul 8, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Other yety
      I see you have no actual argument. You could not dispute a single thing I said.
      Jul 8, 2018
  • Amazon xAWC68
    There isn’t a thing to dispute. You just want privilege while I want merit. You are entitled to your views and I am to mine. For you discriminating ppl on the basis of their national origin is merit. For me giving everyone the same opportunity irrespective of their country of origin (as long as they meet the same bar) is merit. And yes I still feel liberals are funny because tomorrow you are going to bring up another reason to oppose the bill just for the sake of it. FWIW every liberal candidate over the last decade including nobama and crooked had endorsed high skill immigration gc undispitedly during the campaign. They just forget about it once the vote back has been duped.
    Jul 8, 2018 11
    • Amazon xAWC68
      Yety please do the whole immigrant community a favor and go and explain your reasoning to your local democrat senator. They all seem to be opposing the bill because they think it doesn’t do what you say it does. So please please educate them on what the bill actually does.
      Jul 9, 2018
    • Amazon yety
      I have indeed reached out to both Cantwell and Murray, not because they are D, but because they are in fact the senators for WA. I also bring this up whenever a Republican candidate canvases in my area and I have reached out a few times to express my concern with my rep in Congress as well.

      I think this is a cross party issue. The Raise Act should be opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike due to the damage it will do to the United States. I am sure Democrats and Republicans will disagree on many issues, but I think they all want the best immigrants for the US and I bet actually no one thinks the current system is ideal. But the Raise Act will be worse.
      Jul 9, 2018
  • Akamai Technologies wzBQ20
    Just so you know, merely having a graduate degree does not automagically qualify one for EB2 or EB1; the position has to explicitly require an advanced degree. For instance a guy with a master's degree can join as an entry level engineer, but will not be eligible for EB1/2 as the job description for an entry level position doesn't usually mention a requirement of a grad degree or 5 yrs of experience. Now the company can always edit the JD to suit the person's qualifications but then there's a high chance of additional scrutiny as to why a position that was listed during the initial hiring phase without the need of a grad degree or 5 YOE suddenly needs these things at the time of GC filing.
    Jul 9, 2018 4
    • Akamai Technologies wzBQ20
      I remember one of the proposals for the H-1B program overhaul was to sort the applicants by salary and then pick the top 65k from the lot. The problem there was with adjustment based on location. If the location based adjustment of salary could be nailed down, this solution would actually solve a lot of problems
      Jul 9, 2018
    • Amazon yety
      You'd have to limit it to large well known employers and well to prevent fraud. Somebody could take their savings, say 200k, give it to their employer under the table, and get 180k back as salary, leaving them 20k out of pocket in exchange for a greencard.

      Possible in any company but much more likely in small firms, consulting companies. Since the fraud payment would happen in a foreign country it would be very hard for ICE to catch it.

      But viable strategy for large, trusted employers.
      Jul 9, 2018
  • Amazon xAWC68
    And its ppl like Yety who’ve turned several centrist and even slightly left leaning individuals to the other side of the divide with their own sense of entitlement. No wonder the liberal base is shrinking and very soon the only group outside of the lgbt lobby voting for them will be the illegal immigrants. But alas the latter can’t really vote.
    Jul 8, 2018 1
    • Amazon yety
      You don't like reality. Reality is that the Raise Act will cause terrible problems. You don't care that it will cause problems because you only care about yourself.

      There are better ways to solve the backlog problem than to declare open season for people who want to game the system.

      My point, which you haven't even tried to dispute, is that the Raise Act does NOT actually create a merit system. Lots of meritorious people do not have master's degrees and yet are much better software engineers than people who do.

      The Raise Act says a guy with an engineering degree from MIT who works at Google is less meritorious than a guy with a PhD from some mail order degree mill who works for some third tier consulting firm.

      We all know the MIT guy is more meritorious.

      This isn't about race or skin color, there are super qualified Indians with undergraduate degrees, and stuffed shirts with PhD's from Britain.

      But overall it's India that has the economic and social problems that cause a huge wave of people to do whatever they can to immigrate to the US, swamping the system.

      We want the best of them to come, but the Raise Act won't accomplish it.
      Jul 9, 2018


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