The Real Reason Tech Companies Demand Immigrants and Guest Workers: They’re Lousy Places to Work

It’s an annual headline. Every April as the deadline for H-1B guest worker applications approaches there is the predictable news that far more applications are filed than there are visas available. And the usual interpretation – spun by the tech employers – is that the number of visas available is woefully inadequate to meet the industry’s demands. This year was no exception – 200,000 applications for 65,000 visas.

The annual headline is inevitably followed by the inevitable lament that the American tech industry can’t find qualified workers in this country and that it is being hamstrung by the “stingy” number of guest worker visas made available each year. For years, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has been disputing these self-serving industry claims. Now, a new Ford Foundation-funded report by the Kapor Center and the Harris Polling company confirms that the tech industry’s labor problems are not the result of a dearth of qualified workers, but their own dysfunctional work environments.

The Kapor report concludes that many workers are leaving their jobs with tech companies because “unfairness, in the form of everyday behavior (stereotyping, harassment, bullying, etc.) is a real and destructive part of the tech work environment, particularly affecting underrepresented groups and driving talent out the door.” These reprehensible (if not outright illegal) employment practices are costing the industry $16 billion a year in lost productivity, finds the report.

If the tech industry is having a difficult time finding qualified workers for available jobs in this country, it’s not because those workers do not exist here. It’s just that American workers don’t particularly like being stereotyped, harassed, and bullied – and well-educated and skilled workers often have other options. It also seems that many highly profitable companies would rather rely on beholden guest workers than reform the work cultures that are driving American workers away.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar
    Edward Vanover on

    Trump needs to issue an immediate ban on ALL H1b visas. In fact, NO new Green Cards should be issued until a business can irrefutably prove there are no American citizens who want the job. And that includes nationwide publication of job availability via a US Government website for all to access.
    Then, and ONLY then, should ANY work visas be considered.

    • avatar

      Trump is a frequent user of immigrant visas himself. He should be removed. The cost of H-1b and other visas should be increased by 20% and increased each year until the 65k quota meets demand. After that, drop the quota to 60k and repeat the cost increase.

      • avatar

        Trump is a frequent user of immigrant visas himself.
        Ron, how do you know this? Please state your proof or source for your claim.

  2. avatar

    It is self serving in so many ways. The corps whine to their government cronies and demand more foreign workers. More Visas are handed out. More foreign workers are hired and drive down salaries and make clear communication difficult. American workers leave the industry for better pay and a better work environment. Repeat again next year.

    I have first hand knowledge of how this works. Fortunately much of my career has been as self-employed and with smaller companies who actually care for their employees.

    On the other hand, many new graduates are lured into the industry because of the liberal mindset of many of the large strictly IT concerns (Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, etc.) and the promise of big bucks. Then, boom, they are pushed to work overtime and produce more with less. The smart ones get out early.

  3. avatar

    If this is from a Ford Foundation funded report, you can be assured the report cannot be dismissed as some kind of conservative rhetoric. The Ford Foundation supports many liberal groups and causes.

    Most of the workers at Amazon say something similar, in that they are constantly pushed to do more and more in less time. This is happening while globalist founder Jeff Bezos is on his way to becoming the world’s richest man. Amazon is another reason why we do not need “more workers” through immigration. It’s not completely due to online ordering but that has played a substantial part in many retailers shutting down, with the subsequent loss of many jobs.

    Bezos also owns the Washington Post outright and it has become a libertarian advocate on immigration. A fact that has received almost no comment is the cancellation of the annual Rose Parade in Portland Oregon. An anonymous group made online threats that they would attack a Republican group marching in the parade. The group announced that they would be glad to march anyway but the city cancelled because of the “danger”

    Wasn’t it the constant theme last fall that it was Trump supporters who started violence, when the opposite was in fact true. What should have happened is the parade should have gone on and the cops arrest anyone who started the first sign of trouble or wore a mask. Apparently the blue states have decided to capitulate to leftist violence and threats.

    • avatar

      Leland I disagree, the cancellation is the best way, lets say you go and get beaten up and hurt badly and per say the police confused you and they beat you up on the top and arrested you. DO YOU THINK IT IS WORTH IT?…the answer is NO…always best to minimize with no casualties

      We are all Americans and as such difference of opinions should cause NO physical harm. Instead let the authorities find the bastards on either side and punish them.

      You are completely not wrong but un-American on this one. Not that you re not one but not thinking like one. REMEBER we fix thing for the well being of EVERYBODY = The People!!!.

      Frame this and out it in your home.

      • avatar

        You are a wonderful illustration of “the other side”. You cower under your bed and let others determine your right to speak, whether it’s physical or spoken threats. It’s been the left that has been continually attacking Trump supporters in blue states and the police let them do it. Last June at a Trump rally, police in San Jose stood down on the orders of their chief because he said he did not want to “inflame the situation”. There is a class action suit in that case. We are the descendants of people who crossed the plains in wagons but a lot of us tremble because someone calls us a racist for wanting to protect our borders. If local departments don’t want to enforce the rights of people to peaceably assemble then the federal govt needs to do so through the national guard. It’s not Trump supporters who show up wearing masks.

        • avatar

          Leland listen to yourself….. stick to the point… you are pathetic …. that is the reason people like you have always been in the wrong side of history of human kind progress…

          • avatar

            I thought the “point” was you saying that “cancellation is the best way” because some threaten violence? Forget you wrote that?

          • avatar

            Ok leland you need to read all the feedback to make an accurate/precise conclusion…..after all I am glad the last comment I made appears to be not correct.

            You need to separate your critical thinking from your feeling that tend to blind you make a conclusion so that you are best fit to reason.

            Two things from my feedback to avoid unnecessary unfortunate situations that are irreversible and the well being of our country as one people….that is all….glad you are back!!!

    • avatar
      cynthia curran on

      The dude, has some illegal immigrants in the warehouses and foreign tech people. Bezos is a pain in the neck Bezos is a cheap labor Texan. He was born in Texas and went to school there. The left and right in Texas like California is use to cheap labor.

  4. avatar

    To further a point….So in general you are actually correct It’s now the software engineer brought it up…..The places are smaller n in some companies like Nokia from Schaumburg Illinois for Base Trans ever Stations …. they say no new engineers, no contractors….If u need help …Only from China.

  5. avatar

    The IT Field is Way Over-rated

    Bull pen offices were invented there to cram employees together and create stress….they claim it allows better communication….LOL….what a joke.

    Seniority and experience are replaced with foreign worker subpar quality, patches and virus S/W….do they also hire hackers to expand their business for more useless security S/W? Lord only knows.

    Whatever….ya pay organized crime their protection money or get no computer on internet.

    • avatar

      It all started with manufacturing back in 2000 or so Motorola, then the technicians, then IT, now the designers….Etc etc

  6. avatar

    Ira not in the engineering Corporations for Telecommunications at least. The environment has been the same but you are correct. No need to go overseas to get them plenty of engineer here that can do the job not unemployed. The engineers 55+ that have the most experience not being hired and instead they bring them from overseas, get paid a fraction but these overseas contracting companies get the top dollar… that is the real problematic issue……and cracking the middle class ….now in banks also in Walgreens…..etc etc