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Sona Shah - An American Citizen - fights against H-1B

Discussion in 'Visa Bulletin and Priority Dates Retrogression Iss' started by asnssf, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Chicago Desi

    Chicago Desi Registered Users (C)

  2. envision

    envision Registered Users (C)

  3. BrainDrain

    BrainDrain Registered Users (C)

    If this story is true, I pity stupid employers like Wilco and would prefer to stay away from them anyways.I guess Sona lucked out.Instead of being happy she made a case out of it. Talk about hiring process and HR !
  4. asnssf

    asnssf Registered Users (C)

    thx buddy


    This is what i saw in the star ledger.

    You can say whatever you want, thats why I started this thread. This case is alive from 2004 and no one noticed this in this forum so far. You should thank me for that.

    I also support her law suit. But not the reforms Bill Pascrel is suggesting by quoting her case. read "SEC. 4. NOTICE REQUIREMENT" in his
    'Defend the American Dream Act of 2005'. LCA for H1 now takes 2 weeks for DOL approval. if companies should look for citizen before filing h1, LCAs will never get approved. And after that everyone can come in L1/B1 only which is good only for most of my friends who got affected in this retrogression.

    Rest of Bill Pascrel's suggestions in the 'Defend the American Dream bill' can be establised with the existing laws itself.

    Thx for your comment.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2006
  5. asnssf

    asnssf Registered Users (C)

    Kiran Bedi inspired me to keep fighting, says Sona Shah

    Kiran Bedi inspired me to keep fighting, says Sona Shah to Dailynews & Analysis

    Daily News Question: What are some of the highlights of the bill?
    Sona Shah:
    The legislation provides for key reforms.
    It requires employers of H1-B visa holders to pay the prevailing minimum wages.
    It also seeks amendments to ensure the Department of Labour has power to investigate wage complaints as well as fraud.
    It should audit employers and investigate potential abuses of the H1-B program.
    In my mind, the most important aspect of the bill is that it allows employees to bring private lawsuits to claim mistreatment.

    Sona Shah's fights against Outsourcing @ Daily news Analysis

    Sona Shah slashes Bush's comment on outsourcing @ Dailynews

    The only link I cannot find online is, Sona Shah fights against greencard and immigration. Which might be her next step...

    As per Desitalk1 : Kai (Barrett) is Sona's Boy friend.

    I had lost a lot of weight and my eating habits had gone south because I was so stressed. Everything we did was touched by the lawsuit. That is why my boyfriend Kai and I decided to put off getting married till we had wrapped up the case. Read more at Daily news & Analysis

    Barrett has been granted a green card by a subsequent employer. read more @ Libertypost

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2006
  6. desi3933

    desi3933 Registered Users (C)

    I agree with Sona Shah

    question: What percent of consulting companies (aka staffing agencies, bodyshopper) follow immigration laws?

    Desi Bodyshoppers have bad reputations for a reason.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and this ain't legal advice, its just my opinion.
    PD: Jan 2000
    LC: Mar 2000
    I-140 EB3: Jun 2000
    I-140 EB2: Oct 2000
    I-485: Jul 2000
    I-485 AD: May 2002
  7. asnssf

    asnssf Registered Users (C)

    Here is the Star Ledger article

    H-1B is her No. 1 battle
    Sona Shah has leaped head-first into fight over controversial work-visa regulations

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006 BY PHILIP READ Times Staff

    Sona Shah didn't need flow charts or fancy diagrams to make her point during a U.S. Senate subcommittee briefing earlier this year.

    She just needed her cell phone.

    First, she dialed the number listed in a "Help Wanted" ad for a computer programmer. Then she let everyone listen to the ensuing conversation.

    "I said, 'Hi. I'm an American citizen. I'm looking for a job,'" Shah recalled. "They said, 'No, that job's been set aside for an H-1B employee.'"

    The staffers at the legislative briefing were stunned. "There were audible gasps," Shah said.

    Those are the kind of tactics the 34-year-old Montclair woman has used in her crusade to reform the H-1B visa classification, which she says U.S. employers have used to turn Indian immigrants into underpaid indentured servants -- and to deny American citizens jobs.

    "You have to stand up for the rights of both sets of workers as long as there's this degradation," said Shah, who was born in India but raised in the United States. "We love India. We want to see India prosper, but we don't want it to see it happen at the expense of the American middle class."

    Supporters of the visa program say it is people like Shah who stand in the way of progress, denying American universities, high-tech companies and others the best brains needed to keep the U.S. economy humming.

    H-1B is reserved for temporary workers who come into the country to fill specialty occupations at the request of a U.S. employer, with about half of the 65,000 visas issued annually going to people in the computer industry.

    "There are an estimated 10 million people in the domestic IT work force," said Jeff Lande, senior vice president of the Information Technology Association of America. "So maybe 30,000 of those come from H-1B. It's a drop in the bucket."

    Shah is not alone in her criticism, however, and has joined what has become a key battle in the nation's immigration wars over the past decade.

    U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-8th Dist.), who has authored legislation titled "Defend the American Dream" to reform the H-1B program, sides with Shah.

    Pascrell's bill would require companies hiring H-1B workers to give Americans a first shot at those jobs. It would establish mandatory wage-auditing to make sure guest workers were being fairly compensated. And it would increase the fee a company pays for an H-1B visa to $4,500, from $1,500, and decrease the length of the stay the visa allows from six years to three.

    It would also allow workers to sue their employers for everything from sexual harassment to unsafe working conditions.

    The debate over highly skilled foreign workers exploded in the 1990s, with big business successfully lobbying Congress to increase the number of visas granted each year to a high of 195,000. The increases fueled the rapid growth of information technology, but the numbers crept back down after the high-tech bubble burst in 2000.

    The computer industry has argued it desperately needs to import workers to keep pace with other countries challenging its dominance of high-tech industries.

    But critics say the flood of foreign workers drives down salaries, turns foreign workers into indentured servants and puts Americans out of work. Pascrell said many of his congressional colleagues have ignored his calls for reform, and he has a hunch why.

    "Follow the money," Pascrell said. "They're going to wheel and deal. And who's going to get hurt? The American worker."

    Shah says she was one of them -- a well-educated American citizen whose job was outsourced to a foreign worker here on a visa.

    She said she had been hired as a "token American" data programmer at Wilco Systems, a subsidiary of Roseland-based Automatic Data Processing, or ADP. Wilco sold financial software and provided pay-as-you-go programmers to install it.

    Early in 1996, she said she witnessed an influx of foreign workers, largely from India, her native country. Shah left Wilco in 1998 and became the chief litigant in a lawsuit against the company on behalf of American and foreign workers alike.

    "A vice president at Wilco once said, 'If Immigration were to see what we've got here, they'd shut us down,'" Shah, now 34, said in congressional testimony in 2004. "He was wrong. Immigration didn't care. To this day, there has been no investigation."

    Wilco Systems' defense attorney in the lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court eight years ago, declined to respond to Shah's allegations.

    "At this time, the company does not wish to make any comment," said Jonathan Meyers, an attorney with Grotta, Glassman & Hoffman in Roseland.

    Shah, meanwhile, has taken her case to Capitol Hill, where she has become a one-woman show. She carries a hefty legal folder, its accordion-like sides fully extended to fit a stack of documents, and a collection of business cards she's collected from legislative staffers as she makes the rounds, telling her story to anyone who will listen.

    Shah's employment record has been spotty, at best, since she left Wilco. Despite her credentials --she has a mechanical engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken -- she has lost her job to corporate outsourcing more than once, she said.

    "It's done to line the profits of the corporate boards of these companies," Shah said.

    Lande, of the Information Technology Association, said her case sounds unfortunate but, in all likelihood, is unrelated to immigrant workers.

    "Any time a displaced worker loses a job, that is a serious occurrence," he said. "But you have to look at all the factors. Did the person keep their skill sets current? Is the company pursuing new market strategies? When you drill down, immigrants are factors in very few cases."

  8. santa4u

    santa4u Registered Users (C)


    there is always pro-immigration lobby - hell bent on hiring foreign workforce to keep the wages low and keep their personal profit margins high!...thiking why can't we make software programmers work at a minimum wage of $30k to $45K

    there is always the anti-immigration lobby - hell bent on keeping their job security and keeping their wages up....thinking why can't software programmers earn like doctors at pay scales of $100-150K

    - as long as the US population's job market is not much adversely affected......the pro-immigration lobby is gonna win!

    - But the moment US population's job market begins to get adversel impacted...I am sure H1B provision would exclude software programmers! Look at it. all federal projects are being forced not to do outsourcing...
  9. desi3933

    desi3933 Registered Users (C)

    >> "I said, 'Hi. I'm an American citizen. I'm looking for a job,'" Shah recalled. "They said, 'No, that job's been set aside for an H-1B employee.'"

    I think this is a case of fraud. She has my support.
  10. santa4u

    santa4u Registered Users (C)

    Heck this is America...Free Trade rocks...

    look at Ford...it's conceding market share to Toyota (an immigrant company)...

    thanks to Ford's strategic market segment (trucks/SUVs) being so sensitive to oil gas prices!

    I agree that Toyota itself is an america company now with lot of jobs being created due to its growth - right here in US...

    But the fact remains, this is an open economy! 10 years ago - US car makers tried to ban japanese carmakers...but heck, they couldn't!
  11. ufo2002

    ufo2002 New Member

    OMFG, will people stop speculating on what Sona Shah plans to do next? So far she's actually just suing Wilco for wage discrimination and she's doing it on behalf of foreign employees too. Her case was zero-ed in by some groups and a Democrat who want to restrict immigration, yes, that's unfortunate, but as to what the lady really wants to do next, how do we know?
    Someone here already mentioned the co-plaintiff Kai Barrett is her boyfriend (if that's true), then it would be hypocritical of her to pursue anti-immigrant policies. That would certainly tick her H1B boyfriend off, wouldn't it?
  12. gravitation

    gravitation Registered Users (C)

    I've seen Sona Shah in person when she participated a debate on outsourcing in MIT coupla years ago.

    She's very intelligent and articulate. She's married to a white immigrant.

    She sprews venom against H1B, oursourcing and immigration. If you believe otherwise, -I don't mean to be insulting at all...and don't take it personally... but- you need to have your head examined.
  13. ufo2002

    ufo2002 New Member

    Ah, so she's willing to marry an immigrant as long as he's white, but doesn't want any other immigrant in. OK, I have read enough.
  14. asnssf

    asnssf Registered Users (C)

    when was her marriage ?...

    As per Desitalk1 : Kai (Barrett) is Sona's Boy friend.

    Q: Has the legal battle taken its toll on you?

    A: I had lost a lot of weight and my eating habits had gone south because I was so stressed. Everything we did was touched by the lawsuit. That is why my boyfriend Kai and I decided to put off getting married till we had wrapped up the case. Read more at Daily news & Analysis Dated: Dec 2005

    Barrett has been granted a green card by a subsequent employer. read more @ Libertypost
  15. gravitation

    gravitation Registered Users (C)

    In the debate I went to she pointed him out... she may have referred to him as her fiance... and not as I remembered, husband. But I'm pretty sure she didn't call him her boyfriend.
  16. envision

    envision Registered Users (C)

    Now how did you jump to this conclusion?
  17. gravitation

    gravitation Registered Users (C)

    It's the right conclusion. Sona Shah at pain to distance herself from her Indian lineage, mention a few times that she's an American and she made her white fiance get up and wave to the whole assembly. She's very smart and well presented but her psyche is not in doubt.
  18. envision

    envision Registered Users (C)

    I respectfully disagree--- First and foremost she is an American and her name and her physical appearance will forever link her to her Indian lineage. People are entitled to fall in love with whomever they wish in America, so I don't get what anyone has against her for having a white fiance
  19. gravitation

    gravitation Registered Users (C)

    You've misinterpreted the whole argument here. I have absolutely nothing against having a white fiance. And that's not my reasoning for anything. However, she's is fiercely against H1B's, immigrants and oursourcing (not because she has a white fiance, but because of her views). If you ever get to hear her views live, you'll know. I'm not making any judgement on her. I don't know if I were an American and had same experience as her what my views would be.

    At one point during the panel discussion, a professor from MIT (of Indian descent) was discussing +ve and -ve points of outsourcing. When he came to +ve points, Sona Shah angrily left the hall. Organizers had to run after her, calm her down and bring her back.

    We don't have anything against her. Just saying she's extremely vocal (and often less than dignified) critc of immigrants/H1B/outsourcing. I really don't understand what's so difficult to understand here. :confused:
  20. asnssf

    asnssf Registered Users (C)

    I was wrong, when I said she might target GC next

    I was wrong, when I said she might target GC next. She won't.

    You know why.

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