An Academic's Labor Helps Fight H-1B Visas
Norm Matloff, a computer science professor with a Chinese-born wife, says the U.S. skilled-immigrant visa system exploits workers everywhere
By Moira Herbst
Not many computer science professors are activists on immigration policy. But Norm Matloff of the University of California, Davis wears both hats. He has been a vocal critic of the H-1B visa program for skilled immigrants since the mid-1990s, and now maintains a Web page and e-mail listserv discussing offshoring and the H-1B visa program, which he calls a "sham." He says his motivation is to protect and preserve tech job opportunities for the students he teaches.
Matloff posts opinionated blog entries on the Web site of Numbers USA, a group calling for lower levels of immigration. His writing prompted one tech worker, Arthur Hu of Bothell, Wash., to create a Web page criticizing Matloff, whom he calls the "Hatchet Man of Asian Immigration."
I left this comment on the article page:
BW interviewed me for this story, they didn't mention that I seeMatloff as the 21st century legacy of California's Workingman's partywhose motto was "The Chinese Must Go". Matloff is the only academic who asserts that Chinese (and other immigrants) not only were not essential to Micrsoft or Silicon Valley (despite the tons of Asians and Indians as employees or founders) but are LESS productive thanother ethnic groups such as EuroAmericans who have lower test scores, grades, and less represented at MIT and Stanford. Odd that man who spends so much time dismissing the qualifications of the Chinese can claim to be a champion of civil rights.
I got some nasty feedback from people who read the BW article:
I was just reading your little pro-Asian propaganda blog.
How can you outright lie like that and say Intel and Microsoft were founded by immigrants?
Intel was founded by two Americans: Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. Microsoft was founded by two Americans: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were college dropouts so there is no correlation between degrees and successful tech companies. I have personally worked with a lot of PhDs who can't ship a product.
Now that most Americans have been driven out of Silicon Valley, the CA economy isn't doing to well, is it? Where is all your high talk now of Asians being smarter and better than Americans?
Where is the Chinese operating system? Where is the Indian operating system? Name one software product created by either of those two countries that anyone uses.
Name one major tech company anyone has heard of that was founded by ALL Asian immigrants.
Why hasn't the huge FLOOD of Asian guest workers who began arriving in 1998 kept the U.S. economy going as promised? Why was 1998-2003 the biggest immigrant wave to the USA in 100 years and we're now in the biggest depression in 70 years?
You have a lot of explaining to do.
Signed Mike (who didn't respond to my answer)
My response to this is that I never said that Asians founded all of these companies (Grove was an immigrant key player in Intel), but both Microsoft and Silicon Valley are full of Asian and European immigrant employees and managers who wouldn't be there if they weren't doing a good job, and I have interviewed with and worked for companies owned or run by either East Asians or Indians. Even Asian Americans not only admit but complain that they lag behind Euro-Americans in management and founding the most important companies, though their contributions as founders is still pretty significant. The idea that the current economic crisis is due to too many immigrant high-tech engineers rather than giving out too many loans to people who couldn't afford or didn't really need homes is a new one to me.
Matloff himself wrote a response "I might say the same for Arthur Hu. With hundreds of millions of Web users, there is likely to be one that rants against any topic under the sun, and it happens that one of Arthur’s topics is me. That’s fine, but some readers of the article may mistakenly take this to mean that Asian-Americans agree with him on the H-1B issue, which they don’t. Every time I’m invited to speak to an Asian-American conference, such as the Asian Pacific American Conference on Law and Public Policy at Harvard and the Asian-American Out of the Silence Conference at Stanford, I get solid support from the audiences. This should be no surprise–with so many Asian-Americans in engineering, H-1B puts their jobs at risk. My support from my own students, two-thirds of whom are Asian-American (not Asian foreign students), is also quite strong. I’m proud to say that they’ve nominated me for various teaching awards, some of which I’ve been fortunate to win."
VDARE also hosted Sanchez who dismissed me with a nasty name and said that I was obsessed with hating Matloff, which is odd for a blogsite that largely promotes the interests of Euro-Americans to accuse others of being Indian-supremacists or politically incorrect.
What continues to bother me about Matloff since the times we debated back in the 90s in emails is how he claims because he's married into the Asian community he can't possibly be harming it. The thing that kills me about the Fundamentalist Mormon persecution is how many ex-members like Flora or Carolyn Jessop are willing to jump on the persecution bandwagon against their former culture, and how people can be so politically correct about being nice to people of all colors and genders AS LONG AS THEY'RE NOT XXX OR PRACTICE YYY in which case it's ok to spread all kinds of vile lies and insults long after it was proven they raided that ranch on the basis of people who never existed and things that never happened. As a bicultural person myself I'm quite capable of supporting or insulting either Asians and Americans.
As I often ask, where in the heck are the politically correct police when you need them? The far-left Asian American Movement appears to give Matloff a complete pass as long as he's not goring the Affirmative Action ox, and helping demolish the dreaded Model Minority stereotype with his claims that Asians and other immigrant Americans are LESS effective in tech than white, black, or Hispanic Americans. Most Asian American activists have never heard of this guy, but you'd think they'd know about the only guy who is quoted for arguing that more Chinese immigrants will harm America.
I get it from both sides being so conservative and libertarian that I'm a free marketer for tech immigration. Look, if we're going to live in a big diverse world where we can move across borders instead of having to invade each other militarily to visit each other's lands, we need to spend less time working on what's good for each other's groups, and work toward what's good for everybody, otherwise we'll keep playing this ridiculous game of promoting only the interests of the politically correct groups of the day.
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