One Out Of Every Three Engineer At Apple Is An Indian Immigrant

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FREMONT –  Employment of high-skilled workers under the H-1B visa plays a conflicting role in the U.S. society. On hand immigrants who hold this visa add to the economic growth of the country, while on the other they are accused of reducing job opportunities for Americans. A recent report by Hfs Research revealed that one in every three worker in Apple is an Indian. “Apple filed 1,750 H-1B applications during the 10-year period 2001 to 2010, but the number increased sharply to 2,800 during 2011-13”, reported the Times of India based on the research. This triggers the backlash and the discrimination that natives face when it comes to employment through the H-1B quota.

Last year, the U.S. Senate proposed an immigration bill, where although the criteria for attaining an H-1B visa were made much stricter—the visa cap was increased to 180,000 from 65,000. Although the House of Representatives did not act on the proposal, it is highly unlikely that the bill will be passed this year. Recently Kelly Parker an employer at Harley Davidson was also in the news when she was laid off after her replacement was outsourced from India, leading to the reemergence of the contradictory debate of how IT companies are filling S.T.E.M related job roles by importing workers on low wages from Asian countries.

Outsourcing came under a new light last year when the bill proposed by the Republicans also mentioned that that an organization can only employee an H1-B visa holder in a situation where Americans are not applicable. Past data published by United States Centre for Immigration Studies (USCIS) also disclosed how top tech giants prefer immigrants on H1-B visa. “Apple’s outsourcing strategy can be described in three words as ‘outsourcing for growth’. The scope of outsourcing work has been enlarged in the last two or three years”, said Jain in TOI.

Hfs arrived at this conclusion by analyzing reports given by Apple in 2012. It mentioned that out of the 47,000 people working in the U.S. under Apple—7,700 were customer support operators and 27.350 worked in retail Apple stores. The remaining 12,000 employees are engineers and white collar job holders working on the technical front.  HfS Research also found that Apple works with at least five India-based IT vendors—including four large firms and one small firm— and there has been a steady rise in the work that they have been indulging in.

DHS based reports earlier this year also revealed how 23 percent of the immigrant population in U.S. hailed from India. All these reports back up the analogy of one in every four employee in Apple being of Indian origin. It is difficult to pin the up rise in the H-1B visa on the government or on IT companies because both of them have positively added to its mount. While the government has proposed to increase the visa cap and include provisions where spouses of H1-B are allowed to work, tech companies have steadily employed Indians for S.T.E.M jobs with the add-on of low wages.

Last year IBM was in the news for paying a fine to the U.S. Justice Department for expressing bias in choosing its employees. Although statistics revealed on Apple’s employment pattern maybe purely on skills, there are several shades that can be looked at when it comes to employment of Indians in white collar jobs in the U.S.