Nov 26, 2008 (10:11 AM EST)
On Thanksgiving, Freedom for Some, Fear for Foreigners

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

I hope you will excuse a departure from my BI-focused blogs to a more personal one, but on this Thanksgiving eve, I find myself thinking more about freedom and how fragile it is right now. If you are one of the many foreign-born BI product managers, software developers, or BI specialists I have met over the years, then you will want to read this story.It is about a family friend, Clem, now detained indefinitely by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). His case is fraught with political issues that is inappropriate in this blog, but in terms of the IT world, the battle over immigration affects even those who are here legally, like Clem. There are at least 65,000 IT workers in the U.S. on H-1B visas. I suspect BI product and marketing managers come under a different visa. If you've tried to hire anyone in BI recently, you know the labor market is tight. Companies like Microsoft continue to lobby for more technology-related visas.

So while foreign IT workers come here legally, that doesn't mean they are entitled to any of the same liberties and rights to due process that U.S. citizens are. That should give pause to any foreigner contemplating coming to the U.S. for a job, and it should certainly give pause to any employer recruiting them.I hope you will excuse a departure from my BI-focused blogs to a more personal one, but on this Thanksgiving eve, I find myself thinking more about freedom and how fragile it is right now. If you are one of the many foreign-born BI product managers, software developers, or BI specialists I have met over the years, then you will want to read this story...