On My Way Out of California

Published in The Social Contract
Volume 8, Number 4 (Summer 1998)
Issue theme: "Europhobia: the hostility toward Europian-descended Americans"

Author's name withheld*

Since my layoff (42 of us were cut in one day) on July 1, I, of course, have been searching for new work. The well-publicized downturn in the semiconductor industry finally took its toll on the company. Yesterday's interview at a Milpitas chip company had quite an effect on me. All the engineers there are foreigners from East Asia. I believe the interview I had (for an engi-neering position) was an exercise in futility, an act of going through the motions.

* The experiences reviewed here are factual but the names of companies at which he interviewed could not be used. One of the interviewers asked me how I would feel about being isolated culturally at the company. "Many of us speak Chinese to each other. We're all from the Orient." I said something PC. The company is small and having some difficulties, so I wouldn't be interested in working for them anyway. I think the interview was just for the purpose of using me as proof that they ‘searched' for an American while really wanting to hire a Chinese H-1B worker.

The three Chinese interviewers were nice and intelligent people, but very foreign, and the interviews were rather uncomfortable and awkward. We neither connected well nor had much in common. I answered their technical questions well. During my days, I've been spending many hours in the library, preparing for these interviews. This all boils down to culture and nationality, not technical matters. I wish our congressmen could understand that.

A similar situation happened at a Fremont chip company where 3 of the 4 interviewers were Indian. The one Caucasian fellow asked me how I would feel working in an all-Asian envi-ronment. I discussed this with my father, and he feels those were inappropriate questions for an interview, akin to outright discrimination against me. And the recent interview with a Sunnyvale chip company was similar an all foreign-born Asian company, with all the interviewers being Asian. I had a thorough tour of the company so I know this. One of the interviewers was almost incomprehensible with his thick accent and poor English. I was thinking "Why do I have to put up with this in my own country? Why is he the one with the power over me?"

As of now, I'm in a state of shock over the situation. It really hit me after Friday's interview. I drove home in a trance, my mouth dry and open. The radio was on, but I didn't hear anything. After driving into my driveway in Fremont, I didn't exit the car for five minutes. I just sat there, stunned.

The reality set in that I will have to leave California. The situation here is beyond my tolerance level. I cannot work in an all-foreign environment, where I have no commonalities, where every attempt at communication with co-workers is strained and difficult. I'm not just a worker, I'm a human being who needs to socialize. As soon as I opened my front door, I got on the phone with one of my high-tech recruiters. I told her, "Help me to get out of this place as soon as possible."

It's too bad, because I really love the state of California. While growing up in the Midwest and attending college in the South, I dreamed of coming here. Now I realize it's not part of the United States anymore and I'm being pushed out.

Of course, I'm just one person in the large stream of American engineers who have left or are planning to leave. A co-worker (an applications engineer) at my last company is planning on transferring to the company branch in Austin, Texas. His sole reason, which he made clear to everyone in our department, was to work in a locale "that didn't have so many immigrants." He'll be a loss to the Silicon Valley site because of his excellent technical abilities.

He told me privately how his patience was wearing thin trying to deal with Asian engineers at the chip companies he serviced. The attitudes of some of the Asians, mainly the Chinese, really got on his nerves. Apparently they're often pushy and rude, and treat Americans like foreigners in our own country. I don't blame the guy. In the long run, peace of mind and sanity are most important.

"Of course, I'm just one person in the large stream of American engineers who have left or are planning to leave." Silicon Valley is beyond hope. Every company is completely inundated with foreigners. If 75 percent of all engineers around here aren't foreign, then I don't have blonde hair and blue eyes. The magnitude of the takeover is breathtaking. Americans don't fit into their own companies. And it's all due to our incompetent, ignorant and traitorous legislators. Well, some of them understand the situation, but most just rely on sound bites

"More high-tech workers = a better America."

"Asians are good people, and by importing their extended families we promote family values in America"

"American companies should reflect the cultures of the markets they serve"

If the H-1B numbers do rise to 115,000 per year, that would be the final nail in the coffin for Americans living here.

What's amazing is that we Americans invented Silicon Valley. We invented and developed the technology we use in our daily lives. Silicon Valley and companies like Intel, Motorola, IBM, etc. would not exist if it weren't for us. The U.S. does not owe everyone in the world a job and a house in California. But because of industry demands for cheap labor, and a special-interest-driven national government, an explosion has occurred. Since the mid-1980s, the Valley has been transformed from a cohesive, productive, American place to work, into a nightmarish scene of foreign takeover. These foreigners are not better than us, they just have more numbers, and we have suicidal immigration laws.

Anyway, the interview in Milpitas was the last straw. I'm now working furiously to find opportunities in other states. But something's got to happen quickly, because I'm running low on money and my health insurance expires August 31. If the Fremont company offers me a job, I may have to take it and tough it out for a few more years here.

That idea I had for a "Euro-American" or "American Citizens'" high-tech employment group got deep-sixed within my mind yesterday. It's too late for something like that to be effective. That's because foreign-born Asians are the gatekeepers of the Valley. They're the ones who call the shots on who gets hired/fired. And they hire their own people; that's why the companies are all-Asian. There would need to be a large number of Americans in high-tech positions to facilitate the hiring of more Americans - a situation that does not exist. TSC

Copyright 2007 The Social Contract Press, 445 E Mitchell Street, Petoskey, MI 49770; ISSN 1055-145X
(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)