Skip to comments.STEM Visas Should Be No-Brainer In Immigration Debate
Posted on 08/20/2013 5:24:33 AM PDT by Kaslin
Although the conversation on immigration reform tends to unfold in terms of border security, enforcement of laws, and pathways to citizenship there is one critical aspect this debate that has failed to break through all of the other noise. Immigration reform could help the economy grow--if done the right way.
Instead of getting bogged down in negotiations about amnesty and its various forms, conservatives should drive the conversation toward STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and H1-B visas. These visas can help bring the worlds best and brightest to America--the kind of people who will start businesses, buy homes, pay taxes, and contribute to society.
Conservatives can take a solutions-oriented lead in driving economic growth in Americas high-tech sector by pushing through Rep. Darrell Issas (R-CA) Skills Visa Act independent of other legislation. The bill would make more H1-B visas available to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees who are already in America, allowing us to capitalize on the investment we have made in educating these young people. By bringing this legislation to an immediate floor vote and pressuring the Senate to do the same, House Republicans can set the narrative on the immigration debate.
At a briefing on immigration reform at Microsofts offices in Washington, DC, this week, some of the brightest minds in the conservative movement discussed the tricky intersection between technology, immigration, economic growth, and electoral politics.
Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative think tank American Action Forum, presented on the potential economic benefits of immigration reform. With birth rates in America slipping toward the low levels of continental Europe, we are increasingly reliant on immigrants to keep our population--and accordingly, our labor force, GDP, and economy--from declining.
Holtz-Eakin cautioned, however, that immigration reform must be designed to attract more skilled immigrants looking for work. Among the industrialized nations, the U.S. grants comparatively few visas for economic reasons and by far the most visas for family reunification reasons. For immigration reform to work, he argued, America should follow nations like the U.K. in prioritizing work visas for immigrants with specialized knowledge.
Nowhere is this specialized knowledge more needed than in the STEM fields, where despite the Obama economys high unemployment, there are more jobs available than qualified applicants.
According to BLS statistics, the economy creates 3 jobs requiring a B.S. in computer science for every one college student graduating with a B.S. in computer science. These fields represent an opportunity for the brightest tech minds of the world to help jumpstart our economy here in America.
Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the CATO Institute, remarked that the system that many of our ancestors used to enter the country in the early 20th century no longer exists. Finding a modern-day answer to Ellis Island could help streamline legal immigration and fix our broken system.
Immigration reform also represents a ticking time bomb for the Republican Party. Whit Ayres, director of Resurgent Republic, showed charts detailing the decreasing percentage of whites in the electorate, and the Hispanic communitys increasing preference for Democrats. With non-Hispanic whites expected to become a minority of the population by 2040 and the Hispanic populations continued growth, Republicans simply must make inroads with nonwhite immigrants to remain a national party.
On this point, it was encouraging to hear Dr. Barret Duke of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention talk about his efforts to engage his membership in the immigration debate, and discuss the importance of the evangelical communitys support to the success of broad immigration reform.
STEM visas may not be a magic bullet to drive minority voters to the GOP, but they represent a facet of immigration reform that conservatives can embrace. The panelists at this event explained the multitude of reasons why these visas are good, conservative policy, and by promoting a plan to reform immigration based around STEM, Republicans can show the nonwhite community that they are serious about reaching out and welcoming them into the party.
Anyone who’s ever worked in High tech can tell you H1Bs are indentured servants. Econ 101... an increase in the supply of labor, decreases the wage.
H1Bs are decreasing the pay of American grad students.
The STEM degree should be from a USA accredited institution - not some correspondence course in India. Of course that will never happen.
And American kids won’t want to go into the field because they are afraid to be undercut by both outsourcing to India and HB-1 visa holders.
This has three effects:
I was the equivalent of an H1B visa holder in Japan for 14 years.
This would solve a lot of our problems but labor unions are frantically opposed to a sensible increase in the number of these visas. And guess who pulls the Democrats’ strings.
Why do foreigners with skill need to follow the visa regulations by providing necessary documents, etc., when millions of foreigners who came without proper documentations might become US citizens by fiat?
7,000,000,000 people in the world
130,000,000 total jobs in the US
less then 5,000,000 STEM jobs in the US total
hey... let’s bring in people from overseas so we can train them and send them home while neglecting our own STEM potentials
There may be a large demand for LOW PAID highly skilled labor, particularly in STEM (science-tech-engineering-math) jobs.
“Only half of students graduating with a STEM degree are able to find STEM jobs. Beyond that, if there was an actual shortage of STEM workers, basic supply and demand would predict that the wages of STEM workers would be on the rise. Instead, wages in STEM fields have not budged in over a decade. Stagnant wages and low rates of STEM job placement strongly suggest we actually have an abundance of STEM-qualified workers.”
No, it isn't.
How CATO has been sucked into the H1B lies told by greedy employers is a complete mystery to me. The sole purpose of H1B visas is to suppress the wages of American workers and provide a ready supply of compliant foreigners; cheap corporate drones.
The level of legal immigration we have now will destroy this country. Illegal immigration is almost just a sideshow.
The way this wrote this we have very few Americans who hold degrees science, technology, engineering, and math.Just to be clear are the best and brightest not trained right here in Ameican colleges ? We have over 300 million people plus in America right now. Surely there are enough students here with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.I believe this is nothing more than supporters being dishonest and acting like our colleges sit empty of students in classes for science, technology, engineering, and math.And this is a direct insult to all the Americans who went to college and did as well as anybody else from countries outsise the U.S...........With birth rates in America slipping toward the low levels of continental Europe, we are increasingly reliant on immigrants to keep our population—and accordingly, our labor force, GDP, and economy—from declining.......... I imagine if there is a decline, it comes from Americans cannot get a boat load of freebies.I’d love to have a house full of kids I cannot afford to support be no prpblem in collecting welfare,food stamps and even in some cases SSDI. I’d like my kids to be given free medical care, for 18 years, free school lunches,after school snacks,the weekend take home meals that many illegals are collecting. I suppose if I wanted to have kids the gov will assume the role of being the parents 18 years and after 18 years, look for the demands for free college educations to become available to illegals. At a time when unemployment remains very high for the last 5 years, what responsible Americans can tell themselves as bad as things are,lets have children that we cannot support anyway. Yes many Americans abuse the system and take handouts rather than doing an honest days work. Why stop at 11 million plus, if we had 30 million plus we would be the envy of the world. It’s always about helping the illegals and never about helping out any Americans.Why doesn’t gov say, we will give to legal citzens of our country.. we will give special student financial aid to ensure our best and brightest can go to college and get those degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math and therefore we will not need to use lame excuses America has a shortage of educated people..
Propoganda alert. No one opposing more STEM visas were interviewed in these piece. The fact is that most Americans with STEM degrees graduating recently are either unemployed not employed in a scientific field. Corporations have a lot of money to spend on porpoganda to get government-subsidized cheap and intentured labor because they refuse to pay market rates for Americans.
Under current law foreign born STEM graduates - essentially those with Master's or Ph.D degrees in science and tech - are practically guaranteed a 5 year work visa in America.
Those who are determined to stay in the USA have little difficulty extending their stay for years longer, even if they don't receive a Green Card or Citizenship.
Unfortunately, the BEST graduates usually do leave the USA - by choice - and not because they are thrown out.
About 80% of STEM’s from western Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the oil rich Middle East, eventually return to their home country.
Because pay and standard of living are essentially the same as the USA.
Which STEM’s do stay?
The lowest ranked ones, unfortunately.
About 80% of STEM’s from India, China, Russia, and eastern Europe stay in the USA longer than 5 years.
How do they compare with home grown Americans?
At least two studies show that foreign born STEM’s rank the same as - or below - American born STEM’s in patent applications and journal citations.
The H1-B visa is a complete fraud that allows American corporations to ignore age discrimination and race discrimination laws.
Almost all H1-B’s are under 40 years of age.
50% of American workers are OVER age 40.
There are about 850,000 H1-B’s in America.
More than 500,000 are from India.
An American corporation would be BURIED in lawsuits if it hired American born workers that way.
One last thought.
Anybody here wonder why there is a “shortage” of American born tech workers?
Thanks to H1-B, an “average” American kid starting college knows that his tech wages will hit a ceiling around age 30, and he knows he will be unemployable after age 40.
I just did a simple Google on “STEM unemployment rate” and that was the first article up, but there are many others:
The fact that articles from the entire range of political viewpoints come to the same conclusion: we don’t need any more H1 visas for STEM workers until our own STEM graduates have employment.
Team Obama is pushing the increase big-time. What do you think motivates this?
I’ve got a better idea.....
Unlimited American work visas for anyone paid more than $150,000, plus the freedom to change jobs, at any time, if you get a better offer.
And, ZERO work visas for anyone paid less.
Oh, I forgot to mention.....
UNLIMITED work visas for any foreigner working as a JOURNALIST.
But only if they are paid LESS than American journalists.
This guy... and his potential pool of workers.
They come here and end up working at Publix
If our schools weren’t run by stupid leftists we could have Americans doing those jobs. We don’t need to import these people.
No, unimportant side issue. The battle is over shamesty and our continued failure to STOP MORE FROM WALKING ON OVER.
The CIS study is especially suspect because it simply looks at the number of graduates in these fields without considering that in many cases these are not Americans, and they aren't going to stay in this country after graduation.
The article at American [I use the word advisedly] Prospect includes a finding that the US Economy needs massively more stimulus to recover, a claim which is, in a word, preposterous. Unfortunately, that's pretty typical of the quality of their work.
Speaking as someone who's involved in filling 12-15 positions per year at the last level before hiring, I can tell you frankly that many programmers and IT support people in the market are simply not worth a crap. We typically start out with phone interviews of about 20 people (after culling 40-50 resumes) to fill one position. 6 or 7 usually pass level 1 and the next level gets that down to three candidates, and then I (a consultant) and senior IT engineers/program managers interview the final round. In many cases we pass ON ALL of the candidates, and the process starts all over again; sadly, this doesn't happen because we're all that picky. We've taken a chance on about 50% of the folks we hire in the hope they'll surprise us. They rarely do.
In IT, the skill erosion is about 25% per year. This means that after graduation you effectively have to stay in college as far as continuing education, or, after 4 years you are worth little more to an organization than someone with no training in the field. In cutting-edge science the numbers are even worse. I don't think H1B is the solution to that, but I'm very skeptical of "research" that simply takes the number of graduates per year , compares it to estimates, and then concludes that we have enough "qualified" people.
The H1B visa talk would stop very quickly if we claimed that the high wages paid to lawyers are indicative of a shortage and we need to import hundreds of thousands of foreign-born attorneys to lower the cost of legal services.
The first article I posted may have had some specious assumptions, but the others were unambiguous. Legions of STEM graduates are not able to find work in their chosen fields, and I can personally attest to many very smart students who are still struggling and taking jobs that are far below their skill set.
The old Bell Labs use to routinely rotate people into new projects that required them to learn new skills... something Ph. D. physicists are very good at doing. Now it doesn't exist. We have been outsourcing our high value-added technical jobs along with our factories. They knew that academia only went so far, and that science and high-end engineering were apprenticeships... and invested in their people.
So... who benefits when even advanced degreed people are idling? Who gains when millions of people who want work are unemployed or underemployed? Someone is setting the conditions for a massive state welfare system, perhaps?
I’ve posted about “unlimited” lawyer immigration in the past.
In 2012, I wrote that Romney should make that announcement to an Ivy League law school graduating class.
Nothing changes political opinions faster than having “your own ox gored.”