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U.S. to Sharply Cut Number of High-Tech Work Visas
Reuters ^ | September 22, 2003 | Alan Elsner

Posted on 09/22/2003 12:14:29 PM PDT by AntiGuv

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is about to cut the number of employment visas it offers to highly qualified foreign workers from 195,000 to 65,000, immigration experts said on Monday.

Unless Congress acts by the end of this month -- and there is little sign it will do so -- the change will automatically take effect on Oct. 1. Employers, especially technology companies, argue the move will hurt them and the economy.

The change will affect the number of H1-B visas that can be issued each fiscal year. The visas are mostly used to bring high-tech experts from Asia, especially from the Indian sub-continent, to work in the United States for up to three years.

"The fact that Congress doesn't seem anxious to act reflects the political climate, with a lack of jobs for Americans," said New York immigration lawyer Cyrus Mehta.

"The pressure to change the limit will build up again when the economy picks up."

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the issue last week. Republican chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah noted that many U.S. high-tech workers are unemployed and the committee needed to find ways of helping them without hurting the country's ability to compete globally.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said: "Given the weakness of our current economy, and the rising unemployment we have experienced under President Bush's stewardship, many who supported the increase in 2000 now believe that 65,000 visas are sufficient."

But Patrick Duffy, Human Resources Attorney for Intel Corporation, said finding the best-educated engineering talent from around the world was critical to his company's future.

"We expect that we will continue to sponsor H-1B employees in the future for the simple reason that we cannot find enough U.S. workers with the advanced education, skills, and expertise we need," he said.

Elizabeth Dickson, director of immigration services for the Ingersoll-Rand Company, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said: "In the near-term, we simply must have access to foreign nationals. Many of them have been educated in the United States. By sending them home, we are at best sending them to our own foreign plant sites, and at worst to our competitors."

Immigration attorneys expect the new rules to set off a scramble by companies to fill their slots early before the ceiling is reached. How quickly that happens depends on the state of the economy, they said.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: visas
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1 posted on 09/22/2003 12:14:30 PM PDT by AntiGuv
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To: AntiGuv
FINALLY
2 posted on 09/22/2003 12:16:38 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: AntiGuv
Note: Tired and poor still welcome. Great Benefits.

3 posted on 09/22/2003 12:17:15 PM PDT by JohnGalt (For Democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.)
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To: AntiGuv
did we win this one? or am I mis-reading the article? I feel so beaten up on this issue, I can't differentiate reality from fantasy anymore...
4 posted on 09/22/2003 12:17:45 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: AntiGuv
A smart move. If people want to come here for work, they should come here to become US citizens. Now the problem will be preventing all of these high-tech companies from putting their work requirements into a zip file and emailing them to foreign countries.

Short of exempting email from First Amendment protections, I see no way of preventing this so-called 'outsourcing'.
5 posted on 09/22/2003 12:18:07 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (Success will not come to you. You go to success.)
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To: JohnGalt
Great news. It's about time they stood up for the American worker.
6 posted on 09/22/2003 12:18:08 PM PDT by LinuxRocks
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To: LinuxRocks
Those already making over 60K anyway.

7 posted on 09/22/2003 12:18:47 PM PDT by JohnGalt (For Democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.)
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To: oceanview
did we win this one? or am I mis-reading the article? I feel so beaten up on this issue, I can't differentiate reality from fantasy anymore..

Well kind of... we should have reduced the number to 0 and expelled all those already here, but that's just wishful thinking...
8 posted on 09/22/2003 12:18:59 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; Black Agnes; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; DKNY; ...

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

9 posted on 09/22/2003 12:19:04 PM PDT by nutmeg ("The DemocRATic party...has been hijacked by a confederacy of gangsters..." - Pat Caddell, 11/27/00)
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To: JohnGalt
you might also add that those are the bulk of people paying federal income taxes.
10 posted on 09/22/2003 12:19:37 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: TexasGunLover
maybe the bitching on FR will now be exculsively on Arnold.
11 posted on 09/22/2003 12:20:30 PM PDT by jern
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To: AntiGuv
"Employers, especially technology companies, argue the move will hurt them and the economy.

Tell these anti-American employers to shove it where the sun don't shine. Start hiring Americans you (expletive removed)'s, instead of trying to tell Americans they don't have the qualifications so you can hire some foreign POS at 1/3 the pay scale.

12 posted on 09/22/2003 12:20:58 PM PDT by JustAnAmerican
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To: .cnI redruM
sure there is a way to stop it. Taxes and Tariffs. Where there is a will there is a way.
13 posted on 09/22/2003 12:21:57 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: AntiGuv
Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said: "Given the weakness of our current economy, and the rising unemployment we have experienced under President Bush's stewardship, many who supported the increase in 2000 now believe that 65,000 visas are sufficient."

And the Dims still find a way to both dig Bush, and claim credit. Amazing...

14 posted on 09/22/2003 12:23:54 PM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow ("The board is set. The pieces are moving. We come to it at last...the Great Battle of our time.")
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To: AntiGuv; SAMWolf
This is such good news it's difficult to believe. Now let's cut it down to a big fat ZERO.
15 posted on 09/22/2003 12:25:10 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: TexasGunLover
FINALLY

Yeah, finally they cut the numbers back... to where they were when the recession started three years ago.

16 posted on 09/22/2003 12:25:10 PM PDT by skeeter (Fac ut vivas)
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To: JohnGalt
So, JohnGalt, do you have a problem with that?
17 posted on 09/22/2003 12:25:30 PM PDT by old3030
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To: CasearianDaoist
A tax on email to foreign countries.....
That will have unintended consequences.
18 posted on 09/22/2003 12:25:49 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (Success will not come to you. You go to success.)
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To: AntiGuv
All this will do is even further accelerate moving more jobs offshore.
19 posted on 09/22/2003 12:26:16 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: oceanview
No question, the government has an interest in seeing this group of IT employees take on the union mentality to ensure a steady stream of revenue.

The problem is that labor cost pressure will simply move major IT projects off shore.

The real culprit is government regulation that makes hiring an American employee so expensive; this is but a short term hold on immense downward pressure on labor wages.
20 posted on 09/22/2003 12:27:08 PM PDT by JohnGalt (For Democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.)
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To: old3030
$60K salaries should be mandated by the government. Didn't you get the memo? Taxes and tariffs are good.
21 posted on 09/22/2003 12:27:22 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: .cnI redruM
Not a tax on email...tax the company that is outsourcing and put a tariff on the vendor.
23 posted on 09/22/2003 12:31:14 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: old3030
Rather agnostic on the subject, but I am amazed that such a wealthy element of the middle class can accomplish such a labor market protection but those at the bottom of the labor market can't catch a break on closed borders.


I think the other poster nailed it: American educated employees pay more in taxes, but I think the end result is simply more LB-1 visas and production moved over seas. Labor price protection is a losing battle with modern technology, and deregulation is a better long term strategy, but I hope if nothing else, 60K programmers will stop snickering at Pat Buchanan economic nationalism arguments.
24 posted on 09/22/2003 12:31:20 PM PDT by JohnGalt (For Democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.)
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To: AntiGuv
What a red herring! The barn door is flapping in the wind.

Meanwhile, L1 Visa holders, unknown to most, make hay.
25 posted on 09/22/2003 12:34:04 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: AntiGuv
It is about time.............................................................................................
26 posted on 09/22/2003 12:34:54 PM PDT by Tank-FL (Keep the Faith - GO VMI Beat Georgetown)
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To: melchizedek
Economic localism, and buying from people we can claim to intimately like and trust, is one of the few ways left to exercise our economic liberty.

Hopefully his company pays commissions so he can be rewarded properly and fairly for leading a life of integrity.

Thanks for the post.
27 posted on 09/22/2003 12:35:04 PM PDT by JohnGalt (For Democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.)
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To: AntiGuv
"The pressure to change the limit will build up again when the economy picks up."

Congress should pass a law saying that H1-B's must be paid identically with American citizens of equal skill grades. That would really throw water on companies now clamoring for more visas. All they want to do is undermine American workers' wages. IF they want to do that, then outsource. Otherwise we should tax their ass.

28 posted on 09/22/2003 12:36:14 PM PDT by montag813
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To: AntiGuv
Well, I am sure planning departments will be busy in the coming months putting together numbers for moving departments overseas.
29 posted on 09/22/2003 12:36:59 PM PDT by riri
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To: AntiGuv
Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said: "Given the weakness of our current economy, and the rising unemployment we have experienced under President Bush's stewardship, many who supported the increase in 2000 now believe that 65,000 visas are sufficient."

Translation: "I am a RAT and I will never, ever pass up an opportunity to bash President Bush."

We all know there is little President Bush can do directly to influence the unemployment rate. But, hey, let's not get bogged down in the details. He's the Pres and it's all his fault!! LOL

30 posted on 09/22/2003 12:38:04 PM PDT by upchuck (The Palis are a bunch of wackos with a 14th Century mentality and 20th Century toys. Kill 'em.)
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To: .cnI redruM
If people want to come here for work, they should come here to become US citizens

It's not that easy.

31 posted on 09/22/2003 12:38:53 PM PDT by trini
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To: CasearianDaoist
The question I raised, is how would you be able to detect the transfer of the actual work product offshore?
32 posted on 09/22/2003 12:40:36 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (Success will not come to you. You go to success.)
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To: AntiGuv
Someone explain to me why losing the freedom to hire a highly skilled immigrant who wants to come here legally and work for me on mutually acceptable terms is somehow in my rational self-interest. It isn't. To the contrary, it is yet one more example of government (even a government presently controlled by Republicans) moving one methodical step at a time towards more socialism and less capitalism and freedom.
33 posted on 09/22/2003 12:41:37 PM PDT by kesg
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To: dfwgator
All this will do is even further accelerate moving more jobs offshore.

I disagree. There are some tech jobs you just cannot send overseas. Desktop support, LAN Administration, etc.

34 posted on 09/22/2003 12:42:18 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe
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To: trini
No, I understand that fairly well. I lived in LA for two years and doubt I saw a single lawn being mowed in BEverly Hills that was being mowed by a US citizen. However, and particularly in the case of H1B Visa jobs, these are people we should try very hard to keep once they come over.
35 posted on 09/22/2003 12:42:19 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (Success will not come to you. You go to success.)
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To: JustAnAmerican
Start hiring Americans you (expletive removed)'s, instead of trying to tell Americans they don't have the qualifications so you can hire some foreign POS at 1/3 the pay scale.

I could be wrong, but as far as I know the company must pay the recipient of the visa on the same scale as American citizens or residents would receive in the same position.

36 posted on 09/22/2003 12:43:40 PM PDT by trini
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To: AntiGuv
The rise in 2000 was hogwash and 65k was always TOO HIGH.. H1B program should not be, and should never have been more than 10-15k at the very most.

I am glad that congress is acting 3 years too late to undo partially a nearly decade long wrong.
37 posted on 09/22/2003 12:45:04 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: kesg
Someone explain to me why losing the freedom to hire a highly skilled immigrant who wants to come here legally and work for me on mutually acceptable terms is somehow in my rational self-interest. It isn't.

During economic growth, I would agree with you. But we need to protect American citizens and the economy during troubled times. Not to worry, I'm sure you will once again be able to exploit intelligent people who have had the misfortune of living in a poor nation- once the economy fully rebounds.

38 posted on 09/22/2003 12:45:43 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe
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To: AntiGuv
So let me get this straight.

A company that would employ such foreign workers in the U.S. will now just move to India or wherever. Since they can't get enough skilled U.S. workers (so they say), they will move their operations to a foreign country where wages are much lower and the workers will pay no U.S. taxes.

Yep, a win for the American worker and the U.S. tax base!

39 posted on 09/22/2003 12:46:26 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: .cnI redruM
Well...they have to transfer monies and the vendor will need some sort of business entity in the US. If the law is inforced, no board will endorse breaking it, they would be personally liable.
40 posted on 09/22/2003 12:46:58 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
One more campaign issue off the table...
Look for a huge WMD documen dump next summer....
41 posted on 09/22/2003 12:47:23 PM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: CasearianDaoist
It would be like the Ford Escort. The code would be written in China, India and COsta Rica for all we know, but the cardboard box the vendor sold it in would be made in the US, hence it would be an American product.
42 posted on 09/22/2003 12:48:38 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (Success will not come to you. You go to success.)
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To: trini
Not true, only H1B rule is they have to "attempt to hire an american for 6 months before hiring an H1B employee".. which was NEVER enforced.. I worked for start up after start up that wasn't 6 months old who had H1B's doing jobs I could hire an american for at the drop of a hat, but its cheaper to have the quasi slave labor of the H1B more often than not.... the whole thing is a scam.
43 posted on 09/22/2003 12:49:20 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: kesg
Your rational self-interest would tell you that there are fewer cultural barriers to surmount with hiring your own countrymen. It would also tell you that trust and security are greater with your countrymen than with new immigrants. If you don't have even a basic loyalty or concern for your country, your rational self-interest would tell you to run fast, because the angry mobs of exploited workers are coming to burn down your immigration import house.
44 posted on 09/22/2003 12:51:10 PM PDT by =Intervention= ( When you vote your own principles, there's always a winner -- YOU.)
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To: kesg
When the law that allowed them to come here "legally" is dubious at best. The premise of the H1B was that there were not enough skilled american workers to fill the jobs, so we HAVE to let in foreigners who have no ties to this country, have no interest in immigrating, but only want to hit the lotto fora few years and go back to india to live off their spoils afterward....

Unfortunately this was never true, there was never a high tech worker shortage, and frankly the H1B program helped cause the economic tech downturn to be even worse than it needed to be.

Immigrants are more than welcome, come here, and become an american... but that was not the goal of any of the H1Bs.
45 posted on 09/22/2003 12:53:05 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: TexasGunLover
Well kind of... we should have reduced the number to 0 and expelled all those already here, but that's just wishful thinking...

Dude, you're trying to kill me here aren't you?

I can't go back and replace ALL the H1-B's who've replaced me!

I won't work three shifts at three different companies.

I won't! I won't!! I won't!!!!

46 posted on 09/22/2003 12:53:41 PM PDT by null and void (If they didn't want a Crusade, why did they start one?)
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To: HamiltonJay
I disagree simply because that has not been my experience. Undoubtedly, there are people who will find a way to flout any rule, however that does not mean thet the rule is inherently flawed.
47 posted on 09/22/2003 12:53:56 PM PDT by trini
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To: snippy_about_it
Still too many coming in.
48 posted on 09/22/2003 12:55:57 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Click...click...click...damn, out of taglines!)
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To: HamiltonJay
Immigrants are more than welcome, come here, and become an american... but that was not the goal of any of the H1Bs.

Well, I know many people who have used the H1-B visas for exactly that, to stay and become US citizens.

49 posted on 09/22/2003 12:56:30 PM PDT by trini
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To: dfwgator
that is already occurring at warp speed anyway. It should be the next thing targetted, but the Rs don't realize it is decimating their voter base, and the Dems are happy to see that occur.
50 posted on 09/22/2003 12:56:54 PM PDT by oceanview
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