Skip to comments.Allen Bill Would Expand Visas For High-Tech Workers
Posted on 05/04/2006 7:37:14 AM PDT by areafiftyone
U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., has co-sponsored a bill offered by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, that seeks to promote employer access to skilled employees. The Securing Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Bill expands the number of visas allowed for high-tech workers educated in the United States who are employed as part of the H1-B visa program.
"I want the United States to be the world capital of innovation. And to achieve that goal, we must adapt, innovate and compete by allowing them to attract highly skilled individuals so that they can become fully productive citizens," said Allen.
Currently, the number of visas for high-tech workers allowed under the H1-B program is capped at 65,000. This bill increases that number to 115,000 and creates a market-based cap whereby unused visas can be carried forward to the next year. In addition, the bill exempts from the H1-B cap any professional who has earned a post-graduate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States.
"Many of these students are studying engineering, science and technology, which are vital for the future competitiveness of our country. I want America to be the magnet for the best minds in the world. But we must allow our companies to compete and succeed, and this reasonable approach reduces paperwork on employees in this vital sector of our economy who have demonstrated a solid record of complying with our immigration laws," said Allen. "This is an example of why more young American men and women should be studying science and engineering so that they can fill those good paying jobs of the future.
"With women composing about 15 percent of engineers, and Latinos and African Americans at 6 percent each, I will continue to advocate that there must be incentives and encouragement of Americans to acquire the technological skills to lead a fulfilling life and improve American competitiveness."
The H1-B visa program has specific relevance to Virginia. A recent report by Cyberstates details tremendous gains in the high-tech sector of the U.S. economy. In a survey released earlier this month, U.S. high-tech employment totaled 5.6 million in 2005, up by 61,100. Virginia is number one in high-tech job growth, adding 9,100 such jobs in 2004.
Virginia is also among the top five in high-tech employment.
In fact, as Allen pointed out, "computer chips are replacing tobacco as Virginia's largest export."
Allen views continued growth in this sector of the economy as vital to the nation's future competitiveness. In March, he launched the U.S. Senate Economic Competitiveness Caucus, putting forth nine goals that would boost the nation's ability to compete and succeed against foreign competitors, including India and China, which are graduating far more engineers and scientists than the United States.
"To continue this type of solid growth, certain attributes will be the keys: We need more energy security. We need the right tax and regulatory policies for investment and jobs. We need to strengthen education to make this country more competitive. And finally, we need to be able to make sure that highly skilled workers - and their jobs - remain here," said Allen.
Whatever happened to letting the free market solve this?
Apology for slavery (any Americans still alive who owned slaves)?
Allow more immigrants in to depress high-tech wages?
Sen. Allen's tanking pretty damned fast in my book!
Another contender for the 'Prince of Euphemism'
Hey POE what is wrong with employing OUR people again?
If you need trained people why not train Americans?
Allen is off my dance card.
The United States has always imported highly-educated people for specific purposes.
The free market would allow an employer to bring in whomever he wanted, for as long as he wanted.
And they wonder why American kids are not interested in pursuing engineering and science careers.
Maybe this flood of outsiders displacing Americans will only stop when we have H-1 visas for reporters, pundits, politicians, and CEOs.
After all, could an imported Paraguayan CEO paid $80,000 a year screw up ENRON any worse than Ken Lay did?
They cost to much for the multination corporations that send the senators big campaign checks. I am beginning to think our legislatures think they work for them and not us.
??!! Over half the graduates in engineering are foreign.
Allen is off my dance card as well. I hope the campaign contributions taken from the "India first" lobby was worth it.
Employers need tech workers who are not only trained, but experienced.
My company has to import systems people who know OS/390 and COBOL because current grads view these as dead mainframe systems and won't learn high-end back-level IBM technology.
This guarantees I will vote AGAINST him when he runs for president.
Yeah, there are lots of older high-tech workers out there who haven't gotten jobs since the 2002 slump. How about hiring them back first and THEN we'll talk about bringing in more H1-B visa folks?
I work for a large government contractor and we work a HUGE IT contract for the SSA. Its got to be 75% H1-Bs here. I do interviews now and again and the candidates are nothing but H1-Bs.
Last year the company bussed us all to a speech by the CEO and he gave some BS about how the company has programs to encourage students to study math, science and engineering. I felt like standing up and saying Why should ANYONE go though the trouble of studying calculus (like I did) when companies like yours lobby congress to allow more workers to drive down our wages?
But I need the paycheck.
"Spoken like a true "free trader". You 'import' human beings, because you believe humans are a commodity."
We're "Human Resources", think cattle.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.