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.
I agree with you there - we need to come up with a way to decouple health insurance from jobs. It would eliminate a lot of age discrimination.
ding! ding! ding! we have a winnah! Of course you also have to add the fact that H1-B's work for 20-30% less than natives, and don't talk back or threaten to leave if they get treated like dirt.
I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering and I know firsthand that the H1-B program is a FRAUD.
Pass it on.....
If you know of a suspected employer of illegal aliens report them here.
ALSO can Report Illegals
second that, what about our american highly skilled college graduates who can't get jobs. He lost my vote for sure now and no more money to these pandering gop'ers
What type of VISAS will be given to all of the illegal aliens?
"what about our american highly skilled college graduates who can't get jobs."
Americans can't get free housing, health care, food, energy, etc while working and would thus require higher pay as well as health care insurance.
This is a load of BULLcrap. Those accredited degrees can be transferred over from foreign universities with a few tricks.
I didn't help the Republicrats get elected so they could slit my econmic throat.
I seem to remember something happening about the time that the average american colonist realized they had no representation in their monarchy. I wonder what that was.
I want to expand the H1B program and I want to change it.
We get the skills of higher educated workers with the H1B program, but those workers are slaves. They are bound, by the terms of the H1B visa to working only for the employer that sponsored the H1B visa, unless that employer will voluntarily release them from that requirement and let them find another H1B visa sponsor.
However, releasing them can only release them to another sponsor for a renewal of their H1B visa. Unless and until they get an H1B visa sponsor who will help them get a permanent resident visa - green card - and be relieved from the obligation to work only for that employer, they are like bonded servants.
I had a friend who was an H1B visa holder, working for one of the major accounting firms, providing services (IT management consulting) in which the firm was billing (me) six or seven times the hourly rate they were paying him; while his citizen peers in the company were being paid at least half of their billing rate - because they could go work somewhere else if they wanted.
To make matters worse, the firm here broke promises to their associates in his home country (from which the firm here found him), and those associates and their peers had blackballed him in their industry back home, because he would not return to work for them, after those broken promises became known (promises he was not a party to).
I want to see the H1B visa program expanded, greatly, but I want it to be an immediate path to citizenship, not an obligation to be in perpetual servitude to a single employer.
I want foreigners with commanding skills to be allowed to apply for an H1B visa themselves; to be given 90 days to find employment here or return home (most will already have their job applications), and after they find a job they get a green card and can, if they choose, immediately begin to apply for citizenship.
I want H1B visa holders free to take their skills to any US employer, and they should get a green card once their 90 day H1B period has ended and they have found a job here.
That also reduces the "threat" to citizens already here in their profession, because unlike the H1B visa now, there would be no incentive or ability for employers to try to get away with paying the H1B visa holders less, and undercut how many slots are open to those who can demand a "regular" salary.
Expand the H1B and end its servitude provisions.
Thanks for posting this. I'm sure this would have been buried otherwise. I am having a "just damn' moment here. I was actually thinking of supporting this guy, only to find out that he's just another bought and paid for POS politician. Now all I need is to find out that Pence and Tancredo are on the Chinese payroll. Isn't there a single national politician who gives the tiniest damn about the average American?
While I don't think the H-1B program should be expanded or made some sort of fast track to citizenship, I do agree that the "indentured servitude" portion of it should definitely be removed. Right now the only people profiting are the contracting firms who arrange to bring the labor in from overseas; they may charge an American firm 90% of the billable rate that a citizen would command, but they only pay the visaholder 70% of the equivalent salary, and pocket the difference.
And, of course, the other folks who profit from this system are--not surprisingly--lawyers. The entire immigration system in this country needs to be blown up and redone from square one. The process of getting somebody in on a work visa (H-1B, or especially one of the more limited special ones like a "national interest waiver") is PAINFUL. It's long, it's complex, it's expensive, and it's fraught with missteps. If the visaholder makes one tiny mistake, they're stuck. And lawyers are making a killing off navigating companies through it.
That is a blatant lie. Americans with these skills are available in every major city, and most are looking for work. Your complaint is that Americans won't or can't afford to work for third-world rates.
I don't have any problem with expanding it, as long as it cannot be used as a labor-abuse as it is now by employers.
Our Marxist education system is churning out the proletariat for the immigration marches, through the "social science" programs, while hard science is getting short shrift from high school all the way up.
Our corporations will have no choice but to export our technology to subsidiaries overseas if we cannot boost how many scientists they can hire here.
But, I want to retain the scientists they hire, as citizens with a permanent stake here, and retain the children of those scientists and begin to restore our production of new scientists and engineers.
I don't want an H1B visa program through which Intel brings in a person from India for three years, to become expert on a totally new branch of their technology, who Intel then returns to India to lead Intel's export of the production of that technology back to us from India. That is how the high-tech firms are using the H1B now.
The H1B program is their "feed stock" program, by which they provide the human resources component of the means to exporting the production of their technology overseas.
The idea that it is competition that requires this is totally false. In many areas, American high tech firms only have American competitors. The "competition" claim is no more than an excuse for them all to do it. If none of them were doing it, they still would not be losing sales to "foreign competition"; and Indians and Chinese would not be building hi-tech firms after "graduating" from their H1B work for U.S. firms.
No. We need immigrants in the skills that the H1B was designed for. But we need the H1B process to encourage citizenship and retention of those individuals, not re-exporting them along with the skill-value-added in their experience here.
The latest and newest Intel chip production facility is planned for construction were??............................
Communist Vietnam, not the U.S.
I think we could be friends
We don't have enough Americans who will do this work (at the depressed salaries that multinational corps. want to pay).
What jobs the multinationals can't ship overseas they want to fill by importing immigrants who will work at lowscale wages. And they're aided and abetted by our elected representatives.