Skip to comments.Senator seeks expanded visas for foreign high-tech workers
Posted on 05/16/2012 9:28:58 AM PDT by DFG
A leading Republican in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday unveiled legislation to raise the number of permanent visas for skilled technical workers from foreign countries, but prospects of passage this year could be clouded by election-year politics.
Senator John Cornyn, the senior Republican on a panel that oversees immigration, introduced a bill that would make an additional 55,000 visas available each year for graduates with master's and doctoral degrees who have studied at U.S. research institutions.
This is one of several immigration-related bills that could be kicked around this year in Congress and in the presidential campaign. But there is scant evidence so far of enough consensus to get anything enacted into law.
Other measures could focus on trying to help children of illegal immigrants who want to attend U.S. colleges or serve in the U.S. military.
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We are bringing in English teachers under these H-1B visas. They are a scam. We have 22 million Americans looking for fulltime employment at the same time as bringing in 125,000 LEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS A MONTH thru temporary work visas and permanent immigrants. This is insane.
I recruit extensively for Engineers, the overwhelming majority of respondents are foreigners here on student visas. We hire 2 or 3 of them a year, simply due to the lack of response from ‘home-grown’ local talent.
It’s a sad commentary of our country when the majority of graduating engineers aren’t US citizens.
Well, Cornyn is a member of our greatest asylum...
No limit on the number of foreign workers you can import with certain needed skills. Just a requirement to pay them at least 10% more than the going wage for the position in the industry.
Companies tend to quickly limit their need for foreign workers when they are required to pay them a premium rather than a pittance.
The foreign workers lucky enough to be selected actually raise the overall quality of the workforce and its pay scale by encouraging more locals to go into the field.
As long as companies can pay a pittance to import foreign workers, there is a never ending need for more visas. Once they have to pay a premium, they decide some of the local workers aren't such an unqualified fit after all. Funny how that works. Can anyone explain it?
I wonder if the masters grads who are out of work or so underemployed could gill these slots
or if they are so highly math/tech orineted that hisotry majors can’t fill them
Surely with so many out of work we can find some citizens and retrain them quickly..
of course the othe point is how much less these foreign students will work for
Its a sad commentary of our country when the majority of graduating engineers arent US citizens.
I'm not surprised. Back in my engineering days I could see that this was a clear trend. The good news is that many if not most of these foreign students who come here to fill the empty spots in our engineering schools elect to stay, get a job and eventually become U.S. citizens. They're not stealing anybody's job and they are earning top dollar.
Each year, some 200,000 additional skilled foreign workers are admitted through a variety of existing visa programs.
At least one million skilled nonimmigrant workers are in the United States at any one time.
The large majority of foreign PhD recipients already remain in the United States under current law
Why 55,000 additional visas?
Why not exchange them for 55,000 fewer indigent, non-english speaking Mexicans who will go immediately on welfare and food stamps?
Or 55,000 fewer beligerent muslim taxi cab drivers?
Or 55,000 fewer Hispanic drug dealers?
Or 55,000 fewer uneducated Somalis?
Do you have any proof of that assertion? Please post it if you do.
The simple and sad fact is that not enough US citizens are willing to do the very tough work to learn high-tech skills. It takes math and science and sweat and tears to qualify for the high-paying jobs, and American students drop out of math and science and engineering into easier majors.
One reason is that elementary math isn’t tough enough to lay the foundation for geometry and trig and calc in high school, so by the time they get to college, few can handle the difficulty.
So our tech employers need to look outside our borders. Unpopular truth.
I personally know several engineers who have been laid off recently due to the awful economy and have landed squarely on their feet in a matter of weeks, with better pay.
I also know qualified teachers who are unemployed because there is a glut of people who can teach English and social studies and elementary ed. That’s why I doubt that what you say is true. If it is true, that’s shameful and needs to be fixed.
Sad truth is that a generic education won’t land a job today.
Senator John Cornyn sounds like he is mentally ill. Half our college graduates for the last 5 years are UNEMPLOYED. We don’t need more H1Bs.
In Prince George's county, Maryland, one of every 10 teachers came from the Philippines on H-1B visas. The idea that American teachers won't take these jobs is nonsense. Foreign teachers are cheaper period.
The Prince Georges County school system has brought them in by the hundreds in the past decade to comply with one federal law. Now they are at risk of being sent home because the school system failed to comply with another.
The result could mean as many as 957 foreign teachers more than 10 percent of the countys teaching corps would lose their visas by 2014. Such an exodus would mark a significant reversal after years in which many U.S. schools filled hard-to-staff positions with overseas instructors.
And paying taxes.
My husband worked for a year to find an experienced material science engineer from the US, finally had to hire a guy from Germany.
He is frustrated by the lack of high tech workers in the US now.
Maybe you can't get all the top 1% folks you want, but you can get the top 1.1% and move out smartly.
What the schools are waiting for is the OUT OF STATE TUITION the foreign students will need to pay.
Those newly graduated Unemployed don’t have the skills that the H1Bs have.
Rather, they majored in psychology, or general studies, or anthropology, or Latin, or general something-or-other, and there is no need right now for generalists.
In a good economy, all these kids would have jobs. We have a sick economy. If you don’t know how to do something specific and critical to the company’s success, they can’t afford you.
I speak as the parent of several who have finished college in the past few years, as well as their friends, so my knowledge is purely anecdotal but real.
In my daughter’s entering chemistry graduate class of 22, there were 6 domestic students. When I was in grad school it was roughly 50-50 (foreign to domestic students). I had plenty of grad classes where I was the only domestic.
There is some of that I'm sure but I still think our engineering school applications are way down from previous years. But I admit that is just a guess, I don't have the data to back it up.
In any case the Out of State Tuition "problem" is real. Universities do favor out of state/country students because of the higher tuition they have to pay.
I like your approach, but “retrain them quickly” isn’t really an option when it comes to today’s engineering needs.
It takes years of training in math and science and hi-tech thinking to develop the skills necessary for many of these jobs. It’s hard to catch up — although it could be done — if you didn’t start this path by junior high school or, better yet, elementary school.
But “quickly” simply isn’t possible.
My brother wrapped up his math degree.
Do you realize what the openings are for math majors? They are, for all practical purposes, advanced degrees in other fields! That is, you gotta' keep going to school ~ and not just to school, but in an inferior field of study. There's really little room at the top in math ~ maybe more in physics, some in engineering, maybe structural engineering for architecture or something like it.
That little problem has been bing bonging math majors in this and other countries for decades.
One of my sons' friends was majoring in math ~ the kind of guy who takes yet one more advanced calculus or topology class to boost his GPA ~ and he had to drop out for a semester to work to get money to continue school.
His problem was he was the first college student in his family in centuries. He was born here but his dad and mom grew up in rice paddies in Korea. He should have asked me about it, but he'd registered for the classes before he discovered the money shortage.
He didn't pay.
The school didn't notify him he still owed, and that if he was dropping classes he should come in and drop them!
He did do that and appealed to the Dean to fix his record ~ which the Dean refused to do.
KId had to end up taking an extra year of math classes to get his GPA up to what he'd need to go on to a grad school somewhere else, but he missed one stinking little course that's taught only every 2 or 3 years and he had to take his degree in philosophy.
He's currently in the Army. Gets out this year I think.
That's how American universities treat American born student geniuses who try to major in Math while paying in-state tuition.
SO somebody here knows of universities crying HURT due to a lack of math majors?
Without out of state tuition TRIPLE instate in so many state universities they come out ahead by leaving two vacancies!
See my post #13 on teachers and #9 on STEM graduates.
The sad fact is that our immigration system is not linked to our need for jobs. It brings in too many people (1.2 million legal permanent immigrants) and it doesn't bring in the skills we need to be competitive in the global ecomony. Despite a net loss of jobs during the decade ending in 2010, we brought in 13.9 million legal permanent immigrants, the highest in our history. And 57% of all immigrants, legal and illegal, are on at least one major welfare program.
Sad truth is that a generic education wont land a job today.
The sad truth is that so many Americans are buying the propaganda that we need all these immigrants to do jobs Americans won't. Despite our failing K-12 education system, the most advanced country on earth should be able to produce the people we need to run our economy. I have no problem with "Einsteins" that can make major contributions to our nation, but the idea that we can't produce teachers to teach even English in our schools is just plain false.
When my middle child decided to apply to a graduate engineering program, he was told by the head of the program not to worry about getting admitted. He is a caucasian American, and, as such, could be admitted under affirmative action guidelines as a minority.
Both here and abroad, foreigners are driving high-tech and getting the jobs because they aren’t afraid of hard work.
They have degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Hydrocarbon Engineering, ~ there are millions of them unemployed at the moment.
Folks with degrees in psychology, general studies (aka business ~ Bwahahahaha), anthropoligy or Latin have jobs because they also went to graduate school to get the ENTRY LEVEL degree to those fields.
India and Pakistan combined have well over 100,000 unemployed graduate level engineers in a wide variety of fields. It's a world glut!
They also pay out of state tuition.
When it comes to H1Bs (not illegal hispanics), it’s not about jobs Americans WON’T do, it’s about jobs Americans CAN’T do, because they won’t get the education and skills necessary.
Which is good.
We shouldn’t think so.
For the past century, a good job was a ticket to the middle class. Hitched to the locomotive of rapid economic growth, the wages of the typical worker seemed to go in only one direction: up. From 1950 to 1970, the average earnings of male workers increased by about 25 percent each decade. And these gains were not concentrated among some lucky few. Rather, earnings rose for most workers, and almost every prime-aged male (ages 25-64) worked.
Over the past 40 years, a period in which U.S. GDP per capita more than doubled after adjusting for inflation, the annual earnings of the median prime-aged male has actually fallen by 28 percent. Indeed, males at the middle of the wage distribution now earn about the same as their counterparts in the 1950s! This decline reflects both stagnant wages for men on the job, and the fact that, compared with 1969, three times as many men of working age dont work at all.
Starting in the early 1970s, however, the median wage diverged from the average, and the median (adjusted for inflation) has been stagnant ever since. Even when men who work less than full time are excluded, the median wage has been going nowhere.
For some groups, the story is much worse. The earnings of the median male high-school dropout who works full time have declined by 38 percent, while the earnings of the median male with only a high-school degree have fallen by 26 percent.
Actually, even these numbers hide the depth of the decline, since they are based only on men who are working. But between 1960 and 2009, the share of men without any formal labor-market earnings rose from 6 percent to 18 percent. Whats more, the percentage of men working full time has decreased from 83 percent to 66 percent over the same period. According to the Census Current Population Survey, the largest contributors to rising nonemployment can be categorized, in order of importance, as ill or disabled, unable to find work, retired, homemaker, in school and institutionalized (mostly in prisons).
Surely, the most astonishing statistic to be gleaned from the trend data is the deterioration in the market outcomes for men with less than a high school education. The median earnings of all men in this category have declined by 66 percent [not a misprint]. At the same time, this group has experienced a 23 percentage point decline in the probability of having any labor-market earnings. Roughly 10 percentage points of the 23 percentage points is attributable to the fact that more men are reporting disabilities, even though work in physically demanding jobs has been declining for many decades. Men with just a high school diploma did only marginally better. Their wages declined by 47 percent and their participation in the labor force fell by 18 percentage points.
A couple of dirty little secrets though:
-The foreign H1B candidate often has his education fully or mostly paid for by his government back home. This gives him a leg-up on his domestic competition. There is a legendary story about a high-tech company here in town where a fistfight broke out when the American engineers learned that their H1B counterpart had gotten his Bachelors and Masters Degrees fully paid for in his home country. Meanwhile each of them was carrying $30-40K in student debt.
So this argument about H1B’s may well take us down the path of “college should be FREE”.
-Employers by and large have fallen hook, line and sinker for higher education industry propaganda that their people pop-out ready to go to work, with no training required. This has led American employers to be extremely reluctant to train employees on anything. In their view this is a cost that can be 100% shifted onto the higher education system. Ergo, lots of Americans who COULD do the job with proper training never get the chance.
Then there are the jobs which suck so bad only an H1B would take them (like teaching in combat zone schools)
Give me a break with this anecdotal nonsense. Foreign workers are cheaper hence the decline in US wages. It is all about supply and demand. If we truly had a shortage of workers, wages would be increasing not decreasing.
I spoke to some engineering manager for Intel I met over the weekend. He said that hiring someone on an H1B1 visa actually costs the company $100,000 per hire because of all the legal expenses and that they would prefer to hire domestically, but there aren’t enough domestic applicants. I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s what he said, and he is involved in hiring engineers.
Over the previous year, the United States lost 19,740 computer jobs, 107,200 engineering jobs, and 243,870 science jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In spite of massive job losses, industry has managed to use up the entire quota of H-1B visas, most of which went to foreign workers in these fields. It is likely over 100,000 H-1B visas were given out this year.
In most of America, these grim figures would end any debate on the need to import more cheap foreign labor. In a Washington that is completely beholden to lobbyists and industry campaign cash, they find ways to look the other way. As GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia says, “This [H-1B] is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money.”
D.C. is filled with mills that produce bogus studies to provide Congress with rose-colored glasses that deprive reality. Some studies spin H-1B workers as “entrepreneurs.” Others make absurd job claims, such as that each H-1B worker creates six additional jobs (Do the math here: With around 100,000 H-1B visas a year, that would make H-1B the single largest job creation factor in the economy.)
In fact, the opposite is true. The largest users of H-1B visas are foreign offshoring companies. They use H-1B visas to provide on-site support for projected moved to other countries. In that model, each H-1B worker here is a proxy for even more jobs lost.
In spite of a long parade of damning audits on the H-1B program, Congress has done nothing to clean up the mess. Deliberate loopholes in the law allow employers to replace Americans with lower-paid H-1B workers. Working in the computer industry, I have witnessed employers openly replacing hundreds of Americans with cheaper worker on H-1B visas.
H-1B supporters rarely forget to remind the public that the statute requires H-1B workers to be paid “the prevailing wage.” They invariably forget that, 20,000 words later, the statute redefines the term “prevailing wage” in such a manner that an employer can legally pay a software engineer in Edison, N.J., $34,133 a year less than the median wage.
How is it possible that Americans can be fired in their own country, be replaced with foreign workers, and Congress does nothing for decades? H-1Bs, bailouts to Wall Street, and subsidies to politically connected business are all symptoms of the same problem: a government that is controlled by special interests that are antithetical to those of the American people.
kabar, I agree with you. So should I have my kids study math and science and major in engineering anyway?
Your conclusions come from news and internet reports which may be perfectly valid.
My conclusions come from first-hand observations of my recently-graduated children and their large pool of friends. Purely anecdotal, but valid.
Two have recently been in the job market. No problems whatsoever finding high-paying jobs. Their friends? Depends entirely on what they studied and what their hard skills are. Many are living at home.
As for teachers, this is a big country, and I am not at all familiar with the public school system in Maryland, although the Philippine option seems boneheaded. However, our schools are in a much different situation than a decade ago when that program started. Obviously time for it to end.
Bottom line is that our home-grown labor force is falling behind. When you have half the country supporting socialism, is anyone surprised?
It is a national disgrace; any jobs that can’t be sent overseas will have the overseas workers brought here instead.
The United States no longer exists as a geopolitical entity; it exists as a business.
Americans always did those jobs, and they received combat pay to sweeten the deal in the worst areas.
“The good news is that many if not most of these foreign students who come here to fill the empty spots in our engineering schools elect to stay, get a job and eventually become U.S. citizens. They’re not stealing anybody’s job and they are earning top dollar.”
They are stealing jobs by doing them for less; the lack of response from home-grown talent is because the wages have been suppressed while job demands ratcheted up.
“The simple and sad fact is that not enough US citizens are willing to do the very tough work to learn high-tech skills.”
They did it already years ago, and were rewarded with threats by tech firms that if they couldn’t replace them with Asian imports then the tech firms would simply move operations overseas. Any time a skill is in such demand that the American workers can actually bargain from strength for salaries, wheels are turning to eliminate them from the equation. It has now spread into Accounting and other white-collar areas.
YES, it’s true.
YES, encourage your kids to study science and engineering if they’re good students.
Contrary to some of what you’re reading on this thread, there is a great demand for highly skilled tech workers on American soil. Not every job can be or is being exported.
One of my kids was recently caught in a company layoff, the company involved in an industry that Washington is crippling. He had multiple job offers, no trouble at all finding good work. He’s an engineer. Tell your kids to go for it. That engineering education will serve them well, even if they go into other fields. The critical and analytical thinking is attractive across industries.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Younger Americans shy away from tech because they watched what happend to those 40 and 50 year-olds that went into it. Many of the Americans that built the information superhighway were its first victims; they built the road on which their work could be sent to Asia.