Generally speaking, the concept of the H1-B visa system is a good one. The US needs as many skilled technology workers as they can get, and the H1-B is designed to let skilled technology and science workers come and work for US companies for a period of six years. One of the big complaints by people who dislike the H1-B program is that it is used to bring in "cheap" labor. The response, of course, is that if it's used to bring in cheap labor, it's being misused. The terms of an H1-B are clear that the employer needs to be paying the prevailing wage rate for H1-B recipients. Of course, it shouldn't be a surprise that companies look to abuse the system, and a new study suggests that, in fact, many companies are abusing the system by paying H1-B holders much less than comparable jobs held by American citizens. Of course, those who hate the H1-B program will immediately use this as evidence as to why the program should be scrapped. However, that's the wrong response. First, they need to separate out the abuse of the program from the program itself. Even if abuse is widespread, that doesn't mean the concept is a bad one. However, more importantly, the same folks who seem to be so against the H1-B program also seem to be against offshoring. Yet, if US companies aren't bringing these skilled workers over to the US to help them here, guess what they'll be doing? You got it: they'll be working for even less money overseas. What should be encouraged is getting the best employees working on good projects to help the overall economy grow -- no matter what the nationality or location of the employees may be.
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