We recently pointed to a study that demonstrated the large contribution recent immigrants make to the tech industry, as they found a high percentage of new startups. Of course, some people won't be swayed by the data, which is why it looks likely that the mess surrounding H-1B visas won't get cleared up anytime soon. As it is, businesses quickly snap up the available visas, and it's clear from the evidence (as well as anecdotally) that more should be freed up. One opponent of expanding the program is newly-elected Virginia Senator Jim Webb who doesn't support the program at all, and said the idea of a tech worker shortage is a myth. It's not totally clear how he arrived at that viewpoint, but even if it were true, it's irrelevant. Even if there were no shortage, per se, it still doesn't make sense to limit companies' options in terms of who they can hire. Would Webb prefer tech companies hire abroad? That seems doubtful. Since this is one of those issues that doesn't fall neatly along party lines, it's hard to tell whether the new Congress will be interested in addressing the issue. It seems likely that progress on this issue, like many other tech-related issues facing the Congress, will be slow going.
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