Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Senators Finally Realize That Getting Smart Foreigners To Work For US Companies Beats Having Them Work Against US Companies

from the was-it-really-that-hard? dept

We've never really understood the hatred towards the H1-B visa program by a very vocal group of engineers. The H1-B program is designed to have smart, highly skilled foreign workers fill jobs in American companies. While it's true that some companies abuse the system, the best way to deal with that is to fight the abuses -- not kill the entire program. Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job, so it shouldn't be possible to use it for "cheap" labor, as many imply. And, certainly, it looks like some politicians are looking to crack down on the abuses of the program. In the meantime, some other Senators have made a proposal that is sure to set off the folks who hate the H1-B program, especially because it makes a lot of sense. Rather than worry about the ridiculously low cap on such visas allowed each year, the Senators are proposing no cap at all on both H1-B visas and green cards for foreigners with graduate-level degrees from American universities or graduate-level degrees in certain key fields from foreign universities. In other words, it's about encouraging these highly trained, highly skilled people to come work in the US for American companies rather than having them go back to their home countries and work for companies that compete with American companies. Of course, for those who incorrectly view the world of tech jobs as a zero-sum game, they worry that jobs are being "taken away" from Americans. Of course, if they keep all these smart, skilled foreigners working at foreign companies, and those companies put the American companies out of business, it seems like there are a lot more jobs to lose. Instead, by realizing that a functioning tech industry tends to create more jobs, it's smart to encourage more skilled workers to work for American companies than to work against them.

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  1. identicon
    BeeBee, 16 May 2007 @ 9:31am

    Microsoft and H1-B

    "Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job" is showing ignorance of the facts. Gates is a promoter of more H1-B visas, but lies about the reasons. See
    http://techdirt.com/articles/20070515/202835.shtml
    In other words, he claims to pay them prevailing rates, but in reality only 3.3% got the normal rates. The other 96.7% received rates lower than average.
    In short - proof that H1-B visas is used to get cheap labor, because US employees are too expensive.

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