I don't know about you, but I have a problem with this: High-tech firms playing visa lottery.
On Tuesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services opened the five-day application period for the H1-B program for the 2008-09 fiscal year. ...The program is designed to import educated and skilled workers for jobs that American companies cannot fill. The visas are generally issued for three years, and renewable for another three.
Nothing against workers from anywhere, but someone please tell me that if this country is importing literally hundreds of thousands of technology workers, engineers, nurses, and teachers from around the world to fill in "gaps," why are there basically no efforts underway to increase the numbers of graduates in those specific fields from within U.S. high schools, universities, and colleges? Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Some white-collar American workers have protested the proposed expansion of H1-B. John Miano, a 45-year-old programmer who owns a New Jersey software consulting company, testified in Congress in March 2006 that the program lets companies replace Americans with foreign workers at lower wages.
"The H1-B statutes are the best legislation money can buy," he said in an interview Tuesday. "This law has been deliberately written to allow abuse to go on with impunity. This program is a cheap labor program. It contains loopholes that allow employers to legally pay H1-B workers ... significantly less than U.S. workers."Really? No wonder so many of the major U.S. companies are all for it then. But while their profits soar, we're writing off American kids who should be more than capable of filling these jobs with the right education and training. Obviously, that's not the case. Not to mention that the end result of this process will eventually simply push more and more U.S. jobs and companies overseas, further limiting the options for our kids futures.
There are worthy programs that prepare young people for employment in the technology workforce that are basically being starved to death due to lack of funding. For those students that do things the right way and complete their educations, what assurances do they have that the industries in which they plan to work will hire them if the abundance of cheaper talent from overseas continues to be offered as basically a government subsidized alternative?
I'd sure like for someone to tell me how this ultimately benefits the American economy. The day may soon arrive when workers from this country will have to emigrate in large numbers to other places in order to sustain their families at home, much like what's happening here now.
Talk about the flipping the script.