Visa Bill No Easy Ride

A Senate committee yesterday once again entered the visa mine field, voting to double the number of H-1B visas to 115,000 starting in 2007. (The full Senate and House must also approve the measure — which is part of the Immigration Bill — and President Bush must sign it in order for it to take effect.)
H-1B visas are currently capped at 65,000 a year. The proposed measure would raise the cap to 115,000, with an option of raising the cap 20% more each year.

Tech companies claim they need high numbers of foreign citizens to fill the skills gap left by American workers. Others says that’s a copout: that there are plenty of Americans to fill those jobs and that companies are simply looking for cheaper sources of skilled labor.

Where do you stand?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He is also vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversees all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 20 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

3 thoughts on “Visa Bill No Easy Ride

  1. The current H-1B limit is not 65K. As a matter of fact, there is no total limit. There’s a 6800 quota for people from Chile and Singapore. There are 20K for those with advanced degrees from US colleges & universities. There are 58,200 more for people with bachelor’s degrees. AND there are no limits whatsoever for those employed by governments (local, state, federal), by non-profits, colleges and universities.

    Plus, there are an unlimited number of guest-workers brought in under L-1A and B (family), and 10,500 for similar kinds of guest-work for those from Australia.

    Now, if employers were honest when they claimed they only wanted to bring in “the best and brightest”, “the pre-eminent”, the super-stars, then the total limit would be a lot closer to 5K per year.

  2. Everything I have read has stated that there is a cap of 65,000 visas. There are some exemptions, as you note, which can raise that total. I wonder why, if there were indeed no limit, Congress would be bothering with this?

  3. Another form of the shell game. Keep sending jobs off-shore. You mean to tell me there aren’t 65000 unemployed people in this country that couldn’t do these type of jobs with some training? Heaven forbid the gov’t sponsor such a crash training program. We can “react” fast enough.

    The politicians and media keep feeding the masses fecal material and after a while, the masses believe all the talent IS off shore.

    This is really a sad testiment to where our society and culture is going.

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