Boneheads in charge of H1B legislation

The U.S. elects senators so they can bury the U.S. economy, eliminating its global advantage. From BBC:
Indian workers are calling for comprehensive immigration reforms in America, including changes in work visa rules.

But American lawmakers are having none of it.

Senators Dick Durbin from Illinois and Charles Grassley from Iowa have reintroduced a bill on the H1B visa programme.

It calls for increased oversight and enforcement and discourages the use of H1B visa holders.

It also requires all employers to pledge that the H1B visa-holder will not displace an American worker.
If the U.S. doesn't want to adopt India's most capable workers, that is the U.S.'s loss, not India's.

This is just one sort of policy that will result in the U.S. waking up to find itself as only one economic power among many, not the superpower that it used to be.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Denis,

As an Indian H1-B, I actually see some merit in the Grassley-Durbin initiative.

The fact remains that the H1-B program has been manipulated by some employers, and to a much smaller extent, some employees. I know of many a "body shop" that synthesize false resumes of their H1-B employees to pass them off as high-tech workers. I suspect the companies purchasing such services are well aware of this scam, but abet with these unethical body shops since the price is juicy.

If Americans do not want to work for such low wages, one has to account for the opportunity cost facing them vis-a-vis H1-B Indians. Most of my American friends have college debts running into tens of thousands of dollars. I ended up with a premier education in Indian almost free-of-cost.

I also recognize that some people are utilizing this recession time dislike for the H1-B program to do away with immigration altogether. I can see how that may end up being a poor choice for America given that it clearly invites more talent that any other nation does and there is plenty of brainpower out there for the taking.

All that being so, a more regulated H1-B program may be the best of both worlds.
denis bider said…
As long as the number of H1B visas must be limited, making sure that they go to the worthiest people is a good thing for the States.

But having all applicant companies "pledge that the H1B visa-holder will not displace an American worker"?

The benefit of qualified immigrant labor to the States is that this creates products and services that didn't exist before, creating jobs and whole sectors of the economy that wouldn't exist otherwise. These long-run positive effects overwhelm any short-run displacement of less-qualified American workers.

The country that's really at a loss from H1B is India. It provides you with a premium education financed by Indian taxpayers, and then off you go to contribute your work and pay your taxes in the States.

India is who benefits if the States take your visa and send you back home.

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