Immigration Bill Bad News for College Grads

22 May, 2007, 01:00 ET from Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

    WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The so-called
 comprehensive immigration bill makes college graduates with math, science
 and engineering degrees likely to be counted among the losers. The U.S.
 Senate and the White House propose increasing the number of H1-B high-tech
 visas to give new grads' jobs away.
     Paul E. Almeida, President of the Department for Professional
 Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), said: "If you are soon to be a college graduate
 interested in computer or information science, math and engineering, or are
 parents helping your children get one of these degrees, you should ask your
 Senator how expanding the number of H1-B visas will be good for you."
     According to the U.S. Department of Education and the Computing
 Research Association, U.S. students have answered the call to major in the
 core disciplines critical to the high-tech industry. U.S. colleges and
 universities are graduating over 300,000 students each year with bachelors,
 masters or PhDs in computer or information science, math and engineering.
 At current rates, the supply of graduates will exceed the Department of
 Labor's projections for average yearly high tech job creation over the next
 eight years -- expected to reach barely 120,000 jobs yearly.
     The justification for a massive expansion of the H-1B program is
 industry's claim of widespread and pervasive shortages of qualified
 workers. No independent, unbiased, statistical evidence substantiates their
 claims. If shortages existed, IT wages should have escalated sharply. They
 haven't.
     In a Congressionally-mandated study released soon after Congress passed
 S.2045, the National Research Council -- the principal operating arm of the
 National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering --
 found "the current size of the H-1B workforce relative to the overall
 number of IT professionals is large enough to keep wages from rising as
 fast as might be expected in a tight labor market." It also found "no
 analytical basis on which to set the proper level of H-1B visas ...
 [D]ecisions to reduce or increase the cap on such visas are fundamentally
 political."
     Almeida commented: "If there were truly a need for the best and the
 brightest to receive an H1-B visa, deciding who receives them wouldn't be
 done by a lottery, as it is now. H1-B visas wouldn't be issued to hotel
 managers, farm managers, hotel front office supervisors, and restaurant
 managers, as is the case. Business argues that it needs to attract the best
 and the brightest. When Congress proposed a merit-based system, though,
 business was against that, too. Businesses want who they want at the price
 they want to pay. That is the only thing that will make them happy."
     DPE applauds Senators Durbin and Grassley for pushing to include key
 policy reforms: applying more stringent requirements to employers who
 import H1-B workers and enhancing audit authority for the Department of
 Labor to ensure that workers' rights are protected and bad-apple employers
 are held accountable.
     For more facts and figures on the H1-B visa and tech workers go to:
 http://www.dpeaflcio.org/programs/factsheets/fs_2007_h1b.htm.
     The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition
 of 23 national unions representing over four million highly skilled,
 white-collar employees. DPE unions include professionals in over three
 hundred separate and distinct occupations in many sectors including:
 science, engineering and technology; health care and education; journalism,
 entertainment and the arts; public administration and law enforcement. DPE
 is the largest association of professional and technical workers in the
 U.S.
 
 

SOURCE Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
    WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The so-called
 comprehensive immigration bill makes college graduates with math, science
 and engineering degrees likely to be counted among the losers. The U.S.
 Senate and the White House propose increasing the number of H1-B high-tech
 visas to give new grads' jobs away.
     Paul E. Almeida, President of the Department for Professional
 Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), said: "If you are soon to be a college graduate
 interested in computer or information science, math and engineering, or are
 parents helping your children get one of these degrees, you should ask your
 Senator how expanding the number of H1-B visas will be good for you."
     According to the U.S. Department of Education and the Computing
 Research Association, U.S. students have answered the call to major in the
 core disciplines critical to the high-tech industry. U.S. colleges and
 universities are graduating over 300,000 students each year with bachelors,
 masters or PhDs in computer or information science, math and engineering.
 At current rates, the supply of graduates will exceed the Department of
 Labor's projections for average yearly high tech job creation over the next
 eight years -- expected to reach barely 120,000 jobs yearly.
     The justification for a massive expansion of the H-1B program is
 industry's claim of widespread and pervasive shortages of qualified
 workers. No independent, unbiased, statistical evidence substantiates their
 claims. If shortages existed, IT wages should have escalated sharply. They
 haven't.
     In a Congressionally-mandated study released soon after Congress passed
 S.2045, the National Research Council -- the principal operating arm of the
 National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering --
 found "the current size of the H-1B workforce relative to the overall
 number of IT professionals is large enough to keep wages from rising as
 fast as might be expected in a tight labor market." It also found "no
 analytical basis on which to set the proper level of H-1B visas ...
 [D]ecisions to reduce or increase the cap on such visas are fundamentally
 political."
     Almeida commented: "If there were truly a need for the best and the
 brightest to receive an H1-B visa, deciding who receives them wouldn't be
 done by a lottery, as it is now. H1-B visas wouldn't be issued to hotel
 managers, farm managers, hotel front office supervisors, and restaurant
 managers, as is the case. Business argues that it needs to attract the best
 and the brightest. When Congress proposed a merit-based system, though,
 business was against that, too. Businesses want who they want at the price
 they want to pay. That is the only thing that will make them happy."
     DPE applauds Senators Durbin and Grassley for pushing to include key
 policy reforms: applying more stringent requirements to employers who
 import H1-B workers and enhancing audit authority for the Department of
 Labor to ensure that workers' rights are protected and bad-apple employers
 are held accountable.
     For more facts and figures on the H1-B visa and tech workers go to:
 http://www.dpeaflcio.org/programs/factsheets/fs_2007_h1b.htm.
     The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition
 of 23 national unions representing over four million highly skilled,
 white-collar employees. DPE unions include professionals in over three
 hundred separate and distinct occupations in many sectors including:
 science, engineering and technology; health care and education; journalism,
 entertainment and the arts; public administration and law enforcement. DPE
 is the largest association of professional and technical workers in the
 U.S.
 
 SOURCE Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO