WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. high-tech companies say they want Congress to immediately increase high-skill immigration, but what they're really trying to do is pull an April Fools' joke on America. Rather than ask for green cards and real immigration, the companies are demanding more temporary H-1B visas.
The annual allocation of temporary work permits begins 1 April, and the 85,000 cap is likely to be reached in a few days. Cue the whining.
"Like any lottery, many more H-1B applications are filed by employers who do not expect to win," IEEE-USA President Jim Jefferies said. "Random oversubscription is not a measure of demand."
Much of the tech sector actually disagrees with raising the H-1B cap. The largest representative of American high-tech workers, the 200,000-member IEEE-USA, thinks that issuing more of what is commonly called the "outsourcing visa" is not good for the U.S. economy or U.S. technologists.
"H-1B visas are simply not that valuable," Jefferies said. "If they were, the federal government would not give them away at random in a way that clearly favors outsourcing companies.
"It's like buying a lottery ticket. If you win, you get to hire someone cheaply, regardless of their real skill level or long-term impact."
H-1B Visas Contribute to Loss of U.S. Jobs
More than half of current H-1B visas are used by outsourcing companies, including the top 10. These firms specialize in replacing Americans with cheaper foreign labor and eventually shipping the jobs overseas.
"This eliminates U.S. high-skill, high-wage jobs, as well as the taxes and economic activity it generates," Jefferies said.
IT workers at Southern California Edison recently found out the hard way how their jobs can be lost to foreign workers. It's the latest example of Americans being replaced by lower-paid employees and often being forced to train their replacements if they want a full severance package.
IEEE-USA supports expanding the employment-based green card program to make skilled immigrants Americans free to work where they want and start their own businesses.
"The H-1B program does not do this," Jefferies said. "The green card program does."
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)