H-1B visa expansion comes under fire

Carlson, Caron
November 2004
eWeek;11/29/2004, Vol. 21 Issue 48, p17
The article focuses on issues related to the legislation approved by the U.S. Congress that allows the technology industry in the country to hire 20,000 additional foreign workers next year. The industry's lobby lauded the measure as a boon to the economy and U.S. competitiveness, but many in the industry's rank and file see it as a way for companies to take advantage of low-cost labor. The measure, which expands the number of foreign workers eligible for H-1B visas from 65,000 to 85,000 next year, was inserted into an appropriations bill, which requires passage for the government to continue normal operations. The additional 20,000 H-1B visas apply only to foreign nationals with master's degrees or doctorates from U.S. universities. According to the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), foreign students comprise more than 50 percent of many advanced math, science and engineering programs. Preventing American companies from hiring these students would give overseas competitors an edge, the ITAA argues.


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