Jul 11, 2007

Join The Immigration Reform Debate

As I wrote about before in, How Fortune 500 Companies Can Save $58 Billion a Year -- Just Send 1.5 Million More Jobs Overseas, and Trade Deficit and Exporting American Jobs.

Bussness Week has been publishing a series of articles (list at bottom of page) on immigration reform that is now before Congress. There has not been a better time to get real Visa reform accpmplished than now. Our Senators and Representatives need to demonstate that they are producing results on this front.

The problem is that our H-1B visas and L visas are being misused, with the result being lost American jobs. As an example; an employer will hire foreign IT workers after marketing the position, with a $35k annual salary, to IT workers that would normally start the same job at $65k. After not being able to find a qualified worker at the lower rate they can then qualify for a H-1B visa worker.

The L visa allows companies to bring foreign workers into the U.S., as a transfer, either replacing a American or for training to eventually replace U.S. when they go back to their original country.

What Senators Durbin and Grassley are looking into is the use of these visas by companies that are also laying off American workers. Most of the companies that are participating in “loopholing” the current visa law state that they need to do this to stay competitive. Do we really believe that
Microsoft, IBM, Citigroup, Freightliner, Hersey or Washington Mutual wouldn’t find a way to be competitive if they didn’t send hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas. It is just a way to improve the bottom line. Everyone of these companies became who-they-are as American companies, with American workers.

BusinessWeek articles:

Salesman in Chief, January 24, 2007
Work Visas May Work Against the U.S., February 8, 2007
Fresh Ideas for the Immigration Debate, February 27, 2007
Gates to Senate: More Visas, March 8, 2007
Crackdown on Indian Outsourcing Firms, May 15, 2007
A 'Troubled' Immigration Reform Proposal, May 18, 2007
India Links Visa Flap with Doha Talks, May 18, 2007
Table: "Who Gets Temp Work Visas". May 18, 2007
U.S.-India Trade at Risk?, May 25, 2007
Immigration Fight: Tech vs. Tech, May 25, 2007
More Heat for Indian Outsourcers, June 27, 2007