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Microsoft wants more H1b's when there's 700,000 unemployed IT workers

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AtlantaBob Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:42 PM
Original message
Microsoft wants more H1b's when there's 700,000 unemployed IT workers
This was printed on the OP-ed page of the NY Times.

Global Intelligence

Action is needed now to strengthen U.S. leadership in the knowledge economy: A joint statement from Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Level (3) Communications, Micron Technology, Texas Instruments and Microsoft
Posted November 16, 2004

We are organizations concerned about Americas economic and technological future, and are united in urging Congress to act this year on a crucial workforce issue that threatens to undercut U.S. competitiveness and job growth.

Last October 1, the first day of the governments 2005 fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would accept no more petitions for new H-1B visas until fiscal 2006. The quota that limits visas to 65,000 per year was exhausted in one day.

For one full year, companies in the United States will be unable to hire highly educated foreign nationals who possess specialized skills that our economy needs -- skills in fields such as engineering, mathematics, physical and social sciences, medicine, education and the arts.

The timing could not be worse. Just as the economy is gaining strength, and as companies work to keep and expand jobs in the United States, we have been stymied in our efforts to employ the scarce talent that could help sustain the economys momentum. Although individuals with H-1B visas are only a small percentage of the total workforce in any of our organizations, we believe these talented individuals are an essential part of our ability to compete and succeed.

America is experiencing profound demographic and structural shifts in its technical workforce. While our economy has become more dependent on medical, scientific and engineering talent, fewer U.S. students are pursuing advanced degrees in these fields. The shortfall has been filled in large part by foreign nationals. Many of them came to the United States to study and are now engaged in advanced research at universities and in laboratories across the country.

All of our organizations are actively involved in efforts to expand the pipeline of American students pursuing degrees in scientific and technical fields where qualified workers are in short supply. But we cannot succeed overnight.

Meanwhile, it is vitally important for U.S. industries, universities, hospitals and research facilities to have access to highly educated professionals. It is counterproductive to force these talented individuals to work for our competitors overseas.

Congress has an opportunity to ease the problem now by providing an exemption from the cap on H-1B visas for individuals who have earned advanced degrees from American universities. Lawmakers also can help by finding ways to streamline the process of obtaining green cards for these professionals, whose education and specialized skills are needed to help maintain U.S. competitiveness and to help secure Americas technological future.

We urge Congress to act this year to address this immediate concern.

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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. American IT workers arent so quick to take a minimum wage
programming job.
They can get these guys for a song.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So the NYT wants us to import more low-wage workers to keep American wage
below poverty level. Right I'm down with that.
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