What's the Latest Development?
Companies like Microsoft and Facebook, which are openly critical of the government's immigration policy for limiting the number of high-skilled workers who can obtain visas, have to a great extent influenced the immigration bill currently before the Congress. "As written, it vastly increases the annual limit on H1-B visas, which allow corporations to bring employees with a bachelor's degree to the U.S. from overseas for up to six years. Roughly half the guest workers who currently arrive through the program come for computer-related jobs." Facebook has gone so far as to create a new political action group to fight for immigration reform.
What's the Big Idea?
Despite the lobbying efforts of these companies, there is actually no shortage of high-tech American labor, argues Jordan Weissmann. It is neither the case that there are too few programmers in America (programmer unemployment currently sits at an all-time high) nor is the education system failing to teach the necessary skills (as evidenced by stagnant wages in the field). Critics of the new immigration bill call it a plan for cheap, indentured labor. "Companies frequently save money by hiring a young, less experienced immigrant instead of an older American who would command a higher salary."
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