Jump-start U.S. growth through immigration

March 12, 2009

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth— Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. —

When people think of what to do to help the U.S. economic recovery, admitting more immigrants into America isn’t what usually comes to mind. But a new study by Arlene Holen, an economist and senior fellow with the Technology Policy Institute, could contribute to resolving the current economic crisis.

The study finds that letting in more highly-skilled immigrants would generate more tax revenue, and over time raise labor earnings and national income. (Click here for the study in PDF format.)

Coincidentally, this week the Wall Street Journal reported that bankers are quitting due to onerous conditions imposed by the federal government on banks receiving public funds. Yet the new economic stimulus bill specifically makes it harder for banks to hire foreign workers, thereby limiting the flow of talent to a troubled industry.

If Congress had not imposed a tight lid on green cards, according to Ms. Holen, America in 2008 might have had up to 300,000 more highly educated engineers and graduate students performing path breaking research. They would have added about $23 billion to GDP, and the federal government would have gained about $5 billion more in tax revenues.

Based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, Ms. Holen (who used to be associate director at CBO) said that if comprehensive immigration reform had been enacted in 2007 then GDP would have been $180 billion greater over the next decade, and federal revenues would have been higher by $40 billion.

A similar argument was voiced by Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law in a speech on March 10. She said that “we need to jump start our growth through immigration.”

Ms. Lofgren explained that the billions of dollars allocated to scientific research in the 2009 economic stimulus bill cannot be effectively spent without more H-1B (temporary) visas for foreign scientists, “because all this spending needs people to do research.”

She said that comprehensive immigration reform, which was rejected by Congress in 2007, can pass this year if President Obama supports it.

To invoke a familiar truism, America’s immigration system is broken. Every year, the U.S. Center for Immigration Services issues only 65,000 H-1B temporary visas for skilled workers out of over 600,000 applications from employers.

A similar backlog exists for permanent residence visas sought by individuals both in America and abroad, with applications often close to ten times the number of “green cards” that may by law be issued. In 2006, more than 12,000 newly-arrived workers received green cards to work in the United States, and 53,000 temporary workers already in America were granted green cards.

For fiscal year 2009, the H-1B visa cap of 65,000 was reached in a few days. This is not to say H-1B visas have always fallen short of demand. During the 1990s, Congress temporarily raised the quota to 195,000, a number that did not exceed demand, but the quota reverted to 65,000 in 2004.

This quota represents a small fraction of the U.S. labor force of 154 million. Even if the quota were raised to 150,000 a year, that would still be less than one tenth of 1% of the labor force, hardly a source of the mass depicted by anti-immigration xenophobes.

By limiting visas, America is hurting itself, because the number and percentage of PhDs in science and engineering awarded to Americans and permanent residents have declined dramatically over the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of PhDs in physics are awarded to foreigners in 2007, compared with 48 percent a decade earlier. Foreigners earn 66 percent of PhDs in computer science and 53 percent of PhDs in chemistry.

Columbia University professor Amar Bhidé has shown in his new book “The Venturesome Economy” that it’s efficient for Americans to get advanced degrees in law and business rather than in science and math if they prefer these fields. However, we need to issue more immigrant visas so that we have enough scientists.

Issuing more green cards and H-1B visas can provide effective economic stimulus—and this can happen at little or no cost to Uncle Sam or working Americans.

You can reach Diana Furchtgott-Roth at dfr@hudson.org.


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Here is yet another fine example of the dominant hegenomy of the western world maintaining its neoliberalism attitudes towards the rest of the world and inparticular to the underdeveloped nations.
So long as you can improve your nations wealth then the resources (including its skilled labour)of those countries in a less priviledged position are of little consequence.
If the lesser nations of the world are to develope then the wealtheir ones need to stop raping and pillaging the best of the pool of foreign labour for their own selfish interests and desires.

Posted by nilsey105 | Report as abusive

If I am going to study for 5-6 years MS in engineering, and in a reputable American university my expenses are estimated total $300 000, HOW I can compete on a cost basis with an Indian engineer, whose educational expenses are $30 000 or less? Simple question; my friends and I have been through this :), so how Diana can give me a good explanation?

What she is asking about is Substitution of higher American education with imported skilled labor…several more years there will be no any American with engineering degree if this trend continues.

Also, why MS or other high-tech companies just not hire their talented R&D people in oversea facilities? Thus, the companies will not need to struggle for work visas. Of course, they will also ned to calculate in the price of political risk, and then everybody on Wall Street will figure that most of the tech multinationals are overpriced 50%, since NOBODY ever measures political risk properly in the stock prices.

Yeah, another highly conservative article, which I don’t mind, but this strategy doesn’t serve well even to the conservative businesses. It is quite suicidical, I would mildly say :)

Posted by Ananke | Report as abusive

The unemployment rate stands at 8.1 percent. Tens of millions of Americans are unemployed, working part-time involuntarily, and seeking gainful employment. Since December, over two million Americans have lost their jobs.

If we can’t retrain Americans for new jobs, then we won’t revive our economy.

Posted by Alexandre | Report as abusive

Great article! It’s time for reform in immigration, and reward the smartest and best people who want to contribute here.

Posted by midtownhm | Report as abusive

Ananke, while I agree with you that educating an engineer overseas is likely cheaper, the domestic supply of engineers and scientists is simply not sufficient to cover the demand.

I think that one of the reasons why we need more “imported” engineers in the U.S. is because the high school education in the fields of math and sciences has been of poor quality in this country. Without good teachers who can inspire students to go into engineering, physics, and math, less people take the time to receive their Bachelor’s in one of those fields. Many foreign students receive their Bachelor’s abroad but come to the U.S. to receive a Master’s or a Ph.D., and are frequently awarded funding because there is a shortage of American-born students applying for those programs of study. Those same foreign students who obtain a Master’s or a Ph.D. degree in the U.S. are currently returning home, to India and other countries, because of the lack of H1-Bs. The U.S. educational system has already invested in those people in many cases, so why not let them stay longer and contribute to the U.S. economy?

Better high school curriculum would encourage more domestic scientists and engineers. But seeing the results of an improved high school curriculum would take a decade, so why not allow additional H-1B visas for now?

Posted by Lyuba | Report as abusive

As an entrepreneur– if you don’t allow for H1-B’s I’ll do the only other logical thing… Outsource.

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

Oh boy here it comes. Now this is really early for the big immigration fight and debate that is coming mostly likely just after the mid-term elections because as poorly as things are going on the economy that fight would ensure huge demorat losses in the mid-terms but they have to start the propaganda early. Yes massive immigration is good for America. Repeat it with me until you believe it.
Now reality. THIS-IS-AMERICA! You do not have a “right” to immigrate here, you do not have a “right” to wade across the Rio Grande with your belly full and squirt out a kid on our soil so you can claim your an American and then proceed to belly up to the public trough. We have allowed immigration at a measured rate in order to absorb newcomers into OUR culture. Mostly they came with a common ancestry, culture, belief, or ideal and wanted to participate and become American. They were primarily religious people of some type or another Christian, or Catholic primarily, and that allowed common assimilation with our own population. We are becoming a densely populated Nation now and we have every right to say when enough people have come to our shore until such time we can assimilate them into our culture. We have the right to demand that only the best and brightest with something to offer be put at the front of the line in order to better our society. But WE have the say so and every right to say it. Not the world or the UN. We can discriminate in any way we see fit on who to allow in our home, and America is our home. If you don’t like this then stay where you are. We don’t need you. To the educated and entrepreneurial spirited, I welcome you to come assimilate, produce, and succeed. Take part in the great parts of America but not to feed off of the goodness and largess like some human lamprey. On a side note. All you California, granola eating, eco-Marxist types that want to migrate to the South like as in Texas. Don’t. We don’t want you here either. Capiche?

Posted by Brent | Report as abusive

Diana Furchtgott-Roth might need to look on this problem from people who lost jobs to visa holders. If her job will be in jeopardy or her salary could go down significantly she will change position quickly.
In general geniuses-talents from abroad should be paid higher rate than locals, and this will encourage students to take technical carreer path.

Posted by acidential reader | Report as abusive

Great move i would say, however the green cards must be given to highly skilled folks who got their BS, and MS degrees from the states and not from overseas, in this case the argument presented by Ananke would not be valid.
I am myself on H1 B have a MS from an US university, been here for 10 yrs, paid a lot of taxes, saved some money, and i am being driven out from the country thanks to the myopic and xenophobic immigration attitude.
Would the country benefit from me being here ?, i have made technical contributions in my field, i have enough money to buy a house (only on permanent residence), already bought more than 2 american cars, got my wife a MS in an american university, and have been paying taxes and observing the rule of law.
Folks you decide !, its your country and your future. BTW thanks for letting me in a legal immigrant, i got to see the world :)

Posted by Ananke_V2.0 | Report as abusive

This is brilliant thinking that could only come from such an enlightened study done at such a prestigious institution.

Nothing would help decrease the percentage of unemployment by bringing in a bigger number of employed people. Its so simple I don’t see why Ananke can’t figure it out.

And bringing in more tax revenue because more people will be working… its like a warm summer breeze of logic across my smooth, glass-like cranium.

More people taking all those jobs that U.S. citizens are too lazy to take and don’t want, making all that money that U.S. citizens are too lazy to make, and paying all those taxes that U.S. citizens are to broke to pay. My goodness… well, if you can’t figure this one out…

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

You would think that after completely wrecking the economy economists would give their mouths a rest, and rethink their ideas in quiet comtemplation. I agree that American employers do not put the same hidden employment barriers to qualified immigrants that Canada does but the current economic crisis in case you don’t know is based on insufficient highly paid jobs. Bringing in more immigrants will lower salaries. And don’t tell me that they are going to create high-paying jobs – that is a myth.

Posted by Cheryl | Report as abusive

30,000 $ and 300,000$ is not a valid comparison. You might need to check the income of an avergage indian which is lot less than 5000$. You might need to compare the cost/expense with the income (average income of an Indian) and not directly with dollars.

Posted by Bobby | Report as abusive

The current Green Card situation is really out of touch with reality — which is why for example Microsoft has moved a lot of R&D across the border from Seattle to Vancouver Canada, where foreign experts are welcomed. With teacher unions in education, seniority has replaced skill as the basis for promotion and so our schools are graduating uneducated students. Obama is right to pay good teachers more, at which point we may not need so many foreign workers with good educations…… who are willing to work hard to get ahead. Hey, now theres another idea thats foreign, pardon the pun, to government employees.

Posted by tourist | Report as abusive

A better way to boost economic growth would be to outsource all the senior executives to cheaper countries and save us from their sucking in all the wealth. Now that would be a radical idea, Diane, would not it. Why does not Diane go further and suggest to get rid of all Americans and replace them with low cost immigrants so the ruling elites can pocket even more profits.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

No need to worry about lack of talent…cloud computing is a torrent of outsourcing via the internet. Everyone look this term up on Wikipedia and see what is coming to white collar workers.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

I don’t know whether Ms. Furchtgott-Roth is an American citizen or not, but when she is her article convinces me of the fact she’s absolutely right.

Posted by Me | Report as abusive

This study defies the reality of what has happened in the past 15 to 20 years. Even with the large number of foreign technical people having been brought into the country, large breakthroughs and growth have not occurred. Also, if there is or was such a large shortfall in engineers and scientific personnel in this country, why are so many older (age 50+) engineers unable to find employment in that field? Interestingly, foreign engineers who have come to this country over the years are now victims of the same issue. It happened to me, who eventually chose to change careers at a significantly reduced wage, I might add. The purported shortfall in scientific personnel has been falsely generated by top executives to enhance their bonuses by reducing salaries (while increasing their) or by out sourcing to again reduce salary costs, at least temporarily. The same people who have convinced the writer and the study author of this shortage are the same ones who have brought the current world wide economic crisis. Need I say they are not to be trusted! They are masters at manipulating the numbers and data to their own advantage. You should not believe the authors of this study any more than you should believe all the other “Madoffs” out there.

Posted by Floyd Segar | Report as abusive

The economic elite, such as Bill Gates, III are mostly indifferent to the national harms that result from the substituion of “fresh young (imported indentured and inexpensive) blood” for experienced American citizen technical professionals. There has been a long-term glut of “techies.” Importation of more by the planeload just makes things worse for the American middle class.

Free-market advocate and Nobel economist Milton Friedman summed it up best in an article that quoted him in 2002. His verdict: H-1B is a “government subsidy” program.This program drives down the price of labor by worsening labor gluts.

The economic elite can spend buckets of money on intellectually suspect “studies” from sources that are willing to parrot claims that are not supported by actual economic data.

You may learn how Mr. Gates hired the “best and brightest” lobbyist in 1994. His name is Jack A. Abramoff. He and Team Abramoff helped Mr. Gates spend about $100 million in political expenditures between 1995 and 2000. Microsoft received at least 3 official acts liberalizing H-1B legislation in exchange for their things of value. Too bad this fits into the broadly – drawn description of corruption proscribed by the RICO statutes. You may learn more by googling on the title of my 2008 article, “The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit” and selecting the more engaging and readable PDF version which is the second link.

Posted by Dr. Gene Nelson | Report as abusive

As someone who has worked in the software engineering field for 30 years, I’ve seen tremendous shrinkage in the field in the U.S., due to large bank consolidations, defense contractor consolidations, out-sourcing, and green card immigrants willing to work for 25-50% of standard rates and salaries. It’s a field with no unions, and the only job security you have is your own skills, work ethics, and knowledge of the business you are currently employed in.
I’ve seen many competent associates and friends forced out of the field due to this shrinkage, both in salary and job oppounities, unable to make a decent professional’s salary. The work requires tremendous deligence and perseverance to be successful.
In the fields of research science, the government and corporate America give little incentive to enter the field with an advanced degree – high $$$ to get it, not well compensated for the 50-80 hrs/week the work requires, and no share of the rewards. Currently it looks like the best path to follow with a PhD is to teach, because there is great competition for PhD’s between universities right now, so the salaries and benefits are high. It’s completely flipped around from what it used to be, and should be.
Bringing in more highly trained immigrants is a band-aid, not a solution. Why don’t we give own own youth more incentive to pursue a math, science, or high tech career? Why are the lawyers, doctors, amd MBA’s treated with so more esteem (and compensation) then physicists or P.E.’s? I believe it’s harder to get an MS in Chemical Engineering than a law degree by far, but the compensation doesn’t seem to match the achievements here.
It’s been a tradition in corporate America to treat engineers and scientists as a commodity, and therefore not be considered as key part of the companies success. We need to break this pattern, go back to an awards system for technology advancements and provide incentives for the youth to enter the fields where we need them, rather then simply importing the expertise.

Posted by Tom E. | Report as abusive

Ananke. If you decide to pursue a PhD in Engineering and you are very well qualified (compared to the rest of applicants), you would most likely obtain a Teaching or Research assistantship that would cover your expenses and would also provide you some type of support (which is the same process that foreigners follow to obtain PhD degrees here). The question for obtaining a PhD degree in the US is not about the cost, the question is: are you qualified enough to be admitted to the degree? (Additionally, there are many other sources of funding specifically for American students who want to pursue engineering and science degrees).

Remember the article is referring to PhDs degrees obtained in the US, so if you or your friends really want to pursue advanced engineering degrees, go ahead and apply.

“the number and percentage of PhDs in science and engineering awarded to Americans and permanent residents have declined dramatically over the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of PhDs in physics are awarded to foreigners in 2007, compared with 48 percent a decade earlier. Foreigners earn 66 percent of PhDs in computer science and 53 percent of PhDs in chemistry.”

Posted by walter | Report as abusive

To the extent that the tax earnings provided by increased number of immigrants were to be channeled directly to US High Schools to train new scientist and mathematicians so that over time the dependence on foreign scientist could be balanced with the emergence of US born scientist, then the program makes sense. This could also be acomplished by charging the employers fees for these immigrant scientist and have those monies flow to US Public High School outreach for science and math programs. The argument for increased H1B immigration entries currently excludes externalities related to the costs associated with the maintenance not only of direct family members but also multi generational entries that burden schools, hospital and other state programs which neither the companies or the immigrants pay for, in effect its a subsidy to the companies and a windfall to the immigrants. So tax revenue increases are in fact insufficient to cover the total cost of the H1B immigrant and thus the analysis of its benefit is flawed.

Posted by Claudio | Report as abusive


A couple of points:
* Why do you need 5-6 years for an MS degree?
* Why would your costs be $300,000 while an Indian engineer
would need only $30,000 IF both of you are enrolled at
the same US university?
* If you are complaining that cost of education in India
is lower, you are welcome to complete your schooling in

Posted by AK | Report as abusive

Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale Against Qualified US Citizens.

The Middle Class Has Been Destroyed.

Families Have Been Torn Apart.

The EEOC, the OFCCP, the DOJ-OSC Have Done Next To Nothing To Protect US Citizens Whose National Origin Is USA.

Immigration Law Firms Harm American Workers.

The H-1B Visa guest worker program has “RESERVED” millions of high-value jobs for citizens of foreign countries.

“Fake Job Ads” consistently and routinely DENY, DEPRIVE, EXCLUDE and DISCRIMINATE against United States Citizens during the hiring process.

Here is Cohen & Grigsby, a prominent immigration law firm, displaying their Good Faith Efforts To Recruit American Workers…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFaj GU

When companies have job opening, they place an order with job descriptions to third party recruiters like ManPower, Volt, Adecco, Robert Half… there is a long list of third party recruiters.

However, out in the field, we are not seeing the most meritorious candidates receive job offers.

Instead, what we are seeing are violations of EEO, the law of the land.

The available talent pool in the US workforce is being completely bypassed.

The job descriptions are not advertised publicly so that qualified candidates can apply.

Instead, firms who $ub$cribe to the large third party firms services can see the job descriptions and submit resumes from H-1bs to transfer Corp-To-Corp.

US Citizens and Green Card Holders never know the job openings even existed… this is exclusion / discrimination.

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive

Furchtgott-Roth: “a new study by Arlene Holen, an economist and senior fellow with the Technology Policy Institute, could contribute to resolving the current economic crisis.”
Comment: There has always been a steady stream of well-financed balderdash studies done by pro-H1B corporate-sponsored “think-tanks” spinning numbers in different ways to try to find something that sounds good. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth doesn’t reveal that the Technology Policy Institute is supported (i.e. bankrolled) by the following companies:
* AT&T
* Cisco Systems, Inc.
* Comcast
* Edison Electric Institute
* Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
* Google
* National Cable & Telecommunications Association
* Southern Company
* Telefonica
* Time Warner Cable
* T-Mobile
* VeriSign
* Verizon
* Yahoo!

http://www.techpolicyinstitute.org/about  /supporters

Furchtgott-Roth: “Yet the new economic stimulus bill specifically makes it harder for banks to hire foreign workers, thereby limiting the flow of talent to a troubled industry”.
Comment: Ms. Furchgott-Roth should emphasize that banks that aren’t receiving TARP bailout can use the H-1B program exactly as they had before. She should reiterate that ONLY BANKS TAKING U.S. TAXPAYER MONEY TO SAVE THEIR HIDES are under the new rules.

Furchtgott-Roth: “If Congress had not imposed a tight lid on green cards, according to Ms. Holen, America in 2008 might have had up to 300,000 more highly educated engineers and graduate students performing path breaking research.”
Comment: Love the used car salesman-speak “might have” and “up to”. If we are inclined to believe this one tech-industry-funded person’s analysis in the first place. But even so – if we are to leave the “might have” and “up to” in – that means that there also might have been 0 more highly educated engineers and graduate students performing path breaking research.

Furchtgott-Roth: “America’s immigration system is broken. Every year, the U.S. Center for Immigration Services issues only 65,000 H-1B temporary visas for skilled workers out of over 600,000 applications from employers”.
Comment: The number of H-1B workers entering and working in the country each year usually ends up being about double Ms. Furchtgott-Roth’s number because of the various uncapped categories, and I’m sure she knows this. I believe these are the numbers:
1,400 nationals of Chile;
5,400 nationals of Singapore;
20,000 with master’s and doctor’s degrees from US colleges and universities;
58,200 with “bachelor’s degrees or equivalent experience” from anywhere in the world;
unlimited visas for those employed by non-profit research outfits;
unlimited visas for those employed for local, state and federal research;
unlimited visas for those employed by US colleges & universities.

Posted by Ginnington | Report as abusive

What Americans have to face up to is the fact that their students do not have the math skills to compete in a global economy. Just notice all the foreign students entering math classrooms and out competing American students. There was even an article from last year stating that American math students can no longer compete against Asian students. Of course the majority of Americans deny this, I don’t blame them, but reality is reality. Accept it and just take advantage of your economic and social power by enticing geniuses from abroad.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Stop these biased articles. We need to improve this country on our own, not on some other country immigration. It is experts like the above, causing this country to go downhill.

Visa frauds cannot be stopped fully. Minimally, have the following changes to H1/L1/L2 visa immediately for future Visas:

– H1/L1/L2 Candidates work directly (and ONLY) for the company (no staffing firms, head hunters, etc). This will reduce the undue interference of staffing firms/hiring managers on the the hiring process. That means, if a any_micky_mouse.inc applies for H1, the job has to be their requirement not some client requirement.

– Allow free movement of visas to change emmployers without any restriction till the expiry of their Visas.

– Do not allow green card processing during the H1/L1/L2 processing. Give them a choice. Either they can stay outside the country, apply for GC or come to the country and stay on H1/L1/L2.

– Increase the fine for Visa frauds, and jail terms for the senior executives of the company.

– Have a ETS type examination (similar to GRE). This will filter out cooks, tailors, policeman coming to this country as IT skilled laborers fradulently on H1/L1/L2 to this country. Yes, I am not exagerrating. There are several DBAs, testers, SAs in US who were once tailors and policemen in Hyderabad and Bagalore ;-), and supposedly they paid 5 lakhs (about $12k) to get them visa.

– Go to immigrationvoice.com and see for yourself, what kind of deperation these visa folks are undergoing, They are being manipulated by the very system that brought them here. The only winners are companies and the Head hunters/staffing firms.

– Have the employer send the candidates year end W2 to Immigration authorities. Let the immigration authorities then send it to the candidate for tax filing. This way, Immigration authorities can make sure the wages are not comprimised in the process.

– Make sure, any company cannot have more than 10% employees on temporary visas.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

“If Congress had not imposed a tight lid on green cards, America in 2008 might have had up to 300,000 more highly educated engineers and graduate students performing path breaking research. They would have added about $23 billion to GDP, and the federal government would have gained about $5 billion more in tax revenues.”

This is total fantasy, who or what is going to hire 300,000 engineers and pay the capital expenses to fund the research? Much like the general population, engineering unemployment is also at 20 year highs.

For all you entrepreneurs out there who can not find enough talent, why not try raising the wages, when supplies are short, prices go up! The thing is, I would not recommend to my son to go into engineering because there are more rewarding, reliable, profitable careers that do not require the 7-9 year investment engineering requires.

Posted by Garth Parson | Report as abusive

I recently built a research team.

I only looked at the best universities, and of those phd and masters resumes, 99% are students from India, China, & Europe. Quite frankly, most Americans don’t pursue studies in Phd level math & sciences. I prefer to hire someone born here because they socialize well, improving teamwork and their own growth. But I can’t hire them because they often lack the math & technical skills. Math & technical skills need to be learned before the job, so those that work for the PhD, be top of the class, I will gladly hire them!

Don’t kick the immigrant students out so they can go home and start cheaper competition. At very least, get some income taxes and innovation out of them.

Posted by manager | Report as abusive

Government can only control the policy, not the market. And the market always finds the most suitable option. In present situation, the most suitable option is outsourcing (Not H1b). When u can do same work at 5th of a cost, why would you spend higher amount?

Checkout IBM, 125000 employee in india and still rising. Why do u think all manufacturing is moved to china, the same issue.

The author has a good point, If you allow the legal immigrants and start giving green cards to them, you will at least delay they outsourcing, and also get the educated engineers. (However it is your choice, you can always choose uneducated illegal immigrants)

Posted by efyin | Report as abusive

I am in a fury that this is still being discussed as though it was a viable option in the US.

I want to hire more H-1B journalist to replace these ‘lazy, uneducated’ journalist who can’t report the truth to save their lives. Go back to supplicating yourself before your corporate masters and stop pretending that this is “NEWS” and not your right wing agenda to bankrupt what is left of the American Middle Class.

BTW I was one of those so called ‘lazy Americans’ who was laid off in the current ‘foreign two-for-one sale’ that corporate America is having for itself right now. I am highly educated, extremely intelligent and I work extremely hard for my employers. But as I was told when I was laid off, that ‘we can have two of them, for one of you’…I guess, I just had to go (Happy Birthday to me, since they were classy enough to lay me off on my Birthday).

I will never, ever, take money to betray my own people like you do, Diane. You are a traitor to the PEOPLE of this country and you should know that is what we think of you. So, despite the fact that your corporate masters still see fit to give you a paycheck to promote their agenda, we would like you to understand that we ‘get’ what you are pushing, this is not ‘news’ to us and we know what you represent.

Posted by Kiki | Report as abusive

What part of American jobs for Americans FIRST does this government and its corporate leeches not understand?
We do NOT care what kind of profits their tax dollars provide our corrupt politicians.
We have millions of people out of work, out of their homes and with no prospects for anything better. People are HUNGRY.
The current policies in place for immigrants is treasonous!! To actively work against the best interests of this country and its citizens is TREASON!! To give American jobs to people of other nations when our citizens are in dire need is TREASON.

Posted by warf33 | Report as abusive

I hope these fraud experts stop this non sense articles and help US Citizens get back their jobs.

Posted by Great Response by Kiki | Report as abusive

My previous comment was deleted. Let me try again and see, if the author really honest in accepting other people’s views:

Most H1 (about 85%) and L1/L2 (about 95%) are very ordinary and can be easily found/trainable in USA.

Visa frauds cannot be stopped fully. Minimally, have the following changes to H1/L1/L2 visa immediately for future Visas.

– H1/L1/L2 Candidates work directly (and ONLY) for the company (no staffing firms, head hunters, etc). This will reduce the undue interference of staffing firms/hiring managers on the the hiring process. That means, if a any_micky_mouse.inc applies for H1, the job has to be their requirement not some client requirement.

– Allow free movement of visas to change emmployers without any restriction till the expiry of their Visas.

– Do not allow green card processing during the H1/L1/L2 duration. Give them a choice. Either they can stay outside the country, apply for GC or come to the country and stay on H1/L1/L2.

– Increase the fine for Visa frauds, and jail terms for the senior executives of the company.

– Have a ETS type examination (similar to GRE).

– Go to immigrationvoice.com and see for yourself, what kind of deperation these visa folks are undergoing, They are being manipulated by the very system that brought them here. The only winners are companies and the Head hunters/staffing firms.

– Have the employer send the candidates year end W2 to Immigration authorities. Let the immigration authorities then send it to teh candidate for tax filing. This way, Immigration authorities can make sure the wages are not comprimised in the process.

– Make sure, any company cannot have more than 10% employees on temporary visas

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Like most economists who are unwilling to ever again consider the ramifications of population growth, since the field of economics was branded the “dismal science” following Malthus’ theory, Ms. Furchtgott-Roth doesn’t understand the relationship between population density, per capita consumption and unemployment. So, like the other economists, she mistakenly believes that population growth is a good source of economic growth when, in fact, such growth is cancerous, adding to the labor force faster than their productive output can be consumed.

And considering the challenges presented by unemployment, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and cutting carbon emissions, the very last thing we need is to import more laborers, more oil consumers and more carbon emitters.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

Posted by Pete Murphy | Report as abusive

In my opinion, the H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs pose the greatest threats to the careers and livelihoods of white collar Americans. As Professor Norman Matloff (of UC-Davis) has written, the “prevailing wage” regulations for the H-1B visas and EB green card programs are riddled with loopholes that allow employers to underpay the foreign professional workers with respect to their American counterparts. The foreign workers are more than willing to accept these lower pay rates in exchange for the chance to be sponsored for an EB green card, which conveys legal permanent residence.

The vast majority of U.S. – based employers are classified as “H-1B non-dependent”. These employers can legally fire or layoff their American workers and replace them with (lower-paid) H-1B workers, even if the American workers are performing well in their jobs.

For proof of this, refer to the U.S. Department of Labor Strategic Plan for 2006-2011, which is available at:

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/stratplan/strat_ plan_2006-2011.pdf

On page 35 you will find the following passage:

“… H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker.”

This applies to all “H-1B non-dependent” employers. Since most U.S. based companies are classified as “H-1B non-dependent”, this means that the vast majority of firms in the U.S. can legally discriminate against American workers in favor of lower-paid alien workers.
Therefore, I believe that as the economy continues to contract, Americans are in even greater danger of being displaced by foreign workers on H-1B visas.

The H-1B and employment-based green card programs should be shut down.

Posted by Ms Weiss | Report as abusive

In many ways, the EB green card program is an even bigger scam than H-1B is. If a company wishes to sponsor a foreign national for an employment-based green card, then federal law states that the firm must make a “good faith” attempt to hire Americans first. However, there are many ways around this requirement. In fact, many so-called open jobs are not really open at all, but are actually filled with H-1B workers who are desperately trying to get that green card sponsorship. Americans who apply for these so-called “open” positions will be summarily rejected with absolutely no transparency in the hiring process. For evidence of this you can view the following videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFaj GU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqGBIHmv7 jo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx–jNQYNg A

America is the only country which allows discrimination against its own citizens in the workplace. These programs and practices should be ended immediately.

Posted by Ms Weiss | Report as abusive

Does this commentary sound as backward to you as it does to me? So we should let foreign scientists into our country to do research and create revenue for our country? I thought the foreign scientists came to our country to be educated by our American Scientists, ALONG WITH THE AMERICAN STUDENTS! So we have positions for foreign scientists but not American scientists. Is she saying American scientists won’t generate revenue or can’t conduct research. Hmmm….last time I checked I thought we were the ones exporting technology and leading in research. She must think our scientists don’t know how to do research! I grow so tired of people claiming Americans won’t work or are not intelligent enough to do cutting edge work. Either Americans won’t do labor intensive work, so we should hire uneducated illegal immigrants, or we won’t do high tech work so we should hire foreign scientists. Which is it, and why are we the greatest producers in the world? Americans teach these people for God sakes.

Posted by Michael Cross | Report as abusive

It appears to me that Diane has done a very cursory job of research on this matter. I have worked in industry since the early 70s and seen the US engineer and the foreign engineer working side by side. For the most part the US engineer out performs the foreign ones time and again. Yes, there are too many US based who under perform but they are in the minority. As to the PhD foreign engineer and scientists; my experience while I was in college, was that many were here on scholarship from their country while the US student had to pay his/her own way. Also, the foreign academic program is designed around testing so the foreign student is good at taking tests but many times does not perform as well in day to day activities and certainly not as good in innovation. This may sound very prejudicial, which it is not intended to be, but it has been my experience and the experience of many of my fellow managers. I’ve worked in high tech aerospace and in the highly competitive automotive field and observed the same in both fields. Of course, there are many outstanding foreign scientists who have contributed significantly but that does not justify the outsourcing of the entire technical base of the US to off shore companies which companies like IBM and Microsoft have done in order to insure top executives meet their bonus goals. Too bad this is happening and still be done in an irrational fashion. The chickens are already coming home to roost right now and, Diane, you won’t be immune from the fallout.

Posted by Butch | Report as abusive

There are plenty of qualified Americans without jobs. I was recently trying to find a job in mid-west. I have solid 15+ years of experience in IT with experience in most current technologies in a multi billion company (in a senior role). When I applied for a job, I received immediately with in few days more than 100+ responses from various companies (even in this market). About 90% of the responses are from Indian Head Hunters. I am not exaggerating (nor it is a lie).

BTW, I am from India but an American Citizen. The moment they found out that, I am an American Citizen and do not need any sponsorship, the head hunters/staffing firms lost all interest. One of the staffing firm even had the audacity to tell me, that I am overpaid for my skills in my present job!!

I did not realize the impact of my proud Citizenship till I tried to test the waters in the job market.

Now, after testing this job market, I have lost all confidence. Before, I always used to feel that my talent is enough to get a job anywhere but not any more. It is sad, but true…

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

For the lot of you that seem to think that America is not a place for a talented immigrant let me remind you that Albert Einstein was once a very talented and very smart immigrant.
Remember that this economic debacle was initiated by very greedy minded individuals who thought of themselves ahead of anybody else; the American “Brain Drain” was initiated when it was fashionable to go to Business and Finance Ivy League Schools instead of devoting oneself to scientific research and critical thinking in the same universities.
If it will take immigrants like Albert Einstein to re-educate America like in the 1940’s and 1950’s, so be it. Long term goals and general concern for REAL Science Education and Science Curriculum it’s what needed in this country, it’s what kept us ahead of the world; and it’s what our children need to have a place on the Future Wold.

Posted by Athena | Report as abusive

It is easy to say sending out H1Bs will save jobs and the economy. Try sending out 500000 people out. They will take back wealth, knowledge and jobs out of the country.

This will also create a backlash and will stop another kind of outsourcing not spoken about much . Chemical and hospital waste which is dumped in third world countries.

Prepare to bring in polluting drug factories which will also increase costs many times. Healthcare will suffer.

Countries across the world will prevent US companies from operating there. Sorry Pepsi/Coke/Colgate/J&J etc.

Exports from US will suffer leading to more job cuts.

H1B cannot be seen in isolation. It is not an easy situation.

Posted by Mahesh | Report as abusive

It’s a good policy but it just ruins the countries / communities from where the people come from. Imagine if the EURO was five times the dollar and all American doctors went to EUROPE. What would happen then to US.

Posted by S Fernandes | Report as abusive

Flash – New study out!
-> H-1Bs entering this country are junior level engineers with average skills.
-> Since the H-1B program began, the percentage of Americans majoring in the sciences has declined dramatically.
– > Since the H-1B program began, America’s technology lead has narrowed.
-> Foreign top talent are staying home in their own counties where opportunities are better for the grads from the few top universities.

Posted by Max | Report as abusive

All of you who criticize the journalist’s article are talking non-sense.
We recently advertised for jobs that required a PhD with specific skills. Guess what? So far out of 8 candidates 5 are Asian and the other 2 from elsewhere.
Surely you can’t chase every blond with blue eyes if they do not exist or are not interested!!
Get a life and wake up to globalization. Wall Street wanted it, the Administration wanted it, you supported it through your various votes for stupid representatives in Congress, you espoused capitalism, you have it.
btw, those candidates are all damn good. And they will be paid accordingly. The idea of them being paid less than others with similar experience or degree is a lie.

Posted by Tito | Report as abusive

typo: 6 out of 8 were Asian.

Posted by Tito | Report as abusive

To AK,

From high school to MS graduation took me 6 years. Tuition fees and living expenses cost me roughly 300k. I am not born American, but decided to share my experience with you, to give you some idea why H1B programm endangers the US higher education. My motivation actually completely matches Mrs. Roth’s :) and I would be more than happy to have this programm expanded. It cost me merely 5000 dollars /may be even less/ to have completely recognized and equal to the American system bachelors degree :)). I do have high profile professional job now, and I don’t have ANY debt, opposite to my American coworkers.

I still disgass Diana, she is completely orthodox conservator, and none of her articles are even close to reality.

I hope I answered you satisfactorily :)

Posted by Ananke | Report as abusive

I’ve becomed convinced that the author (Ms Roth) can’t really exist. My best guess is that “she” is this canard, automated “bot” from the establishment meant to ferment discord among the “working masses”. Surely no actual human could be that out of touch with reality!

The U.S. has over 300 million people, crowded cities, crowded roads, pricey housing (even still), strained resources & too few jobs. The LAST thing we need is to encourage more people to these shores. But wait, the bot Ms Roth suggests that it would be a economical/financial benefit. We’ve heard that one before. Such shortcuts to prosperity got us to the situation we’re now in.

Ms Roth …get a REAL job (& not living off the contributions of the fortune 500…and being their lackey).

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

The HB1 visa is partially a scam. How rude to call americans lazy so corps can make money. HB1s are making it hard for other immigrants who came here for the american dream to find a job. Regular immigrants come here, pay their dues by starting from the bottom, have master level degrees, and do what it takes and still believe they should be paid what they are worth. Well – guess what they can’t find a technology job now – what American supposedly needs because business don’t want to pay. Why because HB1 visas cost less and don’t know as much as American trained workers. Many big companies are awashed with HB1 visas that cost less but don’t know as much so they cost the company more. The program is being abused and should be scrapped. As for Ms. Fur – Do you have any integrity? This is treason against American citizens and should be stopped.

Posted by my manifesto | Report as abusive

I just saw how many people have posted to my first comment…so just to further clarify:

I am talented in mathematics and phisycs, and from my point I can assure you that American cissiculum and high school education are very well thought and some of the best in the world. In practice, the risk and the stress to be a scientist is not worth the effort in this country, mostly because of the outsourcing competition and skilled imported labor.

Let me put the question like this – If you are 17 year old and have /because of time restraints/ only one chance to spend a lot og money and build a career, would you work towards scientific degree and take 90% chance once you turn 35 to be too old and not competitive enough to your imported counterparts? Not everybody is born Einstein, thus not everybody wants to take the risk. I did it and I did well, however when I was 7 year old I was already involved with calculus and relative physics. And I still think American born lawers are making more money and live better than me.

Posted by Ananke | Report as abusive

Opening this discussion in the middle of an economic crisis seems a little ill advised, but I think that everyone can agree that immigration in this country is broken. I’ve been working here for several years now and my wife and I would love to get residence here, but after an aborted attempt a year back that cost me thousands in lawyer fees we’ve pretty much given up. I completely agree that residency requirements should be highly selective, but when a country is hostile even to very skilled/educated candidates, there’s something wrong with that picture.

I’ve never really understood why one can’t just apply for residence by itself – why the H1 hoop that everyone must jump through? H1 is an awful visa. I’m a contractor and while I’m not on H1, I have worked with many that are and I have never met someone on this visa that was not being taken to the cleaners. Because of its expensive/inflexible nature, employees are little more than indentured servants to their employer and are unable to transition to a better situation by virtue of the situation (ie in middle of GC application) or because so few companies will accept the costs/overhead with transferring an H1. Allow these employees to move more freely and employers will have to pay normal market rates again due to the increased competition and everyone benefits.

While the US has been an exciting place to live and work, personally I’m looking forward to paying $50/month again for full medical coverage under the much reviled socialized medical program up north. Maybe down the road, the US will implement a more rational immigration policy and we’d love to consider coming here again, but that day is not now.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Ms. Roth must not live in the USA. She sounds like yet another foreigner trying to push her relatives on us like a cheap drug.

Didn’t Microsoft, the chief pro-opponent and supporter of open immigration assure us that there was an untapped need for h1-bs? The same company that just laid thousands of them off?

Ms. Roth should go back to whatever hole she crawled out of. This is what happens when people fear for their jobs. They’ll say anything! Ms. Roth thinks Americans are dumb!
More NAZI like propaganda. I’m sure some of the Germans thought Goebbels was giving them the truth! Who do you think you sound like Ms. Roth?

Posted by Lazy Dream | Report as abusive

We didnt have a problem with needing advanced education graduates in this country until the public school system was unionized and the quality of education collapsed. When union seniority replaced the advancement of teachers based on expertise, our GNP dropped from 50% manufacturing due to innovation in 1960, to less than 10% today. Unless our own education system is reformed to reward good teachers, as Obama stated yesterday, we will be educationally second class citizens in our own country.

Posted by Albright | Report as abusive

Do like Microsoft. If the government in its wisdom wont let the experts into the country to build your business, and the economy, move it from Seattle USA to Vancouver Canada, where there are no restrictions, and educated professionals are welcome. Duh, I wonder why Canada has not needed a bail-out program….

Posted by richard | Report as abusive

Extremely one-sided and uninformed article. This lady is a fraud.

Posted by augustine | Report as abusive

We never believe the stats until we face serious implications of it. We should allow talented/skilled Immigrants to USA. With that we get quality work and more tax for the government. country will go ahead in the world.

Now all educated masters are going out of the country and they are developing other countries and their economies. Its kind of shame on us.

Posted by larry | Report as abusive

The USA has enough foreigners here already without equal opportunity for USA citizens being able to work in foreign countries. Boost incomes – Sure, HOW? Looks like unfair competition and jobs away from USA citizens here.

Posted by greg beaman | Report as abusive

Why doesn’t America product its own engineers? Are American kids stupid? No, but their educational system is failing them.
I think it is a great idea to put such sensitive industries as banking and engineering into the hands of foreigners. Helps destroy American independence.

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive

While I agree 100% that the system is broken, I couldn’t disagree more with your underlying premise. Mrs Roth is naive and wrong and several levels.

First I need to preface the statement by saying that as an American living in Central Europe, and a former contractor/ real estate agent, I have personal experience hiring foreigners. There are about 12-14 million illegal aliens currently most of whom are from Mexico. These people are not only not paying taxes as you naively assume, they are a major source of the US cocaine problem.
They are also a burden on the current welfare system and often live four or five families together in one house or apartment violating the lease agreement and overburdening the septic capacities. Many of these who are already here illegally have prior records in Mexico.

In another example, most of the illegal aliens who do work, are then sending the US dollars they are earning illegally back to their families in Mexico.

In my business I hired Ukrainians, Americans, Russians and Poles. The literacy rate among Poles is actually 99%, and many of these workers are by-lingual. The best workers I ever had were the POlish ones. Under Obama’s plan, he wants law abiding citizens to pay for the medical care of these 14 Million illegal aliens.

Check the record — In addition, his latest moronic move was to sign a bill which costs 23 million tax-payer dollars to relocate Palestinians to the US. 56% of these voted for Hamas, and over half polled support suicide bombing in the US. These are anti-American, uneducated people who hate the US, and use women and children as human shields.

Maybe Mrs Roth should actually spend some time with real blue collar people doing physical work instead of reading socialist reports in her law firm.

Posted by Dariusz | Report as abusive

I’m in IT.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve seen my actual dollar wages go down and my true spending power decrease dramatically.

Students have all but stopped majoring in IT.

One only need look back a month ago to see that the banks were laying off American workers while trying to increase their allotment of H1-B workers.

The reason is simple. Greed.
CEO’s bonuses are tied in large part to the cost savings they produce for a company. The quickest way to reduce cost is through cheap labor.

With the middle class being squeezed from both having their jobs outsourced, having H1-B’s imported to reduce labor costs and the wink of allowing 20+ million illegal immigrants into this country, I pause for a moment and am concerned for the future of this country.

When did America get to the point where they held what amounts to disdain for American born workers?

One last thought. The middle class has always acted as a solid buffer between rich and poor. Take away that buffer and what do you think happens?

Posted by Wayne | Report as abusive

bottom line, high skill immigration increases tax collection. It will not snatch jobs from natives as (intelligent) native are more aligned to non tech kind of jobs like lawyers, business person, docs as they are more into tradition.

Posted by a jawale | Report as abusive

If the H1-B visa is disbanded, corporations would value U.S. Math and Science graduates more and pay them accordingly.

When students looking to select a career see that these jobs are valued, they will enroll in these programs more.

Posted by CoolMower | Report as abusive

I guess US needs more people from Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and other radical countries. Green cards are distributed to these peoples like hot cakes. US don’t need Indians and Chinese anymore, And guess what.. We are also getting more opportunities back home and in other countries. So it is the time to even out. Living in Canada, with no threats of H1 expiration and unnecessary taxex, is far better than in US, and especially with US degrees. H1 holders are feeding your social securities and medical plans and they have to leave this country immediately after loosing jobs. It is so stupid that the most brilliant people with Masters and PhD are stopped to participate in any country’s growth and political system. Since they are no longer residents of their countries of birth and waiting 20 years to be citizens of US. What to do- be a slave of IT companies and Wallstreet. A few of us goes to earning million dollars since it is not the money but good and safe living what brought us here. You will get more of your European and Middle Eastern brothers there.

Thanks US for setting the quality work ethics and letting us to learn it through your best education system. Now we will bring whole world equal to yours.

Another great news- now your campuses are going global. Many universities are opening campuses in Middle Eastern countries and other Asian countries, though I am not a fan of living in Islamic countries.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

One more point: Every year my country of birth gives citizenship to millions of people from Bangladesh and Tibet, entered illegally and regardless of the country’s population of 1 billion. They are allowed to do whatever they want – follow Sharia rules, have multiple wives, lots of kids, follow their religions and be part of next generation of ‘Slumdogs’. I guess now Indian government should sign a deal with Virgin Atlantic and pick them from borders and bring to US- you will give them Greencard. Do you recognize Tibet as a country??

In one man’s comment, I was reading about the impact of immigration on Carbon Emission. I also work in the area of Environment and sorry to tell you that it is not the each and every country’s individual emission at the day end counts. And most of educated people have 1 or 2 kids and we make sure that they get higher education to influence thousands of other lives. Surely an American has larger carbon Footprint than an African. But at the day end counts also matter and your companies are selling same life style you have here. Every year 1000s of shopping malls are opening in India and still growth is lower than China’s. Stop churches and mosques, funded on your money, which are working there to raise the ‘religious statistics’ through propaganda against family control.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

I don’t know where people are coming up with the idea that H-1 workers are cheap labor. They get paid the same as a US Citizen, and for IT thats anywhere between 63k-120k/year. That is not cheap labor.

The problem is the education system in the US is a total failure. Kids dont want to study. Kids dont even graduate High-School, they get GEDs. Kids dont even get 4 year Bachelor degrees, instead they get Associates. America makes its citizens lazy and second class. That is its own undoing. And all of you are blaming corporations for not hiring US Citizens? Hard working, striving and exceptional US Citizens of old are GONE. They were replaced by the fat, lazy, non-inspired kids of today that nobody wants to hire and why should they?

All the smart US Citizens, which unfortunately is a minority, take up law, become politicians or entrepreneurs that go on to hire H-1 workers because the qualified people they need are not here. While the rest of the country simmers in a cesspool, a byproduct of the failed American Educational system.

Posted by Wake up | Report as abusive

One of the major reasons for the decline of the US economy in the simplest way is the loss of exports. We no longer make anything in the USA(almost) and instead pay other countries to produce everything we use. If our trade deficit and national debt aren’t enough of an indicator to Diana that now importing skilled labor is the solution I don’t think she’ll ever understand our situation. This is not an idea to stimulate our economy or to be used as a stop-gap measure to lift the government’s budget shortfalls with new tax revenue. It is a sure path to further eroding our already crippled economy. If we take this advice in ten years the United States will be on a direct path to third world status with no educated citizens of its own and no products to sell to the rest of the world.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

At my advanced age, I remember many liberal rants and 30-40 years ago, the libs were hollering about overpopulation. Their rant was valid then as it is today. They claimed our resources could not support more population and campaigned for ZPG — Zero Population Growth. Now that it doesn’t fit the liberal agenda, they’re advocating another hundred million people for our nation in place of a stable population. Why? It’s always the same. Disguised as compassion, civil rights and environmental concerns, it’s really about wealth and power.

Posted by Tom2 | Report as abusive

First ask the immigrants the basic purpose for which they come to migrate. Is it because there are not opportunities in their homelands? Since these people are considered ‘highly-skilled’, then why don’t they stay back and develop their own nations? Why do they need to come to the greener pastures to practices their ‘highly developed’ skills?

Of course, the basic reason is that these immigrants migrate simply to escape the poverty and unemployment of their homelands. Given a chance, any migrant would strive to do that whether or not he/she is skilled or not. But the US employers, who consider their individual profit with more priority than the concern of the nation as a whole, simply want to employ the immigrants because they readily work for lower wages, though these wages might still be higher than what they would get in their own countries.

If there were no restrictions on giving Visas to migrants who are ready to work for low wages, then the whole US would gradually be filled with immigrants working everywhere for a few elite moneyed class. Why doesn’t Microsoft completely replace all its technical and skilled staff with migrants? Or better yet, fill the managerial and administrative positions also with the migrants so that the few bosses can gain all the profit!

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

Dear Mrs. Furchtgott-Roth,

I came across your article regarding immigration-based economic growth
and it really moves me; I’m very satisfied that someone is giving a
positive spin to the impact that immigrants can have in the US
recovery. I’m actually one of the thousands of hopeful professionals
waiting for a Labor Certification to go back to US; in the mean time,
my company hasn’t been able to find anyone to perform the same quality
of work that I do. Fair? Not really, immigration laws need to change,
especially providing some benefits to the most skilled professionals,
which ultimately will benefit US corporations.

Again, thanks very much for your insights. I can only hope the
Department of Labor starts working at a “normal” pace again: I’ve been
waiting for my LC since Nov 2007 (what about PERM speeding the process
up?). One can only hope that others see the benefit of skilled
immigrants for US and stop seeing them as a threat for Americans as is
currently happening (and that’s, in my opinion, the reason why DOL and
USCIS are silently slowing down the paperwork processing)… And we
just can’t ask DOL too much as that’s understood as “suspicious”,
isn’t that beautiful? I hope it’s worth the wait.

L Baez, MBA and hopeful future GC holder

Posted by L Baez | Report as abusive

Here is the brutal truth you never examine: When you, the White and Well-to-Do,import your tidal waves of slaves, what exactly happens to the poor people who are ALREADY HERE?

Well, this is what happens: They have to live with the brutality of your slaver actions. You don’t get fired, but we do. You don’t watch your co-workers get fired one by one and replaced with slaves, but we do. You don’t spend month after month applying in person for jobs, and seeing workplaces exclusively employing immigrant slaves, but we do. You don’t see your earnings cut by 75%, but we do. Your lives and families are not destroyed, but ours are.
Meanwhile, both the Lefties and Righties pollute the air with their gasbag, idiot, non-book-reader, talk-radio opinions. The Rightie morons are brainwashed into thinking they’re taxed to death because illegals get vast amount of welfare. The Lefty morons, are brainwashed into babbling about a mindless fantasy of plenty for all which has never existed. The only thing you have in common is this: all of you make damned sure that your White Rug Rats attend schools which are completely uncontaminated by the presence of the offspring of your slaves.

I am astounded to find myself saying that I’ve actually grown to hate you people. In your bickering, you’re ALL idiots. You’re really and truly hopeless, but it is instructive to actually hear the world views of arch-segregationists. Spare me your indignant responses. I will not be checking in again. Goodbye.

Posted by I.M. Crawford | Report as abusive

The quickest way to lower unemplyment is to end the issuance of H1 Visas for non-critical roles (reduce to 1,000 per year). Most H1s are issued to Indian run firms that specialize in bringing people over from India for IT jobs, not research. In many cases, they fabricate resumes and credentials and University degrees which cannot be easily verified here in the US. Most Indians are aware of this practice and many have described this practice to me first hand as an IT firm owner, (as well as having witnessed it first hand). To top it off, many of these indian run firms file for minority status and get preference on government contracts over US run firms.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

I noticed most of the supporters of this article pose as Americans using english names when the grammar clearly gives them away as foreign nationals from Indian or Asian countries.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

Even though I am not gainfully employed, I find the whole idea of non Americans i. e. immigrants not being able to contribute to our social and economic basic alarming. There are so many talented people from Ireland, Inda, China,Africa and the list can go on. I hope that cooler heads can provail even in these economic hard times. Immigrants that work hard and make money in this country desire all that citizens like my self have. Tim

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

Weak Economy will lead the companies to do outsource the jobs to cheaper destination and get the work done. That’s even better to have H1B job here and pay the taxes.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I am a USA born citizen. I am married to a Mexico born citizen. Since he has lived, worked and paid taxes in the USA since 1991. No criminal record. I would like for him to become a documented human being and then a Naturalized US Citizen. Neither he nor I have any interest in Mexico. We would like to live and die in the USA in a legal status. The government regulations at this time will not let us do that. I hope things will get better for us. There has to be a way that we can live “legally” in the USA.

Posted by Lydia Gil | Report as abusive

I am an immigrant. I came here to study, got good assistanceship. I will work here for some time and will start my new journey, since I am not a coward and believe in adventures. But to all, who thinks that their country is here to provide them million dollar jobs and homes without any calibre and input from their side, I have one suggestion to stop immigration:

Stop funding the churches and mosques, which are working in Asia, Africa and South America to raise their ‘religious statistics’ through propaganda against family control. And also to fund terrorism and nuclear bombs in Asia and Africa. Better save this money to pay unemployment benefits when all the jobs will be outsourced or to gift homes to reckless parents of 14 kids.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

One of the major reasons for the decline of the US economy in the simplest way is the loss of exports. We no longer make anything in the USA(almost) and instead pay other countries to produce everything we use.for example, outsourcing most of the call center to bloody curry indian bastrad… If our trade deficit and national debt aren’t enough of an indicator to Diana that now importing skilled labor is the solution I don’t think she’ll ever understand our situation. This is not an idea to stimulate our economy or to be used as a stop-gap measure to lift the government’s budget shortfalls with new tax revenue. It is a sure path to further eroding our already crippled economy. If we take this advice in ten years the United States will be on a direct path to third world status with no educated citizens of its own and no products to sell to the rest of the world.

Posted by Darren Smith | Report as abusive

Deepti : “Stop funding the churches and mosques, which are working in Asia, Africa and South America to raise their ‘religious statistics’ through propaganda against family control.”

This is the hypocrisy of an immigrant. You would like to get settled in a much more developed, safer and cleaner country like the USA while escaping poverty-stricken and difficult native country of yours, but you wouldn’t like the USA to interfere in your home country. Why so? Now that you are not a citizen of your native country, why would you bother if the citizens of your ‘new country’ are funding their religious institutions somewhere else?

As for your ludicrous comment about funding nuclear bombs in Asia and Africa, all I can do is laugh.

Someone else here commented about the fraudulent methods by which some of the Indian immigrants apply for jobs in the US. I can attest this fact. Many of them like exaggerating their CV content to make it look impressive to the US employers, and they wouldn’t hesitate to add “unverifiable” data about their experience if need be. Moreover, there is a big difference between the education of the US and that of these countries. Otherwise, why would students come in hordes from there to study in the west?

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

For 18 years, the H1B and EB greencard programs have worked in tandem to destroy American careers. Most of the time, there is no requirement that employers first look for American workers before hiring foreign workers on H1B visas. Dept. of Labor rules actually allow most companies to replace American citizens with lower-wage H1B workers at will, even if the citizen workers are getting good performance reviews. Sure, there’s a law that says employers must try to recruit Americans before sponsoring a foreign worker for an employment greencard. That process is called labor certification, and it’s a sick joke because businesses game the system by using fake job ads and bad faith interviews of American job applicants in order to get around the law.

Posted by Darren | Report as abusive

Wow!! So US will interfere in all the world. This country will fund Pakistan’s nuclear. People of this country will do scam, design ponzy scheme and use whole wotld as labor. I used to think here lack of IQ is the concern, but I guess common sense is also at the risk in U.S.A. Anyway, I guess your time is out.

And as far as, people who came here on fake degrees is concerned, this is the learning whole world is again getting from US. Your richest people are school drop out. I have never seen any single US person in work places with a degree from recognized degree. They got degrees from some kinda ‘cornered colleges’ and since they have reservation in federal so it is easy for them to make back door entry. And it is the failure of your system who can’t recognize. If your CIA can work all around the world, can’t they get a list of recognized universities worldwide. Silly and pathetic!! So as the million dollar home pwners who can’t afford mortgages.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

Since I am not related to contracting business, I still need to understand who employs these contractors, probably Federal and state government. These small businesses definitely have some source of income. probably they are working under the umbrella of leading contractors of Federal or getting the projects of states where no one goes such as KY, WY. So probably someone on H1 plays with your SSN too and you are treating them as aliens. Appears that you are totally screwed..
Many European countries and Canada can give cleaner and safer life (drug and gun free) as compared to US.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

Deepti: “Your richest people are school drop out. I have never seen any single US person in work places with a degree from recognized degree.”

Since you are audacious enough to accuse the lack of college education among the US citizens(rich ones at that), this would mean that the college education in your native country far exceeds that of US, right? If so, why do you need to come to the US to get higher education and job? Aren’t you contradicting yourself? Why is your native country facing such high unemployment and poverty if the education is better there, and all are college-educated? Do you have answers for these? If you have so much disregard for the American people and their education, why do you want American citizenship in the first place?

Moreover, the fact that even “school drop-outs” in the US are far more richer than the most educated man of your native country only proves the superiority of the US education and economic system. If students can’t find good jobs, security, prosperity in your native countries with college degrees, and have to migrate to the US for the same, then what’s the use of such degrees? I am aware of the education standard of developing nations. You cannot simply compare those with that of the more developed world. That is why the students (you included) migrate from developing countries to the developed countries for better education and not vice versa. Its very easy to get a college degree in the developing nation since the system is too mechanical and corrupt.

By the way, Bill Gates is a college drop-out too, and yet he employs thousands of “highly educated” (college educated), “highly skilled” immigrants, in Microsoft. What do you have to say about that?

PS – I am not a US citizen, nor am I a migrant.

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

Deepti: “Many European countries and Canada can give cleaner and safer life (drug and gun free) as compared to US.”

What about your native country? Why are you trying to escape it? If European countries and Canada can give cleaner and safer life, then its good for its citizens, not for the migrants. Otherwise, migrants will come in hordes from the developing countries to escape their own problems for a more safer, secure and cleaner country like Canada, and will perhaps even exceed the original citizens in population.

A friendly advice from my side: Go back to your original country and use your US education to develop it further.

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

Athena said:

“If it will take immigrants like Albert Einstein to re-educate America like in the 1940’s and 1950’s, so be it.”

I oppose H1-B, but I enthusiastically support allowing anyone of Albert Einstein’s abilities to emigrate to the US.

Posted by lance sjogren | Report as abusive

First, Arlene Holen is oblivious that Microsof and many high-tech companies recently have massively laid off workers who are still collecting unemployment benefits.

Holen should also examine the Census data to see the explosive numbers of elderly parents that former H-1bs and “professional” immigrants brought in to the U.S. and put them on welfare. Holen should also compute the cost of many social services rendered to these newcomers and families, such as education, health care, costs of construction/maintenances of roads/bridges, fire/police/emergency services, homeland security measures, traffic control, pollution control, costs of finding new sources of energy and water as the result of population growth.

China realized 3 decades ago that population growth would seriously impede its economic success. It went as far as adopting its draconian one-child policy. It also seriously restrict immigration, even for people of Chinese descent!

Holen obviously has not thought of the impact of mass immigration on our national unity. It is high time that Americans woke up and urged President Obama and Congress to enact some sort of immigration moratorium for the good of all Americans and legal immigrants already here!

Yeh Ling-Ling
Executive Director
Alliance for a Sustainable USA
Oakland, CA

Posted by Yeh Ling-Ling | Report as abusive

The whole statistics about job availability itself is fraudulently represented frequently by various media and fraud experts. Most big and medium companies job hirings are done through staffing firms (called vendor list). Every company has 50-200 staffing firms that they notify them to get a good candidates, whenever a new requirement arises in a company. Here is the fun part. All these companies head out to find a suitable candidate quickly, and will post the same job in various job boards. In reality for every available job, there are 200+ same job appears from various sources. Hence, 6 million jobs every year itself is a BS information. There are not many new jobs (mdeium/high paying >60K) every year, and defintely not in millions. You can test it yourself(example: for software engineer in NY). Go to http://www.simplyhired.com/a/jobs/list/q -software+engineer/l-NY/fem-employer, and you will see 3016 jobs. Now modify your search (on left side), and choose Source is Company, Job type is Permanent, and the number of jobs drops to 29. That means, there is only 1% job, but it is maginified almost 100 times.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive


I do not know your individual circumstances, and if they are unfortunate then you have my sympathy.

However, advocating stricter immigration policies is not “xenophobic”, and when you play that card you have abandoned your credibility on the issue.

Stricter H1-b policies were enacted by politicians responding to public opinion that larger quotas were not good for the country. You are free to disagree with that on the merits, although I suspect that your view is heavily biased by your own self-interest.

What is not acceptable, however, is to make ad hominem attacks against those on the other side.

There are occasionally advocates of stricter immigration policies that cross the line of decency just as you did. For example, claiming that anyone on your side is simply a sweatshop profiteer.

Any such slurs on either side of the issue are uncalled for, and believe those in the debate (especially those on the same side of the issue as the one making the slur) have a moral obligation to condemn them.

Posted by lance sjogren | Report as abusive

The flagrant disregard of anything happening outside the US that is displayed in this article is simply breathtaking. Did it cross the writer’s mind what removing expensively educated workers does to foreign countries and their economies?
I suppose that the only thing that counts is the US and the US economy? I suggest the writer studies the meaning of the words egoism and unethical.

Posted by A Mulder | Report as abusive

I am not sure, whether this message gets through finally to the message board.

We have enough unemployed US citizens who can be used for tech jobs. I have worked in IT for more than 20 years, and from my experience I know there is a wide spread fraud through the media to convince Americans that, there is a serious shortage of skilled workers. I hope, your article is not one of those to hoodwink the public.

Posted by US Citizen | Report as abusive

There are two kinds of people who think that continuous population growth and economic growth are sustainable: economists and madmen.

If the so-called comprehensive immigration reform had passed, it would have exploded our already immigration-driven population explosion to well over a half-million human pile-on by 2050.
It always amazes me whan rank amatures and economists weight in on immigration so ignorantly. GEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!

Posted by MIke McGarry | Report as abusive

FallenMonk- it seems you are living in some imaginary world where whole world is way behind than US. Wakeup many countries are catching up. India has its own MIT – Indian Institute of Technology. Many students from this MIT comes here for higher degrees. Immigrants don’t work only for themselves but they support both countries by paying taxes in the resident country and supporting NGOs’ and education system in native country.

A PhD won’t go to earn million dollar – better he or she will spend his life in laboratories to make world better place- obviously it is hard for you to understand, because your yardstick works only in stock values and bank statements. It is not million dollar home what attracts them. Microsoft is not the magic of Bill Gate (actually I was talking about him, more than Indian kids he influences yours, that’s why they don’t want to go for highre education) only- many people of different countries are contributing there. That’s why he is shifting jobs to other places to save his company from protectionism.

Posted by Deepti | Report as abusive

Not everyone is saying H1s are not needed. Filter the system to bring in only the talented ones, to keep this country competative. Presently, the system is being misused by fraud companies, staffing firms helped greatly by the misguided articles such as the one above, to bring in average and below average folks who obviously are ready to undercut wages of US citizens.

I know, some of the honest H1 folks who said, they have a better chance of surviving in US job market than India. I know my cousin, who graduated from top MBA schools in India, and refused to job offer from Cisco/Microsoft because he felt the oppurtunities are better in other industries in India. Hence, not all IITs and top graduates in India are eager to work for US companies.

At the same time, Microsoft or any companies moving to India is for cheap talent and to under cut the wages of US workers. Afterall they are businesses and do ANYTHING to keep their company afloat. There is nothing wrong in it. It is the responsibility of the governemnt and the immigration that, these companies do not use USA whenever they want and move jobs out when it is convenient. If they like India so much, let them move their head offices and move their entire operation including the CEO homes to India.

There has to be balance between greed and responsibility towards a nation for these companies, just like an average US citizen is expected to. It is shame, an average citizen is telling the company, what their responsibilities are.

In this country, If every kid drops out of school because of high cost of education, every adult loses job because of age/outsourcing and fails sick with no health insurance what will happen to the future of this country?

It is easy for us to sit at home comfortably and argue and write great articles about the merits of outsourcing and immigration. But look into the future and thing about your kids in this country.

I doubt, this message will go beyond the moderator ;-)

Posted by IndianImmigrant | Report as abusive

Deepti : “Wakeup many countries are catching up. India has its own MIT – Indian Institute of Technology. Many students from this MIT comes here for higher degrees.”

Again you contradict yourself. If there is an “MIT” in India, then why do they need to come to the real MIT of USA to study? Should I laugh at this?

“Immigrants don’t work only for themselves but they support both countries by paying taxes in the resident country and supporting NGOs’ and education system in native country.”

So, immigrants think that the only way to improve their native countries is by NGO’s, where as the real research should be done in the US? Well, its good if the research is done in the US, because it will only benefit and improve the US economy. However, the truth is that the innovations that happen in the technological field is still more or less a monopoly of the developed nations. The immigrants are allowed to work only because “there is a lack of suitable workers for some jobs”.

“That’s why he is shifting jobs to other places to save his company from protectionism.”

He’s outsourcing jobs to developing economies simply because he is greedy and want to make more profit. Immigrants from India, Pakistan etc, readily work for wages 1/3 or even 1/5 of what a corresponding US professional would demand, therefore these firms are tempted to outsource the jobs for their own profit. This is good, but it should have some limit. Otherwise, Gates would have employed all the Indians/Pakistanis/Filipino etc for all the technical jobs.

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

Deepti, no American citizen would have any problem if someone of the caliber of Albert Einstein migrates to the US, because he would really benefit the country through groundwork and real research. But the immigrants come for jobs and they only benefit their employers, not the nation as whole. I hope you are understanding the difference.

PS – I am neither a US citizen nor an immigrant.

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

I would like to mention that here in Ohio and according to NPR across the nation we are experiencing a flood of trained graduates who cannot find work. And someone thinks we can jumpstart our nation with immigration? How high do you want unemployment to go? We have lawyers bagging groceries, engineers flipping burgers, teachers working at Wall Mart and it is going to get worse without immigration opening the flood gates. I personally know of a surgical nurse who is working as a masseuse because she can’t find a position in Ohio. The situation is bad. The last this thing nation needs is imigrants who will increase the competition for our children who are pouring our to our nation’s colleges and universities.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

What Holen neglects:

If Congress had passed the 2007 “comprehensive immigration reform” bill (a/k/a amnesty for 12-20 million illegal immigrants), the Heritage Foundation reports this would have cost taxpayers $2.6 TRILLION.

This is what happens when poverty is imported. It’s not rocket science.

It is time for a moratorium on ALL immigration (legal and illegal) to help taxpayers, allow assimilation of those already here, and to open up jobs for the 12 million unemployed Americans.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

“They would have added about $23 billion to GDP, and the federal government would have gained about $5 billion more in tax revenues.”

I fail to understand how they would add to GDP since research dollars are a competitive industry, and are a finite resource.

What this article then requires, is a concomitant increase in basic research funding. That money usually comes from the DoD or the Federal Government in the first place.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Adding more skilled immigrants to the US will only cause the wages for skilled jobs to go down. It’s a basic supply and demand calculation– no research needed. Obviously, this will only benefits the companies, allowing them to drive down cost. Not so good for American who paid so much for their educations. I think our schools are pumping enough newly graduates to cover this demand. If their was a demand.

Posted by Lo | Report as abusive

A fine point, letting in skilled immigrants. But nowhere in your article do you mention that the government doesn’t seem to be able to do that. A finely tuned immigration system would be a fine thing. Your idea is a good one, I’m just not sure the government can put it into practice without opening the flood gates.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

If we are in need of so many engineers year after year, where is the commitment to producing such graduates here? Are our schools not capable, our students not prepared to study engineering? If so, let us build a first class educational system and encourage our young people to study math and science. I do not see the logic behind continuing to issue more H1 Visas without embarking on a path to produce our own engineers so as to employ more Americans in the future.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

It is very sad to see the hipocrisy of a whole nation as this issue drags on.
1) If the Immigration Act of 2007 would’ve passed, we would not be in a recession, because of the millions of new customers added to the economy. For those of you who were sleeping during the early 90’s recession, it was the newly naturalized immigrants who saved the economy with their newly find purchasing confidence.
2) These immigrants (H1B applicants)are our representatives in their native countries, and they will take our values to their nations. They are not poor in their countries, but the best, and they bring new ideas and innovations to us all.
3) They happened to be coming from nations that are not fair skin. That is the center of the problem, if they were lighter skin there will be no discussion about the issuing of these visas; there would be public outrage at the slowness of the process instead.
4) Everybody but Native-Americans have immigrant relatives in their lineage. This is why America captivates the imagination of the World, opportunities are given to those deserving enough and to those who prove themselves worthy, no matter where they are from.

Posted by Athena | Report as abusive

I think the Americans take offence to anyone stating the facts…The education system in the natives’ contries may not be as well funded as the one in the US but in terms of identification of talent it is much more competetive as compared to the US.From around 400000 students that appear for an entrance exam to IIT in India(based on the MIT system)only around 5000 make the cut.That makes an intake-rejection ratio of nearly 1out of every 80 students.
what drives these students to pursue higher education is not the lure of undercutting the salaries of american workers but to pursue research in the much better funded universities there.
What differentiates the immigrant engineers or science students from their American counterparts is their ability to value the resources at their disposal at American universities as one can value something only having seen its scarcity.
Having these bright and highly motivated people in their workforce is naturally very alluring to US corporations.
The author is right in saying that these highly skilled immigrants have the ability to help revive the US economy.

Posted by Bharat | Report as abusive

Allowing more immigration is NOT the answer. There are PLENTY of skilled citizens begging for jobs right now. The problem is not with a lack of skill, it’s with a lack of JOBS. Why? Because to improve the bottom line (read increase CEO bonuses), US companies have been exported jobs to Asia at an ever increasing rate. In this attempt to slash labor costs, and build a “free” worldwide economy, business and government have failed to recognize that they are not only destroying the tax base, but also slashing the ability of the consumer in America, to consume: Hence the massive reliance on credit, leading to the collapse of the biggest credit market: Housing. It seems so obvious: Take away the ability to pay the mortgage, and what do you know> People stop paying them. Your call for more immigration, is a short sighted attempt to follow the status quo created by big Businesses control of the government: Cheap Labor. What is needed is to redistribute wealth to those who will spend it through consuming. 90 percent of wealth in 10 percent of the populations hands is what is causing the economy to crash. Not a lack of immigrants.

Posted by Dan Dryfus | Report as abusive

Workers do best with low population density w.r.t. resources so many investment dollars chase few workers. Squeeze-that-gravy outa capitalist FatKat$. To say nothing of dilution of the commons, yet another globalist $$$.hoe fantasy. Immigration increase is cultural and economic suicide_101 for working American citizens.

Posted by noshellswill | Report as abusive

Are you on drugs lady? There’s over 300 million people in this country and not enough jobs as it is. I think people like you need to make about $25,000 a year and see how you feel about immigration. Immigrants send there money back home to there families in there native countries. Why don’t you feed the world on your paycheck.

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

Let us give H1 and L1 visas to only IIT graduates. There is no problem with that. We do not want junk h1, L1 candidates to take covers behind the good ones. Most of candidates we are importing have very few similarities with those IIT graduates.

Posted by Ashoka | Report as abusive

Ashoka : “Let us give H1 and L1 visas to only IIT graduates.”

What’s so special about IIT graduates? Could you elucidate their inventions here in the US that helped the US in any way? I actually read an article today which stated that IIT Bombay had only 150 patents from the time it was founded till now!

The Americans are not understanding the real problems. Some Americans at least, like the author of this article. If US wants “highly-skilled” workers, then why not go to each and every country of the world and recruit the best brains? But wait, won’t that mean that the very definition of US would then change?

The problem is not that America lacks innovators or highly skilled workers. The problem is the greed of the few top elite employers. In the 50s, 60s and 70s, when there are negligible number of immigrant students to the US from developing countries, weren’t there new innovations coming up more regularly and commonly by the Americans? There were not immigrants then, and yet the standard of engineering and research was so high here, that almost any radical innovation like the computer, google etc happened here. Moreover, since its the immigrants who are coming to study in the US, and not the Americans going to study in India or China, it shows whose education is better. Therefore, even education is not the problem. The problem is the greed of these few top brass employers who want to make profit by employing cheaper labor from the third world countries.

There is not scarcity of people in the third world countries who want to immigrate to the US. They only need a chance, and that chance is given by these employers.

If the trend goes on, one day all the goods, including the most basic ones, would be manufactured by the foreigners for the US, and all the important jobs left over in US would be taken by the immigrants. Americans would become third class citizens serving these NEW Americans. US is doomed in the trend goes!

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

By all means, let’s continue to destroy the U.S. by importing even more immigrants, advocating more “free” trade, more outsourcing, building more manufacturing plants abroad, etc. etc. until we truly have one glorious financial world where American citizens get to compete with the lowest paid slave labor in the entire world. One glorious financial world where there are even more opportunities for thieves at the highest levels of business to steal even more money. How about a one world government to control it all? Wouldn’t that be nice?
That’s where we’re headed as fast as big businesses can arrange to turn another penny of profit. We’ve already destroyed the American middle class and now it’s time to destroy the American lower class so we can keep complaining about how the poor won’t work because they’re lazy no-good bums. That is so much FUN!

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Just leave to Indians to change a debate of immigration to IIT.Dont get fooled by the Brand name of IIT. Half od the new graduating class is based on reservations not merit.Few decades ago they were called “untouchables” by society.

Posted by USIndian | Report as abusive

You are right about IIT graduates. My comments was in response to “bharat”, who was trying to imply that most H1s are IITians.

As related to IIT graduates, personally I know some of them and they are very intelligent. But, in this country, we need honest folks (after seeing AIG, MS, LB, etc) not intelligent ones at this time ;-).

The problem here in this country is, the immigrants have even started influencing the media now. Look the following link, where immigrants are boasting on how they influenced Wall Street journal, to get their agenda.

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showth read.php?t=24428

Posted by Ashoka | Report as abusive

Its only a very few percentage of immigrants to the US, who are contributing in innovating new technologies through scientific and engineering research. Many of them just come and open Indian/Chinese restaurants, work as taxi-drivers, construction or any other job that any American can also do. In fact, I believe that around 80% of the immigrants go for these jobs. How will displacing the jobs of Americans help the American economy?

And Ashoka, you are right in your assessment that many of these immigrants have actually penetrated the power center of the wall street and even government perhaps. I don’t know if the author of the article is even reading the comments or not, but its ludicrous how she quotes another immigrant, Prof. Amar Bhide, to convince the Americans about her agenda. Isn’t she biased to be only quoting an immigrant by no American?

Its obvious that she is funded by these rich immigrant class to further their propaganda.

Posted by fallenmonk | Report as abusive

Without immigrants this country wouldn’t exist. Wake up! Who would pick the crops in California? What would that cost? Americans don’t do the jobs that these immigrants do on the wages that they are paid nor, in the conditions that they live.

I have a close friend who is a graduate of IIT, he has dozens of patents under his name and the company he is associated with would not exist with out his daily contributions. This company employs 400. Previous to this he was the senior scientist with 6000 engineers under him. China has over one billion population, this is their wealth and market. America needs to see things with clarity if it wishes to compete with these countries. They will produce 5 engineers to everyone of ours. They are hungry and will work harder then ours, and believe me they are just as capable and outnumbers us as well. If you aren’t convinced just go to Home Depot and see what is made in America compared to China. In fact if the Chinese didn’t buy our garbage Wall Street paper we would be in deep.

Posted by Wupta | Report as abusive

I fervently agree that highly skilled workers should be allowed to come to America and contribute to our society and economy, but why the push for comprehensive immigration reform? Seems to me that if highly skilled labor were at the heart of the issue, then the best solution would be to just raise the limit on H-1B visas. I think most Americans understand the need for highly skilled workers, but the problem with the comprehensive immigration reform as proposed by our politicians is that it focuses mostly on unskilled laborers and their unethical employers. By providing a legal alternative to cheaper labor that undercuts the American worker, the Government basically proposed a stealth labor subsidy through the guise of “immigration reform.” At the time of its proposal, most Americans understood the unethical nature of comprehensive immigration reform legislation and subsequently rose up en masse to prevent its passage. So, if there is truly a need for highly skilled workers, then, by all means, let’s increase the number of H-1B visas, but please leave comprehensive immigration reform where it belongs – in the dustbin of unethical legislation.

Posted by Matthew L. | Report as abusive

I have experience of working in IT industry. It is true that 95% of IT companies from India do c-grade work and play only on cost arbitrage. Most of the professionals that come from India even those from IITs, end up doing work that a graduate from a top US University will loath to touch. Just check out how many IITans are currently doing c grade IT support and development work at various US organisations and yes 50% of batch from IITs is from reserved category.

As far as comparing Indian education system with that of the US is a joke. But have pity on these IT engineers, for you dont know the extent of super exploitation that goes on in this industry. Call centre workers and IT engineers dont have a life, those in India are awake till late hours while those in the US are on call at 7 in morning to interact with peers. Many put on fake accents other fake names. But you have to do this to survive in the Indian jungle.

Just contrast it with American workers who walk out of the office at 5 in the evening and it is a fact that next US generation needs to buck up if it wants to survive. It takes no genius to figure out who companies want to employ. Insecure Indian or Chinese worker who will work like a slave for them at lower or equal wages and have never even heard of anything like ‘Quality of Life’.

Globalisation benifitted America in the past. But it will benifit it no more. The tables are turning. Diffusion of technology is so fast that a company cannot compete solely on basis of innovation. It will have to reduce costs to compete with companies from developing countries.

Eureka! If I shift manufacturing and services to Asia I am able to reduce costs, sell products in ASIAN markets and at the same time extract money out of the pockets of Americans and finally when Americans and Europeans are broke shift headquarters to Shanghai or Mumbai. American organisations are currently eating their own country up for short term gains. But from the beginning that is what American values have been – materialism and self interest.

America is simply letting go of everything in its economy and the interesting fact is that American people wont be able to stem this flow no matter how hard they try. As it has always been with America Large Oragnisations and Investment Banks will prevail over national interest.

Also give a kick to your Havard and Wharton graduates and professors there who indoctrinate graduating managers with only one value, ie, maximise shareholder interest no matter what!!! Trust me these people, politicians, business tycoons and investment bankers are the greatest enemies of America more so than the innocent humble immigrant who leaves his nation simply in hope of a better life and better education.

Posted by asterix117 | Report as abusive

I doubt very seriously the the ‘billions” in the stimulus package allocated for “scientific research”cannot be spent because there not enough domestic people to do the research. I would also bet there are other factors that American researchers have to take into consideration before they can accept federal research employment. I’m sure that it’s not a simple dollars and cents ordeal. If uneducated Americans are our true problem and if having so many more degrees per year are what we “need” then obviously there is not enough of an incentive for people to learn in America. Perhaps we are putting our educational dollars in the wrong place. With a national education budget of $972 Billion and a total enrollment (primary, secondary, and post-secondary)of 76.6 million students we can see roughly what gets spent per student on average to educate them. There is something drastically wrong with this picture. I do not believe more immigration is a solution to the situation.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I can’t believe that with all of the IT people losing jobs in the US, that people are advocating importing more IT workers from foreign countries.
My firm belief is that those who are promoting the increase in H-1B visas, and those who want to increase the number of immigrant engineers have an agenda entirely different from what’s being expressed. e.g., more interested in stock prices of companies they own stock in, and don’t really care about the health of the American Economy, and can’t see further than the next quarter’s bottom line.
Listen folks! How can we strengthen the American Economy by taking the jobs away from the people who pay taxes (which supports the American Economy)? Why are we advocating firing the American worker and replacing them with cheap imported labor? We have so many people out of work, why don’t we instead of firing more people and replacing them with cheap labor, give them jobs and give them a chance to pay taxes?
Don’t you just love these people who advocate the increase of immigration, and taking away American Jobs, while their main objective is personal gain?

Posted by Bert | Report as abusive

This article is such big business BS, and its the same kind of BS that got this country into the mess it is in.

Whenever visa patent attorneies and CEO’s of large corporations use their excessive amounts of money to buy the media into suggesting these ideas of letting more foreign labor in, its always about pointing to some abstract study which somehow proves that more labor from other countries is better and will bring in BILLIONS of dollars into the economy.

Its the same kind of magic mumbo-jumbo nonsense that the ‘invisible hand’ economists use to take the stance that letting corporations do whatever they want is the best economic sense. Well guess what, life aint that easy, and the truth is it takes national efforts to support national causes. The drain on the middle class is a direct result of these kinds of policies. We don’t need more labor, we need more investment in what we HAVE. TRAIN AMERICANS for a damn change instead of spending all our money on other nations.

Posted by Jason P. | Report as abusive

By the way I would like to point out that I have worked in the Biotech industry for almost 8 years now, and I can say from personal experience that the ‘need’ for more skilled labor from other countries is a lie. In the companies I have worked for, every time they open a new position, hundreds of people apply. Even assuming half that number are totally unqualified, it proves that this skilled labor shortage is a LIE designed to suppress worker wages and allow executives to collect bigger bonuses each year.

Posted by Jason P. | Report as abusive

I agree that the US needs immigration to stay healthy. My long stated opinion is, lots of legal immigration and no illegal immigration. I would love to see the US strip the rest of the world bare of their best citizens. Send us your rebels, your freethinkers, your malcontents, your dreamers, your capitalists. More criminals and welfare cases? That we don’t need and can’t afford. As currently implemented and enforced, our immigration policy operates in reverse. Millions of unskilled, uneducated workers are allowed to stream into the country, while top people with valuable skills are prevented from coming here legally. Heaven forbid the Labor department set strict immigration quotas based on the labor supply in each job sector.
“Oh, you’re a systems engineer AND a CADD/CAM machinist? Here’s your work visa. Give us your fingerprints and a DNA sample on the way out. Welcome to America!”
“You’re a day laborer? Sorry, we have no jobs right now. Try back in a few months. Next!”

Posted by Mark Stockman | Report as abusive

This is not the right time to discuss immigration. I am a H1 and I am not from an IIT that doesnt mean I am this “Unethical dumb Cheat” described by some of the commenters. I work for fortune 500 company get paid 100k for programming (I dont think i am cheap). I came to this country for two reasons 1 Money all the MNC’s exploit Indians Offshore developers (Its your fellow American Ceo who do that) . 2 Quality of Work The good architects and inventors hardly stay in India cos they mostly migrate to US and IT is still new India and no direct client interaction so the kind of work that gets offshored is boring.US still has the good stuff and its only insecure Americans who just dont want to compete and evolve complain. There will always be demand for good programmers.Lets think all we Indian Programmers are crapy then what motivates the big American companies to keep us year after year. I wont buy something which doesnt work cos its cheap again and again.There are few among us who realy are crappy and the market will kick them of in this recession. Bottom line is we provide more bang for the buck and believe me you will do the same if your ancestor didnt migrate to this country. If not for the visa restrictions i will start my own company and try something new.Its the greedy and Unethical practices from your fellow citizens that are dragging you to unnecessary wars ,deficits and bailouts we Immigrants just aspire for a better life and work hard . I just want to throw in a different prespective.

Posted by peaceboy | Report as abusive

You may be one of those deserved to be brought in on H1, but have you not seen the quality of the H1/L1/L2 around around you, brought in my the companies (both US and India) in the guise of non-availability of talent here?

I also work for a fortune 100 company(it is actually in top 20), with 20 years IT experience. Do you want me to tell you how many junk candidates are being dumped by the staffing firms weekly on a regular basis, convincing the immigration that they are all highly skilled and such talent is not available in USA?

Do you know, how many honest hard working US Citizens have lost jobs due to a cheaper replacement. You may be glaoting over the fact that, you are getting 100K on H1, but the fact is, your company hired you for 100k, and (possibly) laid off an US employee after showing his/her expense as 200K!!. Now, the company can tell the shareholders/higher management they saved 100K/candidate. In reality, we as a country are becoming more vulnerable.- An US Citizen is without work, unproductive, is on unemployment, his/her family may not have health insurance, mostly under foreclosure notice, etc …

The blame is not just on CEOs of US companies. Even Indian IT companies have to take blame for misusing the visa provisions. It is the entire system, including the immigration authorities for looking the other way, while they are expected to protect the jobs of US Citizens.

How many Europian countries, Asian countries allow massive inflow of immigrants and allow them to start influencing the “laws of land” to depreive the oppurtunities for the locals. Have you seen the web site, immigrationvoice.com, where the immigrants are actively advising each other on how to beat the system, how their employers are harassing them?

No one is accusing you as fraud. Most of the comments are generic. It is a discussion and it is ok to disagree.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

I totally agree with you on one thing there is a problem with current H1 system. The requirements for the system were written long back and its quite easy for a company to cheat and get faulty candidates. Its not the best in India who get these anymore I know so many deserving friends who dont get chosen in the lottery. Even if a fake guy gets into this country its very tough for him to manage a position for long you need to understand that most H1’s are on very short contracts. The flaws in the Immigration have left the deserving candidates with no advantage at all this has really damaged our reputation here. The first time when i heard that someone got fired cos i started doing a good job as a offshore developer I felt very sad. Its not my decision to fire someone I just did what I was hired for. U were born in a country rich in resources poor in labor and its reverse for me. Its the recession now and we all are feeling the pinch but i still believe there are good opertunities for American programmers with all the bussiness here in US. Peace.

Posted by peaceboy | Report as abusive

onemore thing 200k for programming is really crazy.
5 times the national average salary is little too much dont you think. Comming to quality I really learnt a lot from good American Architects and Managers they really are top of world cos a US has Computers before I was born and you get a whole generation of Architects. No offshore or Onshore company can make them nervous. Comming to new developers my team is half american and half rest of the world and you get good and bad coding examples from both.
There are flaws in every system and just dont take everything for face value those who cheat will reach there right place.Peace

Posted by peaceboy | Report as abusive

Yes, I agree 200k approximation for a developer appears crazy. But, if you talk to a finance person in a big company, they do not think that way. Here is how “The cost of an employee” is calculated for an employee in big companies (I mean top 100).

– When an employee is paid 100K (for example) for an experienced IT guy, the company calculates the total expense for the employee as 200K based on his 401K, training, sickdays, vacation, pension (if exists), liability coverages such as medical insurance, accidental coverage, disability, etc.

The rule of thumb in most cases to calculate employee expense is (till 125k), twice the salary as total expense. remember, the scale is not linear for all salary ranges, and definitely not for CEO salaries ;-).

Another rule of thumb to rememer (if you ever start a staffing firm, it is very important ;-) ) is, your hourly rate multiplied by 2, is the approximate yearly salary in K). For example, your hourly rate is $50/hour then, you are making approximately 100K/year as salary.

Then a contracting house, convinces the hiring manager that, they can supply a contractor for just $75-$80/hour
for most decent developers. $75-$80/hour translates approximately to $150K-$160/year, which is cheaper than $100/hour ($200K/year) the company is paying the present employee.

Now, the H1/L1 company (contracting house) takes the $75/hour, gives the H1B candidate 65k-70k/year (minimum salary for H1 as per labor department in most states, which comes to about $35/hour), a medical insurance worth $10/hour (remember candidates are young and group insurance for a company, is much less than what you think), and pockets the rest (about 20-35$/hour), which amounts to anywhere from 30k to 60k.

Believe me, I am not exaggerating. My figures may be off by about 10% and not more that. These are the figures given by a very close friend who runs a consultancy company and he feels sad he is doing this unethical business ;-).

These figures are per candidate. This explains, why these guys (staffing firms) have the money to lobby the congress ;-)

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

I’ve worked in biotech for the past 15 years and it’s become obvious to me that the reason foreign workers are encouraged to come here is that they **they’ll do the job at a cut rate**, and there’s a plentiful supply of them. There’s nothing more to it. They’re not the brilliant scientists and engineers that the Furchgott-Roth types would have you believe. In fact, the best scientists I’ve worked with over my career have been almost exclusively American-born, despite that these people have been a numerical minority in the labs I’ve worked in.

The effects of the policies which Furchgott-Roth wants to have continued and expanded have been A) lowering of wages in science and engineering fields, and B) driving out of the native-born from them. It’s pretty funny how she points out that fewer Americans are getting PhDs, but doesn’t admit that the main reason for that is saturation of the fields with foreign labor. Another example of George Bush’s “jobs Americans won’t do.”

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive