Opinion

The Great Debate

American business needs immigration reform

By Joe Echevarria
January 7, 2014

One thing the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on, regardless of political party, is the need for immigration reform.  Not only is it one of the keys necessary to create a healthier national economy and critical to America’s security, growth, and prosperity, it is also an integral component for the success of American business.

The current employment-based immigration system is broken to the point of disarray — but not to a point of disrepair. The facts speak for themselves:

1. In the European Union, work-related visas account for 40 percent of immigration (excluding intra-EU movement). In the United States, only six percent of foreign workers are granted permanent entry on work-related visas. Outdated institutional quotas are shutting talent and expertise out, when other countries are ushering them in.

2. Overall, 36 percent of those receiving a highly-coveted, highly valuable STEM-related doctorate in a U.S. university were students holding temporary visas. The situation is further exacerbated in PhD programs for engineering, mathematics, and computer science — over half of candidates enrolled are foreign students, studying in the U.S. on temporary student visas. They’ll go home, or elsewhere, equipped with gold-mark U.S. university credentials to put their education to work.

3. Between 1993 and 2008, the proportion of scientists and engineers over 50 in the U.S. increased from 18 percent to 27 percent. We’re simply not preparing to replace those who will soon retire.

While America has a bright future, we must have policies that enable American business to grow and thrive. Our policies must ensure that America is competitive around the world for decades to come.

Deloitte’s nearly 60,000 professionals work daily for over two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies, meaning our services, in some form, touch 17.5 million people, all of whom contribute to the strength and resiliency of America’s economy. What we experience firsthand and hear from our clients is that U.S. businesses today have the desire, willingness, and potential to do more — to grow more, innovate more, hire more, and contribute more to America’s economy.

But to do it, they need the ability and access to hire the right people for the right jobs.

Make no mistake: if we fail to attract the brightest minds and best people, other countries will.

This is a global battle for talent — a battle America is determined to win.

To keep America on top as the desired destination for doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, startups and headquarters of multinationals, to keep America the place where anyone can realize their dreams if they’re willing to put in the work, we need to take four strategic steps.

First, we must uphold a continued commitment to higher education for Americans. We’ll create the jobs of the future here at home by attracting future entrepreneurs, inventors, and scientists to study at the most prestigious, technologically advanced universities — and then inviting them to stay, get to work, and make their homes here, in America.

Second, we must quickly increase access to highly skilled professionals by raising the H-1B visa cap. This past year, the H-1B visa quota was met six months before the federal government’s fiscal year commenced – a record of 124,000 H-1B visa applications were received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for only 65,000 coveted slots. Even as American universities churn out highly skilled professionals — the envy of the world — there remains a steady demand for foreign talent to complement our domestic workforce. Making bright minds brilliant at our places of learning does the U.S. no good if we send those students packing after graduation.

Third, we must increase the number of available employment-based green cards. The principle of supply and demand informs us that the American economy — in sectors from agriculture to manufacturing, computer science to physical science — can absorb more talent. We have set arbitrarily low, artificial limits on who can obtain a green card — and correcting this will stoke real, measurable growth with more human energy.

Last, to ensure stability and predictability for American businesses, we must ensure a consistent visa processing system, one that includes strategic enforcement of the immigration laws already in place.

We simply cannot afford to wait any longer to bring real solutions to a system that isn’t working as we need it to. Our current immigration policies are not just hurting those looking to come to America, but those already here, by stifling opportunities for tremendous growth.

The need is immediate. The solutions are sound. It’s time for policymakers to take action to achieve a goal we can all get behind: elevating the quality of life of all Americans, and securing the future for American business.

PHOTO: A girl holds up a banner while people take part in a rally to demand that Congress fix the broken immigration system at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Comments
35 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Paid article again Reuters?

Posted by tmc | Report as abusive
 

I made a comment, but the brain-dead censor removed it. It contained disparaging comments about our fine neighbors across our southern border.

Posted by JRTerrance | Report as abusive
 

This seems to be an attempt to increase the supply of qualified technical workers in order to reduce companies’ salary costs. But what about CEO salaries? Shouldn’t they be reduced too?

Surely there are innumerable qualified domestic CEO candidates willing to work for 1/10 the going rate. But if US publicly traded companies “cannot find” those qualified candidates, perhaps they should be required to hire qualified candidates from low wage nations, to save on executive salaries. That would be a reasonable trade-off for what the author is asking.

Posted by DifferentOne | Report as abusive
 

So Businesses think that the US needs illegal amnesty? More workers? Funny how the Federal Government fudges numbers to look like the economy is rocking the books. When it isn’t. Americans, like me, who have been working jobs for 20 or so years, same profession, are disappearing. Where too? you might ask. Well, take a look out your door. Drive down the street. Look at the Construction Field. Look at the TSA. Look at your City Bus Drivers, taxi cabbies. 1.3 million of Americans or so called Americans. who is to say that all of them are legal. Have been on extended Unemployment benefits. EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

Posted by RisingEagle64 | Report as abusive
 

You can tell the author is a corporate shill when opens with such a misleading statistic; i.e. 36% of EU visa are work related compared to the US 6%. Perhaps, but the overall immigration rate for engineers in Europe is tiny compared to the US. Tiny. The EU governments are actually looking out for the EU citizens, not their corporate overlords (campaign financiers) as in the US. The vast majority of EU engineers are from the EU.

As an unemployed American born 52 year old Silicon Valley electrical/computer engineer from a top 5 engineering school who was recently laid off from a group of 25, ALL foreign born except me, I find this article both infuriating and laughable. At my job before that I saw a steady increase in the number of immigrants while anyone over 40 was at great risk of layoff.

Engineer salaries have been flat for >15 years, the majority of silicon valley engineers are foreign born, the VAST majority of new hires are foreign born. There should be a moratorium on immigration, not an increase.

There are 3 billion Asians (India/China), (let alone the rest of the world), 10X the number of Americans, OF COURSE you can find an equal candidate for less money or a better candidate for the same money. If there were 30 billion Asians should we educate and hire ONLY Asians, because it was more cost effective? (Somehow I imagine the answer is yes.)

With Citizens United business has unlimited ability to lobby congress to simply replace all Americans with cheaper immigrants. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-real- truth-about-the-stem-shortage-that-ameri cans-dont-want-to-hear-2013-5#ixzz2UzkAM 3hk

Yes, Google, Microsoft etc. would love to have >3 billion more candidate employees, but where does that leave the American people? This is about the filthy rich getting even richer by keeping salaries low, it has nothing to do with the quality of life for the American people.

When it comes to education again follow the money: with a sample size of 10X the US, of course you can find an equal candidate who will pay outrageous out of state tuition, or a superior candidate. Now that we’ve educated them it’s a short hop to “we can’t such expertise home”.

Why are we letting a few oligarchs sell our education, jobs and real estate to foreigners? Who gave them the right?

There must be a time when we say the US population is maxed out and we need to deal with our own people and do what’s right for them. I say >300 million is enough and now is the time.

It’s high time for public revolt on this issue or there will be no education and no employment for Americans.

Posted by zip123 | Report as abusive
 

“One thing the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on, regardless of political party, is the need for immigration reform”.

Really, in which la la land do you live in Joe? Forget the liberal and cheap labor polls. Ask Americans these simple questions.

Do you want illegal aliens to go back home?

Do you want to compete with more foreign labor?

I think your smart enough to figure out what the answers to those questions would be.

The only “reform needed is for Congress to have the will to enforce current immigration laws without exception.

Posted by quercus1776 | Report as abusive
 

In a PIGS EYE, if we have 1.3 million Americans on unemployment, then we do not need more immigrats to take more of the jobs. If we need more workers then we should have 0 unemployment. There are lots of jobs out there and
if people don’t want to work at those jobs, then let them
do without. No immigration reform, we don’t need them.

Posted by dlbrtmorris | Report as abusive
 

America needs immigration reform alright!, it needs all employment based immigration to be curtailed at immediately, current employment laws enforced and E-Verify made mandatory nationwide.
FYI, the US already imports 125,000* foreign workers clutching a work visa each and every month with contemptuous disregard for the 20 plus million* unemployed US citizens. This is on top of the millions who are holding down jobs who actually have zero business even being in this country.
The US labor market has been catastrophically flooded for many years resulting in stagnant incomes at best for most and our massive unemployment levels.
US business has well in excess of 20 million* US citizens from which find its workers but instead prefers to cynically use their unnecessary unemployment as a blunt tool to crush incomes of citizens and immigrants alike.
Stop the immigration nonsense, support US worker rights, join numbersusa and or fairus

*numbersusa

Posted by Drveruju | Report as abusive
 

We do not need more foreigner in our country. We already have lots of high skilled and highly educated Americans without jobs. No for amnesty and no more h1b visas. Bring back Tech and Manufacturing jobs to America and we need to secure the border, mandatory e-verify and strict immigration enforcement.

Posted by Sun_NY | Report as abusive
 

Huh. Smells like REUTERS is using the phrase “immigration reform” as one of those liberal / left-wing code words for “open borders”. And make no mistake about it.

All-Amnesty, all-the-time, wholly porous open borders … but this time, codified into law … is coming soon. It’s been decided already, who are you to say otherwise?

The amnesty bill of thousands and thousands of pages is being
composed right now, and – - – just as was done with Obama-care, it will be hastily passed and the President is drooling to sign it into law – - – and nobody will have much of an idea of exactly what the lobbyists (the strange bed-fellows of big corporate types sleeping with left-wing “transformationalists” a la Mr. Bill DiBlasio), have squirreled into it.

How many millions will be amnestized / legalized in one fell swoop? 11 million? 19 million? 27 million?

And are we counting the add-on millions (grandma, grandpa, 2nd
cousin, former mistress, step-child from a previous divorce, pet
alligator) … who will be riding in on the coat-tails of the amnestized / legalized illegal alien 9 years from now?

Who knows, who cares!

It’s racist to speak English anyway, so we
need to dilute that with millions who can barely speak 9th-grade-dropout Mexican and Central American Spanish!

Posted by zy-yz | Report as abusive
 

American business needs immigration reform: It sure does Joe Echevarria, starting with your job and all the grossly over paid CEOs who are costing their firms and stockholders ridiculous amounts in compensation each year. We should bring in the CEOs from europe who don’t make thousands of times workers compensation, but somehow manage on only 30 times workers compensation. What a savings for corporate America and a huge increase in productivity this would be. And being the enlightened CEO that you are, we can expect you to lead by example and take the first big cut in compensation just as opening our borders would do to the workers already here. Way to go Joe !

Posted by KRay | Report as abusive
 

We tried “cheap labor” prior to 1861 and we all now how that one turned out. I guess all that is left be said is HELL NO!!!

How about we place the interest of the country and the working families ahead of “cheap labor” as well as a placing a premium on preserving our culture and traditions so our children will not be forced to live in a country overrun with those who share nothing more than a LUST for the almighty dollar.

As was stated many years ago by a man much wiser than myself or the author of this absurdity…“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
― Samuel Adams .

Posted by Just-Say-NO | Report as abusive
 

1.
“In the European Union, work-related visas account for 40 percent of immigration (excluding intra-EU movement). In the United States, only six percent of foreign workers are granted permanent entry on work-related visas.”

Comparing apples to elephants. Why is he comparing “percent of immigration” (excluding anyone from the EU) with percent of “foreign workers granted permanent entry on work-related visas”? He’s either being deceptive or he’s a bad writer.

2.
“They’ll go home, or elsewhere, equipped with gold-mark U.S. university credentials to put their education to work.”
Actually, that’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s what the foreign student visas are really supposed to be about. They’re not really supposed to be about bringing more foreigners in to compete in the U.S. job market.

3.
The H-1B program is primarily used to import young, cheaper labor from developing countries for technical and engineering work; displacing many U.S. citizens from their professions or discouraging them from entering their chosen profession. It is NOT typically used to bring in the “best and brightest” minds. According to a January 14 2011 GAO report, most of the H-1B workers are categorized as having only entry-level skills.

Suggested reading:

The Atlantic Magazine, April 29th 2013
“The Myth of America’s Tech-Talent Shortage”
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arch ive/2013/04/the-myth-of-americas-tech-ta lent-shortage/275319

Economic Policy Institute, February 28, 2013
“H-1B visa program is not attracting the best and brightest workers”
http://www.epi.org/press/1b-visa-program -attracting-brightest-workers

Economic Policy Institute, October 14, 2010
“The H-1B and L-1 Visa programs: Out of Control”
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp 280

ComputerWorld, February 14, 2013
“The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers”
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9 236732/The_data_shows_Top_H_1B_users_are _offshore_outsourcers

Washington Post, July 7, 2012
“U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/h ealth-science/us-pushes-for-more-scienti sts-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/ gJQAZJpQUW_print.html

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Jan 14, 2011
“H-1B Visa Program: Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program”
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-26

BusinessWeek – “Work Visas May Work Against the U.S.”
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnfl ash/content/feb2007/db20070208_553356.ht m

BusinessWeek – “America’s High-Tech Sweatshops”
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/con tent/09_41/b4150034732629.htm

Posted by USionVoter | Report as abusive
 

The facts speak for themselves? The facts don’t say a damn thing. YOU are drawing partially supported or even false conclusions and calling them “speaking facts”.

Regarding US v. EU immigration proportions…That fact is silent. Most of Eastern Europe speaks Russian. Should we follow suit? Most Africans have darker skin. Should we evict caucasions? You provide ZERO basis for why we should match another place, just assume we’re wrong.

Regarding schools, perhaps you make the completely wrong assumption. Is the problem we don’t keep all foreign students or that we provide no incentive to domestic students to get these degrees? You speak to improving our training, in an article where you argue we should continue to remove incentive to pursue these careers.

Without GREATLY curtailing the way your company and even worse outsourcers abuse the program, you’re doing nothing but veiled cheap labor grandstanding. S h a m e o n y o u.

Posted by John80224 | Report as abusive
 

Please explain how CUTTING American worker pay by 50% and importing ever increasing Foreigners to take the lower pay benefits AMERICAN workers? I’m sure it benefits the CEOs who claim (falsely) they can’t find the talent they need.

Jobs that 2 years ago paid $120,000 now pay $50,000 or less (while requiring even more skills) but the $200/hr bill rates Deloitte charges customers haven’t gone down. Why is that? So you and your cronies can pocket the difference?

Posted by Wry | Report as abusive
 

So the 8th amnesty since 1986 would elevate “the quality of life of all Americans, and secure the future for American business.”

Let’s see: Giving work permits to 12 million illegal aliens, doubling legal immigration to 2 million people and overall adding 33 million foreign workers to our labor pool in just 10 years would be of benefit to the 20 million Americans who can’t find full-time work.

Please don’t insult my intelligence. We’ve been “securing the future of American business” for the past 30 years by flooding this country with cheap and exploitable foreign labor whose presence has done nothing but depress wages for American workers.

Posted by davegorak | Report as abusive
 

Why is it that our government [Far Left Liberal Democrats] is hard set on having foreigners come into our country to work when we have highly intelligent individuals here already? Furthermore, we have educated most of the foreigners in our Colleges and learning Facilities here in America. Are our own people so stupid that we need foreigners to come and do the jobs our own can perform just as efficient? Why not give our people the grants that are given to foreigners and make it easier for our own to get into our College’s first and foremost? Most Americans have difficulty getting along with the “illegal” Mexicans that are now here and continue to come into our country because of their brazen attitudes and thinking they own the world, and thinking “we” owe them something. Furthermore, the “illegals” who come into our country do not speak or even try to learn English, which causes more confusion and stress, they are poor drivers because of the bad driving habits learned in Mexico, they blare their Mexican music in most open areas and neighborhoods and they could care less for those who have made this country what it is, or what it was. Foreigners only complicate our society even more than it is already, because of their needs of learning and their lack of discipline for our laws and ways of life. Again, why is it always Americans who must turn out lives upside down to allow for the needs of foreigners? America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, a melting pot for “all” to be happy and prosperous and to become American Citizens, all I see are Americans allowing anyone and anybody to come and make their ways our ways and our lives as their lives. When will we “all” learn to be “Americans” and stop thinking along the lines of a “melting pot” society? When will foreigners learn a little respect and gratitude? God bless!

Posted by jwlytch | Report as abusive
 

The dishonesty is a sad day for our American citizens, especially those in need of work. It’s all about cheap labor, and the perpetrators just don’t want to say so. Lies, and more lies. For greed and more greed. They simply don’t care about jobless Americans, the folks who should have priority in this country. Greed trumps what is right for the country.

Posted by tears | Report as abusive
 

I agree that we need to import foreign labor to write articles for Reuters. There’s a definite need there, no doubt about it!

Posted by Michelle27 | Report as abusive
 

One thing the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on, regardless of political party, is the need to stop all immigration!!!!!

We have been down this road before with slavery and it did not turn out well.

People are not low cost labor,
not for long anyway.
They want raises and they have kids,
so our population grows exponentially
and then

the corporate robber barons will want more cheap labor!!!!!!

The foreigners coming here for an education drive up education prices forcing out poorer people.
American education for Americans ONLY!!!!!

Posted by buzzallnight | Report as abusive
 

Unprecedented, large-scale immigration under H1B Visa Program has destroyed the American engineering profession.

It’s really a simple case of supply and demand.

CONSIDER AN ANALOGY

Consider an analogy. Consider, for example, what would happen if H1B were applied to plumbers instead of engineers.

Pick any city, let’s say, Denver, Colorado. Now, bring in 100 busloads of freshly graduated Indian or Chinese plumbers (4,000 new plumbers), who want to enter into the plumbing business in Denver, and make a living.

The result? Wage rates for plumbers will become depressed. The existing 960 American plumbers in Denver, once busy every day, and making a good living, will now have much less work, or no work at all.

All the Denver high school kids hear from their fathers and uncles that plumbing is no longer a good way to make a living. The plumber wages are going down, down, down. In droves, they choose some other path in life. Who can compete with impoverished hordes of plumbers from India who will work for any price? India has 1.17 BILLION people, and many of them are coming here, flooding our labor markets.

The H1B visa law was created, written and lobbied for by large American corporations as a means for decreasing their engineering labor costs. Indeed their corporate profits have zoomed up, up, up — while the wage rates paid to their American engineers have gone down, down, down.

The H1B has already brought in over one million foreign engineers to America, thus driving down American wage rates.

People ask, Why more American kids don’t major in engineering anymore? The reason is that American kids aren’t blind. They see a flood of foreign workers displacing American engineers in every corner of the American economy. The see that the wage rates dropping.

If America wants more American kids to major in engineering, the solution is simple supply and demand economics: allow the wage rates to rise and rise until American kids say, “Hey, there is good money in engineering!”

That’s how it was, for 100 years in America, until the H1B Visa program started in 1990.

Posted by AdamSmith | Report as abusive
 

American business needs immigration reform like a fish needs a bicycle. Echevarria is obviously a Swiss surname, so he’s not biased at all on this subject – right? Please.

The needs of American business should be no different than the needs of ordinary Americans. Someone must buy whatever is made or whatever service if offered, which means they must have income for both basics and such options as they can afford.

“…if we fail to attract the brightest minds and best people, other countries will. This is a global battle for talent…”. No, it isn’t.

It’s about the U.S. absorbing via amnesty some 20 million illegal fence jumpers, the dregs from Mexico and south with no English, no education, no skill, no money, no job and no desire to integrate into American society. These people want to climb onto our social programs, multiply at our expense at a rate that would make a rabbit blush, want us to educate and feed their progeny, allow their parents, their uncles and aunts, etc. in to do the same, and then let the next generation do the same thing all over again. NO THANKS!

“…we must ensure a consistent visa processing system, one that includes strategic enforcement of the immigration laws already in place.” Wrong again. All we need is COMPLETE AND TIMELY full enforcement of present immigration regulations and laws. To date it’s clear America is no serious about defending our borders from the foreign invader squatters. Time to MINE THE BORDERS! No one can claim that a mine is prejudiced. Problem solved!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

While I do not endorse creating a police state and “rounding up” illegal aliens for prison or deportment, I do strongly support implementing policies that both discourage illegal immigration, and encourage those illegals already here to self-deport:

(1) E-Verify for employment, real estate transactions, opening a US based financial account, traffic stops, etc.
(2) Complete cessation of all federal and state social benefits unless E-Verify verifies that presence is legal.
(3) Much more severe prison terms (say 20 years) for illegal presence, with 100% escheat of all US based real and financial assets prior to forced deportation.
(4) Very serious prison terms (say 5-10 years per illegal) for knowingly hiring or harboring illegal alien(s).
(5) Extremely punitive excise taxes for money transfers to Mexico (say 50%), returned on your 1040 at tax time if you pass E-Verify.
(6) Genuine southern border control, with an unbreachable fence, 5,000 more agents, and up-to-date surveillance technology.
(7) Rules of engagement at the southern border that not only permit, but demand, that border agents use deadly force on attempted illegal entry in all cases, even if the potential illegal entrant(s) do not pose any physical risk to border agents.

This is a problem we can solve, and the solution will be self-funding. While I admit that the protocols listed above will cost money, social and other support going to illegal aliens is currently costing the taxpayers over $250 billion per year. Surely this gargantuan annual sum is far more than necessary to fund the protocols above, meaning that the taxpayers would save large amounts of money by solving the illegal immigration crisis. Further, about 7 million jobs in services, manufacturing, and construction would open up to unemployed Americans because the illegals currently filling them would no longer be here.

While it’s true we have shortages of workers in certain STEM and agricultural occupations, we need to solve the giant problems of US jobs being offshored or granted to illegal aliens before we solve the lesser problems of sector specific labor shortages.

Posted by StuVT | Report as abusive
 

The fact is, America’s real unemployment rate is double digit. There are already unlimited ag worker visas via the H2B visa program, farmers just have to pay a decent wage. Which shows what this is really about – greedy unscrupulous employers trying to pay minimal real wages and provide poor working conditions while transferring the costs to the public at large. And the left-wing ethnocrats looking for votes and an enlarged welfare state for immigrants.

In the field of educated workers, visas drive down wages and lessen opportunities for Americans, discouraging them from these fields.

There aren’t any jobs Americans won’t do, it’s just that immigration results in the jobs not being available or so low wage that they’re not worth taking.

And none of this includes the loss of sovereignty and undermining of the rule of law from illegal immigration, or the greater congesion, overdevelopment, overstrain of the social safety net and public resources, and environmental degradation resulting from population growth which is entirely driven by immigration.

Posted by PMayer | Report as abusive
 

It is amazing that the vast majority of people in this country are against additional immigration in virtually all forms yet our government “of the people” is going to increase it anyway. It really show that our government is now “of the corporations”. The USA has perished, the USCA has taken its place. Long live the board of directors!

Posted by tmc | Report as abusive
 

@Joe Echevarria
“One thing the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on, regardless of political party, is the need for immigration reform.”

The left wants to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, but the right wants to deport those same people. They all want “reform” but it is hardly agreement.

“Between 1993 and 2008, the proportion of scientists and engineers over 50 in the U.S. increased from 18 percent to 27 percent. We’re simply not preparing to replace those who will soon retire.”

I know lots of older software engineers who are unable to find work because they were laid-off and in this country virtually no employer will hire an unemployed person for a good job. They have been forcibly retired.

This is the one thing liberals like yourself and conservatives agree upon: you all think it is acceptable to replace American workers with foreign ones and then lie about the facts behind the movement.

“we must quickly increase access to highly skilled professionals by raising the H-1B visa cap”

Here we go again with the “highly skilled” canard. You neglected to mention that H-1B visas are used mainly for foreigners with only a B.S. degree. That is not highly-skilled; someone with a master’s or PhD degree fits that description.

Anyone who wishes to honestly research the H-1B visa issue can start by reading the following articles:
– The Boston Globe: “Outsourced, at home: Hyped as source of tech talent, H-­1B visas usher in cheap replacements for US workers”
– Mother Jones: “How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers”
– Bloomberg BusinessWeek “High Rate of H-1B Visa Fraud”

Posted by baroque-quest | Report as abusive
 

Two more things.

The author’s company, Deloitte, has a business model predicated on outsourcing, in other words, he has a vested interest in bringing in foreigners for employment purposes. Look at the website of Deloitte for proof. Reuters’ allowing Echevarria to write an article on immigration reform is as disingenuous as allowing a convicted bank robber to write an article on the benefits of eliminating statutes prohibiting bank robbery.

Deloitte is not a liberal company. You who continue to beat your dead political horse miss the point: this is one issue on which both lefties and righties agree.

Posted by baroque-quest | Report as abusive
 

I agree with Mr. Echevarria that immigration reform is needed, the form it takes is very important to the future of the United States. I took some time to read the comments posted, I have a couple of points to make about a few of them.

1. The op-ed piece says that the employment-based immigration process we have is broken. On that, it seems like everyone agrees.

2. Business is saying we have a general shortage of educated, qualified workers in the technology fields. Many comments are indicating that we have high unemployment and qualified people without jobs who need them. These two facts are both true. The system we have is supposed to make sure that people who have skills are matched to jobs and hired before workers on temporary visas. It’s not working well in some cases, and that needs to be fixed. How can we do that?

3. The piece also talks about committing to providing educational opportunities to all Americans. This would seem to be most important for people who are out of work. However, our educational system is far too expensive for many people to afford. This is in part driven by supply and demand, and a logical conclusion is that foreign students are driving up demand. What’s the right answer here? Invest more in education? Restrict foreign students?

Posted by MikeReid | Report as abusive
 

It’s the wealthy class, stupid!!!

Posted by EconCassandra | Report as abusive
 

Wall Street tells us over and over that they must offer their HIGH INCENTIVES to their corporate officers and traders because that’s how capitalism works. Incentives are everything.

Yet such advocates of capitalism never mention that the best way for America to get more American kids to majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in college is the same: Let wage rates rise.

Before 1990, before the H1B Visa, an American kid majoring in STEM in college, if willing to work hard, gained a ticket to GOOD WAGES, the kind where one could get married, buy a house and raise a family.

The solution for America is stop the destructive H1B program, and let STEM wages, engineering wages, rise to whatever level it takes to get the attention of American kids. When paid well, the American engineer can outperform anybody in the world.

Posted by AdamSmith | Report as abusive
 

The popular misconception that improving the American education system will result in more highly skilled STEM workers is certainly bogus.

For example right now many of the brightest of American engineers cannot find employment, despite the fact that they have the very latest, up-to-date skills — many with skills far more advanced than the average employed engineer. These extremely talented people teach themselves, yet cannot find work at decent pay levels.

The important thing for America to understand is that the reason they cannot find work is not because they need training; it is because the market is flooded with foreign engineers by the millions, on H1B visas, who will work for almost nothing. The H1B engineers are not so good on average, but there are so many of them, it has flooded the market.

Training more Americans won’t solve anything.

Posted by AdamSmith | Report as abusive
 

Clearly this guy is shilling for his clients – large corporations – whom he advises on how to outsource jobs.

Posted by ericksonpb | Report as abusive
 

Really not fair or honest to say most Americans agree on Immigration Reform. Immigration Reform is NOT agreed upon as they claim but Americans DO agree on Enforcing our existing laws and NOT rewarding law breakers. They love to spout this “Immigration Reform” line because to one person Immigration Reform is enforcing laws, deporting illegal aliens, lowering legal immigration, cutting out chain immigration, and making employers prove they can’t find an American worker before they apply for a foreign worker. However to the other side Immigration Reform means open borders, Amnesty for illegal aliens, 30+ million more work visa’s for foreigners.

Posted by Syanis | Report as abusive
 

Voters want Congress to pass an immigration bill this year, and most support the main provisions in the legislation being considered on Capitol Hill.

After a vote on Tuesday, the Senate will now officially begin debate on an immigration reform bill. The legislation would strengthen border security and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the country.

A Fox News poll released Thursday finds that most voters generally favor those provisions.

The new poll shows 81 percent of voters want to strengthen border security and stop additional illegal entry into the country.

In addition, 74 percent favor finding a way for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country to remain — and eventually become citizens — if they meet certain requirements, such as paying back taxes, learning English and passing a background check.

Republicans (90 percent), people over the age of 65 (87 percent) and whites (83 percent) are among the groups most likely to favor additional border security.

Democrats (82 percent), people under age 30 (81 percent) and non-whites (79 percent) are among those most likely to support a path to citizenship.

Most people — 76 percent — think it’s important to pass major immigration reform legislation this year (44 percent say it is “very” important and 32 percent say “somewhat” important).

Large majorities of Democrats (81 percent), independents (74 percent) and Republicans (73 percent), as well as white (74 percent) and non-white voters (79 percent) want immigration reform to happen.

Posted by Buddy1234 | Report as abusive
 

As long as the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce continues to lobby Congress on behalf of international business interests and globalization efforts….. the border will become increasingly porous and un-enforced.

They are the biggest driver behind bringing cheap scab labor here without consequence.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive
 

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