Monday, June 3, 2013

H-1B reform debate pits tech firms against veteran IT workers

Some tech vendors say more foreign visas are needed to help with a shortage of qualified IT workers

By Grant Gross, IDG News Service

May 03, 2013, 9:02 AM  Many U.S. tech companies are pushing hard this year for an increase in the number of high-skill immigrants allowed into the country, but many veteran IT workers question their motives for wanting to increase the number of visas under the controversial H-1B program.

Microsoft, IBM and recently Facebook are among the large tech companies that have called for an annual increase in H-1B visas for high-skill workers, arguing they can't find qualified tech workers in the U.S. to fill all their open positions. Reports from those companies -- and others -- of thousands of unfilled tech jobs in the U.S. seem to support their argument.
A group of eight U.S. senators has pushed this year for an increase from the current 65,000-person cap on H-1B visas to as much as 300,000 workers. But critics say the skilled worker visa program undercuts U.S. wages and is filled with abuse.

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