H-1 Visas: A High Tech Dilemma.

Essay by forever6512 December 2003

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When most people think of immigrants they picture illegal aliens crossing the border in California. Most people think that they only come to work for low paying jobs. There is debate about being immigrants into the United States for the high tech industry. "The H-1B is a high-tech visa that allows foreign engineers, computer scientists, and other highly trained technical workers from a variety of countries to work in the United States on a temporary basis for a maximum of six years." The H-1B began in 1950 and was attracted to individuals that have a background in mathematics, engineering, and a technical background.

"On October 3, 2000 the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation in a vote of 96 to 1 that would increase the number of H-1B visas from 115,000 to 195,000 each year for the next three years, with the possibility for renewal for another three years." The initial goal of Congress was to fill important positions and not to loss their competitiveness.

Greenspan warned that if labor shortages continued that inflation and the economy would be affected.

After years of opposition to immigration labor unions finally agreed that immigration was acceptable when there is a labor shortage. The critical issue was the substantially low wage that these immigrants received. "According to critics, foreign workers in Silicon Valley earn substantially less than a U.S. citizen with comparable education and experience." There were other who opposed the bill and felt like the bill allow companies to rely on cheaper labor at the expense of older and more expensive U.S. workers.

"The positive vote to increase H-1B visas is seen as further evidence of the clout the high-tech industry has in the United States." Companies argue that the rapid pace at which the information technology has changed the demand for...