- Apr 7, 2013
Rather than EDUCATE, ie., give scholarships, grants, summer science camps for high schoolers, "forgiving" loans, whatever it takes to increase the number of American students taking computer and other science-related courses, Republicans in the Senate are battling to increase the influx of workers from India. Whereas college students in the U.S. are graduating with NO job prospects and outrageous debt (not to mention black unemployment is twice as high as white), Silicon Valley in Calif. and other high-tech corporations in Utah send recruiters to India Technical Schools where they fight over Indian graduates, giving sign-on bonuses, air fare, housing, etc. to get them to come and work in the U.S.
While the committee met, officials said a complex private negotiation was playing out over proposed changes to a section of the legislation that would expand the current cap on H-1B high skilled visas from 65,000 annually to 110,000, with the possibility of a further rise to 180,000.
Lawmakers, aides and lobbyists familiar with the talks said that Hatch, whose state of Utah is home to a burgeoning high tech industry, was seeking to ease the terms and costs that would apply to companies that make use of highly skilled immigrant workers.
In general, organized labor and its allies on the committee, including Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., wanted tougher conditions than industry was seeking, part of an attempt to assure than American workers are not disadvantaged by a larger influx of H1-B visa holders. In an email issued during the afternoon, the AFL-CIO urged its supporters to contact the committee and express opposition to "Hatch's anti-worker amendments...
"Hatch's amendments would change the bill so high-tech companies can hire new immigrant employees without first making the jobs available to American workers," it said. "Hatch's amendments would mean American corporations could fire American workers in order to bring in new immigrant workers at lower wages."