What proportion of the H1B's, end up legally obtaining a green card, through the labor certification process. Many I believe, - a drain to the countries loosing these educated and trained professionals, but a gain to the US, as we have over the last 2 centuries.
"Rome is on fire and Nero is fiddling"... when there is such a massive unemployment with a stubborn recession, we are talking about bringing in people from elsewhere to be employed here. What a travesty. The real immigration reform should be to temporarily stop all immigration ( legal, of course, the illegal goes on) until the unemployment situation gets better and then rethink the whole immigration concept.
Excellent points Rick & Bert. I personally think Congress should wait to take up the H1-B vias and green cards for foreign STEM graduates at a later time -- after they deal with what the public perceives as the real "immigration issue," namely Mexico and what to do about the many millions of illegal immigrants from there living in the U.S.
I think the different camps, i.e. Congress and the engineering or scientific community, are talking past one another. And parenthetically I was actually heartened to see other countries, e.g. Singapore, dealing with these same immigration debates.
In the US, the debate in Congress at this time is hardly about the immigration of highly skilled and educated workers. That debate may be going on in our community, but I think it's a mistake to conflate this H-1B debate with the larger immigration question.
Unlike countries like Canada, the US has placed a lot more emphasis on allowing immigration of family members of immigrants, than on permitting immigration of those with the skills we need most for our economy. The main immigration questions debated in Congress are about providing a path to citizenship for illegals and their children. A far cry from determining what number of H-1B visa workers to allow here.
I'm afraid any squeal from the tech community would be drowned out in a tidal wave of "You're just adding to the confusion. We're not talking about that!"