The H1-B system is flawed because it is based on the hiring firms. The situation distorts the market, allowing firms to bring in workers effectively from a separate pool that will accept lower wages and that have less power to bargain with their employer because they are dependent on the employer for their visa.
The system needs to be replaced with one that grants visas based on talent and education. This will add to the talent pool in the US, but the economy is not a zero sum game. More talent here means more companies can start, stay and grow here. Placing foreign workers into the same market as US citizens and disentangling the visas from the hiring firms is a critical step. It's obvious why the big companies and to perpetuate and expand this distortion, though, to the detriment of US citizens.
This is done to simply to keep the costs down by depressing all wages. All employers claim (to varying degrees of truthfullness) that they pay H1B visa holders and US citizents the same amount of money for the same job. Even when this is true, this is used as an excuse to pay everybody less. By doing this, the employers avoid the accusation of using H1B holders as cheap labor, and simultaneously get to pay other employees at the same level as H1B employees. What a way to double dip!
Without any H1B visas, the wages will rise in the US, and eventually a balance of supply and demand will be established. More STEM graduates will be hired, but everybody (recent graduate or not) will make more money. And most importantly, there will be no shortage of well trained employees. The companies respond that without the H1B visas, they will have move some jobs overseas. These is partial truth in that, but they have been doing that anyway even with abondant number H1B employees. Some companies have learned that the cheap labor overseas is often worth only what you paid for it. So the smart ones start hiring here even if the wages are higher.
"Intel and Apple didn't just pop up out of the ground. A lot of their ability to prosper is because the people of the US put a tremendous amount of resources into developing our infrastructure and research facilities."
This sounds reminiscent of the President's "You didn't build that" remark. However, how much of this infrastructure would have been built without the hundreds of billions of dollars the "people of the US" collect annually from corporations like these (and their shareholders)?
"Intel and Apple didn't just pop up out of the ground. A lot of their ability to prosper is because the people of the US put a tremendous amount of resources into developing our infrastructure and research facilities"
Ok then keep your products only in US and dont export it to take money from rest of the world. The rest of the world will find another way. Just as China replaced Google' with Baidu Other companies can be replaced.
There would be no need for visas then, All people will have jobs in their own country then. Wouldn't that be cool. Oh BTW let us know how many jobs you sustained after doing this.
Carolyn Mathas : Why Aren't Our STEM Graduates Hired yet? Don't the world owes them a living? Shouldnt we protect the jobs and take all the wealth from rest of the world with the products we make??
Carolyn, When you wake up, Tell Johnny and Janie to work hard, and be better, faster and more productive than the rest, to make a living.
There will always be obvious disruptions caused by lower-cost goods or labor entering a market. What is more difficult to identify however are the overall benefits to an economy as a whole accruing from the associated cost savings to companies and consumers. Focusing only on the former and ignoring the latter is bad economics.
I live in Los Angeles, there are signs everywhere in Spanish for immigration lawyers for the illegal aliens. If immigration lawyers were costly none of these Spanish speaking illegals could afford them. There was what 5 billable hours on your applications?
A country isn't a giant job fair. Intel and Apple didn't just pop up out of the ground. A lot of their ability to prosper is because the people of the US put a tremendous amount of resources into developing our infrastructure and research facilities. The management of corporations used to recognize they had a responsibility to the communities that helped them grow. Now they want to goose the stock up so they can cash their options out and who cares what happens after they are gone.
Do you really think a company doing thousands of these uses an attorney for each application? You were likely their one of a very few cases and part of what they did with you was related to a green card and not the H-1B visa. The companies doing thousands are not going to start the green card process until they decide they really care if you stay or not.
Maybe some of you are old enpough to remember this but when the H-1B visas were started in the 1990s, there was an article in one of the IEEE publications. Some EE submitted an appplication for a H-1B visa with a salary that was what the minimum wage would be over a year. It was processed and accepted. When the noise became so lousd the government finally responded. They said that they couldn't do anything since the paperwork was in order.
Some tightening of the requirements has occurred since then. But anybody who thibnks some government cubicle sloth who's pay is related to how many of these applications gets processed is going to carefully scruituinize these applications to make sure Americans aren't being shafted is delusional.
I don't know how the situation in the US is, but a similar thing is happening in the EU. Local engineering graduates are having a hard time getting a job because there are always engineers from the next less well off country who will work for a minimal worker's wage (even with working experience). Distances are small in Europe and there are no borders.
Government in my country doesn't seem to be conerned as long as the low cost workforce keeps the industry competitive. They don't seem to mind the jobless engineers on wellfare support that the government paid to educate and train (most engineering studies have no tuition fee). How does that make a profit for the country? I only see gain for "big" companies married with politics.
Meanwhile 30% of my university class emigrated to search for better oppurtunities and repeat the cycle in a better off country.