Bowing to the demands of corporations, Governors of 13 U.S. states are demanding an increase in H1-B Work Visas, dealing another blow to the prospects of American programmers and engineers.
On Tuesday, Governors of California, Washington, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Wyoming, Kansas and Indiana wrote to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell and House Minority Leader John Boehner seeking more H1-B Visas and Green Cards.
While we concentrate on building a highly skilled and competitive workforce for increasing opportunities in high-tech jobs, unfortunately today, we and our nation face a critical shortage of highly skilled professionals in math and science to fill current needs. Until we are able to address this workforce shortage we must recognize that foreign talent has a role to play in our ability to keep companies located in our state and country and, therefore need to ensure the increased availability of temporary H 1-B visas,and permanent resident visas (green cards).
Organizations likeÂ the IEEE and Programmers Guild have been opposed to the H1-B Visa program that allows corporations to bring in IT and non-IT workers from other nations – mostly India – believing it hurts American workers and depresses wages.
Indian IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and PatniÂ are some of the biggest users of H1-B Visas.
U.S. corporations have mostly ignored the interests of American workers by directly bringing in workers on H1-B Visas, working with IT services providers like TCS, Wipro and InfosysÂ or offshoring well-paying jobs to India and other low wage countries.
So, why are American students shying away from Math and engineering courses? Because they know that their prospects are limited after they graduate due to the H1-B Visas and offshoring.
Currently, the H1-B Visa cap is set at 65,000 annually and for fiscal 2008 theÂ quota ran out on the very first day.
Although badly hurt by the H1-B Visas and offshoring programs, American technology workers can do little against the big corporations and their army of lobbyists who push these initiatives. But there has been some activity in Congress lately to clamp down on the H1-B Visas.
Can you imagine what would happen if the Chief Ministers of the Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Punjab and Maharashtra were to write to the central government in Delhi asking for more Bangladeshi immigrant workers to be let into the country? If the Chief Ministers were do that, there would be a furore and large-scale violence in India.