U.S. unemployment may be a concern, but tech companies are telling Congress they need more skilled workers from overseas. With the Apr. 1 application deadline for H-1B specialty worker visas looming, tech giants like Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), and Google (GOOG) are stepping up efforts to raise the cap on the number of visa workers they can have access to each year. Microsoft's Bill Gates argued in Congress (BusinessWeek.com, 3/12/08) for the second straight year that there's a severe shortfall in U.S. science and engineering talent, and predicted that for the fifth straight year the cap for worker visas would be reached in only one day. Days later, bills to aggressively raise the visa cap reached the House floor. With concerns about a recession growing, the call for more visas has provoked an outcry from U.S. tech worker advocate groups and other longstanding critics of the H-1B program. They say issuing more visas would dampen U.S. workers' wages by bringing in cheaper workers, and facilitate outsourcing as trained workers return to their home countries '
We deal with stagnant wages, jobs getting outsourced, funds for education drying up (and no free/subsidized higher education like some other countries), sky-high student loans, ridiculous hiring requirements ("You need 20 years of Java!"), high competition due to the glut of unemployed workers, and rampant ageism in IT, and we're importing yet more workers. The cost of living is rising apace, yet to even think about competing with people who are willing to work for a fraction of what US workers are, we have to be willing to work for peanuts ourselves. Is there something wrong with this picture? Full Story