This is sadly the state of the discussion.
Perhaps policy was never coherent, but it seems to me that when it comes to trade, the inter-state laws that the US generated decades ago were far more coherent than our global laws.
For example, there was a time when minimum wages were first being introduced. Of course it would be an issue if New York had a $10 minimum wage and Alabama had none. You don't need a PHD to see that many jobs would head to Alabama.
The result were things like the FLSA that basically only applied to company engaged in interstate commerce.
So if you wanted to manufacture goods in Alabama for export ot other states, it had to obey the Federal minimum wage. Theoretically, if you're a local pizza shop in Alabama and never crossed interstate lines, you could have theoretically ignored the Federal minimum wage.
Now convention has seen that we basically all obey it.
But the logic was there. Now, the question I have is if they got this right with respect to trade between states, where was this logic when negotiating global free trade deals? How can we have global free trade without a global minimum wage?
It's an interesting question in my view.
You can find the same lack of coherence with the H1-B visa issue.
There's no doubt there are exceptional people in every country; India is no exception. So by all means countries want them working for their companies. Of course, by their very nature, exceptional people should get a pay premium. So to capture these people, there should be some high salary base. Let's say 2-3X the average salary for a comparable American in the field. So today, it would work out to be say 150k+.
You then have a large number of 'average' people that I don't think you get to claim America can't produce. America can produce an average developer, network engineer...
The biggest gap here that H1B systems have is in certifications.
Not a matter of skill, but companies/people centered around the H1B model know and can practice the certification game. Many of these firms hire people straight out of school in India, then train them quickly to get the certified. This makes them able to say they are qualified for X technology. This is a known investment as they already have customers willing to bring these folks over. Your average American firm isn't doing this and as a result your average people are left to chase certifications and apply manually without essentially a pre-made deal.
This one is harder to handle but I'd say if they haven't tried hiring an American generalist in the field and training them for some time period (6 months) to get whatever certification is required, then this path to H1b should also be blocked.