President Trump is having a formal White House meeting with tech CEOs today. According to the news media, one question tech employers were asked to be prepared to discuss with the President was: “How can the H-1B visa program be modified to ensure that visas are issued to the highest-skilled and highest-paid workers, while also eliminating examples of the program’s abuse?”
“Everyone knows what needs to be done – and in fact, the President has promised to do it,” IEEE-USA’s director of government relations Russ Harrison explained. “First, kill H-1B outsourcing. That will free up 50,000 H-1Bs a year for American employers who recruit out of US universities, so any increase in H-1Bs is unnecessary.”
“It would also be counterproductive,” Harrison pointed out, “because more H-1Bs waiting for green cards just increases the already huge backlogs of hundreds of thousands of indentured foreign-born tech workers. That creates both a barrier to real immigration and an obvious disincentive to hire Americans.”
“We told then President-elect Trump in December how to kill outsourcing,” Harrison went on to explain. “Because the H-1B lottery, the mechanism by which outsourcers dominate the program, was created by regulation, the President can start keeping his campaign promise to protect American high-tech employers by simply putting outsourcing companies to the back of the line.”
IEEE-USA sent a memo to President Trump’s staff in January, and a draft interim regulation to USCIS in February explaining how to do this.
“We look forward to helping the President keep his campaign promise to kill H-1B outsourcing,” said Harrison. “We will work with him to end the H-1B lottery next year, which does not require Congressional action.”
“The President however, does need Congress to prioritize immigration over temporary visa. The IEEE-USA was instrumental in getting an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House twice back in 2012 to set aside 55,000 green cards a year for international students with advanced STEM degrees from American schools. That is how they (Congress) can fix the high-skill visa system so that it serves all Americans.”
“We look forward to the President working with us to keep his promises on high skilled immigration, not only protecting US workers but recruiting from American schools to create and keep high paying jobs in the US.”
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 190,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)