IEEE-USA disappointed with Senate bill increasing H-1B visas

New, expanded permanent immigration proposals' impact on US engineering unknown

WASHINGTON-- IEEE-USA is disappointed that the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday expands the annual H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000, adds an automatic cap escalator and includes a new exemption for foreign nationals with high-tech graduate degrees without strengthening safeguards for foreign and domestic technology workers.

IEEE-USA President Ralph W. Wyndrum, Jr. said: "We don't understand why the Senate wants to expand a program that numerous government reports have found leaves U.S and foreign workers open to exploitation. Fraud, abuse and misuse of the visas is rampant. The program should be fixed before it is expanded."

Combined with the H-1B visa increases, the Senate bill also includes substantial increases in legal permanent immigrant admissions that could have a major impact on the U.S. information technology workforce and engineering enterprise, according to IEEE-USA.

Dr. Wyndrum added: "The bill opens the spigot on numerous skilled visa categories. The question is how many high-tech workers can the United States absorb annually without driving up unemployment and driving down wages? The Senate demonstrated its concern about the number of unskilled workers it would allow into our country; it should show the same concern for skilled employees."

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For more information on IEEE-USA's H-1B position, go to http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/issues/H1bvisa/index.html

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public-policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries.

For more information on IEEE-USA, go to http://www.ieeeusa.org


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