Currently, the US government hands out 65,000 special skills visas (H-1 B visa) to workers from other countries. These special skills visas are for people with bachelors or post graduate degrees that can fill needed positions here in the US.
Many of these special skilled people end up working in the high tech world in Silicon Valley and related industries. A shortage of trained workers is frequently cited as to increase the number of H-1 B visas issued each year.
In a bipartisan effort, three Democratic and three Republican senators have introduced a bill (SB 153) to increase the number of H-1 B visas from 65,000 to 195,000 per year.
But as Mark Hyman with Behind the Headlines points out, there is a glut of degreed skilled workers in the high tech industries due to a number of layoffs. Microsoft laid off 18,000 workers at their R&D facility in Silicon Valley. Cisco and Symantec have also laid off a number of skilled workers.
Hymans then states:
“So, what’s behind this? According to some critics, technology companies are laying off older, U.S. workers in favor of younger immigrants who would draw smaller salaries.”
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