Why We Need More H-1B Workers: Page 2

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Skilled Foreign Workers Create Jobs

The way to create jobs is not to advantage foreign companies with the world's most highly skilled workers, but to allow private enterprise to build competitive, growing companies.

In a global economy, the way to do that is to let them hire the best people they can, regardless of whether they are American citizens or not.

Skilled workers create American jobs. Meanwhile, unskilled workers take them away.

If Google hires a brilliant Indian engineer on the H-1B visa program who invents a new service like Gmail or Google Maps, that contribution enables Google to hire hundreds of additional employees in marketing, business development, and other areas, as well as construction workers for the new offices, landscapers and operations people.

Restaurants in Silicon Valley get more customers, and can hire more workers. The coffee supplier to Google increases the daily order by 100 gallons. The government collects millions of extra dollars in tax revenues to help pay the national debt.

OK, that's an extreme example. The reality is that each H-1B visa worker creates anywhere from zero to hundreds of jobs. Google employs about 20,000 people, but only received 207 H-1B visas last year.

Meanwhile, if Google hires an unskilled foreign worker (a.k.a. illegal immigrant) to take out the trash, the only effect that has on the economy is to keep one American janitorial worker unemployed.

So while populist outrage is prompting pandering politicians to directly damage our economy by rejecting the world's best and brightest, where's the outrage that some 15% of the jobs that will be created by the stimulus bill will probably be taken by illegal immigrants?

While the total maximum allowable number of skilled workers is capped by the H-1B visa program at 65,000 workers for all companies in the entire nation, two studies have concluded that illegal immigrants could take 300,000 jobs created by the stimulus bill, whose main purpose is to put Americans to work.

Instead of harming American competitiveness by blocking companies from hiring the world's most skilled workers, let's instead open the floodgates and let American companies hire whomever they please -- and issue the visas that will make that possible.

Companies will hire Americans only if they're successful. Let's not use the stimulus plan to build roadblocks to that success.

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Tags: IT, economy, technology, policy, H-1b visa crisis

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