Petition to Abolish the H-1B Visa Program

Fact Sheet

Basic Supply and Demand

Domestic Demand for Fresh High- Tech Talent 149,500 = (1,855,888 - 1,725,500) = the number of jobs in the United States created last year by the expansion of computer and data processing services [Footnote] (The Department of Commerce projects 138,000 jobs per annum in the coming years. [Footnote].)
Domestic Supply 162,000 = number of students who are expected to graduate each year with associate, bachelor and graduate degrees in computer science, engineering and mathematics. [Footnote]
Foreign Supply 40,000 = the number of managers and high-tech people of "extraordinary ability" allowed into the United States annually under the EB-1 Visa Program.
+ 40,000 = the number of high-tech people of "exceptional ability" allowed into the United States annually under the EB-2 Visa Program.
+ 40,000 = the number of high-tech people whose ability apparently is neither extraordinary nor exceptional allowed into the United States annually under the EB-3 Visa Program.
+ 115,000 = the number of foreign technical people allowed into the United States annually under the H-1B Visa Program
+ 20,000 = the number of H-1B visas issued last year by the I.N.S. over and above that permitted by Act of Congress


The Adequacy of Americans to Do the Job
American scientists deserve to be respected individually, not with stereotypes or prejudice.
Many persons look to a certain international study [Footnote] as evidence that Americans are all bad at science and mathematics. However, over three quarters of the world did not choose to participate in this study, notably India and China, countries from which are drawn the bulk of the H-1B visa holders. Also, the study is of high-school averages. Americans who go on to study science and technology in college, taking some of the most rigorous coursework one can pursue, deserve to be respected for their knowledge, talent and diligence, not constantly viewed in terms of average American high-school students.
Nor are all persons from foreign countries geniuses or Einsteins.
We should not confuse the policy of special immigration, which brought in such lights as Einstein and Fermi into this country, with the mass immigration currently practiced. The United States has brought in tens of thousands of foreign engineers and scientists on permanent visas and hundreds of thousands on temporary H-1B visas in the past ten years alone. If the United States wishes to bring in a few big names or true luminaries into this country, then that can be achieved with an immigration rate that is only one tenth part in fact only one hundredth part of the current immigration rate. [Footnote]


The Evidence that There Is No Labor Shortage
The U.S. Department of Commerce has examined the issue and found no shortage.
A Department of Commerce report in June 1999 noted very selective hiring practices of employers and indications of age discrimination in high-tech employment. The data did not sustain a finding that there is a shortage of high-tech workers. [Footnote]
Salaries for high-tech have not risen in accord with a labor shortage.
From 1996 to 1998, salary offers to high-tech graduates rose at the same rates as those offered to graduates in the humanities -- evidence of the lack of scarcity of workers. [Footnote]
Unusually many technical people are displaced from the occupations of their training.
"According to data released Oct. 6 [1998] by the National Science Foundation, the science and engineering (S&E) workforce reached nearly 3.2 million in 1995; at the same time, however, about 4.7 million people whose highest degrees were in S&E fields were working in non-S&E occupations. Most of the latter were working in sales and marketing, management and administration, and non-S&E-related teaching." [Footnote]


How the Industry Maintains its Complaint of a Labor Shortage
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By massive lay-offs of American scientists and engineers.
In the first eight months of 1998, "the electronics, computer and telecommunications industries alone logged 143,000 layoffs ." [Footnote]   Although we have not researched later data, there is no reason to believe that the rate of layoffs is any less today. This comes to over 500 people getting laid off in the high-tech industry every day. After such heavy layoffs, the Information Technology industry claims a shortage. And it is true: any industry that laid off so much of its work force would be shorthanded.
By games played with absurd job descriptions.
Employers are able to post on paper any number of specifications for a job, to such extent that no American citizen meets the specification. For an example of such, click here. Of course, no one else on the face of the earth satisfies the specifications either, but by turning a blind eye to even the most obvious fraud committed on resumes, the company dispenses the job to whom it pleases, usually a member of the H-1B visa program. Industry gets its cheap labor, Congress is duped into believing that the hire could not go to an American, and another American citizen is out of a job.


Links to Further Information
Description of the EB-1 Visa Program
A look at the 40,000 permanent visas per annum reserved foreign managers and for "extraordinary" persons into America's scientific and technical job markets.
Description of the EB-2 Visa Program
A look at the 40,000 permanent visas per annum reserved for "exceptional" but not "extraordinary" persons into America's scientific and technical job markets.
Description of the EB-3 Visa Program
A look at the 40,000 permanent visas per annum, plus any unused from the last two categories, reserved for foreign scientists and engineers who have a bachelor's degree but are neither exceptional nor extraordinary.
Description of the H-1B Visa Program
A look at the 115,000 temporary H-1B visas granted to foreign citizens every year for entry into America's scientific and technical job markets.
Debunking the Myth of a Desparate Software Labor Shortage
The famous report by Norm Matloff. Here are found hundreds of facts about the real nature of the H-1B Visa Program and its effects on computer programmers both foreign and domestic.