In the Midwest, concern about the H-1B

With the prospect of a deal on immigration, the tech industry is in overdrive in pushing for an H-1B cap increase. Its efforts include supporting fluffy organizations to write boilerplate letters in support of a virtually unrestricted H-1B cap.   

The latest, called inSPIRE STEM, is co-chaired by former U.S. Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) and Maria Cardona, whose resume includes working as an advisor to Hillary Clinton in her 2008 campaign. It is urging U.S. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include the provisions of the Immigration Innovation Act (I-Squared) in its bipartisan negotiations on a comprehensive immigration bill. That bill will allow the H-1B cap to rise to 300,000.

Computerworld's analysis of government data shows that a major share of H-1B visas are going to offshore outsourcing firms.

If there is any problem with an unrestricted cap, you will not hear it from groups like inSPIRE.  You need to find people like Lesley Toth, who wrote a column this week about how for profit colleges are taking advantage of veterans. But it’s not the only issue that concerns her.

In a piece for a Minnesota newspaper, the Mille Lacs County Times, Toth lays out the problems that returning veterans are facing, which includes U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) support of I-Squared.

Klobuchar’s proposal,  writes Toth, “is misguided on several levels.”  She continues:

Considering that many returning veterans are pursuing degrees, like my husband, in computer science related fields, why don’t we figure out a way to graduate more of these veterans in STEM fields rather than import more lower-paid workers? There are plenty of unemployed Minnesota veterans who are crying out for the opportunities STEM jobs provide.

An expanded version of Toth’s point is made by Ross Eisenbre,  the vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, in America’s Genius Glut.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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