Is it true that H1Bs have been used to hire Asian tech workers cheap? Yes, the system has been abused to replace and displace American workers with lower cost workers from South Asia and elsewhere. It’s a shame that it takes a Donald Trump to confess this truth.
What about the claim that American workers are in short supply in this area? The H1B is in principle intended to bring really extraordinary talent from abroad. Really extraordinary people are, in fact, in short supply. But if given the chance, the opportunity, there are millions of Americans, young minority males in particular, who should be invested in. Only Bernie Sanders was explicit about that.
Wouldn’t curtailing the H1B visas cost America its leadership in the STEM fields, leading the world’s best to go to Canada, Europe, etc.? Eventually other countries may catch up with us in all kinds of science areas, but our accumulated advantages are immense. In addition, we are not talking about Einsteins here; most H1Bs today are midlevel people recruited en masse by middleman agencies.
David Abraham teaches Immigration & Citizenship Law, Citizenship and Identity, Law and the Transition to Capitalism and Law and Social Theory at the University of Miami School of Law. He has been a visiting professor at Tuebingen University in Germany, Deakin University in Australia, the École des Hautes Études in Paris, and the Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast. In the spring 2010 semester, Abraham was a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. While in Berlin, Abraham worked on a manuscript analyzing the transformation of citizenship in an era of neo-liberal globalization.
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