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Another 20,000 Americans replaced by foreign workers by your government

Even though the optimists acknowledge that job creation is lagging in our country, Congress gave away the jobs of 20,000 Americans.

The H-1B visa program was started under the guise that there was a shortage of qualified Americans to fill jobs, primarily in the high tech sector many years ago. Today claiming there is a shortage of Americans to perform these jobs is nothing short of a sick joke.

Note that Microsoft is quoted in this article as stating that they can not find enough Americans to fill jobs. However Microsoft, does in fact - do layoffs of Americans despite their public claims to the contrary. Some examples from various news reports:

The San Jose Mercury News first reported the layoffs within Microsoft TV on Tuesday. Microsoft representatives confirmed the layoffs Wednesday and added that they were part of a larger restructuring within the group. The company also confirmed on Wednesday the UltimateTV layoffs, which the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier in the day.

At Microsoft, layoffs are commonplace. Either a product or a team is determined redundant or unnecessary, so the team is laid off. Once a team is laid off, they are still employed by Microsoft. Their entire job for the next six weeks is to hunt for internal jobs at Microsoft. (After six weeks pay is terminated for the "employee.")

There's a bit of perspective in "Microsoft, Layoffs, and Location" regarding what seems to be a layoff game at Microsoft that favors the Redmond groups that are cut.

The point here is not to pick apart Microsoft's business plan and practices. But to show that when it comes to justifying corporate welfare; ie. H-1B visas, L-visas, H-2B visas, high rates of immigration (both legal and illegal) and offshoring you - the citizens  - are not being told the whole truth.

The truth is that the entire high tech arena of computerization of virtually every aspect of modern life was performed by Americans. But this field now called "advanced technology products" now represent a deficit on our international trade (See: Bush Economic Polices - Once again - bragging about trade deficit failure ... ).

At this point in our country's economic status, with job creation lagging, giving and extra 20,000 jobs to foreign nationals is just Congressional tribute to the unholy influence to the power of multi-national corporations. Some call it corporate greed.

But when this unholy influence is supported by both major parties, you do not have much of a choice.

Until America returns to full employment - the H-1B visa program and other similar visas should be reduced or eliminated, not expanded.

It is up to you - the citizens - to determine how long these policies will continue to undermine the American economy and your grandchildren's future.

How To Stay Informed

U.S. Expects 20,000 H-1B Visas To Go Quickly

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Department (USCIS) is opening wide its doors Thursday for 20,000 foreign nationals who wish to obtain H-1B visas.

By W. David Gardner,  TechWeb.com
May 11, 2005
URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=163101236


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Department (USCIS) is opening wide its doors Thursday for 20,000 foreign nationals who wish to obtain H1B visas. The visas are expected to be snapped up swiftly by educated, foreign-born workers eager for jobs in the U.S.

In fiscal year 2002 and 2003, the latest figures available, about 38% of visa petitions were for computer-related occupations, according to media reports.

Visa restrictions were tightened in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Heads of U.S. companies have complained that they have had trouble finding enough qualified employees and many have urged the USCIS to loosen the reins on visas for qualified workers.

"My suspicion is that these 20,000 visas will be used up very quickly," said Jonathan Meindersma, an attorney who has handled hundreds of H1B applications. "I'm suggesting that applicants get their cases prepared and do it quickly." He added that many of the applicants have high-tech and IT expertise.

Thursday's activity is for those with advanced degrees from U.S. universities; applicants with degrees from foreign colleges don't qualify for H1B visas, said Meindersma. "People without advanced degrees must wait until October," he added.

The previous H1B quota of 65,000 was filled on the first day of fiscal year eligibility on Oct 1, 2004. Congress granted an additional 20,000 visas for holders of advanced degrees. Meindersma believes the 20,000 positions could be filled in weeks, even days.

The attorney noted that there are different categories for educated foreign workers. Many have been classified under the "Optional Practical Training" (OPT) category, a temporary status that can enable an employee to work while waiting for a visa. Other categories permit foreign specialists to stay in the U.S., but they can't begin working until specifically approved.

Less than a month ago, Microsoft's Bill Gates told a technology seminar in Washington D.C. that Microsoft was struggling to find enough qualified employees and he called on the USCIS and Congress to relax visa restrictions. "We are very concerned that the U.S. will lose its competitive position," Gates said at the time, according to media reports. "The jobs are there, and they are good-paying jobs, but we don't have the same pipeline."

Meindersma cited a hypothetical case that he says is likely to affect students graduating this June with advanced degrees: Even though the students will graduate soon, certification should be prepared in advance. Students can qualify for visas before their commencement exercises, if their graduation requirements have been met. In such cases, a few days could be the difference between getting a visa and being turned down.

"Employers seeking to hire those meeting the eligibility criteria would be wise to start preparing cases immediately," Meindersma said.

Workers without advanced degrees seeking visas may apply for visas with an H1B status on October 1.

Filing fees are $750 for applicants in companies with fewer than 25 employees and $1,500 for applicants in companies with more than 25 employees.



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