High-tech visas

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In the June 29 op-ed "Tech companies, farms need immigrants," authors Josh James and Leland Hogan argue that American companies risk falling behind the global market if educated technology workers abroad are not allowed into our country in greater numbers by expanding the number of H-1B visas. The current Senate immigration bill significantly increases this number.

The public, especially students borrowing money to get computer science degrees, needs to be aware that there is no shortage of qualified American computer programers and other high-tech workers. Recent studies show that only half the American college graduates with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees are finding jobs in their fields.

According to The Wall Street Journal, technology firms such as Microsoft, Intel and Google are lobbying Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas. Tech companies pay skilled immigrants significantly less than the going rate for American workers. Do we really want Congress to include a provision in the immigration bill which benefits tech companies at the expense of skilled Americans?

Ann Johnson