229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
|May 3, 2001|
The article “Workers, and Bosses, in a Visa Maze” (April 29) wrongly implies that the H-1B program is a stop on the way to “green card” status. Guest worker programs like H-1B were designed by Congress to be temporary, allowing foreign nationals to work here during periods of spot labor shortages.
Despite organized labor’s effort to protect American workers, Congress failed to require downsizing employers to keep U.S. workers before guest workers. Consequently, many U.S. workers were laid off while guest workers stayed. Further, the October 2000 expansion of H-1B coincided with dot.coms laying off thousands of high tech workers.
At current graduating rates, the supply of appropriate U.S. graduates will exceed Labor Department projections for high tech job creation between now and 2008.
The H-1B program is designed to supplant qualified American workers with lower paid foreign guest workers. It is unfair to both.
Paul E. Almeida
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO