Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us is pushing for an expansion of H-1B visas for foreign tech workers to fill a “skills gap that threatens the competitiveness of the tech sector.” However, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that not only is there not a shortage of American workers for these jobs, but H-1B visa workers are stagnating the wages in these high-tech jobs.
I hope you’ll protect American tech-workers by resisting any pressure to increase tech-worker visas for foreign workers.
When pressed for evidence of a shortage, FWD.us could not produce any figures to back up their claim of a tech worker shortage. This is because, according to Rutgers University public policy professor Hal Salzman, “there’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage” of skilled tech workers. In a study co-authored by Mr. Salzman, “only half of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) college graduates each year get hired into STEM jobs.”
Another study, released by the Center for Immigration Studies, found that “from 2007-2012, STEM employment averaged only 105,000 jobs annually, while the U.S. admitted about 129,000 immigrants with STEM degrees.” As noted in the report, that means “the number of new immigrants with STEM degrees admitted each year is by itself higher than the total growth in STEM employment.”
As for stagnating wages, a 2011 Government Accountability Office review found that oversight for the H-1B program was being weakened, allowing, as Howard University public policy professor Ron Hira noted, tech companies to use the program “for cheaper, indentured labor.”
I urge you to give Americans who have worked hard to obtain the skills necessary to work in the tech-industry a clean shot at a job in their field.
I urge you to resist any pressure to increase tech-worker visas for foreign workers.