In addition, there are several hundred thousand who are underemployed or working lesser jobs outside of their field. After the dot-com bust a few years ago, tens of thousands of computer workers and engineers left Silicon Valley and took any job they could get, of course at a fraction the pay they had been receiving.
At the same time, at least 463,000 H-1B workers are employed in the United States, and some estimate twice that number. H-1Bers who are hired by universities and other "exempt" institutions are not in the count. During the third quarter of last year, high tech companies in the United States laid off workers in record numbers, but they didn't lay off H-1B workers.
The best research on the economics of H-1B workers has been done by Professor Norman Matloff of the University of California Davis. See www.eagleforum.org/links/ for more on that.
Business executives continue the pretense that American information technology workers aren't available. In a speech to the National Governors Association on Feb. 26, Bill Gates said that India and China "have six times as many graduates majoring in engineering" as the United States.
The reason for this is obvious to bright college students who have discovered that Gates prefers to hire foreign computer graduates. Microsoft is adding 4,400 employees this year, but more than half of that employment growth is outside the United States.
Microsoft has opened a research center in Bangalore, India, where it expects to hire thousands of computer science graduates of universities in India at a fraction the cost of U.S. university graduates.
Microsoft is also on track to outsource more than 1,000 jobs a year to China. According to a former Microsoft vice president, Microsoft promised China in 2003 that it would step up the level of its outsourcing to China from $33 million to $55 million worth a year, and China is complaining that the pace isn't fast enough.
It's bad news for America's future if corporations learn to rely on foreigners for all their computer work. Americans, not foreigners, are the source of the technical innovations we need to stay ahead in the fast-moving computer industry.
Of the 56 awards given by the Association for Computing Machinery for software and hardware innovation, only one recipient is an immigrant.
We are told that Congress is working on immigration reform and border security. Instead, Congress is selling out American workers to please their corporate contributors.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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