Foreigners can remain in the United States for up to six years on an H-1B visa. That's plenty of time to have an anchor baby and stay forever, and there is no accounting of those who leave when their visa time is up.
The H-1B program was originally set up to help U.S. companies by allowing them to bring in specially qualified foreigners to fill jobs for which no American can be found. But six of the top 10 H-1B visa recipients in 2007 are based in India, and two others headquartered in the U.S. have most of their operations in India.
This year's keynote session of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, & Petroleum Engineers revealed how U.S. supremacy in technology is under attack in even more devious ways. A panel of speakers described the future role of U.S. engineers in the 21st century.
One speaker proclaimed that "pure engineering tasks" will all be outsourced, that our engineers must realize they are "citizens of the world," and that we must abandon "the engineer of the past, with a slide rule hanging from his belt," and change into a "personable manager with an engineering background" who will create personal relations with "external" clients.
A second speaker predicted that "engineering jobs will develop overseas and stay there since the technical resources will be there and the infrastructure will follow." A third speaker said that an engineer must "be prepared to jump from one place to another" because it's "risky for engineers to be focused on a very narrow aspect of any specific job."
A fourth speaker said that our challenge is "not so much the technical engineering but the sociopolitical engineering." A fifth speaker said, "The quality and quantity of R&D going overseas is increasing faster than it is here in the United States." We wonder if there is any longer a purpose in American students taking the scholarly road of engineering school. To paraphrase a once-popular TV ad, "Where's the innovation?"
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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