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With unemployment at its lowest and the demand for skilled and unskilled workers at a high where do business owners turn to fill the empty positions. A large percentage of them hire foreigners; most of which have a H-1B visa. But to the surprise of some high-tech business owners the National cap on foreign hires is maxed out. 115,000 H-1B visas are accepted each year and that number has already been reached. 74,300 have been approved and 45,000 are still pending approval. Stephen Dahms, an SDSU professor and chairman of a work force committee for Biocom, said, if the companies havent had their requests in from the first part of the fiscal year (beginning October 1), theyre out of the running. Many high-tech companies such as Qualcomm depend on the employment of foreigners. Many of the high-tech companies have created thousands of jobs in the past years by using foreign hires, in turn creating much success for them by the increased production.
There are many business owners that are saying that the cap should be raised. Thom Stohler, director of work force policy for the American Electronics Association said, the fact the visa cap has been reached earlier in the year is proof the cap needs to be raised. While many businesses are using foreign hires to accommodate the need for employees, some are using the visa program to their advantage by paying low wages. Since you dont have to pay foreigners the same wages as U.S. citizens these employees are being used as cheep labor. Jerry Butkiewiez, secretary-treasurer for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council said, The biggest reason companies are using the visa program is to control wages for its current and future staffers. It is even thought that some companies are bypassing qualified U.S.
workers the keep their labor costs down. This whole scenario is displaying supply and demand. Since the world as we know it is being ran by technology it is only logical that the high-tech companies are having to expand as rapidly as technology is. It is obvious that the demand is out there and now it is up to the companies to supply the consumers. Unfortunately most American workers are employed, leaving businesses empty handed. So they are turning to employ foreigners. Economically the visa program can be looked at in many ways.
On a positive note U.S. business owners are able to produce more and incur less cost by lower wages and we are allowing a foreigner the opportunity to better their lives by employing them. For the negative side I see a more drastic outcome. Especially in San Diego we are facing extreme overpopulation. With hard to find housing and over crowded freeways how are we to accommodate 115,000 foreigners per year. Even though most of them commute from Mexico to the U.S. daily it is still impacting the congestion.
It is also impacting the rate of pay we are seeing in the high-tech workforce. My fianc is graduating in June with a degree in computer engineering and has recently started to circulate his resume. To his surprise the jobs are out there but the rate of pay is almost hilarious. It is barely enough to afford the cost of living that is ever so often rising. As we have looked at the effects to the U.S. economy what does it do the economy of Mexico. With at least 115,000 and rising receiving their visa each year what does that leave their economy with. Not much, but a bunch of unhappy workers dreaming of the day that they get their visa. It is only a matter of time for a percentage of them to apply and receive their citizenship and then Mexico is faced with yet another case of abandonment.
Foreign hiring is a solution for our current economical dilemma of employee shortage. It is hard to determine what the long term effects are actually going to be if we continue to bring 115,000 foreigners and rising into the U.S. each year. The question years from now will probably be now what? Lets hope not. Bibliography: National Cap on Foreign Hireing is Maxed Out. March 27, 2000, San Diego Business Journal..
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