US employers want speedy extension of visa programme

US employers want speedy extension of visa programme
Tom Foremski
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has called for emergency legislation to increase the number of work visas because US employers have used up the current 65,000 H1B visa quota.
The ITAA represents major US high tech companies and IT employers, and it wants speedy approval of a bill that would raise the H1B visa cap to at least 90,000, potentially sparking a major brain drain from other countries facing similar skills shortages.
“The high tech train wreck we were trying to avoid has already happened, the 65,000 cap has been hit and high tech firms cannot use the H1B program,” said ITAA President Harris Miller.
But not everybody believes the warnings from US high tech companies about the labour shortage. “Their claims of shortages are total fabrications, their claims that the job slots they need to fill require extensive specialised training are lies. Many of these so-called high tech slots could be filled by American high school graduates or certainly those who had completed a basic computer programming course at one of the technical training schools,” said Edward Nelson, chairman of the U.S. Border Control organisation, seeking to reform US immigration laws.

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