On March 14, 2013, a group of tech CEOs called TechNet
sent a letter
to Congress requesting a 60% increase in the number of H1B visas
provided in the Immigration Reform bill, currently making its way through Congress.
TechNet includes over 100 American tech executives who literally
control the world's information superhighway. A select group of these executives also met with the Obama Administration
to plead their case for more “guestworkers.”
Unfortunately, while TechNet claims to promote policies that will "sustain American competitiveness in the global market," an increase in H1Bs would have the opposite effect. A recent Economic Policy Institute briefing paper
belies the need for more H1Bs and provides evidence that only 50% of U.S. STEM graduates are finding jobs in the United States. More H1Bs will only continue to reduce the U.S. IT workforce, weaken the U.S. economy, and make the U.S. less able to protect itself from very real cyber-threats to its commercial, critical infrastructure, and military networks.
Just this week, the Pentagon received a report from the Defense Science Board
identifying dozens of U.S. weapon system designs that it claims were stolen by the Chinese via cyber-attack
. The threat to our national security as a result of this breach cannot be understated.
Instead of promoting high-level R&D experience for guestworkers from other countries, imagine the PR boost and long-term benefits TechNet member companies would get from working with U.S. educational institutions to help redevelop the U.S. IT workforce. A workforce that is now greatly reduced due to corporate guestworker and offshoring programs.