by Rob Sanchez
October 19, 2004 - No. 1113

Several new editorials have been published that ask for an increase in
the yearly cap on H-1Bs. This is probably a last ditch coordinated
media campaign by Harris Miller's Coalition, CompeteAmerica, to raise
the limit just before or after the election.

If there is any doubt in your mind whether these editorials are a part
of a planned media campaign, go to the link below to see
CompeteAmerika's bragging list of newspapers who printed one of their
pre-formed editorials. This new push to raise the limit should be taken
very seriously because in the past increases were done when public
attention was diverted to other issues.


* Mispellings of CompeteAmerica are strictly intentional!

The list below includes editorials that aren't on CompeteAmerika's

In case you are wondering why there are no newspaper editorials that
oppose increasing H-1B, the answer is very simple - organizations which
supposedly oppose the H-1B program don't meet with newspaper editorial
boards. Since newspapers tend to have a corporate bias to begin with,
those that oppose H-1B are losing the media war without even putting up
a fight. It's a public relations victory for the shills by default.

This list is compiled as I confirm newspaper editorials that are
shortage shouting and promoting H-1B increases. So far I haven't found
one that is against raising the H-1B limit, but if I do, I'll start
another list.

Oct 18, 2004 Wisconsin State Journal
Oct 15, 2004 Financial Times
Oct 13, 2004 Orlando Sentinel
Oct 4, 2004 Business Week
Aug, 19, 2004 Wall Street Journal
Aug 2, 2004 Arizona Republic
July 30, 2004 The Sacramento Bee
July 29, 2004 The Sacramento Bee
July 26, 2004 The Plain Dealer
July 24, 2004 The Oklahoman
July 16, 2004 Wall Street Journal
July 11, 2004 The Dallas Morning News
July 10, 2004 Dallas Morning News
July 7, 2004 Missouri Springfield News
July 4, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle
June 26, 2004 Lakeland Florida Ledger
June 26, 2004 Orlando Sentinel
June 6, 2004 Denver Post
June 6, 2004 Rocky Mountain News
June 2, 2004 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
May 30, 2004 Boston Globe
May 29, 2004 Washington Post
May 21, 2004 Chicago Tribune
May 10, 2004 The Detroit News
May 11, 2004 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 17, 2004 The New York Times
May 17, 2004 Dallas Morning News
May 31, 2004 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mar 16, 2004 Hillsboro Argus
Feb. 22, 2004 Washington Post

Brief summary of the newest editorials:


Oct 18, 2004 Wisconsin State Journal
They immediately begin shortage shouting, and then they attempt to
assuage labor activists with false promises of prevailing salaries.
This newspaper is asking for both an increase in the yearly cap, and an
exemption for foreign students who obtain a Masters or PhD from an
American university. The exemption will allow 20-40 thousand H-1Bs a
year that aren't counted towards the limit.


Oct 13, 2004 Orlando Sentinel
According to this newspaper, employers won't hire scientists, engineers
and educators in the year 2005 unless they can import more H-1Bs. No
mention was made of the possibility that unemployed Americans that are
highly educated would be considered. The Orlando Sentinel wants an
increase in the yearly cap.

Financial Times October 15, 2004
They complain that security checks for terrorists have been too
restrictive and have hindered the H-1Bs from China and India. There is
a diatribe that our country is so dependant on foreign workers that we
can no longer function without them - perhaps they saw the movie "Day
Without a Mexican" in which the entire state of California is engulfed
in disaster when all the illegal aliens from Mexico disappear. In the
opinion of this unpatriotic rag, the Department of Homeland security
should stop being so paranoid because business is more important than
national security.

A Smarter Policy For Immigration
Business Week October 4, 2004
This editorial is very similar to the Financial Times. They complain
that too much time is being used to check if H-1Bs are terrorists. Once
again, the need for cheap labor is considered more important than
national security. Basically they say that all of us should just forget
that 9/11 ever happened, and we should stop thinking about the fact
that all but two of the terrorists used temporary visas.



Lift federal cap on tech workers

October 19, 2004

Federal immigration officials arbitrarily cut off the supply of
much-needed foreign technology workers and students on day one of the
annual visa-granting cycle this month, with troubling implications for
American businesses and universities including UW-Madison.

Federal officials capped applications for H-1B visas Oct. 1 - the first
day they were available - to heed an ill-conceived Congressionally
imposed limit of 58,000 visas for fiscal year 2005. Last year, the
quota wasn't filled until Feb. 17.

What this means is that many U.S. businesses, research firms won't be
able to hire the highly educated foreigners they need to advance their
work and research. And because the employment ban includes foreign
graduate students, universities won't be able to admit promising future
researchers who can help America gain advantage in emerging technology

You might say: So what? Give the jobs to Americans who ought to get
them in the first place. We would agree, if there were more such
Americans available. This country's universities aren't producing
enough qualified homegrown scientists and engineers. Like it or not,
some of the fastest-growing segments of the American economy currently
depend in part on research and educational contributions from highly
educated foreigners.

The shortage of top foreign researchers can only hinder the economic
recovery now under way. Over the longer term, the arbitrary cap on H-1B
visas, if not lifted or at least made less restrictive, undoubtedly
will harm the economic competitiveness of the United States.

Opposition to expanding the H-1B quota comes from labor unions that
unjustifiably worry that employers use the visa program to get workers
at lower salaries. But federal regulations require U.S. employers to
pay the prevailing wage and equal benefits to H-1B workers. Surely,
they would hire homegrown talent if they could, given how much red tape
and administrative expense they face in importing foreign workers.

At the same time, easing restrictions of foreign workers is only a
stopgap. The United States must do more to help its own people succeed
in the modernizing world's global economy. The National Science
Foundation has issued a report explaining just how we have fallen
behind in training the next generation of scientists and engineers -
and what we can do about it:

The federal government should find more money for scholarships and
other targeted support that entices more American undergraduates from
all demographic groups into science and engineering majors.

The government must invest more money in cutting-edge research.

At universities, science and education teachers must work closely
to better train and prepare new teachers to specialize in K-12 science
and math education.

Schools must devote more resources to K-12 mathematics and science
programs and do more to inspire youngsters to pursue careers in
high-tech fields.

But this is all part of a long-term effort. For right now, employers
face a worst-case scenario: A shortage of qualified Americans at the
same time as the government chokes off the supply of foreign workers.

For our domestic growth and global competitiveness, Congress should
expand the H-1B quota next year. And foreign graduate students - at
least those seeking master's degrees and Ph.D.s in math, science and
engineering - should be exempt from the cap altogether.



Limits that backfire
Our position: Congress has made a mistake in overly restricting visas
for top foreign talent.

Posted October 13, 2004

Congress passed a budget-busting tax bill this week that supporters
insisted would be good for business, but members failed to take a
simpler and cheaper step to boost the American economy.

Congress adjourned without raising the annual cap on visas that let
U.S. employers hire top talent from other countries. As a result, the
limit of 65,000 H-1B visas for the 2005 budget year was reached Oct. 1
-- the first day of the year.

Now, many U.S. companies and research institutions hoping to hire
scientists, engineers and educators from abroad will have to wait at
least a year for another chance. Meanwhile, international competitors
face no such restrictions.

H-1B visas, which last up to six years, let U.S. employers hire foreign
professionals in specialized areas. Often those professionals come from
U.S. universities, where half the master's and doctoral degrees in
science and engineering go to foreign students. According to the
National Science Board, the supply of U.S.-born scientists and
engineers has been shrinking.

The visa cap means foreign professionals may have no choice but to take
their talents to other countries. There, they might end up competing
with U.S. companies.

Labor groups argue that U.S. employers use the visas to import
lower-cost workers. But the program requires employers to pay
prevailing wages. And the cap could cost U.S. jobs by encouraging
companies to outsource work overseas, where limits don't apply.

The low cap on H-1B visas hinders the U.S. economy. When Congress
returns to Capitol Hill, members need to raise the cap.



Opening the door: The US should raise its visa quota for skilled

Financial Times
October 15, 2004

Give me your geeks, your nerds, your huddled boffins yearning to write
code. The US economy has benefited mightily from importing skilled
foreigners into its education system and its workforce. But a
combination of ignorant protectionist nativism, the after-effects of
the technology bubble and new fears about national security threaten
its pre-eminence in the international market for genius. It is time
that a nation built on the brilliance of immigrants recognised that the
prosperity of its future depends on recreating the receptiveness of its

The dependence of the US's scientific and technological prowess on
immigrants, particularly those from India and China, is evident to
anyone who takes a stroll through the labs at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology or the ranks of software code writers in
Silicon Valley. As time has gone on, America's intake has got smarter:
nearly one-third of the foreign-born population who have entered the US
since 1990 have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with less than
one-quarter of pre-1990 immigrants and of the native population. The
ratio of skilled immigrants to the US labour force more than doubled
between 1990 and 2001. A recent study by economists from the World Bank
and the University of Colorado shows how restricting immigration will
very likely lead to a fall in patent applications and overall
technological progress in the US.

Colleges and technology companies have been complaining loudly that the
greater difficulty in acquiring visas in the aftermath of September 11
2001 has restricted their ability to attract the best talent. The
effects of those restrictions were clearly demonstrated recently when
the entire year's quota of H-1B visas for skilled workers was allocated
on the first day they were made available, despite the feeble growth in
overall levels of US employment. That quota, 65,000, is one-third of
the level it reached during the technology boom. As Kamal Nath, the
Indian commerce minister, points out in an interview in the Financial
Times, it makes no commercial sense for either the US or developing
countries to prevent the inflow of skilled workers. Stopping the highly
educated coming to the US will only drive more business offshore,
further encouraging the growth of wrong-headed protectionism.

To be fair, having recognised that the pendulum has swung too far in
the direction of restricting visa applications, the department of
homeland security has been making efforts to streamline the process.
But now Congress must do its part by raising again the limit on H-1Bs.
Fears about immigrants taking existing employees' jobs or playing a big
part in depressing their wages are generally nonsense. When those
immigrants are highly skilled, filling positions for which no
native-born workers are qualified to apply, they are nonsense on
stilts. The US has overreacted to the threats that arise from granting
visas. It should continue to make amends.



A Smarter Policy For Immigration

Business Week
October 4, 2004

The world's best and brightest are being kept out of America by
ill-conceived, poorly implemented measures to thwart terrorism.
Students who want to study, scientists who want to do research, and
skilled legal immigrants who want to work can't get in. No one can
question America's right after September 11 to keep potential
terrorists from crossing the border. But any policymaker trying to
promote economic growth and any CEO attempting to spur innovation and
profits should be deeply concerned about the downturn in the numbers of
educated, skilled foreigners moving to America. It's time for the U.S.
to restructure its visa and immigration policies.

Witness the shocking statistics: The number of student visas issued by
the U.S. dropped 25% in 2002 and 10% last year, according to a new
Homeland Security report, the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.
Some 35% of all student visa applications were rejected outright in
2003. The total number of immigrants granted the right to stay in the
U.S. fell 24% in 2003. The number of foreigners with advanced degrees
or exceptional skills allowed into the U.S. dropped by 65%, to 15,459,
last year.

The State Dept. must hire more officers who speak foreign languages to
fill their consulates overseas. Since September 11, students must wait
months, if not years, to pass tougher screening. Having more officials
to interview students would speed the process. For scientists and
engineers with proven reputations, multiple-entry, long-term visas are
the ticket.

The hardest challenge facing the U.S. is reshaping immigration policy
for the 21st century. In 2003, 70% of the more than 700,000 legal
immigrants were family-sponsored, up from 63% the year before. Only 12%
of admissions were for skilled workers, down from 16% the year before.
A more judicious policy, with half the slots going to skilled workers
and professionals, would strengthen America's competitiveness, promote
entrepreneurship, and boost growth. Unless the U.S. changes its
immigration polices, it risks losing the world's sharpest minds to
those countries more willing to welcome them. That would be a shame.

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