January 21, 2006


U.S. Fills Its Latest Quota Of H-1B Visas For Foreign Workers: The United States has filled 20,000 slots for foreign workers with advanced degrees from U.S. universities. (Chris Murphy, Jan. 18, 2006, InformationWeek)

The United States has used up the 20,000 H-1B visas it set aside for foreign workers who earned a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university. That allotment was established last year on top of the 65,000 general H-1B visas the country issues to companies wanting to hire a foreigner to work in the United States.

H-1B visas are a hotly debated immigration policy, since they allow foreigners access to work in the United States. Employers—led by IT companies—argue they need them to access the best talent in the world and that the United States doesn't produce enough science and engineering talent to turn foreign workers away. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is among the tech leaders who've spoken out in favor of expanding H-1B visas, saying U.S. companies need to import expertise or expand abroad to find it.

We don't get it, but at least nativists and Leftists have some kind of argument against unlimited immigration of unskilled workers--what coherent argument is there for throwing out skilled workers with American educations who companies are dying to hire?

By the way, these guys are a hoot, Techie Immigrants Make 'Curry Rock': Software engineer Srikanth Devarajan merged his computer skills with a longtime passion for music to produce H1Bees, an album about the life of H-1B visa holders in the United States. (All Things Considered, November 13, 2005)

Hundreds of thousands of high-tech workers have made the trip from India to the United States over the past decade. Many have come on an H-1B visa, a guest worker program for highly skilled foreigners.

That's how Indian software programmer Srikanth Devarajan made his way to America a decade ago. He says that back home, many people consider H-1B visa holders like him to be pampered and privileged. But the reality of being a stranger in a strange land can often be lonely, nerve-wracking and confusing.

Devarajan chronicles the immigrant experience in the United States in a new album, H1Bees. Sung in English, Tamil and Hindi, its seven tracks reflect a mix of Indian and Western musical styles. The result is what he calls "curry rock," a name he's trademarked.,/blockquote>

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2006 11:01 AM
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