LA Times: High Tech's Passport to Nowhere [H1-B Visas]
Sep 23, 2000, 19:40 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joseph Menn)
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[ Thanks to Paul
Eggert for this link. ]
"If Congress again raises the cap on H-1B visas, growing numbers
of foreign workers "who had thought they could stay legally will be
unable to do so," Lowell said. The result is a population of
immigration supplicants working alongside American citizens, often
with the same responsibilities but for lower pay and with far fewer
rights. Because the imported workers--mostly from India, China and
the Philippines--are at the mercy of the company that sponsored
their visa, most of them are afraid to speak up when treated poorly
or even illegally, as many are."
"An open letter to Congress earlier this year was signed by
such tech luminaries as Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, himself an
H-1B recipient, and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla,
an Indian immigrant and partner at the leading venture-capital firm
of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Menlo Park, Calif.
"Vote for green cards, not guest worker visas," they
wrote. "The new economy needs new Americans."
"But tech CEOs, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, have
pushed hard for legislation to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas
from 115,000 to as many as 200,000. Industry executives have
depicted themselves as immigrant supporters."