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LA Times: High Tech's Passport to Nowhere [H1-B Visas]

Sep 23, 2000, 19:40 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joseph Menn)

[ 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."

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