On April 10th, Robert Reich posted his opposition to raising the number of visas available to his Facebook page.
"The number-one priority of America’s high-tech firms in the fight over immigration reform has been to increase the annual cap on the number of “skilled” foreign workers they can bring to the U.S. each year under the H-1B visa program. (This year’s cap of 65,000 was reached less than a week after applications for the program were accepted.) High-tech firms say they can’t find the skilled programmers, computer system designers, and software engineers they need here in America. "The government should just let the market work” argued one high-tech executive recently.
High-tech executives are the ones who don’t want to let the market work. If they really faced a shortage of high-tech workers in America, they’d pay higher wages. In fact, the wages of programmers, systems designers, software engineers and others have barely budged over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. High-tech firms want skilled foreign workers because they don’t want to pay more than they’re paying now. According to the latest government statistics, the median wage for new H-1B holders in computer-related occupations is only $50,000 – way below the median wage for those occupations in the U.S., and even below the starting salaries of new U.S. graduates in these fields. So I'd say "no" to increasing the number of H1-B visas. You agree?"