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The 2 tech greats Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT) are trying to make Congress understand that they need to increase the amount of foreign skilled workers they let into the country under the H1-B Visa. [Source:http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_8726242.htm]

Once more applications for the H1-B lottery are going out next Tuesday and last year, the quota was filled on the first day. Congress gives out only 65,000 visas every year; foreign professionals can stay up to 6 years. (1)

If you think that there are lots of Americans who can and should fill the jobs these foreign professionals will fill, guess again. Especially in the last years, our high school Math curriculum has not kept up with the higher educational standards that are developing overseas [and continue to develop in major Indian or Eastern European universities for example] and we need the Indians, Albanians, Russians and Bulgarians who just have better Math programs in their schools right now in oder to help keep our high tech companies running.

 

And before many protest, be aware that Indians and Chinese have founded many companies which employ thousands and contribute greatly to our economy. In fact the NVCA study which I quote in my book, They Made It!, confirmed that:- Immigrant-founded venture-backed public companies employ an estimated 220,000 people in the United States.

More facts:

  • • Over the past 15 years, immigrants have started 25 percent of U.S. public companies that were venture-backed, a high percentage of the most innovative companies in America.
  • • The current market capitalization of publicly traded immigrant-founded venture-backed companies in the United States exceeds $500 billion.
  • • 40 percent of U.S. publicly traded venture-backed companies operating in high-technology manufacturing today were started by immigrants.

It is evident that we need these highly trained and educated foreign workers to continue with their positive contributions to Silicon Valley and the greater US.

I hope Congress will wake up before foreign students and professionals all head to England and Canada [which many are doing now] because these countries are making it very attractive for them to come live, study and work. Without going through the long, tiresome visa process that the US has in place.

Footnote: Note that New York had a much higher number of H1-B visas granted – 21% versus 18.2% than California.

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