H-1B Program Harmful To American Workers

To the editors:

Re: “Not Enough Visas,” editorial, Oct. 10.

I wrote software for many years, but quit early in this decade, for reasons including damage to my economic niche by labor market flooding that had gone on for years and promises to continue. H-1B visas played a part. I doubt there is a labor shortage now. Where did you get the idea that there was? How would you define one? Is it when companies cannot easily find the people they want to work at wages and under conditions they offer? If there were a real shortage, reflected concretely, for example, in big increases in wages, surely many U.S. citizens would re-enter the labor market.

My experience with H-1B programmers was that they were good workers and good colleagues, with varying technical ability. Likely there are plenty of visas for the best and brightest, but many are used for the average.

It’s difficult to speak against the desires of some friends from other countries. Also, my main immigration concern is overall numbers, and there are many more less formally skilled workers. Nonetheless, the H-1B program has significant costs to workers.


Notre Dame, Ind.

October 16, 2006