Friday, April 11, 2008


The Economist weighs in on America's dysfunctional H-1B visa program:

Consider the annual April Fool's joke played on applicants for H1B visas, which allow companies to sponsor highly-educated foreigners to work in America for three years or so. The powers-that-be have set the number of visas so low—at 85,000—that the annual allotment is taken up as soon as applications open on April 1st. America then deals with the mismatch between supply and demand in the worst possible way, allocating the visas by lottery. The result is that hundreds of thousands of highly qualified people—entrepreneurs who want to start companies, doctors who want to save lives, scientists who want to explore the frontiers of knowledge—are kept waiting on the spin of a roulette wheel and then, more often than not, denied the chance to work in the United States.

The article does slop up the Bill Gates histrionics, but the lottery is ridiculous and the nativist sentiment is idiotic. That's the current state of the political landscape. The benefits of expedited green cards for the foreign-born job creators must be explained to American voters. As it stands now, the H-1B visa program privileges the Microsofts of the world and no one else.

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