Feeds

US to hand out wads of green (cards) in bid to staff tech industry

Microsoft alone desperate to hire 3000 brains on top pay

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The US government has yielded to industry bosses on some Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skilled-immigration issues, but less on others in a new bill meant to reform the existing immigration system.

A bipartisan "Gang of Eight" senators released the highlights of the bill yesterday, after months of pressure from companies like Facebook and Google to make highly skilled worker hiring easier - because the tech bosses say there just aren't enough STEM-qualified Americans to fill the tech sector's roles.

Marc Apter, president of IEEE-USA, which represents engineering and tech workers, welcomed the changes in the green card system for STEM staff, but said the group was still concerned about changes to H-1B temporary visas.

“We appreciate that the Gang of Eight recognises that serious problems with the H-1B program can be resolved by more STEM green cards, delivered faster,” he said in a canned statement.

“In fact, the proposed increases in green cards make H-1B increases unnecessary. We’d like to see increases in STEM green cards become law as part of comprehensive immigration reform.”

IEEE-USA and other bodies have expressed concern that H-1B changes only benefit outsourcers and raising the cap on the visas isn't the best way to solve the US' staffing problems.

“Making outsourcers ineligible for H-1Bs frees up more than half of the supply for American companies, and there is no need to increase the cap,” Apter said.

"The bill substantially increases the numbers and streamlines the process of getting green cards for STEM workers and other skilled immigrants, so increasing H-1Bs is not only unwise, it’s unnecessary.”

“When did it become Congress’ job to ensure the profits of foreign companies hiring foreign workers to undercut American wages in the United States?”

But some tech firms have advocated raising the cap from its current 85,000 to as much as 300,000. At the start of the month, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post that the company had 3,400 high-paying, highly skilled job openings that it couldn't fill.

"This year, many employers and highly skilled potential workers are facing April 1 with increased anxiety since the US government again expects all the H-1B visas for the upcoming fiscal year to be snatched up in the first week," he said.

"This news further underscores the growing STEM talent crisis facing our country. It’s a problem that adversely effects every industry all across the US The American economy creates 120,000 new computer-related jobs annually that require a bachelor’s degree, but we are currently producing about 51,000 graduates with a degree in computer science each year."

The bill proposes raising the number of H-1B visas as high as 180,000 in future years, with 25,000 specifically for STEM graduates, but has provisions in place to address the concerns of folks like the IEEE-USA.

The document extends the Department of Labor's authority to investigate companies' decision to hire from abroad and requires firms to hire Americans before looking overseas. Companies will also have to pay H-1B visa holders higher wages. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
From corporate bod to startup star: The 10-month gig that changed everything
What I learned as a techie in my time away from globo firms
Facebook snubbed Google's Silicon Valley wage-strangle pact, Sheryl Sandberg claims
Report details letter COO wrote to court addressing 'no-compete deal' lawsuit
Another day, another nasty Android vuln
Memory corruption mess can brick your mobe
Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut
'IT was a car crash before, so this isn't going to get any better' - sources
VMware announces compulsory bi-ennial VCP recertification
Downside: more time and money; Upside: VMware hints at two-yearly release cycle
Sysadmins and devs: Do these job descriptions make any sense?
Industry lobby group defines skills used in 25 common IT jobs
Who earns '$7k a month' but can't even legally drink? A tech intern!
Glassdoor reveals astonishing salaries of Silicon Valley undergrads
Your CIO is now a venture capitalist and you work at their startup
This just happened without you changing job, by the way
Turnover at the top in Oz telco-land as AAPT, Huawei, Optus, lose top brass
Move along, nothing to see here but orderly transitions
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.