Thursday, June 12, 2008

Models or Engineers?

There are a limited number of H1-B visas available to foreign workers each year. Here's the Wikipedia entry about H1-B visas:

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration & Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to employ foreign guest workers skilled in specialty occupations if a U.S. citizen or resident is not available. [1]

The regulations define a “specialty occupation” as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts, and requiring the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as a minimum. Likewise, the foreign worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and state licensure, if required to practice in that field. H-1B work-authorization is strictly limited to employment by the sponsoring employer.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has introduced a bill to create 1000 new visa slots models. Apparently, models are included in the HB-1 visa slots due to an immigration bill from 1991. How they could possibly meet the requirement listed above is beyond me, but at least if this passes, there will be more HB-1 visas for people that are actually worthy.

It's time we introduced some common sense into the immigration debate. Foreigners come here to get educated as engineers and other technical careers and then are forced to return to their home countries to work due to a lack of HB-1 visas. Doesn't it make more sense to let them stay and work here so our economy benefits?

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