Cap on highly skilled visas reached in less than a week

The limit on the number of visas granted to companies to employ foreign, high tech workers was reached in less than a week, which means that there will be a lottery to determine who gets H-1B visas.

Washington Times:

The application period opened April 2 and is required to remain open for five days, giving companies a fair chance to apply. But that means far more applications are received than the 85,000 slots available, so U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the legal immigration arm of Homeland Security, will hold a lottery to pick the actual visa-winners.

The visas are among the most controversial the government doles out, with high-tech companies desperate to win them to bring foreign workers here — prompting stories of American workers who trained the foreign workers, then were fired and replaced with the workers they just trained.

This marks the sixth year in a row that the cap was reached in the first week and a lottery has to be held.

During the Great Recession it would sometimes take months to reach the cap, as businesses contracted or looked inside the U.S. for workers.

Todd Schulte, president of, a pro-immigration lobby backed by major tech executives, said the fact that the cap is consistently reached so quickly is evidence that the system needs to be reformed.

"Reform" would do little to fix a broken idea. The idea that there aren't enough American workers to fill the positions at these companies has never been proved. Instead, it's a given that the companies will pay foreign workers far less to do the jobs of American workers. 

President Trump has called for H-1B visa applications to face stiffer scrutiny to try to weed out fraud and make sure they aren’t taking jobs from eligible and willing American workers.

To win an H-1B visa a company must show that it seeks a worker with specialized knowledge. The visas are particularly sought for science, computer programming and engineering fields, though President Trump’s wife, Melania, came to work in the U.S. as a fashion model on an H-1B visa.

There is a myth that high tech companies should be treated differently because of their importance to the economy. Why we need a separate classification for these workers is mostly unexplained except it allows some companies to hire cheaper labor from overseas. We may be in a "global economy," but that doesn't mean we should stiff our own workers so that Silicon Valley companies can make a larger profit.

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