Study Guide

  1. What about the American Workers?

      Dinesh Ghandi, with a master's degree in computer science and six years of experience as a programmer, went looking for a job in the high-tech industry. He posted his resume on various job Web sites. "To be frank I got a lot of responses," says Ghandi, 33. No surprise there. At the time, the computer industry was begging for skilled programmers. The only thing that seemed to stand between Ghandi and his dream job was his American citizenship. "I look like an H-1B visa person, and they called me up because of my name," the native of India explains. "Then they asked me, 'What is your status?' and I said, 'I am a U.S. citizen." Once companies learned that, he said they stopped calling.

    • Read the whole story here.
    • During the 1980's, there was a push to "Buy American," because large companies were relocating to foreign countries for cheap labor. Now the workers are coming to America, should we now push "Hire Americans?"
    • Read a letter from Congressman Fitzgerald who voted for the increase in H-1B visas and his thoughts here.
    • Read a letter from Congressman McCain who voted for the increase in H-1B visas and his thoughts here.
    • The vote to increase H-1B visas was hailed by tech industry leaders. But some call it a sign that Silicon Valley money talks. Since 1999, the computer equipment and services industry contributed a total of $22 million to politicians,money-more than double that donated in 1997 and 1998. Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle were among the top four contributors, and these three firms also rank in the top 10 when it comes to approvals for H-1B visa petitions. Is this just another example of buying cheap labor at the cost of the American IT professional?
    • To see some quick demographics of the immigration problem click here

  2. National Security

      The world has drastically changed in the days that followed the attack on America on 9-11-01. Increasing attention is now being paid to the issue of National Security. When it became known that the pilots of the attack had been trained by America, many questioned what else had terrorist been trained to do by Americans. One such area of interests is in computing. America is highly technical and if this were to come under attack, the lives that many americans live would be torn apart.

    • America has long prohibited the export of encryption software to foreign countries, but there is no way to stop someone from coming to the US to learn the software and leaving with the information in their head. How should this complex situation be handled?
    • The CIA and NSA have always had the reputation of killing those who know to much, this isn't ethical, but what should the US government to do safeguard the secrets of the US technology?
    • Right now much of the attention is being turned toward foreign born IT professionals, is the situation any different for those who are US citizens?
    • A faulty computer let extra H-1B applicants into the US. This was a techincal gliche, what else could cause results like this?
    • Read this article for more information on how politicians are changing their tune with reguards to visas.

  3. What about the foreign Workers

      As with every situation, there are 2 sides to the story. Many of the Foreign workers that come to America are here to make money to send home to their families who are stuggling to get by. No one can fault them for making a living. Now that the Economy has slowed in the US, many of these workers are losing their jobs. Part of the requirement for having an H-1B visa is you must keep your job. So these out of work foreign workers are being told they have to go back to their home country.

    • The foreign workers are here in America just to make a living, yet they are falling subject to the same situation that American workers are, unemployment. Is big business to blame for the hardships of all the workers in the IT field? Do these businesses have any moral or ethical requirements that they are not following through on?
    • Cisco planned to pay an H-1B entry-level programmer $33,000 in 1998, when the software industry average wage for entry-level engineers that year was $38,104. Microsoft planned to pay an H-1B software engineer $34,000 in 1997, when the average computer engineer salary for that year was $56,590. Is it unethical to pay someone less than you would pay another even though they accept that amount of money?
    • In the previous question, is this just an example of someone taking advantage of someone who doesn't know any better? Why or why not?

Immigration Index