The Top 10 users of H-1B visas in FY 2012 were companies who specialize in shipping American jobs offshore, according to an analysis of government data by Computerworld magazine.
The analysis comes at a time when a bill before Congress, the "Immigration Innovation Act," would expand the H-1B visa program from 85,000 visas to more than 400,000 annually.
In "The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers," Computerworld found that, "Based on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analyzed, the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms."
"This confirms that H-1B visas facilitate the transfer of high-skill, high-paying American jobs to other countries," IEEE-USA President Marc Apter said. "Congress should pass laws that create U.S. jobs, not destroy them."
Dr. Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, commented on the analysis in a blog entry for the Economic Policy Institute:
"There are two reasons these firms hire H-1Bs instead of Americans: 1) an H-1B worker can legally be paid less than a U.S. worker in the same occupation and locality; and 2) the H-1B worker learns the job and then rotates back to the home country and takes the work with him. That's why the H-1B was dubbed the "Outsourcing Visa" by the former Commerce Minister of India, KamalNath.
"Rather than keeping jobs from leaving our shores, the H-1B does the opposite, by facilitating offshoring and providing employers with cheap, temporary labor -- while reducing job opportunities for American high-tech workers in the process."
The Top 10 H-1B users received 40,170 H-1B visas in FY 2012 and applied for just 1,167 employment-based (EB) green cards. This is an immigration yield of 2.9 percent.
IEEE-USA supports additional EB green cards for skilled immigrants. These visas allow immigrants to start their own companies and create U.S. wealth and jobs.
"Any plan to increase skilled immigration should be based on green cards," Apter said.
IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 205,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.