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The bottom line is the pay scale

July 27, 2006

Re "High skill, low priority," editorial, July 24

The Times appears to be unduly influenced by corporate lobbyists in advocating an increase in specialized foreign worker visas. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have recently laid off thousands of their top-skilled tech workers, yet they still lobby for more H-1B visa workers. Why? Because the claim that "H-1Bs do mandate that immigrants receive the same wage as qualified Americans" is false.

The H-1B "prevailing wage" provision allows employers to pay 25% below market wages while claiming full compliance with the law. The Programmers Guild advocates that Congress set H-1B prevailing wage as the median wage of U.S. workers in the occupations. Currently, Congress creates a financial incentive for corporations to lay off their skilled U.S. staff and replace them with foreign workers.

KIM BERRY

President

Programmers Guild

Citrus Heights, Calif.

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