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Immigration bill's technicalities

June 09, 2007

Re "Skills versus families," editorial, June 2

This editorial hits the target in stating that the authors of the immigration reform bill are correct that the United States should "be more welcoming of high-skilled and entrepreneurial foreigners," not just reunifying families. After all, the entrepreneurial spirit of these immigrants is what fuels our country and creates diversity. By increasing the number of visas and establishing a point system, we would allow those who otherwise do not have family here, yet have the skills that the United States needs, to settle and work here. However, it's appalling that politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would propose to penalize companies for bringing the best and the brightest of the world to these shores. The bill can do without the Sanders amendment and must be kept as is.

EDEL CARRASCO

La Mirada

*

Supporters of the H-1B visa program claim that there is a tech-worker shortage; that they need to import highly skilled information technology and other technical talent from abroad to fill American jobs.

So if any of that is true, how could they possibly object to paying an extra $1,200 a year for each of these "highly skilled" workers? Is there a shortage or not? The answer, of course, is that there's no shortage. H-1B is about displacing Americans and lowering wages, not innovation.

The Sanders amendment is one of the few bright spots in a truly mediocre immigration bill.

Instead of removing a tiny fee increase in the H-1B outsourcing visa, the Senate should be striking the H-1B cap increases.

MIKE GOLLUB

Mountain View, Calif.

*

With college costs soaring and corporations claiming that they cannot find enough qualified Americans to fill skilled jobs, The Times' opposition to my immigration bill amendment was puzzling. Passed by the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 59 to 35, the measure would provide scholarships of up to $15,000 a year for American students pursuing advanced degrees in math, science, medicine and nursing. The scholarships would be funded from a new $3,500 fee on corporations that use the H-1B visa program to hire professional workers from abroad, often paying them substantially lower salaries than their American counterparts.

The great economic crisis facing the United States is the shrinking of the middle class and the loss of millions of good-paying jobs. In my view, we must do everything that we can to reverse that trend and make sure that, to as great a degree as possible, good-paying professional jobs in this country are filled by Americans, not by people brought in from other countries by corporate interests.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

(I-Vt.)

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