Unable to muster the political will last year to pass comprehensive immigration reform and address the dearth of both unskilled and highly skilled labor that drags on our economy, Congress is now ready to act. Standing tall in the courage of their convictions, lawmakers are proposing to give supermodels their own category of work visa. This is especially bold because while easing the way for several hundred models to work during New York's Fashion Week, they must resolutely ignore the pleas of high-tech businesses seeking more visas for well-educated workers.
The number of H1-B visas awarded each year to skilled foreign employees is 65,000 (plus 20,000 for foreign graduates of U.S. universities), despite the desperate demand. On the first day of the application period this year, H1-B visa requests exceeded 120,000. Meanwhile, the shortage of workers has inspired employers to put down roots elsewhere. Last July, Microsoft Corp. announced it would open shop in Vancouver, Canada, where U.S. immigration policies won't hinder it from hiring the highly skilled people it needs.