The Progressive Geek responds to listener questions regarding the Democratic Presidential Candidates’ support for H-1B and L-1 VISA programs.
Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate who really understands the plight of the middle class and has proposals on how to correct the direction that this country is taking.
ABC News keeps taking down a poll that shows Kucinich is the clear winner of the Democratic Debate.
Kucinich’s take on the VISA programs:
H-1B and L-1 Visas
Submitted by kucinich.us on Thu, 2006-11-16 12:26. H-1B and L-1 Visas | Issue Overview
The expanded use of H-1B and L-1 visas has had a negative effect on the workplace of Information Technology workers in America. It has caused a reduction in wages. It has forced workers to accept deteriorating working conditions and allowed U.S. companies to concentrate work in technical and geographic areas that American workers consider undesirable. It has also reduced the number of IT jobs held by Americans.
At its peak in 2000, there were 10.5 million people working in Information Technology in the United States. By 2001, there were fewer than 10 million — despite continued global growth in Information Technology employment. Professor Norman Matloff of UC Davis estimates that in the spring of 2003 there were 500,000 unemployed and underemployed U.S. programmers, while there were 463,000 H-1B workers employed in the field.
The government must ensure adequate funds for the enforcement of visa regulations — including much-ignored regulations prohibiting the use of foreign nationals in critical infrastructure. A special investigator should be appointed to examine the extent and nature of H-1B and L-1 visa fraud and the reasons for heavy use of H-1B and L-1 visas at Enron, WorldCom, and Anderson. We should take seriously the allegations of perjury by corporate leaders who have testified before Congress to request expansion of this program in 1998 and 2000, as well as allegations of the use of the H-1B and L-1 programs in corrupt organizations.
We need an industry fact-finding commission, including representatives of major U.S. investors, U.S. tech workers, and business leaders who have been competitive in the international marketplace without use of the H-1B / L-1 program. These representatives can make suggestions as to a new policy on the immigration of people with specialized knowledge or unique skills.
I have already set forth plans for major technical initiatives in the areas of renewable energy, pollution control, and promotions of Open Source software and media — additional major initiatives will be considered — creating a wider diversity of means by which technologists are funded outside of the service of major corporations. It may not be possible to undo the damage that corporate short-sightedness has done to the U.S. technical community — but it is possible to give a real voice to the vision that the U.S. technical community has for a better America.