re: Microsoft Presses: More Green Cards For India IT
Clearly there are exceptionally qualified high tech workers outside US borders and the H-1B is an important program to benefit from that expertise. Limitations by country without regard to the ratio of talent available could represent a detrimental flaw in the system. However, I am personally aware of cases of US workers who find difficulty in getting employment (the reasons can be numerous and include age, experience, and location). One in particular I met not only holds degrees and multiyear experience, but professional certifications including MCSE, CCNA, virtualization and wireless technologies has been actively searching employment for 6 months. Looking over press advertisements, we can see references to do not apply without recent healthcare experience, banking experience, or some other limiting factor but I doubt H-1B subjects can meet these limitations (and I have seen H-1B used for small software development projects).
The article references the big technology names and clearly they are the most in need of tapping that unique expertise of some off shore talent (semiconductor design or construction, I/O coding,) but I believe there are also many abuses of the program for the simple fact indicated by others here (lower cost labor and ease of personnel management). Investment in STEM programs and the H-1B are important to maintaining a US technology advantage. There is a contradiction however between the numerous companies affirming a "lack of internal competence" and the hundreds of rejection notices and placement agencies which report "highly competitive environment," strong competition, and "high quality of applicants."