Rosanna Berardi’s Opinion Piece on Proposed H-1B Visa Changes Published in The Buffalo News

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic

On December 1, 2016, The Buffalo News published an opinion piece written by Berardi Immigration Law’s Managing Partner, Rosanna Berardi. The piece was published in the “Another Voice” section of the newspaper. The article focuses on the H-1B visa program, one of the employment-based visas that president-elect Donald Trump has proposed changes to. 

For those who may be unfamiliar, the H-1B visa is granted to foreign nationals who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher and have a professional job offer in the United States. Each year, Congress limits the number of H-1B visas that are issued. Currently, the number issued is 85,000, with 65,000 issued to those with bachelor’s degrees and an additional 20,000 for those with a master’s degree or higher.

President-elect Donald Trump has stated in his immigration proposal that he would like to add a recruitment requirement to find American workers before hiring foreign ones. In the article, Rosanna respectfully disagrees stating, “While on the surface this appears to be a good idea, the U.S. labor market suffers significant shortages in STEM fields. According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, economic projections point to a need for approximately one million more STEM professionals than the United States will produce over the next decade at the current rate.”

Donald Trump also plans to increase the prevailing wage for H-1B visas, believing that this will force companies to give entry-level jobs to U.S. workers instead of flying in cheaper labor. However, as Rosanna writes in the article, “According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there is no verifiable evidence that foreign-born STEM workers adversely affect the wages of American workers. The average STEM worker actually earns slightly more than his or her U.S. counterpart, earning on average $61 more per week.”

Rosanna closes the article by stating, “The H-1B visa program complements U.S. workers, fills employment gaps and is integral to the U.S. economy. Trump and Congress need to address this issue, while also encouraging Americans to pursue STEM-related fields of study. With a few tweaks, the United States can continue to attract and benefit from the best and brightest minds of the world.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Published since 1873, The Buffalo News is the daily newspaper of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area and the top source for up-to-the-minute news coverage.

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  1. H-1B visa program and others like L1 visa are sweat-shop type of operations that were products of dot-com boom that was followed by dot-com bust. These programs should be either eliminated completely or reworked from scratch to reflect current job market conditions! H-1B program has been abused for many years to replace Americans with temporary workforce displacing good paying US jobs. There is no shortage of skilled IT workers in US, but there is a demand by greedy corporations for “cheap” skilled IT workers that do not need health benefits and 401K’s.

    2014 Census data provided more detail that there was NO U.S. shortage of STEM workers in US. Many people who graduate with STEM degrees don’t get jobs in the field as 74% of those who have a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering and math are NOT employed in STEM occupations. An Economic Policy Institute study in 2014 found that the supply of STEM graduates exceeds by 2-to-1 the number of graduates who get hired! That means that even the current 65,000 a year number of H-1B visas is WAY TOO MANY, and it should be significantly reduced – not increased!

    According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, six out of the top 10 H-1B visa recipients in any given year are IT-focused companies headquartered in India that focus on selling contracts for temporary employment. Many of them specialize in outsourcing and several are based in India although many have offices in US as well (Cognizant, Tata, Infosys, Wipro.) Cognizant is the worst having 12,883 visa renewals in 2014.

    This is NOT what H-1B and other temp workforce programs were designed for! This abuse MUST stop! Good paying American jobs are being shipped to India by hundreds of thousands every year!
    H-1B and other similar programs MUST be changed not to allow outsourcing companies like Congizant to continue their despicable deeds. Companies should be PROHIBITED (and that must be severely enforced) to replace US workers they already employ with temporary workforce either on-shore or off-shore through the companies that specialize in outsourcing. They destroy middle class of this country!

  2. All it takes to replace 10 American IT workers is one person on H-1B visa in US on $60K salary without benefits plus 9 off-shore personnel making $15K each. It’s not just about those on H-1B visa in US – the problem is that each of them is a “gateway drug” to 9 more offshore people to replace other Americans. We’re not talking about Ph.D’s – those are a small minority of the temp work force. Also, as visas are renewed after 6 years, there is estimated 800,000 H-1B and other temp work force personnel in this country replacing Americans in high quality and high paying jobs. Multiply that by 9 people off-shore, and we get over 7 million of replaced American IT, accounting, etc. workers. Congress, close the temp workers program loopholes!


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