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The following summary was distributed by the American Association of Engineering Educators’ aggregator today. The US often experiences common issues a few years ahead…this may be worth the analysis.

Engineering and Public Policy

H-1B Visas Divisive Element In Immigration Reform Bill.
The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/28, Lakshmi) reports that H-1B visas, which “allow highly trained professionals to work on specific projects in the United States” is becoming a divisive part of immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate. The bill will increase the annual cap on the visas from 65,000 to 180,000. Critics argue that the visas, utilized frequently for IT engineers from India, steal American jobs and can often be legally extended beyond their maximum three years. Tech companies assert that the visas are needed for them to remain competitive at a time of engineer shortages in the United States. The legislation would also install new restrictions on heavy visa-issuing companies. Visa interviews have become more strenuous in recent years because of issues in the files of engineers’ employment statuses within certain consulting firms.
        The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/28, Sengupta, Subscription Publication) reports that the labor lobby feels the tech industry’s real agenda with H-1B visas is to have a lower-priced, temporary and more pliant foreign workforce. They believe a real engineer shortage would lead to higher salaries and want companies to be mandated to “offer jobs to equally qualified Americans before hiring foreigners” Harvard business professor William R. Kerr indicates his research determined hiring immigrants does not help or hinder American employment. Entry-level position account for a majority of H-1B visa holders.
        Senate Approves Historic Immigration Reform Bill 68-32. CBS Evening News (6/27, lead story, 2:35, Pelley) reported that “a nation of immigrants tonight is one step closer to creating a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants…living here illegally.” CBS News reported that 14 GOP Senators “joined every Democrat in voting ‘yes.’”
        NBC Nightly News (6/27, story 2, 2:40) correspondent Kelly O’Donnell reported that “Republican opponents label [the Senate bill] amnesty” and warn that “it could drive down wages here.” Sen. Jeff Sessions: “Don’t we need to consider the impact that this policy could have on working Americans?”
        ABC World News (6/27, lead story, 2:20, Sawyer), the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/27, O’Keefe), Politico Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/28, Kim), theWashington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/28, Dinan), the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/27, O’Keefe), the AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/27, Espo, Werner), the Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/27, Mascaro, Bennett), USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/27, Gomez, Davis), the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/28, Connect, Subscription Publication) and other media sources also cover the story.
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