Home > H-1B Posts, Immigration in News > CNN Blog Discusses the “Failure” of H-1B Visa Program

CNN Blog Discusses the “Failure” of H-1B Visa Program

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A blog post on CNN’s website by David Gewirtz, a CNN contributor, explains the failure of H-1B visa program.  Unfortunately, Mr. Gewirtz gets the facts wrong.  In one place on his post, Mr. Gewirtz claims that the H-1B quota has permanently increased to 115,000, while the truth is that it is still at 65,000.  The blog refers to “adding” an additional 6,800 visas, which again is inaccurate piece of information.  6,800 is a result of US trade agreements with Chile and Singapore and it is not in “addition” to the 65,000 quota but it is in fact part of it.  Thus, the general quota remains at 58,200; Chile and Singapore – 6,800; and US advanced degree holders quota at 20,000. 

Elsewhere in his blog, Mr. Gewirtz explains that H-1B is an extendable visa which can be extended up to 10 years in total.  The truth is H-1B visa is available for a maximum period of six years only.  Not sure where Mr. Gewirtz got his number from. 

Mr. Gewirtz goes to great lengths to refer to India and China coming out of “abject” poverty – perhaps his knowledge of 1990s India is from a movie “Salaam Bombay”, how Indian companies filed thousands of H-1Bs, but also refers to a few top US companies that filed H-1Bs. 

The truth is that economic conditions and the market always have been guiding the demand/supply for temporary foreign professionals (I prefer to use the word “professional” as opposed to “worker” because H-1B visa category, which is for Specialty Occupations, requires that individuals hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree”).  For example, in 2009, the H-1B quota has not reached the cap yet, i.e. 8 months after USCIS started to accept visa petitions.  Thus, we do not really need to have a quota system.  The demand and supply is all dependent upon market conditions.  Moreover, immigration rules do not allow for filing of speculative H-1B visa petitions.  Thus, unless there is a genuine need for a foreign national to work on a given project, an H-1B is unlikely to be approved by USCIS.  In an in-depth research on H-1B program by Harvard University, H-1B program is said to be not displacing American workers as concluded by Mr. Gewirtz.  All of Mr. Gewirtz’s opinions in his blog are perhaps a summary of his upcoming book “How To Save Jobs”.  While Mr. Gewirtz has right to his opinions, as a CNN contributor, he has the responsibility of not deviating from providing the public with accurate information.  Next time, Mr. Gewirtz  – do your homework before writing about an issue!  And the irony is that even CNN is dependent on H-1B professionals at least since 2002 and a few of them  – software professionals.     


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