H-1B Visa Program is Great for Everyone: Study

H-1B Visa
H-1B Visa

According to a new study, the H-1B visa program has left everyone in a better place. It asserts that, although jobs are being handed to foreign workers, U.S.-born workers gained $431 million in salary in 2010 (the final year of the study’s range) as a result of the program.

That salary gain is said to stem from increased productivity and general innovation within the tech sector. Written by The Center for Global Development, the paper also says that “U.S. natives are better off by $1,345 per additional [H-1B] migrant.”

Gaurav Khanna, CGD senior fellow and assistant professor of economics at the public policy school at the University of California-San Diego, told Fortune: “A lot of these gains are because of the fact that the tech sector is also where a lot of the innovation happens in the economy. What that does is raise the productivity of other parts of the economy as well. For example, bankers on Wall Street may not realize that their software is better because the U.S. can attract global talent and produce better IT products.”

It’s helping India’s economy, too. The overall IT output in that country increased five percent during the study. Researchers peg that on many Indians choosing CS degrees, possibly with the hope of making it to the United States at some point. When they fail to gain an H-1B visa, they have to find work domestically, which helps India’s economy.

As for H-1B visa holders displacing U.S.-born workers, Khanna asserts that, when foreign workers are given jobs, many domestic workers find their way to managerial roles.

The study arrives as President Trump asks the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, and State to collaborate on H-1B reform. Ahead of signing the executive order, Trump said H-1B visas “should be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants, and they should never be used to replace Americans.”

But there’s still no federal action on the H-1B visa program. Last year, 85,000 H-1B visas were made available to 618,266 applicants, and 395,690 of the latter were specifically trying to come stateside for jobs in tech. Whether or not this study on the positive impact of H-1B will make a difference to the various governmental departments tasked with examining reform is anyone’s guess.

15 Responses to “H-1B Visa Program is Great for Everyone: Study”

  1. As with everything in life, consider the source.

    The Economic Policy Institute (EPI.org) has published several objective, comprehensive reports, debunking this globalistic propaganda. For those interested, just do a search for the reports (search for guest worker visas and/or H1B in the search field at their site).

    If you haven’t ever read Dice’s article “How 800,000 H-1B Workers Came to the U.S.” (hyperlink in the Related Posts above), I strongly suggest reading it, and the comments, of course.

    Good luck to all who have been adversely affected.

  2. Tonight’s TV news depicted a bunch of people hand-picking crops, and saying how new policies on H1-B would be bad for the economy. AS-IF H1-B had anything to do with migratory agriculture workers, since they are allowed to work without a visa anyway.

    • Michael

      Don’t believe the globalist propaganda. “Unskilled” visas aren’t about “agriculture” in the least. They are about so-called “seasonal workers” which is a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH broader category and includes things like grocery store clerks, waiters and waitresses, bartenders, and so on and so forth.

  3. Snippets from “Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market”, EPI.org (just one of several reports, which will blow your mind if you didn’t already know about the topic):

    * For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.
    * In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry.
    * Wages have remained flat, with real wages hovering around their late 1990s levels.
    * The annual inflows of guestworkers amount to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders.

  4. “Top 10 H-1B employers are all IT offshore outsourcing firms, costing U.S. workers tens of thousands of jobs”, EPI.org:

    “Why do IT offshore outsourcing firms dominate the H-1B program? The answer is simple. It is extraordinarily profitable to replace, or substitute for, American workers with H-1B guestworkers. Thanks to the legal and regulatory framework of the H-1B visa, H-1B workers can legally paid much less than similarly situated Americans. In fact, sometimes H-1B workers are 40 percent cheaper than Americans, and as an additional bonus to employers, H-1B workers are unlikely to complain about substandard wages and working conditions since the work visa is controlled by the employer. That makes H-1B workers vulnerable—if they speak out they might be terminated—which means they’ll have to immediately depart from the United States or else become undocumented.
    The offshore outsourcing business model emerged in the early 2000s, completely disrupting the IT services sector. And the exploitation of H-1B guestworker program is at the core of the model.”

    • Last American in IT

      You are so right. It’s all about cheap labor, not talent. Corporations are replacing experienced American workers to reduce cost and the benefits paid. Many H1B workers are very inexperienced and have to be trained. They are eating into the American middle class and their retirement benefits.

  5. Buy American

    “As for H-1B visa holders displacing U.S.-born workers, Khanna asserts that, when foreign workers are given jobs, many domestic workers find their way to managerial roles.” How many are “MANY”? Is this person claiming that when an American loses his/her job to an Indian, a management job AUTOMATICALLY opens up? Is “many” 10%? 20%? Not everyone is suited for management, or wants to go there.

  6. Red White and Blue

    While this article was written about H-1B visa holders, what is also troublesome is the number of jobs actually sent to India. At least the holder of H-1B visas contribute to the U.S. economy because the workers buy groceries, rent apartments, etc. When the work is physically performed in India, this doesn’t happen, and the company saves even more money because programmers in India make only 20% of wages that an American would make, so we can estimate $10 – 20K. While the holder of an H-1B visa might make 40% less, that’s a lot more than 80% less.

  7. BoWeaver

    Dear Nate,

    I am very insulted by your article. You claim HB1 is good for everyone? Clearly you don’t work in the IT field and have to fight to find a good job. First HB1 drives down US wages why hire a US Citizen for $100,000 when you can hire a HB1 for $77,000. Remember here in the US a Citizen has a higher cost of living to live here than someone living in India. You also state that when a job is lost to a HB1 then management opens up well I call BS on that. Besides I am an engineer a very good one. I don’t want to manage I want to build and secure things.

    You also state “For example, bankers on Wall Street may not realize that their software is better because the U.S. can attract global talent and produce better IT products”. It is VERY clear you haven’t had to come back a straighten out the mess left by a much of outsourced monkeys. I have.

    You also stated: “U.S.-born workers gained $431 million in salary in 2010 (the final year of the study’s range) as a result of the program.”. What universe are you from??? Were is my salary increase??? Again I call BS. I do know when my Son changed jobs because of outsourcing he took a pay cut!! This is the real world dude. Its not nice to print lies to get paid.

    This is called propaganda.

  8. Antony Wangombe Nganga

    It’s been difficult getting H1B Visas from African countries, cheap labour would thrive well where expectations for better pay across the IT industry has merely been a challenge. Competition for places in US with Indians and Americans would definitely make Africans 3rd, but we too deserve to show the skills that we have gained over time. I actually think Africans are easier to train, cheaper in terms of labour cost and better contributors to the economy both in states and their countries back in Africa. They are also hard working and contribute immensely to the companies objectives and targets. US government should realise how much potential benefits, talent and skills lie untapped in Africa.