Friday, March 31, 2006

The REST of the Immigration-Law Story

If you think that the problem with illegals is the only story on Immigration Reform, you're wrong. The other part has to do with "H1B," which allows immigrants to come to the USA and work in technical fields while obtaining citizenship.

If anything, the "cheap labor" thesis is bolstered by the H1B situation--that is, the Chamber of Commerce/Nat'l Ass'n of Manufacturers gang is simply interested in hiring for less, whether for their yard and garden work, or for engineering.

There's lotsa foofoo dust spread around about "best and brightest," and how the US produces no home-grown talent, and how all the really smart people come from other countries (read: India and China,) and how there are simply not enough Masters' qualified prospects.


If there were such a shortage of MS-degreed graduates, then prices would go up, no?

Here's the real situation:

I decided to do the corresponding analysis for Master's degrees. This is important, because the industry has been insisting that it has a dire shortage of engineers with postgraduate degrees. As a result of the industry's claim, the Senate bill (actually, two bills, by Specter and Frist, which are very similar in this aspect) would create a new F-4 visa for foreign students who get Master's degrees and PhDs in tech fields at U.S. universities, leading to essentially automatic green cards for the students.

Here is what I found for average starting salaries for new Master's graduates in Fall 2005, compared to Fall 2001:

Computer Science -6.6
Computer Engineering -13.7
Electrical Engineering -9.4
Again, this is flatly antithetical to the "shortage" premise of the proposed F-4 visa.
(Source: Norm Matloff newsletter, 3/31/06)

So maybe the foreign students/professionals have MS degrees. But more important: they are CHEAP.

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