Recipients of the H-1B visa, or any visa for that matter, face political hurdles on their journey to becoming Americanized.  Recently, a wave of protectionism has swept over America.  Donald Trump’s boarder wall idea springs to mind, or his tirade against Mexicans that he claimed to be rapists, drug dealers and criminals in general.  Xenophobia is a sad truth facing many talented international citizens that want to live and work in the United States.

Will Americas fear of foreigners hurt its economy?  A 2011 survey of manufacturers found that as many as 600,000 jobs remain unfilled because there is a lack of qualified candidates for technical positions requiring STEM skills—primarily production positions (e.g., machinists, operators, craftworkers, distributors, and technicians).44 Some are concerned that very few people are pursuing employment in the skilled trades. These are the very skills that H-1B visa holders have.

The political will to change work visa policy appears muted.

Lately, politicians in Washington D.C. have moved to curtail non-immigrant visas like the H-1B by raising the application fees and upping the prevailing wage to price the employees out of a job.  From the proposals from Congress, you’d think the nation was not at full employment.

The truth about America’s immigration policy probably will never be known.  However, the White House’s own report contradict’s Congresses actions to squelch the H-1B visa program.

Apart from earlier research on the issue, a 2012, White House sponsored report said that there is a pressing need for about 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. over the next decade if the nation expects to keep its “historical preeminence” in science and tech. To meet this goal, the report said, the U.S. “will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by about 34% annually over current rates.”

By 2020, America will have about 1 million more STEM jobs than talent to fill them.  Despite this, only 85,000 H-1B visas are issued each year.

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