A recent report by a Dartmouth College professor suggests that current H-1B are too restrictive, limit productivity growth and are costing businesses in the United States thousands of dollars per worker. At a time when immigration is a hot topic with the upcoming elections, the results of Matthew Slaughter’s recent study may be surprising to some Americans.
According to Slaughter, dean of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and a former economic advisor under George W. Bush:
People have concerns about jobs and wages for themselves and their children, and that’s not unfounded. It’s sobering how poor income growth in particular has been for so many families and workers in the U.S. for so many years at this point. The paradox I come back to is that there’s a preponderance of evidence that high-skill immigration is a dynamic force that can help the U.S. create not just jobs, but good jobs.
Opponents of the H-1B system argue that the American businesses want to import foreign workers to pay them cheaper wages than they would pay American citizens. However, Slaughter’s report shows that most H-1B visa holders make as much, if not more than their American colleagues do, not to mention the expense that a business has when they sponsor an H-1B employee.
Another argument that Slaughter addressed in his report is that American workers are losing jobs to the H-1B workers. This is also not true, because there are not enough skilled American workers to fill the jobs that businesses are trying to fill with H-1B employees.
Attorney Ronald Shapiro of The Shapiro Law Group of immigration attorneys in Illinois has voiced his support for an increase of the H-1B visa cap. “By limiting the number of skilled immigrants into the United States, we are preventing our businesses from growing and fueling the economy.” Shapiro further elaborates, “Don’t forget that before becoming naturalized citizens, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella both had H-1B visas.”