"CBO estimates that average wages would fall by 0.1 percent in the first decade, but rise by 0.5 percent in the second decade."
It will also cut deficits by $200 billion in the first 10 years and $700 billion in the second 10 years. And it will increase real GDP by 3.3 percent by 2023 and by 5.4 percent in 2033.
From the same article you quoted: "But that’s actually a bit misleading: That slight fall in in the first decade is driven by new immigrants who are making less than the average wage — even though their wage has gone way up as compared to what they were making before immigrating." How is that not lower wages for foreign workers?
It depends on your frame of reference - it's a lower wage if you're comparing it to average wages right now, but their wages and overall welfare are undoubtedly rising compared to where they're coming from. So technically speaking, yes - it is a "lower wage" in one very specific sense, but not in a sense that actually harms anyone or reduces their welfare.
And it's largely irrelevant after the first decade...
Lower wage meaning that tech companies started a lobby and made this their only goal in order to pay less to hire more people.
Yes, these companies end up paying less, and overall wages are increased in the process (because these immigrant workers are coming from places where wages are much lower). It's a case where the incentives of big business as well as those of workers line up with each other, and I don't understand why it is deserving of snark.
Wages are a red herring; in practice, H1B workers have no intention of staying in the US — less than 3% even apply for green cards. Here's the way H1B visas really work for large tech companies:
1. Foreign worker comes to US on H1B visa
2. American workers (with years of experience) train foreign worker in company's systems
3. Foreign worker returns to home country to work in company's outsourced facilities, American workers are laid off
All Facebook and Microsoft care about is raising the H1B cap so they can bring in cheap temporary skilled labor for large projects and export local knowledge to foreign countries to outsource more effectively. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
Well, I am an H1-B worker who is trying very hard to eventually get a green card, but obviously I don't speak for everyone, so I'd like to see some analyses as to why it is the case that only 3% apply for one.
Perhaps the fact that it takes 5-10 years for citizens of some countries to get through all of the red tape and bureaucratic hoops is a very strong deterrent to applying for it. This strong negative incentive is something immigration reform is trying to fix. Of course H1-B workers aren't jumping in line to apply for green cards - it's not at all easy to do, it costs a lot of money, and it takes years.
They don't apply for green cards because the companies that recruit most H1B workers don't want them to, as I just illustrated. I didn't mean to imply that many H1B workers wouldn't love to have a green card, and I certainly have no problem with skilled labor moving to America. But that's just not how the system is being used, and H1B workers are largely at the mercy of their employers in terms of keeping or renewing their visa.
The problem is that the incentives of big business and H1B workers isn't aligned at all — businesses benefit much more if H1B recipients return to their home countries when the visa expires. If you look at the employment-based visa section of this reform bill, you'll see that it's almost all about raising visa caps and eliminating restrictions on employers that employ large numbers of H1B workers, and it does almost nothing to make it easier for temporary workers to obtain permanent resident status.
Hmm, I'm not so sure. Most of the big tech companies have a policy where they will agree to sponsor high-skilled workers' green cards after they've spent a year or two at the company. If what you say is true and businesses always benefited from H1-B workers going home, they wouldn't do this at all.
I really think it's just that it's a very difficult and long process to get a green card, and that's why most of my fellow H1-B workers don't - they'd rather just call it quits and go home. You are absolutely right that the current immigration bill doesn't make it significantly easier to get a green card - but it's an important step, and one of FWD.US's explicit long-term goals is making the green card process simpler. So I'm in support of this bill even if it doesn't have everything I want, just because it's a step in the right direction. Personally, I don't want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good in this case.
That 3 percent figure seems contingent on what type of companies are bringing them over: "ComputerWorld revealed last week that the top 10 users of H-1B visas last year were all offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys. Together these firms hired nearly half of all H-1B workers, and less than 3 percent of them applied to become permanent residents." When my dad came here on an H1-B Visa in the 70s, I think the bulk of people he knew who had done the same stayed. Here's another opinion: http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharroc…
I would be very surprised if this makes it through the House.