I am generally a proponent
of H1B visas insofar as they serve a needful purpose
in providing U.S. employers with sometimes difficult-to-find
technical talent. Make no mistake about it, there
are brilliant engineers and scientists that come
to the U.S. on visas and provide a great service
to the country.
Unfortunately, just as with
the practice by a large number of U.S. employers
when deciding to hiring foreigners (including illegal
ones), the motive of many is to undercut salaries.
That not only denies citizens of jobs, but it drives
down the salaries of everyone. Furthermore, the
foreigners often exist under conditions not unlike
those which indentured servants endure. This is
not my opinion; the situation has been reported
in many studies.
So, when I read a column
in the September 2008 edition of Microwave Journal,
by Mr. Isaac Mendelson, entitled, "Short on RF Engineers?
Consider H1B," it really raised my ire. Mr. Mendelson
represents ElectroMagneticCareers.com, and he lists
five ostensibly good reasons for "importing" engineers,
rather than using domestic talent (which as a byproduct
means not hiring and training recent graduates).
"2. Throughout the history of
the US, first-generation immigrants have always
proven to be hard-working and dedicated employees."
This is an incredibly brazen and insulting statement.
Translation: Anybody that was born here is probably
a slacker and will not allow you to push him around.
"3. Offering an opportunity to work and
live in the United States gains employers with an
opportunity to boost their engineering resources
with the best among the scientists and engineers
that the world has to offer, and for fair and reasonable
Translation: Why bother training
domestic talent when you can exploit poor souls
from around the world who would do just about anything
to come to the U.S.?
You will be able to
read the entire article once the September edition
of MWJ is available. Look for the "Career Corner"
In reading Mr. Mendelson's columns
over time, he does acknowledge the lack of U.S.
citizen engineering graduates from our universities,
but there seems to be an emphasis on procuring foreign
engineers. A large percentage of our graduating
engineers are not even American citizens, and they,
understandably, seek to remain in the U.S. after
graduation rather than return to their countries
of origin. So, even though companies might be able
to claim to be hiring graduates from U.S. schools,
many are neither indigenous nor naturalized citizens.
I fully understand the apparent dilemma faced by
companies needing engineers with the need to remain
competitive in today's global market. It just seems
to me that there is not enough willingness to make
the short-term sacrifice involved in training new
matter is that many of our U.S. companies are owned
and run by non-citizen, foreign-based entities who
do not have the best interest of the U.S. at heart.
That is not to say that they seek to undermine the
country's well-being, only that they have no immediate
vested interest in being partial to U.S. citizens.
Indeed, it benefits the motherland (or fatherland)
to exploit America's resources to its advantage.
To be honest, we do the same thing abroad, and I
do not criticize other countries for doing so here;
it's just that our "leaders" in government seem
to be sacrificing our hard-earned sovereignty for
the sake of their own personal fortunes when framing
trade and labor laws (or chosing to ignor existing
There was recently an article describing
the crisis in the defense aerospace business, where
because those companies have not been hiring and
training a cadre of new engineers, the retirement
of a large portion of the seasoned workforce is
leaving a gaping hole behind. Remember that most
of those jobs require being able to obtain a Top
Secret or higher security clearance, and being a
citizen is a requirement - often requiring the U.S.
be your birthplace. At some juncture, will it reach
the point where exceptions will need to be made
just to get desperately needed workers, along with
the higher security risks involved?
a large part of the problem stems from a lack of
nationalism and an accompanying willingness to sacrifice
one's own needs for the sake of one's country. This
is not the same thing as coerced nationalism as
it exists communist countries. We in America are
free to pursue any [legal] desire we choose, but
the level of hedonism has increased noticeably with
the advent of globalism. Our kids are taught in
school that our country is no place special, and
that we unfairly consume more than our fair share
of the world's resources. Of course, what escapes
their consciences is that the very opportunities
of freedom they inherited and enjoy comes from the
system they are taught to abhor and denigrate. Most
of those same people are unwilling to give up anything
personally for the sake of others, but they sure
are quick to tell the rest of us that we are pigs.
They also conveniently omit teaching about the overwhelming
good that America has done for the world - from
stemming the red tide of oppressive communism to
feeding and providing health care, clothing and
shelter to uncountable millions, to exporting technology
for aiding developing worlds, to... well... to providing
opportunities for foreigners to enjoy the bountifulness
of America by issuing them H1B visas.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster