Another Sign of Our Broken Immigration System

With only four working days since the H-1B application process opened on  April 1,  the number of applications for H-1B visas has already far exceeded the annual visas limitations. On Tuesday April 7, USCIS stated they are no longer accepting applications and  “Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date on which it will conduct the random selection process.” Which means they received so many that they are still counting them. The limit is  – again –  exceeded before one week had passed.

This failing immigration policy continues in the midst of a shortage of highly skilled individuals:

  •  82 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of highly skilled applicants.
  • 70 Percent of manufacturers say their employees are deficient in technology/computer skills.
  • By 2020 the skills shortage in engineers will have increased by 15 percent.
  • By 2020 the  skills shortage for researchers and scientists will have increased by 9 percent.
  • 66 percent of manufacturing executives say that when looking for engineers, researcher, and scientists “finding candidates to enter the initial screening process” is either extremely or very challenging. In fact, this is the largest challenge they face.

We need to find a way to fix the immigration system so we are not limiting access to the people manufacturers need to grow and innovate. Two to five jobs for US workers are created for every H-1B, so we are not only limiting our ability to innovate we are stifling domestic job growth as well. Congress needs to act to change the immigration system.

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