Wednesday, August 10, 2016

TECH COMPANIES PERPETUATE EDUCATION MYTH IN ORDER TO INCREASE H-1B VISAS

Microsoft hosted a mini-conference last week, which was attended by other tech companies such as Facebook and Amazon, that claimed that the U.S. should increase the number of H-1B visas because other countries, such as India, produce better IT professionals than American schools. However, evidence shows that the hundred of thousands of H-1B professionals that come to the U.S. every year are less educated than American workers.

Though these tech giants claim that Indian students are more qualified, in the global Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) India, which receives about 70% of all H-1B visas, scored almost dead last out of the 74 countries that participated in the program. Also, not one Indian university made it into one of the 250 spots on the World University Rankings Survey. The U.S. has 6 colleges in the top 10 of this international ranking system.

Additionally, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for foreign STEM students, who study at American universities, was extended from 12 months to 36 months this year due to its high demand in the tech industry. While American STEM graduates struggle to find jobs, OPT visa holders are often courted by these tech companies since they are exempt from payroll taxes and there is no wage requirements or visa caps on the program.


This education claim also comes as media attention has grown for the mass layoffs, such as at Disney and SoCal Edison, where American workers were forced to train their cheaper, foreign H-1B replacements before being laid off. During a Senate Subcommittee hearing earlier this year, Leo Perrero, a former tech worker at Disney World, broke down when telling his emotional story of..

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