While I am a supporter of immigration in general and some sort of comprehensive immigration proposal, I am not yet decided on this immigration bill. Earlier, I pointed to a place where business is unhappy with the current bill. Today, the NYT reports one place where these problems are becoming clearer. For example, Microsoft’s head lobbyist says:

The deal is worse than the status quo, and the status quo is a disaster. We are troubled by the grand bargain.

Specifically, on the high-tech worker side:

“The reforms in the Senate bill do not help the business community. Indeed, they hurt the business community. Under the current system, employers file petitions with the government to show why a particular employee is needed and should get a green card. The Senate bill would eliminate the employers’ ability to petition for specific workers.”

The bill would increase the number of visas for highly skilled workers, a goal long sought by the high-tech industry. Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont, won adoption of an amendment that would increase the fee charged to employers for such a visa, known as an H-1B, to $5,000, from $1,500. The money would be used to finance scholarships for American citizens studying engineering, mathematics, computer science or health care.

Life isn’t any better on the low-skill worker side:

“It’s a travesty,” Mr. Silvertooth said. “It eviscerates the temporary worker program, which was one of the central reasons for the business community to be involved in the immigration debate.”

"It" is an amendment that lowered the number of temporary worker visas to 200k and removed the provision that would increase that with demand. Note that all the amendments made that make this a worse bill were offered by Democrats.


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