Select Page

This blog post is based on a report from Quartz Media: “New research shows who will be hurt—and helped—if America’s tech industry can’t hire the world’s best talent,” published on Feb. 15, 2017


The uncertainty to H-1B program brought by U.S. President Donald Trump’s new immigration policy has never been underemphasized.  Trump threats to overhaul the H-1 B program, the largest visa program for hiring high-skilled immigrants to work in the U.S.   According to Quartz’s report:

The H-1B visa, created for college graduates with knowledge in a highly specialized field, was first granted 1990. Its establishment coincided with the rise of the internet, which sent America’s need for skilled computer scientists skyrocketing. Today, the H-1B program is integral to the tech industry: About half of the more than 120,000 (pdf) H1-B visas granted by the US in 2014 went to those working in computer science.

Quartz stated one study titled “STEM workers, H-1B Visas and Productivity in U.S. Cities” found that “between 10% and 25% of all productivity growth in the U.S. between 1990 and 2010 came from foreign workers in science and technology, many of who are on H-1Bs.”

It is understandable why Google, Amazon, Apple and many other U.S.-based worldwide famous high-tech companies have spoken against Trump’s new immigration ban.  The growth of those big name companies depends heavily on staff or workers on H-1B visa.   “But not everyone wins from the program,” says Quartz.  Here is the fact:

One recently published research by economists John Bound, Gaurav Khanna, and Nicolas Morales of the University of Michigan revealed that, although the H-1B program is a major contributor to US economic growth, it’s quite bad for domestic computer scientists.

In what way has H-1B working visa program been hurting American high-tech professionals?  Quartz indicates the following:

Based on data from 1994 to 2001, the researchers estimate that without the H-1B program, the wages of American computer scientists would have been 3% to 5% higher in 2001, and Americans’ employment in computer science would have been 6% to 11% higher. They also find that, in general, the H-1B program makes college graduates worse off, while helping non-college graduates by giving them access to cheaper technology.

Click HERE if you want to read Quartz’s full original article.