Models have it easier getting into US than engineers
A 20-year-old loophole allows the fashionably thin into the country under the same H-1B visas that cover technology workers.
That's a more accurate view of America's twisted immigration priorities. According to Bloomberg News, fashion models are almost twice as likely to receive H-1B visas than computer programmers or engineers are. Data from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services show that 250 out of the 478 visa applications by models were approved in 2010, an acceptance rate of more than 52%. That contrasts to an acceptance rate of only 28%, or only 90,800 the 325,000 applications, for foreign technology workers, the news service says.
Bloomberg noted that Congress decided to include models -- most of whom lack college degrees -- in the same immigration class as computer workers because of an oversight two decades ago. Former Democratic representative and potential New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner tried to allow even more models in under the program, but he was pressured to resign after being caught sending sexually tinged social media messages.
Donald Trump's Trump Model Management and Playboy Enterprises have filed more than 200 H-1B applications for models, according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
These revelations come as Congress debates immigration reform. Big tech companies have long advocated loosening the H-1B program to allow more foreign tech workers to come into the U.S., arguing that not enough qualified Americans are available to fill the positions. A coalition of tech executives, including Google's (GOOG) Eric Schmidt, Intel's (INTC) Paul Otellini and Cisco's (CSCO) John Chambers, recently called on President Barack Obama's administration to enact "high-skilled immigration reform."
The annual H-1B lottery for the coveted visas took place last month. According to the Heritage Foundation, about 65,000 of them were given out using a lottery system and about 39,000 requests were denied. "A new system that structures our future immigration flows to better meet the demand for high-skilled workers while at the same time protecting the American workforce is a delicate balancing act worth pursuing," the think tank said.
Easier said than done.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
the H-1B process is a scam.
i worked at a place where they employed two electrical engineers on H-1B visas, who COLLECTIVELY earned less than what ONE USA born and raised electrical engineer would earn.
the intent from the company's point of view was to post a needed job at a severely low salary. claiming they needed to use the H-1B process to get TWO engineers from India.
this H-1B noncense is just another scheme to move LOW LABOR into USA under what media states is a shortage of engineers in USA.
there is no shortage. there is an intent to pay at 1/2 the current salary for tech jobs. there is an intent to further low the USA payscale.
LOL - Okay - let's compare apples and oranges. I don't know about the modeling industry, but I have extensive experience with the "high tech" engineers that are getting in. Don't let these big companies fool you - there is nothing high-tech about the majority of these workers. Sure they will trot out a handful of rocket scientists as an example, but the vast majority of these "engineers" have minimal programming skills - and a really low salary. There are American workers that want these jobs, but they are being replaced and skipped over in favor of the H1-Bs.
It's one thing to be honest and say you want to replace American tech workers with a cheaper alternative, but the flat-out lies about their abilities so the CEO can make another $1B by ignoring the law is disgusting.
H1B workers are definitely paid less, and this has driven down the wages for ALL American STEM workers. What is the incentive for Americans to pay for rigorous technical training/education when they can't find a decent paying job?
We are exporting our technological edge. I am absolutely certain the government (both Democraps and Rethuglicans) and the corporate CEOs will not be satisfied until we are all living in huts making minimum wage.
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