A woman asks Obama why the US continues to issue and extend H1B visas to foreigners when there are skilled Americans like her husband with a degree in engineering (10 yrs exp) that cannot find jobs.
In response, he says "Jennifer, I don’t know your husband’s specialty but I can tell you that there’s a huge demand around the country for engineers."
Wow. A woman calls about her husband being unemployed for three years and you lead off with saying "there is a huge demand" as if to demean or belittle the question.
He goes on to say
"The word we’re getting is that someone in that field should be to get something right away." Where does Obama get the idea that things are so great?
- He supported stimulus for more jobs to fix infrastructure.
- That there were many jobs. But obviously there isn’t if she is asking this question!
- Ignores the H1B part for the first half of his response.
- Then says companies can only get H1Bs if they cannot find Americans.
I saw Jennifer and her husband on CNN and they were very greatful for Obama’s response. I guess I would be too. "The president wants to see my resume!" But at the same time, he didn’t address the issue so that other engineers who may be in the same position could get some clarity.
117,000 H1B visas were issued and this is often criticized for being misused to bring in guest workers for cheap. American engineers and workers should be demanding change.
I say we make use of the existing unemployment insurance database. See who has lost their jobs in which fields. And halt the H1B visas in the fields where there are many unemployed. I think you’ll find that there are job losses in most every sector. We could even give businesses access to such a list or a way of contacting the people in need of jobs. Doing so wouldn’t create a new bureaucracy, would make use of current government, even potentially save businesses effort in finding workers looking for jobs.