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New immigration bill focuses on high-skill workers

Senators introduce legislation that would increase H-1B visas by 50,000 a year and allow additional increases

By , IDG News Service
January 29, 2013 02:56 PM ET

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The bill is bad for U.S. students, tech workers and entrepreneurs, said Jeffrey Oleander, a former systems analyst and software engineer living in Florida. "It worsens the flood of cheap, young, pliant foreign labor ... while at the same time draining potential sources of investment," he said in an email.

Oleander called on Congress to cap H-1B visas at 15,000 a year "until we reach full employment" in science and technology fields.

Another group of senators announced a comprehensive immigration reform bill Monday. President Barack Obama also pitched his own immigration plan Tuesday.

During a speech in Las Vegas, Obama noted that immigrants helped found Google, Yahoo, Intel and Instagram. He called for Congress to create a way for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. to become citizens and to help foreign college students studying engineering and computer science stay in the U.S. after they graduate.

The "time has come" for comprehensive immigration reform, Obama said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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