As I was reading through the requirements and content of the H1-B visa on a government site, the more I found myself scrolling and searching and clicking on more and more links to find more additional information that seemed crucial. It felt like I was Alice in Wonderland but the rabbit hole just kept getting deeper.
Simply put, I lucked out on one major thing in life. I was born in the US. What that meant was that even though my parents weren’t US citizens, I automatically became one without having the need to go through any of the circumstances and details that one not born in the US needs to go through in order to come / work here. But even though I was a US citizen from day 1, my parents still had to go through the complicated process of getting green cards, and then ultimately becoming US citizens as well.
So should the H1-B program be expanded or rescinded? I honestly think that before even considering these options, that the program should first establish its myriad of complications and make them more understandable and reasonable before considering its options of expansion or deletion. The H1-B is such a complicated contract, that I think it’s necessary for a company that has employees specialized in taking care of those legal documents to take care of it for you. In addition to its inherent ambiguity, it’s even worse that its purpose is also mystified and misconstrued. In the article, “America’s Mixed Feelings About Immigrant Labor: Disney-Layoffs Edition” written by Bourree Lam on The Atlantic, the author presents the case where Disney replaced its current employees straight up with H1-B immigrant employees who would be trained to replace their current positions. The problem with this, is that it completely outright rejects the purpose of the H1-B program, which was intended for skills that were needed that were not inherent in the US. But when employees are fired because Disney can pay H1-B workers much less to save costs, that presents the current problem of people viewing work being stolen by immigrants. It’s the whole issue behind the saying, “Get out my country, you…” followed by usually derogatory terms. I’ve had this happen personally myself multiple times even though I am a US citizen, and after seeing cases like these, I can’t help but see where they are coming from. Don’t get me wrong however, I think it’s ultimately unfair to state that America needs its independence from immigrant workers, since that’s what the nation’s foundation was built upon in its humble beginnings. But when American companies decide to replace workers for workers they can abuse for lower pay, that’s where problems arise.
Its apparent in Silicon Valley, that the Valley itself is made up of many visa workers. The talent that diversity brings to the table has been realized in those places, and that’s why they thrive. But I think first that the H1-B program needs to be refactored and less complicated in order for any consideration of expansion, which I ultimately want to happen, to actually come through.