In 2000, near the end of the high-tech boom, industry CEOs convinced Congress to nearly double the number of H-1B visas, allowing up to 195,000 skilled workers from India and elsewhere into the US. Some engineers contend that those CEOs kept many of those H-1B workers while cutting higher-paid US citizens.
“About 80,0000 engineers were unemployed a few months ago. If you take out the H-1Bs who came in, you’d have jobs for all of them,” the IEEE-USA’s Bryant says. The organization is lobbying Congress to lower the number of H-1B issued.