Bring Me Your Wired, Your Poor

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The Senate passed a bill yesterday raising by 30,000 this year's quota of temporary visas for high tech workers.The measure would also raise the ceiling to 115,000 for each of the next four years -- almost double the current quota.

That's good news for high tech companies that don't want to pay much for labor, and bad news for older American tech workers who will continue to be priced out of the market. Indeed, the White House has threatened to veto the bill because of its dubious effect on American workers, and because of the high tech industry's even more dubious claims that a labor shortage exists in the first place. According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 85 percent of the workers hired under the so-called H-1B visa program are not exceptionally skilled at all, and are instead low-level computer programmers making less than $75,000 a year. Are we really so lacking as to need to import 115,000 workers to do this kind of work?