I was doing a little reading about the immigration reform bill that was making its way through the congress. I didn’t pay much attention to the point system, until today. It sounds to me like business is pushing the point system in order to be able to ensure more visa’s for immigrants with in demand skills. Who decides what skills are in demand is not clear. I have mentioned on this blog before that there is no engineering shortage in the United States, and statistics support this. It is a fabrication by business to attempt to bring more foreign engineers to the US. I have just never been very sure why.
I had a thought today that made some sense (really). Toward the end of my time with my favorite defense contractor, we had a meeting to discuss demographics in the company. At that time (~2002) 30% of the company was eligible to retire. We were told that within 5 years (~2007) that number would grow to 50%. Their largest turnover group was the under 5 years crowd, and had been for quite some time. For the most part, people there were either close to retirement, or brand new. So, they have a problem. They are trying to hire and train people, but they keep leaving for better pay, and better work. They can’t/won’t pay experienced people what it would take for them to be/stay there and they are going to lose a large percentage of their knowledge base in the near future. One solution would be to bring in foreign/temporary engineers who are willing to work below market rates, if only it weren’t for those immigration laws. These guys are not unique. There are many companies in the US (and Europe) facing the same problem.