IEEE-USA said today that it was "disappointed" that the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the US Senate last week increases the number of IT workers allowed to take up employment in America.
The move boosts the annual H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000, adds an automatic cap escalator and includes a new exemption for foreign nationals with high-tech graduate degrees.
But the legislation was condemned by IEEE-USA for boosting immigration " without strengthening safeguards for foreign and domestic technology workers".
IEEE-USA president Ralph Wyndrum said: "We don't understand why the Senate wants to expand a programme that numerous government reports have found leaves US and foreign workers open to exploitation.
"Fraud, abuse and misuse of the visas is rampant. The programme should be fixed before it is expanded."
Combined with the H-1B visa increases, the Senate bill also includes " substantial increases" in legal permanent immigrant admissions that could have a major impact on the US IT workforce and engineering enterprise, according to IEEE-USA.
"The bill opens the spigot on numerous skilled visa categories. The question is how many high-tech workers can the US absorb annually without driving up unemployment and driving down wages?" said Wyndrum.
"The Senate demonstrated its concern about the number of unskilled workers it would allow into our country; it should show the same concern for skilled employees."
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