From the McCain Campaign Site:
Fill Critical Shortages Of Skilled Workers To Remain Competitive. American workers should always be the first choice for highly skilled technology jobs. However, there is a critical shortage of these workers and American competitiveness is suffering as a result. John McCain will expand the number of H-1B visas to allow our companies to keep top-notch talent â€“ often trained in our graduate schools â€“ in the United States. The Department of Labor should be allowed to set visa levels appropriate for market conditions. Hiring skilled foreign workers to fill critical shortages benefits not only innovative companies, but also our economy. For every foreign worker hired, corporations generally hire five to ten additional American workers.
This statement shows a fundamental ignorance of what has happened on the H-1b front-and the basic economics involved here. The US gets over 10 million applications for permanent residency each year. Clearly a lot of folks want US immigration rights–and are willing to jump through various hoops to get it. Unless employers are charged fair market value for immigration rights they use for corporate purposes–and additional incentives are used to keep Americans in those positions—we will necessarily see a huge sucking sound pulling Americans out of jobs that will grant foreigners immigration rights if they take them.
It will always be inherently cheaper to pay employees in immigration rights than cash when this is at all possible. This will drive Americans into those occupations that are least likely to face direct competition from immigrants.
I can`t help but wonder if McCain has ever known an American tech worker well? Last I heard, the man can`t even use a computer.