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foreigners... gotta love them

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Looking to hire engineers- in the Cayman Islands? Sign me up!
Wasn't the main reason H1-B started was to fill a need for Computer Science/Engineering people in the IT industry, particularly in CA, during the tech boom? Likely the total number of visas issued needs to be adjusted on an annual basis based on the economy and needs of the industry. I guess this has not been done.
I believe the whole intent of the program is to keep a company up and running if it cannot meet its own labor needs domestically. Company A needs a guy who does flat plate high rise concrete buildings and concrete parking garages and similar structures. Not that many people do that. Maybe nobody wants to move to that town or area of the country. This manager now has to turn down work from clients, decreasing revenue and taxes paid to the gov't. This does not grease the wheels of the economic machine. Some would say increase the salary and incentives to a point where someone will take the position, which sounds nice to all of us SEs. But that means getting the client to pay more for his building, which maybe he scraps or goes to a different system. Maybe this is the right way to do it, and maybe the H1-B, on a temporary basis, is a way to get over that hump. In the meantime you keep searching for an American replacement. This would be ideal I suppose, but I am sure the system is used, abused, and circumnavigated.
But many H1-B people do use that time to apply for a green card. I know, there is a guy in our office doing it. One at my old office DID it, although he was Canadian so that was a little different with NAFTA. But I am glad this guy is here, he is a great engineer and is going to teach me tons. He has very specialized skills not too many SEs have, and he will pass some of those onto me I hope. Now if we were neck and neck with skills and experience and my boss laid me off in a downturn- DIFFERENT STORY.
In high school my family was a host family two summers in a row, once with a French guy and another with a Spanish girl. I was studying French and my sister Spanish. We all loved the experience, even though I did not care too much for the French guy (yes, many stereotypes are true :) ). You may say I like the Spanish girl better, we've been married for 5 years now. Anyway, I have since then had a soft spot in my heart for foreigners, and have a fascination of sorts with them and their countries. I have managed with meager resources and no parental assistance to go to about 15 countries so far and live one summer abroad, and my list of "to go" is growing. Between my wife and her friends and my own friends, we have every continent represented. I understand cultural, language, and religous differences and challenges and try to cut people lots of slack in these departments. I will likely live abroad for a large period of time at some point in my life and hope that I am extended the same courtesy, like when I travel. I could also be affected by having great foreign professors and classmates. I had more foreigners for proffessors then Americans, and you know what, they were good and bad, just like Americans. I learned a lot from some of them, as soon as I got used to their accent :) Some of them spoke better English, and clearer, then you and I- trust me.
With all that said, I agree with a lot of what Dennis has to say. We should not wait until the problem is huge, we should nip things in the bud. If we are not aware of the H1-B issue, then maybe this discussion will trigger us to do so. Maybe it is not as big of a threat as he and others are saying, but maybe it is. Shouldn't we research it and talk about it? Maybe a bigger threat is outsourcing? Was the India drafting thing a joke?
If you guys want to bitch about foreigners, do so about illegal immigrants. I will not go into this issue any further then to say I know firsthand that is a huge, huge problem, and that the system is failing us miserably. They make it so hard for the people doing it right that they just look to illegal methods. My wife writes and calls Homeland Security (absorbed INS) everyday about her stupid green card that she has been waiting forever for, and she has been married to me for 5 years and we have done everything totally by the book. No you do not get married to an American and boom you are a citizen. I sometimes, sometimes, wish it was that easy (just for us at least!). Ironically she doesn't even care about being a citizen, being a resident is just fine, but still it is a pain in the ass. Good luck speaking to a competent individual in that dept. We and friends actually get letters saying-"Your application will be processed withing 800 days". 800 friggin days!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 People getting married for papers or living here on tourist visas and such, working and living here illegally, not paying taxes- that is a real problem nobody should argue about. Not some German guy designing hi-rises in Chicago (suprised he left 6 weeks of vacation and all the benefits in Germany). Speaking of which, ask German engineers what they think of the possibility of outsourcing to foreign countries. The EU is now making that possible and Spanish, Italian, etc. engineers with lower wages and costs of living are taking some of their work......
Next string: affect of baby boomers retiring on the world economy. If you think we are in for it, look at Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, etc. They HAVE to allow immigration to keep their economies going. And countries like India, bursting at the seams with young educated people, will be a major source of that skilled labor, they already are. Want to live in Australia? If you are under 35 and are a good SE, you probably could!
Have a great day everyone,
Andrew Kester, EI