Presumably, they think the jobs gained from barring foreign workers would outweigh the jobs lost from American companies shifting operations overseas and facing tougher foreign competition.
At least, it's tough to think of another explanation for the paradoxical way in which the votes have been cast to date.
On the one hand, 54 percent of respondents think the annual quota for H-1B visas should be slashed to 10,000 from the 2002 level of 197,537. The same proportion think L1 visas, allowing American companies to transfer staff from overseas offices to the U.S., should be scrapped altogether.
On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of respondents recognize that such restrictions would end up indirectly costing American jobs:
- 81 percent acknowledge that foreign workers help the U.S. preserve and develop its world leadership in hi-tech.
- 82 percent think restricting H-1B and L1 visas would end up strengthening foreign competition.
- 79 percent think restricting H-1B and L1 visas would encourage American companies to shift operations overseas.
Opinions are pretty much balanced on whether U.S. companies exploit foreign workers on H-1B and L1 visas by forcing them to work for less than Americans.
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— Larry, The Thinking Man's Monkey, Light Reading