Send Me Your Skilled Workers

High tech accounted for nearly half of the 4.2% growth rate of the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 1998. It is responsible, in large part, for the incredibly low 1.7% unemployment rate for college-educated workers. So low, in fact, that the U.S. is running out of educated people who can work in designing, manufacturing, and selling computers, communication equipment, and other high-tech gear. Silicon Valley is banging on Congress' door to increase the number of six-year visas offered to high-skilled immigrants. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) has proposed a bill that would hike the annual cap on such H-1B visas from 65,000 to 115,000 for five years. Congress should get behind it. A shortage of skilled workers threatens to slow down the high-tech boom that is behind America's amazing economy.

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