>SHOULD FEDS RAISE QUOTA ON TECH WORKER IMPORTS?
>Lobbying efforts by the technology industry to raise the quota on
>visas for skilled foreign high-tech workers have intensified, as
>industry officials find that the shortage of qualified labor is
>becoming critical. Although the cap on H-1B visas for high-tech
>workers was nearly doubled from 65,000 in 1998 to 115,000 this
>year, this year's quota was met in mid-June. Companies will not be
>able to apply again for visas until Oct. 1, meaning that companies
>must wait until early 2000 to bring the worker into the U.S.,
>following a two- to three-month application process. The hold on
>visas has become a critical issue for the technology industry,
>which faces a severe shortage of qualified high-tech workers.
>Although companies maintain that they will hire any qualified
>U.S. workers, they find it increasingly necessary to recruit
>foreign workers as the number of U.S. electronic engineering
>degrees has fallen 40 percent in the last 10 years.
>(Investor's Business Daily 07/19/99)