Evidence is ample that the very claim of a STEM shortage in the U.S. is phony. Salzman noted that “overall, our colleges and universities graduate twice the number of STEM graduates as find a job each year.” The mismatch is especially stark in the biomedical field. There, according to a 2014 paper by experts from UC San Francisco, Harvard and Princeton, “the training pipeline produces more scientists than relevant positions in academia, government, and the private sector are capable of absorbing.”
As a result, “a growing number of PhDs are in jobs that do not take advantage of the taxpayers’ investment in their lengthy education.” As we reported last year, the same high-tech corporations that poormouth their ability to find skilled workers simultaneously lay them off by the thousands.
High-tech firms in the U.S. cut nearly 80,000 employees last year, according to the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That included 47,000 announced layoffs from Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Unisys and Microsoft. (The former CEO of the latter, Steve Ballmer, is also a co-chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy.)
The reality of the H-1B program is that it fails to serve as a conduit for the skilled and virtuous immigrant known for what Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., described as “the entrepreneurial spirit, the determination to make a go of it.”