Allan Wernick, an attorney and director of CUNY’s New York’s Citizenship Now! Project, called for an easing of U.S. immigration policy for skilled science and technology professionals. In a New York Daily News op-ed, Wernick wrote that the U.S. caps the number of H-1B visas granted to foreign students with bachelor’s degree or higher at 85,000. The U.S. also allows 140,000 foreign-born employees seeking permanent resident visas. But employers aren’t able to meet their needs at those levels, especially in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math. Wernick writes that with the recession ending and a growing economy, the need for skilled tech workers is increasing.
While some people may say the program hurts U.S. workers, Wernick counters that in a $15 trillion economy, 85,000 professional and 140,000 permanent workers have little impact.