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The H-1B Cap Makes No Sense!

April 06, 2013 (1 min read)

"[I]t makes absolutely no sense to impose an H-1B cap.  Let the market do the job of determining how many H-1Bs can enter the US based on the fluctuating demands of employers.  At one point, when the H-1B cap prior to 2003 was 195,000 for a few years, this quota was never filled. [*]  Therefore, H-1B quotas do not necessarily dictate how many H-1B visa cases will be filed.  It is market conditions that determine H-1B usage.  Based on the lessons from the H-1B cap, it does not make sense to impose arbitrary caps at all, especially with respect to other temporary visas . In the negotiations involving comprehensive immigration reform regarding low skilled workers, business and labor trumpeted that a deal had been reached on future flows.  When times are good, according to the deal, employers would be able to benefit from 200,000 workers; and when times are not so good they would only be able to get 20,000 workers.  While a flexible cap based on market conditions is still better than a fix cap, such as the H-1B cap, there is no way of knowing whether businesses may need more than 20,000 low skilled workers even when there is an economic downturn.  And when times are good, there is no way of knowing whether 200,000 visas would be sufficient." - Cyrus D. Mehta, Apr. 5, 2013.

* Editor's Note: Recall that prior to 1990, there were no caps at all on Hs.