The H-1B Visa program allows U.S. employers to recruit skilled, college educated foreigners, but an arbitrary visa cap forces tens of thousands of educated workers with American job offers to take their skills elsewhere. The first day the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting 2007 applications for H-1B visas, it received 120,000 requests for the 65,000 available slots. Democrats led by Speaker Pelosi have been talking about increasing the supply of visas to ease a "talent crisis." The Republican response?
Last week Mr. Grassley, the Iowa Republican, slipped an amendment into a spending bill that would tax businesses that hire skilled immigrants an additional $3,500 per visa to a total of $5,000 each. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, this represents a $3.1 billion tax increase over five years on some of America's fastest growing companies.