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June 13, 2001
U.S. Tech Workers Complain of H-1B Abuse
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. technology professionals say they're all for the H-1B work visa program for temporary tech workers - as long as it is not abused by employers, according to a new survey from, a site for technology professionals.

Many tech pros, the study found, are afraid the H-1B program is eliminating tech jobs and reducing salaries.

The 1,100 respondents in the survey included U.S. citizens and non-citizens throughout the U.S. and abroad, with titles ranging from CEO to data entry operator. The site provided few numbers to explain its conclusions.

Most of the respondents said the government, employers, and techies alike are clearly mishandling H-1B visas, the site reported.

Almost a quarter said they've changed their minds about non-U.S. workers and H-1B in the last six months. And that's not entirely because of a slower economy; some of the managers said they'd been enthusiastic about H-1B until their employers started abusing it.

An overwhelming majority of survey respondents said "losing jobs to non-citizens" was the primary reason that H-1B visas are so controversial. But they frequently added, "the real reason I'm against temporary foreign workers is because they'll work for less" or "they're lowering the pay scale in my profession."

Feelings varied by region - New England was more likely to welcome non-U.S. workers than other areas - and women were less tolerant than men, according to

"Not surprisingly," the site reported, "those with less secure jobs were more likely to disapprove of non-citizen hiring practices."

Few felt that a job should go unfilled rather than be given to a non-U.S. citizen. But a majority was in favor of letting the government impose some kind of political or quota restriction on visa programs. And 61 percent felt the H-1B program should not be expanded under any circumstances.

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