April 30, 2002
Dear (to engineer that wrote
Thank you for contacting me with regard to the H-1B visa program.
As you may know, I'm a supporter of the H-1B visa program. Legislation
which passed in 2000 increased the number of H1-B visas from 115,000 to
200,000 and the 200,000 mark will remain for the next three years. The
bill doubled the amount of fees companies now pay for visas from $500 to
$1,000. These monies are used to fund education and training programs
that include: (1) financial assistance for math and science teachers, (2)
funding for math and science programs, (3) National Science Foundation
scholarships, and (4) money for regional job training programs.
H-1B workers must possess specialty skills needed by the U.S. employer who
sponsors their visa petition. Moreover, H-1B workers are supposed to earn
the same salary and benefits as their American counterparts. This program
was established to solve the worker shortage the technology industry had
in the late 1990s. The INS approved 163,200 visas, 31,800 less than the
total allowed. This number does not reflect the number of foreign workers
who actually came to the U.S.
Although we may not agree on this issue, I appreciate hearing from you and
ask you to continue to inform me on issues you care about. I always need
and welcome the benefit of your thoughts and ideas.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress