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Letters | Rethinking H-1B visas

When we educate foreign tech students, we shouldn’t let them slip away

In pointing to a few fraudulent uses of the H-1B visa (“Rethinking H-1B visas,” Op-ed, April 2), Farah Stockman does a disservice to a real problem. As a high-technology hiring manager at a number of the Massachusetts technology companies that built the state’s reputation, I hired hundreds of engineers and programmers during my career, including dozens with H-1B visas. They were all paid the same prevailing wages as native-born engineers and contributed as much as anyone else to the companies I worked for.

Too often I had to fight to keep engineers who were trained in this country from being deported. More than once I had to enlist the help of Senator Paul Tsongas’s office to keep an engineer from being forced to leave the country. We are doing significant harm to the nation when we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars educating foreign engineering students in our best universities and then expect them to go back to their home countries and use the expertise we trained them in to compete against us in international trade in technology goods.

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As more than one person has pointed out, when a foreign engineering student graduates from one of our universities, his or her degree ought to come with an H-1B visa attached.

Walter M. Anderson


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