H-1B Program Used To Import Cheap Labor

Center For Immigration Studies

This report examines the wage data in Labor Department records for Fiscal Year 2004. It compares wages in approved Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for H-1B workers in computer programming occupations to wage levels of U.S. workers in the same occupation and location. The analysis demonstrates that, despite the H-1B prevailing-wage requirement, actual pay rates reported by employers of H-1B workers were significantly lower than those of American workers. These findings show that the implementation of the prevailing-wage requirement in the H-1B program does not ensure that H-1B workers are paid comparably to U.S. workers. Moreover, the data suggest that, rather than helping employers meet labor shortages or bring in workers with needed skills, as is often claimed by program users, the H-1B program is instead more often used by employers to import cheaper labor.

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