Have Employers Been Naughty or Nice in 2010?
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As millions of kids know, Santa Claus is very difficult to contact by cell phone and he rarely texts. I finally got through to him by telling the Elf at the front desk that I am a writer for Vdare and I had some questions to ask. I was put on hold and had to listen to Christmas carols for about 15 minutes but Santa finally answered the phone. The following is a rush transcript that may contain errors:

ROB: Santa, here in Phoenix it's been about 70 degrees. I saw on the news that the North Pole is a lot colder, like about -15 degrees. Brrrrrrrr! SANTA: Yeah, it's miserable here. After I deliver all the goodies to the children I'm going to take an expensive vacation in Arizona. I'm a big supporter of SB 1070 so I intend on supporting the state by participating in the buycott to spend money in Arizona. I just can't wait to do some sunbathing at a swimming pool so I can get a good tan. OB: Hey, I don't want to hold you too long so I just have one question for you. SANTA: OK. ROB: United States employers have probably been asking you for more H-1B visas, so are they on your naughty list or your nice list? SANTA: Greedy corporations have been importing so many foreign workers on H-1Bs instead of American workers that the 2011 H-1B visa cap has almost been met. Those greedy traitors are replacing every American worker they can, and the only thing that will stop them is to stop giving them visas. Thanks to H-1B I had to double my workforce to make toys for jobless parents who can't afford gifts for their children. I refuse to put more visas in the corporate stockings until they start behaving in a more patriotic manner. ROB: Santa, you are a true American patriot!

After our conversation I went to the USCIS website to see if I could understand why Santa was accusing employers of using too many visas in a time of record unemployment. A cursory look at the website explained everything: H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Cap Season. It appears that companies have been on a hiring binge for foreign workers. As of December 17th almost all of the available visas have been gobbled up.

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Cap Type 2011 Cap Petitions Visas Remaining
Non-exempt 65,000 53,900 6,100
Master's Degree Exempt 20,000 19,700 300

So, there are only about 6,000 visas left before the cap is reset on October 1, 2011. It's expected that the supply of visas will run dry sometime in January. Companies won't be able to apply for any more visas until April 1, 2011. Of course there are other visas employers can use to import foreign workers but H-1B is the most popular. Once the visas run out employers may have no choice but to hire Americans and to keep them on the payroll until late next year. Employers will be faced with two choices: 1. Hire Americans. 2. Spend millions of dollars to lobby Congress for more visas. Only hire Americans if visas won't be available for the foreseeable future. Expect most employers to resort to option #2.

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