Quoted: Obama on jobs, H-1B visas, manufacturing

“Forward me his resume. The word we’re getting is someone in that high-tech field should be able to find something right away. I want to follow up on that.”

President Obama, responding Monday to a Texas woman’s question via Google+ Hangout (video) about why the United States extends H-1B visas to foreign workers when there are “tons of Americans,” like her semiconductor-engineer husband, without jobs. Obama said the “H-1B should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field.” He also said, “that’s part of the reason why it’s so important for us to boost American manufacturing,” something he addressed in last week’s State of the Union address.  The president addressed the same issue during a Twitter town hall last summer. (See Quoted: Obama on tech and manufacturing jobs.) By the way, now that he has hung out on Google+, the president has hit all of the major social networks: Last year, he  also held town halls at LinkedIn and Facebook.


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  • Bryan

    I’ve no doubt that any American willing to work killing hours, handle hazardous materials in an unsafe environment, sleep in a sardine can, and be paid pennies can find a job.

    Provided he or she is willing to learn Português Brasileiro, a beautiful language that slides across the tongue like caramel melting in the sun – a good thing since the food served by sweatshops is awful.

  • Jennifer Wedel, the 29-year-old wife of a highly-skilled experienced engineer, has exposed the widely held myth that employers seek American first before recruiting abroad. They don’t. And the law doesn’t make them.

    In 1989, Congress passed this little known bill that restored employment discrimination. Knowing that Americans would find this reprehensible, tech companies have hidden this fact from the American public and even Congressional members. Now President Obama has admitted he believes the lies that tech lobbyists feed him.

    We can fix this. Senators Durbin & Grassley submitted a bill last session that will require companies to seek American talent first. We’ve named it the “Seek American Talent First Act.” Now, it looks as if the President may support this.

  • sd

    The “Seek American Talent First Act” is Employment Theater (related to the Security Theater we all enjoy every time we visit an American airport).

    Short of a systemic informal policy in an organization that can be proved over time to discriminate against a particular group (Americans, workers older than 50, ethnic minorities, members of a particular religion, etc.), it will be nearly impossible to determine why a given candidate was passed over for a job. SATFA ignores the intangibles of personal chemistry, levels of relevant experience, language skills, willingness of the candidate to relocate or any of several other evaluation criteria which will not be readily quantifiable.