This report argues that despite calls for guest worker programs, U.S. tech companies are cutting wages by discriminating against qualified American workers.
Corporate executives in the tech industry have long called for an increase in pliant, lower-cost foreign labor. They argue that the U.S. is failing to produce a sufficient number of talented scientists and engineers. These claims, however, are based upon no actual evidence and do not hold up to scrutiny. Behind the industry's calls for guest worker programs that attract the "best and brightest" is the reality that U.S. tech companies are cutting wages by discriminating against qualified American workers, with the full complicity of the federal government. Labor market data clearly indicate that the U.S. has no shortage of qualified scientists and engineers, and economic research demonstrates that immigrants do not make any special contribution to innovation. However, the flood of low-wage guest workers harms American workers and may threaten the nation's future competitiveness.