Why Obama may back an H-1B increase even in a recession

An excellent article by Patrick Thibodeau from ComputerWorld, touches the issue of possible H1B visa Green Card increase by President Obama. While his position on immigration is not entirely clear, Obama is smart enough to link the US prosperity with a major Immigration reform.

President-Elect Barack Obama has supported the H-1B visa program and wants to make changes to green cards that would help tech firms. There wasn’t much said about this issue during the presidential campaign, especially after Wall Street collapsed. It also never came up in the debates between Obama and Republican John McCain. Now we’re in a recession and unemployment is rising. Can Obama push ahead on tech-related immigration issues at this time? He might, and in this FAQ, here’s an explanation of how that might happen.

Some tech lobbyists believe that increases in H-1B visas and green cards won’t happen as long as U.S. companies are cutting jobs. But that will mean the debate will shift as well. “What do we need to do to ensure that we can grow our way out of this [downturn], innovate our way out this? You can’t have that discussion without talking about immigration,” said Robert Hoffman, vice president of congressional and legislative affairs at Oracle Corp., and co-chairman of Compete America, a lobbying group that supports raising the H-1B visa cap.

Read the article here