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Pressure to Downsize H-1B Visa
H-1B的喜与忧

ANCHOR
Working in the US requires a visa of course, and some Americans think it's too easy for overseas tech workers to get one. So now they're taking their case to Congress. Joining me for more is CNN's James Hattori, who's been following this story. James, thanks for joining us on E-Biz.
主播
在美国工作当然需要一个签证,而有些美国人认为国外技术工人要拿一个签证很容易。所以他们现在把此事提交到国会。CNN 的詹姆斯·哈托利同我一起进行详细报道,他一直对此做跟踪调查。詹姆斯,谢谢你参加我们的《电子商业新闻》栏目。

JAMES HATTORI
Hi Christina, welcome to California. You know, factor in the boom, companies here couldn't get enough of them. We're talking about foreign workers, largely from Asia, on the so-called H-1B visa program. Now of course, things have changed dramatically, as we all know. And now that the economy is downsized, there's growing pressure to downsize the H-1B visa program as well. Hese days, computer programmer Pete Bennett is building boats for his kids instead of software.
詹姆斯·哈托利
嗨,克里斯蒂娜,欢迎到加州来。高技术工人是经济繁荣的要素,而各公司却面临人才匮乏。就所谓的H-1B签证计划而言,这里指的是工作人员,其中很大一部分来自亚洲。当然,就我们所知, 目前,情况发生了戏剧性的变化。因为经济萎缩,H-1B签证面临日益增长的压力不得不进行缩减。这些天,电脑程序员彼得·贝内特没有设计软件,而是在给他的孩子们造船。

PETE BENNETT, PROGRAMMER
Well, I was a cabinetmaker for 15 years.
彼得·贝内特,电脑程序员
我木工活干了15年了。

HATTORI
But after more than a decade of high-tech, this year Bennett has worked on just one software project so far. A victim of the economic slowdown, and he says an immigration program that's making the job market even worst.
哈托利贝
内特已经做了10年的高科技工作,但到现在为止,他今年只做了一个软件项目。他是经济衰退的受害者,他说,移民法案使得就业市场更加糟糕。

PETE BENNETT
American citizens are getting hurt, the H-1B workers are getting hurt. And something needs to be done to straighten this thing out and quick.
彼得·贝内特
美国公民受到伤害,H-1B人才也受到伤害。应该采取行动把这个事情摆平,而且要快。

HATTORI
Benning believes that federal H-1B visa program, which allows nearly 200,000 skilled workers a year into the US, is unnecessary and being abused. Bottom line, are H-1B visa holders taking jobs that American citizens could be filling?
哈托利
贝内特相信,联邦政府的H-1B签证法案允许每年近20万熟练工人进入美国毫无必要,而且使用不当。关键在于:是H-1B签证持有者拿走了本可以由美国公民做的工作了吗?

PETE BENNETT
That's the general consensus amongst my peers and myself.
彼得·贝内特
这是我和我的同事们的一致意见。

HATTORI
He's not alone. An organization representing nearly 250,000 high-tech professionals has written to Congress. They want to know why Americans are getting laid off, while workers from abroad continue to work. The H-1B program was supposed to give skilled overseas workers jobs when qualified Americans cannot be found. The visas were initially capped at 65,000 in 1998, but Congress upped it to 195,000 last year. In fact, perhaps because of the US economic slump, H-1B applications are down dramatically. 48% fewer so far this year compared to last. But critics say the decline is not keeping pace with layoffs here in the US. Norman Matloff is a professor at the University of California at Davis who has studied hiring practices at high-tech companies.
哈托利
不只他一个人这么想。一个代表近25万高科技专业人士的组织已致信国会。他们想知道为什么美国人失业,而外国工人得以继续工作。这项H-1B法案本意是,因找不到合格的美国人,而让国外技术工人干那些工作。最初,这些签证在1998年规定的上限是6.5万份,但国会在去年将其增加到了19.5万。也许因为经济不景气,H-1B的申请减少。今年至今比去年同期减少了48%。但是批评人士指出这种下降与美国的失业率并不成比例。诺曼·马特罗夫是加大戴维斯分校的教授,他研究的对象是高科技公司的雇佣情况。

Norman Matloff
What Congress ought to do is just cancel the whole H-1B program, and in its place put a very small program with (very small), very strong protections and without the loopholes they have now.
诺曼·马特罗夫
国会应该做的是取消整个H-1B计划,然后用一个低配额取而代之,并带有强有力的保护性,而不能有像现在的纰漏。

HATTORI
Loopholes that critics say for example let companies hire H-1B visa workers at lesser paying positions than the jobs they actually perform.
哈托利
批评人士说的纰漏是指诸如公司雇佣的持H-1B签证者的工资,相对于他们所干的活来说偏低。

Norman Matloff
There is tailoring the job requirements so that only the foreign national -- you know that's the only person on the whole planet that would qualify because you've deliberately set it up that way.
诺曼·马特罗夫
因为你故意在工作条件上大做文章,使得只有外国人才是这个星球上唯一合适的人选。