Many H-1b proponents claim that the H-1b program is more restrictive than in the past. But in fact the number of H-1b have tripled since the dot-com era of the late 1990s:
The number of visas for employment-based temporary nonimmigrants rose from just under 600,000 in FY1994 to approximately 1.2 million in FY2005. In particular, “H” visas for temporary workers tripled from 98,030 in FY1994 to 321,336 in FY2005. (Page 2) (See also Figure 2 on p.13)
The report reveals that the H-1b program violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):
But Table 1 on page 17 reveals that no effort to first recruit U.S. workers is required by the H-1b program. And Footnote 34 on page 14 documents that, as long as H-1b are paid at least $60,000 OR have at least a masters degree, H-1b workers can comprise 100% of an employer's workforce, yet they will not be deemed "H-1b dependent" employers.
The labor certification ground for exclusion covers both aliens coming to live as LPRs and as temporarily-admitted aliens (i.e., nonimmigrants).The INA specifically states:
Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that — (I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified ... and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States...
We will continue to research details and update this blog. But in 1998 Bill HR 3273 circumvented the INA: "To treat certain information technology occupations as if the Secretary of Labor had made a determination under section (a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to limit such determinations, and for other purposes. " (NOTE: On further review it appears that this Bill never became law. But the purpose seems unclear since there was already no requirement to recruit or attest that no qualified Americans are available.)