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Thank you, Ron Hira

Another H-1B debate on CNBC, this time between Vivek Wadhwa and Ron Hira. The issue of concern here is that Bank of America took TARP money, but by not making good faith efforts to hire US citizens, they violated the TARP conditions. So now they must rescind some job offers to some recent foreign MBA graduates of US business schools.





I am so glad that Hira stuck to the issues and facts in this debate. BofA took TARP money, but did not honor the conditions of the program. Either they should honor the TARP conditions, or not take the money. He also pointed out the problems of fraud and abuse in the H-1B program, and noted that US citizens are asked to train their H-1B replacements before they're let go.

Regarding Mark Haines' question "do we need the PR problem that firing foreign workers would create?", let me flip it around. Do we need the PR problem that filling positions that US citizens are perfectly capable of doing with H-1B visa holders is creating? Obama realizes that he does not need that problem – these people are, after all, voters, who will most certainly not vote for those individuals who advocate policies that threaten their livelihoods.

I also find it interesting that Wadhwa feels that foreigners are somehow "owed" a certain type of treatment. The purpose of the H-1B visa is clear: it exists to fill temporary needs. No one (legally) made any guarantees to any of these students that they would have jobs in the US. And if immigrants decide to pull money out of BofA, Citi, etc., let me flip it again. What if US citizens, as a matter of protest, decide to make a run on banks that do not honor the TARP rules?

I am glad that these issues are being discussed in the open and that those who are violating the rules are getting caught.