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Electronic Engineering Times: T. J. Rodgers questions IEEE's opposition to raising visa caps | Cypress Semiconductor

Electronic Engineering Times: T. J. Rodgers questions IEEE's opposition to raising visa caps

Last Updated: 
May 24, 2012

Electronic Engineering Times: T. J. Rodgers questions IEEE's opposition to raising visa caps

T.J. Rodgers

EE Times' April 8 issue contained three anti-immigration articles, including a page one piece, "Engineers protest as work-visa bill clears first hurdle," which outlined the IEEE's opposition to increasing the cap on H1-B visas. I applaud Sen. Spencer Abraham's advocacy for increasing the cap on H1-B visas, and I am also a member of the IEEE. Yet the IEEE continues to campaign, without my consent and without the consent of the 127 Cypress engineers who are IEEE members, and who have challenged the IEEE position in a letter to Sen. Abraham.

The IEEE position is not supported by the facts-or its membership. In a recent letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dr. Randy Katz, the chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at U.C. Berkeley, writes that starting salaries for BSCS graduates went up 17.5 percent from 1995 to an average $47,000 last spring. This increase is a direct result of the basic market forces of supply-and-demand. Virginia Tech has just published a survey indicating 346,000 unfilled jobs in the information-technology field. Your publication recently reported a 0.4 percent unemployment rate for EEs.

Based on these facts, it is clear that we have a shortage of skilled workers in the United States, and that companies need to have the freedom to find employees wherever they can to fill their vacancies. For every engineer Cypress hires-native-born or immigrant-we create five new jobs, four of which are in the United States. I find it appalling that an "international" organization for engineers would take a position that 1) is not supported by all its members, and 2) discriminates against a portion of its membership, using their dollars to lobby against them.

T.J. Rodgers

President/CEO
Cypress Semiconductor
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