People like to speculate. So do I. But I believe my speculation is an educated one. When it comes to increasing the H-1B cap, regrettably I do not foresee this in the near future. I read recently several news sources which predict we will see an increase in the H-1B cap early in an Obama administration. One example is an article in Computerworld entitled Why Obama may back an H-1B increase even in a recession.
I did a search on Obama and H-1B and could not find information that would give me confidence Obama will support an increase in the H-1B cap early in his administration. I do believe, however, that Obama will support an increase once the economy shows signs of recovery.
The issue of job loss was one of the hot topics addressed by Obama when he traveled through several key cities such as Columbus, and Cleveland in the battleground state of Ohio. The current economical/political condition and the various statements made by the President elect supports this view.
At best, Obama is neutral on this issue because he does not believe the H-1B cap increase will result in a positive impact on the bigger problems we are facing in the short term. Obama’s top priorities are the economy, jobs and national security. His priority is to create jobs for American workers, not for foreign workers, reversing the outsourcing trend. He also places priority on bringing about a comprehensive immigration reform as a component of national security concern. Unfortunately a general increase in the H-1B cap now does not directly advance or fit in any of his challenges. An H-1B cap increase at the present time may not even be reconcilable with bringing jobs home and reducing the escalating unemployment rate.
A more likely scenario is that Obama will play a wait and see role. There is some good news in my prediction to the high tech industry. Obama appears to attach high priority on solidifying our world dominance in innovation and engineering advancement. If Obama moves towards supporting an H-1B Cap increase early, we should anticipate it to be tailored to bringing foreign nationals that are highly skilled in engineering and other similar technological related fields.