We don’t see it much lately because the job market for software engineers is so robust right now, but there’s a real fear among engineers that H-1 B Visa holders are coming to take our jobs or at least lower our compensation. I thought it was worth highlighting this argument that the broad benefits outweigh the potential harms by a large degree:
Consider the interests of every single American who isn’t a skilled engineer. The vast majority of private sector workers in the United States are engaged in local service provision. Maybe we’re in high status local service providing professions (doctors, architects) or maybe we’re in low status ones (retail clerks, maids) but it’s what American do. And clearly everyone involved in local service provision benefits if a new skilled worker earning an above-average salary moves to town.
Against that you weigh the possible harm to the software engineers who already here. I think it’s fair to say that in terms of current and future employment prospects, we have it easier than just about anybody.