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Dear Editor:

With so much speculation about the meaning of the new H-1B bill, let us remember who the real winner was in this whole battle, namely the concept of enlightened national self-interest as the cornerstone of national immigration policy. For the first time, with the possible exception of IMMACT 90's creation of the outstanding researcher, extraordinary ability and national interest waiver cagegories, Congress passed a law that was not pro-immigrant but pro-immigration; this is a sea change in approach. The H-1B bill ends the unquestioned primacy of family over employment-based considerations and restores some sense of balance between these two equally valid considerations. The very title of the H-1B law speaks to the value of such international talent as a key component of a strategy that seeks to maintain and strengthen America's international competitive posture- what can the H-1B holder do for us? That is the operative question. It is not how we can help the poor immigrant out of a sense of altruism or humantiarian concern. These sentiments speak to the best of the American tradition and there will always be a place for them but not in the development of an Employment-based immigration system where the only sure and sustainable basis for an enduring national consensus is a clear-eyed appreciation of how the nation benefits.

Gary Endelman