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Dear Editor:
The response of "Chucky" to the Murray letter concerning the recent announcement of approximately 17,000 H-1B visas filed against the FY 2005 annual quota is a bit off the mark. First, this is not the number approved. Indeed, with the rare exception of those filed under premium processing, none have been worked. It was also not clear how these were counted. It was mentioned that the visa number is allocated upon the filing, not the approval. Assuming this is true then the correct analysis reflects that in the first sixty days of filing for the FY 2005 quota, 17,000 cases were received. We could not file FY 2005 cases until April 1, 2004 and this estimate was only through May 2004. If this level of filing continues through Sept. the number would work out to approximately 51,000 FY 2005 cases filed before the fiscal year even started. Assuming further that the trend continues, then the FY 2005 quota will be exhausted around November 15, 2004, forty-five days into the next fiscal year. If the same trend continues throughout the end of 2004 and the balance of FY 2005, and including those filed under the above assumption before the fiscal year even begins, then the total usage would be 255,000 visas. Since this is impossible under the current legislation we are looking at a shortfall of potentially 190,000 visas. I have not even adjusted for the set-aside for Chile and Singapore which further reduces the available H-1B visas. Chucky needs to understand the situation as it exists. The economy is heating up and hiring is increasing. The loss of H-1B visas for American companies who need workers here to do the work, will only lead to more off-shoring of jobs. Companies must get the work done. As I testified in Congress some years back, if our immigration laws prevent American employers from bringing workers to the work, those employers will have no choice but to take the work to the workers. America will lose the productivity, economic benefit and tax revenues those jobs would have generated if they were kept in the US with reasonable and flexible immigration laws. My perspective may be limited of course, I have only been involved in this Nation's immigration laws and system for thirty-five years.

Pete Larrabee