I think the issue of H1-B visas got out of proportion and become a political issue rather than a business issue. I still recall a conversation I had with an immigration lawyer few years back when the total number of visas issued annually was around 120,000, he said “these visas never get used up.” Although visas were available businesses didn’t use the total number of visas available for them.
The controversy and the panic in the business community really started when congress slashed the number of visas by half in one single step. Businesses started to feel their future labor needs maybe restricted by tight government regulations on foreign workers which in turn led to a rapid rush in IT community to secure as many visas as they could get to secure the future labor needs which in turn led to the abuse of this type of Visa we see today.
At another occasion, I was having a conversation with a foreign students’ advisor at a major American university and he told me that if the number of foreign students keeps declining, due to the difficulty foreign students facing in getting student visas, we will have to cancel some programs. Although student visas are not related to H1-B visa, but the same concept applies where universities can not secure visas for their students.
In the free market economy, the law of supply and demand drives the business community; companies will re-locate to places where their demands are met. In today’s global and borderless economy, the winners will be those who will be able to provide the best environment for businesses to operate and profit.