chapter  7
Engineering the Model Minority
Pages 10

The debate over the H-1B did not diminish after the passage of the Act of 1998. This was because in June of 1999, three months before the end of the 1999 fiscal year, the Immigration Service once again ran out of H-1B visas. New applicants would have to wait, and those who were considered after the 115,000 cap had been reached would be charged in the coming fiscal year. In fiscal year 2000, the visas would run out in March. Various parties-including corporate lobbying groups, think tanks, economists for the Federal Reserve, and leading politicians-began contemplating yet another increase in the ceiling in the spring of 1999. Senator Orrin Hatch commissioned a report that detailed the debate within the Senate Judiciary Committee about an increase in the cap, under a new rule entitled the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21). The Committee supported the rule under Hatch's direction, in large part by phrasing it as though it were within the nation's economic interests. The Report heavily cited the remarks of advocates for highly skilled labor who argued that "a global competition for talented individuals is indeed taking place."1