Immigration: Legislative Issues on Nonimmigrant Professional Specialty (H-1B) Workers [Updated June 17, 2003] [open pdf - 92KB]
"The economic prosperity of the 1990s fueled a drive to increase the levels of employment-based immigration. The nation enjoyed its longest economic expansion, and the unemployment rate had remained low. Both the Congress and the Federal Reserve Board then expressed concern that a scarcity of labor could curtail the pace of economic growth. A primary legislative response was to increase the supply of foreign temporary professional workers through FY2003. The 108th Congress now weighs whether to extend the increases or let the levels revert to the statutory limit. The inclusion of foreign temporary professional worker provisions in free trade agreements as well as national security concerns, are also sparking debate."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30498