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The Independent Culture
THE WHITE House last week agreed to support legislation to increase the number of foreign hi-tech professionals allowed into the United States, if employers agree to a series of assurances that protect US workers.

The number of temporary work visas will rise from 65,000 this year, to 115,000 next year and in 2000, dropping to 107,500 in 2001 and returning to 65,000 in 2002. Hi-tech companies employing temporary workers to address the disparity between jobs and those with the skills to fill them, will be subject to increased monitoring from the Labor Department and will face severe penalties if they fire US workers to hire foreign ones. Revenue from visa applications finance scholarships in maths, engineering and computer science.