Remember recently I blogged about Microsoft deciding to open up a research center in Vancouver largely in response to the lack of H-1B visas in the US? Some of the protectionists who read the blog attacked Microsoft saying it was a big lie and even hysterically attacking the company's patriotism. But many companies are quietly expanding overseas operations partially in response to the H-1B crisis.

Money Magazine reports on Google's operations in India. Here's a quote that should raise some concern:

Google chose Bangalore in 2004 as the site of its first R&D center outside the U.S., says Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who heads Google's Asia operations from the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, in part "because so many Googlers who are Indian want to move back to India and participate in India's growth."

And with the U.S. now issuing half the H-1B visas for skilled high-tech workers that it did in 1999, combined with fewer foreign students coming to study at American universities, the newly minted versions of engineers like Narendran and Ram haven't been coming to the U.S. in the same numbers anyway. It used to be that you had to go to the U.S. to participate in technology's cutting edge. It used to be that Indians thought it was more prestigious to get a U.S. education and work in California. Not anymore.

Google is riding this trend, as are many other companies in India. Yahoo employs about 900 engineers at a research center in Bangalore, roughly nine times more than at Google's. And IBM has hired 53,000 people in India, becoming the nation's largest foreign employer. That's not to mention the 285,000 employed by India's four tech giants: Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, and Satyam.

It never hurts to repeat this truth - H-1Bs and high tech immigration SAVE jobs for Americans. The jobs  that might have been filled by Americans but instead go to India and elsewhere due to a lack of access to global talent exceed by far any jobs that might be saved if we bar foreign workers.