Skimming "The Cream of the Crop" for Tough or Undesirable Jobs
As a former COBOL programmer here in the U.S. back in the early '80s, I saw no outsourcing of IT work to foreign countries, but I did work with a few people originally from India. There was never a discussion of green cards or visas, so I'll assume they were U.S. citizens. Whether they were or not was immaterial at the time because the only thing noticed was the split between who was brilliant and who was simply average in talent and productivity. It was extremely rare at that time to find Applications Programmers (almost all mainframe COBOL) with a degree in Computer Science because those people typically went into Systems Programming or highly technical software development. COBOL was "beneath them" and they weren't interested in business issues, so companies continued to build their own applications programming teams via in-house training. I then witnessed the inability of some new COBOL programmers who had been former computer operators, secretaries and clerks to understand and maintain existing COBOL programs. They just couldn't do the job, which prevented work from getting done fast enough. That situation across North America, I believe, started the outsourcing of COBOL programming work to India. They had people with a degree in Computer Science, plus an MBA and were more than eager to do mainframe COBOL maintenance work -- especially that relating to Y2K. That means a market void was filled and rightly so. Let's ignore programming salaries for a moment.
Fast forward to today. If the U.S. does indeed lack IT programming staff that's conversant in business issues (CS grads with an MBA), then they must be found overseas, skimming the world's "cream of the crop" whenever possible. However, if the H1-B program is abused in order to swap out average-talent Americans for cheaper, average-talent foreigners, then the abusers need to be stopped immediately. There's no reason qualified, motivated, productive, U.S. STEM workers should find themselves unemployed or underemployed.
As for the H1-B workers, the abusers hold them via "bait & switch" employment contracts as indentured servants under constant threat of deportation.