"Here's what I've been wondering about immigration recently....Of course the answer to the point is that they do move overseas, all the time. This bothers a lot of high-skill visa skeptics, but as you might imagine it doesn't bother me as much. My co-author, too, has been pretty open about the point that offshoring is inevitable and that we've got to succeed in a world with offshoring rather than fight it. But there is an interesting relationship between offshoring and high skill visas. In his field work, Hal actually learned that a large number of H-1Bs in tech firms are broad on specifically to be the onshore contact points managing the offshore operations, so that in a lot of ways offshoring has been accelerated by the high skill visa program.
Big silicon valley companies are lobbying for an increase high skills quotas. What nobody seems interested in is the simple question "Why do they care?" In the old days if US companies thought their home state was getting too expensive they would start branches in different states and countries. I work for the Irish branch of a US company which also has branches in many other countries. Why doesn't Zuckerberg just get Facebook to make branches in lots of other countries and pay staff the going rate in those places, which is certain to be less than in the US.
I think that something hiding behind this whole debate is the "buzz" of silicon valley. Recently start-ups have become very centralized there. Y-combinator (for example) seem to want everyone they invest in to move there no matter where they're from. I have a feeling this fad will disappear."
The second point that Current makes is important too - geography matters a lot, and high skill visa users are not evenly distributed across the country. This is a point we make strongly in a hopefully forthcoming analysis of the wage structure of high skill immigrants.