The findings were a surprise to the researchers, who had not thought they would discover such a large loss for domestic computer scientists. “The [H-1B] program led to a lot more innovation and growth in IT, which should raise wages for everyone in that sector,” Khanna told Quartz. “But competition from foreign computer scientists should also keep wages down. We weren’t sure which would be the bigger effect.” The competition effect easily won out.
The study is exemplary of the classic immigration trade off. Almost everybody in the US gains from the H-1B program, and from immigration generally. It helps the economy grow, consumers are better off, and company profits are higher. But the workers in direct competition with the immigrants in their industry are usually harmed, and are rarely if ever compensated for that loss.