Top U.S. Tech Companies Urge Lawmakers to Reform Immigration Policy

March 15, 2013 -

The top executives of over 100 U.S.-based tech companies have sent a letter to President Barack Obama and U.S. lawmakers imploring them to reform immigration and address skill shortages by issuing more special visas so that talented individuals outside the U.S. can come here to work. The letter (reported on by The Hill) is signed by a number of high profile CEOs including Google's Eric Schmidt, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Zynga's Mark Pincus and Microsoft's Bradford L. Smith, and others.

"…because our current immigration system is outdated and inefficient, many highly-skilled immigrants who want to stay in America are forced to leave because they are unable to obtain permanent visas," the letter notes. "Some do not bother to come in the first place. This is often due to visa shortages, long waits for green cards and lack of mobility." The letter further asks lawmakers for immigration reforms that brings visa availability to the level of demands of the job market, and to make spouses and children exempt from the overall visa cap.

You can read the letter here.

Source: GII, "application for a visa" image © 2013 Constantine Pankin / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.


Comments

Re: Top U.S. Tech Companies Urge Lawmakers to Reform ...

For a point of reference on how screwed-up the system is, my father is an executive in the oil industry, currently making well over $100,000/year. It's a profitable field, and it's been around for a long time (so it doesn't even suffer from laws needing to catch up, like tech does). Long story short, US oil companies wanted to import him from Canada, and if anyone has clout with the government, it's oil companies. Guess how long it took until he (and by extension, the rest of my family) got "landed immigrant" status (that is, officially moved to the US)? Think for a minute about what a reasonable time-frame might be. In reality? Ten years. Just to become residents, not even to get citizenship (which took an extra five years). Now imagine this in the tech industry, which changes so rapidly that a company which wants to attract employees has a good chance of not even being around in the same form ten years later. It doesn't make sense for the company or the employee to go through all this, and so ultimately talent doesn't immigrate into the US, and it's the US consumers who suffer in the end.

Re: Top U.S. Tech Companies Urge Lawmakers to Reform ...

Any legal immigrant who comes here gets awfully pissed off at how long it takes for anything to happen. My wife has been here maybe 13 years and getting a green card has been hell. When we married that actually delayed everything since technically that completely reset everything.

Most legal immigrants come in upset because yeah those who come here illegally or are from a certain nation seem to get better treatment and are allowed to take cuts in the lines as well as use up social services and never worry about a bill. 

I think we should seriously be discussing paying for citizenship at this point because if you're willing and able to pay a large fee to make everything go quick then perhaps those with the means should be able to get a shortcut. If you're coming here to make more jobs even better!

Most Tech Companies though most likely just want to be able to have more K1B Visas which are todays version of indentured servants.

Re: Top U.S. Tech Companies Urge Lawmakers to Reform ...

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that it's that way by design by xenophobes.

 
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