Tech Companies and the Immigration Bill

Tech companies have been lobbying Congress to facilitate highly-skilled immigration. What have some of these companies said about the Gang of 8 immigration bill: the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013?

The policy director at Intel Corp., Peter Muller, has made the following statement on the bill:

“We’re certainly going to be looking into details of [the bill] going forward … but in terms of the big picture, we’re very encouraged and pleased.”

Dan Turrentine, the vice president for government relations at TechNet, which represents Google, Cisco Systems, Apple and Yahoo, said the bill still needs to address some issues:

“We’re very encouraged that they produced a bill and we see a lot of positives, but we do have some concerns we hope to see worked out.”

The group, which Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg formed with the help of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt, has not commented on the bill yet; however, Jodi Seth, a Facebook spokeswoman, said the following in an email:

“[The tech industry] needs a modernized, high-skilled immigration system in order to keep growing … and the Senate bill moves us in the right direction.”

The 844-page immigration bill was made public two weeks ago. It aims to introduce the following measures to immigration law:

  • Increase security at the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants
  • Create a W visa for low skilled workers
  • Raise the cap for employment-based Green Cards issued yearly
  • Raise the cap for H-1B work visas for specialty occupations issued yearly from 65,000 to 120,000 (It could rise to 180,000 based on demand).
  • Set aside 25,000 extra work visas for advanced degree graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields

H-1B visas are dual intent visas. What it means is that highly-skilled foreign nationals are allowed to work in the U.S. while awaiting approval for permanent residency and the issuance of Green Cards.


More on Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration Reform 2013
  • Gang of 8
  • Earned Citizenship
  • Streamlining Immigration
  • Strengthening Border Security
  • More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants

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