Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tech Industry Wants 200,000 More H-1B Visas

The Center for Pubic Integrity has an article about a tech trade group that is pressing Congress to ease immigration laws:

"A technology trade group that’s aggressively pressing Congress to ease key immigration laws is heavily funded by one of the world’s wealthiest corporations. Corporate documents indicate that software giant Microsoft Corp. gave the nonprofit Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) nearly $2.5 million between July 2011 and June 2012. Microsoft also gave at least $1 million to ACT during the company’s 2009, 2010 and 2011 fiscal years — although it did not disclose the specific payment amounts.Microsoft representatives declined to comment on the company’s relationship with ACT.

In addition to Microsoft, the trade group’s members include a few of the biggest names in  technology, such as eBay Inc., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp. and VeriSign Inc. ACT has been among a bevy of tech groups lobbying heavily on the comprehensive immigration reform bill, known as S. 744, which the U.S. Senate approved last month.

Most notable among their concerns: expanding the H1-B visa program, which allows highly skilled foreign residents to work in the U.S. temporarily. “Your support for S. 744 will allow America to better realize opportunities for innovation and job creation today, as well as secure our economic strength in the future,” read a June 20 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Further below is the letter they mention from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle and everyone else on the "who's who" list in the tech industry.

The fate of immigration reform now lies with the U.S. House of Representatives, where its prospects are uncertain. ACT, for one, is continuing to press its case. But read this stinging report from Roll Call on the Senate's immigration bill:

"Too much of the bill is corporate giveaways, at the expense of wage growth and job opportunities for U.S. workers. A massive guest worker program will fill year-round jobs in lower-skilled occupations like housekeeping and landscaping, and a separate, existing seasonal program for similar jobs will double in size. The Senate apparently doesn’t care that wages have been flat and unemployment in double digits for years in these occupations.

The tech sector’s lobbying firestorm — based on unsupportable claims about severe labor shortages in science, technology, engineering and math fields — paid off. S744 nearly triples the troubled H-1B guest worker program without fixing its loopholes and abuses despite little evidence of a high-tech labor shortage. Most H-1B guest workers are employed in information technology jobs, where wages are stuck at 1990s levels and unemployment remains above pre-recession levels.

To the benefit of contractors and supplier firms, the bill wastefully spends $46 billion for more drones, equipment and manpower to further militarize the southern border. The additional 20,000 border patrol agents the bill mandates will have little to do since the net flow of unauthorized migrants from Mexico is already near zero and, because of Mexican demographic trends, is unlikely to increase significantly.

Also read: H-2B Work Visas Costing Taxpayers Millions

--- THE LETTER ---

June 20, 2013

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leader Reid and Leader McConnell:

As representatives of the leading technology innovators, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and job creators in the United States, we write to request your support for S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. This critically important legislation would help ensure that America continues to be the location of the world’s most innovative and fastest growing industries—those that rely on intellectual property and highly educated talent. Your support for S. 744 will allow America to better realize opportunities for innovation and job creation today, as well as secure our economic strength in the future.

America is the most prosperous country in the world. The U.S. technology sector employs over 6 million Americans and contributes $1 trillion to our country’s Gross Domestic Product. Our success stems from our historic diversity, and the constant infusion of new and innovative ideas fostered by our democratic system of education and innovation.

We applaud the Gang of Eight, the bipartisan sponsors of S. 744, as well as the bill’s bipartisan supporters in the Senate Judiciary Committee, who have collaboratively crafted and refined a comprehensive bill that would truly modernize a broken and outdated immigration system. We strongly believe the many reforms in S. 744 that impact high skilled immigration – including key improvements in the availability of both green cards and H-1B visas – will help address the national talent shortage in the near-term, while also creating a long-term pipeline of American workers through establishing a much-needed new fund for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including computer science education. The bill will also protect and better prepare American workers, and enable employers and entrepreneurs of all sizes in every state to recruit and retain the world’s best talent.

Senate approval of S. 744 is essential if our economy will continue to foster innovation and invigorate many U.S. business sectors through an educated and highly skilled workforce of domestic and foreign-born talent. Absent reform, if every American graduate receiving an advanced STEM degree gets a job, the U.S. is estimated to face at least 200,000 unfilled advanced-degree STEM jobs by 2018. These unfilled jobs represent lost opportunities for our country, but with S. 744, we can fill these jobs, create new ones and invest in a future of economic growth.

We urge your support for S. 744, which will help to open a new path to American innovation, American economic strength, and greater opportunities for American workers.


Maury Blackman,
President & Chief Executive Office

Khaled Naim
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Addy Inc.

Darrell Ford
Chief Human Resources Officer
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Pankaj Jindal
Chief Operating Officer
Akraya Inc.

Hannah Kain
Chief Executive Officer

Eric Davidson
American Automation & Communications, Inc.

David A. Raymond
President & Chief Executive Officer
American Council of Engineering

Mike Splinter
Chief Executive Officer
Applied Materials, Inc.

Kevin Surace
Chief Executive Officer

Steven Zylstra
President & Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Technology Council

Richard Lord
President & Chief Executive Officer
Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Morgan Reed
Executive Director
Association for Competitive Technology

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Carl Bass
President & Chief Executive Officer
Autodesk, Inc.

Kevin Kennedy
Chief Executive Officer
Avaya Inc.

Jim Wunderman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Bay Area Council

Michael S. Scheeringa
President & Chief Executive Officer
BBA Aviation Flight Support

Brad Bullington
Chief Executive Officer

Matt Reid
Senior Vice President
External Affairs, BSA | The Software

Mike Montgomery
Executive Director

Pasquale Romano
President & Chief Executive Officer

Richard Lowenthal
Chief Technology Officer

John Chambers
Chief Executive Officer
Cisco Systems

Kim Polese
ClearStreet Inc.

Edward Black
President & Chief Executive Officer
Computer & Communications Industry

Todd Thibodeaux
President & Chief Executive Officer
Computing Technology Industry Association

Gary Shapiro
President & Chief Executive Officer
Consumer Electronics Association

David Spreng
Managing Partner
Crescendo Ventures

Kim Fennell
President & Chief Executive Officer
deCarta Inc.

Steve Price
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Don Means
Founder & Principal
Digital Village

John Donahoe
President & Chief Executive Officer
eBay Inc.

Ronald Sege
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Echelon Corporation

Vishal Verma

Fabio Rosati
Chief Executive Officer
Elance, Inc.
Michael McGeary

Belal Hummadi
Chief Executive Officer

John McAdam
President & Chief Executive Officer
F5 Networks Inc.

Mark Zuckerberg
Chief Executive Officer

Jerry Mix
Chief Executive Officer
Finelite Inc.

Caroline Dowling
President INS

Jeff Bussgang
General Partner
Flybridge Capital

Martin Schoeppler
President & Chief Executive Officer
FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.

Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman

Rami Branitzky
Chief Executive Officer

Koichi Fujikawa
Hapyrus Inc.

Josh Mendelsohn
Managing Director

Fred Hoch
President & Chief Executive Officer
Illinois Technology Association

Thomas Fallon
Chief Executive Officer

Dean Garfield
President & Chief Executive Officer
Information Technology Industry Council

James Gutierrez
Chief Executive Officer

Douglas Melamed
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Adriane Brown
President & Chief Executive Officer
Intellectual Ventures

Paul Lovoi
Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer
Jan Medical

Kevin Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Juniper Networks

Mary Meeker
General Partner
Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers

John Doerr
Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers

Shaun Cross
Chief Executive Officer
Lee & Hayes

Josh Becker
Chief Executive Officer
Lex Machina

Marty Beard
President & Chief Executive Officer
LiveOps, Inc.

Karl Sun
Chief Executive Officer
Lucid Software Inc.

Geetha Vallabhaneni
Chief Executive Office
Luminix, Inc.

Matt McIlwain
Managing Director
Madrona Venture Group

Tom Hopcroft
Chief Executive Officer
Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council

Darlene McCalmont
Chief Executive Officer
McCalmont Engineering

Steve Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer

Robert Greifeld
Chief Executive Officer

William Reinsch
National Foreign Trade Council

Bobbie Kilberg
President & Chief Executive Officer
Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

Randell J. McMills
Senior Vice President
Regional Executive the Americas, nxp Semiconductors

Ralph Schmitt
President & Chief Executive Officer
OCZ Technology Group, Inc.

Eric Stang
Chief Executive Officer

Chris Larsen
Chief Executive Officer
OpenCoin, Inc.

Safra Catz
President & Chief Financial Officer

Joseph Taylor
Chairman & CEO
Panasonic Corporation of North America

Maryse Thomas
Chief Executive Officer

Paul Jacobs
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Qualcomm Incorporated

Lanham Napier
Chief Executive Officer

Steve Case
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
Revolution LLC

Rita Cepeda
San Jose Evergreen/Community College Distirct

Barbara Holzapfel
SVP & Managing Director
SAP Labs North America

Denny McGuirk
President & Chief Executive Officer

Brian Toohey
President & Chief Executive Officer
Semiconductor Industry Association

Greg Becker
President & Chief Executive Officer
Silicon Valley Bank

Carl Guardino
President & Chief Executive Officer
Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Scott Lang
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Silver Spring Networks

Ken Wasch
Software & Information Industry Association

Gary Yacoubian
Chief Executive Officer
Specialty Technologies, LLC

Andrew Ball
President, West Region

Virginia Klausmeier
Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder
Sylvatex Inc

Steve Bennett
President & Chief Executive Officer
Symantec Corporation

Aart de Geus
Chairman and co-Chief Executive Officer
Synopsys, Inc.

Scott Allison
Chief Executive Officer
Teamly Inc

Bruce Mehlman
Executive Director
Technology CEO Council

Shawn Osborne
President & Chief Executive Officer

Alix Burns
Acting Chief Executive Officer

Terry Howerton
TechNexus LLC

Grant Seiffert
Telecommunications Industry Association

Rich Templeton
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Texas Instruments Incorporated

James Brett
President & Chief Executive Officer
The New England Council

Steve Westly
Managing Director
The Westly Group

Ryan Rogowski
Chief Executive Officer
Translate Abroad

Robert Lally
TransPak, Inc.

Steven Berglund
President & Chief Executive Officer
Trimble Navigation

Stephen Kaufer
President & Chief Executive Officer

David Cush
Chief Executive Officer
Virgin America

Susan Sigl
President & Chief Executive Officer
Washington Technology Industry Association

Steve Milligan
President & Chief Executive Officer
Western Digital Corporation

Moshe Gavrielov
Chief Executive Officer

Marissa Mayer
Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Stoppelman
Chief Executive Officer

Mark Pincus
Chief Executive Officer

Evan Burfield

cc: Members of the United States Senate

* Letter (PDF)

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